Who Needs a Test Ride?

8 reasons you might want to skip a test ride.

Are you sitting on the fence about buying a Cruzbike? Wondering if you should find a test ride somewhere before you commit? I've provided test rides to hundreds of people eager to see if a Cruzbike will work for them. But is it always necessary? What are the arguments against a test ride? …and who should definitely NOT skip this step?   

Here are seven reasons you may want to skip the test ride and jump straight to owning your own Cruzbike.

  1.  Test rides are inconvenient. While the number of Cruzbike owners is growing fast, you may not live near someone with a Cruzbike who is willing to loan you theirs. Therefore you may have to drive a long way.
  2. The bike will probably not be adjusted to fit you.
  3. Learning to ride confidently takes hours, if not days (or sometimes weeks). Ten minutes with the bike is not nearly enough time to determine if you are going to love it six months later.
  4. Your test ride might be in a crowded parking lot or somewhere that you do not feel comfortable. People are watching you, and it’s hard to relax.
  5. Many of the most avid Cruzbike riders (including me) bought their first Cruzbikes without ever test-riding one. There are countless hours of videos, scores of articles, blogs, and forum posts about the Cruzbike learning curve from customers all over the world. If you’ve done your research, you already know what to expect, and what the reward will be once you learn.
  6. When you have your own bike you can customize it to feel just right; which will make the learning process more comfortable and more fun.
  7. A "good" test ride does not guarantee you will be a good match for the Cruzbike. We had a customer who had a great test ride, bought a bike, but then had to sell it within a year because it made him too fast to ride with his wife anymore and his marriage was suffering. 

Who really needs a test ride before they buy? There are two groups that I definitely recommend should take the time for a test ride.

Riding a Cruzbike is certainly more comfortable for most people than riding a traditional bicycle, but both require a certain level of strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance. Anyone who can ride a traditional bike, can learn to ride a Cruzbike. 

Therefore, for anyone with a disability or unique physical limitation that prevents them from taking a short ride ride on a traditional bike, I recommend making the effort to find a test ride. The main purpose of the "test ride" is less about riding the bike and more about sitting on it and feeling how it might help (or aggravate) your specific situation. 

The other important consideration is fitment. Will the bike fit you? The four Cruzbike models will fit a large percentage of the adult population, but not everyone. Therefore,  people who are very large, tall, or short should take the time for a test ride. Included below is a Cruzbike fitment guide. Look-up up your height and weight  to see if you fall in the green, yellow, or red zone. 

If you are 1) in the green zone, 2) can ride a traditional bike, and 3) have done your research online, then just pick your model and buy it. Then you can learn how to ride it at your own place and pace.

If you are in the yellow or red zone (as are many happy Cruzbike owners) then I suggest you have a test ride. Due to variability of body shapes and limb-length ratios, the fitment guide can't predict 100% accurately who will be able to ride a Cruzbike. Don't lose heart if you aren't in the green zone. There may still be a Cruzbike in your future.  





  • Cruzbike Team

    @Stan Fenney – Yes, it’s likely a Cruzbike would absolutely enable you to cycle without pain. We’ll follow up with an email to you as well. The Cruzbike S40 might be a good choice to start with – the Complete option comes with the 100 Mile Trial if you are in the contiguous 48 US so if it doesn’t work you could return it for free.

  • Stan FENNEY

    I suffer from brachial neuritis which creates pain in my arms,ribs and sternum because my neck position on a normal bike pressed on a nerve. Can a recumbent enable me to cycle without pain?

  • Cruzbike Team

    @Terri – thank you for your feedback! We have added more information about x-seam and why it matters. Check it out here: https://cruzbike.com/blogs/blog/how-to-measure-x-seam-recumbent-bicycle-fit

  • Cruzbike Team

    @Cindy – You can sign up for a test ride here: https://cruzbike.com/pages/schedule-a-test-ride

    We also have a 100 mile trial program that might be a great fit for you. If you think Cruzbike might be just what you need, it’s really the best way to give it a try. It allows you to spend time learning to ride so you can really get comfortable. Check out all the details here: https://cruzbike.com/pages/100-mile-trial

    Hopefully Cruzbike will be just what you need to enjoy cycling again.

  • Cindy Moore

    How can I test drive Cruzbike. I ride roughly 60 miles per week. I constantly have pain and numbness.

  • Michael Carter

    Waiting , pondering
    .Does bike take up more road space than regular road bike? How much lower to road is head and shoulders compared to road bike?How does recumbent respond to non paved gravel shoulders?

  • Cruzbike Team

    Hi @Davide Plentenga – thank you for your feedback. The V20 is definitely not for every rider – it is designed for all out speed and racing. In fact, we are meeting up with many V20 owners to race Bike Sebring next weekend! If you decide the bike isn’t for you, there is a ton of demand for used V20 bikes so you should have no problem selling it. We’re here along the way if you need any more help or support.

  • David Plantenga

    Test Ride ? If had a test ride I would NOT have purchased my CruZbike V20 frameset.

    I’m into roughly 4 – 500 miles and STILL not comfortable riding it.

    I’m riding my V20 on a leaning Kinetic trainer this Winter and when I get back outside this Spring if I can’t get comfortable within 30 rides, I’ll sell it CHEAP.

  • Greg Lowe

    I probably did not need a test ride because I had done so much research on Cruzbike. I felt the S40 was going to be a great fit for my riding situation. But, I did go to Portland and rode a new S40 with Jonathan at Rose City Cycles. My test ride just confirmed what I already knew, the S40 was going to be perfect. I bought it on the spot and brought it home to Idaho. After 11,000 miles, I’m still enjoying my rides!

