Why women’s road bikes are so different and how to choose

Why women's road bikes are so different and how to choose

Choosing a road bike is a complicated and confusing process, especially when it comes to helping women choose a road bike.

Nowadays, more and more women are joining the cycling team, and many manufacturers are launching women’s road bikes for women.

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    Details to pay attention to when buying a road bike

    The choice of road bike has more fine adjustment compared to general commuter bikes, because road bikes have higher posture requirements, unsuitable choice will make you ride very hard to find the best riding position.

    First of all, choose the right size frame. If your height is between the two sizes, choose a frame that favors the smaller size.

    If the frame is a little smaller, you can lengthen the tap, and the bike will be more stable.

    If the handlebar is too wide, your hands will soon get sore.

    The brake handlebar and rear derailleur do not need to be too advanced, and it is good to have a consistent system.

    After knowing how to choose a road bike, and how to choose the women’s road bikes?

    women's road bike

    Characteristics of women's road bikes

    Women’s body shapes and muscle composition are very different from men’s.

    Although not everyone meets these criteria, generally speaking, women are more flexible, lighter, have lower elevations, wider sitting bones, narrower shoulder widths, shorter arm lengths, and larger leg to torso length ratios.

    And all these affect the setting of a road bike, even a man and a woman of the same height, due to differences in body proportions, flexibility.

    Therefore, many strong bike brands have begun to separate women’s models from traditional frame designs.

    Even for bike brands that have not launched women’s models, they will agree that female riders do need smaller frames, targeted women’s saddles and narrower handlebars.

    Women's road bikes - frame geometry

    Generally, the frames of women’s road bikes start at a smaller size and do not usually expand to larger sizes than unisex frames.

    In terms of geometry, the frames of women’s road bikes have a relatively shorter reach and larger stack, which can accommodate women’s long legs and short torso, allowing riders to ride in a more upright position, reducing the muscle load on the arms and torso, and improving comfort.

    The above are some of the more significant geometric data differences, in addition to the five-way height, wheelbase, head tube height, head tube angle, front wheel drag distance, etc. are also different, which involves different brand designers’ understanding of the product.

    Different frame geometry

    Women's road bikes - contact point

    The contact points between the bicycle and the human body are the saddle, handlebars and pedals. The pedals are usually purchased separately and are not discussed here.

    In terms of the original bike, the reasonable women’s road bikes should have an exclusive women’s saddle and suitably sized handlebar set, rather than just painted pink flowers.

    Different contact point

    Women's road bikes - Q-angle size

    Women’s Q-angles are usually larger than men’s, and due to the larger sciatic ridge and increased Q-angle (the angle between the anterior superior iliac spine and patellar center and the center of the patella and center of tibial tuberosity), the saddles of women’s road bikes are generally wider and have a wider range of saddle contact points.

    Many the saddles of women’s road bikes are also designed to relieve soft tissue pressure, improve blood flow, and prevent numbness, although this is not a unique feature of women’s saddles.

    Different Q-angle size

    Looking at the handlebars, women’s road bikes are usually paired with narrower handlebars, reducing the reach/drop ratio to accommodate women’s narrower shoulders and shorter upper torsos (pictured left).

    Some thoughtful manufacturers also adjust the shape of the lower handlebar to allow girls with smaller hands to control the brakes on the lower handlebar.

    So do female riders really need a specialized road bike? Returning to the essence of the question, we are actually discussing what kind of road bikes are more suitable for female riders.

    There is no denying that women’s road bikes models are unique in terms of geometry design and parts selection, not just making the size smaller and spraying it with pink paint.

    Different handlebars

    At the same time, we should also note the individual differences, just as the so-called male frame will not fit every male rider. Similarly, the female model is only a combination of women’s common physiological characteristics based on adjustments.

    In the choice of bike frame, there is no need to get too hung up on the so-called “gender”, only need a suitable frame, and to achieve the effect of unity, it is recommended to do Bike Sizing and Bike Fitting before buying a car, listen to the advice of professionals, in order to take the road less traveled.

    What are the design differences between male and female models?

    Because women and men do not have the same body structure, girls are not comfortable riding men’s bikes.

    Women’s upper body to lower body ratio is generally smaller than men’s. Women’s hip bones are larger and their hands are smaller.

    Women’s bicycle designs generally have shorter top tubes and handles, lower top tubes, narrower handlebars, smaller head tube angles, wider saddles, etc.

    The women’s body structure was adjusted to fit the car into their body shape. In principle, it is not recommended for women to choose smaller men’s bikes.

    How to choose the most suitable women's road bikes?

    Does appearance matter, or performance?

    Make a choice between looking good and working well.

    Most cute cars or bikes with style can usually only be ridden in urban areas, and short distances are recommended to choose a bike that works well.

    It’s easy to buy a bike with good looks as your first choice and gradually give up cycling after a few months because the bike is not good to ride.

    What is the budget?

    If you have limited funds, then the first-tier brands with the same specifications will cost a lot more per unit.

    There are some brands that are designed with a lower height and a longer wheelbase.

    How to choose the most suitable women’s road bike

    How much time to ride?

    If you can only choose to ride in the evening near your home, you don’t need to spend too much money on a bike, just choose an affordable starter bike.

    Does the weight of the bike matter?

    A very light bike can make it a lot easier to pedal, a very heavy bike you can ride just as well, but it requires a lot of wasted energy.

    Within your budget, if you can choose a lighter bike, try to go for a lighter option, and you don’t need to put too many accessories on the bike.

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