Most bike companies manufacture hybrid bikes specifically for women. While some have a unisex frame, others have a frame suitable for female riders. Since different brands have varied concepts of hybrid bikes for women, there isn’t any global consensus on a women’s specific bike.
Here are some common features most bikes have:
- Small, extra small and XX-small bikes cater for smaller, women riders. They can have a dedicated geometry for women’s frames or be a smaller size of a unisex bike.
- Most commuter or hybrid bikes have a sloping or lower top tube to allow a lower standing height. This facilitates women in getting on and off.
- Bikes designed for female riders feature a shorter distance between the handlebar and saddle, resulting in an upright posture for female riders.
- For short riders, bikes feature shorter crank arms lengths. This reduces the leg stretch required and makes pedaling easier and less strenuous. This also facilitates faster pedaling.
- Since women generally have narrow shoulders, these bikes have a narrower handlebar. The drop on handlebars is also shallow so that they can reach the handles easily from their saddle.
- The saddle of hybrid bikes for women are generally designed to offer maximum comfort to female riders.
- To accommodate the lightweight of women riders, mountain bikes feature tuned suspension with a lighter shock tune.
Should You Get a Women’s Bike?
Some women find female-specific models to be a better fit. Others find a similar fit on both unisex and women’s bikes, or completely prefer unisex bikes. It is always advisable to test some bikes and compare different sizes and brands to find a suitable bike.
Regardless of the kind of bike you opt for, it is always good to have the bike custom-fit for you. An experienced fitter will take the necessary measurements and adjust various elements of the bike like handlebar reach, saddle height, etc., to ensure you have the best fit possible. In this process, some parts might need to be replaced with smaller or larger ones.
What Kind of Bike Should I Get?
Your choice of bike depends entirely on how you use it. Generally, there are four kinds of bikes:
- Road Bikes – These are designed specifically for the road with light frames and thin tires.
- Mountain Bikes – These are very versatile, designed for off-road use. They have suspension for a smooth drive on rough terrains and while climbing.
- Hybrid Bikes – These sit somewhere between mountain bikes and road bikes, suitable for urban or city commute. These have features that make it easier to ride in traffic.
- Cyclocross – Cyclocross is a kind of racing bike that features an aggressive geometry and puts the rider in a racing position.
How Can I Get a Better Fit?
If you are having trouble with your bike fitting, you can make it fit better by making some simple changes. The most common six adjustments for a better fit include:
- Switch to a women’s saddle.
- Get the Seatpost changed
- Swap the handlebar stems for shorter ones
- Adjust the handlebar width
- Use shorter cranks
- Tweak your brake reach