Love the idea of cruising around town in comfort on a bike with huge balloon-style tires, and plenty of space for groceries or luggage in the back? Cruiser bikes are the epitome of style – sleek, classic and refined. Of course, there are plenty of different models out there to choose from. Thankfully, we’ve assembled a list of the best cruiser bikes of 2018 for you right here. Ready? Dive in!
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Cruiser Bikes of 2018 Reviewed
- 2 BEST WOMEN’S CRUISER BIKES
- 3 Sixthreezero Around the Block Women’s
- 4 Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s
- 5 Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser
- 6 BEST MEN’S CRUISER BIKES
- 7 Sixthreezero Around the Block Men’s
- 8 Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Men’s
- 9 Firmstrong Urban Man Beach Cruiser
- 10 Schwinn Meridian Adult
- 11 Mobo Triton Pro Adult
- 12 Critical Cycles Chatham Men’s
- 13 Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike
- 14 The Evolution of Bikes
- 15 The World of Modern Bicycles
- 16 What Makes a Cruiser Bike Different from Other Bikes?
- 17 Why Consider Cruising?
- 18 Limitations of Cruiser Bikes
- 19 What to Know about Cruiser Bike Styles on the Market
- 20 What to Look for When Buying a Cruiser Bike?
- 21 Conclusion
The Best Cruiser Bikes of 2018 Reviewed
Cruiser bikes are unlike any other on the market, so if you’ve never ridden one, comparisons can be tough. Let’s give you a hand with that. Our recommendations are as follows:
|Sixthreezero Around the Block Women’s||Classic cruiser||1, 3 or 21-speed||Hand brakes||26 inch|
|Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s||Classic cruiser||1, 3, 7, or 21-speed||Hand brakes||26 inch|
|Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser||Classic cruiser||1 speed||Back-pedal brakes||24 or 26 inch|
|Sixthreezero Around the Block Men’s||Classic cruiser||1, 3, 7 or 21-speed||Hand brakes||26 inch|
|Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Men’s||Classic cruiser||1, 3, 7 or 21-speed||Hand brakes||26 inch|
|Firmstrong Urban Man Beach Cruiser||Classic cruiser||1, 3 or 7-speed||Hand brakes||24 or 26 inch|
|Schwinn Meridian Adult 3-Wheel Bike||Trike||Single speed||Hand brakes||26 inch|
|Mobo Triton Pro Adult Beach Cruiser Tricycle||Trike/recumbent||Single speed||Hand brakes||n/a (recumbent)|
|Critical Cycles Chatham Men’s||Classic cruiser||1, 3 or 7-speed||Back-pedal brakes||26 inch|
|Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike||Stretch cruiser/two seater||21 speed||Hand brakes||29 front/20 rear|
Now that we’ve given you an overview of everything you need to know about the best cruiser bikes of 2018, it’s time to delve a bit deeper into each.
BEST WOMEN’S CRUISER BIKES
Sixthreezero Around the Block Women’s
If you’re looking for a true classic cruiser, you can’t go wrong with sixthreezero’s Around the Block women’s 26-inch cruiser. It features one, three or even 21-speed capabilities, has hand brakes for better stopping power, and comes with a luggage rack over the rear wheel.
You’ll find that this cruiser is available in a very wide range of colors, from teal to plum, and that the wide tires provide plenty of traction and comfort. The seat is also wide and the foam-covered handles ensure a good grip. Note that this bike does not come with fenders.
Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s
For those seeking an even more classic cruiser-style bike, the sixthreezero EVRYjourney women’s 26-inch bike is an excellent choice. It features a deeper V-shape than the Around the Block, but shares the same wide tires, wide seat and broad color selection.
The deeper frame notch is designed to allow riders to simple step through when mounting the bike. Note that this cruiser bike does come with fenders. It also features hand brakes, and can be equipped as a single-speed, three-speed, seven-speed or 21-speed bike. It also has a luggage rack over the rear wheel, but it does not include a front basket.
Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser
Another timeless classic, the Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle is available in a very wide range of colors. It can be equipped as a 26-inch or 24-inch bike, although it is only available as a single-speed (a true classic cruiser). Note that this bike uses back-pedal braking, and hand brakes are not available.
It does not include fenders, nor does it feature a front basket or a luggage rack for the rear. The tires are wide, with thick whitewalls, mounted to color-contrasting rims (pink, chrome and matte black are just some of the rim color choices available).
BEST MEN’S CRUISER BIKES
Sixthreezero Around the Block Men’s
Nearly identical to the women’s version of this classic cruiser bike, the men’s model features a more robust frame, as well as a third support bar. It includes a rear luggage rack over the back tire, but does not come with a front basket.
