Are You Looking at Buying Womens Mountain Bikes?
Mountain biking, like many sports, started off as the sole domain of men (dirty, hairy, sweaty men…I love ‘em!) but nowadays there are many different girls and women who just can’t get enough of mountain biking! You GO Girls! We needs womens mountain bikes.
But if you are a female mountain biker using bikes designed for men you may have found yourself in quite a mess by the end of a hard day riding around a mountain bike track…or a mountainside!
Let’s face it, us women are built differently to men and have very different needs when it comes to mountain bikes.
Below I’ll outline some basic things to consider before buying your womens mountain bikes.
Womens Mountain Bikes Tip Number 1 – Our Body Size
This is one of the few times in life where being smaller than men is an advantage!
As I am sure you already know, most women are physically smaller than men. (I said MOST, not all. My friend Allison is 5’ 10” in bare feet!) Since women are smaller than men it would only make sense that womens mountain bikes would need to be smaller too so that they can use the bike to it’s fullest potential without being uncomfortable.
Women’s mountain bike manufacturers have thought about this and have designed specialized women’s mountain bikes with smaller frames, better saddles and shorter handlebars that suit the female body in proportion. This is true of womens mountain bikes gear in general. It’s usually smaller, lighter and cheaper!
These simple changes to the design of the bike will allow you to easily enjoy your bike riding experience without lugging around a bike that’s too big and heavy for you to use properly…or safely.
Check out my post called “Women’s Bikes – 2 Important Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Women’s Bike” for more information on buying womens mountain bikes and altering a bike to fit you perfectly.
Womens Mountain Bikes Tip Number 2 – Lighter Weight
I’m sure I’m not alone in this experience but have you ever tried to get on to a man’s mountain bike but found it quite difficult to use…or even move? If you’ve never cycled a womens mountain bikes before then you have no idea of the vast difference in weight and ease of use there is between a men’s and women mountain bike.
Most, if not all, quality women’s bikes including mountain bikes, are made of lighter material. This will reduce the weight and allows the woman riding the bike to handle it much easier. Add in the fact they’re better proportioned as mentioned above and you just know you’re going to enjoy the ride so much better than before.
Womens Mountain Bikes Tip Number 3 – To Crossbar or Not To Crossbar…
One other thing that you may notice is different on women mountain bikes is the top bar. You will see that a lot of men’s mountain bikes have a crossbar (between the saddle post and the handlebar post) and it’s almost horizontal with the ground. When you look at womens mountain bikes most of them are angled downward.
While these differences don’t affect or change the performance of the bike and of course you are able to ride any bike you want, this change in top bar just seems to work well with women. I also know some men who only cycle bikes with a slanted crossbar due to inevitable injuries that can be sustained if a guy were to slip off the saddle!
We as women need to consider this problem too. Trust me when I say IT WASN’T FUN when it happened to me. I actually traded in my mountain bike for one with no crossbar after having a particularly painful experience with one.
There is one unforeseen drawback to having no crossbar though. Most of the popular makes of bike carriers for cars need a crossbar to secure the bike to the rack!
But no need to worry. Necessity is the mother of invention and some clever person has invented detachable crossbars so you can use these racks with your no crossbar bike…saves you having to buy a new bike or a new bike rack!
Womens Mountain Bikes Tip Number 4 – The Saddle/Seat
Check out any womens mountain bikes reviews and you’ll discover one of the most crucial components when it comes to womens mountain bikes has nothing to do with the frame or proportions of the bike at all! It’s how the saddle is designed that’s important to a lot of ladies.
In general, the saddle for womens mountain bikes, and women’s bicycles in particular, is slightly wider and softer than a men’s saddle. Make sure when you’re checking out women’s bikes to see how they fit you (See post on “Women’s Bikes – 2 Important Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Women’s Bike” on why you need to do this) that you look at the seat closely because if you get a saddle that is for men the chances are you will find yourself being quite uncomfortable during and after a long journey.
A saddle designed for women is going to help you to be much more comfortable when you are on your cycling trip. This will be true whether you decide to make your way around on smooth road or uneven terrain. If you do not use the right seat you may find yourself sitting on soft cushions for quite a while after!
Now, it’s not the end of the world if you find the perfect bike for you at a great price but it has an uncomfortable saddle as it’s very easy to purchase a women’s saddle seperately.
Womens Mountain Bikes Tip Number 5 – Lower Price For Us!
Not really a tip…more a happy surprise! When searching for womens mountain bikes in your local mountain bike store or on the web you will find that the majority of brands available for women are cheaper than men’s. Hurray!…bring on the champagne!
Why is this? I’ve no real idea but I have asked many store owners and the 2 main reasons I get are a) manufacturers are trying to get more mountain bike women to buy bikes so are making the prices more attractive…and b) bike shops sell more men’s bikes than womens mountains bikes so can offer discounts!
Either way we’re laughing all the way to the banks girls!