Originally popular in the ‘30s to ‘50s, cruiser bikes have had a resurgence in the last decade or two. Cruiser bikes helped to inspire early mountain bike designs, which is interesting since they have nearly opposite uses. Mountain bikes are agile and can handle tough terrain, whereas cruisers are usually sturdier, less agile, and best for flat surfaces at lower speeds. With large tires, the ride is considerably more comfortable and smooth, but you won’t get the speed of a road bike or the ability to navigate any terrain like a mountain bike.
We’ve looked at some of the best cruiser bikes to help you take the guesswork out of choosing which one you should buy.
In a hurry? The test winner after 19 hours of research:
Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser
Why is it better?
Last Updated: January 8, 2019
By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding beach bikes available for those who are interested in laid-back cycling experience. The best 6 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best cruiser bicycles currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Firmstrong Urban Lady
Firmstrong Urban Man
Sixthreezero Around The Block
Sixthreezero Women's 26-Inch
Huffy Nel Lusso
Best Women's Cruiser bikes
Women’s cruiser bikes have some slight differences that make them more suited for the shape and size of the female body, along with some minor aesthetic differences as well.
These five our are top favorites for 2019.
1. FIRMSTRONG URBAN LADY
As far as beach cruisers go, the superior bikes are the ones that focus on core aspects rather than extra features and gimmicks.
This bike places its attention on all the right components, creating a simple, yet refined cruiser that offers exceptional performance and ride quality.
The Urban Lady may not be very flashy, but it still manages to look great, while providing a very relaxed feel that ensures a great experience each time you get on.
The bike’s curvy frame is both sturdy and attractive, giving the Urban Lady an ideal foundation for all of its top-tier components.
The fork has a slight curve forward, helping to improve the bike’s steering, and also helping with some of the shock absorption. With a weight of 38 pounds, the Urban Lady is right where it needs to be in terms of added portability, swiftness, and stability as well.
The drivetrain of the most basic version of the bike includes a single speed. The ratio is perfect for a cruiser, with an emphasis on accelerating and maintaining lower speeds in between 3 to 15 mph. 3-speed and 7-speed versions are available as well, for those needing more options in regards to gears.
An easy to use reverse pedal coaster brake is utilized on the singlespeed version of the UL. The 3-speed model has a rear hand brake, while the 7-speed version has both front and rear brakes to offer maximum stopping control for the higher speed capability.
The Urban Lady’s wheelset is simple, durable, and smooth. Aluminum wheels help to keep the bike lighter, and also improve shock absorption. White-wall balloon tires with a smooth tread give the bike added grip on the pavement, and help it navigate and absorb bumps in your path.
The seating position of this bike is upright and relaxed, mostly thanks to a curved handlebar that rises upwards near the grips. This helps keep your arms at ease, while ensuring a high level of steering too. The bike’s handling aspect is definitely one of its strongest features.
The UL’s saddle offers a wide amount of coverage for the rider, and includes plenty of cushioning, both inside the seat itself, and with the oversized springs under the back portion.
For those wanting a few more accessories, the Urban Lady can come with matching fenders installed and even a bell, which is available in numerous speed options and wheel sizes. 24-inch tires are available for smaller riders.
The Firmstrong Urban Lady is a formidable cruiser bike that has an alluring, classic look, and performs on a level rarely matched by other bikes. The numerous size, color, accessories, and wheel options help to really push into the top level of cruiser bikes. It’s by far the best cruiser bike for 2019, and will likely be next year as well.
If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.
2. SIXTHREEZERO EVRYJOURNEY
The epitome of style, the EVRYjourney women’s bike from sixthreezero is a versatile hybrid cruiser that brings a classic to the modern day. Perfect for cruising, leisurely rides, and even commutes, it’s an all-around winner.
By combining a rear leaning saddle with a high and wide handle frame, it allows for an upright riding style that keeps your back and shoulders comfortable.
Aesthetically it screams hip, with a stylish and gentle curvature to the frame which serves the purpose of looking great and keeping your posture tight. It’s available in three colors and three different color-ways, giving you a total of nine styles to choose from
Plus, it comes in 1-speed, 3-speed, 7-speed and 21-speed, giving you great flexibility to choose the bike that best suits your needs.
