March 12, 2021
The women's movement and revolutionary introduction of bicycles during the early 20th century forever changed ideas of femininity, independence, and self-reliance. All of a sudden, the bicycle -- an inexpensive and readily available technological innovation, allowed women to be and go wherever they choose.
As time passed, Bicycling came to symbolize the idea of “New Women”. In a time of monumental social and cultural change, women were often depicted riding bikes as a symbol of autonomy. In turn, more and more women began to realize the extent of their independence, growing more confident and courageous when it came to issues like voting rights.
Susan B Anthony famously echoed that bicycling, “has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.” (Womenshistory.org)
While we live in a much different time, women across the globe continue to find this same sense of freedom and self-reliance in cycling. As a result, we wanted to highlight some of the best bikes and models for women wanting to get into cycling.
To be clear, if you're a woman shopping for a bike, don't limit yourself to just women's models (ask the men who fit and ride women's bikes). The most important is that you love what you ride. Of course the more comfortable and fitting it is, often the more you'll ride it.
The following list includes some of our favorite women-specific and unisex model options along with some feedback on performance, price, comfort, handling, and looks. Each bike was evaluated based on staff experience, market research, and its designed purpose
The new PUBLIC C7 is a modern take on an iconic European city bike design, fit for both men and women of varying sizes and skill levels. The multi-speed step-through frame design offers easy shifting and a wide range of gears that can handle just about any hill. No matter your destination or outfit, the classic Dutch-inspired C7 offers a smooth and safe means of transportation. Solid dual-pivot brakes, curvy handlebars, and refined antique brown saddle help you stylishly glide through city traffic and streets. If that's not enough, the C7 comes with front and rear rack mounts that accommodate a range of baskets and cargo racks, so you can let the bike do all the heavy lifting. The PUBLIC c7 had a moderate price point and design fit for any experience or style of city riding. Explore the variety of gorgeous color options which include Powder Blue, Cream, Blush, Red, Seafoam, and Black.
The Cannondale Topstone Carbon might be one of the most capable and comfortable gravel bikes on the market. Cannondale’s Kingpin pseudo-rear suspension system allows the seat tube to flex and float over bumps, leveling off the ground beneath you. This system eliminates road and trail chatter, especially for larger riders or those with heavier pedal strokes. The Topstone Carbon has relaxed handling, and responsive steering geometry, making a nimble gravel bike perfect for any intermediate or beginner riders. The Topstone Carbon is available online and at retailers, sizing from xs to xl.
The Santa Cruz Juliana Joplin is a women's specific short-travel mountain bike with excellent climbing and descending capabilities. The Joplin has lower-link mounted shocks like its huskier siblings. Despite small gains in the travel fork, the Joplin makes for a free and lively ride. This design still has enough lean for predictable cornering and quick acceleration, especially with carbon rims that make for a more luxurious journey. The Juliana is available in a variety of sizes and builds options. As always, the Juliana has custom-tuned suspension and touchpoints for smaller riders. These adjustments, plus a playful watermelon color design are the only major differences between this bike and the Santa Cruz Tallboy. Depending on frame and wheel preferences, this model can cost anywhere from $2700 to $7000.
Climbs, corners, flat-out sprints—the Allez Sprint does it all. This advanced alloy design of the Specialized Allez Sprint Comp Disc makes for one of the best-value high-performance carbon fiber road bikes on the market. Priced at a competitive $2300, the Allez Sprint Comp Disc utilizes D'Aluisio Smartweld Technology, which strategically places more welding material where it's needed, resulting in an aluminum bike that's more compliant and considerably stiffer. The frame features a unique down tube, bottom bracket shell, head plus fork sizes that correspond to frame size. The Allez Sprint makes for a badass ride with unmatched speed and handling. More than that, it's light, fast, and so much fun.
The Specialized Turbo Levo Comp is a proper trail bike. The combination of industry-leading tech, an improved motor, batteries, and an incredibly lightweight and capable chassis makes for a perfect balance of comfortable enjoyment. The custom Specialized 2.1 Rx Trail-tuned motor is more efficient, 15% smaller, and 11% lighter than its predecessor, placing it at the forefront of e-bike motor technology. Additional features that elevate Specialized Turbo Levo the above other e-bike models include instant engagement, fantastic heat management, and a double freewheel design that disengages the gearbox when you hit top speed. Silent, smooth, and consistent output—even at max power makes it a fantastic option for both men and women of varying sizes and skill levels.
Hopefully, the following reviews and recommendations come in handy in your search for the perfect bike. For more information on how to find the best local routes and trails near you or to simply explore the variety of Thread + Spoke cycling apparel collections, visit threadandspoke.com/collections today.
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