Whether you’re buying a women’s bike online or in a shop, you need to be mindful of the measurements. They play a big role in your comfort while riding a bike. To prevent body aches and discomfort while riding a bike, women need to buy a bike that has both the right size and the right fit.
Once you’ve settled upon the type of bike and the price range that you’re aiming for, read the bike size charts to select a bike that has the dimensions that will suit you best. If you happen to shop from a store, then also ask the salesman to help you select the best bike.
Here, in this article, I will discuss the different types of bikes, their measurements, and the different factors involved in buying a bike that will not only last you a long time but also give you the sheer pleasure of riding one.
» Maybe this also could be of interest to you: What Bike Size to Get? (Size Charts & Bike Sizing Guide!)
How To Buy the Best Women’s Bike?
There’s no international standard bike size chart for both men and women, but there are three key factors that can help you make a decision. There are three specifications, i.e. a buyer’s height, wheel size, and frame size of bicycle, that you need to consider before making a purchase.
Let’s dig deep to explore these specifications.
The best way to choose a bicycle is by making it proportionate to the user’s height. Once the height is settled, you can make better use of the size charts for the three different kinds of women’s bicycles — road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes.
It is always good to go for a test ride and see if the bike’s comfortable, the handles are reachable, the saddle is at the right height, and if riding the bike is a joy or not.
If all this doesn’t make the cut, you can even look up the best brands of bicycles out there to pick one from them.
Let me put it out there for you, comfort and durability over everything; you need not rush through your purchase. Take your time and make a wise decision.
Wheel size measures the diameter of a wheel. There are three categories of wheel sizes for the three types of bikes.
The mountain bike wheels come in three sizes: 26″, 27.5″, and 29.″ The 26’’ are for slender and petite women but 27.5” and 29” wheels will suit the majority of women.
Now that the manufacturers know that 27.5″ and 29’’ wheels best serve a large chunk of women, the new mountain bikes generally have these two wheel sizes, only the old ones have 26” wheels.
Road bike wheels generally have a 622 mm diameter (700C), and for smaller women, they have 571 mm (650c) wheels.
The hybrid or cruiser bike wheels generally have the same diameters (sized in inches) as that of the mountain bikes or are similar to those of road bikes.
Having said that, I need to let you know that wheel size is second in importance to frame size. Frame size is a more crucial factor when it comes to buying a bicycle.
» Read more about this in my post: Between Mountain Bike vs. Hybrid Bike? » (6 Facts & Differences)
A frame size determines the fit of a bike and how big or small it is going to be for a rider. It is usually measured in centimeters or inches, but it comes in standard small, medium, and large sizes too.
Generally, the frame sizes of women’s road bikes are measured in centimeters.
Frame size measures the length of the seat tube of the bike. When you go for a small tube, you get a small bike and vice versa.
As I said, frame size is more crucial, so sit on a bike, see if the frame size suits you and if the bike is a great fit, and only then make a decision. If you’re shopping online, see through reliable brands’ websites and hover over the different bike size charts.
Luckily, there are a handful of stores that offer personalized fitting in bikes, mostly road bikes because they require accurate measurements for comfort and safety. You can visit these stores and get your bike customized according to your choice.
They usually offer a change in stem and handlebars, so you can get that customized for yourself.
A word of advice: pick a bike that is comfortable for arms, legs, and your back.
Different Types of Women’s Bikes and Their Size Charts
Let’s have a detailed look at the three bike size charts that are generally available at physical stores and online as well.
Road Bike Size Chart
Road bikes are meant to take you on the roads. They have thin, flat tires with handlebars facing downwards, designed specifically for paved pathways. The road bikes are lightweight and a pleasure to ride.
|Rider’s Height (Feet and inches)||Frame Size (Centimeters)|
|4′ 10″ — 5′ 1″||44 — 46 (XXS)|
|5′ 1″ — 5′ 3″||47 — 49 (XS)|
|5′ 3″ — 5′ 5″||50 — 52 (S)|
|5′ 5″ — 5′ 8″||53 — 55 (M)|
|5′ 8″ — 5′ 10″||55 — 57 (L)|
» I have covered more on this subject in this blog post: Road Bikes Easier To Ride? Learn The Various Bike Properties
Mountain Bike Size Chart
Mountain bikes are designed for rough terrains. If you fancy an adventure time and again, a mountain bike should be your preferred choice. They have bigger tires with larger frames and specific gear to suit the rugged pathways.
|Rider’s Height (Feet and inches)||Frame Size (Centimeters )|
|4′ 10″ — 5′ 2″||148 — 158 (XS)|
|5′ 2″ — 5′ 6″||158 — 168 (S)|
|5′ 6″ — 5′ 10″||168 — 178 (M)|
|5′ 10″ — 6′ 1″ and above||178 — 185 and above (L)|
Hybrid Bike Size Chart
Hybrid bikes are an amalgamation of road bikes and mountain bikes. They are generally used for fun and commute purposes. They are measured similarly to road bikes but have dimensions in inches like those of a mountain bike.
|Rider’s Height (Feet and inches)||Frame Size (Centimeters)|
|4′ 10″ – 5′ 2″||148 — 158 (XS)|
|5′ 2″ – 5′ 6″||158 — 168 (S)|
|5′ 6″ – 5′ 10″||168 — 178 (M)|
|5′ 10″ – 6′ 1″ and above||178 — 185 and above (L)|
How To Get the Best Bike Size For a Woman?
