Road Tested: Huffy Roustabout

Posted January 25, 2013 by Johnny Tenspeed

Some cyclists are willing to sacrifice comfort for speed. Others will give up speed for comfort. A select few will surrender both for style. It is this last group Huffy hopes to attract while perhaps restoring their long-sullied name with the new Roustabout.

At first glance, the Roustabout appears to be little more than a department store cruiser with drop handlebars. A closer look reveals that first glance to be more or less spot on. The slapdash finish exposes sloppy welds and unsanded edges. Instead of tape, the handlebars have cheap rubber grips leftover from the BMX line.

On the road, the steel cantilever frame and balloon tires did an excellent job of absorbing road bumps and would have provided an extremely comfortable ride if the pointy end of the banana seat hadn't dug into my crotch whenever I leaned down to ride in the drops. The single 34/14 gear was neither big enough to attain any real speed on the flats nor small enough the haul this monster up any noteworthy incline. On the plus side, the EZ2USE rear coaster brake proved adequate in most situations, even when wet.

With a list price of $199.99, the Roustabout is near the top of Huffy's line-up and is certainly their most unique offering. Unfortunately, "unique" and "good" aren't always synonymous and the Roustabout's style and flair can't compensate for its low quality and impracticality.