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  1. #1
    Junior Member eCobbcx's Avatar
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    What's the difference between Men/Women bike frames?

    . . . other than the obvious. Why can't a guy ride a women's bike and viceversa?

    JC

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    Troublemaker Berg417448's Avatar
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    A guy can ride a womens' bike if he wants. Lots of women ride "men's" bikes. Just ride what fits you best.

    Some manufacturers make what they call WSD (Women Specific Designs)

    Example: http://www.trekbikes.com/women/wsd_p...sd_difference/

  3. #3
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    You're talking about step-through vs. diamond frames? Or about the WSD bikes that look the same as ordinary men's bikes?

    In either case, ride whatever fits and suits the kind of riding you want to do.

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    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    It is socially acceptable for a woman to ride a man's bike or a woman's bike. Just like women can wear skirts or pants. But it isn't socially acceptable for a man to wear a skirt in public. There's no law against it, but it is frowned upon socially.

    Now for the real answer... Typically if a woman and a man were of the same height, the woman would have longer legs and a shorter torso. So, women's bikes are made to reflect this. The same size seat tube will have a shorter top tube. Also, the handlebars are often narrower and they use shorter reach brake levers.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berg417448 View Post
    A guy can ride a womens' bike if he wants. Lots of women ride "men's" bikes. Just ride what fits you best.

    Some manufacturers make what they call WSD (Women Specific Designs)

    Example: http://www.trekbikes.com/women/wsd_p...sd_difference/
    According to that page, "Shorter crank arms improve leverage for a more efficient pedal stroke." How the heck does a shorter crank lead to improved leverage?

  6. #6
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Wife has a small mens bike and likes it very much. Then got the WSD Pilot and loves it! Short reach levers, shorter cranks, and nice reach on the toptube. More of a sloping toptube for more clearance.

    She did 2,000 a year. With the WSD, she's been doing 3,000 2 consecutive years, and this year maybe 3500.

    I don't see why a guy wouldn't ride a WSD like hers. I have friends on full on race machines that struggle to keep up with her. If it were my size, I'd ride it!


  7. #7
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuChu View Post
    According to that page, "Shorter crank arms improve leverage for a more efficient pedal stroke." How the heck does a shorter crank lead to improved leverage?
    The only thing I can think of is that if your cranks are too long for your legs, you will bend your knee too much. When this happens, you don't have much power until your leg becomes more extended. But, since women have longer legs than men, wouldn't it be better to have longer cranks? Maybe Trek thinks because women are not as strong as men, they need shorter cranks so that they can spin faster instead of mashing. Shorter cranks promote higher cadence.

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    If you look at cheap Wallyworld bikes, the women's frames are generally smaller than the men's frames. And the frames all tend towards the small side anyway, so it's sort of a double whammy there.

    New prices on men's and women's frames are usually about the same, but men's frames sell better used. At least on old cruisers, they do.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

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    A lot of women have trouble getting good leverage on brake levers with their tiny hands.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Sweet Lou: It is socially acceptable for a male to weart skirt/dress-like garments in some parts of the world; Scots (kilts) and some Greeks wear a skirt-like garment. And in many Arab/Moorish countries men wear what we could call a ankle-length dress (burnoose).

    Many parts of Europe you'll find men riding mixte frames, especially for commuting.

  11. #11
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    A kilt is not a skirt. A kilt is a male garmet. I wear a kilt at times. But that was meant as a joke. That is why I said, "Now, for the real answer."

  12. #12
    Junior Member eCobbcx's Avatar
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    The reason for my inquiry is that I picked up a Crisscross at a good price at a garage sale this weekend and was trying to decide if there was a reason I shouldn't ride it myself rather than giving it to my daughter, who already has a bike, but not as nice.


    JC

  13. #13
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    A bike owned/ridden by a man is a man's bike and a bike owned/ridden by a woman is a woman's bike.
    If you ride that Crisscross then it absolutely is a man's bike. With a step-thru frame.
    If that were a WSD bike, things would be a bit complicated.

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    The only thing I can think of is that if your cranks are too long for your legs, you will bend your knee too much. When this happens, you don't have much power until your leg becomes more extended. But, since women have longer legs than men, wouldn't it be better to have longer cranks? Maybe Trek thinks because women are not as strong as men, they need shorter cranks so that they can spin faster instead of mashing. Shorter cranks promote higher cadence.
    Having been married to a pixie for eons, I've have plenty of scars from the fit fight The issue with longer cranks for small persons is that their knees are pushed higher at the top of the stroke than a 'normal' person would experience. Their knee is bent at a pretty sever angle compared to the 'normal' person. The best angle for leverage off the top dead center of the stroke is 90 degrees. But the small person's knee is at less than 90 degrees. They are having to push more with their calves and less with their quads. To reach the proper leverage, they have to move further down the stroke, well into the power curve. It's similar to riding with a saddle that too low.

