Whenever you hear the phrase — a woman’s bike, what do you imagine? If you are thinking of pink bicycles and a cute basket in front, you are outright wrong.
In this articulation, Spoke Herd shall be breaking down the myths regarding a woman’s bike. Also, we will be guiding how to choose a woman’s bicycle.
Just a little perspective, gender-specific cycles are a marketing myth. Cold, but it is the truth. All bicycles are unisex, yet they are marketed to specific genders for money.
This brings us to the next common question floating in cycling communities.
Is there no difference between the so-called men and women-specific cycles?
No. There are differences between the two types. And these differences have less to do with gender and more with size and fit. As experienced riders call it — “the cycle just feels right”
To understand better, here are the key differences to take note of.
Naturally, women have a shorter torso compared to men. Hence, a woman’s bicycle is made up of a smaller frame and a shorter top tube.
This is a key difference and is concerned with the anatomy of women. Hip width and genitalia are considered before designing the seat shapes for gender-specific cycles.
Again, by nature, women have shorter and narrower arms and thereby, a shorter reach. So, you can see bicycles that are tagged ‘women-specific’ have a narrower handlebar.
Shorter crankarms are a common feature in women’s cycles. This alteration is tailored for women to generate optimum torque and maintain ideal cadence.
Now, we know the differences between the cycle types. Moving on, how should you choose a woman’s bike?
The standard sizing charts for women’s cycles are a great place to start. You get a fair idea as to which size might fit you the best, yet this cannot be the final determinant.
Most charts specify 15” to 15.5” as the best sizes for a woman’s bicycle. However, it depends on your height, leg inseam, and feel.
Hopping on bicycles of different sizes and getting a feel is the best way to find the right size.
When it comes to the ideal frame structure, you need to consider a couple of details. First, the top tube frame, most women’s cycles come with a slanted down tube. If you are taller than average, this may be a concern. A bar that is parallel to the ground and longer would be ideal.
Also, look for the size of the bicycle’s stem. This defines your reach to the handlebar and the brake levers.
This depends on the purpose behind your cycling. If you are a beginner and are looking to build a healthy habit, a non-geared cycle shall work wonders.
On the flip side, if you are in a cycling community like SpokeHerd and are a regular rider, gears shall ease your rides. Again, the surface on which you cycle and the intensity shall dictate the number of gears you might need.
There are three major types of brakes — drum, disc, and rim brakes. Depending on where you ride, you might choose the type of break you need.
For casual riders, rim brakes work well but keep an eye out for any wear. Disc brakes are more professional and useful on most surfaces. Similarly, drum brakes are ideal for all-weather cycling. However, these two require more maintenance and upkeep.
Apart from these, you need to keep the cycle’s suspension while choosing one. Irrespective of the gender tag, you must be looking for a bicycle that fulfills the mentioned aspects. Oftentimes, women find unisex cycles perfectly fine for their rides.
Similarly, forget the gender tag and focus on details to find the perfect bicycle for you.
Bonus tip: Alteration can be your best friend.
Here are five minor fixes that can make a quality cycle fit perfectly for you.
- Alter the handlebar
- Shorten the stem
- Add a women-specific saddle
- Fit shorter cranks
- Shorten the reach for brake levers
With this, we hope you can purchase the ideal cycle for you. Now, cultivate the habit of cycling and see your fitness levels skyrocket.