Since the creation of bikes, there have been many arguments about whether road bikes are unisex or they are just for men. Arguably, road bikes are unisex. They can be used by both men and women. However, because of the structural differences between male and females, females may require female specific bikes. Furthermore, many females who have a shorter torso and longer legs require specific bikes to suit their needs. In the last decades, the number of women who ride bikes has increased and this has helped companies to start focusing on road bikes specifically for females.
However, this does not mean females cannot use unisex bikes. If you are able to ride comfortably in unisex bikes then go for it. In spite of this, you do not have to sell your unisex bike and buy a bike specifically for females. You can tweak the unisex bike to make it work right for you, just like the female specific bike.
Difference between Male Specific bikes and Female Specific bikes
Arguably, both male and female bikes look the same. However, this is not so. There are many structural features that distinguish both bikes such as:-
- Male bikes have the bar that connects the seat and the handlebars running across while for female bikes they have this bar slanting downwards from the handlebars to the bottom part of the seat. This is because females have longer legs and shorter torsos.
- Male bikes have longer and narrower seats while female bikes have wider and shorter seats. However, in both cases, there should be a space between both two sides of the seats to help relieve the pressure that comes when sitting for long.
- Males bikes tend to have wider handlebars while female bikes have narrower handlebars.
How to Tweak a Unisex bike to a Female-friendly Bike
Notably, it is expensive to buy a female specific bike not to mention impractical if you already have a unisex one. However, you need not worry. There are different ways which you can use to tweak a unisex bike to a female-specific bike. This will not only help you save money but also help you be comfortable when riding.
1) Change the saddle to a female-specific saddle
Research shows that many women suffer from saddle soreness after riding a unisex bike for long hours. This may cause pain to females who ride for long hours and thus be unable to sustain control over the bike over a long period of time. However, the saddle can be removed and a female-specific saddle put.
2) Change the handlebar width
The handlebar width for female specific bikes is much shorter than for the unisex bikes. It is important that you reduce the handlebar width so that your elbows be wider than your hands to provide support as you are riding.
3) Reduce the distance between the brake and gears
It is usually strenuous for most females to reach their brakes and gear system as they are seated during riding, unlike males. This may produce discomfort among females. You should consider adjusting the brake and gear system by bringing them closer so that you may have control over them and also reduce the level of discomfort while riding.
It is important to note that you can ride any bike be it unisex or female-specific. However, for females, female-specific bikes are recommended as a result of the level of comfort when using them. What if you have a unisex bike already? What should you do? You need not worry. You can tweak the unisex bike to act like a female-specific to achieve maximum comfort while riding them.