Women’s Road Bike: The Best Bikes for Every Budget
“Choosing the best women’s road bike can be tricky especially if you’re in a budget. Let us help you with our review below. Read it now!”
Women’s Road Bike: Many manufacturers offer road bikes in women-specific designs. Women tend to have shorter torsos and narrower shoulders than men, and women’s road bikes take this into account. These are usually outfitted with female-specific saddles and smaller handlebars, in addition to brakes or shifters designed for a woman’s smaller hands. It’s worthwhile to visit a bike shop to try out some women-specific designs (WSD), but many women ride unisex road bikes with no complaints.
If you’re shopping on a budget, the Fuji Finest 2.0 (*Est. $1,000) offers beginner-friendly performance without breaking the bank. The aluminum-framed bike has a carbon fork, triple crankset, Shimano Sora components and Formula alloy wheels, and is available in five sizes. Like most Fuji bikes, the Fuji Finest 2.0 road bike comes with a limited lifetime warranty for the frame and fork.
The U.K.’s Zest magazine recommends the Fuji Finest 2.0 for beginning riders who want a comfortable bike that won’t be out of place at casual races. It’s also a good choice for commuting. “Fast yet comfy, this is ideal if you’re new to road cycling or racing,” the editors write. Cycling Active tests the Fuji Finest 1.0 (*Est. $1,200) , which has higher-quality Shimano Tiagra and 105 components. Editors recommend spending the extra money to upgrade to the Finest 1.0 over the 2.0, even if just for the Tiagra shifters alone: Compared to the Shimano Sora components on the Finest 2.0, the Tiagra shifters provide much smoother shifting performance. Although the bike isn’t lightweight, testers say the ride is anything but sluggish. “It has a sprightly, brisk feel, and both wheels and tyres are skinny, lightweight numbers, keeping the Finest feeling light-footed despite its overall mass,” says Cycling Active. However, editors aren’t a big fan of the pastel color scheme, which is a little too “traditionalist” for their tastes.
Budget shoppers should also look at Trek’s new Lexa series (*Est. $730 to $1,370) . These bikes were designed specifically for women, as opposed to merely making small changes to an existing unisex frame as is the case with some women’s road bikes. We haven’t seen many reviews for these new bikes, but Trek has received high marks for its women-specific bikes in the past. The few user reviews available are positive, and most owners say the Trek Lexa bikes are good for beginners and incredibly versatile, whether they’re used for fitness riding, commuting or casual racing. One owner complains about the shifters.
For riders who are ready to graduate to a more serious road bike, the Trek Madone 3.1 WSD (*Est. $2,090) offers a carbon frame and Shimano 105 components. Six female-specific frame sizes are available, and the bike comes with a SRAM Apex compact crank, Tektro R540 brakes with adjustable-reach levers, alloy hubs and Bontrager R1 tires. Trek frames have a limited lifetime warranty.
Women’s Adventure Magazine says the Trek Madone 3.1 WSD is a longtime favorite of their gear-testers, who love the versatile ride and precise handling. “The 3.1 WSD feels like a performance racer in terms of handling, feels like a touring bike in terms of comfort, and maintains the Madone’s reputation for fast-reacting power transfer with its stiff bottom bracket,” the editors write. Cycling Plus magazine also says the Trek Madone 3.1 WSD is “an excellent choice for serious lady riders.”
For racers and dedicated cyclists, reviews point to the Cannondale SuperSix Women’s 3 Ultegra (*Est. $3,200) , our Best Reviewed pick for a women’s bike. This race bike has a full-carbon frame available in four sizes, Shimano Ultegra components, Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels and Schwalbe Durano S tires. The bike is also available with Shimano Dura-Ace (*Est. $4,800) or Shimano Dura-Ace 105 (*Est. $2,150) components.
Both Bicycling and Women’s Adventure Magazine recommend the Cannondale SuperSix Women’s 3 Ultegra for serious riders and racers. The stiff frame is responsive under pedaling, testers say, translating into precise handling in corners and at high speeds. “This carbon frame transfers every watt of your energy into forward-pushing power,” says Women’s Adventure Magazine. Bicycling, which gives the Cannondale SuperSix Women’s 3 Ultegra an Editors’ Choice award, says the bike has plenty of speed but doesn’t sacrifice comfort. Cycling Weekly tests the Cannondale SuperSix 3 Ultegra unisex version and gives it a positive review overall, but editors say serious racers will want to upgrade to lighter, more rigid wheels. “The Ksyrium Equipes on both the Felt and Cannondale really held the bikes back,” the editors write.
Women should also consider the female-specific version of the top-rated road bike, the Giant Defy Advanced 1. The female model, the Giant Avail Advanced 1 (*Est. $3,200) , earns an Editors’ Choice award from Bicycling magazine. Three sizes are available and the carbon frame is outfitted with Shimano Ultegra components, DT Swiss R1800 wheels, Michelin Pro Optimum tires and a female-specific handlebar.
The Giant Avail Advanced 1 has won an Editors’ Choice award from Bicycling magazine for the last three years. Editors say it provides a more comfortable upright ride than many bikes in this price range yet still offers plenty of power and climbing prowess. “Despite upright geometry, the bike felt speedy and climbed well,” they write.