There are no bikes specifically made for plus sized women - however, there are plenty of options!  No matter the type of riding she is interested in, whether performance or casual, any women's-specific bike will work.  That said, there are a few things to consider.  One is the saddle.  It is important to find a saddle that will be comfortable for the larger rider, one that supports the pelvis as well as one that is comfortable enough to encourage rather than discourage riding.  The most popular saddles among larger riders are wider, softer saddles.  These are fine for shorter rides, but as a cyclist begins to ride longer distances, a more supportive (harder) saddle is recommended.  Another consideration is rider position.  A more upright position will be more comfortable than an aggressive aerodynamic position.  This can be accomplished by raising the handlebars.  Also, a slightly wider handlebar is more comfortable because it allows the shoulders to relax, the chest to open for better breathing.

womens-bike-cityHybrid and cruiser bikes are the perfect choice for short-distance riding.  They are comfortable and stable, and great fun to ride - not as aggressive as road bikes, and faster than mountain bikes (on pavement).  Some are designed with step-through frames, making it easier to mount and dismount without having to throw one leg over the bike while balancing on the other.  This is a potential concern for plus-sized riders, and may be a deciding factor in the type of bike to consider.  Although they tend to be somewhat heavy, hybrids and cruisers are a great for fun, casual, non-competitive riding.

Mountain bikes, whether full suspension or hardtail (front suspension only) are great for plus sized women looking for a comfortable ride with real performance.  Suspension is set up according to rider weight, and helps smooth out the ride.  Of course mountain bikes were designed for trail riding, but they are just fine for bike path and gravel roads.  They are heavy and slow on pavement, however, so if pavement riding is what the intended use will be, a hybrid would work better.

Flat-bar road bikes - that is, road bikes with mountain-bike style handlebars - are a great option for beginning road cyclists.  Not quite as aerodynamic as traditional road bikes, flat-bar road bikes focus more on comfort and stability by putting the rider in a more upright position.  These types of bikes are more and more popular on century (100 mile) rides, just because they are comfortable AND fast.  City bikes are essentially a type of flat-bar road bike, except with sturdier wheels.  No matter how fragile a road bike looks, it is just fine for plus-sized riders!