I looked at 5 of the best women's road bikes for beginners out there today, with a mixture of carbon, aluminum frame, and steel, the budget was varied, as were the results!
Bicycles are my passion so finding women bikes is always a joy for me. I've been a newbie and I know how daunting it can be for beginners trying to discover the differences between the drivetrains and what features are actually needed...so I'm here to help!
For me, I loved the HeartsBio bike. It is truly a bike that beginners will grow into. It's a pleasure to ride, with Shimano Sora features. The design is stunning and it rides beautifully.
However, people are different, as are bikes so let's check out the other rides and see which one you prefer!
Table of Contents
|Preview||Bike Model||No. Of Gears||Frame Materiale||Weight (lbs)||Brakes||More Information|
|HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike||18 speed Shimano Sora||Carbon fiber||17.6||Rim||CHECK PRICE|
|Tommaso Imola Endurance||24 speed Shimano Claris||Aluminum||22.9||Rim||CHECK PRICE|
|Schwinn Phocus 1400||14 speed Shimano Claris||Aluminum||26.8||Rim||Check Price|
|Schwinn Phocus 1600||16 speed Shimano Claris||Aluminum||32.8||Rim||CHECK PRICE|
|Raleigh Bikes Super Course Endurance||16 speed Shimano Claris||Steel||26.8||Rim||CHECK PRICE|
Kicking off with a comfortable ride on a full carbon fiber frame, HeartsBio set out to make a healthy lifestyle possible for everyone.
They even went as far as providing a lifetime warranty on the frame. The parts come with a one-year guarantee so it's an impressive aftercare package, one of the best in fact.
On appearance, this women's road bike may look minimalist, however, it is packed with quality parts, and features a Shimano Sora groupset with 18 speeds.
What does that mean for you?
This bike should be able to take on any terrains you want to try. Got a steep climb in mind? These are the women's bikes to try it on. Having derailleurs of this quality will also allow you to achieve greater speed and distances, with less effort.
This Model H features an ergonomic saddle, which has a center hole built-in - this is designed to prevent any numbing when you're out riding for any duration and generally add to the comfort when out on the roads.
These HeartsBio women's bikes do require you to assemble them yourself when they arrive.
The good people at Heartsbio do provide you with several assembly videos to follow to make the job an easy one, regardless of your technical skill.
Something which many people will appreciate is being able to add that personal touch. The Model H bike comes with the ability for you to add a custom decal that they submit.
With these entry-level women's bikes, you get alloy caliper brakes so you're going to get a decent amount of stopping power - which I'm sure you'll need as this thing is lightweight (just 17.6lbs!) and just wants to go!
Overall, this bike offers a comfortable ride at an affordable price.
Tommaso is a company that doesn't design a bike without thought. Oh no. Every aspect is considered and that's what makes them special.
As a result, you can get yourself an entry-level bike, that looks much higher-end and I like that!
The components themselves aren't the finest, however, they are put together in a fine way and that makes for a nice ride - one with many comfort features.
Something that is really quite a standout is the fact that this women's road bike features a full Shimano Claris groupset. No corners have been cut there.
For an entry-level bike, that's quite a rarity. You often see "Shimano rear derailleur" and the rest is tried to be passed off as the real deal but not in this case. Every aspect is Shimano, brakes, shifters, the lot.
The reason I bang on about this so much is that it makes the ride much better. When everything comes from the same place, they work better together and as a result, you can increase your average speed.
This isn't the best groupset so it's not going to be smooth as silk shifting. However, it's going to do the job and provide you with a nice ride.
With these women's road bikes, you get a 6061 aluminum frame.
What does that mean for you?
It's pretty lightweight!
It weighs in at 22.9lbs. Which given the fact it is entry-level, is impressive - especially when you consider the budget.
Tommaso understands their market and who might ride this bike, which includes the commuter market. For this, they've added mounts for rear racks.
Overall it's a smart women's road bike that won't break the bank but will provide you with plenty of good times!
These endurance bikes are actually designed specifically for both men and women however due to their geometry, I've found they work particularly well as women's road bikes.
