Last summer was a test in patience. As June neared, we all wondered if and how Covid would affect our warm-weather routines. Would there be rides on the boardwalk? Or in groups, for that matter? Would there even be summer vacations at all? The idea of friends and family getting together for a week at the beach was pretty much put on hold. Yet here we are, a year later, with some semblance of normal life returning once again—including some of the beloved outdoor activities you may have put on hold amid the pandemic.
If you’re in need of some two-wheeled therapy, a beach cruiser might be your saving grace. These simple machines are often the cheapest options in the bicycle world (though there are some pricier models on our list, including e-cruisers), and many of them can be ordered online—even customized to your liking—and delivered right to your doorstep.
Best Beach Cruisers
- Best Value Cruiser: Tuesday June 7 Low Step
- Best Value Singlespeed: Batch Bicycles The Cruiser Bicycle
- Best Classic Cruiser: Schwinn Mikko
- Best for Apartment Dwellers: Jamis Earth Cruiser 3
- Best Beginner-Friendly Frame: Specialized Roll Low-Entry
- Lots of Accessories Options: SixThreeZero EVRYjourney
- Most Included Accessories: Liv Simple Three W
- Best for Coastal Living: Priority Coast
- Most Comfortable Cruiser: Brooklyn Brighton 7
- Ships Free, Easy to Assemble: Detroit Bikes B-Type
- Most Customizable Colors: Vivélo La Donna
- Best for Eating up Potholes: Linus Rover 9
- E-Cruiser With Extras: iZip Simi Step-Thru
- Most Customizable Electric Cruiser: Electric Bike Company Model X
- Best Compact E-Cruiser: Benno eJoy 9D
What Is a Beach Cruiser Bike?
To some, a cruiser is just a singlespeed bicycle with balloon tires, a comfy saddle, a coaster brake, and a wide, sweeping handlebar. When you’re on one, you’re not constricted by Lycra or expected to keep pace. There’s a good chance you’re wearing flip-flops—and maybe even a bathing suit. Hopefully you’re near a beach, but you don’t have to be. A leisurely cruise downtown to grab lunch can be as pleasant as an early-morning roll on a boardwalk. But not every beach cruiser settles for simplicity. Most modern-day models take it to the next level or beyond (think more gears, bigger wheels, cleaner belt drives, internal gearing, mounts for racks, even motors). Knowing how and where you want to use your new cruiser bike will help you determine what else, if anything, you want from it.
Do I Need More Than One Gear on My Beach Cruiser?
That depends. For riding the length of a boardwalk or ambling along Main Street, one gear is all you need—and it frees up a hand to hold a soft-serve twist. But if your rides are a little more challenging than the flat, coastal roads around your favorite seaside town, consider a beach cruiser with multiple gears. The bikes on this list range from singlespeed to 9-speed.
Some Cruiser Bikes Now Come With E-Assist
Even though the whole idea of the beach cruiser is to slow down your fast-paced life, there’s nothing wrong with speeding up your laid-back life. Pedal assist can do wonders for your downtime by letting you get to the beach sooner and cut your departure time closer, ultimately extending your day and still getting you home in time for early-evening beers and BBQ. Most e-cruisers are class 1, which means they top out at 20 mph, but some go as high as 28 mph (class 3).
Why It May Be Harder to Find a Bike Right Now
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the bike industry has experienced an exponential boom in sales. It has also experienced a shortage of bikes due to factory restrictions and delays. Because of this, many bike shops and online brands are nearly sold out of bikes. If a bike on this list is sold out, you might still have the option to pre-order it or join a waiting list. Or, it might still be available at a bike shop near you, so check the dealers and retailers listed on the site.
How We Chose These Bikes
We’ve ridden as many of these cruisers as we could get our hands on. The ones that haven’t been tested have been carefully chosen based on what they offer. We know from experience what makes a beach cruiser desirable, so we’ve based our list on value, quality of parts (most of which have been tested separately), user reviews, comfort, our positive experience with the brand, and overall aesthetics. These are the 15 beach cruisers we recommend for laid-back bike rides—no matter where you are.
