Can A Woman Cycle A Man’s Bike? 

YES!!! Women can ride men’s bikes. Now let me explain. You’ve taken an interest in cycling, you want to buy a bike and go online to search for the features of a bicycle to consider before buy, and then you get there and begin to see that there are bikes meant for men and women. You don’t need to be confused as to how to differentiate it at this point as this article will finally settle your mind on if women can ride a man’s bike and how to differentiate the two. 

Women’s bike was first invented in 1888 due to a few biological differences between men and women, but they are not that different from men’s bike. 

Yes, the bike for women and girls has a special step-through frame on city bikes, they have shorter and wider saddle, lower seat height, shorter stem, and crank. The handlebar is also narrower with smaller grips on it, but they still have minimal difference from that of their male counterpart. 

A girl can sit on a male’s bike, adjust a few things and ride it very comfortably without feeling the difference or feeling the need to specifically get a bike designed for females. Most professional female cyclists ride men’s bikes. So if you see a bike you like don’t stop yourself from riding it simply because they claim it’s for men. 

The difference between a man’s and a woman’s bike are not so much, here are a few difference between the two;

Read also: How Many Bicycles Are In The World?

1. The Frame

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Woman on bike with trailer

The first thing you need to note is that women’s frames come in smaller sizes and usually range from XXS to L, while men’s frame range from S to XXL. The frame of women’s bikes is quite similar to men’s. It is, however, not very identical with the difference being the top tube. With the history of step-through frames, bicycle manufacturers realized that women need a lower-top tube to easily mount and dismount the bike. Therefore women’s bikes of today have a downward-sloping top tube, making it easier for girls to get their legs over it.

2. Saddle


Nothing hurts more than an uncomfortable saddle as it is in the most delicate places. Saddles come in different shapes and sizes, though in general, women-specific saddles tend to be shorter and wider to offer the most sit-bone support. However, this particular design can be restrictive for performance athletes, so they will tend to opt for a longer and narrower saddle to free up space for their pedaling motion.

Women have a different pelvic bone than men, so they need a differently shaped saddle. This is also confirmed by research in which they found that the average men’s saddle is 143 millimeters wide, while a women’s is on average 155 millimeters wide. 

3. Crank

Bike Crank Arm

The average woman is shorter than a man and so they have short legs which automatically means they need shorter cranks than men. Cranks on women’s bikes range from 160 to 172.5 millimeters, while men’s cranks typically start at 172.5 millimeters and go all the way to 180 millimeters. The crank arms will vary in length depending upon the size of the bike, with longer crank arms accommodating longer legs.

4. The Handlebar


This is one of the biggest differences between women’s and men’s bikes. Women’s bikes have narrower handlebars which allow them to drive more comfortably, with arms closer together, reducing or eliminating the shoulder soreness which could occur with a wider handlebar. This difference is more noticeable in mountain bikes. Although women can use the same width as men on road bikes, a few centimeters narrower handlebars is always advised as it will allow you to have better control of the bike.

5. The Stem 

Bike stem

This component can be changed for you in the bicycle store if you want to. A shorter or longer stem offers a simple way to fine-tune a bike frame’s reach for you. A different stem style might also put the handlebar in a higher position that’s more comfortable for riding. So regardless of the gender specification of the bike, bike shops will consider both stem and handlebar choices together during a fit assessment.

Read also: When were bicycles introduced to Europe?

6. More Shallow Drops

shallow drops

The handlebar for road bikes differs between men and women, even if the width is the same. Women’s bikes tend to have shallower drops, which helps them reach them more easily, without unnecessary stretching and stress, and in exchange, helps them to avoid back pain.

7. The Bike’s Grips

bike grip

These slimmer grips for women can be seen on mountain bikes or touring bikes. Because women have smaller hands, adding too much material to the grip can prevent them from gripping the handlebar normally. If you don’t hold the handlebar as you should, you can’t control the bike and an accident is inevitable. So if you decide to go for the men’s bike, ensure you can grip the handlebar very well.

8. The Wheels

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On the women’s bikes, the wheels are placed further away to prevent the issue of a women’s longer legs resulting in kicking her front tire. Some believe that adding this distance makes the front wheel less stable on a women’s bike.

The good thing is that Bike shops and online vendors make different wheel sizes readily available to bikers who need a change regardless of the kind of bike they want to buy. 

9. The Brake Levers

brake lever

Before you decide to settle on a man’s bike, you need to note that higher-end brake levers offer an adjustable screw that lets the user make the travel distance shorter, in addition to bringing the brake lever just a bit closer. If you have shorter arms and smaller hands you will probably want this option, because you don’t want to have to worry about getting uncomfortable hands from braking on a hilly ride or not being able to fully engage the brake at the last moment in high-speed situations.

10. Suspension

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First, you need to check if you are a light or a heavy rider. Lighter riders need suspension that is tuned to their lighter weight. And although this doesn’t necessarily require you to get a women’s specific bike, you will need to set up your suspension to match your weight. 

Read also: What Is A Good Age To Get A Bike?

In conclusion, choose the bike that fits you most. It might be a woman-specific bike or maybe a men’s bike, but whichever one suits you more go for it because at the end of the day, your comfort while riding is more important.

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