When it comes to cycling, there are very important things to keep in mind and areas to check to make sure that you’ll have the best riding experience possible. Riding a bike that doesn’t properly suit you could end with injury or definitely some body soreness. There are different sized bikes for different sized people, but can a woman ride a man’s bike?
In this article, we’ll go into some detail on whether a woman should ride a man’s bike or not. It may seem like a silly thing to be worried about, but really, a woman’s bike and a man’s bike are built differently for different bodies. Keep reading to find out all the dos and don’ts when it comes to whether or not a woman should ride a man’s bicycle.
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Of course she CAN, but SHOULD she? There is a spike in female cyclists across the country, which is super awesome. Most women ride unisex bicycles and do just fine, but what about male-specific bicycles? A woman’s torso can be a bit shorter while the legs may be a bit longer. Of course, every body size is different, but men’s bodies tend to be bulkier and heavier while women’s bodies tend to be longer and leaner. A woman has slightly smaller hands than a man, too, which is another important thing to consider when purchasing a bike.
If a woman does decide to ride a man-specific bike, she could end up hurting herself. Bike riding is supposed to be a great way to exercise, so if you’re injured, you can’t necessarily maintain your athletic strength and continue the sport. Since a man’s bike can be disproportionate to a woman’s body, there can be the stretching of muscles or overexertion of ligaments. That could lead to some pretty serious injury down the road.
The Difference Between Bikes
A man’s bike is catered to a man’s body while a woman’s bike is designed to better suite a woman’s body. A man’s bike will have a wider frame since a man has wider and broader shoulders. A woman’s bike will be proportionate to a woman’s body, which includes that narrower frame and the handlebars will be closer together. Most of the time you’ll be able to tell if the bicycle frame is too big or too small, but if you can’t tell right away, you could overstretch muscles and ligaments causing injury.
That’s not to say you couldn’t comfortably ride a man or woman’s bike, but be mindful of your body and pay attention to any pain from the get-go. Men’s bicycles can also be a bit bigger, which means they will be a bit heavier. This may be harder on a smaller woman’s body or for a woman who isn’t used to riding on a heavier bike. If a frame feels too large for you, even on a unisex bike, make the proper adjustments or simply get a bike that is more suitable for your body weight and shape.
So, kind of like the frame, bicycles that are male-specific or female-specific will have a different saddle. A woman can ride a men’s bike with a men’s saddle just fine on a normal or leisurely ride, but as soon as she starts to pick up the pace or race, she may experience a lot of pressure or pain in all the wrong places. This could cause serious injury if a woman is experiencing pain, yet continues to ride. A woman’s saddle is designed specifically for a woman’s body, just as a man’s saddle is designed specifically for a man’s body.
A woman’s seat will be much easier to ride long distances and rougher terrain on than a man’s seat. There will be no pressure in unwanted places and the ride will overall just be more enjoyable. These are important things to keep in mind, especially if you’re a distance rider or are training for a marathon. You wouldn’t want to feel any discomfort, especially when you are testing your own endurance.
Unisex or Female-Specific Bike?
When it comes to choosing a bike, it’s really only up to the rider if a bike will work out or not. If you aren’t comfortable with a female-specific bike, you can always get a unisex bike that may be just as comfortable. The good part about purchasing a bike is that you can usually test them out before you buy them, so keep that in mind when you’re in the market for a new bike. Unisex bikes are great, but keep in mind that unisex bikes are also meant for male riders, so all the female-specific parts to a bike will be either subdued or nonexistent. This may not be a big deal for some, but it can be uncomfortable for someone who is used to a female-specific bike.
So, overall, it really just depends on what you’re comfortable with and what will work for you. If you’re fine on a unisex bicycle and it feels good, well then just keep at it. If you’re a woman riding a unisex bike and things feel off, try using a female-specific bike and see if there is any difference. You don’t even need to change up the whole bicycle, you could just get female-specific parts like the saddle and handlebars or other parts of a female-specific bicycle.
So, can a woman ride a man’s bike? Of course she can. But, will it be very comfortable? Odds are it won’t be. But, again, it’s all up to the rider and what feels comfortable. Test out a few options and see what your like and see what feels the best, because in the long run, it’s super important to find a bike that will work for your body. Biking should be fun! And it definitely will feel more enjoyable if you have all there right parts for your specific body, whether you’re female or male. You will own the road!