women specific bikes

jeffers696 Posts: 328
edited July 2008 in Women
Hi, this may be a stupid question, but my girl friend wants to start cycling, and I was wondering, if she needs a women specific bike or will men’s do? And or if she got a men’s what would she have to change (saddle ECT). She is only starting but I have had a look at other posts, and scene the carrera vulcan fro around 200 sheets.

She only wants if for cycle paths and then bit of off road in the future

Thanks Paul
Specailized Enduro 08 - Beast
OnOne 456


  • supersonic
    supersonic Posts: 82,708
    Best to try some out - sometimes WSD fits better, sometimes doesnt! However WSD bikes usually do come with a better saddle. lighter springs in the forks, narrower grips so they are more likely to be better, but not always.

    Vulcab is a good starting bike.
  • miss notax
    miss notax Posts: 2,572
    I think it all depends on the individual. I ride a small frame Santa Cruz mens bike and that suits me fine (i'm 5'4" so shorter than most!). I only changed the saddle and the stem to a shorter one.

    Get your girlfriend to try a few out and see what feels right.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

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  • I think Sarah is right - the bike that fits best is the one to buy. Women's bike frames are designed to have a shorter top tube length and a taller front end, reflecting that women are a bit shorter in the body and longer in the leg than men. However, if she is not of these proportions, then these changes to frame design are not so helpful. Some womens bikes have lower top-tubes if standover height is a problem. Women's bike ranges can also offer smaller sizes than mens in some cases.

    Other features are womens saddles, narrower bars (so your hands are not a mile apart like on mens bikes), more adjustable gear levers (to suit smaller hands), and most importantly shocks which are more sensible for a woman of (say) 10 stone rather than a man of 13 stone in weight.

    Many of the women specific features can be added later, but the frame must be of the right size to start with.
  • tmg
    tmg Posts: 651
    just been through this with my GF

    ended up getting a Trek 6500 mens bike as it was discounted and we wangled some other throw in's such as a Spesh BG womans (£50) seat and a £60 Met helmet for £15!

    Went for this bike as it has air forks which we can set up for her rather than change springs