Short women face unique challenges when looking for a bike. We'll go over helpful features and list some of the best bikes for short women.
Bikes sold at general retail stores often don't address the specific needs of women. Finding a bike with specific frame dimensions, part sizes, and saddle designs can provide a more pleasant riding experience for short women.
These are some of the best bikes for short women:
- Schwinn Women's GTX 3 Hybrid Bike
- Trek 820 WSD
- Cannondale Trail Women's 8
- Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1W
- Canyon Roadlite 5 WMN
- Liv Intrigue
- Tommaso Forcella Endurance
- Micargi Pantera GTS
- Townie 7D EQ Step-Thru
- Trek Roscoe 7
- GHOST SQUARE Trekking Essential W
- Liv Embolden 1
The best bikes for short women should be lightweight enough to be easily controlled, yet strong enough to absorb repeated vibrations and turns. Every component should adhere to size and spacing requirements that best fit a short woman's body proportions.
Modern technology and manufacturing capabilities now allow for a wider range of bike options to be produced. Fortunately for short women, there are several bike models that are tailored to meet their needs, which we will go over in more detail below.
12 Best Bikes For Short Women
Riding a bike is a healthy and joyful activity people of all ages, genders, and sizes do on a regular basis.
Since the size and spacing of a bike's parts can make it easier to ride the bike, the best bikes for short women are generally ones with shorter crank arms, smaller wheels, and narrower handlebars set closer to the rider.
Other helpful features include smaller pedals, a shorter seatpost, and a lower top tube to make it easier to get on and off the bike.
Besides being a short woman, there are other factors to think about when determining if a bike is more or less suitable for you.
If daily commutes on evenly paved roads are mostly in your plans, a touring bike should work well for you.
If you're looking to ride more on rougher off-road terrain, a mountain bike might be more suitable for you.
There are many high-quality bikes available today across a very wide price range. Some of the higher-priced bikes cost as much as motorcycles and cars, so you’ll want to research carefully to get the best deal.
To help you pick a bike that meets your needs, we'll go through some of the best bikes for short women that have features that can improve a short woman’s riding experience.
Schwinn Women's GTX 3 Hybrid Bike
Unlike many smaller bikes designed for riders of any age or gender, the Schwinn Women's GTX 3 Hybrid Bike was designed especially for women.
The bike's frame is made of aluminum, which makes the bike lightweight for good handling and durable enough for rougher rides.
Shorter women will want to opt for the smaller 15-inch frame built to fit riders at least 4 feet and 11 inches (or approximately 150 centimeters) tall.
This bike has excellent speed versatility with its 7-gear rear cogset and 3-piece alloy crank.
That means riders can choose up to 21 speeds to take on whatever road conditions come their way.
Trek 820 WSD
The Trek 820 WSD is a cross-country mountain bike specialized to meet the comfort, control, and performance needs of women (WSD stands for Women's Specific Design).
The price point for this bike is on the low end compared to more premium bikes with similar designs and features.
This is a versatile bike that affords short women excellent durability and features to grind out daily commutes or rougher rides on light trails.
The XS size option allows for a rider height of 4 feet and 9.9 inches (or approximately 147 centimeters).
The inseam length, which is the distance from right below the rider's groin to the bottom of their ankle, is 27.2 inches (or 69 centimeters).
This bike has a sturdy saddle engineered to repel water and is contoured to better fit a woman's body.
It also has a front-end suspension with a spring rate tailored to optimize performance and comfort for women.
You’ll be able to ride on smooth or rugged terrain with multiple layers of support designed for a woman’s body.
Cannondale Trail Women's 8
The Cannondale Trail Women's 8 is a beautiful and dependable bike with a multitude of features that can benefit short women riders.
The smallest size option for the Cannondale Trail Women's 8 bike will accommodate a rider height of 4 feet and 6 inches (or approximately 137 centimeters).
The alloy frame on this bike is lighter than steel and promotes better control while providing solid durability.
The gear and brake cables are cleanly tucked away in this bike's internal cable routing. Some people might not even notice the cables are there.
This bike is one of the lower-priced premium bikes available for women.
It's a great bike option for short women that want to see if a premium bike with extensive comfort and performance features is right for them.
The 7-speed drivetrain lends to a more simplified riding experience on standard roads with occasional off-road excursions.
Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1W
The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1W is a phenomenal bike with several smaller components added to fit women’s riding needs.
This bike has a compact geometry with a smaller frame, narrow handlebars, and a saddle made specially for women.
The aluminum frame and fork give the bike an overall lightweight construction with outstanding durability.
The hydraulic disc brakes provide women riders with braking capabilities they can count on, even through varied riding and weather conditions.
Riders will have a wealth of shifting options with the 3x8 drivetrain that has a 34T rear sprocket on the low end.
The XS size option for this bike can fit riders at least 5 feet (or approximately 153 centimeters) tall.
Canyon Roadlite 5 WMN
The Roadlite 5 WMN from Canyon Bicycles is an extraordinary piece of machinery that is as beautiful as it is functional.
