Ladies’ bikes in the modern world

Bike manufacturers have responded to the trend for women taking up cycling for both commuting and leisure by producing a wide range of ladies’ bikes, including road bikes, sports bikes and mountain bikes.

Traditionally, the main differences between ladies’ bikes and standard bikes involved design variations that helped females avoid problems in mounting and riding whilst wearing a long dress. These included a frame with a significantly slanted top tube rather than a horizontal top tube; and protective covers for the back wheel and chain drive (known as a ‘skirt guard’ and ‘chain guard’ respectively) to prevent a dress from catching. These conventional ladies’ bikes still prove quite popular in some quarters today.

With the increasing popularity of mountain bikes and sports bikes however, the disadvantages of this traditional design for ladies’ bikes have become all the more apparent. A lowered top tube is necessarily longer than a horizontal top tube and therefore weighs a lot more. It also weakens the frame since the integral strength of the triangle has been broken.These drawbacks have prompted some innovative bike designers to rethink what a modern bike for women should actually be like.

More recent developments in ladies’ bikes have kept the horizontal top tube more or less intact and have instead focussed on catering for the physical characteristics of the female form in order to provide a more comfortable ride. These include shortening the top tube to account for the average torso and arm reach being shorter than a male’s; and designing the bike to allow for the longer leg length of the average female. This new approach is based primarily on the convenience of the rider.

At Formby Cycles we stock a generous selection of great value traditional and modern ladies’ bikes, all from top name brands. We have the expertise to respond to any queries you might have.

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