To many people, a beach cruiser is a simple, single-speed bike with a curvy frame, large tires, and fat seat to relax on.
While that may be true, there’s more to a beach cruiser than meets the eye.
If you’re looking for a better way to commute, get some exercise, or enjoy scenic rides along the coastline or neighborhood, a beach cruiser can provide.
Compared to fixed gear or mountain bikes, beach cruisers are easily the most relaxed.
You don't even need a pair of sandals to hop on one and enjoy yourself.
Even if you're not right by the beach, beach cruisers can be used just about anywhere with flat terrain.
Because there are so many bikes on the market, finding the best beach cruiser can be a difficult task. Luckily, we've created a little guide, as well as a list of our favorites, so that you can find yourself the perfect beach cruiser and add a bit of extra happiness to your life!
The Top 8
Best Men’s Beach Cruisers
#1 Best Men’s Beach Cruiser: Firmstrong Urban Man
The Firmstrong Urban Man Beach Cruiser lives by the beach cruiser code, as it provides a casual mode of transportation and works in just about any environment you can think of!
Whether you’re cruising around the neighborhood or riding along the boardwalk, the Firmstrong can do it all! It’s a simple, single bike (options for speed upgrades) without any of the weird brake wires or gear systems to worry about.
You’ll just cruise at an average speed of 7 mph with the cool breeze in your hair. The bike even comes about 80% assembled, so you don’t have to deal with the task of putting it together.
There are rear coaster brakes on the back, meaning you have to push back on the pedals to access them. As for the seat and tires, they're both made with a wide design.
The seat sits on top of hefty double coil springs to provide both comfort and shock absorption while the wide, whitewall tires give you balance and strength. In terms of the overall aesthetic of the bike, you can pick from a wide range of colors to find one that best suits your personality!
#2 Firmstrong Bruiser Bicycle
If you’re in the market for something that is a little tougher looking, may we recommend the Firmstrong Bruiser Bicycle?
The ride of the Bruiser is probably the easiest to get used to out of any of the Firmstrong cruisers, making it perfect for those who don’t ride that much or are just starting out.
The bike comes in either single, three, or seven-speed, giving you options for riding on different types of terrains. The single and three-speed bikes have rear coaster brakes while the seven-speed bike provides hand brakes for both the front and rear. Just like the Urban Man bike, the Bruiser gives you a wide variety of color options to choose from.
You’ll love how comfortable the Bruiser is thanks to the double coil springs that give you a smooth and easy ride. Pair that with the 2.1” tires that are as wide as the day is long, and you have a truly classic beach cruiser feel. While it may not be as versatile as the Urban Man, it still provides tons of ways to ride!
#3 Sixthreezero Around the Block
For those men who just want a simple, no-frills cruiser to get them down the boardwalk or around the neighborhood, the Sixthreezero Around the Block provides.
The bike is built with more of an upright design to provide you with a more comfortable seating position on longer rides. It’s also incredibly easy to adjust the tilt and height of the handlebars if it’s not to your liking. It comes in either 1-speed, 3-speed, 7-speed, or 21-speed models, the 1-speed being great for casual rides, the 3 and 7-speed perfect for smaller, hilly rides, and the 21-speed perfect for when the going gets tough.
The cruiser comes with 24 or 26-inch wheels, as well as a classic and durable 19” steel frame. The frame can be purchased in either black or grey with different colored seats and handlebars, providing a very gentlemanly look.
We love that they’ve added a chain guard at the bottom to help prevent your pant cuffs from getting caught and torn. You also have a nice rack on the back to help transport any small cargo!
#4 Critical Cycles Westridge Chatham Military
The Critical Cycles Westridge Chatham is perfect for the manly man who wants a beach cruiser that is a bit more utilitarian looking.
Don’t get us wrong, it still has the same classic beach cruiser look with a traditional shape, though the colors that they’ve used gives it a unique flavor. The hand-built steel frame is tough as nails and built to last. It comes with cushioned grips on the handlebars, which are built high up so that you can retain a good posture as your ride. Speaking of comfort, you’ll really dig the shock absorbing wheels and spring that rest under the wide seat.