Note that this bike can be equipped with a single-speed, three-speed, seven-speed or 21-speed drivetrain. The bike itself is only available in black, but you can opt for a black seat and handles, brown seat and matching handles, or white seat and matching handles.
Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Men’s
Closely resembling the women’s version of this classic cruiser, the EVRYjourney men’s bike is technically a hybrid, combining a street bike and a cruiser. The frame is thicker than many other cruisers for better durability, and it is available with a number of drivetrain options (single, three, seven or 21-speeds).
Like the Around the Block, this bike is only available in black, but you can choose matching handles and seats in black, brown or white. It also features hand brakes, a rear luggage rack, and both front and rear fenders. There is no included front basket.
Firmstrong Urban Man Beach Cruiser
Featuring the iconic cruiser style, the Firmstrong Urban Man Beach Cruiser is at once refined yet rugged. It is available in over 10 different colors, with color contrasting rims like the women’s version. It also features a dual spring seat and hand brakes, and is available with either a single-speed, three-speed or seven-speed drivetrain.
Note that fenders are optional, but this model is not offered with a rear luggage rack or a front basket. The tires are wide, balloon-style, with large whitewalls. Note that this bike is designed to fit riders 5’5” and taller and is not offered in a size other than 26 inches.
Schwinn Meridian Adult
The first company to offer a cruiser bike, Schwinn also offers a stunning cruiser trike today. This trike features the low-slung cruiser frame that you desire, coupled with the stability of three wheels. It uses hand brakes, has a very large basket on the rear for hauling groceries or other items, and offers a dual spring seat.
Note that this trike is available in several color combinations, but only uses a single-speed drivetrain. The tires are slightly narrower than a traditional cruiser, and they lack any whitewall at all. The rims are wire spoked and made from aluminum, although the frame is tubular steel.
Mobo Triton Pro Adult
Another trike, the Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle is designed primarily for use on the beach, earning it entry to the “cruiser” section, although it lacks the typical cruiser body shape. However, it does include fenders over all three wheels.
Steering is accomplished using the innovative handles mounted near the base of the seat, and the frame is easily adjustable to accommodate riders of different heights. The low center of gravity means even those with limited balance can ride safely, and the low stance means that getting onto or off the trike is a snap for all riders.
Critical Cycles Chatham Men’s
A solid entry into the cruiser bike segment, the Critical Cycles Chatham is a minimalist beach cruiser. It lacks fenders on the front or rear, and the manufacturer likewise decided to omit the rear luggage rack. However, it does not lack for style. The bike also features a comfortable dual spring seat, as well as wider than standard tires, although they lack whitewalls.
Note that the rims are color contrasting. The bike is available with a single-speed, three-speed or seven-speed drivetrain. Back-pedal brakes are equipped on the single-speed model, but the other two use hand brakes.
Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike
Looking for a way to take more than one person on a ride? Enter the Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike. It blends the style and design of a cruiser with a comfort bike, and offers plenty of cushioning for two riders. The bike features a 21-speed drivetrain, dual-spring seats, hand brakes, gel saddle technology, and dual water bottle holders.
Note that there are no fenders offered, and the bike is only available in a single color (blue). The front wheel measures 26 inches, but the rear wheel measures 20 inches, meaning that the bike can easily accommodate both short and tall riders.
Bikes – they’re fun, human-powered, affordable, and available in a wide range of styles, sizes, colors and configurations. Too many people hear the word “bicycle” and immediately think of options designed for kids, or perhaps BMX and off-road bikes. While those are definitely popular, there’s much more to the world of modern bikes.
The Evolution of Bikes
While it’s impossible to pinpoint a single inventor, bicycles have been with us since the early 1800s, although very early models were not all that similar to what we use today. In 1817, the steerable front wheel was invented by the Baron von Drais. He was given a patent for his invention, and he created what would become the velocipede. That name faded away in the late 1800s as the term “bicycle” gained prominence.
It was not until the 1860s that Americans began to appreciate bicycle riding – it took the invention of pedals, brakes and new style developments for that to occur. In the late 1800s, a number of different bike styles came to the market, including the iconic racing design featuring a giant front wheel and a tiny rear wheel.
By the end of the 1870s, bikes had gained brakes and chain drives, with the first rear-wheel driven bike debuting in 1879. Pneumatic (air-filled) tires came to the market in 1888, followed by the pedal-back brake in 1889. Bicycles continued to evolve over the decades, and in 1933, the first cruiser bike debuted, built and sold by Schwinn.
The World of Modern Bicycles
Today, there are bikes for just about any need, from fitness to handling the daily commute to pleasure riding. In fact, there are just as many styles designed for adults as there are for children, and you’re not limited to mountain bikes or multi-speed racing-inspired models.
