Bikes differ in riding capability and purpose. That’s why we’ve different bike types, and today I’ll focus on cruiser bikes. So, what is a cruiser bike good for?
Well, cruiser bikes are good for riders who prefer to ride at a slow speed. That makes them best for casual riding around town, day-to-day commuting, entry-level cycling, and fun cycling. So, these bikes are generally a good pick for short rides.
Mainly, that’s owing to their low gear, swept-back handlebar, and upright seat position.
While a cruiser bike is a fantastic choice for moving around, not all promise the best cycling experience and value for money. So, how do you pick the best?
I’ll share with you an ultimate buying guide, focusing on a cruiser bike’s best features. I’ll also review the finest cruiser bikes to help you make a choice.
But before that, what is a cruiser bike, and why should you pick it and not any other? Let’s answer that.
In a hurry? Below is a hotlist for the finest cruiser bicycles on the market.
5 Best Cruiser Bikes For The Money
Sixthreezero Around the Block: Best Multi-Speed Cruiser Bike
Schwinn Mikko & Huron: Best Commuter Cruiser Bike
Schwinn Sanctuary 7: Best Urban Cruiser Bike
Huffy 26″ Panama Jack: Best Classic Cruiser Bike
NAKTO 26″ 250W Electric Bicycle: Best Cruiser Electric Bike
What’s a Cruiser Bike?
A cruiser bike, popularly known as a beach cruiser, is a type of bicycle with a relaxed look and an upright seat position. It’s best for casual riding around town and commuting at low speed.
You’ll find a cruiser bicycle with dual fenders, a basket, a rear rack, and large smooth tires.
What Is A Cruiser Bike Good For? Why Get It?
Overall, cruiser bikes come with the following advantages:
Simple-to-ride design – Beach cruisers come with fewer gears for comfortable riding. Their frame is also simple in design to encourage upright cycling.
Comfortable build – Cruiser bicycles have a well-cushioned seat, ergonomic handles, and front suspension for comfortable riding.
Versatile choice – These bikes come with designs that allow you to ride them on the beach, cycling trails, light hills, and paved roads.
Convenient means of transportation – Beach cruisers come with rear racks and sometimes front baskets to carry your groceries and other stuff.
Timeless design – It’s only a cruiser bike that has a retro-modern design. It combines the new age and the old to offer you a timeless ride.
Overall, the best cruiser bikes for men and women are best for:
- Casual riding around the neighborhood
- Day-to-day commuting
- Outdoor workout
- Short trips around your area
- Entry-level cycling, even by seniors
Types of Cruiser Bikes
Here are the most typical types of beach cruisers:
Classic beach cruisers or retro-style cruisers are the traditional types that have been around for years. They are slightly heavier than the modern beach cruisers and come in a unisex design.
They feature balloon tires, single-speed drivetrains, rear racks, and front baskets. Plus, their saddles sit low while their handlebars are taller to put you in a more upright riding position.
One top recommendation is the Huffy 26″ Panama Jack Beach Cruiser.
Urban beach cruisers have a more relaxed geometry, just like classic cruiser bicycles. They also come mostly in single-speed, but there are a few multi-gear options for urban commuting.
One perfect example of such is the Schwinn Sanctuary 7 Cruiser Bike which comes with seven gears.
Overall, urban beach cruisers are very comfortable for long-hour riding in town.
Traditionally, cruiser bikes come in single-speed options, and those with multi-speeds are low gear. The traditional cruiser bikes have 1-3 gears.
Things are changing, however, as we now have options with as much as 21 speeds. Multi-speed cruisers are generally best for casual riders who want more speed to conquer the inclines.
One of the best beach cruiser bikes with gears is the Sixthreezero Around the Block Beach Cruiser Bicycle.
d) Commuter Cruiser Bikes
They come geared for comfortable riding across varied terrains and to cover more ground.
Some even have 700c wheels, default to road bikes to promote riding efficiency.
One top recommendation here is the Schwinn Mikko & Huron Adult Beach Cruiser.
Electric cruiser bicycles are just commuter beach cruisers with a battery-ran motor. The motor offers you the extra push you need to cruise easily across varied terrains.