The Wanda Tires on this bad boy are probably some of the strongest on this list with their 2.5” thick build and resilient rubber and grip. You can purchase the Westridge Chatham in either 1-speed, 3-speed, or 7-speed, depending on the type of terrain that you will be riding on. The brakes are rear operated on the 1 and 3 speeds, though you get front and rear hand brakes with the 7-speed.
Lastly, you get a sturdy metal kickstand for when you need to hop in the taco shop for a quick bike.
Best Women’s Beach Cruisers
#1 Best Women’s Beach Cruiser: Sixthreezero EVERYjourney
The Sixthreezero EVERYjourney looks like a beach cruiser straight out of a magazine thanks to the high-gloss design and sleek yet durable components.
You can choose between a simple, single-speed model for cruising around your neighborhood, a 3 or 7-speed for hitting hills, or a 21-speed for some serious uphill or trail riding.Whatever you decide, you’ll love the forward pedaling design that allows you to retain good posture and leg extension while cruising. You can easily place your foot on the ground when you’re stopped as well.
Thanks to the two frame geometry, the EVERYjourney can accommodate a pretty wide range of riders in terms of size. For wheels, you can pick between the 24” or 26”. Besides being stylish and fun to ride, the added features such as the rear rack for storage and commuting, as well as the comfortable dual-spring saddle, make it great for longer rides.
The tires are also made with a semi-slick design to make the rides much smoother overall when compared to heavily-gripped tires.
#2 Sixthreezero Around The Block
For the cruiser lovers who are seeking something that is both comfortable and easy to ride, the Sixthreezero Around The Block is an excellent option. It’s perfect for long, casual rides thanks to the upright design.
You can easily adjust the handlebars to get a ride that is more custom fit to your size. The Around the Block is available in single-speed, 3-speed, 7-speed, and 21-speed, allowing you to pick the perfect type of bike depending on the terrain that you’ll be taking on. You can choose between 24” and 26” as well, depending on how tall you are. The versatile frame is the perfect shape for accommodating riders of different sizes as well.
Just like the men’s Around the Block, the women’s cruiser comes with a chain guard that keeps pant cuffs from getting caught and ripping. It also comes complete with a rack on the rear to store away cargo or accessories on your commute. You can expect rear coaster brakes on the single-speed, a front hand brake on the 3-speed, and front + back hand brakes on the 7-speed and up.
#3 Firmstrong Urban Lady
If you're looking for a bike that is better in a variety of environments without all the frills, the Firmstrong Urban Lady is an excellent choice.
There are also a massive variety of colors to choose from so that you can get the perfect cruiser to match your style and attitude! The bike comes in single-speed, 3-speed, 7-speed, and 21-speed. Basically, you can choose to go simple or hit the terrain hard. You'll love taking long rides on this cruiser thanks to the comfortable seat and wide tire design. The seat comes with double coil springs on the underside to help absorb the shock of riding while the 2.1" tires provide a smooth and easy ride.
On the front of the bike, you get synthetic leather grips for a classic look, waffle tread tires for a slick, yet gripped ride, and a small chain guard to give you a bit of pant cuff protection. The bike also comes 80% assembled so that you don't have to go through the hassle of trying to figure out how to put it together.
#4 Huffy Lusso Women’s
For those commuters who are looking for something a bit more classy and feature-packed, the Huffy Lusso Beach Cruiser is an excellent choice.
We love the leather front basket on this thing, as it is perfect for holding all of your everyday accessories. You can also make use of the rear rack for heftier storage items or groceries! One of the most unique things on the Huffy Lusso is the beverage holder that is installed on the handlebar.
In terms of the look, the Huffy Lusso is all about classic aesthetic. You have the beautiful, bright blue wheel protection, a glossy sheen on the frame, and leather material on the seat and handlebars. The seat is even spring loaded to act as a shock absorber, providing you smoother rides on rougher terrain.
This is truly your traditional beach cruiser, as it is a single-speed, coaster brake design. Even with that said, it’s still incredibly easy to ride and perfect for those who are more into the beach cruiser style than anything!
What To Consider When Buying a Beach Cruiser
Your height is going to be the main thing that determines the size of the frame and wheels that you get. For men, bikes usually have specs of 26-inch wheels and 18 inches in the frame, while for women, bikes usually have specs of 24-26-inch and 12-15 inches in the frame. These are your average measurements, though obviously there will be some pretty prominent outliers.
