I am in the market for a Ladies Touring Bike that will run me no more than $1,400.00 for commuting and light touring. So far, I have looked at the 2008 Cannondale Touring 2 bike which is NOT available for women specific and I am told that I would need a men’s small. Are there any women specific touring bikes on the market? If not, does anyone have any suggestions of other touring bikes that may be better suited for a lady’s body and arm reach? I am in the Los Angeles area so finding specific dealers shouldn’t be an issue. Thanks for any suggestions or help on this.
Due to my gender I'm not really qualified to comment on this.
However- at the end of last summer my wife wanted a new touring bike, she is about 5'3" with arm/leg/torso proportions within normal limits for her height. WE live in a rural area, no LBS stocking touring bikes; closest was a Trek dealer. So everywhere we went that had a possible bike store we looked at bikes (not suggesting this was a bad thing). She was eventually able to look at and ride the Trek 520, a Surly LHT and CrossCheck. She thought the LHT was a tank and the CrossCheck just didn't suit, the 520 was ok but she was not taken with it (her current bike at the time was a Trek so
some brand favor), then we got to a shop that carried Cannondale T2000, they actually had a couple sizes for her to try. They fit her to a small, she rode it around a little. She has smaller hands with slightly decreased range of motion. She just couldn't quite reach the combined shifter/brakes, they made the various adjustments to get a fit (the wedge thing etc). She just said she wanted to think about it- about half way home she just sort of blurted out- "I want that bike", "because it is comfortable". An email held the bike till following weekend. We probably put 500 miles on the car going back and forth to this shop for a month till she got the components and fit just right. She ended up swapping out the brifters for grip shifts and a on one mary handlebar, plus different brake levers, stem, ergon grips. Plus new shoes, pedals, helmet, etc. She is the happiest i've seen her with a bike in 25 years, has next summer's tour or perhaps summers' tours planned.
ps. sorry about this post's wandering.
A good example of a womans light-touting bike from Roberts
The 26"MTB-wheel light-touring bike is an excellent all-rounder but unfortunately a very niche product. Surly do a heavier duty LHT shod with 26". 650c and 650b wheels are really not suitable due to lack of availability and width limit, MTB tyres can be had in fast, narrow widths from any bike shop.
One of the best custom builders for women is Luna. Full of great ideas but also spendy.
One option would be to roadify a good lightweight MTB with steel forks, slicks and some bar adjustments
You may be surprised that a good shop can fit you on a small mens bike with some adjusting of the stem and handlebars. My wife got a 43 cm Fuji that was fitted locally. She is 5'2". The shop changed out the stem and handlebars to smaller ones that fit her better. She is very happy with this. We had previously looked without success for women's specific bikes.