6 of the Best Bikes for Women

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Six of the Best Bikes for WomenWe get many ladies asking us “which is the best woman’s specific bike on the market?” So we thought we had better take a good look at a selection of bikes that have been designed and built just for the ladies.

We have chosen six beautiful road bikes to look at, Cannondale, Giant, Orbea, Scott, Specialized and Trek. Yes, the six best known bike manufacturers around.
All six of the frames have been designed specifically for women, the seat and head angles and the lengths of the main tubes are made to fit women’s body shape and perform in the same way as any other race bike.

We describe the frame design of each bike and look at the equipment fitted to each one, we liked them all and we do have a favorite, but if you are in the market for a new bike then read our reviews and make up your own mind!

Trek Madone 6.0

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Trek Madone 6-Series review – BikeRadar

The Trek is the only bike in our list that is not a compact design with a sloping top tube, it has fairly “normal” angles and design, except it has a much longer top tube than the seat tube, which is quite usual for a woman’s bike. With the frame having a horizontal top tube this gives you less of a step over, which can be a problem. The frame and forks are made of carbon. The Trek is available in four sizes.

The equipment is mostly Shimano Ultegra 10 speed with a triple chain set, so you climb anything and everything else is Bontrager as it would be with a Trek bike. The complete bike weighs in at 8.1 kgs, looks good and will ride well. The only draw back is that non sloping top tube.

Cannondale Synapse Feminine

The Cannondale has an Alloy frame with carbon forks, in four sizes, sloping frame design with a steep seat angle and a more relaxed head angle, this allows for the shorter seat tube and a longer top tube. Shimano 105, 9 speed gears and a mixture of other bits and pieces to keep the price reasonable. Triple chain set, Mavic rims and Fi’zi:k feminine saddle are all quality goods, but the bike weighs 9.3 kgs, so not too light, but a good price.

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Cannondale

Bike of the week 4: Cannondale Synapse Feminine 5

Giant SCR

The Giant is the cheapest and the heaviest of our six bikes. Alloy sloping frame with carbon composite forks, frame sizes (three sizes) and angles are based on the Giant formula that all the others have copied over the years, so no worries there! Shimano Tiagra 8 speed gears with an FSA triple chain set, the other parts are a mixture of Giant own brand with Alex rims and a San Marco saddle. A heavy 10 kgs will give you a hard work out!

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Giant

Giant SCR Road Bike Weekend Review

Orbea Diva TPB

This is the most expensive bike we have looked at, but not the lightest, weighing in at 8 kgs, the Orbea is a top class piece of equipment. Full carbon frame and forks with comfortable angles and a very nice look. Shimano Ultegra 10 speed mated to a Zeus Ziclon compact chain set with 34/50 tooth chain rings, so a compromise between normal double and a triple, but without the draw backs of either. Shimano wheels and ITM bits and pieces with a Selle Italia lady saddle, makes this top a top quality steed, but at a price. The only problem with the Orbea is that it is only available in two sizes.

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Orbea

Specialized Ruby Comp Compact

A very nice bike, the Ruby Comp, well proportioned and designed in carbon with Specialized Zerts inserts to take away road vibrations. Sloping top tube and a compact design with much the same angles and dimensions as the other compacts. FSA Compact chain set and Shimano 105 10 speed make this economical and sporty. Specialized fit there own brand part, which are perfectly good and hard wearing. The complete bike weighs 8.3 kgs, so its one of the lightest and it comes in five different sizes so there shouldn’t be any fitting problems.

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Specialized

Specialized Ruby Comp Elite

Scott Contessa

The Scott Contessa is our favorite of the six, carbon frame and forks with a perfect design to fit any woman’s physique, available in five sizes. It looks good and is the lightest of the bunch at 7.8 kgs. 10 speed Shimano 105 gears with a Shimano triple chain set, the wheels are Mavic Aksium with Continental tires, Fi’zi:k Vitesse HP saddle and Ritchey handle bars makes this bike very well specked at a good price. The frame and all the parts are well known and can be trusted to work and last. We vote this our choice for best ladies bike. The only thing we would change would be the chain set, we would fit a compact 34/50, this would make the bike even lighter and look just a little bit nicer, if that is possible.

