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Why do womens specific bikes...(2 posts)

Why do womens specific bikes...Ron B
Aug 9, 2001 7:59 AM
have such steep seat angles? We just purchased a new 40cm Cannondale R500 Feminine for my wife and it comes with a 75 degree seat angle. The bike fits her really well aside from the steep angle.

Considering most women have proportionally longer legs than men doesn't it make sense that they should build womens specific bikes with a shallow seat angle? We have to push my wifes seat back almost all the way to get it to fit her. She isn't tall for the bike either considering she stands 4' 11". A good 73-73.5 degree seat angle would be perfect for her but no bike maker (especially ones that are reasonably priced) makes anything less than 75 degrees.

My guess is they are trying to keep the top tube short, but if women are having to push the seat back to get a good knee pedal relationship then it seems kind of pointless to keep the short top tube since they are effectivly lengthening it by pushing the seat back.

Any other observations?
not just women's bikes....C-40
Aug 9, 2001 8:14 AM
Most small frames have steep seat tube angles, assuming that riders with short legs have proportionately short femurs. The STA has nothing to do with keeping the top tube short. Any TT length can be mated to any STA. You are correct that the 75 STA effectively lengthens the top tube, but only about 1cm in this small frame size, compared to a 74 STA.

Your wife may have long femurs for her short legs. Are you using a traditional road seatpost, with the front of the seat rail clamp located near the center of the seatpost (like most campy or shimano models) or one of the straight up types like a Thomson? The Thomson post moves the nominal saddle location forward by about 2cm, which can make it impossible to get the saddle back far enough.