Bearing in mind different anatomy in males and females, there has been a significant shift in the category of women bikes in the past decade. In fact, this has happened thanks to bike companies acknowledging this difference, as well as women needs for riding bikes as good as those for men. This is an excellent thing since when they were first introduced, ladies bikes were modelled according to the “shrink it and pink it” mentality. This usually meant smaller frames and traditionally feminine colours, as well as fewer components than their unisex or men counterparts.
Differences Between Women and Men Road Bikes
After some simple shrinkage of the frame, a step forward was done by cranking out shorter top-tubed frames to better accommodate the average female body – that is, its tendency to have longer legs and shorter torsos. Some companies, though, keep the men’s frame and just adjust some of the parts – mostly touch points such as bar, grips and saddle.
Alloy vs. Carbon
In addition to choosing your bike style and fit, you’ll also need to look at frame material: carbon, alloy, and steel. Steel is generally heavy, but the most durable, while carbon frames are very light, extremely comfortable, but also expensive. If you opt for alloy, you’ll get a light and quality bike, but they are not as comfortable as the carbon or steel ones. Ask your Bicycles Online employee for help and opt for the bike that suits your needs the most!
Rim vs. Disc Brakes
You will also want to choose between rim brakes and disc brakes, the latter being newer and offering better stopping power, but at a price – they can be quite costly. Discs are pretty standard on mountain bikes, but some say that they will soon become the norm on all types because they provide more control and consistent stopping power in wet conditions. Rim brakes are still popular on city bikes, and if you know you won’t go wild with your bike, you can opt for those.
Tyre Size and Width
Road bikes come with 700c wheels for both men and women. The width of the tyre is normally between 23c and 28c, with 25c being the current norm. Tyres are slick, which promotes speed and comfort, and a tube is common practice, although tubeless tyres are gaining ground.
Speed and Terrain
Road bikes are speedy creatures, so you get to enjoy riding fast. When it comes to gearing, your usual road bike comes with either a triple, double or compact crankset. This is relating to the number and size of chainrings located by the pedals: for example, a triple crankset has three chainrings, and often comes with a 9-speed cassette on the rear wheel, making it a total of 27 gears. This setup is the one most commonly found on entry-level road bikes, and it means you will be given a wide range of gears. A compact crankset, on the other hand, has a lower range of gears.
If you’re having doubts about whether road bike is the match for you, think about where you plan on riding. Road bikes are, intuitively, designed for paved surfaces such as roads and bike paths. They are generally not recommended for surfaces that are rough or unpaved, so try your best to avoid them and prevent your bike from unnecessary tear and wear.
This is another difference when it comes to women versus men bikes. Some women's bikes may run double or triple cranksets (two or three chainrings next to the pedals) where their unisex equivalents have a single ring. This trend is slowly coming to women bikes as single chainring provides similar gear ratios and makes the bike simpler to ride. Alternatively, they may have a gear ratio that provides lower gears than in their unisex counterparts. Both of these are made to help less powerful riders ride uphill, especially on steep hills.
Endurance vs. Racing Geometry
Another thing to look at when buying a bike is whether you want it to cover great distances or you want to start racing. This is essential, because the frames of these two are different, and it would be a waste to use a racing bike for long rides – and not that comfortable as well. Race bikes are fast-handling, which is useful when you’re jostling for position in a race, but when you’re not – which is most of the time – it’s not that advantageous. Endurance bikes have lower bottom brackets and slacker angles, offering a more upright position which makes them a more stable bike suitable for everyday riding.
Buying a women’s bike is a great endeavour, and these days you have the option to choose from so many options! Think about what you want the bike for, how long the distances are that you would like to cover, what terrain you want to ride on and if you want to explore off the beaten path or you’re happy with paved roads only. Our bikes are high quality and durable, with prices suitable for all financial capabilities. Browse through our selection here at Bicycles Online, shoot us a question if you’d like, and we’ll be happy to help!