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What to Look for in a Ladies Bike

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Last Updated on January 14, 2020 by Corinne Schmitt

Cycling is a sport that’s loved equally by men and women. In recent years many women have been inspired to take up cycling by Anna Meares so the question many new female cyclists ask is what to look for in a bike. The answer is both complicated and simple, depending on how you want to look at it.

Traditionally there have been bikes designed for men and bikes for women. Women’s bikes have featured lower crossbars, often curved or angled upwards from the back end, depending on the style of bike. Some women prefer this style but these days there is nothing to say that girls can’t ride bikes designed in the traditional ‘male’ style with higher, flat cross bars.


That’s what we mean when we say it’s complicated but simple. The convention may be one thing but when it comes to choosing a bike, you’re always better off going for comfort over style. If you prefer the ladies frames, then great but if you’re more at home on a men’s frame, pick one of those.  There are no set rules when choosing a bike.  If you feel more comfortable on a man’s bike then go for it!

Whatever bike you go for, riding position and comfort are very important. If you’re more of an upright rider, then choose some wider handlebars and a comfortable saddle. Most of the pressure will be on your bottom so a soft or padded saddle is a good option.  Especially if you will be using your bike for long journeys or activities, remember, comfort!

Always arrange your riding position so that when you complete a down stroke, your leg is almost fully extended. On a racing bike, you should only just be able to touch the floor with your toes when in the seated position. This will give you a nice, tucked riding position for speed. Dropped handlebars are usually preferred for these kinds of bikes.

Again, if you’re going for a comfort bike or a city run-around, then think about a pannier rack and bags. This is very useful for carrying things around and better for balance than a rucksack or shoulder bag. These can sometimes slip off and if they get caught in the spokes you’re going to know about it.


Ultimately, as long as you are comfortable riding then that’s all that’s important. The textbook may say one thing but we’re all different so go with whatever works for you. Test out a few kinds of bikes before you choose one, as this will give you an idea of what you’re looking for.  Another important factor is ease of use.  If the bike feels bulky and heavy then go for one that feels easier to control.

If it feels like it’s right for you then the chances are that it probably is. Don’t be scared of trying several bikes though, as the first one you sit on isn’t necessarily the solution for you.


About the Author

Jimmy Talbot is a bike mechanic with Reid Cycles, an Australian based bicycle retailer stocking a wide range of bikes. When Jimmy is not at the shop fixing bikes and helping customers, he enjoys riding the local MTB trails in Victoria.

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