The age-old wisdom “shrink it and pink it” doesn’t work for women’s bikes anymore. We now know that women have different needs and dimensions than men, and they use bikes for commuting and recreation as frequently as men, so they deserve bikes that are specifically made for them.
Making them small and coloring them pink won’t make a cut anymore.
Let’s look at some features that make for the best bikes for women.
Comfort is definitely one of the most important features of a bike. Your bike seat needs to be comfortable if you plan on traveling long distances on it.
Next up is the pedal. If you can comfortably sit on a bike and move the pedal easily, then you’re good to go.
You may want to look for an upright posture seat if you’re going for a hybrid bike.
Women are delicate, and the hard saddles (initially made for men) often hurt them. So now brands have noticed this issue and are making saddles that don’t crush women’s insides.
There are saddles with cut-out grooves that don’t put much pressure on their pelvic bones.
Women need more padding, unlike men, to not hurt their soft parts, and now brands have an option to add thickness to saddles for extra comfort.
Women are shorter than men, period. They need smaller bikes on which they can reach the handlebars easily. Men’s bikes have a longer distance between handlebars and brake lever, which exhausts women if they ride those bikes.
Women’s bikes have a smaller distance between handlebars and brake lever, so they don’t trip while riding a bike and have better hold of it.
Different bikes have different capacities, so you need to look for a bike that fits your purpose. If you’re buying a bike to go on rough terrains, then go for sturdy frames that can do heavy-duty work.
Otherwise, look for lightweight frames if you intend to take your bike for commutes and recreation.
Go For a Test Ride
As I said before, go for a test ride to see if the bike’s comfortable for you and if you will be able to ride on to cover long distances.
Sit on it to check if the saddle is comfortable and if the frame size fits your height and lets you pedal easily.
Take the bike on different pathways to see if the dimensions match your height and your back, arms, and legs don’t hurt. This way, you can make adjustments for yourself.
Women’s bikes are pricier than regular bikes because they are customized for their alignment and other specs that women deem fitting. The three different types of bikes come in different price ranges.
- Road bikes — start from $1,200 and go up to $13,000. However, a $1,200 bike may be sketchy and one that won’t last you long.
- Mountain bikes — the mountain bikes are priced somewhat the same; they start at $1,600 and go up to $14,000.
- Hybrid bikes — the hybrid bikes start at $600 and go up to $6,400.
These prices are just general estimates, and different brands have different prices, so a little scavenging can help you find a bike that fits your budget.
» You can also read my post: How Much Does an Electric Bike Cost?
What If I Got a Bike Size Wrong?
Riding a bike your size is crucial not to exhaust your body and prevent body aches. Here are a few of the issues you can encounter if you get the wrong bike size.
No matter what terrains you bike through, if you have a bike with the wrong frame size, then your posture will be disturbed and your back will eventually hurt you a lot.
Women have different body structures, so they cannot ride men’s bikes as they are a bit too big for them. Even fixing the seat or handlebars won’t make the cut.
After your back, your wrists will hurt the most if you take the wrong size bike for daily commutes. The wrong frame will put immense pressure on the wrists, and they will start hurting.
Bike frames that are too large for your hands will compromise your control and that is not an ideal situation.
Right-sized bikes mean maximum control and vice versa. If you happen to buy a bike that’s not your size you won’t have ideal control over it, and this could lead to a number of accidents which is totally not recommended.
Considering all of the above scenarios, you need to be mindful of getting a bike that’s your size. Do good research, look at the size charts, go for test rides, and only buy bikes that are made for you, women!
What Size Bike Should a 5’3 Woman Ride?
A 5’3 woman should ride a bike that has a 47-49cm frame size which comes in XS size. A small mountain bike with a 15-16 inches frame size is ideal for a 5’3 woman, and the same dimensions are to be applied to hybrid bikes.
Can a Woman Ride a 24-Inch Bike?
A 24-inch bike is generally made for kids and is not for adult females. Women who are petite usually go for 26-inch bikes and the most common sizes are 27.5’’ and 29.’’
A 26-Inch Bike Is Good for What Height?
A 26-inch bike is good for adults who are 4’10-5’7. They are comfortable for women who are tall enough to ride bikes with 26-inch wheels.
There’s no denying that women have different body structures from men, hence they cannot possibly ride bikes made for men. Women are also meant to have fun and have a comfortable time commuting, so they need to have bikes that are tailor-made for them only.
I hope my guide helps you choose the right-sized women’s bike whenever you decide to buy one.