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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 02-08-10, 12:53 AM   #1
liannsun98
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track bikes for women?

am i the only one who finds it odd that while there are women-specific mountain and road bikes, there are no women-specific track bikes? or if there are any, please let me know! i wonder, though, how women professional track racers get their bikes... whether they get their bikes custom built or just deal with it.
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Old 02-08-10, 01:11 AM   #2
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by women specific, what are you referring to? colors and asthetics....or actual geometry differences?

There comes to a point where aerodynamics really becomes a priority, especially when racing. You run no brakes, so there aren't even levers to adjust for "smaller hands"....things like that. Changing track geometry will sacrifice a lot of performance in such a technical short races. I believe they can get away adjusting things like tube angles for road and mountain bikes as those are more general in terms of usage and of course have a MUCH bigger market.

I'm sure pro female track riders have custom tailored bikes....but for the rest of the female population. I guess you are stuck with either getting your own custom, or changing out things like stems, seats, bars and cranks to fit you accordingly.

Do you see the letters WSD anywhere here? hahah. Track Drops are Track Drops.....Seats are Seats. Track bikes are fairly unisex IMO.-Cheers.


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Old 02-08-10, 10:39 AM   #3
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women's specific road bikes usually have longer seat tubes and shorter top tubes to accommodate women's longer legs in relation to their torsoes. i wouldn't think this would compromise aerodynamics. the reason there aren't any ready-made women's track bikes is because serious track racing is still a very niche market. so your average girl who wants a fixie for riding around town will make do with the pre-made bikes that are already out there while girls who are actually serious about racing track will buy custom frames.
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Old 02-08-10, 11:19 AM   #4
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How short are you? I'm a very short man at 5'-3" and have difficulty finding small enough frames, and frame geometry suffers when using 700c wheels. If I were any shorter, I'd probably consider going to 650c wheels.
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Old 02-08-10, 08:15 PM   #5
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There's always custom...
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Old 02-08-10, 10:54 PM   #6
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wsd = shrink it and pink it
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Old 02-15-10, 11:08 AM   #7
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i'm 5'4, and i also think i'm on the 650/700 cusp too.... i'l fairly used to dealing with larger frames, but i want to invest in a good track bike and really don't want to spend ~1000 and have to "deal with" my bike. i hope they put out WSD track frames at some point...
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Old 02-15-10, 11:36 AM   #8
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There are only a few companies that make tiny frames. Obviously because there isnt much of a market for that.
Ive had a lot of trouble finding small frames for my wife, in the past.

Depending on how much money you can spend, Panasonic makes down to a 46cm.
We got one of these for someone recently and it was TINY!

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Old 02-15-10, 11:36 AM   #9
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Liansun98- Im a female and am 5'4 as well, so maybe I can help you...
The first track bike I owned (not used for racing of course) was a 50 cm IRO Angus and it was was under 1000$ and fit pretty well. I have a roughly 30 inch inseam so if your inseam is comparible maybe look for bike frames around that size. I find narrow seats fit me better, as Ive been going through loads of them trying to find the perfect one. I find that a 50cm bike frame fits me best and a slightly higher seat to handlebar ratio is pretty perfect and doesnt cause achyness or back pain at all.
But Im not racing in a velodrome here so the fit will be totally different for street riding that racing. Im not sure whether your looking for a track bike to race or just have for commuting. If using for racing, then obviously custom would probablly be best as the people above have mentioned. In the all female track classes they have here I know they use Raleigh's as a standard, but theyre not custom made for a womens body.

Anything bigger than a 50cm for me personally was terrible. I rode a 55 cm Leader 725TR frame for about 6 months and it KILLED me. It was way way too big and the pain from doing 20+ mile rides was pretty unbearable.
I was also very stupid buying that bike thinking I could deal with it, but whatever, you live and learn.

Are you thinking about using a track frame for racing or just everyday riding?
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Old 02-15-10, 11:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sharpsandflatts View Post
women's specific road bikes usually have longer seat tubes and shorter top tubes to accommodate women's longer legs in relation to their torsoes...
Yeah, they really do a good marketing job on that. A lot of people think this.
Men and women share almost the exact same proportional segment lengths.
My guess is that high heels and bathing suits skew the perception.
Here's an interesting PDF on bike fit for women.
In summary: buy the bike that fits you, not your gender.
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Old 02-15-10, 11:49 AM   #11
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^Agreed
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Old 02-15-10, 02:23 PM   #12
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Yeah, they really do a good marketing job on that. A lot of people think this.
Men and women share almost the exact same proportional segment lengths.
My guess is that high heels and bathing suits skew the perception.
Here's an interesting PDF on bike fit for women.
In summary: buy the bike that fits you, not your gender.
I'm inclined to disagree.

I worked with a female track racer all of last season and the off season and she had major fitting issues on standard track and road bikes. If I remember correctly, she's "all legs" at 5'4" with a 32" inseam. Every bike with an appropriate seat tube had to use a 80mm stem which is still a stretch for her but is the minimum to keep from hitting her knees on the bars when standing. Keep in mind that shorter/longer than normal stems affect the handling.

Aerobars were impossible to fit.

She awkwardly raced a Fuji Track Comp all season. She recently got a custom frame with a shorter top tube and it fits her properly. Now normal stems and aerobars work.
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Old 02-15-10, 02:53 PM   #13
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Do you see the letters WSD anywhere here? hahah. Track Drops are Track Drops.....Seats are Seats. Track bikes are fairly unisex IMO.-Cheers.

That bike is as custom as it comes. She and Chris Hoy are the faces of the British Cycling and British Olympics in general. So much so that they were made Members of the British Empire (not a small honor). I wouldn't be surprised if that were not made from a custom mold just for her dimensions.

That is not a good example to use to make your point.
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Old 02-16-10, 02:12 AM   #14
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I'm inclined to disagree.
...If I remember correctly, she's "all legs" at 5'4" with a 32" inseam... She recently got a custom frame with a shorter top tube and it fits her properly. Now normal stems and aerobars work.
What I had neglected to say was that differences between individuals vary more widely than gender averages, which are essentially proportionally identical.
Sounds like your friend is indeed leggy. But that's because of who her parents are, not her gender.

But you and I do agree on this: getting fitted is crucial.
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Old 02-16-10, 03:36 AM   #15
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I think "track bikes for women" refers more to seattube than anything. Most women I know are shorter than me, and when I see women cyclist they have bikes from 43-50cm. Not all but definitely more than women riding 58cm+ frames.

I agree paying 1k and dealing with your frame would be pretty unpleasant. You could get one made for you at 1.5k. Obviously more if you want special tubing etc..
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Old 02-16-10, 05:22 AM   #16
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got my gf a 43 brassknuckle, smallest bike i've seen that can run 700's
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Old 02-16-10, 06:31 AM   #17
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got my gf a 43 brassknuckle, smallest bike i've seen that can run 700's
yikes that's tiny! are you dating a 9 year old?
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Old 02-16-10, 08:00 AM   #18
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That is not a good example to use to make your point.
No one's complaining about the photo though.
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