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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 05-12-07, 10:13 AM   #1
Mukluk
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Women's touring bike?

The only women specific touring bike I could locate was the Terry Madeline. I would like a wsd bike because I have a very short torso and long legs. Also why are all the front deraillers tiagra? I would think if your paying $1500 for a touring bike (price on the madeline), you would at least get 105. Appreciate any feedback that could be offered.
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Old 05-12-07, 12:47 PM   #2
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Front derailleur is one of the bike parts that bike companys like to go cheap on because they can. Your not going to notice much difference performance and weight between the low level front derailleurs and the high level ones. You can go with a cheap front derailluer most of the time. It's one of the least important parts in terms of performance. You should pay more attention to rear derailleur quality and shifters.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:42 PM   #3
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But I have heard such bad things about tiagra. My new road bike ($1600 MSRP) has 105 front and ultegra rear derailers. I thought tiagra only came on cheap bikes.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:47 PM   #4
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For what it's worth I have bikes with both 105 and Tiagra front ders and they both work about the same.I really am pleased with the tiagra on my road bike, several thousand miles and no problems.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:48 PM   #5
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The tiagra derailleur is a little wider than the 105 FD. It's stock on the LHT complete, and for good reasons. Probably the best value for money in a touring crank triple derailleur, if you have a larger ring.
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Old 05-12-07, 08:46 PM   #6
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The "perfect" bike depends a lot on your size and weight. Regarding the Terry Madeleine, it looks like it is equipped of sidepull brakes, which severely limit tire size. It would probably limit your tire size to something like 700x28, maybe even smaller if you use fenders. That's probably not a problem if you ride on asphalt and weigh around 100 lb, but otherwise it will feel like a road bike in disguise. And if you ride a smaller frame, you'll be stuck with dual-size wheels (700c and 24"). While I think it's a good idea in theory, it means you'll have to carry two spare tires on tour. Besides, the selection of 24" tires is limited.

I would suggest that you consider a few other bikes:

- Trek 520 and Cannondale Txxx : but only if you are taller than 5'4", because these come only with 700c wheels. The Trek definitely has too high gearing for touring, so negociate either new rings (say 48-38-24) or a new crankset (say LX or XT with 44-34-22).
Both bikes should fit with a very short stem with an upright angle.

- Surly LHT : comes with the proper gearing and smaller sizes come with 26" wheels, which means better geometry. Install narrow or medium-width slick tires (say 26" x 1.2" or 1.4", high pressure, no threads), and you'll have a performance that rivals 700c tires. And right now, I think the U.S. price is terrific.

- Bruce Gordon. It's a sturdy touring bike that comes with perfect gearing, and the smaller sizes come with 26" wheels.


As for buying a "Women-specific bike", most of them simply have:
– a women's saddle;
– narrower handlebars;
– sometimes, a slightly shorter top tube (a shorter stem may do the same).
In most cases, you may be able to get all this for free at the LBS when you buy a bike.
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Old 05-12-07, 09:05 PM   #7
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Terry is a great bike, I rode a Symetry years ago, my friend's.I was quite impressed, then, later I was told it was his sisters and a "girls" bike. Anyway it's not exactly the same as your's but Terry makes great products,look at the site. If you're worried about Tiagra, DON'T be, it's "better" for the large disparity rings. Rivendell uses Tiagra parts,,others tourers too. Not just because they cost less either. Deore for example is better than 105 in some ways for the rear deraileurs,it too has a lower price. Touring stuff is funtion not flash or light-weight for the sake of appeal. Terry's all about good design and it's LIGHT !
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Old 05-13-07, 12:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mukluk
The only women specific touring bike I could locate was the Terry Madeline. I would like a wsd bike because I have a very short torso and long legs. Also why are all the front deraillers tiagra? I would think if your paying $1500 for a touring bike (price on the madeline), you would at least get 105. Appreciate any feedback that could be offered.
I thought WSD bikes were mostly a sales gimmick.

It sounds like you need a custom frame, which usually means you end up with an expensive bike (because after you shell out for the $$$$ frame you're not gonna hang a bunch of junk parts on it).

