If you're looking for the best beach cruiser bikes, also known as beach bicycles and beachcomber bikes, either for men or women (ladies), we've created this guide to help highlight the best features you should look for!
Here are some of the beach cruiser bikes we offer for sale online:
Like anything in life, you get what you pay for. If you purchase a bike with cheap materials, you will get a cheap bike that will not last long. Put it this way, spending just a little more money during the initial purchase can get you a bike that lasts well beyond its years.
So, you're probably wondering what to look for?
Whether you're looking for men's beach cruiser bikes or women's, there are eight things to look for when buying. Understanding the difference between the worst cruiser bikes and the best beach cruiser bikes will help you purchase the best bike for your money.
Over the last few years, beach cruisers have become increasingly popular, but a lot of brands have started to develop cheaply made ones. Here at Peace Bikes, we take pride in offering the best beach cruisers on the market.
Beach cruisers are great bikes and the level of comfort they provide is unmatched.
Here is what to look for in order to buy the best beach bikes in your area.
The Best Beach Cruiser Bikes Must-Haves
When searching for the best beach cruiser bikes, we maintain that you need to have all of the following:
- Quality shock absorbing frame
- Multi-speed transmission because no one likes to take on a hill in high gear
- Comfortable saddle and grips
- Accessories to make your ride more practical
- A nice set of balloon tires to minimize the impact you feel from rough roads
- Front basket to carry all your stuff
- Aluminum parts where possible
- A design that you are proud of
The last thing you want is for your bike frame to fall apart. This is especially important if you are riding it often.
When it comes to things like a welded bike frame, you want to be careful. You should only be looking at bikes that were constructed with quality materials by bike manufacturers.
At Peace Bicycles, we use hi-tensile steel for our bike frames. This is one of the components that allows us to make some of the best beach cruiser bikes.
What to Avoid in a Metal
In terms of practicality, you should avoid titanium. Titanium is a great metal, but it is expensive. It is also used a lot for mountain bikes, especially on high-end models. Although you can find beach cruisers with titanium bike frames, as a matter of practicality, you do not need it.
All metal rusts if you consistently expose your bike to the rain, salty ocean, and other elements. Also, if you're not wiping it down after use and keeping it inside when you're not riding it, it is just a matter of time to tell how bad your bike will rust. If you purchase a cheap beach cruiser, even if it is made of alloy, it may rust due to the inferior grade of metal being used. The best thing to do is to buy the best cruiser bike that you can afford and take care of it.
Look for ugly welds when purchasing a bike. Ugly welding will look shoddy. The metal will look infused together, but there will be no care to make it look uniform and nice. You may see parts of metal overlapping each other in a crude fashion. You may see what looks like metal bubbling around where two pieces were welded together.
Avoid ugly welds. While the weld of a bike is not a direct correlation of its quality, ugly welds are usually bad. This means that the bike is cheaper, is made from cheaper materials, and did not pass a good quality review during production.
Good welders make the effort to ensure their work looks nice. If a welder is not focused on their welding, it is more likely that your bike will fall apart.
The best beach cruiser bikes come with multi-speed transmissions and gears. This is because, generally, the more gears you have, the easier the ride. The difficulty of the ride is distributed across the gears, with low gears being better for hilly terrain, and high gears being better for flat terrain.
Multi-speed cruisers are great because you do not need to constantly pedal while biking. You can also accelerate faster and bike faster if you choose to. Multiple gears are great because, no matter how urban your location is, there will be some hills and potholes.
In addition, less maintenance is required when using multiple-gears. This is because the wear and tear of biking is distributed along the chain to multiple gears. Unlike with a single-speed bike, your multiple-geared bike will be more resilient and will require less maintenance over time.
You will have an easier time biking around with multiple-gears, and you will enjoy cruising more. Since this is a comfort bike, you should ensure the mechanical ability of your bike provides more comfort. While single-speed options are usually less expensive we recommend you go for multiple-gears especially if you live in a hilly place.
Stock saddles can make you sore. They can be stiff and may not comfort to your body shape. Luckily, there is a fix for this.
For the most standardized comfort, choose a wide-set gel foam seat. The gel foam will conform to your body shape better than any stock model saddle. The wide-set saddle will ease pressure off your body when you sit down. The combination of these two factors will result in a better quality of ride.
