For this article, I tested 7 women’s road bikes and found the Schwinn Volare 1400 to be the best road bike for women who want to start cycling.
More and more women are taking up cycling nowadays. That’s why the aim to provide bikes that fit women’s needs and wants has become more evident in the cycling industry.
You might feel overwhelmed looking at the vast sea of different road bikes as you look for the most suitable bike.
For that reason, we offer you an extensive review for eight of the best women’s road bikes for beginners. There will also be an in-depth buyer’s guide that highlights the features you should consider when buying a road bike.
Let’s get started 🙂
Best Women’s Road Bikes for Beginners Overview
- Schwinn Volare 1400 – Best Overall
- Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike – Most Affordable
- Schwinn Phocus 1400 and 1600 – Best for Starting Out
- SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Carbon Fiber Road Bike – Best High-End
- Diamondback Century 2 Endurance Road Bike – Best for Endurance Rides
- Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike – Most Durable
- Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike – Best for Short Riders
The 7 Best Women’s Road Bikes for Beginners
Schwinn Volare 1400 – Best Overall
The Schwinn Volare 1400 has a sturdy, durable lightweight aluminium frame.
The 28″ wheels and 28c tires on the Volare 1400 are most likely the reason many people like this road bike. The wheels have an overall thin appearance, yet they can handle rough terrains at different speeds without any issues.
The Schwinn Volare 1400 also has excellent 14 gears with Shimano A050 shifters. These allow you to shift between gears smoothly while on the road.
For the most part, the Volare 1400’s Alloy Callipers brakes work seamlessly. They just tend to squeak, even more with added pressure. Fortunately, you have the option of toeing the brakes yourself or simply replacing them with higher quality ones.
Beginner riders may find the Schwinn Volare 1400 comfortable and smooth. It’s also ideal for commuting, exercise, on-road and short-distance riding.
The Schwinn Volare 1400 isn’t suitable for Intermediate and professional riders. It’s not the best for those looking for a road bike that can handle racing, off-road or long-distance riding.
- Aluminum frame designed to last long
- Easy to assemble
- Sturdy wheels that can handle rough terrains
- Rigid fork suspension
- Lightweight seat and handlebar
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Adjustable seat to accommodate riders of different heights
- Brakes may squeak annoyingly
- Some have reported that the components are low quality
Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike – Most Affordable
The Giordano Aversa Aluminum is an affordable entry-level road bike. It has a 6061 aluminium frame with a high tensile steel fork. It comes complete with a Shimano drivetrain and 4050 handlebar-mounted shifters.
At this price point, the Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike is steady and comfortable. That said, it’s worth reminding that you can’t expect this road bike to be on par with more expensive counterparts.
Still, the Giordano Aversa has a lot of advantages for an entry-level road bike. It comes with dual pivot side pull brakes. These offer maximum grip, which increases speed control and safety on the road regardless of weather conditions.
In addition, the raised springy saddle is designed to activate the muscles in your legs, back, and shoulders.
Novice and intermediate riders may enjoy the steadiness and comfort of this road bike.
- Affordable entry-level road bike
- A durable and lightweight frame
- High tensile steel fork
- Steady and super comfortable
- Only available in two sizes
- Requires some assembly
Schwinn Phocus 1400 and 1600 Road Bicycle – Best for Starting Out
Schwinn are known for their comfortable and durable bikes. The Schwinn Phocus 1400 and 1600 Drop Bar Road Bike don’t offer anything less.
The main difference between the Schwinn Phocus 1400 and 1600 is the frame size. Aside from that, they share the same features.
They have a lightweight aluminium frame with a carbon fiber fork. They also come with premium 16-speed Microshift shifters as well as brake levers. These allow for smooth and quick gear shifting.
Moreover, the drop bars give you three hand positions: in the drops, on the hoods, and on the bars. They also allow you to get down to a crouch position, reducing drag and increasing your speed.
Surprisingly, the bikes weigh somewhere between 27 and 31 pounds, which is lightweight for bikes with all these features.
The Schwinn Phocus 1400 and 1600 are both perfect for novice women who want a bike to commute or for exercise.
- Available in two different frame sizes
- Lightweight aluminium frame
- Carbon fiber rigid road fork
- Quick-release saddle
- Promax alloy caliper road brakes
- Has short brake cables
- Might be difficult to assemble for first-timers
SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Carbon Fiber Road Bike – Best High-End
The SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Carbon Fiber Road Bike is the most expensive bike on our list, and that’s not without a reason.
