Best Cruiser Bikes for Beginners

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Whether your target is town streets or sand, there’s a cruiser bike for it.

Everyone loves a leisurely walk on the beach or through the town. Why not go farther, faster?

I’ve looked into the best cruiser bikes for beginners, and here are my picks:

 

 

Before I delve into these further, let’s explore cruisers a bit.

 

Are Cruiser Bikes Good For…

“Good” is subjective since not everyone knows a cruiser’s capabilities.

Long Distance?

Cruiser bikes work best on short trips. I’d use it to run errands or explore a small beach.

Uphill Cycling?

Theoretically, you can force any bicycle uphill. But, it’s best to do it with gears to make it easier, and cruisers don’t always have the widest range of gears. This makes cruisers better-suited to flat landscapes.

Some cruiser bikes do have gears, so take this into account if you live in a sloped area.

Dirt or Sand?

Typical cruiser bikes are only optimized for road use. Look for a beach cruiser if you live in a sandy or dirt-laden area.

Exercise?

All movement is exercise, technically. And, biking burns more calories than walking—indicating it’s a better form of exercise.

If your desire for a cruiser bike is exercise-centric, I’d get one with gears. They’ll let you tackle hills more easily and let you ride easier for longer.

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What To Look for in the Best Cruiser Bike for Beginners

Cruiser bicycles are an entirely different breed to mountain or road cycles.

They aren’t about speed, agility or insane durability. Instead, cruisers are for beach riding or leisurely commuting.

With this in mind, consider the below features before buying.

Material

The two materials in the cruisers I’m reviewing today are aluminum and steel, which are the most common materials.

With cruiser bikes, I find material matters less than road or mountain cycles. Weight isn’t a huge factor in cruisers (aluminum is light, steel is heavy), so it comes down to durability.

Steel is the stronger of the two—so if you’re accident-prone or a heavier person, go for steel.

Even so, avoid steel if you lack leg strength.

Gears

A cruiser’s name is indicative of its intent: you cruise on it. They’re made for short distances and moderate speeds, so don’t need gears, in theory.

If you wish to tackle hills, consider a cruiser with gears. I feel you need at least three—but seven gears are better for different inclines.

However, if you want to go long-distance, consider a 21-gear cruiser. They’re your best option for long commutes and adventures on a cruiser.

Storage Rack

One of the best things about a cruiser for me is its ability to transport cargo. A rack isn’t essential but can definitely sway your choice based on intent.

A rack is vital if you wish to:

  • Take your baby/toddler on your bike.
  • Carry groceries.
  • Transport a picnic.
  • Bring beach supplies.

Although, not all racks can facilitate a baby seat. Make sure you read the description—better yet, take note of the reviews below. Only one in this group can’t handle your baby’s needs.

Fenders

Fenders are like shields for your wheels—except, they protect you.

They deflect dirt, debris, sand, snow and some water from splashing up at you.

Fenders are practically essential if you plan on beach riding, especially at speed. Sand gets into everything!

Having fenders will keep your clothes clean(er) and, hopefully, keep sand out of your face and eyes—trust me when I say, even one grain of sand in your eye is excruciating.

I recommend looking for the largest fenders possible. In many models, the front fender doesn’t extend far down the wheel’s front. This isn’t an issue for non-beach cycling, but I wish manufacturers took extra precautions for sand.

Reflectors

You’ll need reflectors if you want to cycle at night. Pedestrians won’t always see you cycling on the beach, but if the moon, stars or torches hit your reflectors, they’ll indicate your presence.

They aren’t as vital as a front and back light for road cycling and form more of a backup. Cars need to see you coming or going. And, don’t forget a high-visibility jacket or armband!

Enclosed Chain

Like fenders, I recommend an enclosed chain for beach riding. This means there’s a casing around your chain, protecting it from gathering dirt.

A dirty chain requires more frequent washing. Plus, sand is sharp! It may grind down your chain and sprockets if left in the chain.

Unfortunately, I don’t see many fully enclosed chains in the best cruiser bikes for beginners. You’ll find these mainly on the best Dutch-style bikes, though.

But, several cruisers have a semi-enclosed chain—the upper part is covered, along with the sprockets/gears. Only the lower part of the chain and back derailleur remain exposed.

If a cruiser has even that much chain protection, take it as a huge positive.

Brakes

Some cruisers have coaster brakes to remove wiring and ensure a clean look. Coasters have you pedal backward to stop.

These brakes aren’t the best for people with balance issues, so be wary.

If you dislike coasters, look for linear pull caliper brakes instead.

Men’s vs. Women’s Cruisers

A women’s bicycle is lower, and the distance between the saddle and handlebars is shorter. I find this desirable for anyone in a cruiser, as they’re such a relaxed cycle. You can let your arms go slack, slouch a little… and cruise.

However, very tall men may find this uncomfortable, so be wary.

Reviews of the Best Cruiser Bikes for Beginners

After some in-depth research and comparing models, I’ve tracked down the five best cruiser bikes for beginners. Take a look—one may perfectly fit your needs.

 

Our Overview

Even though this is marketed as a women’s cruiser, this doesn’t mean it’s for women only. But, for the guys out there, the 17-inch frame is best-suited for smaller statures (5–6 feet tall). Even so, the smaller frame adds relaxation to your cycling.

This is definitely one for leisurely riding, including speed-wise. It’s fixed gear, so won’t be great on hills. However, it’s made for the beach—so dirt trails and sandy shores are go.

