The Key Differences Between Women's and Men's Bikes

The Key Differences Between Women's and Men's Bikes

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Key Differences Between Women's and Men's Bikes

While both men's and women's bicycles accomplish the same tasks, there are a few structural differences across models to consider. Frame designs, seat widths and handlebar placement play an important part in your comfort and endurance, no matter what type of bike you want.

Whether you're shopping for a traditional bicycle or looking to accelerate your experience with an electric bike, these are the most essential factors to consider for a comfortable, supportive ride.

Understanding Bike Fit

According to global statistics, women are about 4.5 inches shorter than men. Women also tend to have more compact torsos and less leg mass, meaning they sometimes have smaller frames. Of course, these are only averages and far from standards. Today's bicycle and electric bike markets are more about calculating correct body proportions and applying them to the frame design.

Body proportions differ between all riders, including:

  • Torso, arm and leg length
  • Sitting bone pressure
  • Hip width

In the past, bikes for women had step-through frames or a sloped, shorter top tube to accommodate skirts and dresses. You can still find the same design today, but it's more about appearance and less about function than it once was.

Bike Frame Options

A bicycle frame is a series of metal tubes that connect to the handlebars, seat, wheels, pedals and brakes. To determine the correct frame size for you, calculate your inseam measurement and multiply it by 0.7 if you're shopping for a road bike and 0.66 if you're looking for an all-terrain model.

People with shorter or longer legs also need to consider the space between the seat and pedals. The ball of your feet should sit against the spindle without being too wide or narrow. If possible, pedal the bike a few times before choosing it to test the angle of your knees and how it feels against the bottom of your foot.

Many bike manufacturers make frame sizing easy with reference charts and recommendations. At Juiced Bikes, all of our e-bikes are unisex size, but our fat tire bikes — including the RipCurrent and RipCurrent S — come with different frame sizes since they're built more like a traditional bicycle.  

Frame size options for bikes include:

E-Bike Frame Size Options

  • Medium: 16.5 inches, usually a good fit for people between 5-foot-4-inches and 6 feet tall
  • Large: 18 inches, usually a good fit for people between 5-foot-8-inches and 6-foot-3-inches tall
  • Extra-Large: 20 inches, usually a good fit for people 6 feet and taller

You can customize some traditional bicycles and e-bikes to fit your body by adjusting or replacing certain components, like the seat. If you don't find a comfortable seat initially, you can always make changes to achieve a better fit. That's especially helpful for the future, as our bodies change all the time.

Bike Stem Options

The top tube — the bar that rests between your legs and attaches to the handlebars — is also called the stem. The stem might slant toward the seat or parallel to the ground. The more slanted it is, the easier it is to mount. Consider how the top tube's slant and length pair with the seat height to determine how easy or challenging the bike will be to get on and off.

All-terrain cyclists and mountain bikers choose stem length based on their riding style and body proportions. Smaller stems are closer to the ground, while higher stems raise the handlebar level. Those with longer arms might choose longer stems, while those looking for more responsive movements will need a shorter stem. Shorter stems are also more suited toward men and women with smaller torsos, so there's less reaching and pulling while seated. 

Bike Handlebar Options

The stem goes hand-in-hand with the size and shape of your handlebars. Handlebars come in various shapes and sizes, and finding the right fit is essential for your comfort and ease of use. The narrower your shoulders, the narrower your handlebars should be, which is why men's bicycles tend to have wide-set handlebars, while women's are more on the narrow side.

The most common handlebars for standard bicycles and e-bikes are as follows:

  • Flat bars: Flat bars promote an upright position, which is perfect if you need posture assistance or leverage while making turns or riding on challenging terrain. You can lean forward over flat bars, alleviating pressure on your hands and helping you get more lift over obstacles.
  • Upright bars: Upright bars, sometimes called cruiser bars, will maximize comfort and hand movements while cruising on standard terrain and relatively straight, flat paths. They aren't ideal for hills and mountainous regions but will provide long-lasting ease for day-long outings.
  • Touring bars: Touring bars, also called butterfly bars, are a top choice for cyclists who take long rides for hours or miles at a time. Their shape is more ergonomic and spacious, so you can adjust your hands more often throughout the ride. 
  • Drop bars: Drop bars are tall with a curved, dropped bar that often tips deeply for comfort and balance. They also have a visually striking effect that many cyclists enjoy. The drop-bar shape and depth vary, depending on your preference. The more extreme the drop, the more options you have for positioning your hands and arms.

Some Juiced Bikes e-bikes also have shorter, motorcycle-style handlebars, which may suit your style or preference more. Because handlebars directly correlate with comfort, you may want to put some extra thought into which one you choose, no matter your gender.

Bike Brake Lever Options

As a cyclist, your brake lever is one of the most critical components of your bike. They need to be efficient, fast and easy to handle without straining or sitting uncomfortably. Handlebar design plays an integral part in the size and type of brake lever your bike will have since the levers are near your hands' natural resting position.

Riders with smaller hands need a brake lever that's easy to reach and effectively grasp. Some brake levers are adjustable, while others accommodate smaller frames. A common brake lever option is the drop-bar brake lever, which has shifters and brakes in the same unit. Always test how well you can reach a brake lever while seated in the saddle you plan to use for an accurate measurement.

E-bike brakes function with discs and rotors that attach to the wheels. Some use cables, others use hydraulic energy — regardless of the type, they provide powerful control and stopping power for your ride without excessive jolts.

