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  1. #1
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    any men riding WSD?

    Are there any men here riding a WSD road bike? At 5'6" (barely) with a cycling inseam of 32.25" I feel too stretched out in my current cockpit (52cm Specialized comp with an 80mm stem @ +7 degrees). While getting (re)fit at the LBS, they sized me down to a 49cm Specialized comp; alternatively, I could go custom or go WSD.

    I like compact geometries; I can't afford custom; the WSD-Specialized (Ruby) actually felt better than the "men's" 49 cm Specialized Comp and Roubaix (in part due to short-reach handlebars and brifter proximity, though these can easily be swapped in/out). Orbea is another option, and the visual differences between the "men's" and "women's" is not as marked as with the Specialized frames. BTW, the LBS has even proportions of men's/women's bikes, and all are current stock, so I don't feel they're simply trying to dump old stock on me; selling a WSD for a guy, however, would be a first for them!!!

    So again, any men here with less "testosterone-driven" proportions riding/considering WSD?

  2. #2
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    I wish I could help you here but I just wanted to comment.

    I am 5'5" with a 30" inseam and I was told I was too big for the WSD bikes. Even though they make large size WSDs somehow I wasn't fitting. The men's bikes were too big. I ended having to get a custom with compact geometry.

    I would say to get what is most comfortable for YOU. YOU are the one who is going to be riding it. The comfort is what matters. If it fits and feels good, get it.

    Good luck to you and I hope you find a bike that fits.

  3. #3
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    Just remove the "offensive" decals and no one will be the wiser, unless you buy it in pink


    And welcome to BF

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siu Blue Wind
    I wish I could help you here but I just wanted to comment.

    I am 5'5" with a 30" inseam and I was told I was too big for the WSD bikes. Even though they make large size WSDs somehow I wasn't fitting. The men's bikes were too big. I ended having to get a custom with compact geometry.

    I would say to get what is most comfortable for YOU. YOU are the one who is going to be riding it. The comfort is what matters. If it fits and feels good, get it.

    Good luck to you and I hope you find a bike that fits.
    I think I hate you, Siu. I'm 5'6" and have a 25" inseam. Try to find a bike or pair of pants off the rack that will fit those dimensions.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  5. #5
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal
    I think I hate you, Siu. I'm 5'6" and have a 25" inseam. Try to find a bike or pair of pants off the rack that will fit those dimensions.
    A sewing machine that hems is less expensive than a custom built frame.

  6. #6
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    OK, the obvious question...
    Why is a male riding a WSD.

    Does the WS not stand for Woman Specific?

  7. #7
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit, eh?

  8. #8
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey
    Reading comprehension isn't your strong suit, eh?


    I just find it hard to believe that he can't find a frame that isn't W.S.
    It isn't as if a male that's 5'6" is in the 99th percentile for shortness.

  9. #9
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    It's all about porportions. As a rule. a woman at X height will have longer legs and shorter torso where a man will have shorter legs and a longer torso.

    OP states he's 5'6" with a 32.25" inseam. That makes for a real short torso. As he further states a traditionaly proportioned frame has too long of a cockpit with a proper seat tube fit.

    A 'WSD' frame would be ideal.

    To OP, ride what fits at a price point you can afford. If someone else has issues with what you ride, fark 'em and keep riding!

  10. #10
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    If it fits you better I say go for it.

  11. #11
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    OK, the obvious question...
    Why is a male riding a WSD.

    Does the WS not stand for Woman Specific?
    Besides the excellent explanation Stacey gave, WSD can also have smaller brake levers, and a shorter travel distance for the levers, due to women generally having smaller hands.

    So, there are certainly times when a man may get a better fit with a WSD bike better than a 'man's' bike.

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  12. #12
    Seņor Miembro JustBrowsing's Avatar
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    You can always wedge a wrapping paper tube or something in place of the top tube if it really bothers you.
    Hey! Get your mouse off my text!

  13. #13
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Even with compact frames, eh?

    And I thought I had it bad at the other end of the scale.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Buglady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustBrowsing
    You can always wedge a wrapping paper tube or something in place of the top tube if it really bothers you.
    Do they even still make "women's" frames without the top tube? I've seen it in the cruiser styles, but not in road or mountain bike (or hybrid) for many, many years. My understanding is that the women's frames nowadays are more about proportion than anything else.

    That said, I ride men's frames and adjust the handlebar reach with different stems, because I'm 5'9" with a 33" inseam (the same as my Dad who is 6'1"), and I don't think they make WSD frames that tall! Brake levers can be a problem though.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the replies so far!!!

