Every cyclist needs a bike that fits their body, but for women, finding the right sized bicycle can be a bigger challenge. There are plenty of men’s or unisex bike models on the market, but sometimes the fit of those bikes can be a bit off, which makes them uncomfortable for female cyclists to ride. The best women’s bike will have features that are downsized or shortened to better suit the needs of the female body.
But when you’re looking at bicycles for women, it is important that you don’t mix up the model for one with a unisex design. It is also important to understand the features of ladies bikes so that you are certain you’ve found the right fit. We want to help you find your ideal match, so we have made a list of quality products and included a few buying tips to make your search stress free.
How To Choose A Women’s Bike – Buying Guide
There are a lot of top rated bikes for women, but they may not all have the same design. The design of the bike really means that the bike is suited for certain types of riding or terrain conditions. Women’s mountain bikes are not the same as women’s road bikes based on differences of design. A woman’s hybrid bike is kind of like an in-between between a mountain and road bike design, but not the same as a cruiser.
Ultimately, you will have to choose which type of design will best suit your needs. Women’s mountain bikes are heavier duty and have thicker tires for aggressive riding on unpaved paths or rocky trails. But if you’re sticking to the pavement, it’s better to have use women’s road bikes because they’re lighter in weight and will be faster. However, commuters may want a tire that is a littler wider than a road bike, so they will choose a hybrid bike to get around the city. Some hybrid bikes are even foldable for easier transportation.
The frame of bicycles for women also need to be taken into consideration for two reasons – the material and size. While we will dive into material of the frame below, the size of the frame is also a big factor in what makes a specialized women’s bike great for smaller riders. But the size of the frame isn’t always consistent with all women’s bicycle brands. So, you should try to find a brand specific size chart, if possible.
But the best women’s bikes are sized by inches or on a scale of small, medium, or large. Most women feel more comfortable in a small or medium framed bicycle, which means that most frames will be around 17 inches. This is a size that guarantees that the frame is not too tall or long, which can make it difficult to pedal or reach your handlebars.
But when you aren’t checking the frame size, you need to be examining the material. The vast majority of bicycles for women will feature an aluminum or steel frame. Again, the type of material is related to the type of riding and terrain conditions. A lightweight women’s bike will likely be made out of aluminum because the material is strong but doesn’t pack on the pounds. Steel is a heavier material that is more durable, but best suited for women’s mountain bikes.
While both materials are affordable, the most expensive materials will be titanium or carbon fiber. These materials are more commonly found or used in women’s road bikes because of their lightweight qualities. But those are two premium types of materials that make for very expensive investments.
Ultimately, most riders will be able to get by with an aluminum or steel frame. Professional riders who use specialized women’s bikes or women’s race bikes may have more expensive and lighter weight materials.
But aluminum and steel are both long lasting and they have the stability and durability you need to ride confidently. Women’s bike reviews can help you determine the quality of the materials and how long lasting they will be throughout the years.
The best bikes for women will always be outfitted with high quality and reliable brakes for maximum control and safety while riding your bicycle. There are a few different braking systems but the most common are linear pull brakes. This means that the brakes are controlled by two levers on the handlebar and pulled towards the rider. The action of the pulling presses pads on the rim of your tires, which eventually slows you down with the high levels of friction.
But some women’s city bikes that have a cruiser or single speed design may not have linear pull brakes. The most common brakes for these are a backpedal system. This means that you simply begin to backpedal to engage the brakes. But the downside to these types of bicycles for women is that it can be harder to use your brakes on steep inclines.
The best women’s bike will also have a reliable suspension system, which makes it more comfortable to ride your bike around the city, on trails, and for extended periods of time. Women’s mountain bikes need to have really aggressive suspension to balance and cushion against the aggressive riding on uneven trails.
Women’s road bikes and women’s hybrid bikes also need suspension, but not to the level of mountain bike riders. Most bikes that are meant to stay on paved paths will have a moderate suspension that protects from sudden bumps but is not meant to be used on rocky terrain. Women’s bike reviews can help you determine how comfortable the suspension is in a specific model so that you can decide if it will suit your needs.
Another feature that is important for your comfort is the saddle. Most women’s city bikes that are meant for commuting will have a very large and comfortable saddle. These bikes are great for casual riders who simply use their bike as transportation from one destination to the next.
But if you are riding women’s race bikes, you’ll notice that the seat will be smaller. This is because it reduces the weight of the bicycle and it is more aerodynamic. On the opposite end and somewhat in the middle, women’s mountain bikes and women’s hybrid bikes tend to have a decent sized saddle with some cushioning to keep you comfortable. But these saddles are not as large as other designs.
Q: How Do I Choose A Women’s Bike?
With all the features highlighted in our buying guide, those categories are the most important considerations you should make when choosing a women’s bike. With each category, there are specific designs or features that are catered to certain types of riding or terrain to ensure that you have the best experience. Women’s bike reviews can also help you determine the quality and construction of a bicycle so that you increase your chance of choosing the best women’s bike.
Q: What Is The Difference Between A Man’s and Woman’s Bike?
The main difference between a man’s and woman’s bike will be the size of the bicycle. Men’s bicycles tend to be larger with the length of the frame and the diameter of the tires. This means that the saddle of the seat sits higher off the ground to fit taller riders and the handlebars are positioned further away.
Bikes for short females need to have the exact opposite of a men’s bike and instead be more compact in size. Women’s bicycles tend to have a shorter frame, smaller tire diameter, and lower saddle. This means that shorter riders aren’t having to sit uncomfortably or stretch and strain to use the handlebars and pedals.
Q: How To Size A Woman’s Bike?
The best bikes for women will actually be sized by the rider’s height and the frame. Shorter riders need a shorter frame and taller riders need a larger frame. Most women’s bicycles will start at an XS frame size, which would suit riders who are 4 feet 10 inches tall to 5 feet 2 inches tall. An XS frame is about 13-14 inches in length. From there, the size of the frame would gradually increase through small, medium, and large. The largest frames should fit a rider height up to 6 feet tall and have a frame length of 19-20 inches.
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When it comes to riding your bicycle, comfort is important and for women, finding a properly fitted ladies bike can be challenging. But with the best bikes for women now flooding the market, you won’t have to worry about finding your ideal match. With our article and guide, you have everything you need to find a properly fitted bicycle that will be comfortable and manageable for women to ride.
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Do you own one of the top rated bikes for women? Let us know which women’s bicycle your favorite is in the comments section below.