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Woman and men's bikes?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Kovu, 11 Sep 2007.

  1. Kovu

    Kovu Über Member

    Okay so another Kovu question: Whats the difference between the women and men's road bikes?

    cheers for help!
     
  2. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    Does one have a willy:biggrin:
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Kovu

    Kovu Über Member


    :blush: not that I can see. I cant see any differences!
     
  4. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Basically, the colour.

    A man and women of similar proportions will need a bike of similar dimensions. Having said that, there are enough general trends in the relative sizes of various parts of a man and women for manufactures to claim that they can make frames that beter suit one or the other.

    But a decent bike fitting service will fit you to whatever frame is appropriate. Mrs TB fits regular frames okay. But Paul Hewit has made 24 inch wheeled frames for some women if that is what their sizing requires. But a bloke of the same size and proportions would also need one of these!

    However Mrs TB does prefer the Deda short reach 'female' bars, but hates the patronising, cynical 'women specific' marketing blurb that most manufactures come out with.

    Again saddles are often marketed as being male and female, but members of each sex have arses of such wildly different sizes that restricting your choice to what some marketing department has decided is 'for you', might exclude your perfect seat from your search.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Kovu

    Kovu Über Member

    Thank you very much Andy and Tim.

    I think I see what you mean. So do i need to go for the WSB? Obivously I am female and i'm around 5 ft 8/9 and a few women bikes I have seen latley do seem to be for shorter people?
     
  6. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    I can't recommend strongly enough getting a proper bike fitting. At your height, there is no reason why most bikes shouldn't fit you. But height is only one dimension and someone in a bike shop who really knows their stuff will only let you choose from those bikes that will fit. That might include some from a WSD range or not. They should all be prepared to swap bars, stems and cranks for you to get something that works.

    If you are in the north and are after a road bike, then shopping at Hewitts will show you quite how much care is needed is getting the fit right for both men and women. Too many places just say 'take it round the car park and see how it feels' and as a result loads of people put up with bikes that give them gipp after any sort of distance.
     
  7. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    Location:
    middle of Norfolk
    At your height, I seriously doubt it. I'm five-seven & don't need a WSB. The only female-specific thing about my bikes are the saddles, as Terry Liberator saddles cocoon my nether regions in a heavenly cloud of supportive bliss :blush:
     
  8. What Wafflycat said... the main thing is the contact points. Finding a saddle that works can take years!

    I'm 5'5" and my road bike is a 50cm compact frame, although in the past I've had a 51cm. My tourer is 49cm compact frame, none of them WSD. Women tend to have shorter bodies and longer legs so run more seat tube and a have shorter reach, which is why I suppose compact frames work well. Proper WSD only makes a difference if you're really short (ie under 5'2").
     
  9. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    Location:
    Solihull
    i think the shorter top tube (so you don't reach so far to the handle bars) is one of the main characteristics, although all the WSD one's i've seen seem to be for midgets! i'm 6ft so it's a man's bike for me.
     
  10. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

    One of the problems s the way bikes are manufactured - most are welded on the same pattern, with the only difference being the position of the to tube.

    The distance between handlebars and seat is the same in both mens and womens designs.

    In a "true" WSD these dimensions are changed to fit the different shape of women.

    The only way to choose a bike though is to ride it and ensureit fits you.
     
  11. Blonde

    Blonde New Member

    Location:
    Bury, Lancashire
    I am five foot eight and dont need WSD particularly, but because my leg length is longer (and therefore my torso and arm length is shorter) than many men of the same height, I do benefit from having a shorter top tube and/or longer head tube than is common on modern men's racing bikes, otherwise my position on the bike is too stretched out and/or too low.
     
  12. johnr

    johnr Über Member

    My partner is about your size. She got a small Specialized Dolce in the sales: fits her perfectly. Does reinforce her Nicole Cook tendencies, however, which is tiring for me.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Kovu

    Kovu Über Member

    hahaha. thanks everyone. Its a time yet until i'll buy it, but i am just researching round a bit for one. it'll be the first bike i have bought myself and I want to just know background info first.
     
  14. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    Same here, although I really struggle to find a men's bike where the reach isn't too long...