―BEST VALUE CRUISER―
Tuesday June 7 Low Step
The aptly named June 7 lives for carefree summer days and sandy surfaces. Its huge, sweeping Big Bend Cruiser handlebar and textured rubber grips need nothing more than a light touch and relaxed arms to keep the front wheel on course. When your feet aren’t on the barefoot-friendly, rubber-coated pedals cranking forward, they can easily touch down for a quick stop to grab a shot of the sunset. Like any capable cruiser, the June 7 comes with 2.35-inch balloon tires, ideal for mixed surfaces. A seven-speed drivetrain with a 44t chainring and 14-34t cassette opens this bike up to more variety of exploring in areas that aren’t mostly flat. Want more hauling capability? Add a rear rack. This one from Tuesday costs $45 and has a spring clip to hold valuables in place. Best way to buy it: Purchase through the Tuesday site.
―BEST VALUE SINGLESPEED―
Batch Bicycles The Cruiser Bicycle
Dayton, Ohio-based Batch Bicycles has a rule: As long as a bike is selling and people are buying it, there's no reason to fix what isn’t broken. In other words, the company won’t churn out new models every year just for the sake of replacing the old. This strategy keeps prices down, which is why this singlespeed aluminum cruiser with a coaster brake can be yours for $300. We’ve reviewed the Commuter and the E-Commuter, so we’re not unfamiliar with this brand’s bikes. The Cruiser comes in three colors and three sizes, including a 24-inch youth size and a M/L with 27.5-inch wheels. This bike is as simple as cruisers get—one gear, one speed, one model, one coaster brake. Just get on and go. Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.
―BEST CLASSIC CRUISER―
For her 61st birthday last year, Ellen DeGeneres surprised her guests with several giveaways, including the 3-speed Schwinn Mikko (for the women) and the 3-speed Schwinn Huron (for the guys). This cruiser is as classic as they come: steel frame, 26-inch wheels, rear coaster brake, classic cruiser handlebar, matching fenders and chainguard, and a cushy seat on springs. Both models come in a variety of colors as well as 3- and 7-speed options (in addition to the singlespeed shown here). Before the curtain opened on Ellen to reveal the bikes, Ellen told her audience, “I love this next gift. In fact, I have one here. I ride it every day.” Best way to buy it: Buy it now on Amazon.
―BEST FOR APARTMENT DWELLERS―
Jamis Earth Cruiser 3
Jamis did something here to make the appropriately named Earth Cruiser an option for anyone who has to haul their bike up flights of steps. It dressed the aluminum frame in lightweight alloy parts wherever possible: rims, crankset, crank arms, seatpost, seat clamp, stem, front hub, and kickstand. It also gave the Earth Cruiser a memory foam saddle (yep, like a mattress) with a synthetic suede top. A Shimano 3-speed internal hub and Revoshift twist shifter keep you going; a coaster brake brings you to a stop. Want to spend less? There’s a $359 aluminum EC1 and a $319 steel EC2 (both of which are singlespeed) as well as step-through versions of all three. Best way to buy it: Purchase through Jamis and have it shipped to your local bike shop.
―BEST BEGINNER-FRIENDLY FRAME―
Specialized Roll Low-Entry
With one of the lowest step-through frames in the business, the Roll Low-Entry is ideal for anyone who’s ever been apprehensive about swinging a leg over a top tube or being able to touch their feet to the ground at the last second. Beefy 650b x 2.3-inch tires roll smoothly on the road, but come to your rescue when the pavement gets sketchy or a sandy shortcut starts calling your name. Its upright geometry puts you in a position that takes strain off your neck and back and lets you take in the sights around you, but isn’t ideal for steep climbs up winding mountains. Nor is the Shimano Altus 7-speed drivetrain, but that’s not what this bike is for. It’s also not for going fast. But for what it is, a $535 cruiser bike with mounts to add a rear rack, and a head tube tall enough to hang a pretty deep basket off the BMX-style handlebar, the Roll Low-Entry can double as a daily cruiser and around-town grocery-getter. Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.
