Female Specific differences


  • The difference between female & male athletes is that women have longer legs and shorter torsos than Males for the same height.
  • Also Females tend to have smaller hands feet and narrower shoulders. Female bike geometry should therefore be different to a male’s bike.
  • The top tube should be shorter. Due to Females generally having shorter arms in relation to leg length the drop from tip of front of saddle to handlebar.
  • Females also tend to be more flexible than Male cyclists.
  • Women are different to men-There are many differences to Male and Females.
  • In sport women are physically different in many ways. Attitudes outlook genetic makeup and the way women often plan how they approach and attempt an event.
  • Women are on average shorter than men.
  • Women who are ether same height as a Man have on average 6-10mm shorter torsos and will have legs longer by a similar difference.
  • Women often have smaller narrower hands which can be not as strong so a combination results in less leverage so many female cyclists prefer Campagnola brake gear levers as they tend to be better for shorter reach. This is important to feel in control when braking and changing gears in a relaxed manner. Small cycle mitts for Men often will not fit small gloves for women due to the length of the half finger being too long. Women tend to be smaller for the same height so tend need narrower bars for reduced shoulder width. The biological difference includes higher body fat in comparison to a man of the same height and weight.
  • This can be as much as 20%.The shorter torso requires a women specific bike with a much shorter tope tube.
  • If bike size is based on inside leg height and a woman has a shorter torso and longer legs then she will have too larger frame, the top will be too long resulting in over stretching causing neck ache. Correct bike fit is essential to have a bike that feels comfortable. Women’s feet are also different to Men; they tend to have the following differences for the same length.