The first color is cream, which comes out as close to a pastel yellow. Second is a metallic navy and thirdly a perfect teal color. Each is available in brown, black or white grips and saddle.
As the name suggests, the EJ is designed as an all-in-one bike for women, which is why having a rear rack is so desirable. For longer journeys, this is the perfect place to store your bag or basket.
The tires themselves are 1.95-inch wide, much thinner than you would find on freestyle bikes, but thicker than on the road or even many commuter bikes. This thickness allows for comfort and a stable ride, and because they are semi-slick, it shouldn’t sacrifice speed.
At 26-inch in diameter, these frames give you plenty of height for a comfortable and safe ride, especially if you are commuting alongside traffic.
According to many reviewers what they love most about the design of the bike is the frame structure which allows for a comfortable riding position, comfortable pedaling and safe standing.
By shifting the seat backward on a tilted frame, the EJ has a forward pedaling design so that you can reach full leg extension without having to bend your back at all. This style of riding is far more comfortable than traditional commuter or road bikes.
Similarly, you’ll find that you can safely put both feet on the ground while still sat on the bike. With most bikes, this is impossible and would require you to tilt the bike slightly, but because of the shifted seat and forward pedaling design, it’s safer and more convenient.
Overall, the EVRYjourney is a bike that lives up to its name, making it the perfect choice for women who are in the market for a bike that is as versatile and strong as they are.
3. SIXTHREEZERO WOMEN'S 26-INCH
A cruiser bike’s main priorities should always be comfort, ease, and style. Leave off any one of those, and you’re doing a disservice to any potential riders.
The STZ beach cruiser bike is a great example of combining style and sophistication with a high level of functionality, resulting in one of the best riding experiences you can find with a cruiser.
The bike’s relaxed feel and smooth handling makes it a great option for leisurely rides around the beach, neighborhood, or really anywhere else you'd like to have a fun, laid back ride.
The bike offers a classic look, with plenty of subtle detailing to help it stand out as well.
A sturdy, steel frame comprises the heart of the bike. The frame’s classic double tubing includes alluring curves, and a front fork that sweeps slightly forward. when fully assembled, the entire bike weighs around 38 pounds. The lower weight gives the bike a more nimble feel, without sacrificing its stability.
The cruiser’s handlebars are extended slightly, and extend outwards a little more than most other models. This helps to create a more relaxed riding position, and also let the rider sit in a fully upright position while pedaling and steering.
A simple, single speed drivetrain is used on the base model, which includes an ideal gearing ratio that is best for maintaining low to intermediate speeds while seated. For riders it need more speed options, there are 3 speed and 7 speed versions available.
Stopping power is provided with reverse pedal coaster brakes that are incredibly easy to use, And also eliminate the need for frequent maintenance or pad replacement. multi-speed models of the bike do come with hand brakes, however.
The wheelset of this cruiser is one of our favorite aspects. Thick, wide set balloon style tires give the bike an added measure of shock absorption. A smooth tread with slight texture gives the bike added grip on pavement, and also smooth dirt surfaces as well.
Alloy wheels with the high number of spokes helps provide added strength and durability to the wheelset. The rims come in various colors, depending on which color scheme you go with, giving the bike a more unique and custom look.
The bike saddle includes plenty of cushioning, while also providing wider coverage. Oversized springs under the rear of the saddle help to make it even more plush. Matching handlebar grips help to give the bike a more cohesive aesthetic.
Overall, STZ Beach Cruiser offers incredible value and style with a high level of craftsmanship and top-tier components. All of this goes into creating a riding experience that is smooth, relaxed, and most of all, very enjoyable -- just as a cruiser should be. It's hard to go wrong with this bike.
If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.
4. HUFFY NEL LUSSO
For those with a limited budget, it can sometimes be difficult to find a quality bike that not only rides well, but looks good too.
More often than not, you have to pick between the two. Fortunately, the cruiser bikes are already fairly inexpensive.
For those that have less than $200 to spend, there are plenty of options -- but not all of them are good, and not all of them offer more than basic components, with few features or accessories.
