Female cyclist seeking new bike

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by muchosamor, 7 Apr 2010.

  1. muchosamor

    muchosamor New Member

    I am a female cyclist living near Bristol in the UK, and I am looking to buy a new bike.

    I cycle to work everyday and also do a lot of cycling at the weekend. I mostly cycle on fairly well maintained roads, but I do use slightly rougher country lanes occasionally. I am looking for a bike that is light enough to make getting around a breeze, but that is also capable of dealing with the odd bump on a less smooth road. I am 5,3” and around 55kg, if that makes a difference to what bike you may suggest!

    I already own panniers, so the bike needs to be able to be fitted with them (it is a fairly standard rack that fits on the back). I really don’t want to spend anything over £700, and would actually much prefer the bike to cost less than £600.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Guru

    Location:
    Reading
    Something like the Genesis Aether 10 might fit the bill. You're a little on the small side, but a 52cm frame might fit.
     
  3. darthpaul

    darthpaul Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    I am just looking at getting my wife a Giant CRS City 4.0 W as she wants to start commuting. Local Giant shop at Bradley Stoke if you want to have a look at one of those.
     
  4. gwhite

    gwhite Über Member

    Location:
    Auchtermuchty Fife
    Whatever bike you buy, do make sure that the top-tube length is short enough for you. Unless you buy a woman specific frame, most bikes are designed for men and usually the top tube is too long for a woman, leading to an uncomfortable stretched out position.
    It appears by your post, that you're looking for a hybrid or a light tourer.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    muchosamor

    muchosamor New Member

    Just wanted to clarify that I have panniers and a pannier rack, so there is no need for the bike to be prefitted with a rack.
     
  6. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull
    The Sitting Height Ratio of males and females amongst caucasians is similar. About 52.5 %.

    A lady will be OK on a gent's bike.

    'Women specific' bikes are a marketing 'gimmick' to promote "Brand loyalty".

    One woman has a good experience,,, all her friends get to know....


    Also, someone at the factory ordered pink paint by mistake.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    muchosamor

    muchosamor New Member

    jimboalee, that is why I have specified height and weight and mentioned in passing that I am female, but not said that I require a woman's bike ;)
     
  8. wanda2010

    wanda2010 Veteran

    Location:
    London
    OK, so I'm not Causasian so clearly this doesn't apply to me ;) BUT as someone who is a mere 4'11', WSD bikes were created with me with mind. Just wish they'd let those of us who care, have a bike in the colour of their choosing :smile:

    Having had a bike fit very recently, I've discovered the length of the top tube is very important and can now see why bikes with 650c wheels would be so much better for me, but they are difficult to find.

    I'd suggest the OP try standard and WSD bikes in her sizing THEN make her final decision.
     
  9. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull
    Ladies at clubs usually buy small gent's bikes.

    They can put the seatpost up and the reach will be OK.

    When they get the urge to buy a new bike, a small gent's bike will sell quicker than a Women Specific bike. There are always more young men looking for used bikes than young girls.
     
  10. gwhite

    gwhite Über Member

    Location:
    Auchtermuchty Fife
    This has nothing to do with the "sitting height ratio" whatever that may be. A woman bends forward at a different position at the waist than a male and so usually requires a shorter top tube to allow for this. There was a thread on the CTC forum which discussed this at length some time ago. I've lost count of the number of bikes that I've had to modify with shorter stems in order to give a comfortable fit for women.
    It does appear that your views re women's bikes are coloured by your views about women in general, judging from your remarks.
     
  11. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    Taller women generally get on ok with the standard bikes - but the Woman Specific Design ones really come into their own for the smaller ladies. Even me at 5'6, I seem to have a much longer leg length than a similar sized man - my inside leg is 31.5" and so I must be a reasonable amount shorter in the torso than them.

    I've been in that Giant store and they were very helpful - they didn't stock the part I wanted but told me where to try instead - Garlands in Bedminster.
     
  12. jay clock

    jay clock Massive member

    Location:
    Hampshire UK
    The key is make sure it fits. In my experience "most" women under about 5'5" and certainly those a few inches shorter cope much better on a WSD bike. But there are exceptions even at the lower heights. Once over about 5'5" more women seem to be able to cope on male bikes.

    I have no scientific evidence but I also think women prefer a more upright position....
     
  13. OP
    OP
    muchosamor

    muchosamor New Member

    Thanks for all the help guys, I am going to look into some of these options.

    About the woman's bike thing - I have been advised by several cycling friends to try out lots of different bikes that fit my spec, not just woman's ones. However, I suspect that the fact I am rather short means that woman's bikes may be a better fit for me. I'm not going to let it narrow my choices down, but at the end of the day, I'm going to pick the bike that is a good fit.
     
  14. ChristinaJL

    ChristinaJL New Member

    I've got a specialized dolce elite. I tried out mens and womens bikes at the time, and I felt too stretched out on the mens' versions, even when they were the same height. I previously had a mens' marin hybrid bike which was too long for me and gave me the worst backache.

    I also have a women's dawes karakum, I love both my bikes and neither of them give me backache. Definately worth going and trying out as many as you can, mens and womens. I'm 164cm and have 31" leg, so technically could have ridden a men's but prefer not too as the women's ones fit me better. :smile:
     
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