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Old 02-06-06, 08:24 AM   #1
foxden
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I am planning on buying my wife a hybrid bike so she can join me on some of my rides. I was curious as to whether most women prefer the traditional female style or ride a mens bike. The wide range of frame sizes in the men's are more likely to provide a good fit as opposed to the only two sizes in the women's model, but I don't know how much difference it makes regarding the women's preference. My wife has ridden in years and is fit for a 50+ person, but she still is a 50+ person. Suggestions?

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Old 02-06-06, 08:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxden
I am planning on buying my wife a hybrid bike so she can join me on some of my rides. I was curious as to whether most women prefer the traditional female style or ride a mens bike. The wide range of frame sizes in the men's are more likely to provide a good fit as opposed to the only two sizes in the women's model, but I don't know how much difference it makes regarding the women's preference. My wife has ridden in years and is fit for a 50+ person, but she still is a 50+ person. Suggestions?
Don't get hung up on the womens frame. They are built differently, but that is to accomodate the shorter torso length and longer legs that is different to male frames. My wife tried both and finished up with a male frame in a size to suit her body length, and then raised the saddle to suit. Longer seat post was swopped at the shop and the Handlebar stem to give her a higher bar position. That was 12 years ago and the bike still fits, is still a good bike and is even suitable as a spare for me when I forget to service my bike.
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Old 02-06-06, 10:24 AM   #3
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Are you talking about a nixte frame?
Not to be confused with a Women Specific Design (WSD) frame?

I think the nixte frames were originally designed to accommodate skirts, if your wife is riding in shorts no need for a nixte.

The WSD is a way to draw more women into the sport by telling us the manufactures are thinking about you and your money. I think Stapfam explained that you have more options going with a traditional frame and getting it fit properly. Fit is the key, if the bike fits you are going to ride it more.

Personally, for me a traditional design is the way to go.
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Old 02-06-06, 12:18 PM   #4
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I am talking about a ladies step through design vs. the typical hybrid (slanting crossbar).
I wonder about the ease of getting on and off. I certainly don't imagine she'd be riding wearing a skirt or dress.
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Old 02-06-06, 01:39 PM   #5
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I am talking about a ladies step through design vs. the typical hybrid (slanting crossbar).
I wonder about the ease of getting on and off. I certainly don't imagine she'd be riding wearing a skirt or dress.
As mentioned by Taos women- Fit is the important thing. Getting off a male bike is not a problem with trousers or shorts. That fit is only to be felt by trying different bikes. There will literraly be one bike that your wife will sit on and that is the one to investigate.
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Old 02-06-06, 01:46 PM   #6
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I have heard that the WSD (women's specific design) frames are only really needed by short women (around 5'2" or shorter). Taller women can be fit into normal bikes (men's bikes) by adjusting the seat post and swapping out the handlebar stem to bring the handlebars back closer to the saddle.

I would avoid the mixte frames or step through frames. Who is going to ride a bike in skirts these days? Also the mixte frame is heavier than the diamond frame. I would also think that economies of scale (much larger production) of men's frames would make a comparable men's frame much cheaper than a mixte frame.
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Old 02-06-06, 05:31 PM   #7
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FWIW....my 58 year old wife loves her Giant Cypress women's "step through" frame. She prefers the step through mounting/dismounting when her large trunk bag is mounted on the rear rack.
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Old 02-06-06, 09:20 PM   #8
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Why don't you let your wife choose what SHE WANTS? It's nice that you want to buy her a bike, but, it has to fit her and be something she will ride. Both of you go to several bike shops and have her try several different styles. Age has nothing to do with it - I have a 74 year old woman friend who just bought a Trek 1000 road bike. I'm a 65 year old woman with an Orbea Onix road bike. Bike type preference and fit should be up to your wife.

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Old 02-07-06, 12:04 PM   #9
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I am not a controlling husband, but if I leave it totally to her she'd pick the cheapest one available. I have decided to involve her and get her to the shop and see what fits her best, etc.
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Old 02-07-06, 01:46 PM   #10
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Many women have longer legs and shorter torso and arms than an average male of identical height. As a result, some bike companies design hybrid bikes for women that bring the bars back an inch or two closer to the saddle, compared with a men's model for a man of that same height.

