If you like the thrill and joy of road cycling like speeding along the smooth tarmac, flying down descents and conquering climbs than a road bike is a perfect companion. But the question that irritates most of the women getting into cycling is that do they need a women-specific bike? The definitive answer to that is ….maybe you do or maybe not!
The thing is that most of the women are perfectly comfortable with unisex bikes, but if in the past you have some troubling experiences or just don’t get along with unisex bikes, then a women-specific road bike is the best option for you.
Whatever the case; either you like a unisex bike or not! For most women, a women-specific road bike will be much more comfortable as the frame and design of these bikes is built according to women-specific geometry. Through designs that are made after research and data collection into the average female body type, the women-specific bikes are made extremely suitable for women.
Quick Answer: Top Rated Best Road Bikes For Women In 2019
- Diamondback Arden 4 Carbon Complete Bike
- Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike
- Raleigh Bikes Women’s Super Course Endurance Road Bike
- Schwinn Women’s Phocus 1600 Road Bicycle
- Giordano Libero 1.6 Women’s Road Bike
Now, let’s take a look at feature overview of Top 3 Best Road Bikes For Women. After that, we will take a look at the comparison table and our buyer’s guide that will help you choose the best women road bike for you. Also if you are looking for entry-level road bikes you can jump here: Road Bikes Under $500
So without any due let’s get started
- Best Road Bikes For Women
- Road Bike Reviews
- Comparison Table: Best Road Bikes For Women
- Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Women Road Bike
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Women’s Road Bikes
- The Bottom Line
Best Road Bikes For Women
Note: Scroll/Swipe Horizontally To View All 3 Overall Picks
Road Bike Reviews
Now, you know the Best 3 Road Bikes for Women. So, now I’ll be reviewing one-by-one each of the women’s road bike, so you’ll know exactly what makes each of these road bikes worth your consideration and what is the features and cons of each bike. Also, if you don’t have time to go through each of the models, then you can jump straight to the Comparison Table, and you can compare them. So let’s begin by reviewing Diamondback Arden 4C
Check the latest price on Amazon.
If you are looking for a good carbon fiber road bike that people can actually afford and which is particularly built for women, then this is the best option for you. The Arden 4C by Diamondback comes with state of the art carbon fiber frame and fork at a price tag that is almost quarter the amount what some brands are charging their customers.
The problem with most of the brands that fail is that they tuck in weak parts somewhere in the mix to cut their prices down with carbon frames. But that’s not the case with Diamondback as Arden 4 comes with a smart and solid selection of components that are reliable and best in their class.
With that said, let’s talk about some of its features and how is it to ride the Arden 4C
Starting from the Diamondback Women Specific Carbon Monocoque frame, the Arden 4 benefits from an exacting blend of high and low-modulus carbon fiber and progressively enhanced performance geometry.
The Diamondback Arden 4C is meant to be taken on your long solo rides and endeavors. Also, you can mix it up with your occasional organized events or informal group rides. So, it’s not your regular full-on race bike rather it offers a slightly more relaxed riding position. Other than that the bike features
- Shimano Tiagra 2×10 drivetrain (two gears up front and ten at the back) and a Shimano FC-RS400 crank give you a wide range of gears to choose from.
- Shimano Tiagra ST-4700 shifters (dual control 2×10 speed ) offer quick and precise shifting power.
- Lightweight and durable high profile HED Flanders C2+ Disc rims with 700x28c DB Century Folding Bead tires. The wide 28C tires come handy as they offer greater stability and bump absorption than traditional skinny road bike tires.
- To boost confidence and to ensure maximum control in critical situations, the Arden 4C comes equipped with Tekro Lyra mechanical disc brakes.
With that said, when fully equipped Arden 4C weighs only 19.3lbs which is quite light for a road bike. Also, this is the reason why most of the people prefer carbon bikes as they are efficient and offer enhanced performance.
I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is just getting into road cycling so, it’s not an entry-level road bike. Rather it’s for those women who are looking to step up their road game with a lightweight carbon bike with some of the best, state-of-the-art components.
So, if you are a beginner, you can shortlist this bike and look for an entry-level road bike like the Tommaso Imola and Schwinn Phocus 1600. For intermediates, I would highly recommend you to consider Arden 4C as your true companion on the road.
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Next up on the list is by far one of the best road bikes that you can get for the money. Tommaso Imola is an endurance road bike. For those who don’t know what an endurance road bike is, you can say that they are the softer or more comfortable versions of race-oriented road bikes. As these bikes offer slightly relaxed handling, frames that are tuned to smoothen your ride, wider tires than typical thinner road bike tires and less stretched out riding position. In short, they are focused on the comfort of the rider.
