Bike frames today are made of many different materials such as carbon, titanium, steel or aluminum. Beach Cruisers of today typically come with either a steel or aluminum frame. Which material is better is the question that is best answered by understanding what you need. Understanding your environment and your expectations of a beach cruiser are also necessary.
Steel pros and cons
Steel frames tend to be more flexible. This flexibility can help dampen the road vibration and create a more comfortable ride. Steel is a long lasting material. Steel is also a tough material that tends to break less than aluminum. If the frame does break it can often be repaired by being welded. However, steel can rust if the paint chips. Steel frames of today tend to be a steel alloy rather than pure steel. This helps to lighten the weight of the fame a little. Steel framed beach cruisers tend to be less expensive that aluminum frames.
Aluminum pros and cons
Aluminum is a lighter material but actually transfers more of the road vibrations to the rider than steel.Typically these beach cruisers weigh up to 5 pounds less than their steel counter parts. Aluminum is a rust resistant metal. This makes this type of frame a good choice for more humid or salt air environments. However, they do tend to be stiffer and less durable than steel frames. Care must be taken so as not to bend the frame as this will weaken the overall frame. These frames are not as easy to repair as steel frames. They are more expensive and are not as easy to repair. The stiffer frame can make the ride a little rougher. However with a good seat the ride can be made much more comfortable.
Final Thoughts on Cruising
The type of beach cruiser frame you select should be based on your need. Getting either a steel or aluminum frame really comes down th what you want to get out of the bike. Steel is typically cheaper and longer lasting if the paint is not chipped. Steel bikes are typically heavier than aluminum frames. Aluminum frames do not rust. Both bike frames can be customized with accessories to make them more personalized to the riders taste and personality. Typically steel is cheaper than aluminum as well. Many bike shops or online stores carry both steel and aluminum framed beach cruisers.