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
) 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
), 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
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..