Riding can be an exhilarating, enjoyable activity, but the right bike style is vital. For most adults, that means considering a cruiser bike, rather than a 10, 12, 14, or 20-speed model, or one designed for major off-roading. Why a cruiser, though? What benefits does this style of bike offer that cannot be found with something else?
What Makes a Cruiser Bike Different from Other Bikes?
There are quite a few distinguishing factors that separate cruiser bikes from other types on the market. However, perhaps the most important thing is this:
Cruiser bikes are designed for those who just want to enjoy the simple pleasure of biking.
Where other bikes might be designed for off-road capabilities, or to handle hard jouncing down a mountainside, or to get you up to near automobile speeds, that’s not the case with a cruiser. These bikes are about comfort, enjoyment, and taking life slow enough that you can have fun with it.
To really illustrate the differences, let’s take a closer look at the hardware and features found on cruiser bikes and how they compare to standard bikes.
- Frame: Cruiser bike frames differ significantly from BMX, mountain bikes, and other styles on the market. The frame is usually more elaborate, with deeper curves, as well as a third support bar. While some bikes might use aluminum for lightness, cruisers usually use full steel frames for durability and support.
- Pedals: You’ll find that unlike many other styles of bike on the market, cruiser bikes have very plain pedals. They’re usually made from plastic, and are flat. Most of them lack the teeth found on other pedal styles designed to enhance grip.
- Tires: The tires on cruiser bikes are very wide, particularly in comparison with bikes designed for speed riding. They’re also rather tall, usually ranging between 24 inches and 29 inches, and most of them have very defined whitewalls. Those are usually mounted on conventional wire spoke rims that lack brake pad mounting brackets.
- Handlebars: The handlebars on most cruisers are designed to foster a more comfortable sitting position while still maintaining excellent control over the bike. The handlebars extend back farther than many styles and feature a very deep U- shape as compared to other styles.
- Seat/Saddle: As mentioned previously, one of the defining characteristics of a cruiser bike is the wide seat/saddle. Often, they are twice the width of standard street bike seats, and they are supported by springs in the back, rather than having rigid mounts. This provides more cushion and shock absorption while riding.
- Braking: In most cases, cruiser bikes use the back-pedal braking method, rather than having hand brakes installed on the handlebars. With that being said, you will find some models on the market that do have front and rear hand brakes if you are concerned about stopping capabilities.
- Drive Style: When it comes to driving methods, most cruiser bikes use a single gear chain drive, although there are three, seven-speed and even 21-speed systems on the market.
Why Consider Cruising?
Why should you consider owning a cruiser bike? Actually, there are as many reasons as there are cruiser bike owners, but some of the most common reasons include the following:
- Comfort: One of the most common reasons to own a cruiser rather than some other style of bike is for the pure comfort offered. These bikes feature much wider seats than other bikes, with springs making you more comfortable while you ride down the sidewalk or bike lane. Comfort is the rule for your riding position, too. You don’t sit hunched over. Instead, you can sit fully upright and pedal comfortably.
- Plush Ride: You can think of a cruiser bike in a similar way to a town car – they’re about plush comfort and refinement. They tell the world that you’re comfortable with who you are, and that you want to live your life in a mindful way. These bikes say that the journey is more important than the destination.
- Style: There’s no denying the fact that cruiser bikes are incredibly stylish. You’ll find a host of individual model options out there, each with their own signature look. However, all cruiser bikes have a few similarities. They’re generally larger than other bike models, with wider seats, larger handlebars, fenders over the wheels and wider, more comfortable tires.
- Carrying Capacity: Many people choose to purchase a cruiser bike for the carrying capacity offered. Most cruisers can mount a basket on the front and a platform over the rear wheel, which gives you a place to carry anything from a picnic basket to a toolbox. If you’re looking for a daily driver that can help you get from home to work to the grocery store and back, and carry stuff while you’re at it, cruisers are great options.
- Enjoyment: Perhaps the single most common reason for someone to buy a cruiser bike is for the pure enjoyment of riding. That’s what these bikes are all about, after all – hitting the sidewalk, the road, or even the beach and enjoying the feel of the sun on your skin and the wind on your face.
Limitations of Cruiser Bikes
Before we get too deep into our discussion, it’s important to realize up front that there are a few drawbacks to cruiser bikes. That is, they do have their limitations. While these are great bikes for those who want a laidback means of getting around town, getting exercise, or even tackling the daily commute, they are not well suited to specific activities.
- They do not handle off-road conditions well.
- They are not well suited to high-speed riding.
- They are not designed for tricks or stunts.
- They do not ride well on loose-packed gravel roads, but do well enough on sand.
If you need off-road capabilities, high-speed capabilities, want the ability to perform stunts and tricks, or you regularly ride on loose gravel, there are other bikes better suited to your needs. However, if you want a laidback, comfortable, elegant way to get around, a cruiser bike might be the ideal solution.
