Women’s bikes, or Women Specific Design (WSD), first hit the market in the 90s, offering female cyclists a more comfortable ride on a bike better suited to the “average female” body.
Manufacturers looked at frame geometry - making the reach to handlebars shorter, as women are often shorter than men. Handlebars are often narrower on WSD bikes too.
Moving away from geometry, other differences you’ll find on women’s bikes (and an area women should definitely consider for maximum comfort) is the saddle - they’re normally shorter and wider for women. You may also find more step-through frames on classically-designed bikes, where the top tube is dropped so you can get on/off the bike more easily (though we’re not riding around in bulky skirts so much these days…)
Several big names in the industry launched their own lines of WSDs in the early 00s - Specialized and Trek were frontrunners - but now these companies have, or are in the process, of fazing out WSDs, and instead focussing on unisex bikes.
Gender-neutral bikes should offer a better fit range for riders by featuring smaller changes between sizes. But that doesn’t mean the end for Women Specific Designs - Liv and Canyon both have dedicated ranges for female riders.
So if you’re in the market for a WSD, we’ve scoured the internet for the best deals out there so all you have to do is pick your favourite.
Each type of bike (hybrid, electric, road) has a buyers’ guide to help you choose the best bike for your needs.
Road bikes are designed to give you a better ride on hard, smooth surfaces, so if your commute or leisure rides are on concrete or tarmac with no off-road, a road bike will give you the best, most efficient performance.
Road bikes are light, don’t have suspension (so no jumping or mountains on these) and feature multiple gears. You can opt for a single speed bike (no gears) if you’re not tackling any hills, and this could bring your cost down - they’re cheaper to produce as they have fewer parts.Drop handles or flat?
Drop handlebars are becoming commonplace on road bikes, particularly as you move up the price brackets. If you’re serious about speed, drop bars are the way to go - the ‘tucked in’ position is aerodynamic and will see you smoothly hurtling towards your destination. However, it’s not the most comfortable for longer or leisurely rides, which is when you may prefer the flat handlebar.Frame - carbon or aluminium?
The main difference here is weight; a carbon frame is lighter and, therefore, more efficient. Comfort isn’t really as much of a factor these days with modern bikes and you’d be hard pressed to tell a difference between the two. But a lightweight bike can leave your bank account light too, so if you’re looking to save a bit of money, aluminium will be the way to go.
Price guide: Expect to pay anything from £XXXX to you name it if you’ve got the cash to splash
Put simply, an e-bike is a push bike with a rechargeable motor that’ll get you from A to B quicker. The motor kicks in when you start pedalling and will give you a boost up hills and on longer journeys.Which e-bike is the best?
E-bikes come in all forms - tourer, mountain bike, road bike etc so it comes down to what you’ll be using the bike for and on what terrain.Pros:
The battery component (normally lithium these days) can make the bike heavier than the non electric version -so bear this in mind if you battery runs out and you need to cycle without out it for some distance Needs charging - so this takes time and money. As a rough guide it takes 6 - 8 hours to fully charge, which will take you around 20-35 miles.Laws around electric bikes
Your bike will need to meet EU laws on Electrically-Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPC) if you want to avoid tax, insurance and having to register it as a motor vehicle. To be classed as just another type of pedal cycle, your e-bike must have :
If you can tick all of the above, anyone over the age of 14 can ride the e-bike on the same paths and roads as a normal push bike. All the bikes recommended on this site comply with the above Government rules.
The last word on e-bikes really has to be how fun they are, so we wouldn't let charging or distance concerns put you off. You’ll have a big smile on your face every time you use your electric bike, and surely that’s worth the effort.
The clue’s in the name with this type of bike, a hybrid is mash-up of a road bike and a mountain bike, with a bit of tourer thrown in for good measure - they’re designed to give riders a better range on a single bike.
Hybrids are great commuter bikes and really come into their own if any of your route is made up of gravelly paths or uneven surfaces - the chunkier tyres will fill you with a confidence a traditional road bike might not.
Often fitted with a wider, more comfortable seat, pannier racks and built for a less-aggressive cycling position (you’re more upright than you would be on a road bike with drop handles), hybrids are a solid option for longer rides and touring adventures.Suspension on a hybrid - yes or no?
We think this is a no. A hybrid is really made for road and path use and isn’t suitable for mountain rides or jumps, so you shouldn’t need suspension. They’re almost always made from aluminium (a cheaper lightweight option than carbon) and suspension forks would just add unnecessary weight.How much will a hybrid cost me?
Because a hybrid is a mix of mountain and road bikes, you lose a few of the features that make the individual bikes more expensive. For example, a hybrid doesn’t have suspension like a mountain bike does, and it’s not as light as a hi-spec road bike (aluminium vs carbon more often than not). This means you can pick up a decent hybrid for anything from £400 - £1,500. You can also choose from a single speed (no gears) or one with gears to see how that affects the price.
If you can't find what you are looking for then please contact us.