Women Specific Designs (WSD)

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Krypton, 27 Jul 2007.

  1. Krypton

    Krypton New Member


    I've seen a lot of WSD bikes appearing in mag/ads/etc. over the past couple of years - are they really all that different?

    If so, what's different about them?
  2. Yer Maw Mate Yer Maw

    Yer Maw Mate Yer Maw New Member

    Glasga Mate
    Ach well I am no expert myself like ken and I am not a female but I don't really think much is all that different, women have been rideing bikes (mens bikes?) for a long time, is it not just all about the set up and getting the fit and you can only get that once your on the bike and set it up yourself.

    Sorry but I think its a lot of rubbish a bike is a bike if you get the right frame size you take it from there like male riders do, men/women its the same we have 2 legs 2 arms no ?

    Don't want to sound a bit off but I just se it as marketing tripe.
  3. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    Slightly altered geometry, sometimes smaller wheels to avoid toe-overlap in the smaller frame sizes, shorter stem, narrower bars, STI levers shimmed closer in to the bars, girly spec saddles. Oh and usually in pink or baby blue...:thumbsup:
    Standard frames will fit (like Baggy's Pearson Audax) but the kit has to be carefully chosen. And female riders are a growing market segment, not all of them will be confident enough to buy a 'blokes' bike and then tinker (expensively) with it, so why not provide bikes geared to what they want? There's a hint of 'marketing tripe' in the mix but it's not the whole story.
  4. Yer Maw Mate Yer Maw

    Yer Maw Mate Yer Maw New Member

    Glasga Mate
    Yeah true Chuffy but there can be a females and males that are build in the same way and there can be female/male that are very different in build.

    It depends on how your build is, so I am saying just get a bike you like at the right size frame and take it from there.

    But yes for some individual women a WSD bike is a good way to go maybe.
  5. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    Women are built slightly different to men (thank goodness) and as such need the differences, as mentioned by Chuffy, to ensure they also get the most comfortable ride as possible. Even men debate and argue about moving seats, handle bars, etc. just a few mm's to stop aches and pains, so making a bike that gets rid of some of those problems for women seems to make sense to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. punkypossum

    punkypossum Donut Devil

    I think they are mainly for short people - haven't found a WSD bike that fit me so far, but a lot of people seem to love them...

    Trek website explains some of the differences (I did have a better article on this somewhere, but seem to have lost it...)

  7. Big T

    Big T Veteran

    Women tend to have longer legs and shorter bodies for their height (in comparison to men), so WSD bikes have shorter top tubes so that you're not stretched out.
  8. gavintc

    gavintc Guru

    My wife just put a shorter stem on a normal bike. But she fits a 55cm bike, so getting a smaller frame size was not a driving factor. Some of the WSD framed bikes are smaller than the male equivalent bike.
  9. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest


    This is the key word - specific

    Most "Women's bikes" are mass produced with the same jig as the men's bikes, simply inserting an alternative crossbar.

    Specific designs cater for the geometry required for the reasons above.
  10. rustychisel

    rustychisel Well-Known Member

    exactly as said by Chuffy, and often with appalling fuschia graphics or summat spray painted on, but why oh why are they 30% more expensive than mens model on average. That's obnoxious, and wrong.
  11. Blonde

    Blonde New Member

    Bury, Lancashire
    If you're going custom anyway, you don't need WSD, obviously. They are just a cheap way of making a mass smarket off the peg bike available to some shorter women. If you are 5 ft 7 plus, you are less likely to benefit greatly from one, but it will depend on the specific geometry of the bike you are trying - as with any person, male or female, as everyone is different in their build, riding position and preferences anyway. It's best to sit on and test ride any bikes you are interested in, regardless of whether thay are WSD or not and go from there.
  12. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    I'm of the female persuasion (I checked in the mirror to be sure), and I do not require 'women specific' bike. I do, however, require a 'women specific' *saddle*. For me, it has to be a Terry saddle to give comfort to my err... delicate parts
  13. Intelligenthamster

    Intelligenthamster Über Member

    On the Wheel
    I'm female, short and have small hands, so I find "Wimmins" bikes actually are the best fit for me. A man's 17inch frame has slightly too long a reach and reaching the brakes can be a real pig.

    But I really hate those dropped top tubes. Who rides in skirts nowadays? I have always mounted a bike by swinging my leg over the rear wheel, so the crossbar can be on the top without bothering me.

    I'm not fond of the colours either- sky blue (I refuse to call it baby blue) isn't too bad, but pink- bleeeuuurghhh ;). No offence if you like pink, but it just never has been me! I have a black hybrid and a white roadie, the other colour option for the roadie was pinkish-lilac.

    That said, my new MTB (on order) is a sky blue one, it only comes in the one colour and is a lovely bike- a few goes at the trails and it will be muddy anyway :biggrin:.
  14. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    They can be useful for people of either sex, who have less hip mobility than is required for the leg-over-the-saddle mount...

    I was once locking my (men's frame) tourer up in town, and a little old guy came up and said "Is that your bike?"


    "Can I ask you something?"


    "How do you manage...." Then he went bright pink, realising he was about to ask how I managed to get my leg over...
  15. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    <insert obligatory Patrick Stevens reference here> :rolleyes:
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