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Old 03-28-08, 10:50 AM   #1
slbrooks
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Buying a man's bike for a woman?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but is it weird for a woman to buy a man's bike? I'm looking to buy used since my budget is only around $200 and most of the decent bikes I've seen on craigslist are mens bikes. I read somewhere that womans bikes are different in that they are made for longer legs/shorter torso. This doesn't really apply to me though (I'm 5'7" and have a long torso), so I'm thinking that a mans bike would be ok. Any advice?
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Old 03-28-08, 10:58 AM   #2
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(I'm 5'7" and have a long torso), so I'm thinking that a mans bike would be ok. Any advice?

Sounds ok. The main reason for getting a woman's bike would be the shorter top tube distance, to accomodate woman usually having a shorter torso and longer legs than men, but as you say, in your case it may not be necessary. There is also an alternate fix if the bike does seem too stretched - get a stem with a shorter forward part, or if you are using flat handlebars get some that curve back a bit. Swapping stems and handlebars is a bit of a nuisance, however. Still, you should not compensate for a long forward reach by moving the seat forward - that throws everything out of balance.
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Old 03-28-08, 11:15 AM   #3
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That is the general change they do to the women's bikes. Reach/arm length will also play into what would be a good top tube length for you.

Most likely you will be fine with a "men's" bike. I would guess you would be in the 52-54cm seat tube range. The top tube length is actually more important to fit but much more subjective and dependent on your riding style. The more you know what riding position you want to have the better you will be able to determine if that used bike will work for you.

Good Luck.
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Old 03-28-08, 12:47 PM   #4
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My sister who is 6' 3" HAS to buy mens bikes because they don't make Women bikes that are even close to fitting her... So there certainly is no hard rule that women can't ride Mens bikes. As others pointed out the geometry does change a little to accomodate the average Female rather than the average Male. Not the word Average. When ever anyone buys a bike it is important that it fits them properly. Overly large or overly small will greatly impact ride comfort. As a side note with the sloping top tubes on modern Mens bikes, the step over hight is nowhere near as bad as it used to be.

Happy riding,
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Old 03-28-08, 08:14 PM   #5
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Buy a bike that fits you, both your body and budget, and don't let anyone tell you a bike is for a man or a woman.
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Old 03-29-08, 06:21 PM   #6
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Buy a bike that fits you, both your body and budget, and don't let anyone tell you a bike is for a man or a woman.
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Old 03-29-08, 06:25 PM   #7
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My sister who is 6' 3" HAS to buy mens bikes because they don't make Women bikes that are even close to fitting her...
Likewise my 6' 5" girlfriend. She has the same bike I do (standard non sloped geometry) only her's is one size larger than mine. 23" vs 21" due to her longer legs
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Old 03-30-08, 01:13 AM   #8
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This men's/women's designation is pretty much obsoleteat the lower price range you're referring to. It's used to merely denote the distinction between traditional and step-through frame. Neither is masculine or feminine per se - men and women may prefer either kind of design based on their riding needs and wants. Buy and ride any bike you like and that fits you. I'm a girl and every single bike of six or so I own would be considered a "men's" bike.

There are some women-specific design (WSD) bikes these days that take into account feminine proportions, but in the $200 range that shouldn't concern you. Not to mention that a particular woman may have proportions that would make WSD completely unsuitable for her.
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Old 03-30-08, 07:09 AM   #9
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Most women I know ride a "man's" bike.
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Old 03-30-08, 07:58 AM   #10
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The only reason to have a step through frame is that some new riders feel more comfortable thinking they can dismount more readily in a hurry with one. Of course, this has nothing to do with gender.

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Old 03-31-08, 11:20 AM   #11
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This men's/women's designation is pretty much obsoleteat the lower price range you're referring to. It's used to merely denote the distinction between traditional and step-through frame. Neither is masculine or feminine per se - men and women may prefer either kind of design based on their riding needs and wants. Buy and ride any bike you like and that fits you. I'm a girl and every single bike of six or so I own would be considered a "men's" bike.

There are some women-specific design (WSD) bikes these days that take into account feminine proportions, but in the $200 range that shouldn't concern you. Not to mention that a particular woman may have proportions that would make WSD completely unsuitable for her.
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Old 03-31-08, 11:28 AM   #12
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Traditionally, women's bikes had a step-through frame so women could mount and ride the bike while wearing a skirt. A lot of modern "women's bikes" have the same style frames as the corresponding "men's bikes", and the differences are in the proportions and the fit. If it fits, ride it.
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Old 12-26-08, 09:06 PM   #13
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I'm a 5'7" male with long legs and a short torso. A man's bike will be stronger, more stable and hold more resale value. It would be ok for a woman but you'd want to change the stem reach, handlebars and grips to accommodate a woman's smaller hands. They have women's specific design diamond frame bikes now but its not really necessary unless a woman is height-challenged. I ride a 55 in a road bike, a medium in a 26" bike and small in a 29er. Of course, the sizing may depend on inseam length and other factors but it shouldn't be too difficult for a bike shop to fit you with the bike that fits your build and what you want to do in terms of riding.
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Old 01-08-09, 02:53 PM   #14
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Ride what you like.
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