    Yes, I know, I am still confounded by not finding a suitable frame for me, compact or traditional. I originally rode (and was fitted to) a Trek 1500 54 cm, which I thought was fine...the back/neck/shoulder pains were all part of cycling, right? Then I got a more aggressive frame for racing (the Specialized Comp) for which I was fitted on a 52 cm. Immediately I felt much more comfortable, with less over-reach in the cockpit (after switching out the stem to 80mm). At this point, I KNEW the Trek was too big...however, while getting ready for an MS-150, I thought about using the Trek, but as soon as I got onto it, it felt absolutely horrible, and was convinced the smaller Comp was better.

    However, though the Comp fits better, I feel it is still abit long in the cockpit reach. When I was getting (re)fit (at a shop different from where I bought either the Trek or Specialized), the fitter watched my pedaling form in both the hoods and drops and asked if a felt abit stretched out--Yes. The Comp has been tweaked as much as possible to shorten the cockpit, including a zero-setback, which is actually aggravating to my knees. I was then put on the smaller frames, and again my form was observed, and the consensus was I should go smaller. Of course, actually riding them would be key, but the problems of my current bike are not immediately obvious, until a few miles out (though this experienced bike fitter immediately spotted some over-reach).

    So yes, I too am confounded by my bike-fit issues. My pedaling form is appropriate, so my poor bike-fit (I don't think, nor does the bike-fitter) is not a product of poor core strength/flexibility. I know there a is fine line between riding small and riding too small, so I was simply wondering how others have gotten around this issue, i.e. small frame, custom, or WSD, or simply be miserable on the bike (and not ride-or race-to your full potential).

    Thanks again.

  16. #16
    Conservative Hippie
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    A girl's bike!?

    Seriously though, if I were in the market for a bike, and I found a WSD that I liked and that fit me. I would get it.

    The fit is what really matters.

  17. #17
    cycles per second Gonzo Bob's Avatar
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    FWIW, I'm 5'8" with 33.5" inseam. When I bought my bike, most shops wanted to put me on a 53 or 54 based on my height. But the issue I had with bikes that small was too much drop to the handlebars and seat posts that would not go high enough (but this was back in the day when most seat posts were only 200mm). I ended up getting a 56 with a 56cm top tube and a 100mm stem.

    I guess if smaller and/or WSD fits you better, go with it, but 49 seems a bit small to me and something doesn't sound right. Do you have really short arms? How are you sitting on the saddle? Do you sit upright and then bend your back or do you lean forward and keep a straighter back?

    Anyway, since you have long legs a need a short cockpit, beware of banging your knees on the back of the handlebars when standing to climb. You may not be able to test this in the shop on a fit bike or a trainer so try to get out on the street to test before signing off on the fit. If you have the cockpit distance set for comfortable seated riding but you bang your knees on the back of the handlebars when standing on a climb, you might look for frames with slightly steeper seat tube angles. This will give your legs more room (if two bikes are set up with the same cockpit distance, the one with the steeper seat tube angle will have the bottom bracket further back). I went with a frame with a 74 deg seat tube angle for this reason.
    Last edited by Gonzo Bob; 06-29-07 at 09:35 PM.

  18. #18
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    Again, thanks for the replies, advice, and (healthy) skepticism regarding bike fit. Believe me, I know it sounds screwy to ride this small (BTW, a Specialized Allez 49cm is often the previous year's 50cm frame...the 50cm, however, may 'sound' bigger). Based on appearances, it wouldn't seem difficult to fit a bike...but after crunching the numbers, taking some cues from the (Lennard) Zinn fit methods, getting (re)fit at the LBS...the smaller frames seem to work better.

    I am a 'drops' rider (maybe partly to compensate for reach???) and yeah, I've taken into account steeper seat tube angles in pure road geometry bikes--I don't have any knee-handlebar issues. The 52cm Comp is default at 74, while the 49cm is default at 75.5.

    One issue is that I currently ride with my knees slightly behind the crank-arms which, with the complementary saddle position centers my pelvis away from the H-bars. Although the smaller frame has a steeper seat-tube angle, the difference in effective Top-tube between a 52 and 50cm Comp or 52cm Comp and a WSD is greater than the difference in pushing my saddle back to (artificially) restore the seat-tube angle to 74 degrees (i.e., even by pushing the saddle further back, I still get a shorter cockpit). This was an issue at the LBS bike-fit, as a set-forward seatpost (artificially creating steeper seat-tube angle) was considered to reduce the cockpit length; however, a set-forward position was aggravating to the knees

  19. #19
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Hill
    Besides the excellent explanation Stacey gave, WSD can also have smaller brake levers, and a shorter travel distance for the levers, due to women generally having smaller hands.

    So, there are certainly times when a man may get a better fit with a WSD bike better than a 'man's' bike.

    East Hill
    Being 5'6" with a 29" inseam- I have looked at WSD bikes and nearly got one. Luckily- Compact frames fit me OK.
    Even then I still have to go for a small frame and the Giant is a 42cm (XS) frame. Only change I had to make on this mans frame was to raise the stem, but as this was my first road bike- I did not fancy riding with me head between my knees after 16 years of MTB's
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