Lemond "Alpe d'Huez," several X-marts, and two Trek hybrids
How to tell women's frame from men's frame?
I was wondering if there is a quick, sure-fire visual method to tell apart men's geometry from women's geometry. Because right now, I am having a difficult time discerning the two. This is for the modern bicycles, which have very similar top tube lengths and angles. The difference is quite subtle, yet I don't know if there's a quick way to tell.
It's pretty tough if actually just looking at a frame, as the actual geometry differences are subtle, and what's called a "woman's bike" varies. Generally top tube length, seat tube angle and HT angle are what change. Trek and Cannondale's WSD bikes all have a different color scheme from their non-WSD versions so you could tell if you had the color schemes memorized. Also size extremes can be telling; if it's smaller than 50cm it's more likely to be a women's geometry and bigger than 58 unlikely to be so. Between 50 and 56 though it's a tossup.
When looking at a complete bike, assuming there's no obvious sticker or decal saying it's a women's geometry, look at the setup: did they put wider or narrower handlebars, shorter-reach brake levers, saddle choice.
Women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos than a similar height man. Because of this woman's geometry bikes have short top tubes compared to their seat tube. That's about the only difference other than color and the fact that woman's bikes tend to be smaller sizes. Honestly, I wouldn't worry which is which, just get a bike that fits your body...and a color you can live with.
Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(
Trek Mountaineer modified with a NuVinci; Montegue Paratrooper folding mountain bike; Greenspeed recumbent; Surly Big Dummy with Stokemonkey
Men and women have different body proportions. However, they are generalities. My legs are longer in proportion to my torso than the average man's, and my hips are broader in relation to my shoulders. (No, I'm not a hermamphrodite, or any thing like it; it isn't that extreme. But in jiujitsu, they find it harder to throw me because my center of gravity is lower than normal.)