The best cruiser bikes are chosen by riders who might feel overwhelmed by the different types of bikes out there and want to do one thing, cruise. Best suited for leisure riding, cruiser bicycles are generally single-speed and optimise comfort over performance. Most of all, a cruiser bike can be taken anywhere from the streets around town to those lazy afternoon rides along the beach.
Considered the first bicycle, cruiser bikes have been around since the early 20th century and served as the inspiration for the different types of bikes to follow. The cruiser bikes of today have stayed true to these roots, mostly being used for short-distance transport and enjoyed by those who casually cycle.
Characteristics of cruiser bikes
Like most bikes, a cruiser bike has many distinctive features that are suited to the kind of ride that a cruiser bicycle gives you. These include wider tires, known as balloon tires, that add to the overall stability. The handlebars are taller and wider, bending towards the rider to complement the up-right but comfortable steering posture. Lastly, the steel frame is among the lightest of all types and easily distinguished by its curvy shape that completes the laid-back look.
Coaster vs Hand Brakes
A common difference that you will come across as you search for a cruiser bike is the brakes. Many bikes today will feature coaster brakes as opposed to the conventional hand brakes. While one is not particularly better than the other, coaster brakes can make for a different kind of ride that you may not be used to.
Simply, coaster brakes are activated by pedalling backward. This immediately locks the back wheel up, bringing the cruiser bike to a much faster halt. Some cruiser bikes even include front and rear coaster brakes that provide even more stopping power, especially if cruising around a busy boardwalk.
It’s something to look out for as most of us might be used to using hand brakes while riding. While most cruiser bikes do include hand brakes, some often include coaster brakes and are only seen in these types of bikes.
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That message transitions perfectly into their range of cruiser bikes that are perfect for cruising around the block. Trek even has e-bike and single speed options. We recommend the ‘Townie Path Go!’ cruiser bike which features a Bosch Performance Line motor, hydraulic disk brakes and even a hub for your smartphone attached to the handlebar.
Being based in Venice Beach, their range is among the best single speed beach cruiser bikes and for those lazy Saturday afternoon rides with friends. The ‘Nine-O’ beach cruiser bike is built for the boardwalk or byways and features a hi-tensile steel frame that is rust-resistant, balloon tires for increased speed and a stylish matte finish.
If you are looking for a beach cruiser bike that balances style and comfort, then the ‘Town 3’ cruiser bike is the best on offer. With a Shimano 3-speed hub that ensures a light and easy ride, and featuring a laid back riding position that allows you to lay your feet flat on the ground when stationary, finished with vintage leather grips.
With a slogan like, ‘It’s not about how fast you go, but how much life you soak up along the way’, you can ride with confidence knowing Huffy have some of the best cruiser bikes for those carefree, leisurely rides. The ‘Woodhaven’ is a single speed cruiser bike that features a 26-inch wheel size, front and rear coaster brakes and a durable steel frame.
If you are looking for a cruiser bike to get you from A to B without the rush, then the ‘Huron 1’ is a good start that has all the features of a common cruiser. With a single-speed drivetrain that is easy to use and maintain, and rear coaster brakes that will provide a confident stop.
Their range is among the most affordable and has expanded from the typical road cruiser bikes to include beach cruisers as well. Luckily, the ‘La Jolla’ cruiser bike can seamlessly transition between both with its lightweight steel frame, front and rear cruiser brakes, and single-speed drivetrain.
If an adventure is what you are looking for, Sixthreezero has a range of cruiser bikes that are both durable and comfortable. Their ‘Evryjourney’ cruiser bike is a perfect example of what single speed can offer, with a 26-inch wheel size that will give you more control on rocky trails or urban streets.
Retrospec designs and produces bikes for riders of all abilities and all styles, whether it be mountain biking, e-biking or a conventional road bike. But it's the company beach cruiser bikes that we're particular fans of, with the Chatham Beach Cruiser being a fine example. Simple, minimalistic design, attractive colours and above all, incredibly affordable.
The ‘CA-50’ beach cruiser lives up to the brands promise of ‘built for anywhere’ that includes a 26-inch wheel size and balloon tires, ideal for treading sand. Maximum comfort is provided by a durable steel frame and a lower seat tube that supports an oversized, padded saddle.
With an affordable range available, Hyper's cruisers can be ridden around the block, along the boardwalks or on the beach. The ‘Commute’ cruiser bike seeks to offer a classic look and comfortable single speed ride with the very best in modern bike technology. This includes coaster brakes and 7-speed Shimano twist shifters that guarantee a strong performance as well.
Affordable and reliable, the ‘Lakona’ beach cruiser bike is supported by a single speed drivetrain that will give you easy-going performance. The front and rear coaster brakes provide intuitive stopping power even on the unpredictable terrain of the beach, and the rear rack can support light to medium weights.
Even with a range that focuses on quality over quantity, their cruiser bikes offer a smooth ride for the city streets to the boardwalks of the beaches. The ‘Charleston’ cruiser bike features foot-operated coaster brakes and a steel frame shaped like the aesthetic of a classic beach cruiser, and it can be enjoyed comfortably, anytime and anywhere.