The Iconic Cruiser is a meticulously designed electric bike that lives up to its name in every way. This huge and visually striking cruiser will turn heads anywhere you ride, with excellent quality components for comfort and smooth performance. Designed and supported by a small family business in California, the Cruiser is a great fit for larger riders who want to stand out from the crowd!
Frame and Contact Points
Hello friends, and welcome to Electrified Reviews! I've spent the last week testing out the Iconic Cruiser and I'm finally ready to share my thoughts. The short version: This e-bike is amazing! Just by looking at the Iconic Cruiser I could tell it was designed by someone who is actually passionate about e-bikes, a nice change of pace compared to many EV manufacturers that are simply trying to cash in on the e-bike craze with cheap cookie-cutter products. I talked on the phone with the father-daughter duo behind Iconic, and it was super cool to hear their stories of renting e-bikes together that sparked the idea to create their own company. They wanted to create an electric bike that blended style with reliable utility, and they've certainly accomplished that with their Cruiser.
Iconic is a pretty new brand, and while they do have a few dealers in California they aren't listed on their website yet... so you probably won't be able to test ride one before buying. I can recommend the Cruiser as a quality product, but there are still some things to consider before ordering online, such as "is the Iconic Cruiser too much bike for you?" The size and weight make it a better fit for larger riders. Granted, you can lower the seat far enough that anyone taller than 5 feet should be able to hop on and pedal, but the weight might be a bit unwieldy! You should also keep in mind that if you order it online you'll have to do some assembly after receiving, mounting the handlebars, front wheel & fender, and headlight. It's fairly simple thanks to Iconic's excellent guides, but you're going to want a second set of hands to help with the heavy lifting.
Appearance and Design: A Finely Tuned Head Turner
The Iconic Cruiser is simply a gorgeous electric bike. The dark green frame goes perfectly with the white & gold of the tires and rims, accented by the beautiful leather saddle and grips. Black rack and fenders, huge motorcycle headlight, and incredibly clean integrated cabling make the Cruiser look both sleek and imposing all at once. There's even a small bottle of touch up paint included in the box, which you can use to touch up the frame if you get any scratches! This is especially helpful considering the unique paint color which would be hard to find independently.
Aesthetics aside, there are many other small design touches that stand out to me as an experienced e-bike reviewer, such as:
- The battery is mounted low in the downtube which provides stability from the lower center of gravity. It also has a two-stage unlocking mechanism to prevent accidental drops, and the charging port is located up high, away from the cranks (this helps prevent accidental damage if you need to move the bike around while charging it).
- The kickstand is rear mounted, providing more stability when the rear rack is loaded with cargo. It also allows you to cycle the cranks backwards while the kickstand is down, making chain maintenance and repairs much easier.
- The cockpit is laid out well, with electronics controls on the left, shifter & throttle on the right, and everything is easy to reach without taking your hands off the grips.
- The triple clamp fork design provides more strength and stability than a standard bicycle fork, complete with bump stops to protect the frame and cabling.
- Vee Zig Zag tires are an excellent upgrade, performing much better than the typical Kenda or Chaoyang tires found on most fat e-bikes. I've only seen these tires on one other e-bike ever (and it was also custom designed by a small and passionate team).
Who's it For: Bigger Riders, City & Light Trail
The Cruiser is a large and imposing steed, tipping the scales at just shy of 90 pounds. It's a lot of bike to maneuver when walking, and forget about carrying it up stairs unless you really want some exercise! With it's size and much higher than average weight capacity of 375 pounds, it's definitely geared for larger riders; I'm 6'3" and it felt perfect for me, even without the saddle raised to maximum height. While the ride feels smooth and polished thanks to good components and suspension, it's simply too big of a bike to take on any serious trails; stick to city streets, light trails, and beach rides and the Iconic will perform flawlessly. That's also where the Vee tires will be happiest; these are semi-slicks designed for efficient traction on pavement.
Ride Comfort: Among the Best
The Cruiser has a lot going for it in the comfort compartment, with the cruiser geometry providing a nice upright & relaxed seating position. The 26x4 fat tires have a large volume of air which provides a lot of cushion; lower the air pressure down to 5-10psi for riding on soft sand! The leather grips are thickly padded and feel great in the hand, while the saddle - premium padded leather from Selle Royal - feels amazing to sit on even after hours of riding. The cherry on top is the high-quality EXSHO suspension fork with 100mm of travel, a wide (and stable) triple-clamp design complete with bump stops, and adjustment knobs for compression and preload! I was able to do 25 miles on my first test ride before I started feeling like my body wanted a break.
