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Women Specific Bikes - Does it work?

Discussion in 'Mud Hunnies' started by mrbigisbudgood, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. mrbigisbudgood

    mrbigisbudgood Strangely intrigued by Echo

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    So my wife and I are considering doing a 300Km ride here in Sverige and to do this, she needs a proper roadie.....although it would be entertaining to see her do it on her 3 speed city bike.

    Are the women specific bikes really worth it?
    Do the narrower bars, woman specific seats, and shorter reach levers really make a big difference?
    Do you ride a WSD roadie? Which one? Do you like it? Why did you choose it?

    Will an alu bike ride too harsh? She will end up on a 48ish cm bike. I ask that because I honestly HATE alu road bikes in my (53cm) size because of the ride, yes I ride a steel bike on the road.

    This will likely end up as a birthday present for her, so some of the dumb and up front questions are because I can't ask her out of fear that she will figure the birthday thing out. I think that if I took her to ride 15 bikes in a day, she would figure it out, but it will probably come down to that in the end.

    Any help or advice is appreciated in advance.
     

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  2. TreeSaw

    TreeSaw Mama Monkey

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    I personally have a women's specific roadie and don't like it, because it doesn't really fit me. I have a longer torso and shorter inseam than the typical woman but prefer narrower bars and shorter cranks (and I got it for a great price), so I went for it.

    How tall is your wife and is there any way you can figure out her inseam & torso? You may be able to figure out top tube length by looking at her townie and going from there, but it's somewhat of a gamble (though you could be close enough to do a stem length adjustment after purchase to really hone in on the fit). Inseam....does she have any tailored pants? These will be the perfect inseam indicator, if not try to estimate her standover based on inseam of her favorite pants and her standover on the bike she rides the most.

    Aluminum vs. steel vs. carbon is a preference and application thing for me. My current roadie is Aluminum with carbon fork and rear triangle and it rides fine, but I also enjoy my steel singlespeed mountain bike. Aluminum is going to be lighter and for someone her size that's probably a plus. Generally speaking tire width and selection can help with the comfort level more than the frame material.

    For a 300k ride, I would make sure she has a comfortable saddle above all things!

    Hopefully that helps, but if not, ask more questions and we;ll try to give you more information that will (hopefully) help!
     
  3. mrbigisbudgood

    mrbigisbudgood Strangely intrigued by Echo

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    Did the deed on Saturday.

    We tried 3 WSD bikes. Specialized Dolce, Cannondale Synapse, and Scott Contessa.

    • She recoglized the Specialized instantly as being comfortable. Hydroformed curved top tube, the bars were narrow but wrapped thick. 48cm Tiagra bike weighs in around 20 lbs.!
    • The XS Scott practicaly had a horizontal top tube and my 5'1" wife couldn't even stand over the damn thing. XS? More expensive and had a smattering of Sora and Tiagra.
    • Cannondale didn't fit at all. No matter what we did, it made her shoulders uncomfortable.

    We tried a couple "man" bikes and instantly the bars were too wide.

    So, we had her ass measured which embarrased the hell out of her until she heard the word "narrow".

    Walked out of the store with the Specialized. I ended up riding the bike home (we don't have a car and she didn't know the way). It seems pretty fast, good translation of effort into forward motion.

    We went for a quick 5 mile ride in the wet yesterday morning. I rode my commuter with winter spikes. She was comfortable over 5 miles, but complained a bit that her shoulders were getting tired.....she had a death grip on the bars. :rofl:
     
  4. TreeSaw

    TreeSaw Mama Monkey

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    Nice work! Her shoulder fatigue is likely to lessen the more she rides more (and looses the death grip), but if not, she could do some stretches and strengthening exercises to help out.
     
  5. mrbigisbudgood

    mrbigisbudgood Strangely intrigued by Echo

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    It was the death grip, the veins in her forearm were about ready to come out of her skin. Strength isn't an issue for her, she puts men to shame in the gym every day.

    Of course, it has been snowing for 6 days straight now.....