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Scott

 

Scott Contessa BeginnerTriathlete Review

What do we Think?

All these bikes are made especially for women and have the correct frame specifications for fit and performance. Looks, weight and price could sway your choice, one way or the other.

We have based our choice on everything, taking all aspects in to consideration, some times you have to accept a low quality group set to get a better frame or other components, on this basis we come to the conclusion that the Scott Contessa is the best, closely followed by the Specialized and Trek.

We very much liked the Orbea, it is expensive, but it has the best equipment, it loses out on price and that it is only available in two sizes.

Now ladies, make up your own mind, go and get a new bike and get out on the road!

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Comments

  1. Joyce says

    I am a 70 year old woman who likes to ride 20-50 miles in a day, wanting a lightweight woman’s step through bike that I can lift in and out of my van. I’m 5’3″ (used to be taller). My Trek, which I love, is getting too heavy. Any recommendations?

  2. Panny says

    currently I’m using Specialized MTB and keen to try roadbike, is there any suggestion what to look at? with budget around USD 1000 – 1500 could you advice what are best brand especially for woman design..group set shimano 105
    I think with that budget ranget only suitable for Alloy instead of carbon :)

    Thanks
    Panny

    • Sam says

      That’s true Panny, if I were you and not planning to change my bike for years, then go and buy alloy with a better groupset, Ultegra perhaps? However, carbon bikes are on the wave and they are much easier to find at a good budget. Have you thought on a second hand bike. You can get a very good gem for much less than you think

  3. PerverTT says

    How times have changed. Back in my day, men rode 10 speed racers with top tubes and women with modestly rode on mixte frames painted lavender or pink. And any man seen riding a girl’s bike would risk ridicule as a homosexual or worse. As a result of current female preference for dressing like men and riding men’s bicycles, I must now take great care before leering at ladies on cycles.

  4. aj says

    Of course they dont’t review Terry Bikes. Terrys are the best performance bikes out there for women. The tailwind is phenomenal. I have ridden Fuji, Diamondback, and Trek. My terry threw all three in the dust, easily.

    Bike vendors just don’t make good bikes for women. I guess, if you are under five four, they just don’t think you ride. Its sad. Women such as myself, standing under five feet tall have to bleed through the nose for a good bike. We are either told to buy a kids bike, or deal with an ill fitting frame. I work in a bike shop and I race…. ehat the hell is wrong with this picture? Why should I buy a kids bike, strip the components, and buy all new components?Why can’t you just build a bike that fits us? Why should I settle for 700 wheels, an oversized frame…. and be uncomfortable constantly? And what is with that 650 controversey? Smaller tires go faster. A porsche outruns a dump truck. Why should I trade my comfort and my health for a myth? The Terry is BY FAR the best womens bike out there, hands down, and worth the money. At my height, I can lead on a TERRY bike. The way that women are treated in this sport is astonishing. I would like to see one “top ten” name build a bike that fits smaller women that is better than a TERRY. In fact, I would like to see them just build a bike that fits women under five four. That would be fantastic… oh, and nothing with shit components (tiagra, sora, etc). I want quality. I want what everyone else wants. I want to win.

  5. Tom says

    Brigitte – you might not be aware cycling is also a sport. Regardless, while people pack on buses and trains to travel 200 km some of the women riding these bikes will be cycling the distance by their own power. These bikes are way cooler than a 20 kg city bike you can’t get up even the smallest mountains. (I ride both kinds of bikes, BTW) Sports and the arts gives our society something to achieve besides daily existence, living through sickness and fearing war even if it does seem “unnecessary”.

  6. Mani says

    OMG! Doesn’t anyone read the whole article anymore! These are road bikes! Racing bikes! NOT meant to carry your kids, junk, or groceries around! If that is what you are looking for get a freaking wagon! As for the post about the prices for the bikes, HELLO the writer doesn’t sell these bikes but comment on the pro and cons of the bikes ( their opinions). These bikes are probably sold at different price ranges and therefore didn’t give you the price so it won’t lead you to think it was too pricey or too cheap. That is something you would have to research on your own. This article was well written and it helped me out alot since I just recently became interested in cycling. Great job!