To get a better idea of what frame size means, it is essentially length of the seat bar to where the pedals sit. We recommend trying some bikes out at your local store to find the size that works best for you. Remember, seats are typically adjustable as well!
As for wheels, they are measured in diameter. For larger people, 26-inch wheels should do the job. If you’re on the smaller end, 24-inch wheels might better suit you.
You’ll likely see fenders on just about any beach cruisers that you buy, though there are definitely some that come without. Fenders are made to help catch any unidentified flying objects that may be launched off the back side of your tire and hit your right in the kisser, or worse, ruin your favorite summer shirt.
Besides that, fenders add a bit more of the classic aesthetic to your beach cruiser. Luckily, they are pretty easy to install if your cruiser doesn’t come with them.
Traditional beach cruisers come with rear coaster brakes. If you’re a no-frills kind of cruiser and you don’t want to deal with the physical stress of using a hand brake all the time, those rear coaster brakes might be ideal for you. They definitely work better for rides that are more peaceful, as hand brakes can be extremely helpful and much safer when you get into terrain riding. Also, some people might find it difficult getting used to pushing the pedals backwards to stop, so if you do get a cruiser with rear coaster brakes, we recommend practicing around the block a few times before you go out and hurt yourself.
For those who like to hit the brakes every 30 seconds, we recommend getting a bike with hand brakes. You simply squeeze the brake handle to bring your bike to a stop. It's a much more intuitive system and perfect for those who want to go on longer rides. The negative side of having hand brakes is that you have more things that you need to maintenance. You have to change your brake pads more often and you'll more than likely need to get your brake lines re-tuned every once in a while. In a way, this kind of ruins the easy-going attitude of having a beach cruiser.
The frame is a crucial part of the beach cruiser, and it's important to consider the different types. Steel frames, while much sturdier than others, require you to take care of them more often so that they don’t rust. You’ll usually notice a steel frame that is in disarray because of the peeling paint and collecting moisture. Steel frames are also the heaviest of the bunch, making them much harder to transport or travel with. This might not be a big deal if you’re riding around the neighborhood, though if you live in a place with wild terrain or tons of stairs, it could be a huge pain after a while.
Aluminum frames are much lighter than steel frames, and they don't rust, meaning you don't have to maintain them as often. They're also much better for riding around hilly areas thanks to their aerodynamic properties. With that said, they are much more expensive than steel frames, so if budget is your priority, you might want to consider that.
Hopefully, you have the chance to test out the seat before you buy it, but if not, make sure you read reviews to see how others feel about it. Cruiser bike seats should be wide enough to fit your tushy comfortably, as well as have springs under them to absorb shock from riding. The reason that a beach cruiser must have a good seat is that the rider will be sitting upright and riding. This puts a lot more stress on your tailbone compared to riding something like a street bike.
When looking for a cruiser with a good cushion, look for those that have either extra padding or gel layers to help provide a bit more comfort.
There is a big difference between a single-speed bike and one with adjustable gears of speeds. For those who just plan on riding around environments that are very mellow without crazy terrain or hills, a single-speed will be just fine. There is no reason to spend the extra dough getting the gear attachment. On the other hand, if you think that you might want to hit some terrain on your outings, or if your commute involves terrain that changes drastically, we recommend getting a cruiser with adjustable speeds.
Typically, most cruiser manufacturers offer 3-speed, 7-speed, or 21-speed options. The more speeds that your cruiser offers, the more versatile it will be in different riding situations.
The wheels on a cruiser bike are easily the most prominent pieces of the cruiser puzzle. To simplify things, the wider and thicker the wheels, the better they will be at absorbing shock. Essentially, if you’re riding on terrain other than concrete, we recommend getting some larger wheels.
Here is where we get to the fun part! Accessories are perfect for adding a bit of character to your bike, though they also are functional too. While there are many that you can add to your cruiser, there are a few that you might find built into the cruisers that you buy stock. Some of those accessories include baskets, rear racks, cup holders, and more.