You'll probably have better luck just getting a bike with parts you like, plus a setback seatpost, short stem and bars with short reach/drop.

Getting yourself fit for a bike on a Serotta fit bike is probably a good idea if you don't have much cycling experience and are not certain what you need.

I'm the opposite from you - short legs, long torso. So my bikes tend to not have much excess standover clearance (i'm on a low budget, no custom frames for me).

You can buy lx/105 front derailers for 15 bucks. The LBS will gladly swap a few parts for you to get the sale of a new bike.

I second Michel's preceding recommendation of the Surly LHT. Unfortunately, I read in Surlyblog that LHT bikes are sold out and won't be restocked until July (which often means September) and that the price will increase ~5% at that time as Surly underestimated their cost on the first batch of LHT bikes.

So if you want a LHT you'll have to build it (or get your LBS to build it).

BTW $1500 ain't all that much for a decent bike. Remember to budget another $1000 (or more) for racks, panniers, trailer, clothing, tools, spare parts, camping gear, etc.

Last edited by seeker333; 05-13-07 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 05-13-07, 05:53 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice so far. For what it's worth I am 5 feet 6.5 inches tall and 150 pounds. When I bought my road bike the dealer said that due to my long legs and short torso I was a perfect candidate for a women's frame (in fact he said that was really the only way to go). I bought a WSD road bike and it seems to work fine. http://2006.lemondbikes.com/2006_bik...s_womens.shtml WSD bikes have shorter top tubes, women's saddles (so if you like it you don't automatically have to buy a new one), and the handlebars are designed for smaller hands. Actually, a touring bike will be a few years down the road for me but it surprises me that more companies don't make WSD bikes. When I can afford a touring bike I will of course go out and test ride several models.
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Old 05-13-07, 10:35 AM   #10
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Waterford has a WSD touring bike, the Diva & Diva 14.

http://www.waterfordbikes.com/site/designs/diva.php

Costs about the same as the Terry and, for another 400 bucks you can get it with S&S couplers. From their website, looks like you could pretty much specify the dimensional differences you may need.

I dream of a Waterford touring bike...
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Old 05-15-07, 07:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by centexwoody
Waterford has a WSD touring bike, the Diva & Diva 14.

http://www.waterfordbikes.com/site/designs/diva.php

Costs about the same as the Terry and, for another 400 bucks you can get it with S&S couplers. From their website, looks like you could pretty much specify the dimensional differences you may need.

I dream of a Waterford touring bike...

But there wasn't a picture!!! I want to see a picture of one of these bikes!!! Also what are S&S couplers?
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Old 05-15-07, 02:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mukluk
But there wasn't a picture!!! I want to see a picture of one of these bikes!!! Also what are S&S couplers?
Yes, there's a picture: on left sidebar under Diva is a "Photos" button & there are 3 pictures of the Diva bike, one red frame, one blue frame.

Although as I looked at the Waterford Diva again, it is not really a 'step-through' but a sloped top tube.

From our experience I will relate my wife's dealing with the step-through feature: she had ridden a step-through Giant Boulder WMD for a couple of years (probably 1000-1500 miles). When we got ready to find her a new bike, she pretty quickly abandoned the 'step-through' requirement because all of them were hybrids and not a step up from her existing bike. She's only 5'4", 130 lbs and was convinced that a level top tube would mean her falling into the street everytime she rolled up to a traffic light. This did not happen, not even close - she rides a Specialized Sequoia Elite now and just loves it. All of her reservations about dropbars ended after about 25 miles, too. But she doesn't intend to carry anything on a credit-card tour except a handlebar bag (the panniers will be on my bike - ).

S&S couplers are frame couplings on top tube and seat tube that allow the frame to be disassembled and put into a carrying case for shipping or putting onto an airplane (typically without excess baggage charges). They are 'seriously engineered' devices for this purpose and, I'm not sure but...think they may only work on steel frames. Some frequent-flier cycle travelers use bikes with S&S couplings if they don't get a folding bike instead.
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