Note that these have coaster brakes, which don’t suit everyone’s needs. Still—no bike is perfect, but many comment on how handy the front and rear reflectors and rear storage rack are nice additions.

Several customers found the bicycle less sturdy than they’d like, so weigh this against the smaller frame, reflectors and storage rack.

Pros:
  • Great for smaller people.
  • Rear rack for transporting goods.
  • Front and rear reflectors included.
  • Great for beaches.
Cons:
  • Coaster brakes, no pull brakes.
  • Some customers complain it’s not sturdy enough for them.
Specs:

 

  • Wheel size: 26 inches.
  • Gears: None.
  • Material: Unspecified—likely aluminum.
  • Rider height: 5–6 feet.
  • Brake style: Coaster.
Our Overview

If you’re looking for something a little more intense, this could be your match. This cruiser has 21 gears—perfect for going up and down slopes and tackling tough terrain.

One fantastic feature of this bike is the fenders, though some people found them unappealing. Luckily, they’re removable.

Another great element is that it’s made for long distances. Cruisers may be short distance bicycles at heart, but the more gears they have, the farther you can push them, with customers praising this in this bike.

You may wish to avoid going too far, though. Customers found an issue with the bike’s quality after extended trips. It feels a little flimsy, but perhaps this is down to poor construction—customers mention the terrible assembly instructions.

With this in mind, consider asking an expert to assemble the bike.

Regardless of how far you go, make sure you buy it for solo-riding, or at least leave young children at home. The storage rack is incompatible with child seats!

Pros:
  • Available in a wide range of stylish colors.
  • Fenders, keeping you safe from sand.
  • Made for long distances.
  • Lots of gears.
Cons:
  • No front reflector.
  • Terrible assembly instructions.
  • Incompatible with child seats.
Specs:
  • Wheel size: 26 inches.
  • Gears: 21.
  • Material: Aluminum.
  • Rider height: 5’4”–6’4”.
  • Brake style: Pull.
Our Overview

Going back to casual, here’s a cruiser much like the first one. But in this case, there are seven gears.

The higher number of gears lets you take it on sloped terrains with ease. It’s suitable for a more adventurous ride than a single-gear bike.

You’ll need these gears, though, because this bicycle is heavy. Not only is it heavy, but many customers found the parts came damaged. Most issues are easily fixed, but the squeaking brakes remained after other issues were resolved.

If you can ignore the brakes, that’s great. You’re left with a comfortable bicycle with a convenient rear rack, but nothing overly wow-worthy.

Pros:
  • Partially protected chain.
  • Sizeable rear rack for storage.
  • Front and rear reflectors for easy visibility.
Cons:
  • May arrive faulty.
  • Heavy.
  • Squeaking brakes.
Specs:
  • Wheel size: 26 inches.
  • Gears: 7.
  • Material: Steel.
  • Rider height: 5’2”–6’2”.
  • Brake style: Pull.
Our Overview

This 7-gear bike might suit your needs better if you dislike the Sixthreezero options.

Seven gears keep you soaring at speed over flats and hills, if the steel frame doesn’t weigh you down. On the bright side, steel, being so strong, will last a few years. Cruiser bikes are made to cruise, so you don’t need to go too quickly, and customers don’t see this as a big deal.

The lack of a rear storage rack should help keep the load lighter if you do wish to go at a high pace.

Regardless of speed, steer clear of beaches and debris-littered terrain. This is a cruiser for the streets, not the sand, and the fenders may protect you from the debris, but they won’t keep the low-quality tires safe. Customers find they’re prone to flats, with some experiencing flats on their first trip.

Consider replacing the tires and having the bicycle assembled by a professional to ensure the highest quality. Many customers found they were missing bolts, and some parts arrived dented.

Pros:
  • Durable steel frame.
  • Fenders.
  • Partially covered chain.
  • Moderate number of gears; great for beginners.
  • Pull brakes, which not all Schwinn cruisers possess.
Cons:
  • Unsuitable for beach riding.
  • Some of the components lack quality.
Specs:
  • Wheel size: 26 inches.
  • Gears: 7.
  • Material: Steel.
  • Rider height: 5’4”–6’.
  • Brake style:  Pull.
Our Overview

First, be warned: this is a women’s bicycle for riders 5’4”–5’9” in height and a maximum inseam of 19 inches.

If this fits you, read on.

This bicycle is very similar to the Mikko & Huron model, but with two additional complaints: screechy brakes and awful assembly instructions.

Besides that, there aren’t many downsides. In fact, customers found the quilted saddle to be super comfortable, which is perfect for leisurely cruising as a beginner.

I feel that’s an excellent inclusion, especially as you may be riding in a bathing suit—this is a beach cruiser, unlike the Mikko & Juron.

Pros:
  • Quilted saddle.
  • Excellent size for average-height women and shorter men.
  • Great back fender.
  • Semi-enclosed chain.
Cons:

 

  • Awful assembly instructions.
  • The brakes screech when used.
  • Suits a small range of heights.
Specs:
  • Wheel size: 26 inches.
  • Gears: 7.
  • Material: Steel.
  • Rider height: 5’4”—5’9”.
  • Brake style: Pull.

 

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Conclusion

In my opinion, the best cruiser bike for female beginners is the Sixthreezero Around The Block Women’s Beach Cruiser Bicycle.

These are all incredible bicycles—but when we’re talking beginners, my mind goes right to “start simple.”

What’s simpler than a fixed-gear bike with a size that denotes leisure?

For the men or taller people, why not try the Sixthreezero Hybrid Cruiser Bike instead? It’s of a similar quality, but larger and with more gears.

 

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