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Old 03-09-10, 06:30 AM   #1
ontheroadagain
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Women's bike for a man?

Hi
I wonder if anyone has experience with sizing and type of a woman's bike for a man. I was in Amsterdam and got real used to riding a woman's bike, have back issues and the ease in getting off, sitting upright, ect was really what I need.

I am a 5' 10" with a 30" inseam. I really prefer suspension, fenders, ect.
Any advice on what size and type would be greatly appreciated.
I unfortunately cannot get to a bike shop often, so if there are success stories out there, please let me know.

My price range is $200 max and I am happy to buy used.
Thank you for your time.
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Old 03-09-10, 08:48 AM   #2
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The only way to know if a bike fits is to try it. Any good bike store will have enough selection for you to try just about all sizes in your range.

:)ensen.
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Old 03-09-10, 10:15 AM   #3
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I don't know exactly what you mean by a "woman's" bike. I have heard the term used 2 different ways. The first way was the old mixte frame which did not have the top tube so women could ride the bike whilst wearing a skirt or a dress.

Other women's bikes are made for a woman's dimensions. Women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos than men. Usually a woman can get away with getting a man's bike fitting them by changing the stem for a shorter one. However, really short women (around 5') often can only get a good fit with a bike made for their proportions.

From the sounds of it, you were riding a mixte frame. Ironically enough, this "woman's" bike are typically made for men's proportions.
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Old 03-09-10, 11:02 AM   #4
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At $200 you should look on craigslist for something like the Giant Cypress
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Old 03-09-10, 11:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ontheroadagain View Post
Hi
I wonder if anyone has experience with sizing and type of a woman's bike for a man. I was in Amsterdam and got real used to riding a woman's bike, have back issues and the ease in getting off, sitting upright, ect was really what I need.

I am a 5' 10" with a 30" inseam. I really prefer suspension, fenders, ect.
Any advice on what size and type would be greatly appreciated.
I unfortunately cannot get to a bike shop often, so if there are success stories out there, please let me know.

My price range is $200 max and I am happy to buy used.
Thank you for your time.
Since you wrote of Amsterdam, I’m going to assume that you are talking about a “Step Through” type frame, as being a “Woman’s bike”. A man riding a step through frame in Europe seems to be much more acceptable than it is here in the U.S.A for some reason. If your budget is $ 200, than your best bet is used, or I hate to say it Box Store type bike. Personally I would look for a used step through, you can get a really good one fairly cheap.

I’m 6 feet tall with about a 32 inch inseam, and I have had major hip joint problems… so I’ve found myself enjoying the benefits of a step through frame bike for a while now. I personally have found that any step through frame with around a 19-20 inch seat tube length and an upright seating position is plenty roomy enough for me to be comfortable on.

Of course it varies from frame style, to frame style. Unlike Diamond frame bikes, there are at least 6 very different types of step through frames that I can think of right off the top of my head, and each one has a very different feel, and very different geometry.

My favorite right now is a Fuji Mixte that I have; which from all accounts of information I can find, the Mixte was meant to be a Unisex bicycle from the beginning anyway… It has a 19 inch seat tube, and I feel quite comfortable with a very upright seating position. My second favorite is a U-frame bike that I have with a 20 inch (seat tube) aluminum frame, and is set up as a single speed cruiser.

I’ve personally noticed a trend over the last 5 years or so, of many more Men riding step through frame bicycles. It’s a shame that the bicycle manufactures haven’t seemed to notice this as well, and came out with a man specific step through frame, but I guess old dogma dies hard. There really are some great advantages with step through frames, if you aren’t racing.
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Old 03-09-10, 04:02 PM   #6
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5' 10" and 30" inseam means that you will have a problem on conventional sizing. I am 5'6" and 30" inseam and I have a problem with a conventional bike. I use what is termed a "Compact" Frame in that the top tube slopes down considerably. (See Attachments)

I ride Mountain and road bikes and the compact works for me on both but the Mountain bike gives me an upright stance and the road bike is a long stretched out position. I do find the road bike better for my back as it takes strain off the vertebrae.

BUT if you want an upright position on a bike- then the thing to do is test ride some bikes. Test out the different sizes at a good Local Bike Shop (LBS) and they can advise on raising saddles and bars to suit if necessary. But I Would suggest checking out a road bike aswell to see if that helps the back.
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Old 03-09-10, 08:30 PM   #7
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I'm 5'5' and I find that I can only ride the Trek WSD bikes because they have a sloping top bar that gives me safe clearance over the top bar (standover of 66cm or less). I need the 650 wheels too.

Like women's shoes, I've learned to ignore gender labels and go for fit and comfort. After it's got to fit me in comfort.
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Old 03-09-10, 08:39 PM   #8
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dude, just test ride some bikes. im sure you can find something with the WSD designation
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Old 03-10-10, 07:20 AM   #9
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measuring is the same. center of crank to top of seat tube. I've considered this myself. the older I get, the less limber I get.

I also joke about weight training: "I can't lift the weight I lift" ~ meaning: it's tricky getting the big weights onto the bench press bar even though I have no trouble benching that weight!
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Old 03-10-10, 01:25 PM   #10
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Who would ever know or care that it's a "woman's bike"? Does it say "Girls only" on the downtube or something? I rode "women's" saddles for years before I discovered Brooks, and they worked fine. If you find a frame that fits and feels good, buy it.
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Old 03-10-10, 01:40 PM   #11
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The woman specific bikes (WSD) will not help you. They are built with womans geometry in mind in that in proportion- They have longer legs and shorter torsos than men. You have short legs and a long torso.

Compact frames may help-- if you still need the upright position- By going to a fractionally smaller frame than your size would suggest- and then fitting a long seat post and a shorter bar stem with a lot of rise to it. This will in effect shorten the bike to fit your requirements- but I would still suggest you go to a good LBS and get their advice and experience. Finding the LBS to suit you will be the problem.
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Old 03-10-10, 02:22 PM   #12
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I thought he wanted it cuz it would be easier to get on and off
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Old 03-10-10, 03:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroadagain View Post
Hi
I wonder if anyone has experience with sizing and type of a woman's bike for a man. I was in Amsterdam and got real used to riding a woman's bike, have back issues and the ease in getting off, sitting upright, ect was really what I need.

I am a 5' 10" with a 30" inseam. I really prefer suspension, fenders, ect.
Any advice on what size and type would be greatly appreciated.
I unfortunately cannot get to a bike shop often, so if there are success stories out there, please let me know.

My price range is $200 max and I am happy to buy used.
Thank you for your time.
^^^^^^^ I thought he was looking for a step through frame type bike.
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Old 03-10-10, 08:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroadagain View Post
Hi
I wonder if anyone has experience with sizing and type of a woman's bike for a man. I was in Amsterdam and got real used to riding a woman's bike, have back issues and the ease in getting off, sitting upright, ect was really what I need.

I am a 5' 10" with a 30" inseam. I really prefer suspension, fenders, ect.
Any advice on what size and type would be greatly appreciated.
I unfortunately cannot get to a bike shop often, so if there are success stories out there, please let me know.

My price range is $200 max and I am happy to buy used.
Thank you for your time.
You are looking for a step through bike. With your height and inseam I suspect a 19" frame will be what you want. Where are you located? (Just the state will be fine) Your price point is on the low side but there are some excellent bikes out there available in that price range, if you are willing to wait and keep on top of Craigs List.

Aaron
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Old 03-11-10, 10:01 PM   #15
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I have the same problem with a 29 inch inseam, difficulty getting my leg over the Top crossbar without laying the Bike over at a 45 degree angle and then putting my leg over and standing the bike upright again, too much of a chore. I have seen some nice used woman's style Cannondale bikes on CL for $200. Some a little more. I also use a Dahon Folding Bike(Mu Uno) with a short stepover height as well as my new Torker Cargo T Bike which has a Step Thru Frame. I doubt I could ever go back to the high crossbar style after getting used to the two style frames I have now. My two bikes were well outside the $200 price range you list but also on our local Craigslist.com I regularly see older raleigh 3 speeds in VGC come up for sale with a step thru frame.

Cargo T:http://www.bikecommuters.com/2009/03/13/torker-cargo-t/

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Old 03-12-10, 03:35 AM   #16
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I have the same problem with a 29 inch inseam, difficulty getting my leg over the Top crossbar without laying the Bike over at a 45 degree angle and then putting my leg over and standing the bike upright again, too much of a chore. I have seen some nice used woman's style Cannondale bikes on CL for $200. Some a little more. I also use a Dahon Folding Bike(Mu Uno) with a short stepover height as well as my new Torker Cargo T Bike which has a Step Thru Frame. I doubt I could ever go back to the high crossbar style after getting used to the two style frames I have now. My two bikes were well outside the $200 price range you list but also on our local Craigslist.com I regularly see older raleigh 3 speeds in VGC come up for sale with a step thru frame.