The Huffy Nel Lusso is one of the few budget level cruiser bikes that manages to include not only a number of features, but solid performance an exceptional looks as well.
The bike is made with a steel frame which sports a very traditional appearance. The frame includes matching fenders and also a rear luggage rack. There's even a kickstand included, along with a rear fender-mounted throwback style reflector.
The Nel Lusso comes in only a single speed gear setup, further adding to its vintage appeal and design. The gearing is efficient, and offers suitable acceleration and easy coasting speeds.
Braking is provided by a standard coaster brake setup, giving you all the stopping power you need in normal riding conditions. No hand brake levers here, and no cables to worry about. Nice and simple.
The bike’s wheelset is incredibly stylish, regardless of which color you choose. The all-white tires are an awesome look, and they are plenty wide and thick enough as well, offering lots of shock absorption. The rim colors vary depending on the color. We are very partial to the brown rims on the powder blue model.
The Nel Lusso’s extra features are what really makes it stand out. In addition to the fenders and luggage rack, the bike includes a front basket, and even a handlebar mounted cup holder. A brown saddle and matching handlebar grips help to round out the luxury beach cruiser look.
If you're looking for a fully-equipped cruiser bike that places a large emphasis on style as well, the Huffy Nel Lusso is a great choice. For around $150 you get about as much bike as you possibly can, and you’re sure to get a few second glances from it.
If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.
5. sixthreezero Around The Block
It's no surprise to see another bike from STZ on this list.
The company is well known for putting out very high quality cruiser bikes, that are also very affordable as well, while offering a more modern spin on a classic cruiser design.
The Around the Block Cruiser is made to cater to those with a lower budget for a cruiser, but still want a great bike, with the potential for upgrades and extra accessoires down the line.
This bike focuses on the main stuff first, and leaves it up to you to add anything on.
The bike starts with a steel frame cruiser design that has more of a contemporary look to it. The frame includes a matching chain guard, with a very stable luggage rack mounted at the rear. An extra tubing piece located in between the top and bottom tubes gives the bike some added stability.
The Around the Block Cruiser has a total weight of around 38 pounds, giving it a similar weight to the higher-level cruisers currently available. This weight gives the bike a noticeably quicker feel, and also makes it easier to carry should the need arise.
The bike is only available in a single speed version that helps give it more of a classic cruiser feel. The gearing ratio is very appropriate for its use, allowing for a quick burst of speed from a standstill, and also providing good pedal efficiency from a seated position.
Like other traditional single speed cruiser bikes, this one uses reverse pedal coaster brakes for stopping. This helps keep the bike simple, eliminating the need for other components.
26-inch balloon-style tires give the bike plenty of shock absorption, and help keep the ride smooth. The tires feature a slight tread pattern that is suitable for both pavement and smooth dirt and grass surfaces.
Although this bike doesn't come with any extra accessories, riders can easily add features such as bike bags, baskets, and cupholders if they’d like.
The STZ Around the Block Cruiser Bike is a simple, modern cruiser that focuses on offering excellent riding performance at a lower price. Its versatility and design helps it stand out among the inferior cruiser bikes.
6. Critical Cycles Chatham
A cruiser bike’s design is intended to be as simplistic and functional as possible, while giving extra attention to comfort.
Sometimes that notion ends up getting buried by bike manufacturers who end up putting more effort into appearances and features instead.
The Critical Cycles Chatham avoids the mistakes come companies tend to make with modern cruisers.
This bike takes a true ‘less is more’ approach, opting for simplicity, added comfort, and overall ride quality, but not at the expense of style.
The bike utilizes a hand-built, step through frame crafted from shock-absorbent steel material. the frame boasts a triple tube design, along with a sloped front fork that helps to improve the smoothness of the ride.
The Chatham’s handlebar design discards the more traditional curved style, and replaces it with a design more similar to BMX handlebars. This gives the bike or a more narrow grip that is still just as comfortable as a classic cruiser handlebar, but with some added control with steering.
A single speed drivetrain powers the Chatham, which uses a slightly larger crank wheel that helps to up its speed capabilities. 3 speed and 7 speed models are available as well, allowing for more gear options to assist those who encounter frequent inclines during their ride, or just want higher speeds.
