One of the big misconceptions in the cycling world is that certain bike sizes work for certain genders. Unfortunately, your gender will not determine which bike you will use. Nowadays, we have newer bikes that are designed with ergonomic features to make them more comfortable for women, but this does not limit them to specific sizes.
Can a woman ride a 24-inch bike? The 24-inch bike is one of the middle-levels for cyclists, and it is one of the bikes that we see many female riders choose due to its comfort and height features. However, the 21-inch bike can be just as useful for smaller women looking to have a bike that would make them comfortable.
To help you better understand bike sizing, we will use this article to look at how bike sizes are chosen. Not only will we give you a few great bikes for women to ride, but whether you are male or female, you will now understand how the sizing works, making it possible to find the bike you need.
If you wonder how to clean a rusty bike chain, I wrote a detailed article sharing how to do it properly!
What Does A 24-inch Bike Mean?
If you have ever checked online for any bike, one of the first things that you will notice is that the bike sizes are often referred to by looking at the wheel sizes. A 24-inch bike means that the bike has 24-inch wheels on the bike. The industry standard bikes are often 26 inches, the ideal height most people would ride comfortably.
The 24-inch wheel size is slightly smaller than the 26-inch bike, but it would work well for smaller riders, allowing them to reach the floor when standing over the frame.
For many younger adults and teenagers, the 24-inch bike is one of the most popular sizes, allowing them to use the bike for numerous years.
Who Would Buy A 24-inch Bike?
As mentioned, the sizing is the main reason for people to consider using the 24-inch bike. However, it is not the only reason for you to do so. The smaller wheels often allow the rider to have more control over the bike, enabling them to understand better how the bike works and some of the bike’s dynamics.
From what I have seen, the 24-inch bike feels a bit more planted on the ground, and this extra stability would ensure you build up more confidence while riding the bike. It could prevent the rider from falling over when the bike stands still. Unfortunately, the smaller wheels would also reduce the speed.
The only reason for the stigma surrounding women and the 24-inch bike is that women tend to be smaller in stature than men. The average female is shorter and weighs less than your average male. This means that a 24-inch bike would ultimately give them more control whilst riding the bike.
Regarding the height aspect, we have found that someone around 5’4” or shorter would be better using the 24-inch bike. If you are taller, you might not be comfortable when pedaling, and your legs will hardly extend. This could have a detrimental effect on the power you can produce and affect the riding.
Riders shorter than 5’4” would enjoy the 24-inch bike, but as you go to smaller heights. The bike might also be too big. Fortunately, many manufacturers have adopted the use of the 21-inch bike, which would make it easier to pedal.
How Sizing Affects Different Bikes
While 24 inches is a universal number for bikes, many bikes have different shapes and designs. You might feel comfortable on a 24-inch road bike, but using the same sizing for your BMX bike might not offer you the same level of comfort.
Let’s have a look at how sizing is affected by the different bike types.
1- Mountain Bike
The mountain bike is the industry standard for bike measurements, and the 24-inch bike many people often refer to would be due to the sizing indicated on the mountain bike. A 24-inch mountain bike would offer the rider 2 x 24-inch wheels on either side of the bike, which dictates the overall height.
The Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike is one of the prime examples of such a bike. This bike is often marketed to adult women, but it also works for some of the shorter, younger adults.
2- Road Bike
Road bikes rarely use inches as a way of measuring the bike, and most road bikes would often rely on the traditional metric system. A road bike is measured in centimeters and refers to the size or height of the frame relative to the ground.
When choosing their bikes, those looking for a 24-inch road bike would be looking for something in the range of 50 to 60cm. It would give you some of the same features and would offer you the same height as your mountain bike.
The Vilano Diverse 3.0 Road Bike is one of the best options that would ensure you have all the features you need and make it possible for you to have the correct height.
Finally, the BMX bike is another one of the most sought-after bikes on the market today. However, these bikes feature a different design, which means that a 24-inch BMX bike might not be comfortable for those who want to perform stunts.
When buying one of the best BMX bikes, you are looking for something smaller and lightweight, which would make it possible for you to perform some stunts.
From my experience, the biggest BMX bike I ever see people choose is the 21-inch bike. This is also why BMX bikes often have an age and height limit, and you mostly see smaller individuals choosing these bikes.
How Do You Find The Correct Bike Size?
If you determine that the 24-inch bike is not the ideal option for you, you will need to consult your sizing charts to help you determine which bike size would be optimal for your needs.
We have included a mini sizing chart showing how your height and inseam length would dictate your optimal bike size.
|Suggest Frame Size (MTB)
|Suggested Frame Size (Road)
|4’10” – 5’0”
|5’0” – 5’2”
|5’2” – 5’4”
|5’4 – 5’6”
|5’6 – 5’8”
|5’8” – 5’10”
|5’10 – 6’0”
|6’0 – 6’2”
|6’2” – 6’4”
As you can see from the above chart, we used the frame heights, not the wheel sizes. The frame height refers to how tall the frame would be from the bottom of the frame to the top where the seat would come out.
The larger the frame, the larger the wheels would be on said bike.
Can You Change The Wheels On A Mountain Bike?
Many people might have a specific mountain bike in mind, and when they love the frame and design, the next step would be to look at the wheels. Yes, you can change the wheels of your bike, but this could be expensive, and you might also need to change some of the other components on the frame.
One of these would be the drivetrain, as certain bikes have a specific drivetrain that would accommodate a specific wheel size. The bigger the wheels, the more they need to be adjusted to make them fit inside the frame, which is why you might also need to replace the entire frame to make all of this possible.
The best solution to changing the wheels on your mountain bike would leave you wondering whether it is cheaper for you rather replace the bike. You will have to visit your local cycling store to have them assist you in changing the wheel sizes.
The video below shows how to remove and replace mountain bike wheels.
Is The 24-Inch Bike For Women?
Any rider can use almost any bike. Yes, you have gender-specific bikes with an ergonomic design, making them more comfortable for the specific gender, but this is not set in stone. The Sixthreezero Around The Block Women’s Bike is one of the prime examples of a bike that features an ergonomic design to accommodate female riders.
What to read next:
- Different Types Of Cycling: 9 best options with their benefits!
- How Far Can You Cycle On a Mountain Bike (Let’s find out!)
- What to Look For When Buying a Used Mountain Bike?
We hope that we have debunked the myth that some riders should only use certain bikes. Any rider can use a bike of any size.
However, you need to ensure that it is comfortable and that your legs should not feel compressed or too far from the ground. We would love to read some of the comments on the best bikes for women you have seen.