What is The Best Type of E-bike For Females/Women?December 14, 2022
Step-through town bikes for women have been around since before I was born. In the early days having a basket on the handlebars was more important than having a truly purposeful bike. The change came when people started thinking about designing performance-oriented bikes for women and their innate anatomical differences. The days of women performing workshop surgery on a saddle to get a rideable ‘cut-out’ shape are thankfully in the past. Companies like Raleigh have been producing bikes and components specifically for women for almost 60 years and show no sign of slowing. In fact, many of the design inspirations behind “WSD” (Women’s Specific Design) bikes have since been crossed over to men’s compact, sloping top tube, or unisex geometry that allows a more comfortable, less racy, fit. And besides, is it even politically correct to even call them “ladies bikes”?
The good news is there really isn’t any specific category for “female” bikes or indeed e-bikes, but there are frame types and e-bike styles that should make it easier for women to mount the bike and of course dismount it as well. So let’s look at some of the types of things you should be looking for if you want an e-bike made for females…
Lower Cross Bar
Women typically have a shorter torso and reach than men. Market research has also identified that female (and male) recreational cyclists prefer a more upright sitting position. Redesigning e-bikes to have less length in the top tube allows the rider to sit upright and increases comfort. It also allows the rider to comfortably rest their hands on the brake hoods.
Aside from geometry, the components are also crucial to the women-specific design. First are the handlebars. These will be narrower and, on a road bike, will have a shallower drop.
Wider, shorter saddle
While most women are happy to ride with just about any saddle it really should be wider and shorter to accommodate the female anatomy. At the time mass-produced women’s bikes started appearing we also saw a rise in the number of ‘cut-out’ designs created to help relieve pressure and discomfort in more sensitive areas. Often women’s saddles will also have extra padding to help with comfort.
And no, this is not a sexist thing. It’s a known fact that women care more about the aesthetics of everything around them more than men and will go for lighter, pastel-style coloured e-bikes. While some colours may be considered more masculine or feminine they are certainly not exclusive to sex. Gone are the days when a male can’t ride a pink bicycle without being laughed at, but males do go for darker colours anyway.
There really isn’t any difference in the power levels between “ladies” e-bikes and “men’s” because the truth is there really isn’t a specific style of e-bike made towards females these days. Yes, you could argue that low-cross bars, shorter handlebars and bigger seats are all aimed at the female market, but we see many male riders prefer these style bikes as well. Maybe they can’t get their knee up as high as they once could, or maybe the e-bike just folds anyway and that is why males have chosen it. And on the flip-side we know and have seen many females riding and enjoying e-bikes that could say were made for men!
It’s all a question of personal taste, but I for one still think it is a good idea that there are designs and types of e-bikes out there that are better for women to ride, even if you are not really allowed to class them as such anymore. If you are worried that what style of e-bike you need we highly suggest you try a few different ones out. Don’t let sex stereotypes put you off riding and enjoying the e-bike that works for you.