Schwinn is obviously very well-known in the cycling world, they focus on providing comfortable and durable bikes...just like this one!
If you read different reviews about these road bikes, some will say that the Schwinn Phocus 1600 is more suited to women and 1400 is for men. Honestly, it's whatever you're comfortable with. There is no hard and fast rule here.
Both the 1400 and 1600 are very similar, the main difference being the frames size and that the 1600 comes with a 16-speed drivetrain, compared to the 14 speed on the 1400...see where their model names come from now?
That's where the differences of features end, both women's road bikes feature an aluminum frame, and this helps to keep the lbs off, the fork is made from carbon. This means that these endurance bikes come in at 26lbs for the Phocus 1400 and 32lbs for the Phocus 1600.
So not the lightest women's road bikes on the market. Saying that it's a compromise I'd be prepared to make if I wanted to do long-distance riding.
These endurance bikes for women are comfortable and the endurance geometry means it's going to allow riders to go on for miles, without aches and pains. That's worth a lot so forget the extra lbs and enjoy those country lanes.
The road tires sit with double-walled alloy rims, this adds to the durability of this bike and also the comfort level - something that all women's bikes should focus on!
If I'm looking for a downside, it would be that assembly isn't newbie-friendly. If you aren't confident with your DIY skills, then I would recommend taking it to your local bike shop for them to build. They will be able to build and do the all-important tune-up so the setup is perfect for you.
They say it's all in a name and this bike's name clearly tells you what it's about.
If you want a bike where you can go for miles and miles, then the Raleigh bike may be ideal for you.
It features a steel frame, that is crafted into an endurance geometry, ensuring you stay comfortable on those long rides.
As with other women's bikes we've looked at, the Raleigh features a 16-speed Shimano Claris drivetrain. Many cycling enthusiasts will find this to be sufficient for cycling up those hills.
Something that is often different on a female-specific bike is the saddle and you get a high-quality saddle with this endurance bike.
It uses a Brooks Cambium C17, which is specifically designed for women so it should prove to be comfortable straight away and for many miles to come.
I'm not going to deny that one of the reasons these women's road bikes made the list is because of their appearance. It's a real head-turner and pretty unique.
Before you go out and pick yourself up a women's bike, let's focus on what features make the best entry-level road bikes for women and things you might want to consider.
A lot of road riders get a bit obsessed with shaving ounces off their bike...doesn't happen to everyone (I'm not one) but it can happen is all I'm going to say.
It's not necessarily a bad point either. Maybe I should care how much every accessory I put onto my bicycle adds in ounces. After all, the lighter the bike, the faster and easier it is to travel.
When you're looking at entry bikes, you aren't going to be looking at the lightest bikes but it's probably something you still want to be aware of.
Depending on your budget, you might want to spring for a carbon fiber frame. They're going to be the lightest of the frames. However, they are going to be the most expensive.
Is it worth it for your first entry-level bike?
I went for an aluminum frame and it was perfectly light enough.
Did I notice a difference when I got a carbon fiber frame?
I did but I'm glad I started out on aluminum.
The thing is, alloy is a solid choice, the technology has advanced a lot and it ensures that the frames of the race bikes are stiff, yet lightweight. It could be argued it makes for one of the best entry-level combinations, lightweight, and value for money.
It's also quite common to see a carbon fork fitted to aluminum road bikes and this increases the performance overall, whilst keeping the price point affordable.
When looking at women's road bikes for beginners, the lightest road bicycle in the world isn't needed but still consider the weight where you can.
Size is super important when it comes to women's road bikes. It will affect your comfort when you're out on the roads.
I'd recommend a bike fit or at least test riding several different bike sizes find out what works for you.
When you're looking at getting the right size, you should try and have both feet on the ground when you're standing over the top tube.
Almost every manufacturer does produce sizing charts and I've always found them useful and pretty accurate.
Something you do need to be mindful of is if you're limbs are longer/shorter than average, this could alter the frame size of the bicycle.
The number of gears you have is important. I skimmed on gearing with my first bike and it made my life difficult...don't follow in my footsteps!