Reverse pedal coaster brakes come standard with the single speed model, while hand brakes are installed with the multi-speed versions of the Chatham.
Durable, wide Wanda 26-inch tires help keep the bike’s ride smooth, and easily absorb small bumps in your path. Double wall rims protect the tubes in your tires from being poked or punctured by the spokes.
The bike comes in numerous color schemes, all of which include matching brown saddle and handlebar grips.
In terms of simplicity and overall ride quality, the Chatham provides an excellent value for those wanting a cruiser bike, but don't want to spend more than $200 in the process.
Best Men's Cruiser Bikes
When it comes to shopping for cruiser bikes, guys have a seemingly endless amount or choose from. These 5 best cruiser bikes represent the crème de la crème for 2019, and cover various price ranges as well.
1. FIRMSTRONG URBAN MAN
As with the Urban Man’s female counterpart, this bike puts all of its focus on ensuring a smooth ride that is as comfortable as possible, while keeping things simple.
The Firmstrong Urban Man is the definition of a high-performance cruiser bike that always offers the best in terms of a quality casual ride.
Capable of handling everything from sidewalks to streets, and the occasional grass and dirt path as well, the Urban Man is designed to be the prototype beach cruiser that favors fun and function over anything else.
The steel frame construction has a very masculine look, featuring plenty of curves and matching components. The bike keeps the weight relatively low, coming in at around 38 pounds. The result is a quick feel that is responsive and stable when pedaling or coasting.
The bike’s single speed standard drivetrain is precision-tuned to ensure lots of pedal efficiency in between 3 to 15 mph. For those that need more speed, or deal with varying inclines, the bike is also available in 3 and 7-speed versions.
A coaster brake system is used with the single speed model, helping to keep the bike simple and reduce maintenance. Multi-speed versions of the Urban Man use caliper-style hand brakes.
The Urban Man’s wheelset is available in 24 and 26-inch sizes, and includes thick, balloon-style tires with stylish white walls. The tires also use a slightly knobby tread, giving the bike some added traction on any surface.
The bike’s handlebar setup allows the rider to sit in a more upright position, and still retain full steering control without ever having to strain. Synthetic leather grips on each end give the bike a more upscale look, and are more durable than foam grips.
Numerous color options give you a lot of choices to best match your own personal style. There’s even three total black color options, from a sharp matte black, to a full black-out version, including components.
The Firmstrong Urban Man Cruiser is topseller for a reason. It provides superior performance, stylish looks, and exceptional comfort, and all for a fair price.
If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.
2. Sixthreezero Around The Block
Part of the allure with beach cruiser bikes is their simplicity, and the incredibly smooth ride they offer.
The STZ Around the Block Men's Cruiser captures the essence of what a beach cruiser is supposed to be.
Strategic design and quality components come together to form an efficient and comfortable cruiser that is perfect for casual riding.
The Around the Block’s frame is hand-crafted from quality steel, improving the bike’s overall stability, and giving it suitable shock absorption for any bumps in your path. The 40 pound total weight is right on the cusp of an ideal cruiser bike weight; not too light, not too heavy.
The bike’s handlebar design allows the rider to remain upright while pedaling and steering. A full-cushioned, spring-supported saddle offers a higher level of comfort when seated, making even all day rides easier on the body.
The base model of the Around the Block Cruiser comes with a single speed drivetrain that contributes to the bike’s overall smooth ride. A 7-speed version is available for anyone that needs multiple gears to better handle inclines and city riding.
Add with most Cruisers the single speed version of this bike uses reverse pedal coaster brakes for stopping. The 7-speed version uses hand brakes to better handle the higher speeds.
Extra-wide white wall tires feature a waffle tread that adds a better sense of traction to the bike. The wheelset’s double-walled rims protect the tube inside from being punctured by the spokes, and give the wheels better durability.
The Around the Block Cruiser does include a luggage rack in the rear, and can easily be upgraded with a number of features and accessories ranging from fenders, to baskets and cupholders. It is currently available in only one color, but the matte black is easily one of our favorites.
