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Guy on a girls bike?

Old 05-23-16, 07:41 AM
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morfeeis
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help picking a new bike

About two months ago while at Walmart i saw a bike on sale and picked it up, i soon found out that riding around on a 40+ pound mountain bike was no fun. I found this site looking for cost effective (cheap) upgrade options, after reading a bit of information on the site and having my hopes of getting the Vilano Shadow dasheed i started looking at other options. From what i understand getting a used bike is a much better option than getting a new bike at my price point ($300).

Taking this advice i searched the phoenix area for a bike, i was shocked when i found a Scott Speedster Contessa S35 for $300. being of limited experience i did not know that the Contessa is the woman's versions of the bike, which brings me to my question. is there a large difference between the speedster and the Contessa? I'm 6" and the frame is 56cm which from what i understand is right about the right frame size for someone of my height (using general measurement standards). The bike is an hour away so i wanted to get some advice before i made the drive out.

Thank you.

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Old 05-23-16, 07:52 AM
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The top tube length will be a centimeter shorter. The 56cm Contessa is listed with a 550mm top tube, whereas a geometry chart that I found for the Speedster shows a 560mm top tube in the same frame size. It is not unusual for a women's model to be built with a shorter reach to the bars.
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Old 05-23-16, 07:53 AM
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The frame geometry is a little different. As I understand women's bikes are made for short legs and longer torsos. It would probably work but it might not fit quite right. I'd buy a mens bike.
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Old 05-23-16, 08:06 AM
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Thank you both for you input, well it looks like i might have to keep riding this tank for a while i can't find anything else in my area worth buying. There is a Phocus 1600 for $300 too, but from what i understand i am better off without it.
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Old 05-23-16, 08:07 AM
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The saddle may be different as well
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Old 05-23-16, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by shafter View Post
The frame geometry is a little different. As I understand women's bikes are made for short legs and longer torsos. It would probably work but it might not fit quite right. I'd buy a mens bike.
Nope, you've got that backwards. Women's bikes are designed for relatively longer legs and shorter torsos. OP can look in a mirror to help him decide. If you think that your legs are on the long side - that's it.
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Old 05-23-16, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by morfeeis View Post
About two months ago while at Walmart i saw a bike on sale and picked it up, i soon found out that riding around on a 40+ pound mountain bike was no fun. I found this site looking for cost effective (cheap) upgrade options, after reading a bit of information on the site and having my hopes of getting the Vilano Shadow dasheed i started looking at other options. From what i understand getting a used bike is a much better option than getting a new bike at my price point ($300).

Taking this advice i searched the phoenix area for a bike, i was shocked when i found a Scott Speedster Contessa S35 for $300. being of limited experience i did not know that the Contessa is the woman's versions of the bike, which brings me to my question. is there a large difference between the speedster and the Contessa? I'm 6" and the frame is 56cm which from what i understand is right about the right frame size for someone of my height (using general measurement standards). The bike is an hour away so i wanted to get some advice before i made the drive out.

Thank you.
I would think a 6' male would fit a 58 cm frame. Given that this one is women's specific geometry, which means an even shorter reach, and I would pass.
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Old 05-23-16, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by shafter View Post
The frame geometry is a little different. As I understand women's bikes are made for short legs and longer torsos. It would probably work but it might not fit quite right. I'd buy a mens bike.
A 10mm longer stem to make up for the missing top tube length won't be noticeable, although a 56 made for either gender is probably too small for a 6' tall person.
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Old 05-23-16, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by shafter View Post
The frame geometry is a little different. As I understand women's bikes are made for short legs and longer torsos. It would probably work but it might not fit quite right. I'd buy a mens bike.
I think that the bars tend to be a bit narrower as well.

Plenty of guys ride step-through frames (for a variety of reasons).
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Old 05-23-16, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
I think that the bars tend to be a bit narrower as well.

Plenty of guys ride step-through frames (for a variety of reasons).
The Scott is not a step through frame.
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Old 05-23-16, 10:21 AM
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Ok so i opened up my search criteria and came up with two Cannondale listings, i have found out they are both still for sale and am leaning towards the R600 because it is a bit newer, but the R300 looks to be in better shape. Is the R600 that much better of a ride over the R300 to make up for the appearance?

R300 for $300
https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/bik/5586196382.html
R600 $250
https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/bik/5598812546.html

Last edited by morfeeis; 05-23-16 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 05-23-16, 10:33 AM
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The R300 and the R600 do not necessarily mean that one is older than the other, they merely show where those bikes fall in the model line hierarchy. The R300 that you posted is a CAAD2 frame, which is fairly old. The R600 looks like it either sold or was otherwise pulled from the CL site. It may or may not have been a newer version, but for $25, I'm guessing it was getting close to needing a complete overhaul or being sent to the scrap heap. I had a CAAD8 R900 for a long time, and really loved it.
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Old 05-23-16, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
The Scott is not a step through frame.
Thanks for clarifying that for me. I had envisioned something akin to the Trek FX Stagger (I tend to lump stagger and other not quite 'U-frames' together)

In my defense, I'm woefully behind on my bike p0rn viewing and haven't kept up with current frame design trends
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Old 05-23-16, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by demoncyclist View Post
The R300 and the R600 do not necessarily mean that one is older than the other, they merely show where those bikes fall in the model line hierarchy. The R300 that you posted is a CAAD2 frame, which is fairly old. The R600 looks like it either sold or was otherwise pulled from the CL site. It may or may not have been a newer version, but for $25, I'm guessing it was getting close to needing a complete overhaul or being sent to the scrap heap. I had a CAAD8 R900 for a long time, and really loved it.
https://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/bik/5598812546.html

Try the link for the r600 now. I some how put the 0 from $250 on the end of the link. Thank you for the info. So the R600 would be a higher grade bike in their line up than that of the r300?

