women’s specific Geometry for bike frames

Traditional bike frames were made for ‘average’ men with an equal leg-to-torso ratio, thus when a women rides a traditional bike frame we tend to notice several things.  First is the height of the handlebars, because of our longer legs, by the time we get the seat height up to where we need it, we find that we reach too far down to reach the shifters.  In addition, because the frame was designed for someone with a longer torso, we often feel ‘stretched-out’.  So, women’s specific frames will make be adjusted to get us in a comfortable position. 

1. Top-tube  The top-tube, or reach, is shorter so that we are not too stretched out, ensuring that we’re not putting unnecessary stress on the lower back, shoulders or elbows.

‪2. Headtube  The headtube is higher giving us a proper position and ensuring that we’re not in an overly aggressive position, this position
keeps us aerodynamic will opening up the diaphragm for optimal breathing.

‪3. Sloping top-tube  You’ll find sloping top bars on bikes.  Today, very few bikes frames look like right triangles.  A sloping top-tube actually offers better ride quality, in addition to stand-over clearance.  Some women’s frames, called ‘step-throughs’  are designed to slope even more aggressively allowing you to wear skirts and dresses!

‪4. Sizing  Women’s specific bicycles are built for the very short as well as the tall.  We have available in sizes XS thru Large (Giant) and 42 cm – 59 cm (Terry), Electra bicycles have women’s-specific frames available in 24, 26 and 700 c wheel sizes.

Component Choices

Like women’s specific geometry, the components on women’s bikes are chosen to enable better fit.  There’s often a misconception that women’s specific bikes have inferior components.  On the Giant, Terry, and Electra bicycles we carry, you’ll never see women’s specific bicycles with inferior components. You’ll see the exact same grade of material and level of quality on women’s bikes as the ‘in-line’ model.  They’ve simply chosen components sized both for women and the specific size of the bike.  For example, on an XS frame, you’ll find smaller handlebars than on an Small bike.  On both of those women’s bikes, you’ll see a handlebar that is actually designed to fit smaller hands.

‪1. Saddle  Women’s specific saddles are designed for our wider pelvic bones and offer a cut-out or indentation to relieve pressure points.

‪2. Stem  Just like the top tube is shorter, the stem is also usually shorter, this sets your weight firmly over the front wheel.

‪3. Handlebar  Road bike handlebars are proportional to your shoulder width, you’ll notice handlebars ranging from 38 cm to 42 cm (XS, M).  In addition these handlebars have less depth to fit smaller hands.  On flat bar bikes (mountain, commuter, or road) the handlebars will also be narrower, and you can always choose to make them narrower, we’re happy to trim them a bit!

4. Shifters  Some bikes come with shifters made specifically for smaller hands, on others you can use shims to help give you added leverage which is nice if your hands are on the small side or less strong

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