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Women's Bicycling (Sarah Lake)

According to a study done by the Gluskin Townley Group, within the past few years, the amount of women cyclists in the United States has increased, while the number of men cyclists is decreasing. 51%  of cyclists are men and the other 49% are women. This jump in female participation may be a product of bicycle companies now making products that cater to the different anatomy of female cyclists. In the past, bicycles have been made to fit men, which was hard on women who rode on these uncomfortable bicycles for long hours going long distances. Now that there are women-specific bicycles available, women are able to cycle as comfortably as men, and have more options for bicycle purchases.

Is there enough of a difference between the female and male anatomy to create an entire bicycle just for women? Absolutely. A lot of research has gone into how to create a good bicycle geometry to fit women. In general, women are shorter than men, and the typical tall frames of men’s’ bicycles can be uncomfortable for those who ride daily. According to Kath Bicknell on bikeradar.com, the research has found that “most women carry their body weight lower, and our strength comes from our lower body. This impacts geometry because our entire goal is to properly balance women over the bottom bracket for optimum control.”  By using the average body dimensions of women all over the world, bicycle creators are able to create a more suitable bicycle for female riders. Not only do women-specific bicycles provide a better alternative for veteran female cyclists, they also promote and encourage all women to join the ever-expanding world of cycling.

Now comes the negative. With women-specific bicycles being such a new product, it’s hard for women to know what bicycles will work for them before spending tons of money. To prevent dedicated female cyclists from wasting money on a bicycle that will not work for them, here are some affordable women-specific bicycles that have proven to do the job just as well as regular men’s bicycles. These bicycles range from hardcore competitive cyclist bicycles, to bicycles that are perfect for leisure cycling through neighborhoods or the beach. Whatever need you have, these bicycles will fit your body and not break the bank.

The first bicycle, the Firmstrong Women’s 26” Urban Lady Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bike, comes in at $199.99. This bicycle is perfect for those who would like a bike to cruise around rather than going short distances with a car, not only wasting gas, but also hurting the environment. The Urban Lady Cruiser comes in many colors and white tires for a stylish and comfortable ride. The handlebars are adjustable, and the bicycle can fit many types of women, as it can fit women up to six feet tall and up to 350 pounds. If you are interested in saving gas and riding through town in style, but are not so interested in shelling out cash, the gorgeous Urban Lady Cruiser in the perfect choice for you.

Leisurely riding may not be what you’re looking for. If your interest is mountain biking and riding through tough terrain, then the Nishiki Women’s Pueblo Mountain Bike is perfect for you. Reasonably priced at $250, the Pueblo Mountain Bike comes in multiple frame sizes to fit the different body types of women. The frame also sits lower so it is easier for shorter women to get on and off the bike. Riding on busy roads with other cars is dangerous for any cyclist, especially women. This bike and other mountain bikes allow easy use on trails, mountains, and hills. It also encourages more women to leave the paved paths and explore rougher dirt paths. Jumping over hills and gliding through forests on mountain bikes isn’t just a men’s activity, ladies!

For those women who want to explore the rough terrain of the mountains, but enjoy the convenience of road cycling, the Schwinn Women’s GTX Hybrid Bike is what you’re looking for. A hybrid bike means that the bike can handle the long rides on the road as well the unpredictable terrain of the mountain. It is no secret that bicycles are expensive, so it makes sense for many working and busy women to spend $300 on a bike that can be used for road cycling as well as mountain biking, than to spend $200 on a road bicycle then a separate $200 on a mountain bike. This bicycle is also perfect for beginners who want to try multiple types of cycling. Hybrid bicycles like the Schwinn Women’s GTX Hybrid Bike allow women to take up multiple types of cycling and encourage the mobility of a larger audience who have different interests when it comes to cycling. If you are a woman who has just begun their cycling journey and are unsure of what type of cycling interest you, the hybrid allows for exploration.

Many women are turned off from riding because of the discomfort that occurs after long rides. Because of a woman’s anatomy, she could become numb from sitting for a long ride, or she could develop back or joint problems. If you are a woman who wants to stay mobile, but strays from cycling because of the pain, then look into the Diamondback Women’s Serene Classic Comfort Bike. The ride on this bike is extremely smooth and allows for less strain on the body. It also has twenty-one speeds for easier navigation uphill and downhill rides. The smooth ride and multiple speeds are also great for an overweight rider who wants to begin cycling to drop some pounds. Because this bike is built for comfort, it allows for a wide range of abilities and body types to use the bike to increase mobility. Don’t let weight or discomfort turn you away from being one of the forty-nine percent of cyclists that are women.

The most classic and common type of cycling is road cycling. Road cycling is easiest for women who work and cannot take the time to travel to specialized trails for cycling. Road cycling is the most convenient method for traveling on bicycles or for exercise and increasing mobility. While expensive, the Diamondback Women’s Airen Road Bike is the best choice for all skill levels of cycling. It is designed for women and is comfortable enough for long rides as well as quick rides to the grocery store. Perfect for all skill levels, the Airen Road Bike is great for women who want a bicycle for exercise as well as a more environmentally friendly form of transportation.

Hopefully the growing list of useful bicycles encourages more women to strap on their helmets and ride. It would be dense to say that the lack of women-specific bicycles was the only thing preventing women from cycling. Street harassment and safety are still big concerns for female riders, and is still a problem that needs to be addressed, but helping women be physically comfortable when riding is a step in the right direction. These bicycles made for the female anatomy are the perfect start for those who have ridden for years or are just starting their journey into the cycling world.

Skills

Posted on

April 27, 2016