I never had a women’s bike, that a lie I had a lady’s shopping bike when I was around 10 years old. I should say that I never had a women-specific bike in my adult life. I’m wondering if I am missing out?
All bike types seem to have women-specific models. A traditional women’s bike is made with a step-through (over) frame. Which makes it easier if you are wearing a long skirt.
Manufacturers have gathered data on a lot of women. The conclusion is that women tend short, but have long legs compared to their torso. Meaning that the sack and reach (see picture below). Also, the shoulders tend to be narrow, you might want narrower handlebars. The saddle is different, we are not built the same down there! Choosing a saddle is a whole other topic.
Most manufactures make a range of frame sizes so there should be one out there for you that isn’t necessarily made for women.
Get a frame that suits your build, everything else can be adjusted. A good bike shop with find you the correct frame and make the necessary changes.
Bike fitting, again probably a topic for another blog. I would recommend doing if you are getting a road bike or a Tri/Time trial bike, especially if you are going to spend a lot of money.
Fitters I’ve used and like are: Ten Point
There are different level and services out there. Check reviews and treat yourself. You are worth it!
I’m a reasonable tail woman, so in generally medium frames suits me (depends on the manufacturer) The adjustments need were having a shorter stem and getting narrow handlebars. The saddle I had eventually changed for a Selle Diva and of course, getting/making the right pair of shorts 😉