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 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.
Electra Townie D 7D Step-Through Women’s Bike
The Electra 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.
Price: $540 at REI.com
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.
Electra Townie GO! Step-Through Women’s 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.
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.
Sivica 7 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 Sivica 7 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
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.
Many cruiser bikes 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Bad A** Women’s
Guide to Buying a Bicycle
This comprehensive guide will walk you thru:
- What To Look For In a Bike
- What Size Bike You Need
- Where to Shop
- & Everything Else You Need to Know!