Best Road Bikes for Women

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Purchasing a road bike can be daunting. You need to ensure it has the classic road bicycle components while suiting your size.

There are plenty of ways to tell if a bicycle ticks both of those boxes. Hopefully, this guide and the reviews included will help you figure out what you need and what you want.

Here are my picks for the best road bikes for women:

Road Bikes for Women vs. Men

Bicycles are unisex! Right?

Technically yes, but actually no.

It’s no secret that women are often smaller than men; this includes height and reach. To compensate, some companies started manufacturing women’s bicycles,

Women’s bicycles are usually made for shorter heights and have smaller frames. For example, a 17-inch frame as opposed to a 19-inch one.

Unfortunately, many of these bicycles are gaudy, brightly colored, and hard to come by at an affordable price!

So in this guide, I’ve tracked down some general bicycles that fit women well, without being women’s bicycles.

But first, how can you know the bicycle is right for its intent?

 

What To Look for in a Road Bike for Women

If you’re a casual cyclist who wants to get serious, you have some learning to do. It’s time to stop buying bicycles based on looks and category. Now, I’ll teach you what makes a road bike, a road bike.

Not only that, I’ll dive into what makes these bikes best for women, without them being specifically women’s road bikes.

Wheel Size

Wheel size is a tricky one.

Many road bicycles advertise 700c wheels. In this instance, the C is the tire’s width code. The 700 is millimeters—27.5 inches.

However, many 26-inch wheel bicycles also have “700c” in their advertising, making this term not always trustworthy.

For the most part, you’ll see 26 or 29-inch wheels on a road bicycle. On a rare occasion, I actually come across a real 27.5-incher.

There’s no wrong wheel size out of any of these, but larger wheels will likely mean a larger frame. That’s how it goes for children’s bicycles—bike size determined by wheel size.

Because of this, the best road bikes for women will have 26-inch wheels; this will ensure a comfortable frame size and bicycle height, for the most part.

If you’re a shorter woman and find 650c (25.5-inch) wheels, I recommend those too. Though my research tells me it’s becoming harder to find that size outside of physical bike stores.

Weight and Material

I always recommend you pick the lightest bicycle possible. It increases your speed and enjoyment, letting you cycle for longer.

Road bicycles are the lightest of the bikes in general, which is great for that.

The lightest material you’ll find in one is carbon fiber, but that’s usually in high-end bicycles. Instead, look for aluminum.

Aluminum road bikes don’t often weigh more than 20 pounds. If they do, it’s likely down to large wheels or a heavy saddle.

However, if you’re clumsy (translation: crash a lot) or a heavier rider, you may want to look into a steel bicycle. Steel is more durable than aluminum. The downside is that it may add 10+ pounds to your cycle.

Handlebars

Road bicycles have drop handlebars, called drops. These are curved and hang below the bike.

Drops are what you should get on an authentic road bicycle. But, some road bicycles have straight handlebars, which you may prefer if you’re a newer or nervous rider; they allow for a more upright cycling position.

I recommend straight handlebars for urban cyclists. You need to be upright and more alert on busy streets.

Regardless of handlebar type, look for a bicycle with adjustable handlebars; this can help you adjust your riding position for comfort and height.

Saddle

The saddle isn’t one of the most important elements of a bicycle. But it’s something to consider if a bike is a little too tall.

Road bicycles have narrow, thin saddles; it keeps them aerodynamic.

You may want to consider locating the thinnest saddle possible if you find you’re struggling with a bicycle’s height. Ensure it’s firm but padded, and never underestimate the difference it can make.

Look at the Selle SMP TRK compared to the Fizik Argo Tempo R5. The former rises higher and upwards, where the latter’s bulk is downward pointing.

Consider a bicycle with a replaceable saddle and an adjustable saddle height, too.

Gears

I recommend that all adult bicycles have at least three gears.

Since road bicycles are mainly for commuting and flat land, a high amount of gears aren’t as vital as on a mountain bicycle.

You can get away with a fixed-gear bicycle for basic commuting. But having three gears is highly beneficial, in the case of sloped roads. A low gear would help with that.

Also, you don’t need a separate gear for taking off on your cycle, but a middle-gear would be great, so you don’t go too fast, too soon.

This leaves your highest gear fit for speeding along the tarmac.

But if you live in an area with more varying terrain and levels of incline, more than three gears is better. Seven is an improvement—but 21 may be your best choice, just in case.

You never know where you may end up cycling, and you don’t have to use all the gears every cycling session.

Sizing

Most bicycles can accommodate a range of heights, often encompassing about 1 foot.

However, many larger bicycles start the height range at 5 feet 5 or 5 feet 6 inches.

As women are often shorter than that, I don’t feel it’s ideal. I recommend searching for a bicycle with a range starting at least 5 feet 4 inches, if not shorter. That way, you can ensure comfort and convenience.

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Reviews of the Best Road Bikes for Women

After scouring the web, I’ve found my picks for the best road bikes for women.

 

Our Overview

With a lightweight aluminum frame and thin wheels, here’s a typical road cycle. However, it weighs in at 35 pounds—far from the lightest. Its higher weight is likely due to strong components like tough gears, the kickstand, and the sturdy gear shifter.

You get 21 gears, excellent for anything your path throws at you. The manufacturer calls this cycle a “mountain road bike,” likely for this reason. But don’t worry, the wheels are still road-ready.

It also has disc brakes, commonly found on road bicycles; this leads to a more secure stop, which you may need if you stop in a high gear.

One reason that may explain the mountain bike brakes is the tires’ slightly atypical size. Although they’re thin where they touch the ground, the tires are wide where they don’t touch the ground.