    You could move the saddle higher to get the proper angle at the top of the stroke but now they'd have to rock their hips to reach the bottom of the stroke...not a good thing. It pulls all kinds of muscles in odd ways that results in painful riding. And scrubbing your nether regions on a saddle that is too tall all day results in other kinds of pain that result in no lovin'...for days
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  15. #15
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    A true woman's frame tends to be tall but short, as woman typically have longer legs for their height then men do.

    As for step through frames, those go back to Victorian times and for the "proper" way a lady is to mount a bicycle. Step through's have NOTHING to do with anatomy.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  16. #16
    No I'm Not a Pirate! Bionicycle's Avatar
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    That’s funny… I couldn’t figure out what had happened to my post, but then I realized where I had posted was the same thread in Classic & Vintage…

    Anyway I still ride a Mixte and a U-frame Step Through. Like others have said, if you are comfortable riding it, and it fits you, and it rides well; what’s the big deal? I see a lot of men riding step throughs around town, and on the local MUP

    Some day all this Male vs. Female bike stuff will be just a distant memory, if the bike companies ever wise up and drop it. I understand the WSD thing, but the step through frame is a whole different subject… From what I have read, most people in Europe consider a U-frame to be a Unisex frame City bike.

    I know a few older guys that would be more likely to ride a bike if it wasn't for the stigma of riding a step through frame... as we get older, or like me with bad hips, the fun in throwing a leg over a seat, or over a high center bar, sounds less and less fun. So myself instead of not riding at all, I ride a step through
    A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river.

  17. #17
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    I think mos peopel think about a "steptrough" if they hear somebody say ladiesbike.

    Most peopel who know more about bikes know that this is more about bike geometry.

    Also many women who does not ride alot like the upright ridingposition, a lot of the steptrough frames is built like this, but also a lot of them can be customized to what you want.

    A mixte is a typical steptrough that is not nesesary a womans bike. With "north road" type bars and shorter stem it is a totally different bike to ride than with drop bars or maybe flat bars with a longer (forward stretcing) stem.

    A lot of the utility bikes has got low toptube or steptrough frames. If you want to mount a bike with a childs seat & a child on it (or several sixpacks of beer for that matter) without loosing your cargo you really want a steptrough.

    When riding on ice, trying to exercise your dog, the dog is pulling and your studded tyres is not brand new you really want a steptrough.

    A lot of men use what we would all skirts. Billions of peopel in Asia use it. There is lots and lots of steptrough frames in Asia.

    Ride your bike,it is the smartest way to construct a bike in my opinion, expect for the mixtes.. My son always want to ride my mixtes. He call all high toptube bikes "nutcrackers". Smart kid.

  18. #18
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    So who is supposed to ride these? Men or Women?

    Aaron

    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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  19. #19
    Junior Member eCobbcx's Avatar
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    Bionicycle- Yes I posted first there and realized maybe it was a little OT for that forum so posted here. Then couldn't find a way to delete the original (as is possible on most other forums).

    Oh well, I'm getting twice the feedback!

    JC

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuChu View Post
    According to that page, "Shorter crank arms improve leverage for a more efficient pedal stroke." How the heck does a shorter crank lead to improved leverage?
    Don't confuse "improved" with "increased." For some riders, a shorter crank arm with less leverage is an improvement.

  21. #21
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    So who is supposed to ride these? Men or Women?

    Aaron

    dutch people

  22. #22
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    If I wanted to ride with a basket most of the time (which is incredibly handy, BTW), I'd use a "women's"/step-thru/mixte/etc bike. Either that or I'd learn to swing my leg over the handlebars Rockette-style.

  23. #23
    No I'm Not a Pirate! Bionicycle's Avatar
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    Here is a picture of my favorite Mixte bicycle... I don't think it looks like a "woman's" bike, but I could just be bias... It really doesn't look like a "woman's" bike with my big 6' 270lbs, fugly self riding it

    A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river.

  24. #24
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    So who is supposed to ride these? Men or Women?

    Aaron

    Anything that looks strange peopel tend to call it Dutch.

    In this area (Europe) it is sold by somebody who is specialised in bikes for disabeled. Should be nice for older peopel also. It is good for them to ride for as long as possible.

    I`we noty seen them in normal bikestores, at least not yet.

  25. #25
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmother View Post
    Anything that looks strange peopel tend to call it Dutch.

    In this area (Europe) it is sold by somebody who is specialised in bikes for disabeled. Should be nice for older peopel also. It is good for them to ride for as long as possible.

    I`we noty seen them in normal bikestores, at least not yet.

    I have seen them in a couple of stores in the USA. But they aren't what I would consider widely available.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

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