Many female riders find it more comfortable to ride with their pelvis upright, with their weight on their "sit bones", compared with riding with the pelvis tipped forward, which puts painful pressure on areas not designed to support weight. Having the bars as high as the saddle (or higher) allows riding with the pelvis more upright. Don't buy a bike that has the bars lower than the saddle unless the bars can be raised.

A first rate bike shop has staff who know how to fit a bike. After your wife visits two or three shops, and tries out a couple of bikes, she will know which bike feels most comfortable.
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Old 02-07-06, 07:29 PM   #11
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I'm a 50+ gal and just got back into biking a little more than a month ago. I'm overweight and out of shape and just bought my bike nearly a month ago. I had the same question. Not being in shape, I groaned at the thought of a man's frame and the pain (figuratively) getting on and off. I quickly decided not to be concerned with that feature of a bike, that there were other more important features (to me) that I wanted to be concerned with. In the end, I bought the Breezer Liberty, which has a slightly lower cross bar thing, which doesn't really make a difference in terms of ease. I have learned to lean the bike down somewhat which is much easier for me to get on the bike.

I bought the Liberty because of the lower than normal gearing, which enables me to stay on the bike as opposed to walking. I also love the handlebars of the Liberty, which gives me multiple positions for my hands. Like that flexibility. It's a very solid, smooth, very smooth, ride, with great tires too. I didn't like the hand position on a hybrid or the drops on a road bike, although I wouldn't have to use the drops, but the shifting is mostly near the drops so that was awkward for me (but that could also have been moved up, which was then kind of in the way). So, the Breezer handle bars and shifting placement was great.

From my research, I've been told that the WSD is geared toward petite women. I would never let a cross through model drive the bike features for me. Like I said, I'm not in shape, far from it, but there are more important features to look at than that feature, unless there's another reason she needs that feature.
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Old 02-08-06, 06:24 AM   #12
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Your wife's attitude toward biking could make a difference as to what she will accept. My wife doesn't like to ride very much, so by making everything as easy as possible, she will at least ride occasionally. She has a ladie's step-through frame, SIS shifting, an upright stem and handlebars, and a big fat gel seat. She also likes to be able to put her feet down when she stops, so the frame is pretty small. It may not fit the way the bike shop recommends, but she likes it and that's what's important.
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Old 02-08-06, 09:26 PM   #13
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My wife's first adult bike was a Trek hybrid, it lasted two weeks. She was peddling hard trying to keep up with my easy coasting speed. The dealer gave us a full refund toward a road bike. Now she's on her 4th bike, a Trek WSD 5200. A grandmother, age 62, she will ride with me up to 65 miles. Haven't been able to talk her into doing the Hotter'n Hell Hundred century with me, yet.

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Old 02-09-06, 11:36 PM   #14
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Any guy that's ever bounced off his seat and hit the top tube can tell you that a step through frame is REALLY a guy's bike !!!
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Old 02-13-06, 09:45 AM   #15
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Thanks for the advice, I can bring closure to this thread. I took her to shop and she choose a step through Raleigh Passage 5.0 It has all the bells and whistles any hybrid could have, including disc brakes. I think the comfort provided by the seat and front shocks ought to help her gain confidence riding with me. She is excited about it so now we will do a few paved trails (traffic intimidates her) and see how that goes.
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Old 02-14-06, 03:42 AM   #16
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Yeah! If you are serious about getting her something good to ride then take her to a place that will properly fit her to a frame, introduce her to the sales person, then get the hell out of the way. She will not be able to blame you for any pain or soreness that will come with all new riders.
Driving a car, folding sails, or decorating your home are all activities that I presume that you would naturally stay away from, but cycling is in the same class. Let her make the decision and not feel overwhelmed by your superior bikeological intellect...
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Old 02-14-06, 08:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanster04
She will not be able to blame you for any pain or soreness that will come with all new riders.
...

Where does it say that in the owner's manual?
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Old 02-14-06, 11:52 AM   #18
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Where does it say that in the owner's manual?
LOL
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Old 02-14-06, 01:54 PM   #19
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Where does it say that in the owner's manual?
Well it doesn't does it! It just prevents the guilt on the guy's side...unless you were brought up Catholic.
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