So, without any doubt, Tommaso Imola is a fine example of a perfect endurance road bike. You can get your hands on one of these bikes Tommaso bikes for around $600. INSANE! When at this price point you’ll think of Imola as an entry-level road bike, but it’s NOT! It’s a true performance product, a true unicorn for the cycling industry.
With that said let’s take a look at some of its features
The bike features an SLA 6061 aluminum frame which is light and durable enough to last years of riding fun. Along the aluminum frame to promote smooth and comfortable riding, the bike comes equipped with an SST steel fork which offers greater shock absorption and durability than an aluminum frame.
Apart from that Tommaso road bike features
- Shimano Claris 3×7 drivetrain (three gears up front and seven at the back) with Shimano Claris shifters working together perfectly to give you a smooth and consistent shifting power.
- Shimano Claris crankset and cassette, make this the best entry-level drivetrain on the market
- TRS Ultra-light compact drop bars offer shallow drops for ease in using the drop, with flat tops for added comfort
- For braking, Shimano Claris Brake Calipers comes pre-installed as stock, which provides quick, reliable braking power. Though I prefer disc brakes over conventional caliper brakes but you can easily upgrade them along the way, when you feel about doing so!
- WTB Volt saddle provides comfort and cushion where you need it most, for hours of great riding. Tommaso TRS performance seat post provides lightweight performance
When fully equipped Tommaso Imola weighs around 23.8lbs, which is definitely one of the lightest aluminum road bikes on this list.
The only thing that we all miss on the Tommaso Imola is the disk brakes as they are quite handy in wet conditions and also provide you with plenty of stopping power when you need it the most. But the thing is that for $600 Tommaso is offering you one of the state-of-the-art road bikes with a light and durable frame and some of the best components that you can get for the money.
So if you are serious about your cycling and want a bike which is as good as it looks on the paper, then Tommaso Imola is the answer to your prayers, and you can definitely count on it for years to come as it comes with a lifetime of frame warranty.
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Next bike on the list is for those women who just can’t get over the classic steel bikes. The thing with these bikes is that we all love their pleasing aesthetics and Raleigh checks all the boxes when delivering that perfect classic road bike for women.
The Super Course is built to serve as a versatile endurance road bike. Whether you are looking to get into road biking, training for your first big ride, or you’re or a seasoned centurion, it’s the perfect bike. This particular Raliegh road bike has specific women designed geometry to provide the perfect balance between comfort and efficiency to keep your riding far more than your own expectations.
The Super Course is a fine example of classic styling and comfort. Along with a 4130 Chromoly steel frame and women-specific geometry it can’t get any better. Though, style and comfort don’t come cheap as this bike is featured at a price tag of around $850. Being built entirely from steel, the bike is noticeably light and feels expensive! Well, we all can agree that this beauty is not for those with a cheap taste.
Enough of the classic styling and all, let’s move onto some of its features
- Shimano Claris 2×8 drivetrain (two gears up front and eight at the back) along with Shimano Claris shifters that offer plenty of precision when it comes to shifting
- Also, the compact gearing with a wide gear ration helps in tackling the largest climbs
- Brooks Cambium C17 women’s saddle and matching bar tape completes the Raleigh heritage look and feel
- Raliegh Bikes alloy caliper brakes offer maximum stopping power when you need it the most. Also, it is one of the best caliper brakes in its class
When fully equipped the Super Course weighs around 27lbs which is quite impressive for a bike built completely out of steel. This also justifies the price tag as it’s a true example of absolute Master Class from Raleigh Bikes.
Overall, the Super Course is a standout in the road cycling world that delivers fantastic performance at an exceptional price. Also from beginners to advanced riders, Super Course is for everybody with top tier components, this is a bike that’s going to grow with you as you improve.
So, should you buy it, or consider it or should you shortlist it? With a classic steel frame and fork, it absorbs bumps much better and would last for years to come. So, I’ll definitely suggest you buy it if you are a fan of steel bikes, comfort, and durability.
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Next up on the list is Phocus 1600 by Schwinn. This bike is a great example of an affordable entry level road bike that is specifically designed for women. This particular bike is available in two versions for men and women. Also when it comes to the women’s version of Phocus 1600, there are two models.
- Light blue
The thing between these two models is that it’s more than just the colors. The Light Blue Schwinn Phocus 1600 is much more expensive and comes with much higher end components than the White Phocus 1600. Also, there’s a huge difference between the price tag of the two; you can get the blue one for around $500 and the other for around $200. Both have its pros and cons, but we’ll only talk about the best, so here we will be reviewing the Light Blue Schwinn Phocus 1600.
