The Major Differences Between Men & Women Road Bikes
At first glance, they might not look different at all. Womenís bikes are not always hot pink with frilly handlebars, and menís bikes are not always stark and manly. However, upon closer inspection, you can see the minor differences that make them perfectly suited for their designated gender.
If youíre a woman and you feel you might prefer a menís bike, or vice versa, consider the following differences before making your decision.
Not all men and womenís bikes are structurally different. However, many are, and that structural difference affects the top tube of the frame. The top tube is the part of the bicycle that connects the handlebars to the seat. If youíre riding the bike, itís the bar between your legs.
On womenís bikes that are for more casual riding, this bar is slanted down towards the seat so that the bike is easier to mount. On menís bikes, the bar is parallel to the ground.
When itís not slanted down, the top tube still usually shorter on womenís bikes. Womenís usually have short torsos and long legs whereas menís torsos are longer. For a man and women of the same height, the womanís bike will likely be shorter in length, but the seat will be higher up.
Many cheaper brands have unisex saddles that are meant to fit both the men and womenís bike types. This might work for a short commute down the street, but it could get uncomfortable for longer rides.
More serious bikes for women have a wider seat to fit the pelvis and sitting bones comfortably. Menís bikes have a longer, narrow seat. High quality seats for both genders often have a space between the two sides to relieve perineum pressure. (Learn more about the best bicycle saddles for touring).
The handlebars usually differ on men and womenís road bikes. Shoulder width is a common bodily difference between the two genders, and this is directly reflected in the handlebars.
The handlebars on menís bikes tend to be wider, and usually measure out to be between 42 and 44 centimeters wide. The handlebars on womenís bikes are between 38 and 40 centimeters to accommodate for narrower shoulders.
Additionally, the handlebar stem is usually longer on menís bikes to accommodate for their longer arms. The stem is the part of the handlebars that is horizontal, and it is not adjustable. Since most women have shorter torsos, the handlebar stem is shorter so that they can reach it comfortably and safely.
If youíre thinking about buying a bike that is not meant for your designated gender, thereís no need to be ashamed. In fact, most people wonít even notice.
The gender differences in bikes are not leftover discriminations from before women were allowed to vote and work, but are instead structural variances that better suit each genderís body type.
I didn't find it difficult to ascertain that the build of the bike is 'male' but hey ho, I suppose not everybody is aware of the differences.
Glad to help.