Power & Performance: Abundance of ZOOM
The Iconic Cruiser comes in power two variants: 750 or 1,000 watts, with both being Bafang hub motors mounted in the rear wheel. Hub motors provide excellent durability and top-end power, and these particular Bafangs have 85 newton-meters of torque, making them competent hill climbers. I have the 1,000 watt version, and let me tell you, this baby is FAST. Crank it up to maximum PAS (level 5) and you'll beat most cars off the stoplight, and can easily maintain a 30mph cruising speed - with or without pedaling!
Of course, cruising at 30mph will drain your battery pretty quickly - don't expect to get more than 25 miles of range if you're pushing that hard. Fortunately, the Iconic Cruiser is just as fun to ride in level 2 or 3, maintaining 25+ mph cruising speeds without the rider breaking a sweat. Riding this way on a route that included some steep inclines, I put in 25 miles and still had 60% battery capacity remaining.
Electronics configuration can vary a lot between e-bikes. On the Iconic Cruiser the throttle power is linked to PAS level; this means that in PAS level 1, the throttle is very tame and will only get you to 15-20mph by itself. Bump PAS up to level 5 and the throttle is now at full power, with satisfying acceleration all the way up to 30mph. For comparison, some electric bikes have full throttle power always, even when in PAS level 1. That's actually the configuration I prefer - I like to ride in a low PAS level, but have full power via the throttle without having to fiddle with buttons - but for the Iconic Cruiser it's probably good to have them linked, especially on the 1000-watt version. Sometimes you don't want massive power, like when riding slowly near pedestrians, so it's good to be able to dial it back a bit!
The PAS sensor is a sealed 12-magnet cadence sensor, which means it activates based on cycling the pedals around, and has a bit of a delay for both activation and deactivation. These sensors are less responsive than torque sensors (which require you to put more pressure on the pedals), but they're a great fit for relaxed cruisers like the Iconic. A cruiser geometry is not the best for pedaling and putting a lot of pressure on the pedals will hurt your knees after awhile! The pedaling drivetrain is a decent quality Shimano Altus setup complete with trigger shifters, I appreciate that Iconic upgraded these components compared to the typical Tourney thumb or twist shifters found on a lot of electric cruisers.
Safety: Top Tier
Part of safety is being seen by other riders and vehicle drivers, and the Iconic Cruiser is all about being seen! It's big, it has obnoxiously bright lights, and the massive white sidewalls of the Vee Zig Zag tires stand out in day or night. The headlight features standard and bright beams, and the brake light is equipped with turn signals and brake activation. The only thing it's missing is a horn... but hey, you can always yell at people, right?
Another aspect of safety that I appreciate is power; sometimes your best escape route is to accelerate out of the way of a collision. The Iconic Cruiser does okay in this department. It has more than enough power available, but only when you're riding in PAS level 4 or 5. If you're riding in levels 1-3 and need to suddenly accelerate, you may not have time to hit the buttons to increase your PAS level and then hit the throttle. I would keep it in a high level when riding on busy streets, especially if you need to ride with traffic. Fortunately, the Cruiser can easily keep pace with traffic on many city streets, and I found I was able to see over the tops of most cars to stay aware of my surroundings.
The Cruiser is equipped with Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, complete with dual-piston calipers, 180mm rotors, and motor inhibitors. These are excellent quality brakes and they do an impressive job of bringing this 88.6 pound behemoth to a quick stop, even when cruising in excess of 40mph! I hit a top speed of 41mph when rolling downhill, and the Cruiser felt incredibly stable. The combination of sturdy frame, quality Vee tires, and triple-clamp fork design make for a rock-solid ride that I would feel safe on just about anywhere.
Utility: Heavy & Awkward
The Iconic Cruiser is big enough - and heavy enough - that maneuvering it can be quite difficult; finding a spot at bike racks or moving it around in the garage will take more effort than a typical e-bike. If you want to transport it on a car rack you'll need a heavy duty one, and god forbid you need to carry it up and down stairs to store it in an upper level apartment! You can of course remove the battery first to shave off 12-ish pounds.
While the Cruiser is equipped with a rack and fenders, it's really more of a lifestyle cruiser than a utility commuter. The rack is actually quite excellent, wide with plenty of attachment points, but the front fender is pretty short and won't do much to protect you from serious water or mud. You could totally use it to run errands, but I would definitely advise a heavy-duty lock (or two) if you're going to leave it outside for very long; e-bikes in general have a high theft risk, and the Cruiser is so eye-catching that thieves will be able to identify it as an e-bike immediately.
Closing Thoughts: Stylish Power
The Iconic Cruiser is one of my all-time favorites; it's big, it's powerful, it's beautifully designed, and (perhaps most importantly) it's a blast to ride. I like supporting small American companies, especially when I can see their passion in the finished product like this. The cruiser is designed for a specific niche and thus won't be the right e-bike for everyone... but if you're in the market for a powerful and comfortable cruiser that will turn heads anywhere you go, definitely check it out!