Our Top Pick for 2018: Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle
Read our full review.
A beach cruiser is a bicycle that is uniquely designed, durably constructed and stylish. If you’re looking for a new way to get in your light exercise, or just looking for a way to venture out into the world on a bike, the beach cruiser is a great choice. It’s distinctive for its balloon tires, single-speed drivetrain and upright seat.
This is the perfect bike for paved roads. It isn’t meant for difficult terrain or for lightning-fast movement. Rather, with beach cruisers, think of luxury and relaxation. If you want to get a hard sweat-inducing 2-mile workout in over the course of 30-minutes, this is not the bike for you. On the other hand, if you want to jump on a bike for a mile-long ride and do some casual sight-seeing along the way, this may be the perfect choice.
There are a lot of beach cruiser bikes for women on the market. Picking just the right one may be difficult. Here is our list of the top products you will find and our basic ideas about each one. We did the hard work for you, so all you have to do is pick one and you’ll be on your way to having fun!
- #1 Gold Pick (1st Place Winner)
- #2 Silver Pick (2nd Place Runner-Up)
- #3 Bronze Pick (3rd Place)
- #4 Budget Pick (Best Cheap)
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
|Firmstrong Urban Lady Single Speed - Women's 26" Beach Cruiser Bike (Baby Blue)||678 Reviews||from $191.00||Buy on Amazon|
|sixthreezero Women's Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle, Scholar Cream w/Brown Seat/Grips, 26"...||584 Reviews||$269.94||Buy on Amazon|
|Critical Cycles Chatham Women's 26" Step-Thru Beach Cruiser||91 Reviews||$179.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Susan G Komen Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bike, 26-Inch||27 Reviews||$149.99||Buy on Amazon|
#1. Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle
The number one spot on our list went to the Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle. Not only is this a sturdy recreational bike, but it also has a lot of styling options to enjoy. Let’s start with the number one feature: smooth ride. Face it, the whole purpose of a beach cruiser is to have an enjoyable and relaxing time as you travel. That means having a bike capable of taking a few potholes and dips without knocking you off of your seat is important. The Firmstrong offers just that. Again, it isn’t meant for difficult terrain, but some attention to ride has to be made since it is a bike.
The smooth ride from the Firmstrong can be attributed partially to its Kenda White Wall tires which measure a generous 26-inches. In addition to that, though, the bike build itself is strong. It’s made from 25.4mm steel and has stainless steel spokes. The brackets for support are one-piece. This helps to minimize bumps and jerking while you ride.
Overall, this is a well-made bike. On top of the tires and the frame, you get a nice ride that is also designed for comfort. It’s the little things and small additions that put the Firmstrong at the top of our list. The hi-density handgrips are soft foam so if you tend to lean into your bars, you won’t hurt your hands. The seat is made on a spring saddle that easily absorbs the road, and it’s oversized for comfort. It’s made with a 15” steel frame that offers durability and consistency in ride.
Another great feature of the Firmstrong is its style. It is the “typical” beach cruiser bike, but don’t discount that on flair. The bike itself is very cool looking, but so is the fact that you can order it in twelve different colors. Whether you are looking for classic black, fun pink or sunshine yellow, you can take your pick. It has a standard height walk-thru bar and bumpers. Together the look is a pleasing one that you’ll proudly enjoy.
Getting down to the mechanics of the Firmstrong beach cruiser, you’ll be happily surprised to know that it’s one of the easiest bikes to ride. It comes with a single-speed and riding speed is between 3-15 mph. To coast, all you have to do is pedal backwards for a smooth stop. The white walls tires are 2.125-inches wide for easy and well-cushioned rolling. Handlebars are 28 ½-inches wide for a relaxed posture. It’s also flexible and can suit women from 5- to 6-feet tall.
It’s no wonder this turned out to be our gold pick. The Firmstrong model has a lot to offer. If you want a sturdy, stylish and mechanically advantaged beach cruiser, this is the one to pic.