Overall, the STZ Around the Block Cruiser defines what a true cruiser should be, ensuring a smooth ride with plenty of comfort, and a heightened sense of style as well. For just around $200, that’s a great deal, and places the bike towards the top of the heap.
If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.
3. Critical Cycles Chatham
The Critical Cycles Chatham takes a fresh approach to a classic cruiser design.
The Chatham features a simplified version of a standard cruiser frame, using only a top and bottom tube, with some extra reinforcement around the top portion.
This gives it an updated, simplified look, while still providing needed strength and stability.
The drivetrain is quite efficient, and gives you plenty of go from a complete stop. When seated, you can get going to around 15 mph with some extra effort. If you need more speed, or have to tackles lots of hills, the 3-speed and 7-speed options are definitely worth consideration.
The Chatham’s reverse pedal coaster brakes with the single speed version help to keep things as simple as possible, and reduce maintenance and moving parts. The multi-speed versions of the bike come with caliper hand brakes due to the different drivetrain setups.
Wideset Wanda tires measuring 26 x 2.25 inches give the bike a lot of ground coverage, and go a long ways in ensuring a smoother ride, even when encountering bumps and small drops from time to time. A minimalist tread pattern provides solid traction on smooth surfaces.
The Chatham’s double-walled rims give the wheelset added durability, and offer additional protection to the tire’s tubes, preventing punctures from wayward spokes.
Another unique aspect to the Chatham is its take on standard cruiser handlebars. Instead of the basic curved design, the bike uses handlebars that resemble a sort of BMX style. This not only gives the bike its own style, but also offers an improved sense of steering from any position.
Continuing on with their innovative styling, the Chatham is available in a number of two-tone paint jobs, whether it’s on the frame or with the rims, depending on the model.
The Chatham gives riders an affordable cruiser bike option that does things a little differently, but without betraying the most important core aspects of what a cruiser should be. With its edgy styling and efficient performance, the Chatham is a great choice for buyers wanting to stand out, and save some money.
If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.
4. Firmstrong Bruiser
For those that are looking for a beefier-looking cruiser, the Firmstrong Bruiser is a great choice.
The bike has a more aggressive aesthetic, but doesn’t betray all of the characteristics that go into creating a comfortable, smooth-riding beach cruiser bike that’s great for leisure and casual use.
The Bruiser’s steel frame is an extended 19-inch size, giving you two moe inches of clearance to the handlebars than you get with the more common 17-inch frame size.
Despite the bigger size, the Bruiser still weighs around 38 pounds, which is the ideal weight range on a cruiser.
The bigger size lets riders extend their arms for a an even more laid back ride, but without decreasing any steering ability. A wide set, heavily-cushioned saddle provides the perfect sitting surface to compliment the bike’s feel.
The base model of the Bruiser uses a single speed setup, and gives the bike the needed power to easily attain speeds of up to 15 mph without too much effort. 3-speed and 7-speed gear setups are available as well, giving the Bruiser added speed and versatility.
A coaster brake system accompanies the single speed models, keeping your stopping/slowing simple and easy. Multi-gear Bruiser models use tierh one or two caliper hand-operated brakes instead.
Wide balloon-style tires give the Bruiser most of its shock absorption ability,while increasing traction thanks to an understated tread design. Rim colors vary depending on the color you choose.
The Bruiser offers all of these features for around $250, which is an excellent deal. The bike allows riders to have a more aggressive design, extended sizing, and the same smooth and easy ride that every cruiser should offer. If most other cruisers seem a little too feeble for your tastes, the Bruiser is the answer.
5. Sixthreezero In The Barrel
Cruiser bikes are already easy enough to ride.
Add in a forward pedaling design, and they're even more relaxed.
The SixThreeZero In the Barrel Beach Cruiser offers riders a different approach to a classic cruiser design, and giving the bike a more unique look and feel in the process.
The result is a cruiser bike that perfectly captures the more relaxed vibe that the bikes were intended for in the first place.
Everything starts with the frame. The In the Barrel’s extended frame size of 18 inches, combined with the forward placement of the crankset, allows the rider to sit back and pedal from a more relaxed position, and still provides plenty of efficiency in terms of speed and power.
