Posted in Cycle

If the bike fits, ride it!

As a woman you need a bike that fits you well and works with your body shape – sound familiar? Well it should, this is exactly the same rule that applies to men - women are no different in their bike buying needs!

Frame and fit

A mountain bike trail doesn’t care about your gender when it throws in a steep gnarly rock section for you to tackle. It’s far more important to think about your needs on the trail when it comes to bike fit;

  • Frame fit: It’s vital that you choose a bike with a frame that fits your unique body dimensions.
  • Body position: Your bike’s frame should give you a nice centered position which allows you to weight the bottom bracket for stability and grip.
  • Ride posture: The top tube and stem should give you a relaxed posture on the bike that will provide you with comfort on long rides.

Check your contact points

Your saddle, pedals, bars and grips are all key contact points on the bike.  They play a huge role in determining the quality and comfort of your ride.

  • Handlebars: You may feel that as a woman you will benefit from narrower handlebars than usual – this all depends on your build and not your gender.  Some women will certainly benefit from a narrow set of handlebars, but women with wider shoulders will find that the stock wide bars that come with many mountain bikes are perfectly fine.
  • Saddles: The same principles apply to saddles; women’s specific saddles cater to those with wider sit bones but again this is all down to personal fit – sit on the saddle and see how it feels.
  • Grips: Grips come in narrow and thick dimensions and this will be determined by what feels most comfortable for you. Thicker grips can help dampen trail vibrations whereas thinner grips can give you a more precise steering feel.

If you do feel the need to change a part to improve fit then Wiggle's cycle components category will have it covered.

woman riding mountain bike hardtail in forest

Women’s bike fit myths shattered

If you’re a woman on the hunt for the bike of your dreams there are some key myths we need to address urgently:

Myth 1:  I definitely need a woman’s specific mountain bike!

This is simply not true! Not all women share such stereotypical physical dimensions! Here at Wiggle we stock a wide range of unisex bikes that are suitable for women; it all comes down to personal fit. Women’s specific mountain bikes have been designed with female friendly dimensions based on an idea of what constitutes a women’s body shape. They will most certainly suit some women more than others; please don’t think that you must buy a women’s specific bike out of principle.

Myth 2: I’ll have to swap out a load of parts to make it fit.

If you find a size that works well you shouldn’t have to swap anything out other than what arises from personal preference – you may have a favourite saddle design etc.

Myth 3: All the saddles on unisex bikes are so uncomfortable!

Saddle comfort is all down to personal preference; it’s not linked to gender.  Some women have wider sit bones than others and they may be candidates for a wider saddle; not all women share the same physical characteristics, a standard unisex saddle may fit fine – sit on it and see.

About the author

Sarah Pain
Published on: 26 Jun 2015