women's specific bikes

pedalpower Posts: 138
edited April 2008 in Commuting chat
These "women's specific bikes" you can get now: does the geometry differ much and if so how?
My girlfriend is the same height as me but seems to be longer in the body, slightly shorter legs and considerably shorter arms. Plus she doesn't like leaning over in a sporty position so much. Do they make these bikes with a shorter top tube? Aren't women supposed to have proportionally longer legs?


  • Brats
    Brats Posts: 4
    My wife bought a Giant Cypress Womens Specific bike. The main differences seem to be in the frame geometry, resulting in a slightly shorter distance between saddle and handlebars, lower saddle (even when the post is fairly extended) and much higher bars.

    It also comes with a suspension seat post as standard, which she likes (a lot).
  • Alibran
    Alibran Posts: 370
    My Trek WSD has a shorter and more sloping top tube than the men's equivalent, resulting in a more upright position. It also has drops that are designed for smaller hands, a female specific saddle (which is extremely comfortable), and a couple of other small differences, I believe.

    If your girlfriend has a longer body and shorter legs, she may be better off with a men's bike (I've been trying to convince my partner of the same thing, but she won't have it). The best thing would be for her to get down to the LBS and try out as many bikes as possible to get a feel for what she's comfortable with.

    Also, in a review last year, Cycling Plus said the Giant SCR used the same frame for both the men's and women's models, only changing a few components to make it more "female friendly", so that might be a good route for her to go if they're still doing the same this year.

    And, yes, women are supposed to have proportionally longer legs.
  • Totalnewbie
    Totalnewbie Posts: 932
    I just got the bloke's version when I got my Spesh Globe, but then I am on the tall side (5'10"). It fitted so I didn't see the need for the woman specific one with the slopy tube, esp as I rarely ride in skirts these days. I changed the saddle to a woman's one but that was it.
  • andrewc3142
    andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    The geometry is different plus they tend to be smaller sizes. My wife's got a Spesh Dolce Elite and wasn't too sure at first about the slightly sportier position after MTBs/hybrids. Now it's her first choice bike.
  • Matteeboy
    Matteeboy Posts: 996
    Wife and I share our bloke MTBs as we are a similar height.
    Unless you are a particularly leggy female and/or have tiny hands, I think much of it is hype - only the saddle needs to be different IMO.
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.