It is estimated that around 25% of the regular cyclists all around the world are female – quite a small percentage. Hence, it does not mean that women do not love biking – on the other hand, the number of female riders is increasing day by day. A lot of progress has been made for female bikes, but which one is the best?
The history of women’s cycling
Cycling was first thought to be a men-exclusive sport, but gradually, women took interest in this sport too. Annie Londonderry was the first woman to ride a bike around the world, and many other ladies took this activity as a regular hobby in the 19th century. Many things have grown ever since.
Lots and lots of female riders considered bicycles as a means of daily transportation, and many aimed for bicycle touring. Bike touring is when you ride on your own, with the help of panniers to carry the belongings. Female rides have paddled to long miles: Dervla Murphy crossed Afghanistan, Rebecca Lowe crossed Iran and Helen Lloyd crossed Africa.
Nowadays, there are dozens of bike races exclusive for women, and the number of female athletes has been increasing. Some of the famous names are UCI Women’s World Tour, UCI Road World Championships, European Road Championships, and so on.
For bike racing in the Olympics, female divisions are also included. The record of those women professional bike racers is not far from their male counterparts. This shows that cycling is a sport that anyone can enjoy.
How can bike riding benefit female cyclists?
For women who cycle regularly, your overall health, both mental and physical, will receive a boost. Riding a bike on a daily basis, even just for a short distance, can improve your moods, lessen the pain, and strengthen your muscles.
Bike riding is a good way to exercise when you don’t have much free time. You can use a bike as a means of transportation and commuting, or cycling to do household chores like shopping for groceries. It does not take away your free time but still offers the same benefit as other types of workout, such as dancing, running, or jogging.
Besides the common-known cardiovascular benefits, cycling can help women to strengthen their muscles. The areas around the thighs, hips, and rear end will get the most exercise, thus they will get more toned and be in good shape. Nevertheless, riding a bike is not a strenuous activity, so the chance of getting tensed muscles or injuries is quite low.
Moreover, for middle-aged women, cycling is a suitable choice for workouts. Riding a bike will help to reduce the incremental weight gain and waistline expansion, without placing too much tension on the body.
Of course, keeping fit is the most prominent advantage of cycling. Riding a bike is an all-body workout, so all of your muscles are developed nicely, and the body fat will be burnt quickly.
How to keep it safe on the ride?
Apart from choosing the right bike size, female riders need to take care of other factors too. Statistics showed that half a million people suffer from serious injuries due to bike-related accidents each year in the U.S., so precaution is a good thing.
All riders should wear a bike helmet on the road, even just for a short trip. Since head injuries are typically fatal, protecting your head is of utmost importance. The bike helmet should be well-padded and shockproof to be effective.
Besides, cyclists should invest in bike clothes. Cyclin suits are often colorful and thick enough to filter all the vibration and shock, thus making you more comfortable and visible to other vehicles.
In addition, a night reflective feature is a must if you tend to take a night stroll with your bike. Reflective clothing, bike head, and rear lights, pedal reflectors are some of the recommendations. Bike bells or bike horns should be equipped too, to increase riding safety.
However, to avoid unwanted injuries, female cyclists should pay close attention to the bike itself. Adjust the height of the saddle and the pedals accordingly to your own builds, and make sure the sizing of the wheels is proper too.
What makes the best fitness bike for women?
As said before, bikes for men and women can be slightly different due to the gap in physical build and biological structure. Choosing a women’s bike does not mean that you are inferior, it is just simply choosing the most compatible vehicles to your conditions.
When choosing a women’s fitness bike, take a look at the stem. The length of the stem gives the rider the ability to adjust the bike frame’s reach, you can fine-tune it to suit your riding style. Handlebar geometry and stem are closely related, choosing the right one would be beneficial.
For the saddle, the seat should be a bit shorter and wider compared to male bikes. This makes the rider more comfortable and fits the contour of women’s bodies. However, for the pro-female racer, narrow saddles are more popular because it helps to paddle and accelerates better.
The shoulder proportion of women are typically smaller than men’s, so the handlebar should be accordingly narrowed down. Having the right handlebar not only makes controlling the bike easier but also prevents the likelihood of getting sore shoulders after a long ride.
Another thing you should mind is the suspension. Since the weight of women riders is quite light, the suspension should have compatible strength and can sync and tune perfectly. This can be achieved through customizing at the bike shop or choosing the bike line that is specific for female cyclists.
