What Makes the Best Electric Bike for Females?
Where once women’s bikes were simply smaller, “prettier” (whatever that means) and, sadly, more poorly spec’d than men’s models, even if they are the same brand and manufacturer. Thankfully those troglodyte days are behind us, in pace with electric bikes becoming popular for more and more people, quality women’s electric bikes today offer the same performance and components as comparable men’s models.
The Differences Between Bikes for Female and Male
The major difference between ebikes for females and males is the fit. We have accumulated a lot of fit data that goes into frame geometry during ten years of making electric bikes. Women usually have short torsos and long legs whereas men’s torsos are longer. For a man and woman of the same height, the woman’s bike will likely be shorter in length, but the seat will be higher up. Also, the smaller hands, narrower shoulders, and wider pelvis bones will make women prefer different brake levers, handlebars, and saddle seats to men.
Not all men's and women’s bikes are structurally different. Women tend to have shorter torsos, longer legs (proportionally,) and shorter inseams than men. Therefore, the biggest benefit of women’s-specific bikes is smaller frames with a shorter top tube. That’s why the XD26 bike with a compact frame can also be a good choice for women. Many exceptionally petite women have a tough time finding a small enough frame from traditional bike manufacturers.
The classic woman’s bike featured a downward-sloping top tube. When bikes first became more popular and had wider usage before cars were mainstream and affordable, women were basically required to wear traditional dresses and long skirts, which made it harder to ride on a traditional bike frame.
Besides the benefit of step-through frames allowing you to ride in a long, flowing dress, or wear formal attire that may not be as flexible, its practical, useful, and functional also cannot be ignored. They are a fantastic option for riders that don't have a complete range of motion and are particularly great for older riders or riders who have a difficult time lifting their leg over a traditional bike frame. Additionally, step-thru bikes are an excellent alternative for individuals carrying parcels or continuously finding themselves in stop-and-go traffic.
Many cheaper brands have unisex saddles that are meant to fit both the men and women’s bike types. This might work for a short commute down the street, but it could get uncomfortable for longer rides.
More serious bikes for women have a wider seat to fit the pelvis and sitting bones comfortably. A seat created for female anatomy can make a big difference in how comfortable you are on the bike. A good women’s saddle will accommodate wider sit bones and have a cut-out or lower-pressure chamber for your soft bits. Men’s bikes have longer, narrow seats. High-quality seats for both genders often have a space between the two sides to relieve perineum pressure.
In our general thinking, women have narrower shoulders than men. This means they are often better served by a slightly narrower handlebar as well. But, wider handlebars actually provide better stability and handling, and I’d urge women at least to try the wider handlebars first before swapping them out.
Additionally, the handlebar for man's bikes is usually fronter and lower than woman’s bikes to accommodate their long arms. Since most women have shorter torsos and tend to sit more straightly when riding, the BMX-styled handlebar provides a better option in an elegant way.
The Down & Dirty
However, to make sure you’re safe and comfortable on whatever gender bike you buy, remember to take each of the aforementioned differences into consideration first:
- Frame Structure – If you don’t want people to know you’re a dude on a girl’s bike, don’t buy the bike with the slanted top tube. This is the single most noticeable difference. Otherwise, the tube angle won’t matter for either gender.
- Frame Length – Make sure you can comfortably reach the handlebars, but that your back is also nearly flat and not scrunched up.
- Seat Shape – You’ll know right away if the seat you’re sitting on hits you in the right places.
- Handlebar Stem Length – The stem is not adjustable, so don’t buy a bike with a stem that’s too long or short.
The gender differences in bikes are not leftover discriminations from before women were allowed to vote and work but are instead structural variances that better suit each gender’s body type.
As long as you feel comfortable, secure, and safe on the electric bike you want to buy, the gender distinction won’t matter at all. Tall women tend to fit better on men’s bikes and the opposite is true for short men. That’s why many of our factory employees vote the RS-A01 bike 1st of the female electric bikes or unisex bikes.
By the way, there is nothing about a “women’s bike” that should preclude a man from riding it. (Well, except maybe the saddle, but that’s easy to swap out). Shorter, smaller men (and teen boys) may often find that a women’s bike is the best fit for them. If you’re thinking about buying a bike that is not meant for your designated gender, there’s no need to be ashamed. In fact, most people won’t even notice.