The 5 Best Women’s Cruiser Bikes

What’s more fun than a 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 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 (compartively), 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.

The 5 Best Cruiser Bikes for Women

Electra Townie 21D Step-Through Women’s Bike

electa townie cruiser bike

The Electra Townie has the look of a traditional cruiser bike but has added features like a 21 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.

Price & Where to Buy:

Public Bikes C1

public bikes womens cruiser bike

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 bikes 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.

Price & Where to Buy:

Linus Scout 7

linus scout 7

The Linus Scout 7 is pretty much the perfect cruiser bike. It has a 7-speed drivetrain, reasonably light weight, and Tektro rim brakes. All of this means you’ll be able to make it up (and down) hills without having a heart attack. We also like that it will fit exceptionally tiny and short women.

Price & Where to Buy:

Electra Townie GO! Step-Through Women’s Bike

electa townie go!

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.

Price & Where to Buy:

SixThreeZero Women’s Cruiser

sixthreezero womens cruiser bike

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.

Price & Where to Buy:

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.

BikePriceWeightNumber of GearsBrakesElectric-Assist
Electra Townie 21D Step-Through$56035 lbs21Rim No
Public Bikes C1$39930 lbs1RimNo
Linus Scout 7$48934 lbs7RimNo
Electra Townie Go!$2,60056 lbs8Roller (Drum)Yes
SixThreeZero Women's Cruiser$29935 lbs1CoasterNo

How to Choose a Cruiser Bike

linus scout
Photo credit: Linus Bikes

Weight

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. If you are planning on biking any significant distance, however, or if you live somewhere with hills, consider buying the lightest bike you can afford.

Brakes

Many cruiser bikes have a coaster brake–think 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. Again, unless you are riding on 100% flat terrain, consider buying a bike with hand 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

Many cruise 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. That said, if you plan on biking anywhere with hills, you will more than one gear (or plan on doing some walking). You only really need a few gears so don’t be impressed with a bike that offers 21 gears rather than 7.

Electronic Assist

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.

Price

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.

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