Ask Bike Hugger: Womens and Boys Bars

Reader Amy wrote to ask

Hi Bike Hugger, I’m not sure if you will have an answer for my question (or if you even answer questions) but do you know where I can find a good Women’s Fit drop bar and headset? I have a Marin mountain bike and I absolutely love their thinner handlebar made just for us ladies but they only sell a flatbar. I was hoping to fit my road bike with a thinner drop bar but all I can seem to find are boys drop bars. Thank you for your help! Amy

Thanks for writing. Women’s fit is always an issue. To your question, Mark V replied

Unfortunately, there is no women’s bar to replace the boy’s bar on that Marin…but I do know a gay bar that might work for you! Seriously, take the bike into a decent bike shop for help.


actually my comment was a little different. seriously, if you’re gonna make an off-colour comment, ya gotta go full-gas or not at all.

anyways, the real issue is mainly technical.  fitting dropbars to an MTB is way more involved than the layperson realizes, and it is thus that the novice rider should talk to a knowledgeable bike shop staff.  way too many technical terms that could be better explained by show & tell.

but here’s my prediction: you’re going to buy a bike that comes stock with the bars you want.  when you go to the bike shop, you’ll find out why buying an MTB and then asking the shop to swap to drop bars is like ordering a Fillet o’ Fish and then asking them to replace the fish w/ McChicken.

handlebars are gender-neutral, anyone who tells you different is feeding you marketing BS. Width, reach, drop, style of bend…these things are all important to the individual rider and difficult for the novice to differentiate.  A bar labelled “women’s” is a helpful starting point for the consumer, but if you’re a woman you don’t need to buy a “women’s handlebar”.  you just need one that fits, and a label that matches your gender does not guarantee that.

Pam rides with the Deda’s. Very short reach and a nice bar.

Pam is riding Deda Zero100 bars 42cm (o-o) to be exact.

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