Beach cruiser seats are more cushioned than other types of bike seats. They are also wider, and can be slimmer as well. For a bike that is advertised as a comfort bike, you need to be aware of the stock seat models. Purchasing a higher-quality beach cruiser will definitely result in a better ride for you, especially if you purchase a wide-set gel foam seat...
You should also purchase a seat cover for your wide-set gel foam seat. As great as a gel foam seat is, it still needs to be protected against the weather. Dirt, dust, and rain can deteriorate your seat quickly. As great as the investment of a wide-set gel foam seat is, you want it to last.
Over time, you will most likely purchase multiple seats. This is because we all have different preferences when it comes to the experience of a bike seat. Everyone is different. There are people that like firm seats, soft seats, slim seats, and wide seats. The key is to find the type of seat that you like.
You will learn which seat you like best, and your preference will most likely change over time.
When it comes to grips, everyone has a preference. How you hold the handlebars will have a profound effect on your seated position, your efficiency while riding, and your enjoyment. The best beach cruiser bikes have thicker grips. They are also more comfortable. The most popular grips are made of rubber, leather, cork, alloy, or gel.
With beach cruisers, you do not need to grip the bike hard in order to control it. You can employ a soft grip and still control the beach cruiser. This is because, primarily, beach cruisers are a comfort bike. Beach cruiser manufacturers want to make the experience of riding a cruiser as enjoyable, and least-exhaustive, as possible.
Rubber grips are cheap; however, this does not mean they are low-quality. When looking at rubber bike grips, look for grips made by respected bike parts manufacturers. While rubber is not as durable as gel, for instance, and not as comfortable either, some riders enjoy them.
Cork grips are fashionable, but they require more maintenance. Cork falls apart easily so you will need to apply an adhesive to the cork if one hasn’t been added already. While many riders like the look of cork on a classic beach cruiser, it may be more trouble than it is worth.
Leather grips are more of a fashion statement than the other types of grips on the market. As such, they are usually the most expensive form of beach cruiser grip. However, they are still comfortable.
Alloy grips have an inner metal tube, followed by a gel or rubber coating. The rubber or gel provide padding and the alloy provides durability. Alloy is a great material because it does not rust as easily (though it still corrodes like any metal) and is lightweight. Grips made from alloy last a long time and should be the first consideration of any bike rider interested in quality.
Gel grips usually consist of a gel core, with a rubber lining. That stated, gel grips are softer and more comfortable than rubber. While gel grips are affordable, they are not low-quality. Quality is relative depending on the spectrum of what is available. While gel grips will break apart over time, they are worth the investment in comfort that they provide.
Front and Rear Lights
Even if you do not plan on biking at night, you should invest in a lighting system that covers both the front and rear wheels. A front and rear lighting system for your bike is important in order to be seen by drivers. As a bike rider, you are invisible. It does not matter how visible you think you are. You are not in a car so other car drivers are unlikely to see you.
There are many types of front bike lighting systems you can purchase. Here are the most popular.
Handlebar lights will attach to your handlebars. They are usually powered by an LED light and can be very powerful. If you like to put a lot of accessories on your handlebars you will like this lighting system. With the press of a button, you can shine your presence out to people around you.
Headlights or headlamps are LED lighting systems, which you can attach to your head. You can either wear this type of lighting system on your helmet or under it. Either way, you will be projecting the light at the level of your head, not your bike. The advantage here is that drivers and pedestrians will think you are larger than you are, which is great from a safety perspective.
Necklaces and Wristbands
LED necklaces and wristbands are available for riders who do not want to put a light on the front of their bike. Essentially, the LED light will sway while you are riding, due to the movement of your body. The benefit of this lighting system is that people are more likely to notice moving lights rather than stationary lights. This is great if you are cautious about biking at night for fear of not being seen.
There are also many types of rear bike lighting systems you can purchase. Here are the most popular.
Rear lighting systems on bike are limited, especially for beach cruisers. The main difference among rear bike lights is where they are mounted, the types of lights used, and the charging options for the lights.
Lights can be mounted on the inner hub of the rear wheel, on the bike frame, on the back of the saddle, or on the rear rack.