  7. Skye says

    I have two Specialized road bikes, we had two until a couple of days ago. I have a Dolce Sport which I use to commute and train on and had a Ruby Comp (lesson never ever put a bike on the top of a car and forget that it is there – overhead barriers are not bike friendly) however, – fantastic bike loved loved it she rode like a dream – did several ‘100’s’ and not an ache in sight, I am 5’9″ and had a 57″ frame, would recommend this to any lady cyclist out there who wants a great bike for distance and speed or even just to go out on a sunday ride – not cheap but you pay for quality.

  8. Gavin Dawson says

    I have an issue with the Editor’s response to Corrine. How can you properly size a person without physically having them on a bike? Have you sized a person before? If you have you will then know that there are many contributing factors that will be looked at in offering the correct size. I will question your advice of changing the stem length to a shorter size. How much cycling have you done on a road bike where the stem has been shortened? The shorter the stem the twitchy the handling becomes.How much shorter do you advice? 5mm 10mm ??? May i suggest you rethink giving frame sizing advice over the net as there is more to it than just a person height.

  9. john says

    sirrus bike can be found on specialized website

    Also Anja – people seeking advice to start cycling should be encouraged, no matter what bike.

    For new cyclists overwhelmed by choice – they are not always aware of the vast array of types and styles, and merely seeking advice. Not all experts and we all have to start somewhere! Even competitives.

    Bridgette and Amy – try looking at Hybrid bikes, sounds like what your looking for
    This is a bike reveiw website

  10. says

    @corinne:
    Hi. 47 cm would be way to small for you in a roadbike. Get Min 49 cm, but you could go up to about 52 and be comfortable. I am 5′ 5” and have always happily ridden 52 cm frames. I custom fit them with shorter stems. Women have longer legs and shorter torsos relative to a man with the same height. Of course, you can adjust the seat height easier than the stretch towards the handlebar. So you don’t want a frame that is too big. But up to a 52 is perfectly within size for your height. Many bikes come in 50 cm, and 51 cm frames, so there is no need to go for anything as small as 47.

  11. Anja says

    Amy – this is a review of roadbikes.

    Brigette – Seriously? This is a review of road bikes. As in, bicycles women buy for long or competitive road biking. If you want a bike made for carrying food, you need to look into a different style of bike altogether.

  12. corinne says

    I’m interested in a contessa speedster 2007 model, I’m 5 feet 5 inches and not sure if I should go with the 47 cm or 49. In a Giant I’m a S size. I get diff opinions.

    thx

  13. Brigitte says

    None of these bikes have the basic requirements for a practical women’s bike, i.e. lots of storage (bagage rack, panier) to be able to use it to do food shopping and carry stuff,
    and lights inbuilt, preferably dynamo (messing about with batteries is annoying and not environment friendly).
    I am rather fed up with manufacturers selling fancy stuff (how many geard do you actually need..?!!) and not providing the basics with the result that one has to spend more money on things like lights, baggage racks and even mudguards!!!

  14. Momo says

    It would be nice to have prices listed; however, you can ‘google’ them and get more accurate numbers. I would not say this article is useless.Next, I’d love to see reviews on bikes that can be adapted or are built specifically for lugging groceries, kids etc. Those available in the U.S. that is.

  15. Oliver says

    Approximate prices would be appreciated in EVERY review – ratings without prices seems useless to the 90% or more of us who have limited amounts of money.

  16. martin cunningham says

    what are the best make of bike for the casual woman cycleist and the best place to buy

  17. Carolyn Herbert says

    Hi Please can you advise me what is the best option for a new rider? I want to cycle on and off road, tow paths etc but not sure of the extent to which I would use a bike at the moment. I was told in Halfords that I had to have a ladies bike as a man’s bike would be totally unsuitable. Also he said that a hybrid was no good for towpaths and I had to have a mountain bike. Would you agree with this?ThanksCarolyn