Female cyclists may be a small minority of the total cycling population, but they make up an important segment of the market. In addition to enjoying the outdoors and getting active, cruising can also be a great way for women to get around without fear of getting catcalled, harassed or just being bothered by men.
That’s one reason so many women have found cruising to be a perfect fit. However, shopping for your first cruiser bike can be tricky if you don’t know what questions to ask. We’ve highlighted some considerations you should keep in mind before you shop, from checking the frame size to finding a reputable seller.
What to Look For When Shopping for a Female Cruiser Bike
There are several important factors to keep an eye out for when searching for cruiser bikes for women. These include frame size, saddle height, stiffness of the frame, gearing options and brakes.
When buying a new bike, you’ll want to make sure the frame size is correct for you. That means checking with your female friends and coworkers to see what size they wear, then going by those measurements.
Another important factor to consider is the saddle height on your new bike. This will help you dial in exactly the right position for your legs, and can make a big difference in how you feel on the bike.
A bike that’s too soft could be more dangerous or uncomfortable. A bike that’s too stiff is less comfortable, but is better for longer distance riding. For shorter rides and daily commutes, you may want to choose a bike that’s more forgiving.
If you’re planning on doing longer distances with your bike, the gearing options will matter. There are two kinds of gearing: single-speed and internal hub. Single-speed gearing means you’ll have one gear ratio, and internal hub gearing allows you to use multiple ratios.
Brakes are vital for stopping your bike safely. Try to find a bike with brakes that are easy to operate and that work properly. Internal hub bikes tend to come with disc brakes, while single-speed bikes usually only have rim brakes.
Know What Kind of Riding You Want to Do With Your New Bike
When you’re first starting out, whether on an adult bike or a child’s bike, you may want to stick to paved surfaces. That way, you can focus on your riding posture, using hand signals and building your confidence. When you feel ready, you can start looking into some of the more off-road-friendly bikes on the market.
Next, you may also want to think about what kind of riding you’d like to do with your new bike. Some cruisers are built for more leisurely rides, while others are more geared towards racing and competition. Knowing what kind of riding you’d like to do will help you choose your next bike.
Don’t Just Focus on the Price; Find a Trusted Retailer with Excellent Reviews
We all love a bargain, especially on a new bike. There’s a myth that expensive bikes are better, though, so don’t let price dictate your decision entirely. Instead, always keep in mind that quality bicycles are expensive, and a high-quality bike will last you many years.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, there are plenty of quality brands out there that make bikes for women. Specialized makes some of the best, like the Specialized Mullet and the Specialized Venge. You can also check out other brands that have a proven track record with female riders, like Marin or Scott.
Choose Your Favorite Color(s)
Cruisers are often primarily black, so you may want to choose one of your favorite colors to make it pop a bit. While you’re shopping, take note of the different colors and styles on the different bikes, so you can decide what catches your eye the most.
Another way to spice up your new bike is to choose a color and finish that matches one of your outfit’s. There are a lot of leather and suede cruisers on the market, which are both affordable and stylish. You could also try out one of the many metallic colors, which are flashy and fun.
Take measurements – This is Key So Your New Bike Fits Well
Before you head to the shop to finalize your purchase, make sure to take the following measurements.
Your stand over height. This is how tall you are compared to the ground. Use a measuring tape to measure from the ground to your tires, then add or subtract an inch or two from this measurement.
Your saddle height, which is often referred to as the “seat” height, and it’s the vertical distance from the lowest part of the bike seat to the ground. Make sure your saddle height is level with your tires.
The top tube length is the vertical distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the top tube. Make sure it’s not too short or too long.
The bottom bracket height is the vertical distance from the center of the pedal to the ground. Make sure it’s not too low or high.
Cruising is a great way for women to explore the outdoors without worrying about harassment or intimidation. However, you’ll need to do some preparation to ensure that you find a bike that fits you well and is safe to ride.
These tips will help you shop for your new bike, whether it’s for cruising or racing a few friends. Always make sure to wear a helmet in your adventures as well and always tell someone where you are going to protect your safety.
Getting a cruiser bike is the perfect way to get some exercise in as well and has many health benefits. Whatever the case may be, always make sure you do your research and follow these tips to ensure the bike you choose is a great investment and won’t break on day 1.