What is the Difference Between Men and Women’s Bikes?

Author: Alex Bristol

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Since men and women are made differently, their bikes also need to be built in a way that accommodates those differences. It is not just about a pretty basket and the color pink. So, what is the difference between men’s and women’s bikes?

These distinctions can usually be made based on the bike’s frame, geometry, and contact points. Although you cannot pinpoint these differences with the naked eye, your body will still thank you for a bike that is a perfect fit.

Differences in men’s and women’s bikes:

Following is a list of things where men’s bikes can differ from women’s bikes.

  • Frame:

Men’s bikes have a horizontal bar in the frame, while women’s bikes are in a diagonal position. This difference was made in the early days of biking, when women wore big dresses, so the frame was inclined to prevent the ladies from showing extra skin.

  • Top tube:

Since women generally have shorter torsos and arms, their bicycles are made with shorter top tubes. This reduces the distance between the seat and handlebars so the women can comfortably hold onto them.

  • Head and Seat Tube Angles:

To cater to the fact that women usually have longer legs than men, manufacturers increase the length and angle of the head tube at the front of the bike. This helps stability by bringing the front wheel forward more than a man’s bike. The seat tube on a woman’s bike is also steeper.

  • Crank Length:

Crank length is measured from the center of the pedal spindle to the center of the axle. Men’s bikes have 170 mm cranks, while women’s bikes tend to have 165 mm cranks, enabling them to reach the bottom of their pedal stroke.

  • Seat/Saddle:

This difference accommodates the different hip bone structures of men and women. Women’s bikes have a wider and shorter saddle, whereas the saddle on a man’s bike is longer and narrow. However, some people also use unisex saddles.

  • Handlebars and Grips:

Men tend to have broader shoulders than women, so the handlebars on a man’s bike are wider. Moreover, they are even placed a bit lower than on a woman’s bike. Regarding the grips, women’s grips are smaller to fit their smaller hands, while men’s grips are bigger, which is more comfortable for their larger hands.

  • Brakes:

Brake levers on a woman’s bike have a shorter reach, accommodating the woman’s smaller hands.

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Men generally tend to be larger than women, so their bikes are also bigger in size. The distance between their seat and the handlebar is also bigger. On the other hand, women’s bikes are smaller in size, with less distance between the handlebar and the saddle. Moreover, it is also important to consider your height before buying a bike.

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