What's the difference between women's and men's bikes?

Cycling is increasingly popular as more and more of us decide to pedal our way to better health or simply save time on the daily commute. Millions of women are now joining the cycle revolution, which means there are more bikes than ever on the market which can make it tough to choose.

What's the difference between women's and men's bikes?

A bike is a bike, with two wheels, pedals, a chain and brakes. The main differences between men’s bikes and women’s bikes are the frame size and geometry.

Women’s frames will often come with smaller size options than men's, and they often feature a sloping top tube (the tube of the frame that runs from the handlebars to underneath the saddle), whereas men’s frames usually feature a horizontal(or higher) top tube.

What size bike do you need?

Bike sizing can be complicated. There is no universal sizing system across all brands. You’ll find women’s bikes available by size (extra small, small, medium, large), or according to the seat tube length (measured in centimetres or inches).

Every manufacturer provides general size guides, which should help you narrow down your search. Our Bike Size Chart can help you learn more about suitable frame sizes, so it’s a great place to start.

At Halfords, our trained experts can help you to identify the right-sized bike for you. They will also be able to help you try several models, working to find a bike that's comfortable to ride and easy to control.

Can women ride men's bikes?

Absolutely! There are no rules and no reasons why you can't ride a men’s bike if it fits properly and feels comfortable but bear in mind that Halfords women’s bikes usually come with a women’s specific saddle and smaller bars than men’s equivalent.

Many women find men's bike frames more comfortable, and, in some cases, bike manufacturers build one bike that is suitable for everyone.

On the road, off-road, or anywhere else you want to ride, the most important thing is that your bike is comfortable to ride and that you can manage all controls and stop safely.

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