Women Vs Men Hybrid Bikes – What Are The Differences?
One of the most commonly asked questions is what are the differences between men’s and women’s hybrid bikes?
Women, who are bike riding enthusiasts often wonder if they need a woman specific bike or should they ride a man’s bike?
If you go back to the early history of biking, the notable difference between a man’s and a woman’s bike used to be slanted top bars in women-specific bikes.
In that period, women mainly used to wear skirts and dresses, and it was not considered decent or practical for women to lift their leg over the high bar. So, the slanted bar was invented to help the ladies mount the bikes with ease.
This need has now changed since women are not going around on bikes in skirts anymore.
However, with the passage of time, the world became more aware of the differences between the anatomy of a man’s and woman’s body.
The manufacturers of bikes started to make other minor changes in the structure of the bike to make it more suitable for women.
Physical Differences Between Men And Women
Comparing an average size woman with an average size man, we can conclude on the following:
- Women have a shorter torso.
- At equal height between men and women, women have longer legs.
- A woman, at an equal size to a man, may have less force.
- The neck of the woman is longer.
- Usually, women have smaller hands.
- The bones of the pelvis are more separated in the woman, as the pelvis is wider.
What Are the Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Hybrid Bikes
Here are the differences between a man´s and a woman´s specific bike:
This is the bar that connects the seat of a bike to the handlebar.
For women specific bikes, this bar has a slight angle slanting downwards towards the saddle. This makes it easier for women to mount the bike. For men’s bikes, this bar is parallel to the floor.
In addition, for women, this bar is a little shorter than for men. This is because the torso of a woman is shorter than that of a man. The shorter bar helps women to reach the handlebar with ease without overstretching their back.
In most cases, if you compare a man and a woman of the same height, the woman would have a shorter torso and longer legs.
It is important to note that all manufacturers do not follow the same guidelines. Some of them do not make any changes in the frame of men’s and women’s bikes, and most likely offer a small size like XS for men as well as for women.
So, depending on your preferences, you should check the bike’s features carefully before making a decision.
You should also know that the angle of the top bar can weaken the frame if the angle is too steep. However, with the help of more modern materials like alloy and carbon, this weakness can be minimized.
Some of the lower priced brands have the same seat for men and women. Unless you are using the bike only for short rides, the women should have seats which are appropriate for a woman’s anatomy.
Men’s saddle may be fine for women if they are riding the bike in an upright position. However, going forward into a more sporty and aggressive riding style, the men’s seat can become very uncomfortable.
Generally, men’s saddles are longer and narrower, and that puts pressure on certain parts of a woman’s body, which can be very uncomfortable.
For this reason, women’s seats are wider to suit their pelvis as well as rest the wider pelvic bones comfortably.
Any woman riding a bike regularly should not take a chance with the wrong seat. It may cause lower back or hip pain because of the wrong positioning of the ischium bone located in the pelvis.
However, if you like a bike for all its features, then don’t let the saddle become the deal breaker. You can always change the seat to the one that suits you the best.
Generally, a man´s shoulders are wider than a woman´s. Therefore, the handlebars on a bike should be designed to accommodate the shorter shoulder width of women.
The handlebars on a man’s bike are approx. 4 cm wider than a woman’s bike.
Most women have shorter torsos when compared to men. For that reason, the stem of the handlebar should be shorter to enable them to reach comfortably and negotiate any corners with full control over the bike.
The stem is not adjustable so you should not buy a bike with a stem which is too short or long for you.
However, it is possible to increase or decrease the height of the handlebar by replacing the stem with an adjustable stem.
Grips and Brakes
Generally, women have smaller hands, so the grips are smaller in women’s bikes to enable them to easily fit in their hands.
The same could apply to brake levers which should also have shorter reach due to the smaller hands size.
However, men have broader shoulders and much bigger hands, so there should be larger grips on a man’s bike. Equally, a man would have a longer reach on the brake levers.
Size of Bike
The overall size of a woman’s bike is smaller because of the stature of women. The smaller size helps to lower the center of gravity and this increases the stability of the bike.
Similarly, men’s bikes are considerably larger to make it comfortable for men to ride and control the bike. Riding a bike which is not proportionate to your size can not only be uncomfortable and unsafe but also make you feel tired much sooner.
The color of a bike may also play a role in differentiating a man’s from a woman’s bike.
Men’s bikes tend to come in black or other dark colors. There is usually a much bigger choice of colors in women’s bikes. You can find some very attractive looking pastel shades for women.
The whitewall tires is another eye-catching feature in women’s bikes.
All hybrid bikes do not come with suspension. But women, generally, weigh less than men and you get a more comfortable ride with a suspension.
Of course, this would be the same whether you are a woman or a man since the weight is not a gender controlled issue.
More and more manufacturers are turning their focus on manufacturing bicycles specifically for women.
However, if a woman is long-legged, with long arms and a really flexible body, probably a men’s bike may be right for you. We know for a fact that lots of women prefer to ride men’s bikes because of their physique.
When you are looking to buy a bicycle, we recommend that you check well before making the final decision. Using a bicycle that is not your size or does not adapt to your needs can significantly affect you in the long term.
But it is also true that it is not the same taking the bicycle for a half-hour ride and riding on a demanding terrain for three hours.
In conclusion, some of the differences between men’s and women’s hybrid bikes are important and can affect your physical health.
If you want to find out which are the best hybrid bikes both for women and for men, check the following resources: