Recommend cheap tourers for women

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by jay clock, 15 Aug 2007.

  1. jay clock

    jay clock Massive member

    Hampshire UK
    (I was going to say girls, but my babies have grown up!)

    They will be 18 and 19 next year and never really cycle much. They have a plan to do inter-railing, but have stunned me with a suggestion of going cycle touring. It would probably be France, and quite possibly doing Channel to the Spanish border in about a month. Slow (about 40km per day on average) but I would prefer they did that and loved it than being put off by doing too much. And they might well speed up!

    They have no bikes to speak of. I would be interested in suggestions in bikes suitable for touring at the lower end of the price range. Women specific design would be good, but not a sloping downtube - too sloppy in handling.

    Probably flat bars, and probably 700c wheels, but flexible on the wheels, subject to heel clearance on panniers. They would be camping, so front pannier mountings a nice extra. Because they WILL pack too much!

    Oh, and they must look cool as hell!

    I would love to find some on Ebay but sounds a tall order in terms of sizes etc, so new suggestions very welcome

  2. xilios

    xilios Veteran

    Maastricht, NL
    Check out the Trek Fx series bikes, they are hybrids. My wife has been using the 7.2 Fx WSD for a few tour now and has worked very well.
    Unloaded it rides good if bit nervous, but loaded it's very stable, perfect for touring.
    Pics and more info on our page.
  3. simon_adams_uk

    simon_adams_uk Veteran

    SW London
    not a sloping downtube - too sloppy in handling

    A bit of sweeping generalisation perhaps? I woudn't necessarily discount a bike with compact geometry - especially given the advantage of extra standover height.

    Giant CRS or Cypress perhpaps?

  4. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    The Edinburgh Bike Co-Op do their Revolution tourer for about £350 and all reviews have been very good. I'd at least give it a look!
  5. OP
    jay clock

    jay clock Massive member

    Hampshire UK
    "not a sloping downtube - too sloppy in handling"

    Simon, what I meant was by this was not that I am against compact geomerty (am all in favour) but I did not a want a women's frame with a traditionally "no crossbar" arrangement. Very happy with a sloping crossbar if more in the men's style.

    Will look at the Trek and the Revolution offerings

  6. How tall are they? You don't necessarily need to restrict yourself to WSD designs if they are over 5'5" but some brands are better fitting than others.
    Anything by trek is a winner in terms of fit, both WSD and standard as I have got on well with both in the past. Specialized - the tri cross is a good allround tourer/cross bike and comes in smaller sizes. Even the Allez comes with pannier fittings and is quite sturdy . Dawes tend to be a bit long in the reach, as do Giant - having said that I have an ultra galaxy but I've had to install short reach bars to make it comfortable. I had a Giant MTB a few years back and never got on with it. Another good option is Ribble cycles - I know people aren't too complimentary about their mail order service but if you can go into the shop they will be able to sort them out as they have a good range of sizes.

    Regarding the sloping top tube - you want to look at compact rather than standard frames, for shorter reach. Both of my road bikes are this - and that of my training partner who is only 5'3". Standard frames just don't fit me as they are too long. I am 5'6" by the way.
  7. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    Kirstie has got there before me. It isn't a requirement for a bike to be a 'women's' geometry for it to be comfortable for a woman to ride unless she's particularly short. The key is that they try a bike for fit. Be prepared to change saddle from the one supplied with the bike though - if anything that's the one thing that really adds to comfort IMO - a well-fitting saddle. I have Terry saddles on my bikes and I can be on the bike all day in comfort. Whereas the saddle my road bike came with - couldn't do ten miles without feeling as if I'd been sitting on a sword... it was *swiftly* changed for a Terry saddle.
  8. Good point wafflycat - if you are going to WSD anything make it the saddle and the shorts. Even then you're not guaranteed complete comfort because it's a matter of trail and error. My favourite is the WTB Speed She, and the Bontrager Race Lite women's saddle is also fantastic (Bontrager generally excellent for WSD stuff).

    Just to illustrate the point, I have tried Terry and didn't really get on with them, and some people swear by the Fizik Vitesse, but I found it horrendously uncomfortable.

    I've never tried a Selle Italia who do a full range for women but apparently they are good.
  9. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

    I have it on good authority that Selle Italia actually make Terry's saddles!
  10. OP
    jay clock

    jay clock Massive member

    Hampshire UK
    Thanks. I agree about not having to have a WSD frame. One is 5'4" and one is 5'6". My girlfriend has a Specialized Sirrus (mens) and gets on fine with it (she is 5'5") and she uses it for touring, but it is a bit lightweight for more loaded touring ( I carry some of her stuff!)
  11. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Erm... me?! I'm a cheap tourer! (sorry, that's a Cake Stop answer, really! :ohmy:
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