What’s more fun than a women’s cruiser bike? Nothing.
One of my fondest memories is pedaling a cruiser bike thru the narrow streets of San Francisco and out across the Golden Gate Bridge. Equally good days have been spent cruising along the boardwalk on a beach cruiser, or biking to coffee and yoga class.
That said, not all cruiser bikes for women are built equally. In fact, cruiser bikes are notorious for being heavy and difficult to pedal. This is a particular problem for women who tend to be lighter weight than men and therefore need a lighter bike to maintain a decent bike to body weight ratio.
The bikes on our “best of” list are lightweight (comparatively), are well built, and also look cute. If you’re not sure which bike is best for you or how to pick, scroll down to our comparison chart and tips on how to choose.
Table Of Contents
Our Top Picks
|Bike||What We Love||Price|
|1||Priority Coast||Belt drive, internally geared hub||$599|
|2||Electra Townie||7-speed drivetrain, rim brakes||$629|
|3||Public Bikes C1||Rim brakes, feminine design||$550|
|4||Linus Dutchi 1||Lightweight, good for smaller riders||$499|
|5||Electra Townie Go!||Electric assist||$2,950|
|6||SixThreeZero Women’s Cruiser||Available with Prime shipping||$498.00 *|
|7||Sivica 7 Step Thru||Fun color schemes||$499|
Priority Coast Women’s Cruiser Bike
The Priority Coast is my FAVORITE cruiser bike. Why? It’s lightweight, has a 3-speed internally geared hub, and features a belt drive rather than a chain.
The internally geared hub and belt drive make this a low-maintenance bike, and particularly well suited to wet, humid, and salty environments. In other words, the Coast is a great bike for using at….the coast!
The only thing you might not like about this bike is that it has a higher top-tube than most women’s cruiser bikes, which makes it harder to wear with a skirt or dress.
Read Review: Priority Coast
Electra Townie 7D Step-Through Women’s Bike
The Electra Townie is the best selling bike in the United States. And there’s a reason.
The Townie has the look of a traditional cruiser bike but has added features like a 7 gear drivetrain, rim brakes, and an ergonomic saddle. This means that you’ll actually be able to ride up (and down) hills and make it more than a mile before you wear out.
Read Review: Electra Townie
Public Bikes C1
For ladies looking for a lightweight, easy-to-pedal, easy-to-maintain cruiser bike, we love the Public C1. This is a singlespeed (only one gear) which makes it easy to maintain.
The bike’s high-quality rim brakes work well, and ensure you’ll be able to step when riding downhill and in wet weather. Speaking of wet weather, the bike comes standard with matching fenders and eyelets in case you choose to add a rear rack.
Linus Dutchi 1
The Linus Dutchi 1 is pretty much the perfect cruiser bike. It has an easy-to-maintain 1-speed drivetrain, is reasonably light weight, and features Tektro rim brakes.
This is one of the lightest bikes on our list, which means it’s significantly easier to pedal than its heavier counterparts. We also like that it will fit exceptionally tiny and short women.
Read Review: Linus Dutchi
Electra Townie GO! Step-Through Electric Women’s Cruiser Bike
Looking to haul produce home from the farmer’s market? Consider the Electra Townie Go! This electric-assist bike has a motor to help you up hills and to carry heavy cargo. Yes, it’s expensive–but a heck of a lot cheaper than an SUV.
The bike has extra features like built-in lights, an internally-geared rear hub, built-in wheel lock and more. It’s easy to carry gear by adding panniers or a bin on the rear rack, and there are eyelets to add a front rack or basket.
Read Our Review: Electra Townie Go!
SixThreeZero Women’s Cruiser
SixThreeZero makes affordable, decent-quality bikes. Their women’s beach cruiser comes in a variety of pretty colors, and can be accessorized with plenty of optional items–a basket, etc.
Depending on how many hills you plan on climbing, you can choose a single-speed, 3-speed, or 7-speed option. The only thing we’re not crazy about is the coaster brake.
Schwinn Wayfairer Step Thru
Did you have a Schwinn as a kid? I sure did, and have great memories of it.
You can have some of these great memories as an adult with the Schwinn Wayfarer Step Thru. This geared cruiser bike has 7 gears (perfect for climbing hills!), and Shimano derraileur and shifter.
It has rim brakes which we prefer to a coaster, and comes in several fun color schemes.
Comparison Chart: Womens Cruiser Bikes
Not sure which bike is best for you? Compare them in this chart and then read our tips below on how to choose.
|Bike||Weight||Number of Gears||Brakes||Electric-Assist|
|Electra Townie 7D Step-Through||35 lbs||7||Rim||No|
|Public Bikes C1||30 lbs||1||Rim||No|
|Linus Dutchi 1||27.4 lbs||1||Rim||No|
|Electra Townie Go!||56 lbs||8||Roller (Drum)||Yes|
|SixThreeZero Women's Cruiser||35 lbs||1||Coaster||No|
|Priority Coast||26 lbs||3||Rim||No|
|Schwinn Sivica 7 Step-Thru||35 lbs||7||Rim||No|
How to Choose a Cruiser Bike
Women’s cruiser bikes, compared to most other types of bicycles, are HEAVY. This is a problem for most women who are fairly petite. If you are biking short distances on flat ground, you don’t have to worry as much about weight.