The Phocus 1600 isn’t all about flashy features and all. What it is; a bike for those progressing with their biking and for those looking for the right bike to accommodate them without breaking the bank. Phocus 1600 checks all the boxes, starting from the forged aluminum frame and carbon fork for quick and agile riding.
Apart from that the bike features
- 16 speed Shimano drivetrain with Schwinn micro shift shifters, integrated with brake levers for smooth and fast gear changes
- For precise stopping power, Promax alloy caliper brakes come pre-installed
- Lightweight and durable high profile alloy rims with paired spokes provide better weight support and excel performance with Kenda K-196 700x23c tires.
- Custom road style saddle with the quick release seat post. The front wheel also comes with a quick release.
When fully equipped the bike weighs around 24lbs which is not the lightest road bike you’ll ever encounter but when you ride it for the first time it feels very light than those inferior road bikes, and the weight is more than acceptable. Also, the overall configuration and touch points are well suited for women with smaller body size.
The only things to complain about the Schwinn Phocus 1600 are its stock brake pads and tires. The brake pads require extra pressure though they are quite responsive and easy to use but upgrading them can instantly boost your confidence. Also, upgrading the tires can improve traction and the bike’s ride.
At the end of the day, I will highly recommend it to anyone looking for an entry level road bike for recreation and fitness riding. This bike is also capable of handling triathlon competitions and other competitive events.
So, overall if you are serious about your cycling and are on a tight budget, you can find a lot to love about Phocus 1600 as it comes with a feminine paint job and is offered at a very, very reasonable price.
Check the latest price on Amazon.
Just like the Schwinn Women’s Phocus 1600, the Giordano Libero 1.6 is also an entry-level road bike, and both compete with each other head-to-head. Being labeled as an entry-level road bike, Libero 1.6 is much more than that with an impressive and relatively light bike frame and components that are only found in higher end road bikes.
In short, it is one of the best value road bikes which ensures a noticeably smooth and efficient ride. That’s the reason why Libero 1.6 is so much popular among both men and women.
On Giordano Libero 1.6 all starts with a 6061 aluminum frame that offers firm stability and pedal power efficiency. The aluminum frame makes it noticeably light and highly maneuverable due to its women-specific geometry, hence giving you more control over the bike as a whole.
Other than that Libero 1.6 comes equipped with
- 16-speed Shimano drivetrain includes RD2400 Shimano Claris rear derailleur and FDAO50 Shimano front derailleur
- For easy and precise shifting power Giordano features ST2300 Shimano STI shifters that are integrated with brake levers
- Vitesse alloy rims ensure plenty of support and stability with Kenda 700c x 25c tires
- For braking alloy caliper brakes come standard on Libero 1.6
- Velo road style saddle offers extra cushioning that makes it one of the best and most enjoyable road bikes to ride for long hours
When fully equipped the bike weighs around 26-27lbs, which is definitely lighter than most of the road bikes under $500.
Both the Schwinn’s Women Phocus 1600 and Libero 1.6 might be one of the best bikes for the money, but they are not without flaws. So just like Schwinn’s road bike, the Giordano Libero 1.6 brake pads are not of that high quality. When you have to come to a complete stop, the bike requires way too much effort as the pads are pretty abysmal.
Also, another thing to add to the cons section is the tubes. They are also of cheap quality and can easily pinch when setting up tires and are more likely to burst even if they are slightly over-inflated.
Apart from the cons, I think Giordano is offering a decent frame and solid components for the most part that won’t fall upon you which gives a very good overall ride. So, should you buy it right away, consider it or shortlist it?
The answer to that question greatly depends upon your budget. If you have a narrow budget, then it’s a great starter bike for anyone looking to get into road cycling. But if you can raise your budget a little bit, then my advice for you would be to shortlist it.
Comparison Table: Best Road Bikes For Women
|NAME||Arden 4C||Tommaso Imola||Super Course||Phocus 1600||Libero 1.6|
|FRAME||Carbon||SLA 6061 Aluminum||4130 Chromoly Steel||6061 Aluminum||6061 Aluminum|
|FORK||Carbon||SST Steel||Steel||Carbon||Hi- Ten Steel|
|DRIVETRAIN||20 Speed Shimano Tiagra||16 Speed Shimano Claris||16 Speed Shimano Claris||16 Speed Shimano Claris||16 Speed Shimano STI|
|EDITOR RATING||5 / 5||4.5 / 5||4.2 / 5||4 / 5||3.9 / 5|
Note: Scroll/Swipe Horizontally To View Full Comparison Table
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Women Road Bike
Now, you know what the best road bikes are for women, but that’s not all to it. You do need to select one, maybe you have a sound idea of what you really need but for those still confused which one will be better and how much should they go far when it comes to spending. Then, this buyer’s guide will surely help you decide the best road bike for you!
