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Buying Your Perfect Road Bike

By marking2020 at 2020-07-16 • 0 collector • 405 pageviews

Between stress, boredom from staying at home for months, and the closure of most gyms and fitness classes, people have been eagerly seeking new ways to exercise and get some fresh air during the global coronavirus pandemic. So as we head into summer, I’m offering a series of guides with tips for those women interested in expanding their horizons and trying something new.

I’m starting today with one of my personal favorites, road cycling. (Here’s my guide to Buying Your Perfect Mountain Bike.) Bicycles have been flying off the shelves since the pandemic started and the hardest thing about getting into cycling might just be getting your hands on a bike. But the good news is there still is availability of some of the best models, and many bike stores were closed for the past few months and are just reopening, often with their existing stock still in place. I do not recommend buying a bike online (especially a first bike), as it requires fitting expertise, assembly and after a few rides, a tune-up (usually included) all of which are best done at a good shop. More good news: accessories are better than ever, and cycling is something you can do to some degree almost anywhere, from urban centers to rural areas, city streets to bike paths, rail trails to roads.


If you haven’t shopped for a road bike in several years, you’ll find a lot has changed, both in design and technology. One of the more troubling issues has been the widespread disappearance of women specific designs (WSD) from most big bike brands. You certainly do not need a “women’s bike,” and in theory most road bikes are unisex and can be adjusted to fit anyone. Also, obviously, not every woman (or man) is built the same way, but in general women are shorter overall, often have longer legs and shorter torsos, and in some studies, also have relatively short arm to torso lengths, all of which affects fit. As a result, women specific frames tend to have shorter top tubes, as well as saddles designed for women.

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