I’m a relatively short woman at 168 cm (5ft 6 inches) but I’ve met quite a few female road cyclists who are shorter than me, and one of them mention what women have trouble finding bikes to ‘fit’.
I’ve done a bit of research and here’s a list of women’s specific road bikes I’ve found cover this nice compact size. This list is not exhaustive but will give you an idea of the bike manufacturers who are committed to making bikes for shorter women.
small road bike
Gone are the days when the bicycle companies predigested men’s bicycles to pink and called them women’s bikes. There are many small road bikes for you to use today.
Quality brands will adjust the geometry or redesign of small bicycles. From my perspective, if you are short who size in at 5 foot 5 or under should really consider a women’s specific bike.
Most bicycle manufacturers design based on the concept that women are shorter than men. This means that when you sit on a bicycle and stretch for the bar, they should be comfortably within reach.
Women’s-specific road bicycles offer more choices in frame sizes – especially for smaller cyclists, which means that the new cycling requires less “tweaking” to get its geometry right.
The average woman needs a female-specific saddle, handlebars, and cranks, to make the bike fit. Choosing a women’s road bike is also content to carry with your weight around your hips as opposed to your upper body.
Women are usually lighter and have less muscle mass, which needs the weight of a women’s bicycle is a smaller proportion of a rider, and it does not need to be as hard as women generally produce less power.
Of course, one of the main reasons for choosing a small road bike or extra small is obviously that you are short. You have proportionally shorter arms than most men.
What size bike do I need? From the list above, you can find that different models may cover different height range. Check your model and matching the size chart.
road bike types: Endurance vs Gravel
The road bike is not only a type. It’s a big category that encompasses different sub-types for different purposes. You saw in the Tour de France are race road bikes.
I suppose you’re not looking for a bicycle with speed for glory. So, there are two types of road bike may be suitable for you.
That two subtypes of road bike sure help you build muscles and scrape your legs, but they handle different distances and terrain ranges.
If you plan to do weekend road rides, mileage tests at some point, or maybe commuting too, I recommend an endurance road bike. As the name implies, those bikes are designed for long-distance or big riding.
They tend to have more upright positions to provide you with comfort and efficiency, rather than full out speed. But they are often light and fast too, as well as have a drop handlebar to help you complete your first century (100 miles).
The alternative is a hybrid bike(a bike category) with a flat bar(lack less aerodynamic position). It’s named gravel bike which can be ridden both on and off road. The disc brakes provide braking force more powerful than rim brakes.
If you’re planning little riding(under 20miles), cross commute with pebbles or loose gravel, the gravel bike may be appropriate, but broader tires(from 32mm) and upright riding postures will slow you down and make it uncomfortable for any long ride.
Have you decided which type to choose based on your terrain? And then is your budget. For social riding and commuter cycling at the lower end of the cost range just ok, but if you want to events or just do long, fast rides, you might want to consider investing a bit more. Words of wisdom, a decent women’s road bike costs from 500 dollars.
The money you pay determines whether your bike is heavy or light, smoothly shifting or not. However, you don’t need to waste time thinking about bicycle material, manufacturers have their own pricing strategies.
So, you’ve filtered your models but bothers with different gears.
Endurance road bikes common set-up a compact crankset which the large chainring with 50-teeth and the small chainring with 34-teeth, which provides easier pedaling ratios to climbs when compared to a regular set-up(53/39).
The gravel bikes feature with the crankset that has a 46 tooth large chainring, paired with a 34 tooth small chainring option for commuting, fitness or cross cycling.
The front chainring set-up is the foundation for the gear ratios, which the cassette on the back compliments. The cassette is made up of a number of cogs or sprockets which can be changed to make the gear ratio easier or harder.
A close ratio cassette (such as an 11-25) means the gears are close together, so you can always find the perfect gear. That is good at competitions or flat riding when you don’t want to waste any energy.
However, this means your biggest cog (lowest resistance) has 25 teeth which is not generally considered a climbing gear.
A wider ratio cassette (like 11-32) means the gears are very spread out, you’ll notice a distinct difference when you shift, but you’ll have a lot more scope to drop down the gears on a hilly sportive.
The cogs in between these two have a spread of teeth aimed to make shifting between gears smooth. The larger the difference between the smallest and largest cog on the cassette, the greater the chain has to move and the less consistent a rider’s cadence becomes between gear changes.
Choosing a bike with smaller chainrings on the front and a larger ratio cassette on the back will provide a greater spread of gears and easier pedaling ratios.
Opposite, the bike with larger front chain rings and a smaller ratio cassette on the back will be more targeted for speed, provide less range of gears and provide consistently smaller changes to a rider’s cadence than a cassette with a larger ratio.
The crankset’s gear ratio from the store is no obstacle, you need to consider is cassette’s. If your terrain has too many hills, choose a large ratio of the cassette, otherwise, think about the little’s one.
Endurance road bikes are equipped with road groupset like race road. Gravel thought is a subtype of the road but it belongs to the hybrid bike. So some gravel bikes models use mountain groupset. Some are a mix.
Populo Route Classic
Populo is a brand that mainly deals with city bikes. The route classic women’s bike comes to a Step-Through design that is convenient for a lady to stand up.
The frame makes with Chromoly steel which little heavier than an aluminum bike, but offer a lively riding.
Shimano Claris drivetrain provides smooth shifting and braking. When you look up, you find that you are far away from home.
In terms of appearance, Populo Route Classic is not really a road bike, it still belongs to a city bike.
If you’re tired of your cruiser bike and want to ride farther or commute to school, Populo Route Classic is still an affordable option.
