Womens bike?

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Clueless member
West Yorkshire
My girlfriend has decided to get a bike on the bike to work scheme, I've tried to advise her on decent makes but my knowledge lies within road only and I think she's after a hybrid... Just a couple of questions. Should women buy WSD bikes only or would they be fine on a men's? Any decent models that spring to mind? Groupsets to avoid? She'll be using it for mainly road so I initially thought about a road bike but it might end up putting her off. Any info really guys. Thanks


Legendary Member
You don't need to buy a women's bike, however, they might offer benefits, such as a wsd saddle, narrower bars, a shorter stem, shorter cranks etc. this can be especially so if she is on the petite size. Even if she is tall, especially with a roadbike, she may need to spend money on these bits (I'm around 5'10 and would still have to change bits on a stock roadbike with the right sized frame)

A roadbike doesn't have to have drop bars, there are plenty of wsd fast flat bar options out there from specialized, giant, trek, whyte etc. unlike a lot of drop bar bikes they have the added benefit for a commuter of lugs for a rack and clearance for proper mudguards. Just avoid anything with suspension or tyres that are overly fat (I think a 32mm is really the max you want for speed on the roads)

However, depending on how much she wants to spend, where she can buy from, where she lives etc, might have a bearing on the choice available

Not sure why a roadbike would put her off if it's the right bike, the right size, the right fit?

Take her to a few shops to see what she likes, sit on a few, have a few test rides (evans are good with no obligation tests and a wide choice)

Personally, I have 4 bikes, none are wsd, but two were built from the frame with the right size components. My hands don't get on with shimano hoods, so my two geared roadbikes have sram with the slimmer, more ergo hood shapes


Clueless member
West Yorkshire
Thanks for the replies, great info. Price would of helped.. She's after spending around the £600 mark. I feel a road bike might baffle her a little, she's had a go on mine and didn't like the shifters and found it difficult braking. She's quite short (5'1"), so maybe best suited for the women's specific. I've seen a few Marin's which seem reasonable..?


Well-Known Member
Brighton, UK

At 5'1" your not really talking women specific bikes, your talking teenage bikes in the UK.

5'1" is near the average height of 13 year old girls and boys moreorless.

YMMV but their is obviously a churn of quality small bikes, Islabikes being the
equivalent of Bromptons is this field, compared to Bromptons folding field.

rgds, sreten.


Bird Saviour
First, no they should not have only women's specific. That is basically a load of marketing bollox. You can (and should) adjust any bike to fit). Women do not have typically shorter/longer torso or limbs, just like men, we come in all shapes and sizes when compared to others the same height. Get the one that fits.

Second, why should a road bike put her off? If its only bcoz of braking then get a flat barred road bike. I also found the brakes a bit weird at first but it didn't put me off.

I'm a woman, I ride a road bike that is not WSD.

I started with a road bike bcoz I wanted a light fast bike to commute to work. I didn't want a heavy bike. I never regretted it once. The majority of female commuters at my work ride road bikes bcoz they are light. a heavy bike is the one thing that will put a newbie off straight away particularly if the commute is longer than 5 miles.

But then if the commute is short she might want a cool Pashley or Bobbin that she can just hop on in her normal everyday clothes...

It's a minefield out there!!
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Rollin' along
Manchester way
I guess the shifter brake thing is like SPD's a wee bit of practice and it becomes second nature but a tad odd for a newbie to STI's.

GF should buy a bike commensurate to what she'll be using it for really or the compromises get to be too annoying and more likely to deter her than getting into the pat your head and rub your belly mindset of getting the most out of STI's would. Could it be that your bike and componenty is a tad big & that is a factor in her not quite getting on with them?

Flat bar road bikes are a better compromise than those marketed as hybrids if she is after the day to day speed and 50 milers at weekends and really doesn't want STI levers.

If she is after a proper hybrid or a more stately and sedate step through type then one thing I notice as a bloke borrowing my wife's bike is that the women specific saddle is quite uncomfortable very quickly for a male backside. I don't know if women feel similar about a male oriented saddle on a comfort over speed bike
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