Men Women Bikes | Macfox Bike
    Learn the key differences between men’s and women’s bikes, how unisex bikes fit in, and tips to find the perfect ride for you.

    Are Most Bikes Unisex? Comparing Men’s and Women’s Bikes

    • By Macfox Bike
    • Jul 08

    As we move towards gender equality, you might be wondering if there’s still a clear distinction between “men’s” bikes and “women’s” bikes, or ebikes.

    Are these distinctions mere marketing strategies, or do they hold any real significance?

    What about unisex bikes?

    How are these designed to accommodate everyone, and can a rider from either gender comfortably ride it? (Wylie)

    Answers may come as a shock.

    Let's delve into the world of bicycles to uncover answers!

    Do Men’s and Women’s Bikes Differ?

    Yes, men's and women's bikes have unique components tailored specifically for anatomical variations.

    • Crank Length: To accommodate height and weight differences between men's bikes and those made specifically for women, men's bikes tend to feature longer crank arms (170 mm-175 mm), whereas women's models usually come equipped with shorter crank arms.
    • Saddles: Women's saddles tend to be wider and shorter to accommodate wider pelvic bones, while men's are narrower and longer.
    • Handlebars for Women's Bikes: Women's bike handlebars tend to be narrower to reflect narrower shoulders, and the brake levers have been tailored specifically for smaller hands.

    These differences don't define who can ride which bike.

    Many bicycles designed today are unisex, with more emphasis on fitting to individual riders than on gender-specific designs.

    The Macfox brand produces commuter ebikes and off road ebikes for men and women, catering to different riding needs and preferences.

    Unisex Bike Design | Macfox

    What is a “Women’s Bike”?

    It is designed for the typical female body.

    These bikes often feature a lower step-through frame, making mounting and dismounting easier.

    This design stemmed from the need to accommodate skirts and dresses.

    Today, step-through design provides convenience and ease to anyone searching for something.

    Women's bikes may include additional features.

    Examples include baskets in various vibrant hues.

    Gender roles continue to shift, and with it, differences between men's and women's bikes become less marked.

    Many bikes are now being advertised as unisex bikes.

    Finding a bike that suits you well should be your primary goal.

    Women's bicycle designs reflect anatomical differences.

    Women typically possess shorter torsos and longer legs compared to men.

    Women's bikes typically feature shorter stack heights.

    A shorter reach allows for a more comfortable and efficient riding posture.

    Handlebars on women's bikes tend to be narrower.

    This matches their typically narrower shoulders.

    Brake levers can often be adjusted so they're easier for smaller hands to access.

    If the reach on a bike doesn't feel quite right, stem length adjustments may help.

    Locating an enjoyable riding position is paramount to having a fulfilling ride experience.

    Read more: Choosing the Right Bike Frame Type

    Frame Size and Geometry

    The primary distinction between men's and women's bikes lies in frame size and geometry.

    Women tend to have shorter torsos and longer legs compared to men.

    Women's bikes typically boast shorter stack height and reach.

    This design ensures a more comfortable and efficient riding posture for women.

    Women's bicycle handlebars tend to be narrower to match their typically narrower shoulders.

    Brake levers can often be adjusted so they are easier to reach for those with smaller hands.

    If the reach on a bike doesn't feel quite right, simply adjust its stem length until you find an optimal position for yourself.

    Frame Structure* Women's bikes often feature an elegant step-through frame design.

    This design makes mounting and dismounting easier.

    The era of skirted clothing makes getting on bikes with horizontal top tubes more challenging for women.

    Though historically significant, step-through frames remain widely utilized due to their convenience for commuters and individuals with mobility issues.

    Men's bikes tend to feature horizontal top tubes for increased rigidity and durability of frame construction.

    However, these structural variations are not absolute.

    Modern women's bikes frequently incorporate the iconic diamond frame structure found on men's bikes for greater stability and strength.

    Men can benefit from opting for step-through frames as they offer additional convenience and comfort.

    Men Electric Bikes | Macfox


    Saddle designs differ for men's and women's bikes.

    Women's saddles tend to be wider and shorter to accommodate female riders' wider pelvic bones.

    Men's saddles tend to be narrower.

    Stool preference can vary considerably between individuals.

    Professional riders tend to favour narrower saddles for less friction and improved pedalling efficiency.

    Saddles can easily be replaced, giving riders the flexibility to select one that meets both their comfort needs and riding style.


    Suspension setups on men's and women's bikes tend to be similar.

    They may require modification for different weights.

    Women's bicycles typically feature suspension systems designed for lighter riders.

    These settings are usually customizable.

    Adjusting the suspension on your bike to match both your weight and riding style is key for comfort and performance.

    If you need assistance in adjusting it, visit your local bike shop for guidance.

    Aesthetic and Accessory Differences

    While functional distinctions have narrowed considerably over time, aesthetic ones frequently remain.

    Women's bikes often boast vibrant colour options and additional features like baskets or integrated lighting systems.

    Men's bicycles tend to feature more neutral hues.

    However, aesthetic differences are becoming less pronounced as more bikes are now sold as unisex bikes.

    Ergonomics and Comfort

    Some high-end bikes designed specifically for women feature a geometry tailored to accommodate shorter torsos and longer legs.

    These bikes may feature shorter crank arms and brake levers designed for smaller hands.

    Ergonomic adjustments can significantly enhance comfort and control.

    Historical Context and Social Influence

    Women's cycling history has always been intimately tied to social and cultural developments.

    As bicycles first came into mainstream use, there was considerable controversy surrounding women riding them.

    Concerns ranged from modesty to fears about inappropriate stimulation from the saddle.

    Step-through frames were introduced as an innovative solution to these concerns, enabling women to ride while wearing dresses or skirts without fear of exposure.

    Over time, societal norms have evolved.

    Nowadays, choosing a bike frame should be more about comfort and convenience than adhering to outdated modesty standards.

    But these designs live on, offering options that meet a range of needs and preferences.

    Women Electric Bikes | Macfox


    Gone are the days when men's and women's bikes were clearly demarcated from one another. Today, this distinction has disintegrated significantly.

    Modern designs focus more on fit and comfort than on specific gender markers.

    Your ideal bicycle should fit both your body and riding style perfectly, regardless of its marketing.

    Consider factors like frame size, geometry, saddle design and overall fit when purchasing a bicycle to ensure an ideal riding experience.

    No matter if it is labeled men's bike, women's bike or unisex model, the ideal bike should make you feel confident and at ease on the road.


    Do men’s and women’s bikes differ significantly?

    Yes, primarily in frame size, geometry, and components like saddles and handlebars, to fit different body types.

    Can men ride women’s bikes and vice versa?

    Absolutely. It depends on the fit and comfort rather than gender labels.

    What are unisex bikes?

    Unisex bikes are designed to suit all genders, focusing on fit and comfort, often without gender-specific features.

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