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

By: 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 and women’s bikes?

These distinctions can usually be made on the basis of the frame, geometry and contact points of the bike. Although you cannot pin-point these differences with the naked eye, your body will still thank you for a bike that is a perfect fit.

Differences in men and women bikes:

Following are 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 in the case of women’s bikes, it is in a diagonal position. This difference was made in the early days of biking where women wore big dresses, so the frame was inclined as to prevent the ladies from showing extra skin.

  • Top tube:

Since women generally have a shorter torso and arms, their bicycles are made with a shorter top tube. 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 with stability by bringing the front wheel more forward as compared to 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 which enable them to reach the bottom of their pedal stroke.

  • Seat/Saddle:

This difference is made to accommodate the different hip bone structure of men and women. Women’s bikes have a wider and shorter saddle whereas the saddle on a man’s bike is more long and narrow. However, some people also use unisex saddles.

  • Handlebars and Grips:

Men tend to have broader shoulders than women which is why the handlebars on a man’s bike are wider. Moreover, they are even placed a bit lower than on a woman’s bike. As far as the grips are concerned, 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 shorter reach which accommodates the woman’s smaller hands.


Men generally tend to be larger than women, so their bikes are also bigger in size. The distance between their seat and 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 take your height into consideration before buying a bike.

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