Best Women’s Commuter Bikes [6 Recommendations]
Cycling is a great way for women to get to work. It’s often quicker and cheaper than driving or using public transport, plus it’s an efficient way to keep you feeling fit and well.
Having the best bike for the journey will make a big difference to your commute, so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you to choose what bike would work best for you.
What to Look for in a Women’s Commuter Bike
We all want our commutes to be as smooth and easy as possible, and this is no different when cycling. Everyone’s journey is unique, so this will influence what bike you go for. However, when riding your commute there are a few universal factors to consider.
Firstly, having a lightweight bike will help you regardless of if your route is short and flat or long and hilly. A lighter bike means you can ride faster and more efficiently. You’ll also be able to more easily incorporate different modes of transport into your commute if needs be as lifting your bike onto a train will be much less of a challenge.
Size and frame style is the second aspect to look into. It is important that your bike fits you well. As bike sizes and styles vary, if possible it’s invaluable to test ride various kinds of bikes to see how they feel, so you can make an informed decision.
Next up is the saddle. Most bikes will come with a standard saddle. This may work for you, but you may prefer to look for a bike that has a women’s specific saddle, or you can always replace your bike seat. We explored how and why women benefit from specially designed saddles, and the best bike seats for women, in this useful article.
Finally if you need space for your lunch or laptop, you may also want to look for bikes that come with the ability to carry and safely store your possessions en route. This can come in the form of a pannier rack, or cargo capacity may be built into the design of the bike.
It’s not just about the bike when you commute, you can also look as amazing as your bike thanks to sophisticated clothing that will keep you dry, safe and stylish as you ride. We’ve put together the best women’s cycling tights and leggings, as well as the best women’s waterproof cycling jackets.
Men’s vs Women’s Commuter Bikes
We’ve briefly mentioned size and frame style in what to look for in a commuter bike. These two elements are the main distinctions between what are often defined as ‘men’s or women’s’ bikes as they are designed to reflect the differences in anatomy and body shape.
This principle also applies to commuter bikes. Nevertheless, many commuter bikes are unisex so don’t let a gendered label put you off. We’ve delved further into this topic and provided useful advice in this insightful article.
Best Commuter Bikes for Women
We’ve already established that cycling is good for women so now it’s time to make it even better by listing the best commuter bike options.
1. City Bike for Commuting
As the name suggests, city bikes are designed for short urban trips and riding in cities. The focus is on function so they are lightweight, have minimal gears and have step through frames so you can ride in a comfortable upright position.
Best Women’s City Bikes for Commuting:
Inspired by the streets of Tokyo, the focus of this lightweight 7 speed city bike is to enjoy your city commute.
Weighing in at just 12kg, it is one of the lightest commuter bikes on the market but it is still full of handy and high quality features to make your ride to work smooth even up any steep hills!
The step-through frame makes it easier to get on and off and creates a comfortable upright riding position, in so doing also giving you good visibility in traffic. A handy kickstand and bell are already included, and it has eyelets for fitting mudguards, racks or baskets.
Available in 8 lovely colours, and four different frame sizes, it’s a great way to start and end your working day.
Decathlon’s Elops range offers popular and more affordable city bikes. The 120 is their cheapest model but it is still of a very high quality and has been designed with commuting in mind.
Its steel frame weighs in at a reasonable 17.5kg and it helps to absorb vibrations from the road as you ride to make your journey smoother. In addition to this the step through frame and wide saddle also makes for a more comfortable cycle, and the adjustable handlebars and seat post allow you to find the perfect riding position.
You’re good to go straight away with built-in dynamo front and rear lights, a kickstand, pannier racks and mudguards. Plus you’ll stay clean thanks to a useful chainguard.
2. Hybrid Bike for Commuting
Hybrid bikes blend in features and characteristics from other kinds of cycles like mountain bikes and road bikes. The result is a bike that is suitable for a wide variety of uses which is why they are good for commuting, especially if your route to work is both off and on road.
Best Women’s Hybrid Bikes for Commuting
Liv is a brand designed by women, for women. This approach is clear in this bike which combines comfort and efficiency through an upright riding position and flat handlebars.
It is also lightweight and already equipped for commuting thanks to integrated mounts for racks, mudguards or panniers, as well as reflective decals to boost visibility.
Raleigh have been making excellent bikes for years and they describe this model as ‘the urban cyclist’s dream bike’.
With the aim to liven up your commute but also help you to enjoy a slow ride along the river, the lightweight frame at just 13.5kg combined with 21 speed Shimano gears and powerful V brakes will give you both comfort and control during your commute. They’ve even thoughtfully opted for a Selle Royal Essenza saddle.
3. Electric Bike for Commuting
If you’re looking to keep sweating to a minimum, or if you have a lot to carry on your way to work, then an electric bike may be the best choice for your commute.
Inevitably they do come with a more expensive price tag and are also heavier but there are cheaper alternatives such as the Swytch kit, which allows you to convert any standard bike into an electric bike through a nifty hub and battery. Personally I changed my heavy and costly e-bike for this kit and fitted it onto a lightweight city bike with a step through frame. It has been a great decision for my commute.
Best Women’s Electric Bikes for Commuting
Ribble is known for making high quality bikes and this model is an excellent electric option to get to work.
Available in three sizes in a step through style and with the option to customise the colours, it is chic but also packed full of features to make your journey to work easy, fast and fun.
The handlebars are ergonomically designed for comfort, as is the Selle saddle, and you can access the power assistance and integrated lights from handy handlebar control buttons.
It also comes with a useful front rack that can be used to strap items onto, as well as rear pannier racks.
In Caroline Criado Perez’s outstanding book ‘Invisible Women: Exposing the Data Bias in a World Designed for Men’ she outlines how women’s commutes differ significantly from our male counterparts. This is echoed in many studies across the world. Compared to men’s typical A to B journey to work, women are more likely to have A-B-C-D where A is the school run and D might be a kid’s club. This means they need a bike that allows them to do this effectively.
This is where Tern’s range of e-cargo bikes come in, and in this case the NBD which stands for ‘no big deal’. Their excellent bikes aim to normalise and enable cycling with cargo, kids and even adults on board.
The NDB is at a lower price point and is described by Tern as their ‘most accessible bike yet’. It has been designed for maximum control and comfort for riders of all ages and abilities thanks to an ultra-low stepover frame, and it is easily adjustable.
It also has a ‘Flatfold’ feature so it can easily fit onto trains, and even into small sized cars. Once you arrive at work you can roll the NBD vertically so it is simple to store safely indoors. However, if you do need to leave it outside it has a handy integrated frame lock.
With plenty of accessories to carry cargo, and space for one child on the back, it really will make your commute no big deal!