These bikes have a relaxed long geometry for easy cycling.
One top recommendation is the NAKTO 26″ 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle.
Other Types of Beach Cruisers
- Stretch Beach Cruisers – These bicycles have an elongated frame, and they look twice as long as traditional cruisers.
- Fat Tire Beach Cruisers – These beach cruisers come with extra-wide tires (fat tires).
- Low-Rider Beach Cruisers –These bicycles sit lower and often recline backward.
- Tandem Beach Cruisers – These options allow two people to ride them at a go.
- Chopper Beach Cruisers – These bikes resemble chopper motorcycles.
Best Features Of A Cruiser Bike – The Buying Guide
Consider these best features when shopping for a beach cruiser:
- Step-over or Step-thru Frame
Cruiser bicycles either have a step-over or step-thru frame. A step-over frame offers you a taller standover height than a step-thru frame.
In that case, the top tube of a step-over frame curves upwards while that of a step-thru frame curves downwards to offer you a shorter standover height.
Traditionally, step-over frames suit men, while step-thru frames suit women.
- Wider, Well-Cushioned Saddle
The saddle can have a leather cover to give the bike a classic appeal. Others have dual springs to absorb bumps. So, consider them.
It’s also worth noting that cruiser saddles are broader than average to offer you extra comfort.
- Swept-Back Handlebar with Grips
Beach cruisers have a very distinctive handlebar. It assumes a swept-back design to save you from leaning forward when balancing on the bike. As a result, you don’t stress your back much.
The handlebar also comes with ergonomic grips to protect you from hand soreness when riding. So, consider such provisions.
- Dense Rubber Tires
Rubber tires are another typical feature of cruiser bicycles. However, unlike road bikes, a beach cruiser’s rubber tires come dense.
Their thickness promotes puncture-resistance and stability. So, they promise both durability and on-road safety.
- Coaster or Rim Brake
Beach cruisers mostly come with coaster brakes or rim brakes. Coaster brakes (or pedal brakes) work on the wheel hub. They have a neat appearance and are easy to maintain.
Their downside is that they are not as powerful as rim brakes. So, I recommend rim brakes for unmatched stopping power.
Rim brakes mostly come either as linear-pull (or v-brakes) or caliper brakes.
- Low Gear
Traditional beach gears come in single-speed. That makes them best for slow-riding on paved surfaces and flatter terrains. In addition to being easy to ride, single-speed cruisers are easy to maintain and have a neat look.
Their only downside is that they cannot take on the hills. If you want to ride uphill, go for multi-gears. They are becoming more popular in modern beach cruisers.
Given that beach cruisers have a more retro appeal, they don’t lack dual fenders, a drivetrain guard, and a rear rack.
Others come with front baskets and headlights. So, consider as many accessories as you can get.
How Cruiser Bikes Compare to Others: What Is A Cruiser Bike Good For?
a) Cruiser Bikes Vs. Mountain Bikes
While cruiser bicycles are best for short rides around the neighborhood, more so on flat ground, mountain bikes are perfect for off-road.
Overall, these two bikes differ in several ways. For starters, mountain bikes have a less upright seat position when compared to cruiser bicycles.
Speed-wise, you have more speed when riding a mountain bike than a cruiser bike. That’s because the former has more gears.
Mountain bikes are also strongly-built for the off-road, featuring a robust frame and well-treaded tires.
Cruiser bicycles, in contrast, mostly come with lighter frames and smooth tires. That makes them the best for flatter and paved roads.
Aesthetically, both bikes are attractive. However, an MTB has a more rugged look.
b) Cruiser Bikes Vs. Hybrid Bikes
You already know that a cruiser bicycle is best for cruising around the neighborhood, making it a general-purpose bike.
A hybrid bicycle is another general-purpose bike that brings together the world of a mountain bike and a road bike.
Concerning the tires, both bikes have wider tires, but those of a beach cruiser are extra wide to offer you more traction.
As for the seat, a hybrid bike’s saddle is a few inches below the handlebar for a more relaxed and upright cycling experience. A beach cruiser’s seat is also slightly larger than that of a hybrid bike.