If you want to take part in your first Iron Man bicycle race, check next(an endurance road bike).
Raleigh Revere 1
Raleigh Revere 1 feature entry-level components which offer a good choice for commuting, cruising, and building fitness at a very affordable price.
It’s made of aluminum, lightweight and about 22 pounds. You can lift it easily with one hand.
The pyramid gears(11-32t) at the rear are nimble and confidence-inspiring you climb hills without needing you to jump down and push.
A cushioned ride with space for 28mm tires, it makes for a perfect road bike that can qualify to take a fire road off side.
Revere 1 is equipped with saddles and handles for ladies. A beautiful and cleanlily facade, the frame also is designed according to the proportion of women‘s body.
For me personally, the Raleigh Revere 1 is a worthy bike for beginners. The 2×8 speed set-up should keep you covered in most situations.
Diamondback Arden 2
Diamondback uses its enhanced performance geometry for Arden 2, which provides a more comfortable position than race road bicycles.
The Arden 2 frame is made of aluminum alloy and available in five sizes from 48 cm to 56 cm. It is equipped with formed and butted tubes designed to provide a soft, lightweight and durable ride.
2×9-speed Shimano Sora groupset more smoothly shifting than Claris. Arden 2 includes mechanical disc brakes that provide reliable braking power.
I approve the Arden 2 goal is to provide efficient and easeful bicycles for women who want to build fitness, explore local roads or go in organized cycling.
Fuji Finest 2.3
Finest 2.3 is an endurance road bike cater to the women. Fuji uses an aluminum frame with a carbon fork to absorb some bumps and road vibrations which provide a smoother ride experience.
Fuji created Finest’s seat tube, whose unique design aims to digest road vibration while improving long-distance ride comfort. That tubes’ design with wind tunnel provides a little aerodynamic advantage.
You’re looking for a bicycle to join some charity rides with your friends and extend your health in the process, the Finest 2.3 is a versatile option for pursuing your road riding goals, whatever they are.
Co-op Cycles ARD 1.1W
Co-Op Cycles is the largest outdoor company in the United States rei own brand launched in 2017. ARD 1.1W has been widely recognized by women.
ARD 1.1W is built for gravel riding. The configuration is basically the same as Fuji Finest 2.3. The carbon fiber front fork provides lightweight performance and can stabilize the ride up front.
The wheels just 28mm wide, maybe it’s enough for someone. But wider tires are suitable for pad rough pavement and satisfying the impulse to explore gravel paths. So I think it is not been carefully thought out, although it can be replaced to 35 mm wide tires.
However, the ARD 1.1W is a really good way to help with customer retention for rei that can capture a new group of people who are looking for entry level quality, a great price point, and a community.
Cannondale Women’s Quick 7
Cannondale is a brand you’ve absolutely heard of. Its Women’s Quick 7 is a great all-round ride. Cannondale’s Quick series of the hybrid bikes are known for the quality of rides provide on urban roads.
Whether it’s on the way to work or a fitness ride, the women’s Quick 7 is made for comfort with a stable riding quality and upright riding position.
For maximum comfort and control, the Quick’s SmartForm C3 alloy frame features Cannondale’s proprietary SAVE micro-suspension to absorb shock and reduce vibration on rough roads. The Chromoly fork to further cut down the vibration from the front wheel.
The Quick 7 powered with Shimano Altus/Acera drivetrain that is a mid-level mountain bike gears, while is very good for urban commuting and mid-long-distance riding on urban roads or highways. The 24-speed is easy to climb overpasses. Moreover, as the 35c tires, it’s great for riding on unsurfaced with the kids.
Diamondback Haanjenn 1
Diamondback Haanjenn 1 is a good first bicycle for a woman. It uses for backcountry shred gravel, fitness or bikepacking.
Haanjenn 1 has come with a flat bar that allows you to ride upright while you can see the surroundings better and be aware of the danger ahead.
The aluminum frame is designed to withstand abuse, by 38 mm wide tires absorb potholes and debris and provide additional traction on sludge or snowy roads.
The Acera gear of 9-speed from Shimano’s mountain groupset makes it fast for you to hop on and start riding.
Raleigh Amelia 1
Raleigh Amelia 1 is a not bad candidate for filling the gap between mountains and roads. It doesn’t seem to have changed much. It looks like it’s just zooming in Revere 1’s frame to accommodate a wider tire.
For other components such as shifting gears, handlebars do not seem to change. If you pedaling is not a leisure activity, but an important means of transportation, then the comfort and practicability of Amelia 1 have indeed improved.
Like other models, Amelia 1 won’t disappoint you if you’re looking for bicycles that you can use on your daily commutes, weekend sports, or even occasional group bikes.
Fuji Silhouette 1.7
Silhouette 1.7 lovely pink may contain memories of your childhood. But there is a lack of sizes.
Being a woman in a very male-dominated industry may be bashful though. Thanks for plenty of bike manufacturers have responded to the short end of the market and many produce extra small road bikes.
The introduction of female bicycles has brought about a better ride experience what is not only comfortable but also more pleasant and rewarding for women.
For me, the most important lesson is that I should never underestimate myself, and I can always improve. I edited this list to help those who want to start following the same health and exercise.
Riding a road bike is one of great pleasure in life. You don’t have to miss it just as you’re short. Like most of us, I want to live as long as possible but comes with a good quality of life.
If you’re a runner or swimmer or yogi, the road biking can be as a fill and reinforcement. They work well together as a time-effective way of exercising.
Once you understand and complete the screening, a perfect lady bicycle will appear at your door. Congratulations! Start your journey freely to explore the country or the city now.