Choosing the right bike if you’re a short woman


Being short it seems, has always came with quite a lot of backsets in life because most of all appliances and devices have been constructed for the status quo, average size person.  When it comes to bicycles, manufactures share the same type of concept.  We must remember that most “adult” bicycles will be made for the average size person and that goes for women and their bikes as well.  Will the cost be more if you have to buy more of a customized bike for yourself?  More than likely, you will have to pay a few extra bucks if you want a shorter or customized bicycle.  What factors should a female cyclist look for when trying to decide the right bicycle for more of the shorter woman?

Selecting the Right Wheel:  This is essential when deciding which bike would be best for you.  Let me start off by saying that when you try a bicycle out before initial purchase and you cannot reach the brake, then you will know right off that the bicycle is too long for you.  If you’re a lady who finds herself around the 5’1-5’2 mark, then it would be in best interest to stick with wheels under the 26” or 650c sizing.  The smaller wheels allow for better short-rider geometry, fit, and handling.  The worst thing would be to purchase a bicycle, only to bring it home and find out that you cannot reach the bottom of the pedals or even the brake.  You need to always make sure the wheel is going to match your height and size because in order to make the bike go, you are going to have to pedal and if you can’t even reach the pedals because the wheels are too tall, then you’ve purchased the incorrect bicycle.

Considering Buying a Foldie:  What is a foldie?  That’s a great question and a foldie is exactly what it seems to be.  These are bicycles that fold out and you’ve probably seen a few of these bikes around town and had no idea these types of bikes even folded.  These types of bikes tend to look a bit long in the frame work, sitting lower to the ground.  Keep in mind that foldie bicycles are designed to fold into a compact form, enabling comfortable transport and storage.  When bikes can be folded, it will be much easier to bring them into buildings, transport them to various locations and so forth.  A foldie bicycle is perfect for the shorter woman because of how low these types of bikes sit lower to the ground and not only that, but who wouldn’t want a folding bike?  How neat does that sound?

Search into Women-Specific Designs:  A great way to find a bicycle designed for shorter women is to search bikes that advertise “women-specific” geometry.  These types of bikes will definitely be geared more towards the average, smaller rider, hoping that your legs will be comparatively longer than your torso and that your shoulder range and hands will be on the smaller side.  Keep in mind that there are bikes out there which are aided toward shorter women, but they are not as common as just going to a sporting goods store and selecting the first one you see.  You will need to search out these types of bicycles, ask questions and test them out before you buy.  It’s important as a female cyclist that you are riding in ease, durability, and safety.

Make Sure You Get Fitted:  I absolutely cannot stress this enough when you are searching for that perfect bicycle.  You may be wondering how could I get fitted for a bicycle?  This isn’t shopping for clothes.  Well, that is correct but what you need to keep in mind is that most bicycle shops will do formal fittings to get you the bike which is perfect for you.  Let’s say that you up and bought a bike that was a little bit too long for you, but really liked the color and so forth, well you could take that bike to your local bicycle shop and have them to readjust the frame work, handlebars and so on.  In other words, you can totally get the bicycle customized at a local bicycle shop to aid to your needs and desires as a shorter woman.

Where to Find Some Top Brands Aided for Short Cyclists

  • Scott: The Metrix 20 goes down to XS
  • Islabikes
  • Dahon
  • Brooklyn Bicycle Company: Custom bikes and lots of options for heights of 4″11 and up.
  • Brompton
  • Giant: The Avail is aimed at women but not super feminine looking.
  • Trek: Makes smaller bikes as well as Women specific bicycles.
  • Bike Friday: Specific designs for short people, cargo options
  • Genesis: The Cul de Glandon uses smaller wheels which means making fewer geometry compromises.
  • Civia: Step through and mixte options.
  • Cleary Bikes
  • Biria: Lots of options for step through, and easy boarding.
  • Kona Coco: Smallest size is 42 cm.