Have you ever wondered, “Do I need to buy a women’s-specific bike vs. a unisex bike?”
It’s a valid question that we hear a lot in the store and, depending on who you ask, you may receive different answers. However, here at Bikes Palm Beach, we believe that any bike ridden by a woman is in fact, a woman’s bike. Most women can find a unisex bike that fits them well and their local bike shop can help them further dial in that fit.
Some bike frame designs accommodate smaller riders. We can help you review geometry charts to compare your best options.
Here are some additional factors to consider as you choose your next bike.
Unisex bikes are made to fit a variety of riders
With a wider variety of sizes available ranging from XS (extra small) to XXL, most riders can find a unisex bike that is a good fit. Then, your local bike shop (like Bikes Palm Beach), will further dial it in to ensure the best fit, which is necessary for most riders regardless of gender. This includes a proper fit and positioned saddle with properly sized handlebars, stem, and cranks.
Bike manufacturers offer geometry charts for each bike and size. Use the chart to compare stand over height, reach, and other factors that affect the fit and comfort of the bike to your body. Having your height and your inseam is the first step in determining your proper fit. Ultimately, a test ride will guide your decision.
What makes a women’s-specific bike different?
There are two main approaches on the market for defining the features of a women’s specific bike. The first offers basically the same frame as the unisex bike, but with women’s specific “touchpoints.” Those touchpoints include the saddle, handlebars, and a lighter suspension set up (for mountain bikes).
The second approach includes the touchpoints described above and offers a frame geometry designed with female riders in mind. They tend to cater to the smaller sizes and stereotypical “female” characteristics such as lower center of gravity, stronger lower body, and greater flexibility. Those characteristics are generalized and does not apply to all women.
We recommend test riding to determine if you need to go with a women’s specific bike.
How bike availability may impact your decision
You may be limiting yourself and your options by browsing for only women’s-specific vs. unisex bikes. At the onset of the pandemic, bikes became scarce and manufacturers paused production on women’s-specific bikes in order to serve a wider variety of riders. Currently, there’s a larger selection of unisex bikes available on the market. Consider trying a unisex bike before ruling them out.
There’s a variety of bikes available for you to try out here at Bikes Palm Beach. Stop by, talk with our knowledgeable staff, and test ride your next dream bike!
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