Best Cruiser Bikes Reviews and Comparisons Rated by Consumers
Beach cruisers were created during a time when sales for bikes reached an all-time low. These bikes were actually marketed as luxury products and more intended solely for recreation. Because of the fall in sales, a major company developed a line of more affordable and studier models in response to the higher priced traditional bikes. These bikes resembled motorcycles and included a cantilevered heavy frame with a couple of top tubes and wide tires. The resulting design marked the beginning of a totally new class of bike that revolutionized the industry: The beach cruiser. And today these bikes are still relevant because they offer the perfect blend of durability, comfort and style and all for a more affordable price.
If your goal is to find the best cruiser bikes online, there are a few key points to consider before you make your purchase. This includes the bike’s price, gear system and size.
Beach Cruiser Buying Guide and Style Options
Size is probably the most important factor you’ll want to consider because it can have a positive or negative effect on your cycling experience. A bike that’s either too large or small can significantly affect how you ride and can even lead to injury. When it comes to sizing, the cruiser is pretty simple. You’ll first need to determine if you want a women’s or men’s frame. The overall design is what differentiates the two frames.
Typically, the men’s models feature a tube that runs straight across, beginning at the top of the head tube and ending at the seat tube. Tube styles tend to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but all will come equipped with the straight across design. The women’s bikes feature top tubes that start at the top of the head tube, dipping down to the bottom or center of the seat tube. The end result is a lower stand over height which will allow the cyclist to dismount or mount easily. As with men’s models, tube design can vary with make and model, but every bike features the classic step through design for women.
Choosing the proper frame size will be your next step on your mission to find the best cruiser bike. Usually, the size of a cruiser bike is determined by wheel diameter. This is because the size of the frame doesn’t vary that much between models that share the same wheel size. Because of this, standard models for adults are twenty-six inches. This size can accommodate riders that are five to six feet in height.
Typically, the seat tube and step over heights are often lower on bikes designed for women, but the other dimensions of the frame or basically identical in size to that of a men’s model.
Differences in frame sizes do occur and are usually found in models that contain forward offset pedalling. With this type of frame setup, the entire crank on the bike is moved forward or the seat tube may be angled backwards as well. This design offers more leg extension, making it a great choice for riders who are over six feet in height. The change in design results in a shorter seat tube and longer wheelbase.
Next up, you’ll need to figure out if you want a cruiser with or without gears. The best beach cruiser bikes with gears will come in options of three, six or seven gear systems. Or you can opt for the traditional single speed model. Your choice should depend on your specific style of riding and whether you prefer coaster brakes or hand brakes.
A single speed bike is the classic design of the cruiser and it contains no gears, featuring the beloved coaster braking system. This foot brake is a kind of drum brake that’s integrated into the rear hub. This style features freewheeling capabilities just like a multi-speed model. When the cyclist back pedals the brake will engage. Because there are no handbrakes on this style of cruiser, the bike has a more classic, clean look. This type of cruiser is recommended for cyclists who enjoy riding over mostly flat terrain around town. They aren’t recommended for riders who prefer hilly terrain or riding long distances.
The multi-speed models come fully equipped with both front and back hand brakes in addition to an external rear derailleur. The rear derailleur offers users a six to seven gear ratio. The first gear is what provides the least amount of resistance when pedalling, while the other gears provide greater resistance. The high gears are perfect when you’re riding on even flat surfaces or if you desire faster speeds. Lower gears are designed for use when you’re fighting through strong headwinds or riding up hills. They’re also the perfect choice when the rider is fatigued. The front and rear braking system comes standard on all multi-speed models.
The models that are equipped with three speeds will only feature the rear internal gear hub, which means that all the gears are sealed within the bike’s hub shell. This type of sealing will protect the system from the elements. This results in low maintenance needs. The lack of an external derailleur also allows for the use of a traditional coaster brake instead of the hand brakes which allows for just one cable to run along the frame. Three speed models offer both the versatility you’ll get from seven speed bikes and the classic look you’ll enjoy from single speed models.
A beach cruiser is made from either steel or aluminium. Obviously, the steel frame models are much heavier, but they also feature lower quality components and can easily rust if they’re exposed to the elements. Aluminium models are much lighter in weight and come with higher quality components and don’t rust. Because of this, these bikes are usually more expensive than the steel counterparts.
Most people are drawn to the cruiser simply because of the overall style. Whether you choose the classic Schwinn cruiser, Firmstrong cruiser or the chopper style, make sure you choose a bike that meets your physical needs and fitness goals.
The Rise of the Beach Cruiser with Gears
The cruiser is a popular option for the cyclist who’s looking for an alternative to racing or mountain bike riding. This type of bike is similar to hybrid bikes and they’re mostly used for recreational purposes as opposed to sporting purposes. The classic cruiser comes with upright handlebars, extra wide tires, large comfortable saddle and a simple design. If cycling is one of your favorite hobbies, you should have a cruiser in your biking arsenal. If you enjoy a wide range of cycling activities including racing and tricking, but you’re looking for a bike that you can ride leisurely around town, this style of bike is one that offers the ultimate biking experience due to its wide range of innovative features. And it’s truly the ideal bike for casual riding.
