Bikes for Women


Not so long ago, ‘women’s bike’ strictly referred to one of these:


City Bikes proudly sponsors:


 Hub Racing

Team Artemis

There’s nothing wrong with that bike.  But it definitely isn’t for every female rider, and in recognition of that fact, we now refer to them as “step-through” bicycles.

So, What’s Available?

Traditional "step-through" or mixte frames:

These have the tube that slopes way down, instead of going straight across.  They also typically have a shorter reach, and are easier to mount or dismount.  For heavy duty riding, they are not as strong as the conventional diamond frame shape, but for casual path riding, they will do just fine. These are a great choice, for women or men, for an easy-to-ride bike for quick rides and errands in street clothes.

Recreational mountain and hybrid bikes: 

For casual and recreational level fitness riding, these slightly more sporty bikes tend to be truly uni-sex, with their upright riding positions. The average bike has a good deal of adjustability - the seat can be moved forward, brake lever reach adjusted, and the stem raised (on adjustable stem bikes). 

However, some models are now available with women-specific geometry in this category, which means that a woman just starting out with riding for fitness or sport, has a wider range of sizes available to choose from, at almost every price point.

Performance road and mountain bikes: 

Most women’s-specific bicycles in this category not only adjust the frame geometry for fit, but are built with lighter frame tubes, and include components specifically designed for women. 

Some road bikes might also include smaller 650c wheels and tires (see sidebar for an explanation of 650c wheels).


City Bikes carries a wide variety of bikes that are tailored to women, in all three of the broad categories we just described.  Click on the links below to see a selection.  But remember, the most important factors in purchasing a bicycle are picking a bike that fits your body (see sidebar for more discussion), and fits the type of riding you will be doing.  So, come pay us a visit, talk to us about what kind of riding you would like to do, and take a few bikes for a test ride.

Click to See our Women's Bicycle Selection: 







City Bikes proudly stocks and sells: 

Specialized Women Specific Bikes

Specialized Women Specific Accessories


Bicycle Fit for Women 
Today, there’s a whole range of bicycles that strive to meet the distinct fit requirements of female riders, no matter what kind of riding you may be looking to do.  But what are these 'distinct fit requirements'?  In comparison to men of equal height, women generally have:


Shorter arms and torso -- This means that the average woman will need a bike with a shorter overall "cockpit" length than the typical man's bike. Cockpit length is affected by three things: handlebar stem length, seat position, and top tube length.

Longer legs – This is easily accommodated on any bicycle by simply raising the saddle.  However, if the bicycle doesn’t have the proper “cockpit” length described above, the female rider may end up reaching too far down and forward to ride comfortably.

Smaller hands and narrower shoulders -- Smaller hands may need short reach brake levers, and narrower shoulders may be more comfortable with narrower handlebars

A wider pelvis – Look for a saddle that’s just a bit wider than a typical men’s saddle for that type of bike.  Also, try a saddle with a 'cut-out' channel in the middle.  Don’t necessarily go for a softer, squishy saddle – these saddles may temporarily cover up saddle fit problems for a few minutes, and then end up causing more discomfort on a longer ride.

Average height for women is 5’ 4", about four inches shorter than the average man, meaning that you might need a bike on the smaller side of the spectrum.

Less muscle mass – Did we mention that we’re just talking in generalities?  Good.

If most of these generalities apply to you, the availability of women’s specific designs will definitely enhance your bicycling experience.  But always remember, everyone is different.  Women’s specific design won’t fit every woman, and it is important to seek out the best fitting bike for you, and a bike that fits the type of riding you will do, regardless of what the decal on the bicycle says.  The best way to figure it out is to come into the shop, talk to one of our expert salespeople, and try a few bikes to see what works for you.

650c Wheels

On road bikes, some women-specific design frames make use of smaller 650c wheels versus the more-common 700c wheels.  This allows smaller, more compact frames without toe-wheel overlap.

Toe-wheel overlap is where the toe of your shoe hits the front wheel in sharper turns.  You run into toe-wheel overlap and other frame geometry issues as you make the frame smaller. The smaller 650c wheel also allows for a lower standover height.