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The Bike and Brunch Newsletter

Do They Ride Bikes on Mars?

Men and women are different. In case you haven't noticed, take a look around at the next ride, and just imagine what's underneath the spandex. It may surprise you. Ladies, if your bike doesn't feel as comfortable as you'd like, there may be a reason. Guys, you may learn something, but feel free to skip to the Happy Hour schedule.

If you haven't noticed yet, most bikes are built with regards to the average MAN. Therefore, since women tend to be smaller than the average man, finding a bike that fits can be tough. Even when the seat tubes are shortened, many bikes still have the same length top tube as the larger bikes, and therefore even this "shorter" bike won't fit. Women and men do have similar proportions, but if a woman and a man of the same size were to try the same bike, chances are the woman would find it uncomfortable. The reason for this may be the differing riding positions of men and women. It has been suggested that women bend from the waist while men pivot from the hips. Women also tend to sit further back on the seat than men.

Shorter stems are the first option to try to give you a more comfortable reach. Also smaller brake levers, narrower handlebars, shorter cranks, and wider saddles are also common on women's bikes. For these and other biking tips for women check out: http://library.advanced.org/10333/girls/index.html