―LOTS OF ACCESSORIES OPTIONS―
Available in both men’s and women’s models and in speeds of 1, 3, 7, and 21, plus two electric versions (250W and 500W), there’s an EVRYjourney for everyone. The one you’re looking at here—the 7-speed women’s model—gives you an alloy frame and steel fork, Shimano Tourney 7-speed drivetrain with Revo twist shifter, 1.95-inch semi-slick tires on 26-inch rims, fenders, and a rear rack. Comfort features include soft grips, a cushy seat, and geometry that puts the rider closer to the ground and moves the pedals forward so you still have proper leg extension. Snap-on attachment points let you easily add accessories like racks, baskets, child seats, and more. And a 365-day test ride and lifetime warranty means you can decide now and change your mind later. But we don’t think you will. Best way to buy it: Buy it now on Amazon.
―MOST INCLUDED ACCESSORIES―
Liv Simple Three W
This sunny, aluminum, step-through cruiser is easy on/easy off and has a Shimano Nexus 3-speed internal hub controlled by a Shimano Revo twist shifter. It has a steel fork and handlebar, aluminum rims with stainless-steel spokes, and a rustproof chain. Traditional features include 26-inch wheels, 2.125-inch tires, and no-slip pedals. It also comes with a front basket and kickstand, meaning you can easily park your bike while you unpack your beach towel, snacks, and sunscreen without having to steady the front wheel between your knees. Full fenders are color-matched to the frame, and the saddle, sidewalls, and grips accent the whole package. This women’s cruiser is one size fits all and comes in ultraviolet/teal and salmon pink (shown here). Wanna save $150? The singlespeed version of this bike is only $440. Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.
―BEST FOR COASTAL LIVING―
The salt air is no match for the Coast’s rustproof components, which include stainless-steel spokes, an aluminum frame and fork, and a maintenance-free Gates Carbon Drive belt. Sealed bearings keep out water, and Kenda puncture-resistant tires are hardly fazed by broken glass and clamshells. On boardwalks and level city roads, you’ll likely spend most of your time in the hardest gear, but you’ll be thankful for easier pedaling when the street takes a slight upturn. A double kickstand keeps the bike from tipping when parked, and the traditional cruiser-style handlebar has a 3-speed twist shifter on the right and a front hand brake on the left (though you have the option of using the coaster brake). Best way to buy it: Purchase via the Priority Coast website.
―MOST COMFORTABLE CRUISER―
Brooklyn Brighton 7
It’s no wonder the Brighton 7 is out of stock as often as it’s in (even before the pandemic!). Every person who hopped onto our test model to take it for a spin had the same first impression: “This is the most comfortable bike I’ve ever been on.” Its incredibly relaxed geometry lets the rider—even one particular tester who has really long arms and legs—stretch out to the point of not having to bend elbows or knees when cruising on momentum. Coupled with the cushy seat, soft grips, barefoot-friendly pedals, and smooth-rolling balloon tires, we’re lucky we didn’t doze off midride. But this bike’s relaxed attitude doesn’t discount it as a capable utilitarian ride. Front and rear-carrier braze-ons let you outfit it with racks and bags so you can carry essentials to the beach or grab a six-pack and sandwiches on the way home. You also get a bottle-cage mount and internally routed cables. Choose from six refreshing colors (with matching fenders, rims, and chainguard), including beach-inspired sea glass and matte coral. Best way to buy it: Purchase via the Brighton website.
―SHIPS FREE, EASY TO ASSEMBLE―
Detroit Bikes B-Type
The B-Type arrives at your door 95 percent assembled, with an estimated 5 minutes of assembly left for you. Besides free shipping, you also get a Detroit Bikes floor pump with your order. Other included features of this durable and classy commuter: fenders, rear rack, bell, kickstand, and a waterproof saddle. And with a Shimano Acera 8-speed drivetrain (with thumb shifter), you have all the gears you need for ambitious jaunts through town. Just don’t expect to take rugged shortcuts with the narrow 700x32mm tires. Looking for a step-over model? The A-Type costs the same, but comes in matte black only (the B-Type is available in an array of pretty colors, including blue, yellow, green, and purple). Best way to buy it: Purchase via the Detroit Bikes website.
