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Women's Specific Bikes(10 posts)

Women's Specific Bikestriton
Aug 9, 2003 8:21 PM
Looking for a bike for my wife. Seems that most of the frames out there are not designed with a women's body in mind. She has a GIANT ONCE 2001 (small) and it is just too long in the top tube for her torso. Any suggestions on good bike's for women. Custom frames like SEVEN, INDEPENDENT, STRONG?? I know that TREK sells some but they only come in a triple (it is relatively flat where we live). Thanks for suggestions.
Get a custom made...............firstrax
Aug 9, 2003 8:45 PM
Dirt Devil. Sorry, couldnt resist.
re: Women's Specific Bikesmoschika
Aug 9, 2003 8:57 PM
i've been looking at a couple of specialized bikes for my wife, the vita and the allez elite chromo. the vita is 'women specific' but the elite chromo is steel. she would prefer a steel bike most things being indistinguishable.

Lemond makes WSD bikes and c'dale too.
re: Women's Specific BikesCritLover
Aug 9, 2003 9:07 PM
I had custom Seven made for that exact reason. It fits me perfect and is an amazing ride. However, last year I got a 47cm Litespeed aluminum frame (carbon fork and stays) on closeout for $800, and would have been more than happy to have this as a first bike (it's my backup).

The custom option may depend on how short a top tube she needs. There are options if it's not too extreme. Although, Cannondales women's specific are pretty nice and I believe they go down to a 44cm. Carrera makes two women's frames also.

Custom isn't cheap so you may want to determine how much she's going to ride and spend accordingly. If she's in for the long haul, she won't be disappointed with a Seven. Many of my female friends got them after I did, so they must be doing something right!

Good luck!
You actually have lots of great options. What you need is more information.MB1
Aug 10, 2003 3:03 AM
If your wife is having fit problems investing in a fitting will really help. There are lots of sizing/fitting systems along the lines of the "Fit Kit".

Generally what the fitting systems do is take quite a few body measurements and using these plus some information about riding style, goals and experience the systems come up with a set of frame dimensions that would work. Bicycle manufacturers post their frame dimensions on their web sites and catalogues so all you have to do is compare the Fit Kit suggested measurements to find out what will work.

I'd suggest that fiding a good fit is far more important than what components a bike is equipped with (you can always change parts but you can't (shouldn't) change your wife). I also suggest that instead of asking your friends about what bike works for them ask them what local shop gives good service.

It is fairly common for shops to swap parts on a new bike for a small charge far below the retail costs of the components. Making a few part changes to set up the bike the way you want it is no big deal.

A local shop that is willing to work with you and help with fitting issues is worth their weight in discarded bikes. (Another note about shops-to get the best service try to deal with them on weekdays not weekends.)
Already tried fit kitting, bike is just too longtriton
Aug 10, 2003 9:04 AM
My wife has had the bike "fit kitted" 2x and tried new seat and handle bar stems. Each time, the comments were that here legs were long but that it was a reach for the handle bars. -But these adjustments may help until we find a frame that fits. She is a pretty serious road biker/racer that needs a comfortable bike to be able to log in the miles with out lower back pain. Another point is that it is good to see that some bike manufacturers are taking women into consideration Thanks.
Don't Fit Kit the bike, Fit Kit her.MB1
Aug 10, 2003 5:19 PM
You get Fit Kitted in my LBS off the bike. This provides a set of measurements that helps you to choose a new bike that will fit. They also do on the bike fittings but your wife seems to need a new bike.

At this point finding which frame or bike will fit her at whatever your budget is requires some research. You could measure her current bike and decide what changes to the frame tubes are required and buy a new bike that best matches those dimensions. Or you can do the off bike Fit Kit. Or go full custom and have a builder fit her.

My wife Miss M is 5' 2" and has a custom 50 CM Rivendell that works well for Randonneuring. All her other bikes are stock, a 48 CM Merlin for faster stuff, a 50 CM fixte, a 14.5" Zaskar LE and the back of our Medium Santana Team Ti tandem. Time and money, that is all that it takes.
using the shortest stem?C-40
Aug 10, 2003 4:51 AM
I assume that you've tried using a very short stem, like a 60mm and even that's not enough?

There are also bars with shorter than normal reach that might help.

Saddle position also plays a big part in the total reach. It's generally recommended that the knee be positioned directly over the pedal spindle as a starting point, and then fore/aft adjustments are made to improve torque or cadence as needed. The saddle should not be used specifically to shorten the reach, but can be moved forward to simulate a shorter top tube.

As a reach test, I always suggest that the rider check knee to elbow clearance when riding with the hands in the drops, fingers in reach of the brake levers and the back horizontal. If the knees and elbows have any clearance, the stem is long enough. If the knees and elbows overlap, then the reach should not be too long from a functional standpoint, but may be uncomfortable for a rider who lacks abdominal and back strength necessary to ride with a typical road bike position.

Keep in mind that the TT length cannot be made too short without going down to a 650 front wheel, to reduce toe overlap.
Good points here.....Zonic Man
Aug 10, 2003 7:43 AM
Functionally, you can't get much shorter than a 51cm tt with 700c wheels without having too much toe overlap.

that being said, Suzy rides a titus XS drop U frame that we've fit on a couple of women that at as short as 5'2".

Check for more info.

I highly recommend a custom fit as well. Suzy was fitted for her bike by an excercise physiologist and her doctor/coach, Massimo Testa (former doctor of Mapei/motorolla/7-11/etc. etc. and coach to many UCI pros to this day).
Crap, some more thoughts.....Zonic Man
Aug 10, 2003 7:46 AM
Get womens specific levers (Shimano short reach), bars without too much drop and the right width (Deda 215, Specialized women's, 3T Eva), etc. etc. for the right fit.