Having more tire means there’s more rubber to absorb shock, which is an excellent inclusion. With more tire comes the need for sturdier brakes.

This appears to be a bicycle that works within its components well and would suit any rider looking for a powerful cycle.

Pros:
  • Tons of gears.
  • Disc brakes are excellent for bikes with so many gears.
  • Heftier bicycle, indicating robust components.
  • Tires allow for speed and shock absorption.
  • Kickstand included.
  • Comfortable saddle.
Cons:
  • Heavier than your average road bike.
Specs:
  • Weight: 35 pounds.
  • Brakes: Disc.
  • Size: Unspecified, but research suggests it suits women of average heights.
  • Material: Aluminum.
#2
Best Road Bikes for Women 2
5/5
Our Overview

City cyclists should consider this fixed-gear road bicycle. Its straight handlebars allow for a more upright position, giving you a better view of the world around you.

The single-gear aspect is also great for cities. Well-built cities are mostly flat land with a few minor hills. And, they’re swarming with motorists who won’t give you time to change gears to get out of the way!

A lightweight aluminum frame also keeps you nimble as you speed around urban streets, as 6KU intended. The bicycle weighs around 20 pounds, but it depends on the many size options.

One of the bicycle’s heaviest, toughest components is the double-walled alloy wheels; this ensures the wheels will support you and withstand questionable road quality.

Plus, being so tough will ensure the cycle is long-lasting and low-maintenance.

However, not every component is as well-made as the rims. The pedals are a little flimsy, and the tires on the rims aren’t so top-notch. You may want to consider replacing them early on. I’d factor that into the budget before choosing this bicycle.

Pros:
  • Lightweight frame.
  • Durable wheels.
  • Easy upkeep after initial upgrades
  • Perfect for city cycling.
Cons:
  • Flimsy pedals.
  • Tires aren’t as durable as the rims.
Specs:
  • Weight: Around 20 pounds.
  • Brakes: Caliper
  • Size: Suits heights 4’10–5’7.
  • Material: Aluminum.
Our Overview

If you’re looking for a high-end bicycle, this is one to consider. It’s not the most premium you’ll get—however, it’s no beginner bicycle and should withstand several years of use.

It’s an agile bicycle, made to be easy to handle while remaining strong. The overall components are well-crafted but won’t weigh down a crafty rider.

For city cycling, this is also one to consider. It may lack a straight bar, which I find is safer in urban areas, but it has other appealing elements. One is the agility mentioned above—it can handle some tight corners!

The other is the straps to secure your feet to the pedals. When cycling swiftly or serving a lot, it can be hard to keep your feet in place.

Pedal straps are also a fantastic inclusion for beginner cyclists.

One last element I feel is great for beginners, and experienced cyclists alike is actually the bicycle’s main downside. Though most of its construction is pristine, the tubes and tires aren’t quite perfect. The brakes could use some work, too. You may need to get them looked at by an expert.

You can watch the expert at work and learn your own bicycle maintenance.

Pros:
  • Pedal straps for foot safety.
  • Great size for women if you select the small size.
  • Durable aluminum frame and aluminum alloy rims.
  • Desirable color options.
  • Fantastic agility and handling ability.
Cons:
  • The bicycle may need a once-over from an expert.
  • Some users report that the seat can stain clothing when wet.
Specs:
  • Weight: Around 25 pounds.
  • Brakes: Caliper
  • Size: 32.25 inches, ground to saddle—suitable for approximately 5’4 and up.
  • Material: Aluminum.
#4
Best Road Bikes for Women 7
5/5
Our Overview

Here’s a bicycle for taller women at 5 feet 5–5 feet 8 inches.

This one is excellent for women who like a sporty bicycle with interesting visuals that don’t take away from its performance.

With 21 speeds and disc brakes, it’s suitable for any terrain. But you may not gather as much pace as other 21-speed bikes due to the bicycle’s heavy construction.

Despite the weight, it remains a sensitive bicycle that responds well to its rider. Just don’t expect to keep up with the top-speed steeds.

Pros:
  • Interesting visual.
  • Responsive brakes.
  • Lots of gears.
Cons:
  • Small height range.
  • Heavy.
Specs:
  • Weight: 35 pounds.
  • Brakes: Disc.
  • Size: 5’5–5’8.
  • Material: Aluminum.
#5
Best Road Bikes for Women 8
5/5
Our Overview

Modern manufacturers are pushing 29-inch wheels more and more, and for good reason; their bulk makes them better at handling shock from potholes and uneven ground.

So if that’s desirable, here’s a bicycle you may like. Luckily, the large wheels don’t increase the size of this women’s road bike.

With 16 gears paired with the 29-inch wheels, you’re safe to tackle a range of road qualities. And as the bicycle is so light, it should be a breeze while doing it.

Admittedly, the wheels and gears are its best features. The brakes are a little tight and sticky. Also, the bike may come with some scrapes.

Pros:
  • Great size for women.
  • Excellent large wheels.
  • Lightweight.
Cons:
  • Questionable brakes.
  • May arrive with cosmetic damage.
Specs:
  • Weight: 24 pounds.
  • Brakes: Caliper.
  • Size: 5’3 and up.
  • Material: Aluminum.

 

pexels andrea piacquadio 3775015

Best Road Bikes for Women Conclusion

In my opinion, the UROSA Lightweight Aluminum Road Bike is the best road bike for women.

The 21 gears ensure that it’ll work on any road no matter how steep or downward sloping. The gears can also help you deal with the bumpier terrain you encounter along your commute.

Also, this bicycle has the most shock-absorbing tires, based on their larger width. That should stop any unpleasant vibrations impacting you.

Overall it’s a versatile and high-performing bicycle, and size-wise it’s great for women, too.

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