#2. sixthreezero Women’s 26-Inch Beach Cruiser Bicycle
Our silver product in the beach cruiser for women category goes to the Sixthreezero Women’s 26-inch bicycle. The company’s motto is “bicycles designed to be distinct in style and supreme in comfort.” Their beach cruiser definitely lives up to that!
First of all, the bike is built for a smooth ride. The company makes that a priority with the 17-inch sturdy steel frame. It all rides on 26-inch wheels which makes it easy to maneuver. Granted, beach cruiser bikes are built for paved roads, but they still have to be durable enough to handle a bump or two. That’s what this bike is designed to do easily. You’ll feel confident that you can take just about any paved road in moderate condition on this bike.
Second, Sixthreezero Beach Cruiser has some great comfort features. The handle bars, like the Firmstrong, are wide-set at 28 ½-inches. That means you can relax in an upright position peacefully. In fact, everything about this bike is built with relaxation in mind. The seat is a classic leather saddle and the handgrips are rubber. On a nice day, you’ll love sitting on this bike and tootling around town at your leisure.
When it comes to style, this bike is offered in eleven glossy colors and has an intentionally retro look. This one is the classic cruiser you would see around decades ago. The rounded bars and polished steel are reminiscent of the 50s and 60s. The saddle has complimentary color details with stitching and the handgrips match. It also comes with a front and back fender to minimize splashing. On top of the fender’s functionality though, it makes the bike look pretty cool.
The mechanics built into the beach cruiser by Sixthreezero are impressive too. It is a one-speed bike made for paved roads. It has 14G spokes and the tire treads are waffle. The tires themselves are wide at 2.125-inches. Like the Firmstrong, wide tires offer the best in smooth rides and they look well-portioned on the bike’s structure.
Even though it is our number two pick, the Sixthreezero is still a solid choice for a beach cruiser. While it may not have the number of color options as the gold pick, it still is worth a look if you are searching for the best beach cruiser for women.
#3. Critical Cycles Chatham-1 Women’s Beach Cruiser Bike
Our bronze pick for best beach cruiser goes to the Critical Cycles Chatham-1 Women’s Beach Cruiser. While it doesn’t have the number of customizable options as our gold and silver choices do, it still is a sturdy bike that will serve you well.
Like the other beach cruisers, this one offers a very smooth ride. It has the same well-built steel frame though this one is hand-built. Manufacturers promised added shock absorption and they definitely delivered. It is set on 26-inch Wanda tires and has a one-piece crank. You’re going to have a great ride with this bike too, due to Critical Cycle’s attention-to-frame details.
In terms of comfort, the Chatham has a coastal comfort saddle. While it isn’t oversized like our gold and silver pick’s saddles, it still has enough to offer. You definitely should at least test it out if you’re in the market for a beach cruiser. It also has a comfort-grip to the handles and swing back bar construction. The handlebars are high-set though so if you prefer standard low ones, this may be a deal breaker. The height plays well to people who need more control with balance, or need support when sitting up for longer periods of time. Also, the bike comes with a step-thru frame that is extra low. This is an option that may play better to older riders who aren’t as comfortable with the normal height, or have a difficult time with it.
When it comes to style, the Critical Cycle Chatham is available in seven color options. Two of the color options are two-toned, which give it a unique look. The step-thru middle bar is lower and that gives it a distinct look up against other models. Spokes are tight and the wheels are large in diameter. Together, the colors, step-thru and wheels create a nice looking bike that you’ll be proud to own and show off.
The Chatham beach cruiser has one speed and comes without cables. It also uses the backward-pedal to engage the coasting brake. The rims come double-walled to make them long-lasting and highly durable. If you plan on taking your cruiser out every day, this definitely will come in handy in terms of the lifespan of your bike and tires. Pedals are plastic with a steel axle for durability and the rims are 33mm alloy.
This is a good bike and easily sits at our number three in terms of best beach cruisers for women. It offers a comfortable ride with minimum jerking. As a full package it definitely is a worthy option. Although some options are different than the normal beach cruiser (height of handlebars, low step-thru, etc.), it definitely has enough advantages to make our list.
