The Best Cruiser Bikes Of 2017 – A Complete Buying Guide

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Best Budget: Huffy Nel Lusso

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After thoroughly reviewing 10 of the best cruiser bikes available today, we think the Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser (ladies) and Firmstrong Urban Man (guys) are the best options available.

Cruiser bikes are not exactly the most complicated type of bike you’ll ride. These relaxed, casual bicycles are known for their simplicity, which is part of the allure in the first place.

Cruisers are intended for those who want to have a comfortable ride, without feeling like they have to get in some kind of certain mode or mindset to bike, or have to wear a lot of gear.

Just hop on, sit back, and make your way to wherever you’re going, or just enjoy the scenery around you.

Although cruisers are simple in nature, there can be plenty of differences among models, and certainly among manufacturers. If you’re going it alone, finding the best cruiser bike for your needs may be a little difficult.

No worries -- we’ve done all the work for you. This guide will highlight what we think are the best cruiser bikes of 2017, for both men and women. We’ll cover bikes for any budget, and also a few different designs and styles as well.

Hopefully, by the time you’re done, you’ll have a much better idea of what cruiser bike you’d like to add to your collection.

THE 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 2017.

As far as beach cruisers go, the superior bikes are the ones that focus on core aspects rather than extra features and gimmicks.

Firmstrong’s Urban Lady 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 Urban Lady. 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 the Urban Lady 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 Urban Lady’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 for 2017, and will likely be next year as well.

If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.

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 SixThreeZero 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, SixThreeZero 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.

Alternative: 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, 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.

It's no surprise to see another bike from SixThreeZero 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 SixThreeZero 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.

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.

The Best Men's Cruiser Bikes

When it comes to shopping for cruiser bikes, guys have a seemingly endless amount or choose from. These 5 cruisers represent the best of the best for 2017, and cover various price ranges as well.

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.

Part of the allure with beach cruiser bikes is their simplicity, and the incredibly smooth ride they offer.

The SixThreeZero 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 SixThreeZero 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.

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.

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 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.

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 Cruise Bike Carefully

Cruiser bikes don’t have precision sizes and setups like you’ll see with mountain bikes or road bikes, but that doesn’t mean that just any cruiser will be suited to your needs.

Some 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 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.

Black Gucci cruiser bike on white background

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 Cruisers 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.

Groom riding a cruiser bike

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.

What Is Your Budget?

One of the best things about cruiser bikes is that they are not all that expensive for the most part. While top-tier mountain bikes and road bikes can cost you thousands of dollars, cruisers are nowhere near the level of cost.

You can get a great cruiser for under $200. Go above that price level, and you’re in an even higher category that includes many of the best cruisers you can buy.

The simplicity of a cruiser and its lack of complicated components helps to keep the cost down. Because of this, most avid bike enthusiast can afford to add a cruiser to their personal collection of bikes, giving them a much more casual and relaxed option for those days when you simply want to enjoy a leisurely ride.

Cruiser Bike Types

Cruiser bikes are now available in more different types than ever, and many more continue to be developed as cruiser enthusiasts continue to customize and re-engineer their own bikes. Here are the five most common cruiser bike types you’ll see.

Classic/Beach

The most popular cruiser bike type, classic and beach cruisers are the most basic and simple of cruisers. They will most often have a steel frame with a standard cruiser design, 26-inch tires, and tall, curved handlebars.

These cruisers do come in a lot of different styles, but their core characteristics are the same. Unless otherwise noted on product listing, a bike marketed as just a “cruiser” is almost always the classic/beach type.

Stretch

A stretch cruiser bike can be many different styles and types, but its core identifier is the fact that the frame is longer than a classic frame; sometimes twice as long.

While some prefer this kind of cruiser for looks, a stretch cruiser can actually be even more comfortable and relaxed, as the pedals are usually placed more in front of the rider.

Low Rider

Red chopper cruiser bike on a beach

Low rider cruisers are more about show than anything. These cruisers are inspired by low rider cars, and have a lot of flashy features to go along with it. They sit much lower to the ground, and often have a more reclined seating position, but not always.

Low rider cruisers usually have a lot of customizations to help round out the look. They can still be ridden around like normal cruisers most of the time, but they are really just more for enthusiasts of the niche.

Chopper

Chopper cruiser bikes are designed to resemble chopper motorcycles. Ths often means having elongated forks, ape-hanger handlebars, different sized tires, lots of additional frame add-ons, and a few low rider elements as well. Choppers are another enthusiast niche that favors form over function.

Multi-Speed

Multi-speed cruisers are any type of cruiser that has more than one speed. This can apply to everything from beach cruiser to chopper cruisers.

The most common multi-speed cruiser uses 3 gears, but 7 gear configurations are increasingly popular now. This allows riders to maintain all the normal characteristics of a cruiser, while adding the versatility and faster speeds that multiple gears provide.

