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  • Back to Blog  

    Top 5 Women’s Road Bikes 2018

       Words by Harry Archer

       on 10/04/2018 16:43:52

    Langma_ProTesting

    Women’s bikes (sometimes described as “Women-Specific Design or “WSD”) are specifically designed to better fit a woman’s frame and body shape. The frame geometry is altered in ways such as shortening the reach to the handlebars and providing a smaller wheelbase. Female-specific geometry bikes also come with specially designed ‘contact points’ (e.g., saddle, handlebars), to make them more comfortable for women to ride. Of course, everyone has different heights and body shapes, and women can ride any bike that they find works for them best. An example of this can be found in some of the taller female road cyclists who may find a larger men’s frame to be a better fit. In the end it’s all down to personal choice and fit – so do spend time trying out a few different bikes until you are happy you’ve got just the right bike for you or get a professional bike fit post-purchase. For many women, the introduction of women’s-specific bikes has led to a far better riding experience that is not only comfortable but also far more enjoyable and rewarding. Women-specific road bikes offer more choice in terms of frame sizes – especially for smaller riders which means that Less ‘tweaking’ of a new bike is needed to get it to be geometrically correct as it fits like a glove from the start - Also reducing the chance you'll have to buy extra parts to get the fit right!!

    Avail 2 Gallery 1

    A Road bike gives you the unique opportunity to explore the local countryside from a new perspective. If you’re looking to venture further afield by bike or take part in a race or sportive, road bikes are perfect for the job as their larger wheels and narrow tyres are more efficient on tarmac, meaning covering larger distances is quicker and easier. They are also very light and responsive, making getting up and down those pesky hills a breeze. Ideal for club rides, road racing and fitness training, Road Bikes can also make an excellent companion for commuting - providing you live in an area with well maintained roads!

    Road Bike Guide > Road Bike Size Guide >

    Types of Road Bike

    • Racing - Race bikes combine the most up-to-date technologies with an aggressive geometry to create lightweight, aerodynamic , speed-machines. Frames are usually very stiff – made of high-end alloy or carbon fibre – to help transfer every watt of power from the pedals to the road, meaning handling is also very responsive.
    • Aero and Semi-Aero  - If out-and-out speed is what you’re looking for, then an aero road bike will deliver. It’s the bike most commonly ridden by the pros as its aerodynamic features will give you the advantage – and the latest semi-aero models blend some features from endurance road bikes, too, making them a less harsh ride, while remaining ultra fast and responsive. Aero road bikes travel the fastest along flat roads in a straight line, with an aggressive, ‘tucked’ riding position, aerodynamic frame to reduce drag, and ultra-stiff handling. They are a little heavier than road race bikes, due to all the aero enhancements, so they’ll be slower ascending the hills than an equivalent spec road race bike. Aero frames can be ridden safely in a group (unlike time trial (‘TT’) bikes, which are designed for solo racing).
    • Sportive/Endurance - Used in races like Paris-Roubaix, where rider comfort is absolutely essential for peak performance. Endurance road frames are designed to flex in key areas to reduce vibrations from potholes and rough roads with some models featuring disc brakes for efficient braking in all weather conditions. They often hit the sweet spot between speed, comfort and weight, making them extremely popular for regular riders/beginners. If you’re planning to carry luggage and/or ride in all weathers, you’ll want to choose a model with rack and mudguard mounts.

    Guide To Racing Road Bikes > Guide To Aero Road Bikes > Guide To Endurance Road Bikes >

    Road Bike : Buying Tips

    The two most commonly used road bike frame materials are alloy (aluminium) and carbon fibre composites. Alloy is strong and lightweight with differing grades of alloy frame available, with the higher-cost versions providing better compliance features creating a smoother ride. Carbon fibre is as strong as aluminium, But crucially it is also significantly smoother and lighter. It’s also stiffer, making riding a carbon bike feel a lot more responsive. Some higher-end alloy road bikes feature a carbon fork, giving the frame the benefits of better steering control whilst keeping the overall cost a little for manageable by using aluminium to manufacture the remainder of the frame.