#4. Susan G Komen Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bike
Our “budget pick” for women’s beach cruisers is the Susan G. Komen single-speed beach cruiser. It is made of steel and tig welded. Tig welding means cleaner seams, but it also is more environmentally friendly than other forms of welding. Both the frame and the fork are durable and sturdy for your riding.
In terms of comfort, the Susan G. Komen gets a better-than-average rating, which is why it is our budget pick. It has a comfort saddle and the handlebars are at the standard height and width. Generally, riding this bike for a few hours still kept the rider comfortable and stable. This is one of those bikes that comes with no-frills. It’s just a simple and straightforward beach cruiser, but that’s fine. It doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles other cruisers do, which allows it to be offered at such an affordable price.
In terms of style, the bike comes with bumpers decorated in the much-recognized pink for Susan B. Komen cancer research. It also is decorated with a myriad of stickers, some of which herald “hope” and positive thought. There are bright flowers on each side. Though the bumpers are pink, the actual frame is white. The seat and handles are black.
This is a standard bike that is going to offer you standard cruiser characteristics. It held up well during testing but lacked the bells and whistles to push it to the top three. Also, the designs on the bike are stickers rather than painted onto the frame, which means they may wear off with time and due to exposure to the elements.
As a whole, the Susan B. Komen beach cruiser has its shortfalls. It isn’t a standout in any one area. Still- if you are looking for an affordable women’s beach cruiser and would like to combine it with a good cause, this is definitely a viable option.
Smoothness of Ride
A beach cruiser is built for long and slow rides. Normally they go up to about 15mph and aren’t made to take you on lightning speed treks through town. Because of this, when looking to purchase one, special attention needs to be paid to smoothness. The whole point of the bike is to allow you a leisurely hour in the sun. No one wants a bumpy ride when they are trying to enjoy the outdoors on a bike, and especially when they are on a beach cruiser. The goal is to be relaxed before, during and after your ride.
We paid special attention to and gave added importance to the smooth rides offered by our contenders. The manufacturers had to step up their games in terms of build to make the ride as even as possible. Features like the solid frame, extra wide tires and braking systems were assessed carefully and critically. We wanted to know that the choices we made were going to bring buyers the best riding experiences possible.
A lot of the bikes we looked at were beautiful and stylish, but came with numerous cautions in terms of roads they “worked best” on. Yes, a beach cruiser is built for paved roads but that doesn’t mean its builders can skimp on steadiness or normal road absorption qualities. Anyone who has ever ridden a bike knows that you can’t always avoid every pothole and dip. Your bike, regardless of its main build purpose, has to do some work when it comes to offering a smooth ride. We put our beach cruisers to the test and made them perform on different pavements with various imperfections. We weren’t asking for dirt bike capabilities, but we still held them accountable to normally worn routes.
On top of the frame and wheels, easy-to-use controls are also necessities. The brakes have to be sensitive and easy enough to engage so as not to jerk during slowdown. The ones we chose happily had the standard peddle-backwards to slow feature. Each one had the ability to easily lower in speed with little to no effort. Plus, the deceleration was smooth and transitioned easily to a full halt.
Smoothness of ride definitely was our priority and we’re confident that our top three and the budget buy fit the bill.
Sturdiness of Frame
Another major consideration with our beach cruiser assessment was the sturdiness of the frame. There are a lot of options on the bike market. Some bikes are aluminum. Some bikes are steel. Aluminum is great if you plan on carrying your bike or have to hang it. They are notably lighter than steel. However, steel is the way to go when reviewers do their research for the actual riding. Not only does it offer the durability needed for a long ride, but it also helps to create a smoother ride. This is why steel was another priority for our assessment.
On top of that, each bike needed a good strong step-thru crossbar attached to the seat post, seat stay and down tube. We even paid attention to how they were attached and what pieces were a single piece, or multiple pieces welded together. The way pieces are reinforced definitely plays an important part in sturdiness. We wanted the utmost in design that offered maximized strength. We also wanted to be sure that the bikes had enough frame power to last. A bike is an investment and considered to be a bigger purchase. For our consumers to get the best value for their dollar, we had to ensure each one had a great lifespan.