The parts that are used to make a cruiser are machined from strong and light materials that extend beyond aluminium and steel and include cast plastic, rubber and alloys, all of which are renowned for their ability to resist wear and corrosion. Because of this, the cruiser is able to last for longer periods of time without the need of maintenance.
The fact that these bikes are so easily customizable is probably one of the biggest selling points for this type of bike. Every cycling enthusiast will have her or his own preference when it comes to biking style. Many of these bikes are assembled before they’re sold. However, these bikes can be easily designed based on the rider’s needs. There are also a wide variety of accessories that the consumer can choose to make their bike more unique. These accessories are available in different sizes, colors and styles. Customization options include rider height, rear or front basket, saddle, frame type, decals, color of frame forks, handlebar style, handle grip color and fenders. Because of all these customization options, the pricing can be tricky for the cruiser and will depend on the materials used, customization options chosen and whether it’s a single or multi-speed model.
This style of bike is also easy to control because of the broad tires and upright seating position. This allows the cyclist to remain on track as they ride down narrow pathways or trails. Because cruisers are of high quality, they’re not prone to failure during inclement weather.
Highly dependable, many cyclists choose this style of bike to use as a daily commuter, however for this purpose we recommend a multi-speed model. Although the single speed model can be just as practical, it’s only recommended for cyclists who are already in good physical shape, especially if they have a long daily commute in mind.
While initially, the cruiser was designed as a bike that would mainly be ridden for short jaunts around town or for pure recreational purposes, the overall design has come a long way. These days, the addition of tougher materials, handbrakes and gearing systems will allow the rider to truly enjoy the best of both worlds.
With a little know how, you can turn the classic cruiser into a bike that can be ridden for pleasure or used as a serious commuter. Again, as we have mentioned, steel frames are heavier and can take a lot out of the rider on a long commute, so play it smart. If you plan on riding your cruiser to and from work on a daily basis, or you’re looking for a bike that can whip you back into shape, purchase a cruiser that’s made from aluminium and one that’s equipped with multiple gear options.
While a single speed model may help you burn more calories and get you into shape faster, your results may suffer in the beginning if you’re not physically fit or used to cycling long distances. You don’t want to be stuck on a single speed model if your commute is more than five miles. Plus, you can always switch it to a more challenging gear once your fitness level progresses.
Beach Cruiser Bike Comparison Chart
|Kent Oakwood Men's Cruiser Bike||Lowest price, decent reviews.||$$||4.1|
|Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle||Best price with the highest reviews.||$$$||4.5|
|Sixthreezero Women's Beach Cruiser Bicycle||A little expensive, but with high reviews.||$$$$||4.4|
Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle Review
The Firmstrong Urban lady beach cruiser features an elegant design and is available in thirteen colors. This bike also comes in single speed, triple speed or seven speed options. Consumers should purchase the right speed model based on their current fitness level or fitness goals. This model also features a limited warranty on all parts and a lifetime warranty on the frame. The seven speed model is equipped with handbrakes while the single speed model features the traditional beach cruiser coaster brakes. The large, heavily padded saddle allows the user to ride for longer periods of time in total comfort, so say goodbye to saddle soreness forever. This model received plenty of positive consumer feedback and is currently our top rated cruiser.CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL FIRMSTRONG URBAN LADY BEACH CRUISER REVIEW
Sixthreezero Women’s Beach Cruiser Bicycle Review
The Sixthreezero women’s 26 inch beach cruiser bike combines the classic look of the beach cruiser with some modern improvements to give this bike durability, power and reliability. This model is able to easily travel over smooth cultivated terrain, but it can also weave in and out of traffic easily, which makes it a great choice for a commuter bike. If you want more than the traditional beach cruiser single speed experience, you can choose the three or seven speed models. These models are tough enough to handle uneven terrain and are still slick enough to handle riding in heavy traffic. The multi-speed models are more ideal for the cyclist who enjoys both on and off road riding. Equipped with a tough steel frame, Shimano tourney hub and twenty-six inch tires, this model is easy to handle regardless of terrain type.\CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL SIXTHREEZERO WOMEN’S BEACH CRUISER REVIEW
Kent Oakwood Men’s Cruiser Bike Review
The Oakwood beach cruiser by Kent is the only men’s beach cruiser we reviewed, but we took a second look based on the popularity of this model. The feedback for this particular cruiser was mixed for the most part, with some consumers complaining about the overall quality of this bike, while others felt totally satisfied and felt that this model was perfect for riding around town. Unfortunately, this bike isn’t designed to be used as a daily commuter, so if you’re looking for a dependable bike that can handle rough everyday use, you may need to pass this model on by.CLICK HERE TO READ THE KENT OAKWOOD MEN’S BEACH CRUISER REVIEW