Cargo T:http://www.bikecommuters.com/2009/03/13/torker-cargo-t/
miamimike,

How do you like the Torker? I keep looking at them, but I need another bike like I need....another bike.


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Old 03-12-10, 05:13 AM   #17
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I've periodically used a step-through ladies bike as an urban get-around.
More of the classic Omafiets style. I got so used to swinging my foot forward when dismounting that I started trying to do it on my road bike. Oops.
It's an excellent design but there is definitely a loss of rigidity due to the lack of top tube.

The best accessible modern ones I've seen look like this:

Cortina Comfort. Which is an over €500 bike with rollerbrakes, lighting, and a 3sp IG hub. Very little effort to get a leg over this.

For the OP's price range, I recommend checking the local CraigsList for womens' framed bikes.
Critical things to look for are a seatpost that extends far enough, and a handlebar stem that extends to be close and high, for that upright riding position.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:24 AM   #18
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Aaron--I just picked up the Cargo-T. I have been fine tuning since it arrived a few days ago and I had it out last night for a good test ride. So far, I like it really well. Its a BIG Bike compared to my Dahon Mu Uno though they share brakes in common(coaster brakes and front hand brakes. As my legs are NOT that long(29") I love the Step-Thru frame. I'm sure I'll like it even more when I'm carrying some real heavy Loads and it will be so much easier to step thru and balance the Load as I'm pedaling off. No more gymnastics to mount the Bike. Mine is the Retina Searing Neon Green color which I like for Visibilty as far as making myself more obvious to car drivers. People really gawk at this Rig as its pretty unusual for these parts. I'm sure the local bike thieves will be eyeing it up as well so the large Chain is ready to go. . Since it has that very handy Steering Lock so the front end doesn't flop around, a couple times I have attempted to drive off with the lock on and the protesting ratcheting sound reminds me right away to unlock it. I'm sure I will get used to it. I like the Dual kickstand real well, just like my past motorcycles and scooters, great stability. It rides real well and is comfortable with the handle bar setup. Its a 3 speed which you are probably aware of but most of the time its in high gear as Miami is very flat. This weekend I will take it up a Steep Intercoastal High Bridge to test out the Gears. Last time I climbed this Steep Bridge it was on my old Dahon Single speed when I climbed this steep grade on the bridge, I did it sitting down ; I've riden heavy single speeds for years so my legs are pretty built up so this 3 speed is a real treat and I suppose it will be a nice change for those windy days heading over to the beach to be able to downshift when I hit a stiff headwind. The Seat is OK not sure if I will change it, for now its good. One thing I wish was different is the rear coaster brake, it feeels a little spongy like a rubber band in contrast to my Dahon Mu Uno, whose Coaster brake is sure and stops on a dime with no spongy feeling. Front Roller brake works great as I don't plan on getting this SUB up to that speed where I need super brakes, still a Disc upfront would be nice. When I was installing the Front Fender I noticed the company was pretty stingy on the paint on the underside of the fender so this weekend I'm taking both Fenders off and respraying them with two coats of rustoleum. Later down the road I plan on installing extended Mud Flaps to keep offensive spray to a minimum. I'm also shopping for a couple of plastic Tool Boxes to use as side cargo boxes with Lids that can be locked with a hasp&lock. All in all I like it. Last night on my Shakedown cruise, I found a Nice Walker(hospital type) as a curbside discard which I'll donate to the Haiti Relief effort. On it went to the front Rack, no problem. Next, was a stop at Walgreens for a gallon of Milk, another item on the large carrier--no problem. I like this capability. You'll probably see this Post again in a week or so as I was going to post a Thread on my opinion on my new Cargo-T. I doubt you would be unhappy if you picked one up. I picked mine up on CL at the price of $350--used once and the lady owner sold it because it was too big for her. She would do NOTHING to help me as far as taking it to a LBS for boxing & Shipping, even after payment. She could have saved me $100 ! She probably thought I was some out of town Scam artist but I was the real deal bike customer. By the time I paid the Errand service to handle the deal (as the Bike was in Philadelphia) shipping, disassembly and boxing and UPS Ground rate Postage, I had spent around $535. Still a Good price considering its as new. Our Local Bike dealer wanted $625 with tax and setup so I saved a few bucks on the deal. The Owner had this Cargo-T advertised on Philadelphia's CL for months, since Thanksgiving, and surprsingly, she could NOT sell it locally. As I ride it more and get my Side Cargo Boxes, I'll post updates on the Cargo-T, so far its a Keeper!

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