    The quality of groupset you choose will make a huge difference to how the bike performs, so go for the best groupset you can afford. Premium groupsets are lighter, with smoother, faster shifting and a wider gear choice. Electronic shifting is also available at the top end, to make gear changes silky smooth and reduce the chance of mechanical failures. Road bike manufacturers feature groupsets from Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo, each of which have a range of components that cater for different performance levels and price points. In addition to component quality, it’s also important to consider the range of your gears. Wide ranging gears – with smaller (50/34 tooth) chainrings at the front, and a larger (11-32 tooth) cassette at the back – allow beginners to spin the pedals easily or get up really steep climbs. Narrow range gears – with larger (52/34 or 54/34 tooth) chainrings and/or a smaller (11-28 or 11-25 tooth) cassette – are more traditional and are perfect for making small changes in cadence at high speeds, but you will need to work harder on the climbs.

    COMPACTROAD avail 20187

    Calliper/rim brakes were,until very recently, the most common and affordable road bike brakes on the market. On higher-end models, they are designed to be ultra-light an aerodynamic whilst lower end models would use standard-mounted aluminium callipers. However, disc brakes are becoming increasing popular on road bikes, due to the better modulation and versatility they offer and their reliability in adverse weather conditions.

    Expensive racing bikes will usually have either lightweight or aerodynamic wheels to aid climbing or speed respectively (usually at a cost of one or the other). More versatile wheels have more spokes to increase strength and aid longevity, striking a good balance between climbing efficiency and speed on flat roads. Tyres are one of the fastest-developing areas of the road bike market, with the transition to wider road tyres proving popular for professionals and enthusiasts alike. Wider tyres (25-28c) offer a smoother, more comfortable ride and allow for greater flexibility in the terrain you can ride on, but some riders still favour a more traditional narrow tyre (23c), as they offer the least rolling resistance on smooth tarmac. Furthermore, increasing amounts of new models are being fitted with tubeless ready tyres that offer unrivalled puncture protection, allowing you to ride for longer and improving the lifetime of your tyre set.

    Within a range of Road Bikes you're likely to find a number of available models, based on the same basic frame design but each with varying levels of componentry,frame material and finishing kit (wheels,saddles etc) dictating their price and place within the range. Most larger companies will have models ranging from the 'below £1000' model for the entry-level cyclist all the way up to £10,000 super machines that weigh less than your little toe, it's all about finding the right level of bike that will enable you to perform to your maximum ability.

    langma_vibe1

    Our 'Top 5 Women's Road Bike Ranges For 2018’

    Liv Langma

    Liv is the first cycling brand completely dedicated to women. They offer a comprehensive product collection designed specifically for female cyclists, including premium Road Bikes. Liv's unique 3F design philosophy ensures that, as a female rider, you are getting the best bike for your riding style. 3F stands for "Fit, Form, Function." The 3F design philosophy produces some of the best and most appealing cycling equipment to help all women feel confident and enjoy their riding.

    In Tibet, the locals refer to Mount Everest as Langma. Its summit is elusive and represents the pinnacle achievement in mountaineering, a conquest that only the bravest and strongest explorers have achieved. Liv were determined to design a bike for aggressive riders that shines in mountain stages and dominates as an all-around performance race bike. The bike would offer excellent aerodynamics, stiffness, and weight-saving technology - leading to the creation of the Langma Road Bike.

    langma_vibe4

    All Langma frames are formed from Liv’s Professional Grade raw carbon material,woven in their own composite factory using advanced engineering and construction methods including: Continuous Fiber Technology to add strength while reducing weight; Carbon Nanotube Technology resin to improve impact resistance and Fusion Process for lighter, stronger frame junctions. Front-end steering performance is impeccably supported by quality advanced Overdrive2 steerer tube technology, utilizing oversized headset bearings (1 1/2” lower, 1 1/4” upper)and a tapered steerer tube to provide supreme steering stiffness. The Langma also features RideSense technology - Liv and Giant’s chainstay-integrated, wireless data transmitter. The removable transmitter sends wheel speed and cadence information directly to any ANT+ compatible computer.

