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Womans Specific Bikes - Make a Difference?

Hi All,

I'm on the hunt for a new bike and I have an exaggerated body shape in that my legs are longer than the average person's for my height. Most road bikes are designed for men who have a longer body and shorter legs but I am a woman with longer than average legs, so the top tube length is a subject that is very dear to my heart when searching for this new bike...

So. I now have to decide whether to get a new mens bike from a shop that has a condusive top tube length but that only has 105 on it OR get a new bike off the internet that is not as flash but has Ultegra for just over half the price of the other OR wait to get a second hand bike that has better components and is a better bike than the "new off internet" bike and just not have a bike until then.

Bearing in mind that I use my bike for commuting as well as training - and right now I am bike-less as I cannot ride my old bike any more... Any thoughts? I'm interested to know about the WSD bikes and whether they are just a poor attempt by the manufacturers to break into this market or whether they actually compare to the mens - for example, what of the carbon (both are full carbon frames) is it a worse quality? Design, have they just thrown it together with a shorter top tube - I have a fair assumption that there has been much less effort put in to the design of this type of bike... Any thoughts?



  • transittransit Posts: 163
    My g/f does alot of biking and she got a WSD mtb a couple of years back. It is the same as the mens version but with a different saddle and stem. I think things have moved along a bit since then with the geometry of some of the bikes but not as far as they would have you believe. Since then she has bought a Planet-X road bike, we got it fitted, so ended up with a medium frame with small build kit to accomodate upper to lower body ratio. I think it does depend on mfr but I'd definitely look beyond the WSD stuff - although I wouldn't say it's a definite no no. In terms of the materials used, you'd have to look at each bike individually as carbon description can vary so much. For a mens and womens bike of a similar range and price I'd expect the same carbon!

    In terms of your buying options, by the sounds of it, I'd go for a bike you can try. I'd recommend this to anyone, however, I appreciate it is a difficult balance between cost and ideal situation. In your case it sounds like you really need it to be spot on so I'd go with the one you've seen or go to another bike shop and try some others.

    The difference in performance between Ultegra and 105 is very little so I wouldn't really worry about that, both work really well.

    Well, that's my 2 pennies worth, happy shopping![:)]
  • BarbsaramaBarbsarama Posts: 73
    Thanks [:D] That might just be the justification I need to get me that Colnago... The shop guy will fit it for me and give me a womans specific seat too which is great!! Especially as i've been putting up with numb bum for so long... i'm really excited now!!!
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Lady Britspin lurrrves her Specialized Ruby Expert, narrower bars, smaller & differently angled (?) frame ie not just a small blokes frame, WS saddle, all in the price..so go on try before you buy.
  • transittransit Posts: 163
    Specialized are now one of the few companies who are making a real effort with the D4W stuff. It has taken them a few years to really get into it though.
  • BarbsaramaBarbsarama Posts: 73
    Well, I went out and bought the men's bike (Colnago CLX). I get fitted and take it home on Saturday. I'm pretty excited. I have quite broad shoulders and long arms and legs just a short body so I think it will fit me ok as it has a shorter top tube than many.

    Although I will update y'all with my findings once I've been out and about.

  • The Cervelo thread lead me to this artical about womens specific frames http://www.cervelo.com/viewkb.aspx?id=00692#3 Seems they have the view that it's not an issue of gender but one of short people. Apparently small frames don't fit short blokes properly either.
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