Here Are Some Things To Consider When Shopping For A Womens Road Bike
I hope that simplified the selection process and gives you the knowledge to shop with confidence.
Now lets review those 5 road bikes!
Lapierre Esensium 300 Disc Women’s Electric Road Bike
Reasons to buy
Easily missed by the casual observer is the motor that powers this Lapierre road e-bike for women. The Ebikemotion System is subtleâin appearances, but also in support.
The eSensium has a lightweight alloy frame and a carbon fork, with tidy internal cable routing. It also doesnât come with the added weight a lot of e-bike systems do. This makes it a good choice for a rider who doesnât always want the electric boost.
Fitted with 28c Continental Ultra Sport II tyres, this makes a comfy ride. Its Shimano hydraulic disc brakes also make it a reliable choice for riders looking for speed in all weathers.
What Makes A Road Bike
Road bikes, as the name suggests, are first and foremost designed to be really efficient at riding on hard surfaces such as tarmac and concrete leaving adventure bikes aside for one moment.
They tend to have a handlebar that curves around and down, known as a drop handlebar, which allows the rider to place their hands in a range of positions for comfort and efficiency.
They will have a stiff frame and, bar a few examples, no suspension built in, unlike mountain bikes.
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What Should I Consider When Buying A New Bike
Can I afford replacement parts?
It’s all well and good saving up to buy a sparkly new top-of-the-range bike but ask yourself, when something needs replacing, can you afford it?
We ask this question because bike parts do wear with time and it can cost a lot to replace things like-for-like.
How do I usually ride?
If you consider yourself an aggressive whippet who focusses on smashing out power hours on your lunch break, then you should go for an aero bike.
Are you a more relaxed rider who enjoys banking long, slow days in the saddle? An endurance road bike with relaxed geometry would likely be the ticket here.
Buy a bike that complements how you ride a bike, not how you think you should ride.
Where do I ride?
Where do I envisage riding my new bike? Am I buying this to venture into the world of gravel bikes? If so, you need to look for a bike with generous tyre clearance.
Are you buying this bike with the plan of multiple trips to the high mountains abroad? Then you might consider a lightweight climbing bike.
Pinpoint where you see yourself riding most, then buy a bike suited to that.
Am I looking to upgrade?
Going into a bike purchase, you will have a rough figure in your head of how much you want to spend. And within that, there will be many options fitting the bill.
If you have grand plans of wheel and groupset upgrades in the near future, opting for the best frame you can buy for your budget isn’t a bad idea.
Best Women’s Electric Gravel Bikes
- Best electric gravel bikes: our pick of the best bikes for assisted off-road adventures
The Canyon Grail is widely revered as a great gravel bike – it even made it onto our list of the best gravel bikes – despite the initial confusion around its hover bar cockpit. Whether you love it or hate it, the hover bar is here to stay, and youâll find a womenâs optimised version of it on Canyonâs recently released Grail:ON, its answer to the unending quest for a carbon e-bike that floats over gravel with ease.
Plus thereâs a women-specific option thatâs enhanced for female riders. Catering for the vertically-challenged, the Grail:ON WMN is available in sizes XXS-M, and uses 27.5in DT Swiss HG-series wheels.
The Grail:ON features Boschâs Gen4 CX Performance Motor with a removable 500 Wh battery, so this e-gravel bike will pack a punch. It can provide up to 340 per cent increased pedal power and has four assist modes: Turbo, eMTB, Tour and Eco.
The Grail:ON WMN comes stock with the Shimano GRX groupset, and 50mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tyres which, though theyâll roll over the rough stuff, will also add a bit of rolling resistance when youâre on the road. In order to make the ride as comfortable as possible, these high-volume tyres are teamed up with the Grail cockpit and VCLS 2.0 seatpost to soak up the bumps.
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Do I Need A Road Bike
This is the most important question, and one that will depend on the type of riding you intend to do. If you are only going to ride on the road then a road bike is the natural choice, but if you’re going to be riding a bit of gravel then perhaps a gravel bike will be a better choice.
Likewise, if you’re primarily going to use it for commuting then you may well have more joy using a bike designed for the purpose of transport rather than speed.
Do You Need A Women’s Specific Road Bike
We’ve answered this in detail in Can women ride men’s bikes? but to summarise, you can ride whatever bike fits you best.
Many brands are moving away from gendered frames, and are instead offering more size ranges and multiple options for contact points, like adding one of the best women’s road bike saddles.
Cycling is, at a performance level, a power to weight game, and for petite riders the bike makes up a greater proportion of system weight than it does for a larger rider. For a 50kg rider for instance the difference between having a 10kg bike over an 8kg bike is an increase of 3 per cent – not insignificant, but also not the be all and end all. Unless every ounce of performance needs to be wrung out we’d go for comfort over lightweignt.
For taller women, some of the women’s specific frames will simply be too small, as many come in limited size runs, and recommend the men’s or unisex version for taller women. If you are buying in person at a shop and fall into this category, work with the shop staff to swap out the finishing kit for women’s versions, and don’t be scared to barter.