The bike is available in a single speed configuration only, helping it retain a more traditional look and feel. Riders can expect to reach speeds of around 15 mph without too much effort, thanks to both the gearing ratio, and the crankset placement.
As you probably guessed, the only brake option is a reverse pedal coaster setup, which keeps the bike more traditional, and without any complicated components that need maintenance.
White-walled, balloon-style tires give the In the Barrel a plush ride, with a solid amount of traction from the smooth tread pattern. Reinforced rims help prevent wheel damage, and help with the aesthetic a bit too.
The bike’s saddle is very soft, and wide enough to provide increased comfort during longer rides. Matching fenders are included to contain any puddles that may come your way as well, keeping you clean and dry.
The SixThreeZero is a great cruiser for those that want to keep things simple, while adding an improved sense of comfort and pedal efficiency from the forward setup. Throw in the unique looks, stunning color options, and pre-installed fenders, and you've got yourself a superior cruiser for under $350.
Why You Should Choose Your Cruiser Bike Carefully
Some beach cruiser bikes are intended for light riding, which means they’ll have limited features, and may not be very durable. If you’re someone who goes on short rides around the neighborhood or boardwalk, this may not be an issue. If you plan on using the bike frequently, it probably will be.
So, while it may be tempting to just go out and get the cruiser you think looks the best, or you think is the best deal, it’s always a good idea to first go over what your riding needs are, and then focus on your personal preferences as well.
This way, you can be sure you’ll end up purchasing a bike that can hold up in your riding environment, while also being comfortable, and having any certain features that may improve your riding experience.
Things To Consider When Shopping A Beach Cruiser Bike
To ensure that you get the right cruiser bike, you’ll need to consider everything from where you are riding, to what kind of components you’ll be needing.
Let’s first start by going over what a cruiser bike is not.
If you read our complete guide to cruiser bikes, you know that these bikes were actually the inspiration behind what would eventually become mountain bikes. But that’s it.
They were an inspiration, and nothing more. Rapid advances in engineering and technology saw a quick shift away from trying to use these bikes to hit technical trails and downhill paths.
So, if you think you may be able to sneak your cruiser off the pavement and onto some mountain bike trails, even if they aren’t that treacherous, you're going to destroy your bike, and probably have a wreck or two. Cruisers are versatile in many ways, but not that versatile.
A cruiser is also not a road bike. While cruisers do have a few small similarities, and are also built for pavement use, they are nowhere near as efficient or fast as a road bike, and are not meant to be ridden for miles on end.
Road bikes have a number of key characteristics that make them great for fast and long distance riding. They are light, have a lot of gears, and position your body in a way that helps you get the most out of your pedaling. Cruisers are the opposite of this.
If you plan on riding your cruiser for miles on end each day, you may want to look at the hybrid bike reviews instead.
Finally, cruisers are intentionally a bit sluggish, so they are not made for any kinds of tricks or stunts like a BMX bike is.
What Cruiser bikes Are Really For
Cruiser bikes really capture the true essence of biking.
They don’t require any special skills or gear, and practically anyone that knows how to ride a bike can effectively ride a cruiser all day long.
They are by far the most casual type of bike there is. Cruiser bikes are perfect for everything from a stroll with the family around the neighborhood, to coasting down a beachside boardwalk, to riding the sidewalks around your town or in a park.
Cruisers are all about function first, but looks are not too far behind. Over the years cruiser bikes have spun off numerous sub genres and types that are actually more oriented towards style and customizations, but often still retain their usual riding abilities -- just with some added flair instead.
Still, if you are wanting a comfortable, relaxed bike that you can ride around while taking in your surroundings, a cruiser is perfect. The upright seating position, curved handlebars, and balloon-style tires all contribute to a very easygoing ride.
Hopefully we’ve made things a little easier in your search for the best cruiser bikes. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, these five bikes for each category all offer the best that cruisers have to offer, and appeal to a variety of different budgets and preferences.
Whichever you choose, you can be confident you’re getting a great beach cruiser bike that will provide you with miles of relaxed, leisurely enjoyment. Happy riding!
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