What is the difference between boys and girls bikes?

Girls Can't WHAT? BMXWe have had a jolly good time over on Facebook and Twitter talking about why there are differences between boys bikes and girls bikes.  The history behind the girls bike frame is that women used to wear dresses all the time so it was more lady like to have a lower bar that kept the dress down for modesty.  Also, mens bike frames purportedly needed to hold more weight, thus the higher bar for better reinforcement of the weight on the seat.

Curiosity has the best of me right now because aside from some religious groups, women do not wear dresses when riding a bicycle.  That being said, why then do we still have two different bicycle frames?  Wouldn’t it make more sense from a manufacturing standpoint to make a universal frame?  What do you think?

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  1. Meghna January 30th, 2009 4:31 am

    :-? True

  2. cheyenne January 30th, 2009 3:12 pm

    I don’t know, Very interesting though:)

  3. kel1 February 5th, 2009 11:45 am

    For me, it’s difficult to get on a man’s bike, due to the bar and the height of the bicycle. I feel more comfortable riding a woman’s bike with no bar, because if I fall off, I at least know that I’m not going to have that bar as another possible point of injury.

    I figure, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” :D

  4. gretchen February 5th, 2009 12:37 pm

    I’m not suggesting we choose a mens or womens bike as the standard – I am just wondering if there could be a “universal” model for both? Surely that would save a lot on manufacturing costs. :-?

  5. kel1 February 5th, 2009 2:07 pm

    It seems likely that if the bar is required for weight considerations of the male, that it would become the “universal” model for both.

  6. Some Dude February 9th, 2009 11:03 pm

    I am a bicycle mechanic. The only manufacturers that are still producing a ‘female’ bike are department store specials, and those are typically for young girls. If you go into a specialty shop, like where I work, you’d be hard-pressed to find a ‘traditional’ ladies bike. They’re still around for ignorant people to purchase, but structurally, there is no difference at all. In fact, the newer designs are more of a hybrid of the classic men’s and women’s designs.

  7. gretchen February 10th, 2009 9:19 am

    Thanks – I guess I should look some place other than Walmart and Target for my research, eh? :D

  8. Geri May 26th, 2009 8:54 pm

    Just another sexist idea, I’m sure. I was always told not to ride a boys bike because if I fell I’d end up hurting my ” private ” area. What was that supposed to mean? Don’t boys have private areas, too?! Anyway,I agree with a more unisex style. By the way, I ride a boys bike.

  9. Jeff July 15th, 2009 6:05 pm

    OK, I know it may seem strange to some that I am posting on this site again, but please, take it as a compliment; there are a lot of intelligent postings here relating (to generalise) to the perceptions of women by women themselves, and as a man with fascination for the female of the species, I find this site to be quite interesting. But I digress….

    Here in Toronto, in the warm summer we are enjoying, I notice that the majority of women riding bicycles are, in fact, wearing dresses! (I know because I have to wait for ages while I yield to them to make a right turn with my motor vehicle). And interestingly enough, and believe me I’ve tried to disprove this(!), the way a dress falls over the bicycle frame is amazingly modest. My theory is that the air pressure induced by the forward motion keeps the dress in place without the slightest possibility of any undue immodesty.

    And these women appear quite comfortable and cool; there are no facial grimaces caused by sore private parts – just as is the case with men, the bicycle seat is designed to provide support primarily to the base of the spine, so please, ladies, if you like wearing dresses, feel free to cycle in them in the sure knowledge that your modesty will remain intact.

    Thank you.

  10. gretchen July 15th, 2009 10:06 pm

    Thanks Jeff – that’s an interesting observation. Feel free to post here anytime. ;)

  11. Felicity September 10th, 2009 6:03 am

    Girls have a shorter reach as generally women have longer legs and shorter bodies whilst men are the opposite, so a girls bike has a more compact frame so you do not have to over stretch when reaching for the handlebars. Obviously not everyone is the same so it is best to go to a local bike shop and try out different models to find out what is best for you. Continental Europe class the drop bar bike as unisex not girls.

  12. Wadhamite September 16th, 2009 5:33 pm

    I cycle a lot and purchase a lot of used bikes to combine or use for parts. The girls’ models tend to be in better condition! I suppose, in theory, girls weigh less and are less “macho” in trying to destroy things.

    The seats differ sometimes, however; a long nose supports a girl’s underside anatomy better, but gets in the way of the parts boys need to protect.

    I favor a “mixte” unisex frame myself; as long as all major parts are adjustable, fitting a particular torso shouldn’t be a problem.

  13. Jenn November 9th, 2009 4:48 am


    I am 5’4″ and I find it uncomfortable to push off with the male frame on a standard adult bike. So if I want a bike, I either have to look for a female’s adult bike or a large children’s bike.

    Also, if you think about it, why would we, as consumers, want cookie-cutter bikes? Most of us want bikes that are suited to our own individual needs and gender/dress wearing is a part of that.

  14. dan September 5th, 2010 12:31 pm

    girl bikes have one bare because so you ride will wering a skirt

  15. sami madison May 5th, 2011 5:37 pm

    I’m OLD and I prefer a womans bike frame because I don’t have to swing my leg OVER the center bar.

  16. sami madison May 5th, 2011 5:39 pm

    of course, I almost for got that it is nice to have the girls frame when I am wearing a skirt. ALTHOUGH– my skirts are so short that I think it hardly matters these days

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