Lastly, the brake. The braking system is no joke, a sure-stopping mechanism is often preferred. The size of hands for females is smaller, so the large and bulky brake levers can be quite troublesome. Try to look for bikes with adjustment screws to reduce the lever reach or features with brake-levers for better control.
FELT FW2 – The Woman’s Line for The Best Women
The number of bike models on the market for female riders is quite limited. Choosing a bike with good components, but the men-only frame feels not right, or choosing a women bike but the quality is not good enough. No need to compromise, because the FELT family has the Fit Woman line, and especially the FW2.
The FW2 is exclusively designed with female riders’ needs in mind, proposing such fit and balance for petite riders. However, the strength and performance are no less than its male counterparts, conquering harsh surfaces is possible with this bike.
FELT acknowledges that the biological structure of men and women are different, so to fit the female riders, the bikes must be more sophisticated. The proportion of male – female body parts are clearly different too, like longer legs, shorter arms, and a lower center of gravity. This will affect the whole design of the bike.
For example, women’s bikes should have different sizing for handlebars. Using a men handlebar will feel strange and uncomfortable, doing a quick turn would be a pain. Differences in body mass and force also make it hard to distribute the weight all over the bike like male riders.
Therefore, the frame and geometry should be distinctive. FELT FIT Ultra-High Modulus Carbon is used to make the special frame, only seen in the FW series. The frame is shorter for the front center distance, giving support for front wheels to produce better steering. Therefore, female riders can control the bike with ease.
The secret of the frame lies in the Modular Monocoque Method, making it possible to choose the required amount of carbon for making the bike frame to upgrade the performance of the bike. The previous number of layers and a blend of carbon fiber contribute the most lightweight and efficient frame for women cyclists.
The FELT men’s bikes are known for the beastly strength and wonderful performance, and the FW2 does not fall behind, the signature balance of stiffness, comfort, and weight are exactly replicated and adjusted to living up to the expectation of the bikers.
FW2 comes in four sizes to meet all the demands. Interestingly, there are differences in the wheels sizes too, so the bike would feel more compatible with the riders and deliver the calmest control. The biggest wheels are 700C and the smallest is around 650C.
The fork of FW2 is truly a blessing too. The FELT Fit Woman Race Road UHC Advanced +TeXtreme carbon fiber monocoque construction makes the ride as smooth as you wish for. Combining the crown race, crown, blades, and dropouts, you can be sure that the quality of this bike is of high level.
Talking to the component, the saddle deserves praise. The SaddleFit Woman Lite titanium seat with cutouts to fit the women’s bodies the most. Besides, the placement is well thought, compatible with female body proportion.
The position of the handlebar is also closer, shorter, and more shallow the drop for comfortable reach. The shifters can be adjusted, so even for small-handed riders, it would not cause any problem.
The Dura-Ace derailleurs offer crisp shifting and Shimano Hollowtech cranks and bottom bracket have narrow stance width. All in all, the components are for the women cyclists to enjoy the ride.
The 50/34-tooth chainrings for 700C wheel size and 53/39-tooth chainrings for 650C wheel size are good for the gearing. Moreover, all bike sizes have the same broadly geared 11-25 cassette for unified quality. The finishing touch is the Easton’s Vista SL wheels, a lightweight and reliable choice for all professional riders.
What to expect with FW2?
From the experience of all the riders, FW2 is well-regarded. While keeping the price reasonable, all the components and design of FW2 is excellent. The durable build, high-quality design is perfect for all-level cyclists. Although it delivers racing-grade performance, the relaxed geometry is suited for leisure riders too.
The general feedback of the customers after trying out this bike is positive, the great versatility and responsiveness are what I liked most about FW2. Moreover, it has such a lightweight total weight, at around 16.5 lbs, so for female cyclists with a petite build and weak physical ability, it would not be overwhelming.
The appearance of FW2 is also something else. The mysterious black color with gold trim brings a feel of high-class and sleekness to this model. Combining with the elegant design of the frame, this is the bike for true ladies.
Cycling is a sport for all – men and women alike. Everybody can keep fit by riding a bike every day, but for female riders, choosing the right bike is always a hard choice. But the FELT FW2 can solve all the problems: being the most comfortable, high-performance, and easy to use.