So, without any due let’s get started. Also if you’ll like to skip through this section then jump straight to the conclusion.
Mainly road bikes are made from four different kinds of materials, but the most commonly used are these three
The frame is the heart of any bike, and its design and material determine its ride quality, handling and much more. If riding a really lightweight bike is your first priority, then surely a carbon bike is the one to go for. But, if you are going for a carbon bike, I’ll suggest never buy a cheap carbon bike under $1000 because they are cheaply built and manufacturers most of the time mix up low-quality components in them. For others, aluminum and steel bikes are the best options as they offer more for the money.
Need to dig more on the topic, head onto Road.cc as they take on Steel vs Aluminium vs Carbon Bikes
Brakes are the most crucial part of any bike. So, the better the brakes you’ve got, the better it is for you and also for your ability to handle your bike in crucial moments and conditions like wet weather. Apart from the Diamondback Arden 4C, almost all the bikes in our list come with alloy caliber or alloy V-brakes. In any case, a disc brake is better as it offers you more control. So make sure you read the full review before going for any of the road bikes. Also, check out Amazon customer reviews to find out whether the bike is for you or not.
Most of the women often ask this question that how much they should be willing to pay on their road bike. When thinking of budget, I don’t think that it is important to line out a certain amount of budget as most of the time people end up buying a really cheap or a really expensive bike.
So, you should rather take the approach of what you want from your bike and how often would you be using it, and are you an avid cyclist or one that’s gonna ride their road bicycle only a few times a week. If you are only gonna use it a few times a week, then a road bike for $500 or less is a good choice. But if are an avid bike rider and use it daily for exercise, commuting, training and all then anything between $500-$2000 is a good choice.
Also, don’t spend your entire budget while buying a women’s road bike. Save some for upgrades as you’ll definitely wanna personalize your bike later on after a few rides.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Women’s Road Bikes
Q: Do I need a women-specific road bike?
A: Though most of the women are perfectly comfortable with a unisex or a men-specific road bike, but according to Cycling Weekly research majority of the women prefer a bike that is specifically designed according to a women’s body.
So, most of the time a women-specific bike will come with a shorter top tube and more upright riding position which ultimately offers an ideal body posture for the type of riding that you’re doing.
Also, there’s a much deeper take on the topic by Cyclist.co.uk so check it out if you need more info.
Q: Can’t I just buy a men’s bike and change out the components?
A: In most of the cases men’s or unisex road bikes come equipped with components that are more aimed towards male riders which means wider handlebars, longer cranks, longer stems and most importantly the saddle. Though, when you are buying a unisex bike whether you are a man or woman you need to upgrade your saddle to take the most out of your bike. So by changing these components you can for sure make it more comfortable to suit your preferences. But the balance points, reach and angles of the frame cannot be adjusted nor be changed which at the end of the day makes all the difference.
Also, check out this cool article from Bike Rader on five approaches to a women-specific design.
Q: What size road bike frame should I get?
A: Choosing the right size of the frame is the most crucial part when buying a new road bike. Whether you are spending $1000 or $10,000 if it doesn’t fit you perfectly, then it’s not worth a single penny if it’s not comfortable.
Here’s a general table for Women’s road bike size guide but remember that many manufacturers have their size guides. So, it’s important to follow the manufacturer guideline and table.
|Women’s Road Bikes|
|Rider Height||Suggested Frame Size|
|Feat and Inches||Centimeters||Size||Centimeters|
|4’ 10’’ – 5’ 1’’||147 – 155||XXS||44 – 46|
|5’ 1’’ – 5’ 3’’||155 – 160||XS||47 – 49|
|5’ 3’’ – 5’ 5’’||160 – 165||S||50 – 52|
|5’ 5’’ – 5’ 8’’||165 – 172||M||53 – 55|
|5’ 8’’ – 5’ 10’’||172 – 180||L||55 – 57|
To find more about the Women bike sizes follow this guide by Bike Rader.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, no bike is a good deal unless or until it doesn’t inspire you to get out there and ride. So, by now you should have a much better idea of which women road bike to choose and what to look for when buying a road bike for yourself or someone else.
Also regardless of which bike you choose just make sure to choose the right size of bike and don’t forget to acquire all of the gear and accessories that you’ll need out there on the road. With that said let me know in the comments section your thoughts and the bike that you think is the best and why!