With the popularity of triathlons and charity bike rides reaching a fevered pitch, road bike sales have sky rocketed. The thrill of flying down a hill on your bike, the wind in your…. uh, helmet of course, is not just for kids anymore. Adults are embracing the love of the bicycle once again and recognizing the benefits bikes can have on the physical well-being of their bodies as well as the planet. Road bikes are built for speed with a lightweight frame, shorter wheel base, narrow, high-pressure tires, and dropped handlebars which allow the rider to bend forward for better wind resistance.
The choices available in road bikes can be overwhelming, not to mention shocking, with prices ranging from $100 department store bikes to over $7,000 for some high-end racing bikes. For women, the task of finding the right bicycle becomes even more daunting as most road bikes have been designed for men. However, women generally have shorter torsos and longer legs than men. Luckily for us ladies though, several bicycle manufacturers have recognized that we too feel the need for speed and have designed some nice rides specifically with a woman’s frame in mind. These are our choices for women’s road bikes that will give you a work out and not your credit card. And they’re pretty too.
Novara Carema Women’s Bike
The Novara Carema, designed specifically for women, provides a comfortable, upright seated position. The aluminum frame, carbon fork, and Shimano Sora components make for a great choice in an entry-level road bike. With a triple chain ring you’ll have more options for climbing hills, making fast descents, and riding flats. Or embrace the versatility of this bike by adding fenders for a commuting bike, or a rack and panniers would turn it into a nice touring bike. The Novara Carema has received an average 4.8 rating out of 5 on REI.
Sells for $849.00 at REI.
Specialized Dolce Sport Compact
If you’re looking for a high performance road bike without the high performance price tag, Specialized comes through with their women’s specific road bike. The Specialized Dolce Compact is designed for comfort and efficiency while making for a sporty feel on the road. The compact, double crank reduces weight on the bike and makes shifting easier. But if you’re a fan of the granny gear or ride in hilly areas, the triple chain ring is offered as well. The secondary brake levers on the top of the handlebars are a nice feature. Live on the 3rd floor? At under 20 pounds, you’ll have no trouble carrying this bike around. Other specs include aluminum frame with carbon fork, Shimano components, gear display, and a Body Geometry Riva Road women’s saddle.
The MSRP for the Specialized Dolce Sport is $970.
Tommaso Monzo Road Bike
Tomasso is a small Italian company that prides itself on customer satisfaction and attention to detail in producing high quality road bikes. Each bike comes with a lifetime guarantee from Tommaso. Though not designed as a women’s specific road bike, the Tommaso Monzo uses a compact geometry for an ideal riding position that ensures proper handling and comfort. The lightweight double crank features a smaller geared 50/34 chainring. This allows the rider to ascend the steeps with less stress on the knees and joints and still ride quickly along the flats. With a carbon fork, San Marco saddle, and Shimano/Tiagra components, the Tommaso Monzo received rave reviews on RoadBikeReview.com.
Sells for $829.95 on Amazon.
Marin Terra Linda Women’s Bike
Looking for something a little more comfy without compromising on speed? The Marin Terra Linda women’s bike is a good option for those who prefer an upright position with a flat handlebar. The carbon fork will still allow you to ride quickly, absorbing those road vibrations, while the Shimano shifters will help you move smoothly through the 24 gears. The contoured Marin Women’s Plush Road saddle adds to the comfort of this bike, allowing for all-day enjoyment.
You can find the Marin Terra Linda Women’s Bike for $699.00 at REI.
This sweet looking road bike is the newest women’s specific design from Trek, replacing the entry-level 1.1 WSD of previous years. Trek has been an innovator in designing bikes for the woman rider. This 8-speed model has an aluminum frame and fork with dual lever Shimano brakes and derailleurs. Trek offers a wide range of sizing options, from the extra-small 43 cm up to the large 62 cm. You can upgrade with better components to the Lexa S model. Reviews are not out yet on this one, but the previous WSD models from Trek have received decent marks on Buzzillions.
MSRP is $689.99 from Trek.
Schwinn Katana Road Bike
Out of 62 customer reviews on Amazon, the Schwinn Katana Road Bike received an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars. And with a price tag of less than $400, this bike makes for our best value. And with a name as synonymous with bicycles as Schwinn, you’ll be proud to ride this icon of Americana down the road. This is another one of our picks that’s a unisex design, but the compact geometry will appeal to women riders. One woman reviewer stated she raced this bike in a triathlon, finished in 3rd place, and beat her friend who rode a $2,000 bike. Specs include an aluminum frame, a 14 speed Shimano drivetrain, and a Tru-Vativ crank. Sizes come in a 54 cm or 56 cm.
You can purchase the Schwinn Katana Road bike for $322.00-$327.00 on Amazon.
Fuji Finest 3.0
The Fuji Finest 3.0, designed for women, was featured on Bicycling.com in their annual bike review, giving it a thumbs up for value and durability. An aluminum frame, carbon fork, Shimano components, and Kenda 25c tires will give you the comfort of stability even as you fly down those hills. The Fuji Finest 3.0 features a sloping down tube and low standover height for proper female sizing.
The 2010 model is on sale for $599.99 at Performance Bicycle.