    Tested: Liv Envie or Liv Langma? >

    Liv Avail

    Another offering from Liv, The Avail provides a women’s-specific design that creates an exceptionally balanced body position on the bike. That means stability in fast corners and descents, efficient power transfer and, most importantly, comfort. For the longest days on the road, the Avail SL is a lightweight extension of your body with looks that outshine the pack.

    The frame has been designed utilising the 3F formula, as seen above with the Langma. The 3F formula takes into account the following:

    • Fit - Liv analyses data on human body dimension, muscular strength and muscular activity, then considers the type of riding the rider will be doing, to build a frame that is fine-tuned through athlete feedback cycles with the goal to fit as many women as possible.
    • Form - The bike’s form is manufactured with the intention to create a strong bond between the rider and the bike. The designers match the performance level of the bike with a beautiful and inspiring outlook.
    • Function - The componentry of the bike is carefully selected and the composite layup is uniquely crafted to give the rider an unprecedented performance edge and comfort.

    Avail Gallery 2

    Furthermore, the Avail is based around 6061 alloy, RideSense compatible,'Compact Road Design' - CRD was championed by Giant/Liv way back in the 90s and has remained a constant on many of their road bikes ever since identified via the downward sloping toptube (from the headtube to the seattube)that creates smaller front and rear triangles for a lighter, stiffer bike. It also makes it easier for riders of all sizes to have a perfect fit. Further comfort enhancing features include a D-Fuse seatpost that has a “D” shaped composite seatpost working to dampen vibration and an OverDrive steerer tube technology designed to provide precise front-end steering performance using oversized headset bearings (1 1/4” lower and 1 1/8” upper for road) and tapered steerer tube to work in conjunction, providing optimal steering stiffness as a result. Lastly, A massively oversized bottom bracket/chainstay area features a fully integrated, 86mm-wide BB design with asymmetric chainstays providing additional stiffness on the driveside and stability on the non-driveside.

    Cube Axial

    The Axial WS series is German brand Cube's flagship Women’s-specific geometry road bike. The entry level Axial WS and Axial Pro models are based around a high quality, lightweight aluminium frame and has clearly been designed with comfort and efficiency in mind, complemented by a carbon bladed fork to help filter out road vibration. Featuring ultra-reliable Shimano groupsets and relaxed geometries, either of these frames would be perfect for the rider who is looking to venture out further on the tarmac. The Axial Race is the spearhead of CUBE's performance aluminium race bikes - a lightning fast, great value and super-responsive speed machine designed for demanding riders. 2018 has seen the introduction of hydraulic disc brakes to the Axial Race, giving the rider superb all-weather stopping power and the confidence to get out and ride year-round.

    Axial 1

    Carbon framed Axials begin with the GTC Pro, kitted out with Shimano's legendary 105 groupset on both the gears and the brakes, with slick, reliable gear shifting and dependable braking, combined with Mavic's reliable and lightweight wheelset. The Axial GTC SL is built around the Axial GTC frame's renowned handling and long distance performance, with a selection of the some of the best components on the market. Smooth Shimano Ultegra gears, powerful hydraulic disc brakes for all-weather stopping and light, stiff, and strong Fulcrum Racing 55 Disc wheels all combine to extract the very best from the high tech carbon frame and, more importantly, from you. The top-range model in the range is the Axial C:62 SL, combining premium frame materials and the finest components. The exclusive use of a unique carbon frame, CUBE carbon fork and full Shimano Ultegra groupset with hydraulic disc brakes results in a supremely quick, agile and light race machine that guarantees maximum performance, mile after mile.

    Truly a fantastic range of road bikes for any level of rider, The Axial WS range has revised geometries and altered sizing (I.E lots of smaller sizes available).

