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Why do they no longer make a womans frame with dropped bar?(16 posts)

Why do they no longer make a womans frame with dropped bar?donnaturner
Mar 29, 2002 5:52 PM
Well, actually they do...Ahimsa
Mar 29, 2002 6:00 PM
Buy a frame with the new "compact geometry" and you should have nearly the same clearance.

Mostly though that design was abandoned in higher end bikes because it is inherently less strong than a standard diamond. Besides, how many women ride in skirts these days? (Barring of course Spirito's picture from yesterday)

A well fit bike should be considered unisex.


Mar 29, 2002 6:05 PM
The dropped top tube (parallel with the downtube) is a testament to the notion that we weren't really riding the same as men; we needed the cycling equivalent of going "side saddle" on a horse... ie., we needed skirts accomodated. Anyone who road one of these bikes growing up knows that it still wasn't safe to dismount bring a foot in front of the saddle... THWACK!

If you insist on such a configuration, there are some women's comfort bikes and hybrids. If all you seek is the mental solace of lots of clearance, then "ditto" to the compact geometry suggestion.

Ultimately, the old compact geometry created a less stable bike, as anyone who has clamped their knees down on the top tube during an aggressive descent knows... so I say "good riddance" to this relic of 19th century "femininity"

Mar 29, 2002 6:33 PM
damn julie.... i was going to go into a 19th century feminist rant.guess i'll wait until someone asks about a terry "susan b".that will give me a marketing and feminist rant *S*

donnaturner...compact geometry is the way to go if what you're looking for is a good road bike and low top tube.

btw..waterford concedes the design flaw in the diva by saying "balanced, stable handling for neighborhood, bike trail and fun rides"
Whats' the deal with the Terry "Susan B" bike? Is it for broads?Ahimsa
Mar 29, 2002 6:36 PM
Or just another lesbian thing?

(Harlet bait)

Cheers Harlet!

A. (Awaiting great rant)
Mar 29, 2002 6:59 PM
nah.i'm in too good a mood tonight to post any "real" rants..besides if i write much more here tonight you all will see a nice side of me..can't have that!!! *S*

btw.being a daughter of sappho gives me the right to double rant!!!!
Mar 29, 2002 7:06 PM
Oh jeez! I hope you are as witty as I give you credit for!

"being a daughter of sappho gives me the right to double rant"

Well, hell, my dad played baseball, but I only bat for one team.

Scarlet....I mean Harlet, with a moniker like that, do you wear the letter?

I do.

A. (Stands for Arsehole though, not Adultery)
re: Why do they no longer make a womans frame with dropped bar?Ironbutt
Mar 29, 2002 6:12 PM
Waterford Precision Cycles builds a beautiful traditional "women's" bike with a dropped bar. It's called the Diva and comes equipped with an Ultegra component group. You can check it out on their website for all the details
Mar 29, 2002 6:18 PM I envisioning a drag queen at the local race on a "Diva" with full kit and everything telling us all how sexy cycling is now?

"Oooh giiiirl, it's the shorts's the shorts!"

A. (Probably needs therapy of some sort.)
here's where I tell you my favorite cycling story of all timelonefrontranger
Mar 29, 2002 9:33 PM
There was a man in our Women's 4 field at the '98 Tour de Toona. A transsexual, to be specific. As flaming a one as you may possibly imagine: big fake boobs, trashy Pamela Anderson bleached hair, the whole ball o' string. I'm guessing the promoter was too terrified of the repercussions to say much, and in the end, it didn't matter.

We all had fun with it. She/he got righteously crushed on the big mountain climb in the road race, though. Owning a Y chromosome does not automatically an ass-kicker make.
They do...grzy
Mar 29, 2002 6:23 PM
Guess you haven't seen the latest offerings from Terry, Cannondale, Trek and others.
There is still a market for them...Me Dot Org
Mar 29, 2002 11:20 PM
...which is somewhat astounding to me. It's amazing how hard old habits die. I know women who would never accept any sexual slight who still ride "women's bikes", even if told of the less rigid design flaws.

The curious thing is that it seems to be driven by...women. I don't know a male rider who would look down on a woman for riding a "man's" top tube frame. But I know plenty who would look askance at a woman riding a "woman's frame. Not because it's made for women, but because it is an inefficient design.

Shown below: a "Miss Mercian", a custom frame with hand-crafted lugs.
The market is age dependent.Spoke Wrench
Mar 30, 2002 7:35 AM
The vast majority of woman bike riders ask for the traditional diamond frame. Every year that goes by I have fewer women asking for the "step through" frame. Those that do tend to be older. I've had more than one woman who refused to buy her daughter the bike that the daughter wanted because "That's a boy's bike."

I'm a little amused by all of the comments about lack of strength of step through frames. I've never seen or heard of a broken step through frame, so they must be strong enough.
The market is age dependent.Me Dot Org
Mar 30, 2002 9:02 AM
I'd have to agree with you on the age thing. The women I know who still fancy "women's" bikes are definitely pre-Title IX.

As far as the strength issue, I must admit I've never seen any data concerning the design. I've never heard of a broken step-through frame, but I wonder how many are ridden by real pedal mashers.
The market is age dependent.jtolleson
Mar 30, 2002 10:28 AM
I don't think any of us said "strength" some much as "rigidity." There is a lot of lateral flex in the "step through" set up. As far as "strong enough," I'm sure they are, given their market niche. But I wouldn't encourage anyone to ride one.
There is still a market for them...amflyer
Mar 30, 2002 1:18 PM
Isn't this frame a "mixte," which is not quite as bad as the "ladies" frame?

Even so, your point is taken. I wouldn't want to ride one.