What to Know about Cruiser Bike Styles on the Market
When you hear the term “cruiser” bike, chances are good that you have a specific style in mind. You might see a bike with a wide seat and a large front basket, for instance. While that might be the stereotypical image of cruisers, there’s actually a lot more on the market today. In order to understand your options, we’ll need to explore some of the more prevalent styles and their unique characteristics.
This is the quintessential cruiser bike, with tall handlebars, a wide seat, a basket on the front, and wide tires. The frame is longer than with many bikes, but not as long as others. The frame is made from steel, and the tires measure 24 or 26 inches. If you want a “beach” cruiser, a “standard” cruiser, a “classic” cruiser, or a “basic” cruiser, this is the model you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a showy bike that still offers the ability to cruise in style, then the low rider is for you. These bikes have custom frames that drop very low in comparison with standard cruisers, and they often have taller handlebars, mimicking the “ape hangers” of chopper-style motorcycles. You’ll find that the riding position for a low rider is usually more reclined than with a classic style, too. And, while they are more than capable of being ridden like a regular cruiser, they may have difficulty over some terrain due to the reduced height of the frame off the ground.
Stretch cruisers are longer than standard cruiser bikes, and may have one, two or even three seats in some instances. Most stretch cruisers are custom made, and some of the longer versions are only available as rentals, and cannot be purchased unless you work with a bike fabrication shop. The stretch style allows more than one rider to propel the bike, but single-seater models offer a different riding experience and a unique style. However, these bikes can suffer from reduced handling, particularly around curves and corners.
Most cruisers are single-speed affairs, like the old-school bikes from your youth. However, that is not true for all of them. You’ll find that some cruisers have several different gears that offer the ability to change your riding style to suit your environment. Note that multiple gears are not all that necessary for riding conditions that are mostly flat. However, if you regularly ride in hilly areas then a three or even seven-speed model might be a good choice for your needs, allowing you to handle those hills with ease.
Chopper Style Cruisers
If you are a fan of chopper-style motorcycles, or someone you love is, then a chopper style cruiser might be a great choice. These share quite a few visual cues with chopper-style motorcycles, including the raked handle bars, the reclined seat, the steeply angled front fork, and more. Some models have a larger rear wheel and a smaller front wheel, but this is not universal. Note that a chopper-style cruiser bike almost completely eliminates the benefits found with the classic style, and the ride comfort is not the same.
What to Look for When Buying a Cruiser Bike?
If you’re thinking about shopping around and comparing the best cruiser bikes of 2018, you’ll need to know what to look for in order to ensure that you can make an informed decision. We’ll run through what to look for when buying a cruiser bike below. Many of these considerations are the same as with any other bike, but some are specific to cruisers.
Size: Size is the single most important consideration. If you do not purchase the right size bike, then no matter the style, no matter the brake type, and no matter the gearing, you will not have an enjoyable riding experience. You should be able to mount the bike without difficulty. However, understand that there are fewer size options with cruisers than there are with other bikes. The most common sizes are 24, 26, 28 and 29 inches (measured by wheel size). Note that there are children’s cruisers on the market, too. They are usually 20 inches or 16 inches.
Style: The single most common style on the market is the classic cruiser. You may find these marketed as beach cruisers, basic cruisers, or just “cruisers”, and they may have any number of accessories, but they all boil down to the same thing. However, if there are other styles that you found interesting from our discussion above, it’s best to find a model in person so you can see firsthand how it feels to ride before you make a purchase decision. Interestingly, you’ll even find cruiser trike models available today.
Brake Type: You’ll need to choose the right brake type for your needs. Back-pedal brakes are the most common, and are highly effective, particularly with the laidback style of riding that cruisers are designed for. However, you may be more comfortable with hand brakes.
Gearing: Most cruisers feature a single gear chain drive, but you may want to consider a multi-gear drivetrain if you regularly ride over lots of hills.
Tire Type: You’ll find that the most common type of tires here are wide, balloon-style tires. They are the most comfortable for riding, and offer excellent traction and stability. You may be able to choose from tires with different sidewall colors, though.
Available Extras and Additions: When choosing between the best cruiser bikes of 2018, it’s important to consider the available accessories. Not all bikes will come with all accessories, and some bikes may not have the same range of options as others. Some of the most common accessories to consider include the following:
Rear platform/luggage rack
Front and rear fenders
Lights (front or front and rear)
Seat cover color, texture and style
There you have them – some of the best cruiser bikes of 2018. Whether you’re looking for a true classic beach cruiser, a trike, a dual tandem bike, or something completely different, you’ll find an appealing option on our list.
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