Of course, if you do want women’s specific geometry, your best options are Liv and Lapierre.
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Best Road Bike: Hiland Road Racing Bike
Lightweight and durable aluminum frame
Seven-speed shifters for control
No thorough assembly instructions
Occasional missing parts
Designed with the city in mind, the Hiland Road Bike offers both speed and control in smooth conditions. The bikes 22-inch wheels will give you a high-speed ride, while its 14-speed shifters will help you nimbly maintain control as you bike. With double caliper brakes, you can easily stop on slick surfaces while the aluminum alloy frame provides you with lightweight and durable support.
The Hiland Road Bike comes with a 21.6-inch frame or a 25.6-inch frame. The 21.6-inch frame makes the bike suitable for riders between 5 feet, 8 inches and 6 feet, 1 inch tall. And the 25.6-inch frame makes it suitable for riders between 6 feet, 1 inch and 6 feet, 4 inches tall. The bikes weight capacity is 300 pounds.
Price at time of publish: $379.99
Style: Road | Height Capacity : 5 feet, 8 inches to 6 feet, 1 inch | Weight: 33.4 pounds | Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
Other Features To Consider
With so many different options these days, its a great time to be a woman on a bike. In addition to choosing from bike style and fit, you also have frame material to look at: carbon, aluminum, and steel. All are strong options, though carbon is generally the lightest and most expensive, and steel is generally the heaviest and most durable.
You will also want to choose between rim brakes and disc brakes, which cost a little more but offer better stopping power. Discs are pretty standard on mountain bikes and are becoming more common on road bikes that cost more than $1,000. Rim brakes are still popular on city bikes, but discs are gaining popularity there as well because they offer more control and consistent stopping power in wet conditions.
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Best Electric Road Bikes
The best electric road bikes combine race-bike like handling and specs with a motor and battery that often are hard to spot without a closer look. The quality spec means that on the flat you can usually ride them above the speed at which the motor cuts out and this in turn saves battery power and increases range. The motor is still there to support you when you hit a hill though, making tougher terrain much more manageable.
The Ribble Endurance SL e lets you choose from a variety of specs from mechanical Shimano 105 or SRAM Rival up to Dura-Ace Di2 and including the latest electronic 105 Di2 12-speed. As with all Ribble’s bikes, you can choose to upspec certain components too via the Ribble BikeBuilder app.
Ribble uses the Mahle ebikemotion motor/battery system that’s a popular choice due to its low weight and stealth format and is found in many of the best electric bikes. It leads to an electric bike that doesn’t weigh a lot more than many non-assisted bikes, while the 40Nm output from the motor helps out without giving you too much of an assist.
Range is decent, particularly since it’s easy to ride the Ribble SL e above the motor’s cut-off speed. The single button controller mounted on the top tube is slightly tricky to keep tabs on and use while riding though.
There’s a SRAM Rival eTap AXS single chainring groupset and Roval C38 Disc carbon wheels with 30mm tyres, along with Specialized’s comfort-oriented bars and saddle.
Unisex Vs Womens Specific Frame Sizes
Manufacturers have distinct approaches to frame sizes. You will find most brands offering their full range of sizes for almost all their road bikes, be it for men, women, or unisex.
Trek Bicycle Corporation has the following frame sizes:
- XS: 13 to 14.5
- S: 15 to 16.5
- M: 17 to 18.5
- L: 19 to 20.5
- XL: 21 to 22.5
- XXL: 23 to 25
Many best-selling road bikes like the Tommaso Imola Endurance on Amazon.com are available in several sizes. This 24-speed Imola Endurances size chart provides a height range for every level, except for the unavailable XXS designed for 410 to 52 riders height. *Here are the available frame sizes for Tommaso Imola Endurance:
- XS: 52 to 56
- S: 56 to 58
- M: 58 to 511
- L: 511 to 62
- XL: 62 to 65
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Uk: Best Road Bikes Under 1000
At face value, the Cannondale Synapse Disc Sora might seem a little expensive in this company, and right at the top of the sub-Â£1,000 limit, but Cannondale is providing a high-quality platform that is capable of growing with you as a rider. The bike is built around a tidy SmartForm C2 alloy frame and full carbon fork, both of which have Cannondaleâs SAVE technology built-in to increase comfort.
The disc brakes are cable-actuated, but the frame has internal cable routing, through both the frame and fork. The Shimano Sora groupset borrows technology from the Shimano’s previous top-end drivetrain generations, making for a high performing workhorse-like groupset. Likewise, the Vittoria Zaffiro tyres arenât the best road bike tyres on the market, but they are from a recognisable, well-regarded brand, and handily come in a 28mm size for extra grip and comfort.
Head to our guide to Cannondale road bikes to see where the Synapse sits in the range.
