‘New bike feeling’ is probably the best feeling in the world. However, it’s usually preceded by uncertainty, angst and indecision. Choosing your new bike can be tough – so we’ve pulled together our favourite 2017 women’s road bikes between £1k and £2k to help you out.
Of course there are many exceptional bikes on the market – and we can’t include every single one. But we can certainly pick out some of the best.
Fundamentals of choosing a new road bike
Before we look at specific bikes, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in your new bike. Your style of riding will effect the decisions you make. The key considerations should be…
The material your frame is made from can dramatically affect the ride quality, price, and longevity.
The most common choices in this price range are aluminum and carbon. Aluminum is resilient, and fairly light. Though frames will vary, the rider tends to feel more vibration from the road on an alloy frame. Carbon is generally lighter, and more comfortable – but more expensive and prone to cracking in an accident or crash. It’s worth remembering that a light carbon frame with cheap components on might weigh more overall than an aluminum frame with expensive components. This said, you can always upgrade them.
Outside of the big two – other popular choices include titanium, which is light and very strong but usually expensive, and steel which is ‘real’ but usually quite heavy unless your budget is large.
We could write an essay here – but will try not to.
Geometry refers to the position that the bike will put you in. Most bikes can be adjusted to suit you, but the ideal situation is that you buy a bike that doesn’t require huge changes to meet your needs.
Bikes with ‘endurance geometry’ will generally put the rider into a more upright position. This will be ideal for someone who is planning long, all day rides, or who wants the stability of a more ‘heads up’ position.
Bikes with ‘racey geometry’ will feel faster and be more aerodynamic. But to ride one and feel comfortable, you’ll need a strong core and a good level of flexibility. Of course, there are many options in the middle.
Women’s specific bikes are adapted to suit the needs that the respective brand feels women need. Generally, they have shorter top tubes to cater for shorter upper bodies. Opinions are quite divided here – but one thing we do know for sure is that narrower handlebars are more likely to suit most women, as will a female specific saddle, and all women’s bikes have these fitted as standard.
When it comes to choosing the bike with the best geometry for you, start with a general idea where you sit along the aggressive race and endurance continuum, and then test ride until you find one you like!
The more you spend, the better the spec – groupset, wheels, tyres – will be. Therefore, the components you’re getting will be similar within each price bracket.
Most bikes at this sort of price point will have fairly entry level wheels fitted as standard – the expectation is that riders will upgrade them as they progress. However, a few gems in the stable will come with nicer hoops.
It’s worth being aware that if you go for a bike with Shimano or SRAM shifters, you’ll be able to wind the shifters in if you’ve got smaller hands – not the case with Campagnolo.
Well – you’re going to ride this bike every day, right?! You want to like the way it looks – there’s nothing shallow about that.
Without further ado, here’s a look at some of the best women’s road bikes we’ve seen popping up for 2017…