Bikes for Women|Best City Bikes 2015
Differences Between Women and Mens Bikes
- The Top Tube: Women typically have shorter torsos and arms. Women's bicycles are built with a shorter top tube to allow for this difference.
- Head and Seat Angles: In general, women have longer legs than men. When adjusting the top tubes, the angle of the front wheel can be compromised. Increasing the length and the angle of the head tube at the front of the bike brings the front wheel forward (more forward than a mens bike) and helps with stability.
- Crank Length: Men's bikes typically have 170 millimeter cranks, but many women's bikes come with shorter ones, such as a 165 millimeter crank, to allow women to get to the bottom of their pedal stroke.
City Bikes: Fun for Everyone
Biking is a fun and fulfilling pastime for people and biking is gaining popularity as a commuting option. For example, in Copenhagen ,over a third of residents pedal to work, and there are 5.2 bicycles for every car. In North America, many communities are making bicycle commuting more accessible and safe.
There are so many types and brands of bicycles out there, all at varying price points. The good news is, you can buy a great and high quality entry level bicycle for under $500. If you're wanting more of a performance city bicycle, you'll have to spend more money though. City bikes are equipped with fenders, lights, racks and kickstands. For lighter city bikes, hybrid bikes will give you an edge.
I’ve been commuting by bicycle for years, having experienced hybrid city bikes and cyclo-cross bikes. Recently I’ve added to my load, riding with an attached bike trailer with an extra 100 lbs of cargo (bike trailer/accessories and 2 kids under the age of 5). There are some amazing city bikes out there that are designed and made specifically to fit a woman's body. The distinctions are found mostly in the geometry of the frame and the contact points on the bikes.
I will review and highlight the best bikes for women, ranging from $300 up to $1000. I will also point out the best hybrid bike for women, the best road bikes for women, all designed specifically for women.
The Best Bikes for Women
Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Commuter Bicycle
- Where do you plan on riding?
- Which is more important to you: affordability or top quality?
- What’s your budget?
- What type of riding do you plan to do?
Some factors to consider when weighing your options are:
Most city bikes come equipped with a standard 700 C tire, making bikes easier to roll on pavement and easier to accelerate and climb hills. 700 C tires come in all widths and treads, taking you from downtown to the trails.
Where do you plan to ride your new bike? For flat routes, you can get by with fewer gears, or even a single-speed bike, or fixed gear bike. If your riding surface involves more hills, you might want to consider extra gears.
Suspension seat posts are found on many hybrid bikes and the suspension is great for absorbing vibrations: pot holes and uneven roads. It's possible to add seat suspension on a bike that doesn't already have his feature.
Linear and direct pull brakes-great for all weather conditions and can handle daily commuting as well as occasional, leisurely rides.
Hub brakes-designed for less rigorous riding, yet very durable and low maintenance.
Disk brakes-these offer more brake control in descents and handle better in muddy conditions.
Getting the Right Fit for Your Bike
How to Do a Proper and Basic Bike Fit
Getting the Right Fit
There is no universal way for fitting a bicycle to a rider, but getting the right fit is the most important factor to consider when buying a bicycle. To get the right fit for your new bicycle, you need to:
- Stand over the bicycle frame: Make sure the bicycle frame is an inch or 2 from your crotch area, for road bikes.
- Seat Height and saddle position: Be sure that when seated on the bicycle, your legs need to fully extend out when peddling. Your knee should have a slight bend in it at the bottom of your pedal stroke.
- Handlebar position: You want a slight angle at the elbow when your hands are on the top of your handlebar (on the hoods or the drops).
Best Road Bikes for Women
Under $500: Diamondback 2014 Women's Serene Citi Classic Sport
At the heart of the Serene Citi Classic is the DB Hi-Ten Steel Womens Comfort Geometry with step through frame design. This design makes mounting and dismounting the bike a breeze. Diamondback Hi-Ten Steel frame w/ Women specific Comfort geometry 45mm travel Comfort
- Smooth Comfort 26x1.95
- Shimano RS25 light action 7spd Twist
- Comfort Suspension 45mm travel
- Alloy Linear w/ reach adj
$500 +: Jamis Icon Pro
The carefully engineered tubes that feel like carbon make this budget-friendly road bike one awesome ride. The best bikes for women should be lightweight and fast and this road bike has it all, winning an Editor’s Choice award from Bicycling Magazine in 2013.
Vittoria Zaffiro Slick, 700 x 23c, folding
Shimano 105, ST- 5700 Dual Control STI, 20-Speed
Tektro R540 forged alloy dual pivot calipers with cartridge pads and Shimano 105 ST-5700 STI brake levers
Best Hybrid Bike for Women|2015
Schwinn Women's Community 700c Hybrid Bicycle
Time for a Poll
What's are the best bikes for women? What kind do you prefer?
Best Hybrid Bike for Women
Hybrid bicycles possess qualities and elements of both road bikes and mountain bikes. A good hybrid bike for women should showcase both speed and comfort.
Under $500: Schwinn Women's Community
The perfect bike for cruising the neighborhood, bike path or just going out for a leisurely ride.
- 700C tires-the high profile alloy wheels with quick release front wheel are lightweigth and strong
- Shimano 21 speed rear derailleur with SRAM Grip Shift shifters for quick gear shifting
- Schwinn suspension fork for a comfortable & smooth ride
- Promax alloy dual linear pull brakes
$500 +: Trek Verve
This bike is fun, light and comfortable with the added bonus of a lightweight aluminum frame, internal cable routing (nice!), and intuitive shifting.
- Bontrager H5, 700x35c
- SRAM MRX, 7 speed twist
Tektro alloy linear-pull brakes w/Tektro adjustable-reach alloy levers