A Woman's bike takes into account the anatomical differences between men and women. Women, on the average, when compared to men of the same height, have comparatively longer legs and shorter torsos. When a woman sits on a traditional bike she may find that the handlebars are too far away and too low for her to remain comfortable for a significant period of time. Women's bikes are designed to be slightly shorter across the top and often use a slightly taller handlebar keeping the handlebars closer to the rider. This is essentially what a woman's frame is.
Women's bikes have some other features. They use women's saddles which are slightly wider than men's saddle to accommodate a woman's wider hips. The handlebars are narrower because often women have narrower shoulders than men. On a woman's mountain bike, the front shock fork often comes with a lighter spring, as the average woman weighs less than the average man.
Not all women need to ride a woman's bike though--in fact, some fit better on a man's bike. On the flip side there are many men who would find themselves more comfortable on a woman's bike. It is also important to remember that woman's bikes are not one size fits all, they come in several different sizes.
Trek's Women's Specific Design
One of the reasons we like Trek so much is because of their commitment to women. They sell morewomen's bikes than any other brand--and for good reason. Trek's Women's Specific Design (WSD) department comes up with some of the most comfortable, best handling women's bikes--mountain, road, cyclocross, hybrid, it doesn't matter.
Rather than simply taking what they've designed for men and try to modify it for women, Trek's design team starts from the ground up to dial everything in for different types of female riders. They come up with different frame geometry and different shaped tubing in addition to including saddles that are designed to reduce discomfort on women's soft tissue. They also do an amazing job choosing colors and patterns that (generally) appeal more to women.
One of our most popular women's bikes is the FX 7.2 WSD. It's an affordable and quick around town commuter with a slick paint job!