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Womens Bikes

I was just wondering if there was any major differences between specific womens bikes and standard bikes? Im looking to buy my girlfriend a bike for her birthday for around £400 and dont really know where to start. I really want to get it from wiggle so that I can but some other nick nacks, bump up my spending to £500 and then get 10% a bike I want!

Anyone got any advice for bikes around this price, and should I look for a womens bike rather than a standard bike. Sorry if this question has been asked before but I am new to the forum and have had a brief look and cant find anything.

Any help would be much appricicated


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    Difficult as only riding the two different bikes will answer the question really. I am all for supporting the local bike shops. You may pay a bit extra, but for me i like to see and touch the bikes.

    By a bike with the wrong geometry, colour, style and you'll have £400 sat in the shed.
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    treefrogtreefrog Posts: 1,242
    The short answer is yes there are differences in woman specific bikes and others. Women specific bikes have a woman friendly geometry and women friendly components & gearing.

    Prior to mainstream women specific bikes, momen cyclists had to make do with scaled down men's bikes or expensive custom built frames. Hence the designers at Cannondale, Trek, Specialized, etc came up with WS bikes.

    Some cynics say that they are "last years 52 cm frames painted powder blue" but women have bought loads of them and give them a huge thumbs up. Other women I know (more serious racers) hate them and see them as girlie sub-standard products, and much rather have a proper bike specced to their requirements

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    julesojuleso Posts: 279
    In my experience, any bike designed for women will have some flowers painted on. Women are simple things, apparently, we're all the same, and we like nothing more than a pretty flower. I agree with Treefrog - girl bikes feel like a gimmick to me - I ride mens' bikes. Really it depends on what your body geometry is like - manufacturers tend to generalise about this ('women have long legs' etc) but if you're some sort of 'normal human' sort of shape you'll probably be fine with a mens' frame. Go to a bike shop, have a chat and one of those fitting session things and they'll sort you out. Hopefully with something flower-free!
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    julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Sorry Treefrog, I think I only took in the last sentence of your post, hence why I generalised about you thinking WS bikes are a gimmick.........OK, I'll get my coat.
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    I ride a men's bike, I'm not especially tall, but I did go round and try several out - both mens and womens. The womens bikes I tried out had a much more upright position, so if your looking to get a more aggresive/aero position then this may not be the way to go..... I felt all that was missing on some of them was the basket on the front!!!

    I have had no problems with using a mens bike, and I don't even have long legs! I knew as soon as I tried it that 'it was the one', but at the end of the day it's all down to personal preference and how you like to ride.
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    It really depends on your girlfriend's measurements. I ride men's bikes but I have one that has a shorter top tube than most. The difference is that men generally speaking (and this is generally how men's bikes are designed) have a longer torso and women have longer legs. I struggled for ages to decide what to do but ended up buying a bike that had the correct geometry for me - personally. Just as many men out there won't be the generic shape / size.

    So women's bikes usually have a shorter top tube compared to the seat tube. Here is a previous post about this: http://forum.220magazine.com/tm.asp?m=17921&mpage=1&key=&#17984

    And here is a link to some more info: http://www.cervelo.com/viewkb.aspx?id=00692#3

    Riding a bike that was too long on the top tube just added to my many physical problems, for example, I ended up losing muscle mass and dexterity in my fingers because the reach was too long for me and it was cutting off the nerves to my hands. I guess it depends on how much cycling she plans to do. I do a lot, so important for me to have the correct geometry / size / fit.
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