Sturdiness of the frame became our number two priority because beach cruisers are not known for speed or rocky terrain, but they are known for long rides. In fact, their name harkens back to where they first began- on the beach. People would take their beach cruisers out to the boardwalk and spend the day riding up and down socializing and enjoying the outdoors. This is still true today. Because of this, cruisers need to be sturdy enough to withstand frequent and long-time use.
After frame sturdiness, we took pedals, handlebars and seat posts into consideration. All are likely going to take a lot of wear and tear as you ride so they had to hold up just as reliably as the frame. On a smaller scale, we also looked at the sturdiness of added elements. Namely the stickers on our budget pick helped to keep it as the fourth place position. How well the design stickers hold up after hours and hours of use is anyone’s guess. It definitely is a concern though.
After sturdiness was assessed, we had a general idea of which beach cruisers for women were our top picks. However, comfort, style and the mechanics played important parts in the final decisions too.
Beach cruisers are built for long and luxurious rides. They are a special category of bike and the requirements for a good one when it comes to comfort are strict. Every bike has to be reasonably comfortable, but the beach cruiser by definition goes hand in hand with comfort. They are meant to be ridden for leisurely hours in the sun. Because of this, comfort took a high place in our list of considerations.
Our comfort assessment started with everything that directly touched the consumer’s body—the seat, the handles and the pedals. The seat had to be set on a spring to avoid bouncing, even when the rider traveled a bumpier terrain. The seat also had to be high-quality to last after hours and hours of use. No one wants to pay top-dollar for their bike only to have the seat start to peel or lose shape after a few weeks. Because of this, scrutinizing the seats was a part of our check list for each contender.
The handles were the next thing on the cruisers that directly touch the rider. Were they padded enough? Were they positioned in comfortable places? Were they easy to hold/grip? Were they soft enough to not hurt a harder or firmer grip? These are all questions that came up as part of our qualifiers. We wanted to be sure that riders were going to be relaxed on the bike and not panicked because of hand pain.
Comfort also extended to the pedals. Were they placed right? Were shoes easily able to grip them? Were the pedals easy to push and operate? These were also things we tested out on our bikes. Again- everything that directly touched consumers was our concern.
Finally, we looked at the bike’s construction from a comfort point of view. Beach cruisers are built for bikers who ride upright, rather than slouched over. We looked at each one of our selection to make sure sitting in an upright position for hours would be easy and not taxing to the body, or namely the back.
As with any purchase, style plays a part in the decision. Sure, women want a functional and reliable bike, but they also want one that looks good! Each one of our selections had their advantages in terms of look. The basic frames had slight differences – lower handles or step-thru bars—but overall they were all similar and would be something we’d be proud to ride down the boardwalk.
Beyond the frame, we looked at colors. Our number one pick, the Firmstrong, had the most color options with twelve to pick from. Conservative riders can stick with the basic black or white, but the more adventurous biker can jump on the pink, canary yellow, bright orange or purple. The options of color ended up being an important element of each bike we looked at because our readers are diverse. One size does not necessarily fit all and that is definitely true with style.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
When we looked at the extras, we were looking at the features a consumer can customize if they decide to. Our number one pick, the Firmstrong, had enough options to make it a solid choice. For example, all of our beach cruisers had foam handgrips; however, the number one pick was the only one that had high-density foam. This made it as an extra because it affects the rider’s trip. If they are going to be on the bike for an hour or more, that is a definite influence on how well their ride ends up. The high-density is comfortable for the hands and will last longer for the return-on-investment value of the bike.
In addition, our top three bikes all had spring saddles, but the Firmstrong was the only one with an oversized model. Of all the elements of a bike, the seat is probably the highest priority for casual riders. Having spring saddles that help to absorb bumps is critical to a fun and comfortable ride.
We assessed each option for smoothness of ride, sturdiness of frame, comfort, style and the extras. Based on these criteria, we were able to come up with the above top beach cruisers for women.