Last edited by morfeeis; 05-23-16 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 05-23-16, 12:19 PM
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It looks like the OP got the zero in the wrong place on the Cannondale R600.

I like the R600. It looks sharp, and a little newer than the R300. It does look like it has an extremely short stem while the R300 has an extremely long stem, but they are easy to change out.

They aren't bad bikes for the price range.

You'll just have to try them out and see how they fit. As others have mentioned, a 56 may be on the low end of your size range. So, the 56 frame with a short stem, and the test ride may feel a bit cramped.
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Old 05-23-16, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by shafter View Post
The frame geometry is a little different. As I understand women's bikes are made for short legs and longer torsos. It would probably work but it might not fit quite right. I'd buy a mens bike.
I think it's the other way round, that woman have proportionally longer legs and shorter torsos than men...
I'm 5'8" with a 33.5" (85cm) inseam, which means a womens bike should fit me.
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Old 05-23-16, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It looks like the OP got the zero in the wrong place on the Cannondale R600.

I like the R600. It looks sharp, and a little newer than the R300. It does look like it has an extremely short stem while the R300 has an extremely long stem, but they are easy to change out.

They aren't bad bikes for the price range.

You'll just have to try them out and see how they fit. As others have mentioned, a 56 may be on the low end of your size range. So, the 56 frame with a short stem, and the test ride may feel a bit cramped.
I have to admit i am drawn to the R600 a bit more: i'll take a test drive tonight. worst case though is i'd just need to add like a 120mm stem (i think).
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Old 05-23-16, 02:02 PM
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I am a male just over 6' with long limbs and a short torso and 56-cm woman's model would fit me perfectly. It is not really a "woman's" model (like the step-through frames designed to be ridden by people wearing skirts,) but an alternative geometry model---which is what long-limbed, short-torso people need.

The shorter top tube make the reach shorter so your weight can stay back over the pedals instead of on your shoulders and arms.

I currently own a women's bike and the fit is perfect. The shorter top tube lets me run an normal stem (120 mm) while accommodating my short torso and rather inflexible midsection. A "men's" frame in the same size would require buying an 80-mm or 90-mm stem, which would speed up the handling more than I might like.

I do run wide bars.

I inherited the bike after a group ride where I split my time between a Cannondale 6-13 (58 cm) and this tiny Dawes women's model. Both fit, both were comfortable, but the stretched-out position on the Cannondale really beat up my lower back after a couple hours. The Dawes was "designed" for someone max 5'9", the C'dale for someone around 6'. This just shows how a body can adapt to different frames and can fit well on different frame sizes ... so all the "A six-footer should ride a 58" stuff is pure guesswork. Not even every 58-cm frame is remotely similar to any other.

Basically only by sitting and riding on it will you know how it fits. Everyone will give you advice on fit, but remember .... none of them know Anything about you except your height.

I recommend This (Bike Fit Calculator | Find Your Bike Size | Competitive Cyclist) as a fair indicator of what might work for you ... but still, until you have tried it and ridden it, it's all guesswork.
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Old 05-23-16, 02:23 PM
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try it

there are more different sizes between men than 1 man compared to 1 woman
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Old 05-23-16, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I would think a 6' male would fit a 58 cm frame. Given that this one is women's specific geometry, which means an even shorter reach, and I would pass.
^^^ This. Probably too small. Your call if you want to drive an hour each way to verify that.
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Old 05-23-16, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
^^^ This. Probably too small. Your call if you want to drive an hour each way to verify that.
Lots of 6' people ride 56. In a large poll of 6' riders, the spilt was pretty even between 56 and 58.

Also many bikes are measured center to top which makes them an equivalent cm bigger.
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Old 05-23-16, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Lots of 6' people ride 56. In a large poll of 6' riders, the spilt was pretty even between 56 and 58.

Also many bikes are measured center to top which makes them an equivalent cm bigger.
I agree there's a chance that it fits; but remember it's not just a 56 cm, it's a 56cm with a proportionally shorter top tube.
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Old 05-23-16, 07:54 PM
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I took it for a spin and feel in love with the R600, like a really really smart guy since my wife went with me i said i'd ride back home. About 3 miles in i learned how important the grip tape is and on the handle that is was super worn on i started to get sore hands, about 7 miles in i noticed that i was leaning over more than i felt i should (@CliffordK was right i need a taller stem).Other than that those 12 miles were the some of the best i have rode in... well forever.
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Old 05-23-16, 08:00 PM
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Nice!!!!!
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Old 05-23-16, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by morfeeis View Post
I took it for a spin and feel in love with the R600, like a really really smart guy since my wife went with me i said i'd ride back home. About 3 miles in i learned how important the grip tape is and on the handle that is was super worn on i started to get sore hands, about 7 miles in i noticed that i was leaning over more than i felt i should (@CliffordK was right i need a taller stem).Other than that those 12 miles were the some of the best i have rode in... well forever.


I hope the bike works out.

Did you raise the seat a bit?

I suggested a longer stem, but either longer or taller, or both. If you have more bar drop than you're used to, it can take a little time to get accustomed to it.
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