The goal of a rear lighting system is simpler than the front lights. With the front lights, you need to announce your presence and gain the attention of people in your way. With rear lights, you need to announce your presence to cars.
Most bike lights sold today are LEDs. This is because LEDs are bright, hold a charge well, and can be replaced cheaply. When purchasing an LED lighting system, especially for your bike’s rear, make sure it has a high number of lumens.
Lumens are a measurement of light that states the level of light intensity when a light is shone on an object. The higher the number of lumens in a light, the brighter that light will be from a distance.
Cushy Balloon Tires
The best beach cruiser bikes are known for their balloon tires. The wide, large tires are a staple of the bike type. Many people identify beach cruisers by their tires alone. Here is what you need to look for in quality balloon tires.
Stock bikes, no matter how comfortable they are, are made for the general public. You should always upgrade your wheels in order to better conform to your body. You may want tires that are thicker, bigger, or wider than the stock model’s. This way you can have a truly comfortable cruiser bike.
Thinner tires allow you to bike faster. Thicker tires provide more stability. Whether your tires are bigger in size or smaller depends on your body size and shape, and your personal preference.
You should also look at the tire treads.
Smoother tire treads are better suited for pavement and flatter, more urban environments. Thicker treads are better suited for hilly and mountainous terrain. If your beach cruiser has tire treads that are a bit too thick or too treaded for your taste, upgrade to a more suitable tire.
Quality balloon tires will be wider and have smoother treads. If you are looking at a beach cruiser that does not have these qualities, you may be looking at a lower-quality cruiser. Some popular brands include Schwalbe, and CST.
Robust Front Basket Standard
The “robustness” of a beach cruiser’s front basket depends on the type of basket it has. Wicker baskets, for example, are much more fragile than a wire mesh one. However, many owners of beach cruisers love wicker baskets because they provide a quaint, vintage bike look and feel. With beach cruisers, comfort is everything.
The type of basket you purchase will also depend on your usage of the bike. If you use your beach cruiser for everything from running errands to relaxing on the boardwalk, you will like a quick-release basket. They are made of metal mesh and can be quickly attached to, and detached from, your handlebars. Quick-release baskets usually feature a release lever to make the transition even quicker.
If you want an even stronger basket, you can purchase a fixed mount basket. They are often made of heavier, thicker metal and are permanently attached to your handlebars and front wheel. These baskets are great for people who love the idea of a permanent basket, and want a durable basket that will last very long.
To determine the quality of a basket, look at it from every angle.
- Is the paint chipping?
- Does the basket manufacturer have a reliable reputation?
- Is the weld on a metal basket ugly?
- How durable is the weave on the wicker basket?
- Does the basket attach firmly to your bike?
- Are the screws of a high quality?
All these questions and more can give you an insight into the quality of a bike basket. We also have a women's cruiser bike with basket guide for more ideas and info.
Lightweight Aluminum Parts
Aluminum is very popular when it comes to bike parts. The best beach cruiser bikes usually feature at least some aluminum parts for this reason. Aluminum is strong, affordable, lightweight, low-maintenance, does not rust, and widely-available.
You can find aluminum on the wheels, the tire tubing, the grips, the basket, the gears, and more. Whenever you have the choice to upgrade your beach cruiser with aluminum parts, you should. Lighter bikes are better at increasing and maintaining speed. If you have a beach cruiser that you use for absolutely everything, you should consider adding more aluminum parts.
Finding the Best Beach Cruiser Bikes for You
When it comes to finding the best beach cruiser bikes, you need to look for the signs of quality beach cruiser bikes. There is no tell-tale sign as to whether a bike is good. It is a culmination of a lot of factors that all come together. In this list, we highlighted the most well-known signs of a quality bike, as well as some glaring issues that will tip you off to inferior beach cruisers.
As previously stated, you get what you pay for. Instead of purchasing a stock model, spend a little more and upgrade to a much better bike. The best beach cruiser bikes can be yours, as long as you know what to look for.
Whatever you do, don't settle for less. Check out our robust line of beach cruiser bikes today. Here at Peace Bikes, we believe comfort and functionality can and should be combined. If you have any questions about what to look for in a cruiser bike, leave a comment below and we'll do our best to help you out.