Women looking for a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation often turn to ebikes. From reducing your carbon footprint to helping you get more exercise, an electric bike can be among the best investments you can make in yourself and your health. Due to the electric motor and pedal assist options, riders of all ages and of every fitness level can reap the benefits of ebikes.
You may think ebikes for women come with special requirements like specific frames, saddles, or handlebar heights. While some women riders may prefer a certain build for a variety of reasons, in recent years more and more ebike manufacturers are opting for gender-neutral models.
For women considering buying an ebike, we have provided a brief guide below that goes over major factors to consider.
Do Women Riders Need Different Frames?
Typically, what we think of women’s bike frames come with a women’s saddle, narrower handlebars, and shorter top tubes and taller head tubes. These frames were made with perceived average differences in body types between male and female riders in mind.
For a long time, the assumption was that women have longer legs, a lower center of gravity, and less core strength than men. However, more recent studies indicate that there is little scientific data to support this.
The Dreyfuss Human Scale finds no significant difference statistically between limb length based on gender. Data from NASA and the USA military database finds little evidence that measurements between men and women would have any impact on bike fit.
While there is some evidence that women as a whole are more flexible and have wider hips than male riders, the need for gender-specific frames has likely been historically exaggerated. This is why more and more bike manufacturers have been moving away from models specifically made for male or female riders.
The bottom line is that everyone’s body type is different, and the right frame for you depends more on your specific measurements, current health, and overall flexibility than your gender.
A bike with an easily adjustable frame ensures comfortable riding for individuals of all genders. Story Bikes’s electric step through bike features an adjustable quick release handlebar system that allows you to adjust your handlebars vertically as well as forward and backward.
Most modern ebikes use lithium ion (li-on) batteries as they are cheaper, more efficient, and last longer than alternatives. Li-on batteries are also lighter weight, making ebikes much easier to maneuver and providing a sleeker design.
Ebikes once primarily used lead acid batteries, which tend to be bulkier and less energy-efficient. While you may still find some models that use lead acid batteries or other, more obscure options, li-on batteries are generally considered the best choice.
All Story Bikes models use lithium-ion batteries that can take you up to 45 miles on a single charge.
As with any other bike, you will have to follow basic rules of the road to stay safe on an ebike. You will have to buy some equipment – like a helmet – on your own. However, look for bikes with built-in features like integrated headlights to ensure visibility when riding when it’s dark out.
Torque Vs. Cadence Sensor
Both torque and cadence sensors tell an ebike’s pedal assist when to kick in but do so in different fashions.
Cadence sensors use a magnet on the crank that turns on when you start pedaling and off when you stop, working more or less like a switch. You can increase or decrease the level of assist by adjusting the assist mode up and down manually. Bikes with cadence sensors are often cheaper, but tend to work best on flat surfaces and are less efficient for those going over a lot of hills or inclines.
Sometimes called smart sensing, torque sensors measure the force the rider is actually applying to the pedal to gauge the appropriate level of pedal assist for conditions. While bikes with torque sensing pedal assist can be more expensive, they also provide a smoother ride overall and use less battery power.
One of an ebike's main advantages is that it’s capable of taking riders far greater distances than a traditional bike. While you can always pedal your bike manually, an ebike’s battery will eventually run out if you ride far enough.
The right range for you depends on your personal goals. If you are using your bike for daily errands, for example, consider roughly how many miles you will ride per day. You will ideally want a model that promises a range within that range to ensure your battery doesn’t give out during your ride.
Ebike manufacturers will give an estimate of how far you can ride on a single charge, but this number can vary from individual to individual. A rider’s height, weight, and body type may impact an ebike’s range. The terrain and level of pedal assist being used will also impact the range.
Some people believe that gender affects ebike range due to differences in weight and body composition between men and women. However – as we previously discussed – the data does not support the notion there are easily measurable differences between male and female body types. Always take your individual body type into consideration instead of your gender alone when considering ebike range.
Ebikes For Women: The Bottom Line
For women looking to get more physically active and explore alternatives to carbon-emitting vehicles, an ebike can be a great investment. While many women assume they have to look for a specific frame designed for women, most modern manufacturers make adjustable frames that can work for many different body types. Your personal fitness level, height, and weight are a better indicator of the right ebike for you than your gender.
Other factors to consider include battery power, pedal assist, and range. With a little research and dedication, you should be able to identify the best ebike to meet your needs.
Ready to get riding? Our step-through bikes, road bikes, and commuter bikes combine classic design with modern technology to give you a smooth, safe ride every time. Plus, for every bike we sell, we send a bike to a student in Zimbabwe.
If you’re interested in investing in an ebike, browse our collection here and please feel free to reach out with any questions.