And when it comes to the handlebar, cruiser bikes have a more swept-back handlebar, while hybrid bikes have either a road bike’s drop bar or an MTB’s flat bar or a raiser bar.
In terms of riding capability, a hybrid bike is suited to all kinds of terrains. That’s because it embodies the properties of an MTB and road bike.
You can ride a hybrid bike on paved and unpaved surfaces, downhill and uphill, and on dirt paths and wet surfaces.
That’s not the case with beach cruisers, which are only best for flat surfaces, paved roads, beaches, and light hills.
c) Cruiser Bikes Vs. Comfort Bikes
When it comes to the comfort bike, it looks like the cruiser bicycle in many ways, but there are a few less noticeable differences.
Yes, both bicycles offer you an upright seat position and mostly come in low gear. They also enjoy lighter frames and an easy-to-ride design.
However, the frame of a comfort bike looks similar to that of a hybrid bike. Their seats have shock-absorbing potential to offer you a less abrasive ride.
Yes, a cruiser seat is comfortable, but not many come with bump-absorption potential.
Comfort saddles also have more cushioning and are broader to guarantee optimal comfort, living up to the name comfort bikes.
Performance-wise, a cruiser bicycle is best for flatter and paved grounds, where speed is not a priority. Beach cruisers are best for short trips, especially by beginner cyclists and seniors.
Comfort bikes, in contrast, suit varying terrains where speed is of the essence. That includes hilly landscapes and long roads, where comfort is paramount.
Maintenance-wise, cruiser bicycles are easier to maintain because of their simple design.
Best Beach Cruiser Bikes Reviewed
(Best Urban Beach Cruiser)
The Schwinn Sanctuary 7 Cruiser Bike is not just stylish but also comfortable to ride on urban roads. This bicycle features a retro-style to uphold the traditional cruiser touch.
It comes with both a step-thru and a step-over steel frame to suit both genders.
The bike’s 26-inch wheels have smooth-rolling tires for a smooth ride on urban roads.
Its full-fenders keep mud off while its rear rack can carry your extra load.
With its 7-speed rear derailleur and SRAM shifters, you can tackle light hills and long trails more comfortably.
Another impressive feature is the padded spring seat that offers shock absorption.
Overall, this beach cruiser suits riders who are 5’3″-5’8″ tall.
- Steel step-thru/step-over frame
- Padded spring saddle
- 26-inch wheels
- Full fenders
- 7-speed gearing
- Rear rack
(Best Multi-Speed Beach Cruiser)
With a 21-speed drivetrain and single-speed option, there is nothing like the Sixthreezero Around the Block Beach Cruiser Bicycle.
It comes in a classic curvy 17-inch steel frame to encourage comfortable casual riding around your neighborhood.
Plus, its sweep-back handlebar and frame encourage upright cycling while its dual spring saddle promises bump absorption.
What’s more, the handlebars feature foam grips for a comfortable hold, and it comes with coaster brakes for comfortable stopping.
This women’s beach cruiser bike with gears comes with 2.125-inch wide tires with waffle treads to offer you a more cushioned ride.
Additional accessories include a front light and rear rack.
- Classic curvy 17-inch steel frame
- Sweep-back handlebar with foam grips
- Dual-spring saddle
- 125-inch wide tires with waffle treads
- Rear rack and front light
(Best Classic Cruiser Bike)
The Huffy 26″ Panama Jack Beach Cruiser is your ultimate vintage beach cruiser. It comes in a step-thru aluminum frame for comfortable riding.
Expectedly, the bicycle features a rear rack for your cargo and a front wicker basket for your groceries.
The seat is further back, and the handlebar has a sweep-back design to let you stretch your legs fully while cycling upright. Its handlebar is also adjustable to suit your height.
Its rear coaster brake allows you to stop whenever you want. Plus, its seat is not just padded but also comes with a dual spring to absorb bumps.
Other add-ons include cork-style grips, a chain guard, and a drink holder. Overall, anyone older than 13 years can ride the Huffy 26″ Panama Jack Beach Cruiser.
- Step-thru aluminum frame
- Rear rack and front wicker basket
- Rear coaster brake
- Dual spring saddle
- Adjustable sweep-back handlebar
(Best Commuter Beach Cruiser)
The Schwinn Mikko & Huron Adult Beach Cruiser comes with everything you want in a day-to-day commuter bicycle.