If the bike you're looking at is "2 x 8", this translates to it having two gears on the front chainring and 8 on the rear so when you put that together you get a 16-speed set-up.
Different terrains will call for different gears, so consider the terrains around the area you will be riding.
You could be forgiven for thinking the best entry-level bicycles will have a lot of gear options and to some extent that's true. What you should be careful of is that you don't compromise quality over quantity. A quality groupset is everything to a lot of cyclists.
If you're looking at the best entry-level women's road bikes, then you're probably facing a decision. Do you go for better components or a better quality frame?
What I mean by components are the brakes, shifters, and derailleurs.
Ultimately it comes down to you as there doesn't seem to be one rule.
Many reviews or cycling enthusiasts will recommend going for a frame that is heavier and has better components when you're looking at an entry-level bike. This will ensure that your shifting is smoother and overall it will be a better experience.
Some manufacturers make women-specific frames, some don't, some did but no longer do.
What type of frame should you get?
Have a go at different types of bicycles to find out!
What you are likely to find is that frames that are women-specific will have a shorter reach from the saddle to the handlebar, this is because women tend to have a shorter reach.
Generally, and this is generally, women tend to be in a more upright position so this is replicated in most bicycles meant for women.
Whilst other manufacturers tend to advertise their wheels are 'unisex', this means that their frames and components can be adjusted to accommodate different sizes of people.
You may take comfort in the fact that you're on a bike for women. For other cyclists, that may mean nothing and they are simply after the most comfort they can get out of features in a bike.
Overall, there isn't a right or a wrong answer, find what works for you and go with it - the right bike for you is the best entry-level bike.
Many cyclists will tell you that it's important to have a stiff fork at the front for the road.
It allows you to take on rougher terrain yet still experience a smooth ride.
Not only that.
The fork will impact how the bicycle handles, a stiffer fork means you can turn more sharply too.
Whilst a lot of beginner women's road bikes features an aluminum frame, it's good to opt for those with a carbon fork as this increases the performance of the bikes and without a doubt, it can add to the overall comfort.
Small point here, for roads, people prefer to have drop handlebars.
It makes you more aerodynamic, one which, over time, you will be able to hold for longer periods of time.
Drops take some getting used to as they force riders to sit more forward but I can assure you, they're addictive once you get used to them!
Here are a few differences between drops and flats:
Stopping power is important. You want it to be good, right?
In an ideal world, disc brakes would be the answer. They perform well in all conditions but they're expensive.
Mechanical disc brakes are cheaper than hydraulic but either way, they aren't often in a beginner riders' price range.
Rim brakes work well, after all, many of the pros still use them! They are easier and cheaper to maintain too.
Most road bikes for women at this level will come with flat pedals, sometimes they won't come with any pedals at all.
If you're serious about wanting to get into cycling then I'd highly recommend that you pick up some clipless pedals.
These pedals attach people to their bicycles.
I get it but it will make you a more efficient cyclist and once you get used to them, you won't be able to imagine riding flat pedals again. Trust me.
When I got my first roadie, I did a few rides without clipless and then made the switch. Do it as soon as you can.
Here is a guide on how to use clipless pedals
There is no out and out winner for all women. However above we've put together a list of the best women's road bikes so I'm sure there's the perfect bike there for you!
Different people will tell you different things. What features are important to some, won't be important to others.
Ensure you have the right number of gears for the terrain you want to ride.
Buy the best parts you can afford and ideally, go for a lightweight aluminum frame.
The best entry-level women's bikes aren't too different from ones that are designed for men. You want good parts, Tourney speeds, or above for gearing.
If you can get an alloy frame, perfect. If not, steel is good.
I rated the HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike favorably. A design and plenty of features to be your bike for many years to come.
Read more about this bike above!
How was that?
As you can see the road bikes for women sector has plenty of choices and a lot of it comes down to what you want to ride.
I'd like to ride the HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike and I think for a lot of women, it's the ideal bike out there - and not just even the best entry-level price point either! Depending on the size, it may even suit many men too.
What type of roads do you like to ride on?