An increasing number of road bikes are being manufactured as unisex models, while also possessing numerous components that allow for maximum adjustments to ensure a custom fit.
Although many women do prefer these types of bikes, many still opt for an actual women’s bike that has some strategic designs and features that are better suited.
The Schwinn Phocus 1600 is a great example of a quality road bike that is made just for women, as it has a size and configuration that is more in tune with a woman’s measurements.
This results in a more comfortable feel, with improved efficiency.
This bike combines all of the elements that go into creating a road bike that is more than just a starter bike.
The Schwinn Phocus 1600 is not only an ideal entry-level road bike, but also a great choice for those who are progressing with their biking and are looking for the right bike to accommodate them.
Schwinn is one of the most recognized and historic names in cycling, so it makes sense that they offer a high quality women’s road bike for such an economical price.
The sizing is pared down, which many women will appreciate. It is made for shorter legs and arms, and provides a road bike that doesn’t feel clunky and out of control.
The Phocus 1600 isn’t exactly flashy, but it does all of the little things right This starts with the bike’s frame, which is made from forged aluminum, and weighs a total of 26 lbs when fully equipped.
No, this isn’t the lightest bike in the world, but the weight is more than acceptable, and will feel very light to those who are used to inferior road bikes.
The configuration is well-suited for women who have had issues using unisex or men’s cycles. While the Phocus 1600 is very adjustable, the frame and handlebars are specifically designed for smaller body sizes.
The drivetrain features a mix of Shimano and Schwinn parts.
The rear derailleur is a Shimano Acera, so you get a high-end derailleur that offers very fast and accurate shifting, which is done via the Shimano trigger shifters.
The shifters are conveniently located, and easy to operate when in any riding position.
The brakes are the usual dual-pivot style, and they are easy to control from their position on the drop-down handlebars. The brake pads are stock, and don’t offer the best stopping power, however.
The wheelset isn’t a big name brand, but the wheels and rims are surprisingly solid, and the spokes are designed in a way that is more aerodynamic.
The rear wheel has extra spokes that give better weight support, while also helping withstand bumps and irregular roads. This gives the rims some added durability, helping to withstand bending.
The included tires are a great in-between width, giving you both added stability and better speed. They also have a decent amount of traction, and help to absorb a lot of the shock and vibrations from the ground at higher speeds.
The saddle and seatpost are a bit underrated, as they bring a higher level of adjustability and comfort than many other road bikes.
The saddle itself has some extra padding, along with expanded seat coverage. The seatpost uses a quick release lever that allows for quick adjustments on the go.
The Phocus 1600 has a few additional features as well. In addition to the more feminine paint job, the bike also has water bottle mounts that make it easy to add on water bottle holders for longer rides.
All of these aspects work together to create a very cable and versatile women’s road bike that can be used for everything from triathlons to commuter riding. In fact, it seems to be a favorite among female triathletes who were in need of a quality road bike that didn’t break the bank.
The biggest advantage that the Phocus 1600 provides is its actual size and configuration. This road bike is great for women who need women-oriented sizes, especially after encountering fit issues with previous bikes.
The pared down size can make a huge difference in overall feel and efficiency.
The shifting components are another great thing about the Phocus 1600. The actual shift action is incredibly effortless and quick, and the Acera rear derailleur is always accurate, avoiding the dreaded lag when shifting gears.
This is especially helpful in competitions and general hill climbing.
Having the ability to adjust the seatpost without using tools is a great aspect too. This allows riders to fine-tune their pedal positions when needed, including lowering the set when doing more casual riding. The toe cages are a step up from standard flat pedals as well.
The included brake pads of the Phocus 1600 are not the greatest. Even though the levelers and brake components are responsive and easy to use, the inferior pads require some extra pressure.
The tires aren’t the greatest either. You can instantly improve the bike’s ride and traction by upgrading the tires.
The best thing you can do with this bike is order better brake pads with it. This is an inexpensive way to instantly upgrade the stopping ability.
A compatible water bottle cage is a good idea as well. If you’re ordering this bike online, you’ll need some extra money to get a proper tune-up at a local bike shop.
The crossover appeal is a big advantage with the Phocus 1600. It’s perfect for recreation and fitness riding, but also able to handle triathlon competitions and other competitive events.
Overall, this is a very solid women’s bike for a very, very reasonable price. Schwinn gave extra attention to all of the most crucial aspects, such as the shifting action, and general feel of the bike.
Serious cyclists can find a lot to love with the Phocus 1600, and beginners can provide themselves with a very capable starter bike if desired.
This is one of the better buys for women’s road bikes. We highly recommend the Phocus 1600 to anyone looking to get into road biking, but want something better than a basic entry-level bike.
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