For starters, it comes with a 17-inch classic steel frame with a step-thru and step-over option. That makes it perfect for both genders.
This best cruiser commuter bike has a dual-spring padded seat and cruiser handlebars to encourage more upright cycling.
With this bike coming with 1-speed, 3-seed, and 7-speed gearing options, it’s an all-terrain choice.
Its powerful rear coaster brake promises easy stopping while its dual fenders keep you mud-free.
Moreover, its 2.12-inch wide tires promote better stability, while its double suspension promises optimal shock absorption.
Overall, this beach cruiser suits cyclists who are 5’4″-6’2″ tall.
- 17-inch step-thru/step-over frame
- Rear coaster brake
- 12-inch easy-rolling tires
- 1,3, and 7-speed gearing options
- Dual fenders and dual suspension
- Spring padded saddle
(Best Cruiser Electric Bicycle)
The NAKTO 26″ 250W Cargo Electric Bicycle promises two main things.
First, the bike promises a more comfortable ride across varying terrains. That’s mostly owing to its 250W high-speed brushless motor and 6-speed transmission system.
Two, the bike promises maximum convenience. Not only does it feature a rear cargo rack but also a front basket for your grocery supplies.
In addition to that, it comes with a powerful 36V lithium battery and charger. You can ride up to 28 miles (45 Km) on one charge.
The bike’s frame is carbon steel, and it’s accompanied by a hi-ten front fork that absorbs shock.
Other features include a front v-brake, LED headlamp, and two working modes (pedal-assist and variable speed).
- 250W high-speed motor
- 6-speed transmission system
- Rear cargo rack and front basket
- Two working modes
- Shock-absorbing front fork
What Is A Cruiser Bike Good For FAQs
1. What Is The Best Cruiser Bike To Ride?
Here is a list of the easiest-to-ride and most comfortable cruiser bicycles on the market:
- Sixthreezero Around the Block: Best Multi-Speed Cruiser Bike
- Schwinn Mikko & Huron: Best Commuter Cruiser Bike
- Schwinn Sanctuary 7: Best Urban Cruiser Bike
- Huffy 26″ Panama Jack: Best Classic Cruiser Bike
- NAKTO 26″ 250W Electric Bicycle: Best Cruiser Electric Bike
2. Is There A Difference Between Men And Women Beach Cruisers?
There isn’t a lot of difference between the men’s beach cruiser and the women’s beach cruiser. Actually, the difference is in the frame, and it’s slight.
Men beach cruisers have slightly bigger frames and feature a top tube that curves upward slightly or runs straight.
As for the women beach cruisers, their frame is slightly smaller and features a top tube that slightly curves down.
3. Can You Work Out Well On A Cruiser Bike?
Though cruiser bikes are popular with casual cycling, regular cycling can help you keep fit. Even though the workouts are low impact, you can strengthen muscles, reduce fatigue, and shed weight.
4. Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Long Ride?
One downside of cruiser bikes is that they are low-speed. You need at least a multi-gear bike to tackle long roads, more so steep ones.
So, only multi-gear cruiser bicycles are best for long rides. The best overall, nonetheless, are tour bikes.
5. Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Beginners?
Cruiser bicycles have an upright cycling position and an easy-to-access geometry. Most of them also come in single-speed. All that makes them beginner-friendly.
6. Can You Lose Weight Riding A Cruiser Bike?
If you cycle regularly, about an hour a day, you can burn some weight. Remember, the more often you ride a beach cruiser, the likelier you are to lose weight.
Don’t forget to watch your diet, too, as it impacts your body weight.
7. Are Cruiser Bikes Good For Hills?
Most cruiser bikes come with single-speed gears, which make it hard to cycle uphill. However, for the few that have several gears, hill cycling is much comfortable.
So, yes, cruiser bikes can be good for hills when multi-geared.
So, what is a cruiser bike good for? As seen, a cruiser bicycle is best for flatter and paved roads where speed is not a priority. This bike is also great for short trips around the neighborhood.
If that’s what you want, get your cruiser bicycle today!