If you are getting ready to purchase a new women’s bicycle then there are several things you have to consider. The first of which is whether you really need to be shopping bikes by sex. It may surprise you to find out that buying a gender specific bicycle can really help your ride. Here is an explanation why, and a few other pointers about how to select the right bike for a woman.
Does a Gender Specific Bicycle Really Matter?
These days it seems antiquated to be buying a bicycle based on your gender. Being politically correct is one thing, but when it comes to any type of physical activity it is more important that you are body correct. There are many components on a ladies bike that are designed to fit a woman’s body. You can ride a men’s bicycle with no problem, but you won’t be riding efficiently; and then there is that slanted bar.
Why the Slanted Bar?
The big question when it comes to men’s and women’s bicycles is why the women’s has the top slanted bar, rather than the straight bar across. Some of them even have two narrow top bars instead of one. Before we look at the answer to that question, take a quick look at the newer men’s and unisex bikes and you will see that their frame design has begun to change to include a slanted bar as well. That top bar was originally slanted to accommodate women in skirts getting on and off the bike. Now, we know that a bar like that can work to increase the tensile strength of the frame design, as well as make it easier to control the bike at a full stop too.
The Top 5 Frame Styles
If you take a look at the bikes at a store like BikesorBicycles ( BikesOrBicycles.com) that carries a broad range of types you will find these top 5 frame styles. Each style has a specific purpose and suits a different kind of ride.
1. Commuter – These bikes are designed for city riding. Which means they have a more solid frame than a standard road bike – it is similar to a mountain bike style. The tires and gearing are closer to the road bike and they come with accessories to carry bags and containers on the frame as well.
2. Road – Sleek and fast, these bikes are built for speed. While you may see them in the city, they are really designed to be ridden on open roads over long distances. Very lightweight, they can also be too fragile for a daily commute that can encounter pavers or curbs.
3. Hybrid – Hybrids are a kind of commuter bike that lean more towards the road bike style. They tend to have high gears, wider tires and thicker frames as they can also be used on trails too. These are ideal if you do some riding on roads and casual riding on off road trails too.
4. Dutch – These are the classic workhorse bikes that were common in the 40s and 50s. They now feature upgraded components but have retained their vintage styling. Many women prefer these bikes for commuting in the city as they come standard with fenders and mud flaps that do a much better job of protecting the rider from city grime.
5. Mountain – For the weekend warrior, or the competitive outdoorswoman, the mountain bike is a must if you are going to be racing trails, mudding or exploring. They feature wider frames with shock absorption features, wide knobby tires for traction and can take a lot of abuse.
The Bike Components
The best known name in bike components is Shimano, and they are the standard brake and gearing systems on most bikes. There are many other brands that make speciality gears, brakes and shifting levers too. If you aren’t too familiar with which are the best for your type of riding then you should talk to one of the bicycle experts. Experts can be found at specialty stores, or you can try your luck on a cycling forum but their expertise is not as guaranteed. Whether you are having the conversation in person, by phone or via email; you will come away knowing which components you need to get the most out of your bike.
Making sure the Maintenance won’t get you
While you are having that conversation you also need to talk with a repair expert about the common issues for the women’s bicycle you are considering. While they can work on any bike and bike maintenance isn’t like having a car worked on – some styles and types may need more regular service than others. You want to make sure that you can follow through with the care and repair of the bicycle you select so you get the most out of it.
Fitting a Bike
You also want to make sure that you have the bike fitted to you before you purchase it. Bicycle frames come in a variety of sizes and size really matters when you are dealing with bicycles. Don’t do the one thing that most people do that comes back and hurts them in the end. That is they raise the seat post over its maximum range to make up for the lack of frame height. Frames are fitted according to the in-seam measurement. The seat post should not extend over the frame by more than a few inches. Speciality stores have technicians that can fit you to the frame so you are sure you are getting the right model for your overall height.
Take the Time to Talk to the Experts
The real key to getting the right women’s bicycle frame is to take the time to talk to the experts about the bike you are considering. Go over with them how you plan to use the bike and how much maintenance you can reasonably keep up before even looking at colours and styles. You can find knowledgeable people online to talk with, but you are better off seeking out verified professionals. That way you know they really do understand frames. This way you will only fall in love with the bikes that will be perfect for you and won’t be disappointed in any way.
Knowing what Accessories to get
Accessories can include everything from your carry racks to a helmet, lights and basket. You also need a pump and emergency repair kit. That means knowing how to use them too. Learning the basics of bicycle repair is relatively easy so you can make sure you won’t get stuck on the road.