  • Cruzbike Team

    @JR Towle – I think you will find a Cruzbike really outperforms your long wheelbase recumbent all around and especially when climbing and will combine the best of what you have experienced on both recumbent and traditional frame bikes! Have you seen our 100 Mile Trial option? You can purchase the Cruzbike model of your choice and try it out for at least 100 miles over 100 days to see if it is a good fit. That gives you time to move through the learning curve and really get comfortable (much better than a brief test ride!). All the details are here: https://cruzbike.com/pages/100-mile-trial

  • JR Towle

    I’m a 61 year old life long cyclist with 42 years of commuting to work . I’ve had back surgery and a replaced hip. I’ve owned a Thunder Bolt recumbent since 1990, it’s comfortable, very low geared but (can’t climb) Will a Cruzbike really be that much different? I customized a Townie 21 into a 30 speed commuting/touring dream bike but part of me is still set on a bent. I’m thinking test ride?

  • Cruzbike Team

    @Jim McGowan – Wow! Thank you. We are so stoked to be part of what got you back to that good riding life.

  • Jim McGowan

    I purchased my first Cruzbike sight unseen and without a test ride!


    My wife was diagnosed with MS in 2004. I started seriously riding an entry level diamond frame Specialized road bike in September of 2005 so I could participate in the annual MS150 rides from Houston to Austin. I was 51 at the time. In 2007, wanting to upgrade, I purchased a Cervelo S2 and in 2011, I upgraded again to a Cervelo Carbon S5 ignorantly thinking all that time that upgrading would finally get me into a more comfortable ride..

    I continued riding my Cervelo Carbon S5 until my pain level got so bad in my neck, shoulders, back, and “the nether regions”, that I actually thought of giving up riding altogether. I tried different seats and positions on the bike to no avail. I was devastated. Then, I heard about recumbent bikes and thought there might yet be hope.

    In the 1st quarter of 2014 I purchased my first recumbent, a used 2001 Rans Rocket and got hooked. But after about 2 months I knew I wanted something comparable to my Cervelo Carbon S5, so I could keep up with my riding buddies.

    I think I checked out every recumbent brand on planet earth (at least it seemed so) and finally decided on a 2014 Silvio 2.0 from Cruzbike. Something about that front triangle just made sense to me. It arrived in July, 2014. It was love at first ride! After a short learning curve, I could easily keep up with my riding buddies and go for long distance rides, ALL WITH NO PAIN!

    Life was (and is) good again! So much so, that I now own a 2016 QX100, a used 2020 V20 (purchased 11-2021), and a new 2021 S40 (06-2021).

    It is not an exaggeration to say that Cruzbike saved my riding life! I’m 66 now (2021) and whether outside or indoors on my Wahoo KICKR trainer and Zwift, I can’t wait to get on my bike(s).

    So test ride or not, what do you have to lose? *Cruzbikes all come with a money-back guarantee so, the plunge! You won’t regret it!

    “Our promise through the 100 Mile Trial is that you will love your Cruzbike. If you don’t love yours the way we love ours after riding 100 miles in 100 days, we will pay return shipping and offer a full refund on your complete Cruzbike Q45 or S40 (For the speed fiends among us eyeing the V20, check out our Fastest Road Bike Guarantee.) This is really about you riding the 100 Miles. If you don’t reach 100 miles in 100 days, contact us. We will be happy to offer you an extension that makes sense for you.”

  • Teri

    You referenced an “X-seam” on one model but you don’t have a definition of it on this fit page. I remember in the past when I looked that you had defined it but now it is a mystery. I vaguely remember it was a measure from the hip to the bottom of the foot. It seems that a more common and universal measure is just the in-seam which is used when buying jeans or most pants.

    In general, your web site is so lacking in information and pictures. This is a total turn off for me.

  • Maria Parker

    @Gary, @Kevin, @Neal – We are so grateful for customers like you.


    I am definitely in the RED zone and can attest to the flexibility of the S40 design. Between a stem riser, curved slider, and back wedge options, a good fit was still possible for me. Anyone who might feel discouraged by this chart, I recommend not giving up until you can test ride a Cruzbike and explore what component options are available.

  • Gary

    As a Cruzbike owner who got a test ride, I can tell, that I knew after the ride that I could learn to ride the bike, but that it would take some work to get good at it.

    As a Cruzbike owner I’m more than willing to pay back the test ride I got, and having given a test ride to a local person it was a lot of fun. Yes I had to readjust my bike as I am tall and they were not. Including removing the extension on my bike, and shortening the chain. But it was totally worth it because the test rider was doing circles in the parking lot after only 15 minutes! It really helps if you can reach the pedals! And I spent 2 hrs doing the test ride, between fitting my bike to them, the test ride, and putting it back together for me.

    So while a test ride in the parking lot won’t tell you everything you need to know to ride the bike, knowing that there is a tribe out there to help you is a big selling point.

  • Kevin Farrell

    I got my S40 without a test ride. I knew I wouldn’t need to as I had all my research done on Cruzbike website and YouTube.
    You won’t regret it.

  • Lucia Parker

    @JD thank you for weighing in and sharing your experience (and for your gushing praise!) :)

  • JD

    Excellent advice. I’m downunda and purchased without a test ride v2 / v20 . I’m in the green zone for reference. Like most things you get out of it what you put in. So it is with cruzbikes and a test ride won’t let you in on the big payoffs of long term ownership. Gushing praise I know…….but of my five brands of recumbents cruzbike is a standout for quality product service and community.

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