This bike, just as the name implies, is made from carbon fiber. The frame, as well as the seat post and the fork, are all carbon fiber. This also explains why the SAVADECK is also the lightest, weighing about 18 pounds.
The SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Carbon Fiber Road Bike is equipped with a Shimano Sora speed control as well as Shimano rear and front derailleurs.
What’s even more impressive is that the SAVADECK comes with 25C Michelin tires. These are reputable tires that can endure many years on rough terrains and high speeds. They’re also low rolling resistance tires that are designed to minimize energy loss as they roll.
Another advantage to the SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Carbon Fiber Road Bike is that it comes mostly pre-assembled.
- High-quality lightweight carbon fiber frame, seat post, and fork
- Premium Shimano Sora speed control
- 25C Michelin tires
- Offers responsive shifting
- Easy handling and maneuverability
- Doesn’t require assembly
Diamondback Century 2 Endurance Road Bike – Best for Endurance Rides
The Diamondback Century 2 Endurance Road Bike is an aluminium road bike that’s from Diamondback’s Century series.
The bike’s frame and fork are made from aluminium that is painted a retro-yellow color. It has a taller head tube that’s positioned at a relaxed head angle. This should put you in a more comfortable position as well as prevent any back, shoulder, or wrist pain.
What’s more, the Diamondback Century 2 bike can endure long rides thanks to the Shimano Sora drivetrain with 18 wide-range gears as well as the Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes.
The Diamondback Century 2 is more suitable for experienced riders. Nevertheless, its features can be quite fitting for novice riders looking for a little bit of challenge.
- HED Tour flat top drop bar
- Shimano Sora groupset and brake levers
- Comes with free pedals
- Has a limited lifetime warranty
- Takes a while to assemble
Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike – Most Durable
The Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike is an incredibly durable bike. It’s made from a double-butted 6061 aluminium frame and a Hi-Ten steel fork.
This road bike is available in many sizes and color combinations, so it can fit most people’s stylistic preferences. It’s also easily upgradeable.
In addition, the Vilano R2 arrives pre-assembled. You may only need to tighten a few screws and adjust some components.
The Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike is one of the best bikes for beginners and commuters.
- Has a double-butted aluminium frame
- Easily upgradeable
- Comes pre-assembled
- Budget-friendly price
- Doesn’t come with a kickstand
Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike – Best for Short Riders
The Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike is designed to be compact and lightweight. As a result, this road bike is one of the lightest options, weighing about 23 pounds.
A carbon fiber fork is unusual for a road bike in this price range, which is what distinguishes the Tommaso Forcella from other road bikes.
The fork’s weight and durability create a suspension system that can absorb most vibrations due to bumps and jolts.
What’s more, the Tommaso Forcella Endurance road bike comes in varying sizes, so it’s suitable for short women. Women who are too short can also enjoy this ride with the adjustable seat post.
What’s more, this road bike is suitable for novice, intermediate, and beginner riders.
- Durable, lightweight semi-compact aluminium frame
- Adjustable seatpost
- Available in varying sizes: from XS to XL
- Has a total of 24 gears
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Can be customized easily
- Needs to be assembled by a professional
- Bike pedals can be really sharp
Features to Consider When Buying
Road bikes are part of an increasingly growing market. Each manufacturer aims to adjust and upgrade their designs to suit what they believe will suit the “average” rider.
As a result, finding a road bike that suits you as an individual may require a little bit of effort.
You should ultimately choose the bike that offers the most value for every cent, whether you’re on a budget or ready to spend some hard-earned cash.
For that reason, we’ll go over key features to help you choose the most suitable women’s road bike for beginners.
Most road bikes are made from one or a combination of four materials: carbon fiber, aluminium, steel, and titanium.
It’s worth mentioning that frame material is one thing you can’t afford to compromise on, even if you’re on a budget. You can replace and upgrade almost anything else on the bike.
Luckily, there are frame materials that can give you the best of both worlds, like aluminium bike frames.
Road bikes that have a carbon fiber frame are the most popular and most recommended. The reason carbon fiber is popular is that it’s lightweight and sturdy.
Carbon fiber frames are designed to be stiff in some directions while being compliant in others. This allows the frame to absorb road vibration, resulting in a more comfortable ride on bumpy and rough roads.
Granted that carbon fiber frames are more expensive than other frame materials. That’s why most people on a budget opt for aluminium frames, the second most popular frame material.