  • FEET - Women feet tend to have a narrower taper, less forefoot volume, large busted women tend to have more neck and shoulder pain running and leaning over the bike.
  • Ironmate suggests a more upright slightly less relaxed not so aero position for comfort and better weight distribution. If you experience neck pain arm or wrist ache ride or change your position to a more upright position. Women can be up to 20% lighter than a man for the same height and often spin a smaller gear and use fitness rather than strength so it is suggested women can use lighter equipment. Women who are good at spinning (high cadence) naturally or from spin classes would benefit from a shorter crank length and wider ratio of gears. Women saddles tend to be made differently with padding more at the front and wider in shape. Some women specific cycle saddles have cut away sections to reduce pressure. It is not uncommon for women to buy many saddles and change position to get a pain free ride. Wide saddles can actually be more uncomfortable as they do not allow you to sit naturally on the saddle. Women specific cycle shorts tend to be made anatomically differently with padding in the correct places.
  • FACE - Female face can also be narrower and smaller than a man’s face so investigate Female specific sunglasses.
  • Long legged women need a taller head tube so the drop between tip of saddle and handlebars is not too great. A shorter top tube and /or stem results in your arms can reach the handlebars with a slight bend of the elbows rather than being out stretched.
  • GENES -Women genes are different to Men and so are branded high street jeans that why most couples cannot wear their partners Jeans.
  • For the best bike for you have a bike fit and find out your own unique correct geometry.
  • BIKE -Female feet also tend to be narrower especially the heel, so women specific cycling shoes are recommended. Crank length should also be considered .Many women use slightly shorter length as a preference to allow them to spin. Your position may be more upright if you just use your cycle to commute to work and need good visibility. Ironmate has use a customed made cycle manufacturer called Roberts cycle frame. For more details log onto www.robertscycles.comLadies specific saddles are designed to reduce pressure in certain areas and provide padded where it is needed most. The difference between female & male athletes is:-Swim-Flexible hips allow for a more relaxed style in Females. Fat distribution is different in females often with a higher percentage of body fat then men allow females to float higher in the water. Tend to be better at coping with the cold in long distance swimming races, as body fat is more around the organs. Bike-Due to Female generally having longer legs and shorter torsos than Males for the same height. Females also tend to be more flexible than Male cyclists. Run-Better hip flexibility can hinder female runners, as they tend to roll in a slight semi circular shape forward rather than forward. Endurance-Females tend to use their fitness better rather than their strength in endurance events. Just look at the marathon runners who take 4-6 hours often it is the Females who are still running.
  • FAT-Women tend to have more fat than men for the same height and weight.
  • Humans are one of few animals to go by sight for sexual attraction. In the past size mattered, the more fuller a female was the better chance she had of survival during times of food shortage.
  • HEART-The difference in a Female’s heart:-Females hearts and arteries tend to be smaller than men’s so female athletes use fitness rather than strength ever watch a long distance event towards the latter part of the competition men are often walking while the women are still running. Some studies have shown that it takes a Female heart slightly longer to relax after each beat. Any impairment in blood supply is known as cardiovascular disease (CD) Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is common in both men and women. Men seem to carry on until it is too late with chest pains while women tend to be in tune with their bodies more and seek medical advice earlier. Heart disease is not just a man’s disease. In the USA the biggest killer in women is related to complications of the heart. The heart pumps blood around the whole body to help supply oxygen remove carbon dioxide and provide nutriments. A heart attack (myocardial infraction) is a reduction or complete blockage of blood to the heart muscle. If a coronary artery providing blood to the heart is blocked this causes a heart attack which often leads to permanent damage. Other heart problems include congestive heart failure; heart rhythm changes (arrhythmia) heart valve disease, high blood pressure, hypertension and strokes. While a man will generally experience a crushing pain during a heart attack Females often have a pain under the breastbone or indigestion like pains have difficulty breathing nausea feeling and unusual fatigue? Some of these symptoms can be confused with the following gall bladder disease, indigestion. Due to Females living longer than Men heart attacks can happen at an older age in women. The best test for younger women for coronary heart disease (single vessel heart disease) requires taking an ultra sound test while performing exercise and provides vital heart information of the heart muscle heart arteries and valves. Some doctors have less experience and knowledge in Female heart conditions compare to their knowledge with Men heart attacks, so always get a second opinion if you feel you have a heart complaint or ask for further tests to be carried out. When seeing a doctor or specialist have all your symptoms written down so you do not forget the order of when and what problems you are personally experiencing. Ask for fact sheets or where you can research more information. Preventive help. Taking regular exercise and aspirin prescribed by your doctor to help prevent another heart attack. Do not smoke and avoid smoke filled environments monitor that you only purchase and then eat healthy foods. Women who ate the meat especially processed meat like hamburgers and sausages were had the greatest risk of hormone sensitive breast cancers.
  • USA - Some USA cattle were treated with hormones to increase growth of beef meat; this was believed to be linked with carcinogens created once meat is cooked at high temperatures in the presence of certain form of iron. Female hormones oestrogen and progesterone are required for bodily functions and believed for stimulating 70% of breast cancers.
  • PERIODS-at birth a girls ovaries contain thousands of tiny immature ova. Then during puberty one ovum matures every 28 days and then is released into the fallopian tube. This is caused ovulation at the same time the uterus develops a new inner layer full of blood vessels ready for a fertilized ovum.   
  • PREGNANT-Being Pregnant does not mean you cannot exercise. Cross training depends on how you feel, cycling can replace running but this will eventually become uncomfortable also Aqua jogging has been recommended as being beneficial as this form of workout has no jolting effect like running and being in water can help keep your body temperature from getting too hot. You will still need to keep hydrated. Aqua jogging has been considered fine for the baby. Should you feel tired or need to stop you can with aqua jogging and get out of the pool. Exercising like outdoor cycling or running has its limitations should you feel you need to stop, this may not be possible if you need to get home or finish the session. With indoor training you can stop at any time. Avoid internal core body temperature from getting to hot when exercising. Everyone is different some women can train right almost to the birth day while others are unable to and have to cease many months before the baby is born. During the pregnancy you may find at certain times you find it uncomfortable or difficult. Women have are monthly cycles that can vary by up to 5 days each time
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome [PMS] symptoms include stomach cramps bloated heavy feeling crying more easily,
  • Emotional heightened state legs heavier than normal reduced motivation and runny bottom.
  • Exercise improves your mood and can often help reduce symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome. Eat iron rich foods to replace blood lost during your period.
  • Expect to feel at your best when exercising 3-5 days after menstruation has finished and to the time that ovulation takes place

Mark has been coachcing females for more than 20 years

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