The dazzling aluminum frame is solid, lightweight, and matches in the dazzling Wild Rose color of the carbon fork.
Women at least 5 feet and 1.4 inches (or approximately 156 centimeters) in height will be able to fit comfortably on this bike.
The bike's weight is listed at 9.8 kilogram (or approximately 21.6 pounds), which should be light enough to maintain good handling while being heavy enough for good stability.
The 11-speed gear system comes with a single chainring and a 42T low-end sprocket for easier inclined rides.
The aluminum flat handlebars with premium grips makes overall control of this bike easier and more comfortable.
The disc brakes provide exceptional safety when it comes to stops and general control of the bike.
The Liv Intrigue is a bike made by Liv Cycling, a women-focused bike company that makes their bikes completely in-house.
That means Liv closely oversees every bike component and step of the production process.
If there's a company that knows about women's cycling needs, it's Liv.
Even with its extensive bike features aside, the Liv Intrigue is a work of art.
The blended purple and green frame with the slightly dropped and S-shaped top tube immediately caught my attention.
Since mountain bikes are generally dependable for more types of riding, the trail geometry and overall construction of this bike lends to a fantastic riding experience for short women wanting to travel anywhere.
The smallest frame option will fit a minimum rider height of 4 feet and 10 inches (or approximately 147 centimeters).
That's on the shorter end for premium women's bikes, so you might want to give this bike a bit more consideration if your height is on the shorter side.
The bike saddle is extremely versatile for a number of riding situations, whether you're gliding on even ground or swerving and bouncing a bit on a dusty trail.
The saddle of this bike is designed to adequately pad bone areas prone to soreness, particularly during repeated forceful contact.
Other core bike features include hydraulic disc brakes, tubeless-ready wheels, and a suspension system designed specifically for women riders.
Tommaso Forcella Endurance
The Tommaso Forcella Endurance has one of the smaller size options with its XXS size, which can be ridden by riders at least 4 feet and 10 inches (or approximately 147 centimeters) in height.
The overall weight of this bike is 22.7 pounds (or approximately 10.3 kilograms), which is on the lighter side of bikes of this general style and price point.
The compact frame and geometry work well to favor short women riders.
Unlike many of the bikes on this list, this bike has a versatile handlebar design that includes a shallow drop option that offers more support when leaning forward.
The saddle has optimal padding to improve rider comfort by decreasing pressure in sensitive sitting areas.
Along with the light and durable frame, a standout feature of this bike is its carbon fork, which helps to absorb annoying vibrations and reduce the bike's weight.
The gears on this bike feature 27 speeds with a precision shift mechanism, so you won’t have to worry as much about malfunctions.
Micargi Pantera GTS
The Micargi Pantera GTS is a lovely cruiser bike with a vintage style and lively color options that sensationally pop.
It's hard to not fall head-over-heels for the visual design alone, but the mechanics of this bike can be greatly appreciated as well.
Short women will be able to easily get off and on this bike due to its angled top tube, which is lower on the seat end.
Reaching the handlebars should also be easy due to its classic cruiser shape that presents its rider with a deep rainbow-like curve.
The one-speed drivetrain keeps things simple and cool, just like the bike itself.
The steel frame, fork, stem, handlebars, chainring, and wheel spokes combine for a strong and streamlined mass of steel construction.
The white-walled tires and extra long fenders on each wheel give this bike just the right finishing touch to mentally transport riders decades into the past.
Townie 7D EQ Step-Thru
Though the Townie 7D EQ Step-Thru isn't a standard cruiser bike, it has the laid-back feel of a cruiser with the conveniences of advanced comfort and performance features.
As the bike's name suggests, it has a short seat tube and angled top tube to make the bike easier to step through.
Short women will also have an easier time with this bike since it has a small size option that is suitable for a minimum rider height of 4 feet and 7 inches (or approximately 140 centimeters).
This bike is perennially one of the best-selling bikes in the United States for good reason.
In simple terms, it looks great and rides great. It magically manages to be fun, comfortable, well-performing, and unique.
Trek Roscoe 7
The Trek Roscoe 7 is a trail mountain bike that can be highly effective and enjoyable for short women to ride.
It has a sleek black frame option I really like, but riders wanting a brighter frame should consider the teal with pink lettering, or lighter green with black lettering.
The Roscoe 7's XS frame allows for a minimum rider height of 4 feet and 5.9 inches (or 137 centimeters) and an inseam of 25.2 inches (or approximately 64 centimeters).
Though the gear shifting on this bike is simplified with its single-chainring crank, the cassette features 12 gears that provide riders with plenty of speed options.
The low-angled top bar makes it easier to mount and dismount, while the variable-height dropper post offers even more space to help navigate bumpy rides.
With all the maneuvering possibilities, riders should feel more secure with the Roscoe 7's solid and efficient hydraulic disc brakes.