Cruiser Bike Components, Aspects, And Features To Know

Cruiser bikes are indeed more simple than most other types of bikes, but there are a few core components and other features you need to be aware of, so that you can focus your search on the bikes that cater to your preferences.

Size

Sizing is usually a complicated endeavor with most bikes, but not so with cruiser bikes. For the most part, cruisers are a one-size-fits all situation.

Cruiser size chart

That’s not to say that there aren’t multiple sizes of one model, but don’t expect to get the same kind of precision fit that you’ll get with mountain bikes and road bikes. This is by design, however; cruiser bikes are not made to be dependent on exact fits.

Most product listings of cruiser bikes will tell you what the ideal height range is for a certain model, and they’ll sometimes have versions with different tires sizes as well. The fine-tuning is done with the handlebars and saddle height, and that’s it.

Frame

A bike’s frame is its foundation upon which everything else is built. For the most part, the lighter the frame the better is a general rule to live by with bikes. This isn’t the case with cruisers, however.

Since cruisers aren’t designed for top speeds, or for navigating obstacles on a trail, they don’t need to be as light. Plus, the heavier frame provides added stability to the bike, and encourages it to stay upright. The weight helps with coasting speeds as well.

This isn’t to say that you want a bike that weighs as much as you do or something, but know that you aren’t going to end up with some 23 pound featherweight. More often than not, a cruiser’s weight will range from 35 to 55 pounds.

Steel is the overwhelming favorite for cruiser frame materials, but you’ll see some aluminum models from time to time. If you plan on carrying your bike up stairs or when on the sand every now and then it’s best to stay around the 40 pound range.

Brakes

The brakes on a cruiser are usually one of its simplest components.

Most of us are used to hand brakes from other types of bikes, but with a cruiser, there’s a good chance that it’s going to use coaster brakes.

If you had a bike when you were a kid, you’ll probably remember these.

Holding a cup portraying a cruiser bike

Stopping is accomplished by pushing the pedal in reverse, rather than a lever. This helps to cut down on the maintenance and wear you experience with hand brakes, while also eliminating cables.

If you’re getting a multi-speed cruiser, you’ll likely have to use hand brakes due to the different drivetrain setup.

Gearing

Another common characteristic of a cruiser is its simpler drivetrain. The majority of cruisers will have just one gear. The gearing ratio favors acceleration and lower speeds over fast, sustained speeds.

As we’ve already mentioned, there are a number of cruisers with 3 or 7 speed gear setups now, and you can usually find several speed options on many cruisers currently available, helping you get a more customized bike that suits your preferences.

So do you need more than one gear? That depends. If you are going to be doing light riding every now and then, and aren't really concerned with higher speeds or conquering hills and slopes easier, a singlespeed is just fine.

If you anticipate having longer rides, or you live in an area that has a lot of hills, a multi-speed cruiser is probably a better idea. The bike is still the same as other cruisers, just with some extra gears to help put when needed.

Wheelset

The wheelset of a cruiser bike isn’t a crucial factor when shopping, but it still matters. Most cruisers will have wide, balloon-style tires with just a little tread for better traction on smooth dirt surfaces, or moisture.

Cruiser bike tires are designed to help ensure a smoother ride, while aos providing a decent amount of shock absorption from any bumps or inconsistencies in your path.

Alloy rims with 32 spokes are the most common for cruisers, and whitewall tires are generally preferred as well, if you’re going for the classic cruiser look.

Some models offer varying tire wall colors if you’d like something more unique.

Vintage crate as an accessory for a cruiser bike

26-inch tires are the standard cruiser bike size, although some models offer smaller tires for smaller riders.

Accessories

Accessories can be part of the fun with cruisers. Not only do accessories allow you to customize how your cruiser looks, they can also help improve its functionality while tailoring it to your personality.

Some of the common cruiser bike accessories include the following:

  • Fenders - These are mounted over the tires, and help prevent the rider from getting splashed when riding over puddles.
  • Baskets - Mounted on the handlebars, behind the saddle, (or both,) baskets make it easy to carry smaller items when on the go.
  • Cup Holders - Pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes it’s nice to have your beverage within arm’s reach when coasting along the sidewalk or beach, right?
  • Racks - A luggage rack mounted over the rear wheel gives you the ability to haul bigger loads, or even attach an additional seat.
  • Lights - The cruisers of old usually came with lights pre-installed, but you’ll likely have to add them yourself now. There are some models that still come with them, however.
  • Seat Covers - Cruiser seats are already comfortable, but you can take them to a higher level with a seat cover. This can let you alter the color as well.

When shopping for a cruiser bike, it’s a good sign when it comes with a few accessories, but it shouldn’t make or break the bike -- you can always add them later if need be. Still, it’s nice to get them included with the bike.

Conclusion

Hopefully we’ve made things a little easier in your cruiser bike search. 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 cruiser bike that will provide you with miles of relaxed, leisurely enjoyment. Happy riding!

This post was last updated on December 13th, 2017 at 09:09 am

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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