Female riders are you on female bikes?

2

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  • FluffyblueFluffyblue Posts: 1
    I've got a Boardman Comp Fi - it's mainly white and it has got some pink bits on it - BUT I LOVE IT!!! I'm only 156 cm and I think it's the medium - 50cm size.
  • protoproto Posts: 1,474
    My daughter rides a standard (men's?) BMC Pro Machine, size 51 (54cm top tube). She's 171cm (5'7"ish). 100mm stem, 20mm seatpost set back.

    Saddle is a man's saddle too, a Specialized Toupe Expert, 143cm width. She prefers it to the Selle Italia SLK Lady Gel Flo that she used before. Most of the women I know that race use men's saddles too.
  • Baby TrekBaby Trek Posts: 118
    No I went for a blokes small frame...but on hindsight when I replace, I will get a ladies. But I have spent so much on mine now customising it to fit me that it will be a while before I change. The ladies have better handlebars that typically make the reach to the brakes from the drops easier, closer coupled so you are not stretched out and probably a better saddle to start with.
  • bikergirl17bikergirl17 Posts: 344
    Yes -- and short reach shifters, 165 cranks & 650c wheels. When I got my first frame 10 years ago most manufacturers had true wsd bikes on the market. Seems most now are just a regular frame with smaller handle bars. I'm really short & my bike fits me perfectly -- couldn't imagine using a larger frame or 700c wheels (despite the lack of after market parts). If I were taller I would definitely not bother with a wsd frame but spec the components, etc. I assume it would be much harder if you're buying a stock bike. That said stores are sometimes amenable to switching parts out.
  • AlitogataAlitogata Posts: 148
    Well i'm not female, but they seem to have shorter top tubes for a given sized frame, come with female specific saddles......... and come with god-awful flowery graphics!! :D

    Well said! Female bikes have shorter top tubes with more sloping, ( especially in the very small sizes), and awful artwork.. ( the manufacturers obviously think that all women want flowers and pale colors especially baby pink). As for the saddles.. Judging by the saddle that my own female specific geometry bike had.. hm.. better not to comment on it.. :shock:
  • I'm 5' 4" and have just bought a Trek Domane 4.5. Its not pink and doesn't have flowers, but it does have a smaller bars and reach and is most comfortable to ride (and pretty speedy too!). My previous bike was a Specialised Dolce Sport, also a womens bike. I dont think they are more expensive because they are womens specific - well not the road bikes anyway.

    I just wish there was more women specific cycling gear!
  • I'm on a Spesh Ruby Comp. It's black and red and not a a hint of flowers anywhere and I LOVE IT!!
  • AlitogataAlitogata Posts: 148
    I'm currently riding a Trek Lexa. I'm 1.56 ( 5"1 ?) but I have very long legs for my hight, with inseam at 74,5 cm and not so long torso. I've checked ( not able to test ride always as small sizes are available by order) a lot of different women (supposed :lol: ) specific models, but none of them was right for me. So I decided to go for an entry level road bike, because I had to compromise and customize after buy anyway and I didn't want to compromise spending a fortune.

    The point is that there are not many choices on women bicycles and if a woman has a little ( don't say much) different body proportions, she has either to get an existing model and start customize everything, ( shorter stem, shorter crankset, and then change to a wider range cassete etc etc), spending half the bike's price to make it rideable, or go for a custom model which costs again a load of money as the frame has to be done in her exact measurements from scratch.

    In my case the cost of a custom steel frame starts from 1000 euros, for a custom carbon frame from 1500-2000 euros and there are no alu custom frames, ( I haven't found someone to make such frames).

    Conclusion? When you are woman and not that tall, then you have to compromise either with entry level bikes ( but they have flower artwork :roll: :lol: ), or compromise with a ready made expensive bicycle and feel stupid for the money you've spend for something that doesn't fit well. (and pay more money to make it fit..) or go for custom ( haute couture :P ).

    Obviously most manufactures think that women cyclists are not equipment spenders to be considered, or they don't care if they spend their money on something that doesn't fit properly.

    If you doubt of what I'm saying, check how many reviews exist in this site about women specific models. From 5242 reviews on road bikes section, a search with the term "women" gave me 3 results. If I use other terms I will have perhaps 20..

    I really don't like the idea that in order to have a bike that fits to me, I'll have to order it and pay it double and triple in price and not having the convenience that other ( mostly men ) have, to get in a store and choose between hundreds of different bike models and geometries. :(

    And then we talk about sexism on the streets.. :roll:
  • awesome comment ... so true. and i even spoke to a very high end custom bike maker who was against building a 650c frame, insisting that they were so good that they could size down the frame but still fit 700 c wheels -- so what if there was (potentially dangerous) toe overlap? i would learn to live with it. this for a GBP4000+ bike.

    i believe there is a pent up market of women under 5'3" who would pay up for a good bike and wheels -- but we need a manufacturer to take that leap of faith and (re) enter the market. in 2005/6 cannondale, trek, specialised, orbea, bianchi and lightspeed all made true wsd and even spec-ed with durace; zipp made 303s in 650c. admittedly the economy wasn't so great in this period and most manufacturers were likely struggling, so i can understand cutting back -- but no one re-entered the market.
  • I ride a blokes 56cm cube, still with the blokes saddle on it and I've not had a single problem. I have long limbs and a proportionally short body and mens bikes are generally fine for me. My winter bike is a 54cm mens spesh and that fits lovely too, again with a blokes saddle.
  • slowdogslowdog Posts: 4
    I'm 5'2" and ride a Jamis Xenith female road bike. It's a 44cm frame with 700c wheels. No toe overlap problems and really comfortable. I also have a Boardman Comp fi flat barred road bike. I peeled the sticker off with the size on it, but I'm sure it's a small frame - also really comfortable.