German brand Cube isnât the most well-known maker of road bikes but the company is known for its progressive designs â often bucking the trend for âboring black bikesâ. Weighing in a touch above 10kg is impressive for a bike that costs under Â£1,000 and has disc brakes, as is the fact that the Cube Attain comes with a full carbon fork, internal cable routing and nicely colour-matched finishing kit, meaning it looks more expensive than it is.
Best Cheap Road Bikes Best Road Bikes Under 750
Russell Burton / Our Media
Getting into road riding neednt cost you a fortune. Even just £350 will buy you a bike that will get you started with the world of road riding, although spending even slightly more will get you a significantly better bike.
Our full buyers guide to the best cheap road bikes is a great place to start, and weve got tips for second-hand bike buyers too.
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Three Main Types Of Tires
Clincher tires use an inner tube and are much more common than other types. If your tube gets punctured, you will need to carry a spare tube or puncture repair kit to fix or replace it.
|A Clincher tire in a narrow 23mm width|
Tubular tires are designed with the professional racer in mind. They consist of a tire that is sewn together with a tube inside. They are then adhered to the wheel rim with a glue that must be allowed to dry overnight. If not correctly glued, tires may roll off rims and cause an accident.
While theyre slightly lighter than clinchers, riders must carry an entire replacement tire in the event of a puncture. Good quality tubular tires are costly, while cheap versions are lumpy and uneven. For these reasons, tubular tires are relegated to the realms of professional racers with the luxury of a support crew.
|High-priced, high-end: Tubular tire for racing.|
Tubeless tire technology has been the automotive standard for the last fifty years. Its popular amongst mountain bikers and has recently become popular on road bikes. In very simple terms, a tubeless tire is a clincher without an internal tube. The rim must be airtight, as a tubeless tire seals directly to the wheel rim.
In order to use tubeless tires, rims must be either tubeless-ready or true tubeless. A true tubeless system uses rims without spoke holes in the inner wall. The more common tubeless-ready systems require a slimy sealant to create the initial seal and to guard against small punctures.
Aluminium Or Carbon Fibre Wheels
Simon von Bromley / Immediate Media
With few exceptions, road bikes will come with 700c wheels with either aluminium or carbon fibre rims.
Aluminium rims come as standard on many road bikes, particularly at the lower end of the price spectrum, as they are relatively cheap to produce.
Carbon rims are becoming increasingly common on new, complete bikes. Wheels with carbon rims can be even lighter than those with aluminium rims, and they can be more aerodynamic too, because the high strength-to-weight ratio of the material means manufacturers can create deep-section rim profiles that arent prohibitively heavy.
If you have a rim brake bike, the rim material itself takes the brunt of the braking force. This makes aluminium rims a popular choice because when the rim eventually wears down through use, its cheaper to replace aluminium rims than carbon rims.
Aluminium rims also provide a better braking surface than carbon rims in wet conditions, so many riders will fit aluminium rims to their bike in winter, saving their wheels with carbon rims if they have them for summer.
The growing popularity of disc brakes has made much of the debate between aluminium and carbon rims redundant, however. Because disc brakes bind with a metal rotor attached to the wheel rather than the rim itself, riders can now opt for carbon rims regardless of weather conditions or season.
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What Are Road Bike Frames Made From
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
One of the main differences between road bikes will be the material used to make the frame.
Many of the most expensive road bikes will be made from carbon fibre, because it has a high strength-to-weight ratio, allowing brands to create lightweight and efficient bikes.
The best aluminium road bikes can offer a ride experience and a similar level of performance to carbon road bikes but are generally more affordable, due to aluminium being a cheaper material. They do tend to be heavier, though, but not always by that much.
Many of the most affordable road bikes are made from aluminium.
The best steel road bikes offer classy and classic looks, and many riders say this frame material gives a ride quality like no other, absorbing bumps in the road while providing a zingy ride feel.
The best titanium road bikes are often a large investment due to the difficulty of working the material. But, like steel, they are desirable for their unique feel, appealing looks and their exclusivity.
How To Get The Correct Road Bike Size
Bike fit is critical. A budget road bike that fits you like a glove will feel and handle much better than an ill-fitting superbike.
While most brands have bike fit charts on their websites, its vital to just go and sit on the thing if you are new to cycling.
Once you learn what fit works for you, you can shop using the charts in the meantime, try bikes as you would shoes.
Once you have selected the right size frame which any good bike shop can help you with you then need to get your bikes saddle height correct and adjust the handlebar height for comfortable riding. Again, a professional fit at a good shop is invaluable here.
Most good shops will work with you to fine-tune other elements of your fit too, such as the distance to the handlebar, the angle of the handlebar and even the feel of the saddle.
Note that saddle preference is highly personal theres no universal right answer here. The best road bike saddles will be supportive while allowing sufficient blood flow in your delicate areas, and wont get in the way of pedalling.
Many saddles are considered unisex, but some of the best womens road bike saddles have features specifically tailored to female anatomy.
Just try a few until you find something comfortable many saddle manufacturers will also offer demo services via their dealers.
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