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first road bike recommendations for female

it was never going to be easy but the time has come for me to 'fess up to all that yes, i did run my first ever tri on a hybrid....
grovelling follows>>>>> : 'it was my first one, i was not experienced, i didn't know what i was doing.....please have mercy on me all you people with gorgeous fast and sexy bikes....'

ok if just mentioning the H word hanst permanently banned me from the site already i shall continue:
i have since been diagnosed positive with the TRI virus and i think the time has come for the next step: a road bike

i dont think at this stage it should be a tt/tri bike due to my inexperience and because i have gathered that these bike are uber precious and should be kept for serious training (ie in cycling tracks) and racing - pls let me know if i am wrong

speed is something i still have issues with (it freaks me out) so i think something rather reliable and sturdy and obviously not immensely expensive would be a good start for me to take out on the patchy, bumby and potholed roads of london to get clocking in my miles and hopefully do my first OD on too!

i know there is a limited variety of women specific bikes in comparison to mens and also the argument that sometimes a small size mens bike could be just as good ( i am 5.6" and neither my shoulders are too narrow or my hands too small)

all suggestions welcome and if they would not come in pearlised pink, baby blue or lavender even better
thank you!


  • risris Posts: 1,002
    nowt wrong with a hybrid if it gets you from the start line to the finish line!

    personally, i'd go with a good-ish road bike. it can be something that you use to get used to going faster, riding in tucked down positions, riding with clip-on tri-bars etc. when you decide you've had enough of it you can get a tt-bike and consign the roadie to winter trainer/hack.

    the key thing for getting a good roadie would be fitting and geometry. if you can find a decent local bike shop (if you are london then you should be able to find something - i'll let someone else sat the b-word!) and try some frames out. it's worth bearing in mind that if you haven't ridden drops before then you might find them a bit twitchy, but try not to be put off - you get over it very quickly.

    last year i went to buy a road bike and bought something that was probably a bit too relaxed in geometry, it is more of a leisure bike than a real road bike. at the time i tried a more aggressive frame and thought it was way too twitchy - now i sort of wish i'd bought it instead!
  • huwdhuwd Posts: 228
    ris wrote:
    i'll let someone else sat the b-word!
    Do tell - please someone!
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    bridgtown cycles, cannock
  • sportevesporteve Posts: 141
    thank you ris! ..now were are my glasses..
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Don't worry too much about the women thing. You just need a bike that fits. On average, women tend to be a bit smaller than men, and the ratio of legs to body lengths is a bit different. But, everybody is different, and, if you are going to spend more than 10 minutes on the thing, then everyone _needs_ one that fits.

    The only other significant difference is that the female pelvis is a bit wider... usually.. so a different saddle can be in order. But again, it's about the fit. So a suitable frame, a suitable saddle and off you go.

    Of course, if you intend to ride in long flowing Edwardian skirts of course, and it has to be pink..

    So, get to a decent LBS, and off you go. Well, budget and making your mind up are the two biggest challenges. Take your time deciding, and ask about specific models/kit etc.
  • risris Posts: 1,002
    Jack Hughes wrote:
    the ratio of legs to body lengths is a bit different.
    sorry, but when i first read that through i started to wonder how many legs the average woman has.

    i think i need to get out more.
  • nessytnessyt Posts: 25
    My orginal road bike is not a womens specific, I just put a womens specfic saddle on it. Im 5'6" aswell, . I have a trek 1.2 double which i would highly recommend for a first roadie which i still have for training (have since brought myself a Trek Madone, which i just LOVE!) Its just a case of finding a bike that you feel comfortable with. Go to a good bike shop & they will help you pick the right size.
  • durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246

    Nothing wrong with a hybrid I only just got my first roady it's the getting out there and doing it that counts.

    my new bike is not women specific - the only one of those I looked not only didn't fit but was a horrible lilac colour (how can that be fast.......) the only plus side was it wasn't as awful as the mountain bike equivalent which was lime green

    So good advice and a good fit is probably everything. I do think a good relationship with the LBS is important too - they're going to have to fix it if something goes wrong.

    Good luck with your search, mind you I was almost out of my mind when it came to actually making the decision - sooo many things to think about and I don't really know what I'm doing..........
  • sportevesporteve Posts: 141
    nessyt my hybrid is a trek and i am really happy with him, so i would consider trek for my next bike therefore the 1 series was something i was looking into anyway; good to know you are happy with yours
    good to know you also love your madone i am kind of developing a crush on those at the moment but i think i should leave it for when i 'grow up' in a tri kind of way! ..... in the meanwhile i can just dream of a customised 6.9 but only because it looks so cool, i think i should get more riding experience on roadies before i can really appreciate and compare this or any other bike of that level

    thank you for your recomendation conehead and yes i find quite patronising the way manufacturers approach women specific bikes especially when they paint them pink (or lilac! i am so with you on this durhamvam!!!) - so if any of you designers are reading this, black is not a boys prerogative and not all women live in a pink bubblegum world..
    as for the fit again i'll have to try some myself and see what the fuss is about... i know there are women who love their women specific bikes but i think it applies more to petite ladies who find it harder to find a bike to fit their build

    thank you all for your advice - all very valuable - it seems it will be a fun season of research and test drives!
  • Doc ScoDoc Sco Posts: 38
    I too ride a hybrid (Marin)and although I love it I have just returned from completing my first olympic distance in the New York Triathlon where I suffered major bike envy in transition! So I am also in the market for my first road bike. I've learned a whole new language talking to some vey knowlegable and helpful assistants in a number of bike shops and reading every review i could get my hands on I have now narrowed my search down to a Willier Motirolo Mirage, Specialized Roubiax or Trek Madone. I have discounted a 'female' bike and will try out the bikes for the best fit and ride, but will put my Terry Butterfly 'female' saddle on whichever bike I buy. Like any sport I have come to the conclusion that there is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to equipment and it will always be personal preference. So I am going to stop worrying whether there is a better option around the corner and take the plunge. I am soooo excited and lets face it any road bike is going to improve my cycling speed compared to my trusty (but heavy and non streamlined ) hybrid!

    Think like a bumble bee and just do it!
  • sportevesporteve Posts: 141
    thank you doc sco i will look into your favourite options myself!

    i am really shocked to hear about cracks on ti frames from what i had read so far their big advantage is that they are 'invincible'

    i thought it was carbon that is really 'fragile' and cracks easily and also is very hard to repair...no?
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