Types of Beach Cruisers
Classic beach cruisers were the first types of beach cruisers on the market, and they've been around for over 50 years now. The frames on classic cruisers are typically a little heavier too, though some manufacturers use lighter materials to compensate for the size. You'll likely find balloon-style tires on classic beach cruisers, as they provide great stability, as well as cushioning to help absorb shock as your ride.
Most classic cruisers come with chain guards to protect the chain from water and dirt. While many manufacturers have added multiple speed iterations of their cruisers, the classic ones are single-speed. The handlebars are classic cruisers wrap around in a way that almost looks like they’re about to hug the rider, meaning you can turn the bike without having to bend your torso.
The Stretch-style cruiser gets its name from the fact that manufacturers literally took the classic design and stretched the frame. These cruisers are typically close to two times as long and are a bit lower profile. While they’re mostly made to look cool, there are actually some benefits to riding a stretch. For starters, they’re much more comfortable, as you can sit a bit further back. They also provide a lot more room for accessories too.
The turning radius isn’t very good with these bikes, so we recommend them more for riders who are riding on straighter and flatter terrains.
Cue up some War: The Lowrider is a real goer. Lowrider cruisers are 100% made for the laid-back look. They sit incredibly low to the ground in an almost reclined fashion. They still have some classic features, though most of them are unique to the low riding style, such as the 26" and under wheels, massive spokes, large, ornate front, and rear fenders, and big banana seats. These lowrider bikes were made to pay homage to the original lowrider cars of the west coast back in the day. They're best for those who just want to take casual rides on flatter terrains.
The Chopper-style cruiser bikes are literally inspired by chopper motorcycles. Put the two side-by-side, and you'll see a ton of the same features. They usually come with elongated front portions, ape-style handlebars for that long arm stretch, and a high-sitting banana seat. Typically, the wheels on chopper bikes are two different sizes, the front being a bit smaller.
In terms of functionality, they probably have the least of the bunch. They’re better for casual rides or copping some stares from chopper enthusiasts as you cruise by.
Cruiser Bike Vs. Hybrid Bike
Hybrid bikes are basically a mixture between cruisers and street bikes. They are made for more versatile terrain, though they still provide similar comfort when compared to a beach cruiser. In terms of design, hybrid bikes typically have frames that are a little bit longer and pedals that are placed a bit more forward to allow for better extension.
The seats on hybrid bikes are not typically as wide when you buy them stock, though you can replace the seat easily to get the same feel.
For the most part, hybrid bikes offer more than one gear, so you can ride them on a wider variety of terrains. With that said, if you’re looking for something that is easier to ride and simpler in design, a cruiser bike is a clear winner.
What is a cruiser bike good for?
Beach cruisers are perfect for those who are looking to ride casually. It’s in the name! You can expect a relaxed, upright ride, cruising anywhere from 6-15 mph. This is what makes them so popular in beach towns. They’re great for riding along the boardwalk and taking in the view of the ocean.
There are a few limitations when it comes to beach cruisers. You probably won’t win a race with one, you probably won’t be able to hit any serious terrain, and you probably won’t want to lug it around with you everywhere thanks to size. All-in-all, they’re perfect for taking a break from reality and enjoying a smooth ride.
What are some good beach cruiser accessories?
If you’re looking to add some accessories to your beach cruiser, the first thing we would recommend is a set of headlights. One of the best types of headlights is bullet-style headlights. They can be installed onto your handlebars quickly and painlessly, and typically require only a pair of batteries to work. If you want to spend a little more, you can get some solar powered lights as well.
If your bike doesn't come with one, we would recommend adding a rear rack to the back. You can easily throw your bag or some groceries on there so that you can haul larger loads when you’re riding. You can also go the classic route and add a basket on your cruiser too.
Final Thoughts - Which Should You Get?
For those who weren't experts on cruisers before reading this article, hopefully, you guys are now! Cruisers are awesome bikes in a number of ways and just about anyone can enjoy what they have to offer. If you're looking for a slow, casual ride, beach cruiser bikes are excellent.
For men, we highly recommend the Firmstrong Urban Man, and for women, we recommend the Sixthreezero EVERYjourney. They’re both excellent bikes with tons of options for customization that make them nice and versatile.
Make sure to refer back to our buying guide when making your purchasing decision and have fun cruising out there! See you at the beach!