    I also have another three bikes which are all men's small or extra small size bikes. The womens ones I have are definitely more comfortable. I wouldn't rule out getting another mens though if I tried it first and it fitted. Having said that, I'm running out of room and I can't face getting rid of one of my old ones...
  • tapscrewtapscrew Posts: 56
    No way! Because there is practically no choice and you have to have stupid colours like pink and purple or turquoise and have horrible flowers and stuff on them - gross. And its the same for clothes why do the womens clothes come in pink and purple and turquoise with horrible flowers and stuff on them?????
  • Interesting thread. My GF is currently thinking about upgrading her (mens) Spesh Allez. When she got it, she said it was fine and still rides it everyday. However, I feel it just looks a bit wrong in her position, but difficult to put a finger on what.

    Also, the cost of new handlebars/stem/saddle will probably add up to more than the cost difference between male/womens bikes.

    And yeah, she's also struggling on too many of the WSD bikes being "too girly"!
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  • CafewandaCafewanda Posts: 2,788
    Like bikergirl I ride bikes with 650c wheels. I'm 4'11 so am very very limited in what I can get. I currently have a child's track bike, used as a singlespeed, which is my commute/social/shopper and a Trek 1.2 (2010) I use on long rides. As small as both frames are, the top tube on each could do with being a little shorter for my arms.

    My next bike will be an Isla bike - another child's bike - the Luath small. Having ridden one at the shop, the top tube reach was great and having additional cross top levers was fun to use. I'll need a longer seatpost and may change the saddle. The great thing was, it's got 700c wheels so I can get different sized tyres. Using 650cx23s in the occasional London snow is 'exciting' but I'm getting a little old for that kind of excitement.

    When I had my track bike 'tweaked' so I could put a rack on it, the guy who did the work was happy to see me riding with 650c wheels as he is of the opinion that they are more suitable for us shrimps in terms of toe overlap and something to do with headtube (which I didn't understand). I think he took a photo of the bike to use as a reference for future customers. I do wish more bikes with smaller wheels were available though, with a range of tyre sizes too instead of just 23s.
  • p1tse wrote:
    Female riders are you on female bikes?

    Probably opening a can of worms here but how do you sex a bike??

    I've got a womans step through hybrid and a bloky tourer.
    One of the problems with the step through frame is that the back brake cable runs down the sloping tube and then bends back up to the brake. Rain tends to run into the cable sleeve and gets trapped in the bend. Unless the cable is removed and oiled regularly it rusts and jams. The trapped water also freezes in sub zero temperatures resulting in the back brake jamming on.
  • I was on a very limited budget when I bought mine (bit of a newbie) but found that there were barely any womens bikes within my price range. I tried all sorts but have a men's bike which, after a few tweaks, fits me just fine.
  • I have been struggling to get a decent road bike to fit for years. When I was in Majorca in March I hired a full carbon FP7 Pinarello, with a 48 cm top tube and a 48 cm down tube, with an Ultegra group set. It was the best bike I have ever ridden. I had no back pain, no neck pain, no numbness in my hands and wrists and I realised that this was the bike for me. I wanted to by it from the shop I hired it from but he wanted 2200 euros and it would not be available until the end of the season, by which time, it would have been well used. I decided I would try to buy a similar one once I got back in the UK. So far I have been unable to track one down.

    I am a competitive cyclist and have to ride off the peg men's frames. Everyone tells me that I am far too stretched out but unless I can get a decent bike with a 48 cm top tube, I will always be compromised.

    Has anyone had success with the geometry I am looking for? And if so, where can I get what I am looking for?
  • Levi_501Levi_501 Posts: 1,105
    The most important thing about choosing a bike for the dantier sex, is the colour!

    Trust me, if a (most that is) girl like the colour she will ride the bike and not give a rodents gluteus maximus about the geometry.

    That said, saddles are very important.
  • jaxfjaxf Posts: 113
    errrr .... I'm riding a bike the colour of which i HATE because it fits well ..... maybe I'm not dainty? (155cm and 53kg)
  • BLWBLW Posts: 96
    Hi

    Yes, I am a female (well last time I looked! lol) and yes I have a ‘womens’ road bike.

    It’s a Boardman Road Sport FI.

    I didn’t go out looking specifically for one, in fact when I spotted the bike I didn’t know that it was a 'womens bike', as it’s not feminine looking (pretty colours etc) so I was pleasantly surprised when they told me.