Aluminum frames are still relatively lightweight and durable. They’re also corrosion-resistant and have a high strength-to-weight ratio. All of these benefits come with a relatively affordable price tag, too.
Many large cycling companies offer aluminium models that are identical to high-end carbon fiber models at significantly lower prices.
Steel is the most common bike frame material, but it’s not the most popular. It has fallen out of favor due to its weight and high cost.
In comparison to carbon fiber and aluminium frames, steel frames are heavier. In addition, steel carries a higher price tag, which makes it difficult to use for lower-end models.
Still, steel has its perks, especially for riders who like to customize their bikes’ frames. It’s easier and cheaper to work with than carbon fiber. It also has a higher density and strength than aluminium.
Titanium is a pumped-up version of steel. It’s lightweight, sturdy, durable, and corrosion-resistant. It has the highest strength-to-weight ratio out of other frame materials.
That said, titanium bike frames are quite rare, which is why they can be very expensive.
A bike’s weight has a significant effect on your cycling performance. This is why many cyclists look for the lightest bikes.
Lightweight bikes have lower inertia than heavyweight bikes. This allows the rider to expend less energy to accelerate, which means that it’ll take you longer to get worn out.
What’s more, lightweight bikes are easier to control and maneuver. Even novice riders can feel the difference between riding a lightweight bike and a heavyweight bike.
Still, this isn’t to say that you can’t install additional accessories to the bike. The idea is that if you start with an already lightweight bike, you could be cycling pretty fast.
You won’t have to worry about installing necessary equipment or accessories. In fact, studies show that additional weight has very little significance on the overall cycling speed.
The handlebars on your bike should be about the same width as your shoulders. If your handlebars are too narrow or too wide, you may have an unpleasant riding experience.
Your shoulders may feel strained if the handlebars are too narrow. Besides, narrow handlebars can decrease steering accuracy.
Overly wide handlebars can compromise your body position, causing you to activate the wrong muscles. They can also increase the risk of a shoulder joint injury.
Women’s road bikes typically have wider saddles to accommodate their hips. However, because everyone’s body is different, the most important thing is to find a saddle that works for you.
Remember that if your handlebars or saddles are less than ideal, you can replace them with more ergonomic ones.
Choosing the right gear for your road bike can maximize your riding experience. It can increase your speed and distance significantly.
Beginners don’t need to overwhelm themselves with tons of gears. They should have the basic gear, including low gear for uphill cycling, moderate gear for taking off, and high gear for flat terrain.
Once you get used to these three gears, you can upgrade to a higher number of gears.
Choosing a bike’s size mainly depends on your physique. If you have a big physique, you may feel more comfortable riding a big bike. If you’re on the smaller side, you may find smaller bikes much more suitable.
Manufacturers usually offer a sizing guide for their bikes, including a height range for each frame size. Be sure to choose the size that feels most suitable and comfortable before you make any purchases.
You probably still have some lingering questions. That’s why we’ve made it a point to address some of the most asked questions about road bikes and cycling.
Is Wearing a Bike Helmet Really Necessary?
Wearing a bike helmet could protect you from any possible harm.
In fact, according to one study, wearing a bike helmet can reduce the chances of injury. This includes facial injury, head injury, serious head injury, and fatal head injury.
It’s worth noting that there’s virtually no difference between men’s and women’s bike helmets. The only significant difference is the color.
So, when you’re looking at bike helmets, choose the one that feels more comfortable than the others.
Do I Need to Wear Padded Shorts?
Padded shorts are a game-changer for anyone who rides a bike for an extended period of time. The pressure from the saddle when sitting on it for too long can cause chronic butt and groin pain.
Padded shorts are designed with comfortable chamois cushioning. As a result, they may significantly lower your risk of putting pressure on your back and spine. They could also be a great solution for chafing caused by friction.
There’s no doubt that every individual has their own preferences regarding bikes. Still, this hasn’t stopped manufacturers from designing bikes that can accommodate a wide range of preferences.
One road bike that seems to check all the boxes is the Schwinn Volare 1400. To begin with, the Schwinn Volare 1400 has a lightweight yet sturdy frame. It also comes with wheels and tires that can withstand different rough terrains and speeds.
While it’s not the cheapest road bike out there, the Schwinn Volare 1400 offers excellent money value. It’s equipped with useful features, such as the rigid fork suspension and quick-release wheels.