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What's The Difference Between Men and Women Bicycles?

Updated on January 17, 2011


The number of women manufacturers continue to grow. According to the Scientific American October 2009 issue, “In the U.S., men’s cycling trips surpass women’s by at least 2:1. In the Netherlands, 55 percent of all bike riders are women." For a long while, women and men rode the same bicycle. As more women ride bicycles professionally and for fun, manufactures are making different bicycles for men and women.

Woman's Bicycle - 1960's


Bicycles were historically tailored for a man’s body. The bicycle can be dated back to 1861 when Ernest Michaus invented the modern bicycle as most people know of it today with pedals. In the 1960s, the biggest difference between a woman and man's bike were that women bicycles had a top tube that connected to the seat. They were designed this way so women could ride their bikes in a dress.


Some men and women's bikes may look very similar. However, more manufacturers are trying to distinguish the look and feel for each gender. The geometric frame accounts for the primary difference in men and women bikes. Men have longer arms than most women, so the handlebars are narrow, and closer to the body on a woman's bike. The wheel is smaller on some woman's bikes as well. A woman's legs are longer, while their torso is shorter. This is opposite for men, so the bikes accommodate these physical traits.


The designs of bicycles are catered to both men and women, when it comes to the shape, size, and color. Manufactures like Trek have put much thought into the frame built and design for a woman's bike. A lot has to do with comfort, height, and colored designs on the bicycle itself. Bicyles built for women tend to cost a bit more due to women bicycles not being bought around the world as much as men.


Mostly all bicycle manufactures cater to men bikes with regards to design and size. The following are some women bicycle manufactures as of April 2010: Cannondale, Terry, Trek, WSD, and Terry. According to the book, Bicycle History by James Witherell, "there are hundreds of bicycles manufacturers around the world for men and only a select few for women."


Road bikes are popular for racing, especially among men. Manufactures like Terry, which is the first woman bicycle manufacture have a variety of road bikes for women. The main difference between men and women’s road bikes are that there are more proportions for the top tube for women. Also, on a woman’s bicycle, the saddles will vary to accommodate different woman’s frame, including hips and butt.


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