    However it’s my first roady so I’m afraid I’m not qualified to compare the difference, seems to work ok for me though.

    I’m 5’6 with long legs (long in thigh) but I do have a short torso though.
  • I'm 5'9 and I ride a mens bike. I don't know any different as I always have ridden mens bikes, but I love my bike and it fits me well. I ride with a mens saddle at the moment, I'm not particularly uncomfortable on it (well, not anymore), however I'm planning on buying a womens saddle as soon as I can afford it (I'm broke because I borrowed £500 towards my new bike) Haha!
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    At the end of the day they're (in an ideal situation where they're more than saddle/bars swap and pink paint) just a different geometry solution for different riders. We've seen more and more companies produce different bikes with different ride qualities and geometries and WSD is just another way for them to produce bikes to fit more people.

    Personally I'd rather find a brand that has settled on a geometry that works for me and them massively optimized it rather than offering loads of different frames. unless they offer full custom in which case, AWESOME
  • CyclumCyclum Posts: 104
    edited May 2014
    As a rule a man's frame with a female saddle. I have had a women's bike but I never feel like you get much for your money. They seem to bank on women buying a bike on how 'pretty' it looks.
  • NapoleonDNapoleonD Posts: 18,632
    Bearing in mind how sensitive a 10 yo girl can be about appearances, mine bloody loves her 50cm Basso in 'men' size...
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  • uptonupton Posts: 40
    I think at the lower price point many womens bikes will be the shrink it and pink it type. At higher price points manufactures tend to alter the geometry a little.

    I've got a 2nd hand 50cm Madone WSD. The only frame difference is that the top tube is sloping for a more compact design and shorter stand over height. Previous owner had 38 bars and a womens Prologo saddle which i've kept.

    I didn't go out looking for a women's bike specifically, but it's more common that bikes below 50cm are womens specific anyway. For me, many xs bikes would have been a tiny bit big too.
    As I road race I'm glad I've got 700c wheels- more likely for neutral service to have a spares. Someone lending you an inner tube is also never going to be a problem!

    Gearing tends to be lower too. Mine came with a compact and but as a junior I'm limited anyway.

    Pro women ride a mixture- just depends on what their sponsor wants. WiggleHonda the normal c59 (I think), Lotto Belisol a Cervelo R3. Not even sure if OricaAIS ride the Ccontessa" version of the Foil.

    Specialized Lululemon and Boels ride the womens' Amira on the other hand. Guess Specialized naturally want the women to ride their "womens'" bike!
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    upton wrote:
    I think at the lower price point many womens bikes will be the shrink it and pink it type. At higher price points manufactures tend to alter the geometry a little.

    But there is more variation between humans than there is between male and female. So there is an advantage to different geometries to meet those differences, there's more chance that Person X would suit Geometry Y than male / female.

    There's no "female specific geometry" that can make sense.
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  • jibberjim wrote:
    upton wrote:
    I think at the lower price point many womens bikes will be the shrink it and pink it type. At higher price points manufactures tend to alter the geometry a little.

    But there is more variation between humans than there is between male and female. So there is an advantage to different geometries to meet those differences, there's more chance that Person X would suit Geometry Y than male / female.

    There's no "female specific geometry" that can make sense.

    Is that true?

    Women generally have much longer legs to upper body ratio than men do. Therefore a shorter top tube would make more sense on womens bikes.
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  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Women generally have much longer legs to upper body ratio than men do. Therefore a shorter top tube would make more sense on womens bikes.

    No they don't, in some parts of the world it's true, but in the UK it's not - see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12031138 has the ratios for all ages including young adults, you'll see that it's the MEN that have the longer legs / shorter bodies in the south east of England but that is very much an on average and the individual variation is high. But if it was the case, then as you say a shorter top tube may make sense for those people - but it's slightly more likely to be a male rather than a female here in the UK.
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  • uptonupton Posts: 40
    jibberjim wrote:
    upton wrote:
    I think at the lower price point many womens bikes will be the shrink it and pink it type. At higher price points manufactures tend to alter the geometry a little.

    But there is more variation between humans than there is between male and female. So there is an advantage to different geometries to meet those differences, there's more chance that Person X would suit Geometry Y than male / female.

    There's no "female specific geometry" that can make sense.


    Of course, but most manufactures don't see it that way, preferring to simplify male Vs female geometry (although I personally like shorter top tubes).

    A guy who has shorter arms/torso would be well suited to a women's bike. Suppose "titchy upper body design" doesn't have the same ring. :lol:
  • jibberjim wrote:
    Women generally have much longer legs to upper body ratio than men do. Therefore a shorter top tube would make more sense on womens bikes.

    No they don't, in some parts of the world it's true, but in the UK it's not - see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12031138 has the ratios for all ages including young adults, you'll see that it's the MEN that have the longer legs / shorter bodies in the south east of England but that is very much an on average and the individual variation is high. But if it was the case, then as you say a shorter top tube may make sense for those people - but it's slightly more likely to be a male rather than a female here in the UK.

    I'm surprised by that, as every girl I have tested it with has significantly longer legs proportionally than men.
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