    Specialized Ruby

    The Women's version of the Specialized Roubaix see's the same technology brought to the Women's specific platform. The 2018 Ruby range offers riders the option of either an Aluminium or Carbon frame and ranges in price from just under £2000 all the way up to just under £10,000!!

    specialized-ruby-sport-2018-womens-road-RC

    The Ruby features the fantastic Future Shock system, essentially Future Shock is a piston in the head tube with 20mm of travel. Specialized developed this technology in partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies, and the result of this was a host of drastic performance improvements, namely in the vertical compliance department. Without giving a physics lecture, they found that focusing on vertical compliance, instead of fork splay, meant that they could improve smoothness, speed, and comfort in one fell swoop. Of all the bikes that they've tested with our Rolling Efficiency Model, the new Ruby outperforms anything on the market. Also making an appearance is Specialized's Rider-First Engineered™ design that ensures every frame size has the same legendary responsiveness and smooth ride quality that you'd expect from a Ruby. The FACT 9/10r framesets are exceptional in every way, offering the ideal blend of light overall weight and targeted stiffness whilst the The Ruby Disc fork is built from extraordinary FACT carbon fiber for supreme stiffness, strength, and reactivity, with the thru-axle design only standing to bolster all of the above.

    Models at the top of the range are equipped with funky features such as electronic shifting and Specialized's road SWAT box. As you'd expect, moving up the range also sees the use of the lighter 10r frame material and superior groupset/braking systems. Lower-end models share the exact same geometry and suspension systems but will be made from 9r frame material and heavier componentry. Wheel-sets also improve as you go up through the price points but all Ruby frames will be finished off with specific-women's kit at the contact points such as the saddle,handlebars and grips.

    Trek Domane Women's

    Selling more bikes for women each year than any other brand,Trek road bikes equipped with Women’s Specific Design (WSD) technology are created from the ground up with the specific needs of women at the forefront of design. Trek are committed to building a great-fitting, great-riding bike for every woman, no matter who you are or how you ride. Ranging in price from just over £600 for the AL2 up to about £4,500 for the SLR 6 Disc, the Domane women's range truly has something for every level of cyclist. All the models within the range have specifically designed Women's saddles and handlebars whilst also being equipped with the IsoSpeed Carbon Fork which swoops forward toward the dropouts, absorbing vibrations from the road so your arms won't fatigue as quickly. Invisible weld technology and Blendr-compatible stems are used to create sleek looks and hidden mudguard mounts make it easy to accessorise, so you get a racing bike and an explorer in one! The geometry is intentionally designed to support long days in the saddle via Trek's 'Endurance Fit' system so you can be confident that you'll be in comfort no matter how far you're riding.

    DomaneSL7 1

    AL 2, AL3 and AL4 models are the aluminium offerings and are equipped with workhorse,wide ranged Shimano gears that are incredibly durable and will help the rider conquer even the steepest of inclines. The AL4 is a disc brake option, with flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes ensuring that it has fantastic stopping ability, ideal for a bike capable of taking on slightly more uneven terrain due to its wider tyre clearance and mudguard mounts.

    DomaneSL5WSD isospeed

    The lighter and stiffer 500 Series OCLV Carbon frame models (SL 5, SL 5 Disc, SL 6, SL 6 Disc , SLR 6 Disc and SL 7) are based on the same geometrical dimensions as the aluminium frames. However, they have IsoSpeed technology at both the front and rear and the frames optimised connections between the headtube,downtube,bottom bracket and rear wheel leads to incredible power transfer, ensuring you'll get the most out of every pedal stroke. Internal cable routing, Direct brake mounts and ride-tuned seatmasts complete the package on the more expensive Domane models - with the usual improvements in groupsets,wheels and componentry as you go up through the price point.

    Browse All Women's Road Bikes >>>

    Guide To Women's Cycling Clothing > Women’s Cycling Guide > Road Bike Accessories Guide >

    View The Full Ranges

    Top Ten Road Bikes Under £2000 > 10 of Our Favourite Road Bikes Under £1000 > All Guides and Advice >

    Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store

    You can browse the entire Road Bike range online, or you can get your hands on it in your nearest Rutland Cycling store.

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