Bike Seat Options

In both e-bikes and traditional bicycles, the seat isn't meant to accommodate your entire bodyweight but instead support your sitting bones. An uncomfortable seat can cause numbness, pain, chafing and will interfere with the quality and duration of your ride. 

Bike seats are available in multiple widths and materials. For example, at Juiced Bikes, our men's and women's e-bikes come with oversized seats, gel saddles and wide saddles, depending on the model you choose. With traditional bicycles, some seats include carefully placed cut-outs to protect sensitive areas of the body.

E-Bike Seat Options

If your seat sits too high, it'll cause imbalance and will make you sore over time.

Before testing a bicycle seat, make sure it's parallel to the ground, and consider these options as you browse:

Wide vs. Narrow Seats

Your seat width should pair comfortably with the width of your hips. Many women prefer a wider seat because it offers more support for wider hips and the pelvic bone. Men's seats are typically long and narrow, though many men prefer a more spacious seat for non-competitive riding.

Cushioned vs. Performance Seats

Cushioned seats offer all-day comfort for long rides and touring. Some may have built-in layers or springs to absorb some of the vibrations and movements from riding over terrain. Other bicycles have performance seats with less padding to provide more control and less weight for maneuvering, tricks and competitive rides. While the seat's material may not matter for short rides, you should consider it if you're using your bike for intense activities.

Gel vs. Foam Seats

Cushioned seats contain either gel or foam. Gel is comfortable and molds to the shape of your body after multiple rides, while foam keeps more of its original shape for long-lasting durability. Seats can feature several different materials, depending on your manufacturer, but leather and synthetic fabric are two of the most common options.

Tips for Achieving a Comfortable Bike Fit

Tips for Making a Comfortable E-Bike

There's no better feeling than a bike that fits you comfortably and offers optimal support. Consider the following:

  • Your body dimensions: Before shopping online or visiting your nearest bike shop, note your height, weight, inseam, hip-width and length of your torso, legs and arms. The more precise your numbers are, the easier it'll be to narrow down the right handlebar type, seat width and frame size. Most specialty shops offer size consultations if you're not sure where to begin or have specific concerns.
  • Typical terrain conditions: The type of cycling you do and the typical terrain you ride on make a big difference in sizing. For example, fat tire e-bikes from Juiced Bikes are ideal for riders who want pedal assist technology and powerful throttle for off-roading and rugged terrains, while other cyclists might prefer a more casual touring bicycle. Generally speaking, shorter components and frames offer better control for competitive BMX or challenging paths because you can keep your bike as close to your body as possible while maneuvering. 
  • Your shoes and apparel: What you wear while you ride impacts how your bike feels and performs. You should wear your biking shoes while testing pedal sizing for an accurate measurement that fits the height of your cleats. Your foot should rest on the pedal without any tension in your legs or hips. Pair your biking shoes with bicycle shorts to help minimize friction and chafing.
  • Your posture: While your riding posture will vary depending on your terrain and the type of riding you're doing, avoid bending too far over the handlebars or slouching down, which could create tension and soreness in your shoulders. Keep your elbows tucked to your sides and maintain a neutral position in your spine.

You may need to adjust your bike size over time as your body changes or gains more flexibility and strength. If riding ever becomes less comfortable than it used to be, re-take your measurements and consult with a specialist who can help you identify the best areas to adjust.

Benefits of Unisex Sizing at Juiced Bikes

You won't find specific electric bikes for women or men at Juiced Bikes — instead, all of our models are unisex, designed to fit all riders. We separate our e-bike models into function and intended use, like commuter-friendly, moped-style, adventure-seeking and fat-tires. Some bikes, like the RipCurrent, have a wide seat and multiple frame sizes, while others have conforming gel seats and flat handlebars.

Our unisex sizing puts the focus back on finding the best fit for your proportions and body type, with advantages like:

  • Precise fit: Our seats and handlebars are comfortable and accommodating for all types of riders. We designed our frames to be easy to mount and compact enough to maintain control.
  • Quality control: We're so serious about our quality control that the CEO oversees all production to ensure every Juiced Bikes product delivers the performance and power our riders love about us. This level of quality is why you receive top product value — while other manufacturers are content to sell e-bikes with low-quality components, ours are made to last and perform.
  • Custom options: The team at Juiced Bikes are experts in sizing and customizing e-bikes for women and men of all proportions and preferences. We'll recommend specific product dimensions, upgrades or features to help you get the most out of your e-bike and enjoy long-lasting comfort and freedom while you ride.
  • Easy maintenance: Maintaining your e-bike is simple. Inspect all components regularly — especially before taking a long ride — and repair or replace parts as needed. Annual tune-ups are the best way to stay on top of bike maintenance, giving a professional the chance to check your cables, displays and battery and help them last a long time. You can clean or wipe dirt and buildup from your bike with mild soap and a cleansing cloth to prevent premature wear and tear on your parts.

The best part is you get all the quality, value and customized fit with free shipping for all Juiced Bikes e-bikes, and our team is always available to answer questions throughout the shopping process and after you receive your bike.

Get Paired With Your Perfect E-Bike Today

Elevate your ride with an electric bike from Juiced Bikes. Our e-bikes have powerful, long-lasting batteries and speeds up to 30 miles per hour, with pedal assist technology to help you move faster and go farther than ever before. Whether you're looking for a men's electric bike or a women's electric bike, you can find whatever you need in our selection of unisex models.

Take our e-bike quiz to find the best model for your body type and riding style. Before you know it, you'll be out on the road with the perfect e-bike for you.

Find the Perfect E-Bike with Juiced Bikes

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