You may have seen them around your city, cruising along like they haven’t a care in the world. Coming out in fleets around beaches in the summertime, cruiser bikes offer a different take on cycling as a means to urban adventure. No, it won’t replace your carbon road bike anytime soon, but they are a ton of fun.
The beauty of cruiser bikes is simplicity– they’re relaxed and casual in both design and essence. Cruiser bikes are designed for those who want a comfortable ride, functionality, and, of course, to look good while riding. You may not get anywhere fast, but you can hop on, take in the scenery, and see where you end up.
Things To Look For In A Cruiser Bike
- Gears – Many cruiser bikes are single speed, meaning that you’ve got one gear to get you around. This might be fine if you’re routes will be largely on flat terrain, but can be an issue if you hit a hill. So, if you want more flexibility from your cruiser you’ll want to get a multi-speed.
- Coaster Brakes vs Hand Brakes – The coaster brake is featured on classic single speed cruisers. While they may have freewheeling abilities, when back-pedalled they will engage the brake after a fraction of a revolution. Hand brakes are what you may be more accustomed to from road or mountain biking.
- Steel vs Aluminum Frame – Steel frames can be a great budget-friendly option, but they are slightly heavier and are more susceptible to rust than their aluminum counterparts. So, if you don’t mind spending a little more, aluminum will probably be the better option, as they are more durable and are often equipped with higher quality components.
- Style – It’s okay to admit it, how attractive the bike looks will weigh into your decision. So, think about what you want from a cruiser. Do you want it to be subtle and functional, or colorful with a basket and tassels? From chopper styles to the traditional curvy design, there are a ton out there to choose from.
5 Of The Best Cruiser Bikes
This classic curvy design is available in a single or three speed cruiser, boasting a smooth and simple ride. Sized for women from 5-6 feet tall, it makes for a smooth ride with aluminum wheels and a slight curve in the fork that helps with steering and shock absorption. The single speed option makes for a simple ride, with no cables hanging off the bike, and you can maintain a consistent cruising speed from 3 to 15 miles per hour.
This classic steal frame includes matching fenders, a rear luggage rack, a kickstand, a front basket, and even a cupholder. For someone looking to invest in their first cruiser, the Huffy Nel Lusso is function, plus it looks great. There is only a single speed available.
The Schwinn Sanctuary 7 cruiser equipped with a Schwinn steel cruiser frame and fork for comfortable riding, the full fenders help keep the water off you in the rain and the rear rack can be used for carrying cargo. The Shimano 7 speed rear derailleur with twist shift makes for simple quick gear shifting–the best of both worlds.
Where sophistication meets functionality. Build around a sturdy steel frame, the cruisers handlebars are extended outwards a little more than most models. This creates an even more relaxed riding position, and easy handling. There are single, three, and seven speed version available of this model.
Inspired by the dawn of feel-good surfer culture, Critical Cycles new beach cruiser line is streamlined for little to no maintenance and impressively straightforward riding. Available in single, three, and seven speeds, the Chatham is practically unstoppable. With a hand-built steel frame, cushy grips on high handlebars, and a classic surf paint job, you’ll be riding around on an impressively comfortable and shock-absorbent cruiser.
If you’re looking for a simple commuter, or a way to get to the beach next summer, a cruiser bike is a great option. Not only do that look really cool, but they a ton of fun to ride. For more on commuter bikes, check out “The Best Commuter Bike – Matching Your Needs to a Bike.”