Beach Day: The 8 Best Cruiser Bikes

There’s a whole culture of people that make bicycling look like work. They’re out there day after day with their sleek bodies and spandex outfits, working up a sweat on a road bike that looks far too thin to be useful. There’s no reason that it has to be that hard. Instead, you can pick up a nice, comfortable cruiser bike with full suspension, a big, padded seat, and a nice storage rack for your baguettes or a suitcase of your favorite microbrew.

These bikes are made with comfort in mind. They’re bigger and heavier than road bikes and often outweigh even fat bikes or mountaineers because they have so many accessories that help make the ride comfortable. A cruiser is intended for heading down to the beach, milling around your neighborhood, or heading to work in lackadaisical style. You won’t get tons of speed, but you’ll still get a workout that doesn’t beat up your tailbone or leave you coated in sweat. If you’re ready for a ride on easy street, let one of the 8 best cruiser bikes take you there.

Schwinn Mens Sanctuary

Schwinn Men’s Sanctuary

Pro: Inexpensive
Con: Flimsy fenders

Most for the Money: Don’t let the low price point fool you, this is more than enough bike for getting around town or campus. The included rear luggage rack adds customization options in case you need a little more or a little less storage space when you’re taking a picnic to grandma’s house. Massive (but somewhat weak) fenders protect your summer dress suit and you’ll probably never even bother to replace the plush saddle that cradles your rump in a way that might make you feel a little funny. With all the extra features and accessories, it is on the heavy side, but a little tweaking can fix that. Though made in China, the aluminum fenders are fairly sturdy and the ride is smooth with minimal part failures. Comes in single and 7-speed varieties. [Purchase: $161]

Firmstrong Urban Man

Firmstrong Urban Man

Pro: Comes in multiple speed options
Con: Does not come with fenders

Upstanding Gent: This is probably the most versatile cruiser bicycle out there in that you can get it in speeds from a single gear to 7-speeds, in case you encounter more hills and valleys than most. You’ll never feel hunched again since the handlebars sit in an upright fashion that lets you keep your back straight without losing your grip. You’ll get a classically styled steel frame with traditional aluminum wheels that are all capable of standing up to the elements for long periods. A dual-spring comfort seat keeps your coccyx from getting jostled, and on the models that use a shifter system, it comes from the tried-and-true people at Shimano. [Purchase: $200+]

Schwinn Town and Country

Schwinn Town and Country

Pro: Very stable ride
Con: Very limited speed

The Triumvirate: Yeah, it’s a tricycle for grown-ups and if you can’t see how awesome that is then you need to check your math. With either a fairly reasonable single-speed model, and a much more expensive 3-speed complete with twist shifter, you can get a Town and Country that suits most landscapes. Most importantly, you’ve got a nice big basket on the back for all your sundries that comes equipped with a bottle opener so you’ll never need to ride sober for long. Alloy rims and an aluminum frame give you a good balance of strength and reduced weight that keep huffing and puffing to a minimum. Don’t expect much speed, but smooth, leisurely pedaling. [Purchase: $270+]

Sixthreezero Mammoth Single Speed

Sixthreezero Mammoth Single Speed

Pro: Accommodates both larger and standard riders
Con: 40 lbs. (and bright, convict orange)

Big Dog: This category of bikes isn’t always kind to those guys who weigh a little more or tend to tower over their peers. For the big and tall variety, there’s the Mammoth. True, it only offers one speed, but it’s still plenty useful for getting around thanks to the 18″ frame and big 26″ tires. The pedals and body both feel much roomier than typical cruisers, which will keep you from feeling like you’re mincing along or riding a toy nabbed from some toddler. A forward pedaling design gives you a very smooth ride. At a beefy 40 lbs. you probably won’t want to lug this up too many stairs, but the added heft allows it to dig in on loose sand or gravel tracks. [Purchase: $350]

Mobo Triton Pro

Mobo Triton Pro

Pro: Firm, comfortable seat cradles your back
Con: Requires flat areas for best operation

Laid Back: These bikes are meant are meant to be easy and comfortable. It’s a mystery why so many of them expect you to sit bolt upright like some kind of overachiever. Well, relax. The Triton Pro is a recumbent cruiser bicycle that wants you to take a load off. The low, sporty look is sleek while the pedaling and steering mechanisms let you know that you’re on a casual cycle for a fun ride, not a marathon. Adjustable for riders up to 6’3″ in height, this will only really give you a good ride in the flatlands. Endurance cyclists, fitness buffs, and everyone who doesn’t want a leisure cycle should look elsewhere. [Purchase: $429]

Felt MP

Felt MP

Pro: 12G stainless steel spokes
Con: Standard handlebars are not upright

Medal of Honor: Wipe that smug, carefree summertime grin off your ugly mug, maggot. The MP isn’t for flitting around catching butterflies in nets. It’s a serious cruiser bike for serious men. The frame is Felt’s hydroformed steel with an 18″ extended length that is a little longer than most cruisers will give you. Fat tires with full covers will keep grit and grime off your uniform while an electric headlight built right in let’s you handle night missions with ease. A triple tree fork handles like a dream and won’t give you PTSD flashbacks to the bumpy rides you had as a private. Comes in a 3-speed with Shimano kit that you’d damn sure better salute. [Purchase: $699]

Nirve Switchblade

Nirve Switchblade

Pro: Stylish
Con: Kickstand does not work on uneven ground

Hard-Case: You can’t let the other guys in your motorcycle club see you at the Tasty Freeze with your best gal riding some frilly cruiser bike with a bell and a basket. You need a man’s machine. Settle down, hombre, the Switchblade from Nirve will work fine. The aggressive, upswept body is reminiscent of the Captain America bike from Easy Rider. The 26″ front tire is attached via a Street King chrome plated double crown chopper fork and the 24”X3” rear wheel is equipped with a Shimano 3-speed gear system. Embossed handles work with your favorite motorcycle gloves and the hi-tensity steel frame feels as good as it looks. [Purchase: $699]

Phat Cycles Longboard

Phat Cycles Longboard

Pro: Very smooth tandem operation
Con: Rear fender could be larger

Tea for Two: Go ahead and be one of those obnoxious couples who does everything together. With this 7-speed juggernaut you’ll be one of those Bad-Ass obnoxious couples. A tandem cruise bicycle with attitude to spare, the Longboard has tons of Shimano gear to keep you rolling, a color scheme that is hard-core, and tons of alloy and stainless steel parts for fortitude in the face of adversity. Despite clearly being hell-bent-for-leather, the seats and pedals are both nice and comfortable for smooth rides that keep both riders in the lap of luxury. An aluminum frame keeps weight to a minimum. [Purchase: $1,099]

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