―MOST CUSTOMIZABLE COLORS―
Vivélo La Donna
Every Vivélo cruiser is handcrafted in Miami’s Wynwood Art District. As if choosing from 42 standard style and color options—men's, women’s, and kid’s—isn’t hard enough, Vivélo went ahead and made it even more difficult (in a good way) with its customizer tool, which lets you personalize up to 27 parts of the bike. A stock La Donna starts at $799 (3-speed) and $869 (7-speed) but can go as high as $1,150 once you start having fun making it unique—like the wild-looking one shown above (which adds up to $1,124 after customization). It’s one of four adult bikes—along with the Rider, Rider X, and Chopper—that can be made to match your vision. Every part—frame, fenders, chainguard, pedals, grips, rims, even the chain and spokes, can be a different color (though options do vary with each model). You can also add a basket or rear rack and choose between an internally geared 3- or 7-speed. The components are pretty standard fare for a cruiser: aluminum frame and components, steel fork, 26-inch wheels, platform pedals, double-spring saddle, and kickstand. We haven’t gotten one if these to test yet, but our creation is on its way. When it arrives, we’ll report back. Best way to buy it: Purchase via the Vivélo website.
―BEST FOR EATING UP POTHOLES―
Linus Rover 9
A classic cruiser with classic lines, the Rover 9 has a light 6061 aluminum frame and steel fork, hydraulic disc brakes, and a 1x9-speed drivetrain controlled by a Microshift trigger shifter. Moderately grippy, 45mm-wide Kenda Koast tires (with coffee-colored sidewalls) on 27.5-inch alloy rims roll fast and eat potholes in your path. The open, alloy pedals aren’t the most barefoot-friendly compared to rubber-coated pedals, but that’s an easy and inexpensive swap. The Rover 9 comes in two sizes (medium for 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-9 riders, large for 5-foot-10 and taller), two colors (brushed alloy and matte black), and one frame (there’s no step-through model here). And with nine gears to click through, the Rover 9 crosses over into short-commute territory. Best way to buy it: Purchase via the Linus website.
―E-CRUISER WITH EXTRAS―
iZip Simi Step-Thru
This beachy-looking cruiser comes with a rear-hub motor that lets you zip along at 20mph, and a down tube-mounted battery that will last up to 62 miles in the slowest setting. In the highest pedal-assist mode, that range drops to 15 miles, making the Simi better suited to slow-speed rolls than high-speed commutes. The step-thru frame makes the Simi suitable for everyone, especially those who are just getting into—or back into—riding. You get quite a few extras with this bike (extras that are often left off other bikes that cost as much or more), such as a kickstand, fenders, lights, a rear rack, and a bottle-cage mount. With a 7-speed drivetrain and a 12-28 cassette—not to mention the bonus boost you get from the motor—this is one beach bike that can do more than just hit the flat boardwalk for an out-and-back morning jaunt. Best way to buy it: Purchase via the iZip website or a local dealer or retailer.
―MOST CUSTOMIZABLE ELECTRIC CRUISER―
Electric Bike Company Model X
The Model X is assembled in the U.S., and the attention to detail is immediately evident; the bike makes almost no noise while in motion, save the subtle whir from the rear-hub motor. The Schwalbe Fat Frank tires and aluminum frame and steel fork combine to deliver a smooth ride, and the comfortable saddle and retro handlebar beckon you to relax and let the e-assist do much of the work. Its 500-watt motor peaks at 1,000 watts for quick bursts of power, making the Model X sporty enough for most. Pedal assist maxes out at 25mph, and you get a throttle as well. There are also loads of available accessories, including a front basket, rear rack, suspension fork, and custom colors, plus the option to upgrade to an in-basket battery (shown). Best way to buy it: After customizing it to your liking on Electric Bike Company’s site, add it to your cart and proceed to checkout. It’s in stock and available.
―BEST COMPACT E-CRUISER―
Benno eJoy 9D
Inspired by the lines of vintage Italian scooters and classic German cars, the eJoy 9D (named one of Bicycling’s Best Bikes of 2020) can easily be your zip-around-town-at-20mph e-bike. Notable features include: a frame-mounted lock, oversize rear rack, optional front tray, integrated lights, and a max claimed range of 80 miles—imagine all the stuff you can haul to the beach. With an absolutely silent Bosch Active Line motor, a low standover for riders of all heights, a wheelbase similar to that of a typical townie, roll-over-anything balloon tires, and one of the easiest-to-operate computers, the eJoy is an e-bike for everyone. Best way to buy it: Find it through a local dealer or retailer.