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Ladies tourer

fill_dfill_d Posts: 153
edited December 2011 in Tour & expedition
My wife and I are thinking of doing a short cycle camping tour in the spring (Nantes-Brest canal). I'm all set up but she hasn't cycled for years. My question is, looking at the bikes available, there doesn't seem to be many touring bikes designed specifically for women. My local shop suggests that the geometry of a ladies bike suites the female form much better than a mans bike and it's important the bike is comfortable for her so thats what I'm considering getting, but there is far more choice in the 'mans' bike market and in my opinion better vfm too.

I'd be really interested to hear the views of cycling ladies about this- would you recommend a particular bike too? I'll be carrying all the camping gear so only need it to carry rear panniers really.

Thanks a lot


  • lpretro1lpretro1 Posts: 237
    Don't discount getting the men's models as it all depends on her anatomy and they can be just as comfortable. Though Dawes are probably a no-no as they tend to have long top tubes so she might have problems with reach to bars. The ladies style of rame is often a bit more flexy than the mens which isn't what you want. Some ladies prefer a flat bar tourer rather than drop bars - for comfort too. Paul Hewit in Leyland, Lancs does nice touring bikes. But it all depends on her size and personal fit. I am 5ft 3ins and I got fed up of trying 'off the peg' bikes which just never quite fitted properly which really starts to tell when you are riding a tour day in day out! So I splashed out and got Paul to build me a custom frame and then built it up with the components I wanted - it is so comfortable I will never need another bike. Roberts also do tourers for ladies but I think you need to visit so unless you live near them (Croyden) it is a problem -
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    There is an excellent website-blog called Lovely Bicycle! written by a lady cyclist in America who writes a lot, and quite knowledgeably, on women's transport and touring bicycles. I'm sure you'd find some stuff on there that would be useful.

    The site's address is:
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Bike suitable for light-touring along a canal by a not-very athletic lady cyclist: I wouldn't suggest a touring bike, or at least the traditional English style. Try a Euro-style tourer; basically hybrid style bikes with butterfly/trekking style bars. These bars offer a variety of positions and are compatible with MTB controls so work well with V or disc brakes.
    You can get them in step-through style if required. Most hybrids come with sus forks but the lighter ones such as Specialized Vita are good. Koga Miyata do loads of this style.
  • My wife who is 5' 2" also ended up going for a custom framed tourer based on the Wayfarer by Dave Yates which has 26" wheels.

    She tried using butterfly bars but they did not suit her as the ones we bought were a standard size so outsize for the bike. We ended up getting some women specific flat handlebars - Titec Hell Cat (you need to get the grips as well).
  • infopeteinfopete Posts: 878
    My wife is 5ft (very tall for her height) and uses a Condor road frame with flat bars and carradice limpets when touring.

    The frame is sub one kilo and she loves it.

    Get your wife something light, something fast and better than you ride then she'll enjoy cycling more.

    Then you can try keeping up with her :)
    Oh and please remember to click on my blog:

    The more clicks I get the higher it creeps up the google radar :)
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