On the other hand, if you are planning on biking any significant distance or if you live somewhere with hills, consider buying the lightest bike you can afford. Lightweight bikes are WAY easier to pedal.
If you aren’t deadset on a cruiser bike you could also choose a city bike instead. These tend to be a bit lighter, have higher quality components, roll faster, but are still great for riding to the beach / farmer’s market, etc.
Frame Size And Design
Most (but not all) women’s cruiser bikes have a step-thru frame. This means that the top tube of the bike slopes downward and makes it easier to get on and off and to wear a skirt. Taller women may not need this stetp-thru design and may opt for a more traditional style frame instead.
The other thing to be aware of is frame size. Many women’s cruiser bikes are designed to be one size fits all. This may be nice if you plan to share the bike with another rider.
That said, we still prefer women’s cruiser bikes that come in multiple frame sizes. This helps ensure that the bike you pick has an appropriate saddle height and reach to the handlebars.
Many beach cruisers have a coaster brake–think of that old huffy you had when you were a kid where you backpedaled to stop. We’re not huge fans of coaster brakes. They can be dangerous when riding down hills and don’t have any modulation.
Unless you are riding on 100% flat terrain, consider buying a bike with hand brakes. Bikes with hand brakes have one of two types of brakes–rim brakes or disc brakes.
Rim brakes are the cheapest option and work well for most riding. Disc brakes are another step up and offer better control especially in hilly or wet conditions. That said, they cost more than rim brakes or coaster brakes.
Gears Vs Singlespeed
Many cruiser bikes are singlespeed, meaning they have only one gear. This can be convenient as it saves you on maintenance and expense that having a multi-speed drivetrain incurs.
The Public cruiser (left) is a singlespeed (one gear). The Electra Townie (right) has a rear derrailur that provides 7 different gears.
That said, if you plan on biking anywhere with hills, you will want more than one gear (or plan on doing some walking). Even then, you only really need a few gears so don’t be impressed with a bike that offers 21 gears rather than 7.
Finally, there are a couple bikes on this list with an internally-geared hub. These usually provide somewhere between 3 and 5 gears, and the gearing is inside the rear hub rather than on an external derailleur. These can be nice for women who want gears, but don’t want to deal with a lot of maintenance.
If you plan on using your cruiser bike a bunch to get around town, you might want to consider an electronic assist. “E-bikes” offer a motor to help you go faster and makes getting up hills easier.
They also cost a lot more, but if you plan on using your bike a lot, or if you’re not in the best shape, you might want to consider an e-assist cruiser bike.
To learn more about electronic assist, read our article on women’s e-bikes.
- Read More: 7 Best Women’s Electric Bikes
Expect to pay $300-$500 for a decent cruiser bike. Yes, you can find cheaper ones from Walmart or other big box stores, but I wouldn’t recommend them.
Why? They are HEAVY (think 50 lbs or more) and have cheap components that will fall apart quickly.
Think about the difference in quality between clothes that you buy at Walmart and clothes that you buy at Nordstrom. The same holds true for bicycles.
Most bikes you’ll look at will be made of either aluminum or steel. Aluminum tends to be lighter, but you want to make sure that it’s a high-grade aluminum (like 6061 aluminum) as lower grade aluminum is not as durable.
While steel tends to be heavier, it’s still a great classic choice for a bicycle frame. It’s durable and can last forever.
Racks And Child Seats
Do you want to carry gear? If so, you may want to look for a bike with a rear (or front) rack.
It is easiest just to look for a bike that comes with a rack, but with most bikes you can add one after the fact as well. If the bike you’re eyeing doesn’t come with a rack (and you know you want one), then make sure it does have eyelets. Eyelets are attachment points on the bike that will allow you to add an after market rack.
We also hear from women who want to use a beach cruiser for biking with their child. This is a point you should pause and consider if you really want a cruiser bike. A simple city bike can be much easier to make work with a child seat.
If you do want to mount a rear child bike seat on your cruiser, the most fool-proof option is to buy a cruiser bike with a rear rack built in and with a weight rating of at least 50 pounds.
More Stuff You Might Like
- 7 Women’s Bike Helmets That Are Cute and Stylish
- 19 Different Types of Bikes And How to Pick The Best For You
- Cycling For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know
About The Author
Kristen Bonkoski is the founder and owner of Femme Cyclist.
An avid cyclist for a few decades now, she took to cycling during her late teen years — a time when she needed something to help boost her self-esteem and confidence.
Mission accomplished, the sport has become an important part of her life. Kristen’s favorite disciplines are mountain biking and bike commuting, although you can also find her cranking out a century on her road bike and touring with her husband and son. If it has to do with two wheels, she enjoys doing it.
Kristen is a certified USA Cycling coach, and she runs Rascal Rides, a website about biking with kids.