GHOST SQUARE Trekking Essential W
The GHOST SQUARE Trekking Essential W is an eye-catching women-friendly bike with nifty advanced trimmings.
I was immediately struck by the powered front light with integrated cable routing. There is a rear light on this bike as well.
In fact, this bike smoothly integrates other handy features like mudguards and a luggage rack in the rear.
Everything looks clean and streamlined within its solid and lightweight aluminum frame.
The top bar is low and angled down from the higher head tube to lower seat tube.
There are ample mounting spots for cages and other attachments to carry along with you on a short or long journey across multiple road surfaces.
The 9-speed cassette and 3-chainring crank give riders more flexibility through its wide range of gear options.
The front-end suspension provides short women riders with added support to go along with the bike's already impressive stability base.
Liv Embolden 1
The Liv Embolden 1 is another remarkable bike from the women-tailored product line at Liv.
Like the Intrigue bike, the Embolden 1 has a curvy and dipped top tube that makes mounts, dismounts, and maneuverability much easier.
It also has geometric features that are similar to the Intrigue bike along with flat handlebars that are easy to reach and control.
The gear system has a single chainring with 11 speeds, which can be great for riders wanting less hassle with a generous amount of speed options.
The largest sprocket on the cassette is 50T, which is on the large side for other women-specific bikes on this list.
Riders should have an easy time making their way up steep terrain on this bike compared to other bikes.
What Bike Features Are Good For Short Women?
One of the main things short women should consider when buying a suitable bike are the bike's part sizes and proportions.
A smaller bike frame will allow short riders to mount and dismount the bike more easily.
They will also be able to stand up and maneuver more freely through bumpier rides.
Since short women tend to also have smaller hands and shorter limbs, they will need other parts of the bike to be more compact as well.
Having smaller parts with shorter spacing allows short riders to sit and operate the bike more comfortably.
The rider will not have to stretch and strain as much to perform common actions like turning, braking, pedaling, and shifting gears.
Putting standard bike parts on a smaller bike frame will not solve all of the problems short women face when riding a bike.
They will also need brake and gear levers to be more tightly compact so their fingers can comfortably grip them.
The crank arms should be shorter so the legs and feet of short women can pedal in a more natural motion.
Longer crank arms might require shorter riders to extend their toes when pedaling, which could be much more tiresome during a long ride.
Though different women may prefer different sorts of drivetrains, using a drivetrain with fewer gears may often make riding easier for short women.
Cassettes with a higher low end might also come in handy when traversing a higher climb.
The larger the largest rear sprocket is on the cogset, the easier it'll be to move the bike. The rider won't have to pedal as hard to make a bike go forward.
Even though the bike might not go faster at higher speeds, the rider will reduce their chances of stalling on any given road surface.
Dealing with fewer gears also makes the ride less complicated and strenuous on the hands and arms.
Short women may require more force to operate a bike, so removing features like extra gears or other weighty parts can make operating the bike much easier.
Easy-To-Manage Braking System
Any rider can benefit from a solid and reliable braking system that doesn't falter or wear down easily.
Short women are no different, but since they may have reduced strength and hand sizes to operate brakes, they may benefit more from a dependable braking system that is easy to operate.
Short women shouldn't have to squeeze their hands too hard or overextend their fingers to make the brakes work.
The brake levers should snugly fit their hands and activate the brakes with as little complication or force as possible.
As stopping is a critical component of bike safety, the bike's brakes should firmly and consistently stop when activated.
Choosing a bike with disc brakes is a dependable way to ensure braking will occur reliably.
Hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes are solid brake options, but the costlier hydraulic brakes are generally the preferred choice due to their increased durability.
Like most things that are lighter in weight, a bike is easier to control when its overall weight is less.
The key component of a bike's weight is its frame, which is essentially the body of the bike that connects all the primary parts like the wheels, fork, and handlebars.
Though bike frames are often made of steel, many bikes for shorter women are made of a mixture of metallic elements including aluminum, which is lighter steel and adequately durable.
The combinations and ratios of frame materials can vary greatly across different bikes, but the bike’s frame should be sufficiently strong if there is an adequate portion of aluminum, steel, carbon fiber, or titanium.
Since smaller women have smaller body parts, it only makes sense that the bike parts are smaller as well.
Simply scaling down a larger bike wouldn't always work to meet the needs of short women.
People that are the same height may have different body proportions, so one short woman may need their bike parts to be sized and spaced differently than another short woman.
Generally speaking, short women could benefit from a step-through frame that has a low-lying top tube that extends from the seat to the handlebars.
Having a top tube that is shorter on the seat end might allow for even more space and freer movement when mounting, dismounting, and riding the bike.
Since smaller bike parts alone may not accommodate a shorter woman's body, the spacing and geometry of the bike's design and assembly should also be considered.
All components, especially ones that come in contact with the rider's body, should be spaced at a distance where the bike’s operating features are easy to access.
Other spacing considerations might include a lower seat tube or seatpost, closer handlebars, or moving accessories to spots that free up rider movement.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson