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Specialized dropping women road specific designs

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Specialized dropping women road specific designs

Old 04-22-19, 11:01 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by philbob57;20893218[b
]The all flat-black 'men's' bikes are as ugly as sin, IMO. [/b]With my relatively long torso and short legs, WSD bikes aren't for me, but the colors are. Don't forget, at one point the charcoal gray suit with pink shirt was one of the most admired looks for men.
I like the way you think.

And as for colors, when I had my custom ti frame built I wanted a Cerakote ceramic finish. My first choice was pink. Thought is would look great with the red Chris King hubs on the wheelset being moved over from my existing road bike. I was planning on matching that with a red headset and post collar. Unfortunately, the applicator couldn't quite get the shade correct. (Cerakote colors are normally a boring, matte finish, but if you mix them with gloss white you get a pearl finish.) Came out looking too much like bubble gum. So I went with what we call a sea foam green.

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Old 04-22-19, 01:55 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
I listened to the first one, and really it was a particularly excellent conversation. I'm not binging, but listening slowly. What did you think of her talk with Ian Jackson about breathing?

For anyone interested, they're available here or on iTunes.
I don't think I've seen it. Thanks for the pointer. The ones I'm talking about were recorded perhaps 10 years ago.
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Old 04-22-19, 03:31 PM
  #53  
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@Road Fan, that's them. They were all posted to iTunes on 6/20/2018.
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Old 04-22-19, 05:25 PM
  #54  
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Most womens specific frame designs were just a marketing scam anyway so I'm not sad to see them go.
Until they get them right anyway.

The main premise of "WSD", for better or worse is that Women are more likely to have a longer leg to torso ration than men are which isn't always true to be honest.
Still, lets say that's what they were designing it for so did they get it right?

No, they failed miserably and they probably knew they failed but continued for "Marketing" reasons.
When designing a frame for best fit you need to consider behind the BB (bottom bracket) and in front of the BB separately. You specify behind the BB for the legs and in front of the BB for arms/reach.
A true WSD for a long legged / short torso woman would have the same seat tube angle that a man need but then the front/centre distance needs to be pulled in which would lead to the front wheel being closer to the BB and a relatively tall head tube. At a certain point of course you will need a smaller front wheel to allow the reach to come closer.

That's what's truly needed but not what bike manufacturers do. What they do instead is give "WSD" designs a steeper seat tube angle which moves the rider forwards towards the bars. The top tube length is now shorter on a spec sheet which seems right yet it just places more weight on the riders hands/shoulders.

Its just a quick and dirty fudge. I'm happy to see it die.

If they get it right though, that's a different matter.
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Old 04-23-19, 06:14 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
Most womens specific frame designs were just a marketing scam anyway so I'm not sad to see them go.
Until they get them right anyway.

The main premise of "WSD", for better or worse is that Women are more likely to have a longer leg to torso ration than men are which isn't always true to be honest.
Still, lets say that's what they were designing it for so did they get it right?

No, they failed miserably and they probably knew they failed but continued for "Marketing" reasons.
When designing a frame for best fit you need to consider behind the BB (bottom bracket) and in front of the BB separately. You specify behind the BB for the legs and in front of the BB for arms/reach.
A true WSD for a long legged / short torso woman would have the same seat tube angle that a man need but then the front/centre distance needs to be pulled in which would lead to the front wheel being closer to the BB and a relatively tall head tube. At a certain point of course you will need a smaller front wheel to allow the reach to come closer.

That's what's truly needed but not what bike manufacturers do. What they do instead is give "WSD" designs a steeper seat tube angle which moves the rider forwards towards the bars. The top tube length is now shorter on a spec sheet which seems right yet it just places more weight on the riders hands/shoulders.

Its just a quick and dirty fudge. I'm happy to see it die.

If they get it right though, that's a different matter.
I have to say, I'm not that familiar with what Trek and Specialized did to make a WSD product that is actually different from the general road product line. What you outline as truly needed is what is done by Georgena Terry, and she started doing them back when horizontal top tubes were de rigeur. I think she started around 1985 but I'm not that sure. I've also seen a custom Mercian with that design and I think a Japanese touring brand, maybe Nishiki. Several women in the local bicyle touring society have custom Serottas with this feature. If Spec or Trek are able to accomplish a similar result with equal wheels (such as the Ruby), fine, not all Terry bikes have small front wheels. There are other ways to pull in effective reach and to make a good compromise on handling, bar height, and weight distribution.

By now, the big companies have been able to observe, analyze, and copy the thinking of Ms. Terry for nearly 35 years, and to test their own adaptations of "the woman's road bike" in the marketplace and the race track, if still relevant. For a woman whose skeletal proportions and weight distribution are similar to those of a particular man, I have no doubt their frame design solutions should be similar if their intended riding styles are also similar.

But Terry also introduced more features: narrow, low-reach, shallow-drop handlebars that reduce the required hand size, with brake levers suited to smaller hands (pre-brifter/pre-Ergopower), saddles (such as Fly and Butterfly) that are intended to enhance anatomical comfort. Clearly slotted saddles (to look only at the coarse nature of the feature) are not ubiquitous for both genders, as are sitbone supports combined with reductions of pressure in the areas forward of the bony contacts. Perhaps it's just that the science of saddle design (Joshua Cohen and others) has moved forward in the same time frame, even Brooks has applied the research, and innovative leathersmiths (Rivet and Selle AnAtomica) are growing into their own games.

Terry had a special new handlebar, selected (or commissioned?) from 3T with bend that suited and a cutout behind the hook, and a tall brazed stem with a short extension, both used on Mrs. Road Fan's 1997 Georgena Terry Classic. Now the "compact" bar style accomplishes the same thing, and the saddle-bar drop can be managed with taller head tubes and threadless stems.

So I think there was a lot of valid innovation in conceiving women's bikes, and a lot of opportunity has been taken to apply some of these innovations to the whole cycling market. While there is probably still a reasonable need to use staggered wheel sizes, I would not call "the woman's bike" just marketing, nor would I call the withdrawal of WSD bikes a mistake, in the mainstream. But if it's left to the LBS to fit the female cyclists, are they adequately skilled? In the component and frame space, the tools are there.

And guys, pink is the color for the winner of the Giro d'Italia (arr arr arr)!
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Old 04-23-19, 07:17 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I have to say, I'm not that familiar with what Trek and Specialized did to make a WSD product that is actually different from the general road product line. What you outline as truly needed is what is done by Georgena Terry, and she started doing them back when horizontal top tubes were de rigour. !
I was only commenting on the big companies WSD designs and not on Terry bikes.

I can read the geometry and to a "T" they all just steepened the seat tube angle to make the top tube spec shorter on a spec sheet and left it basically at that. Maybe some narrower handlebars and a different seat but that was about it.

In truth you can only build a bike with 700c wheels down to a 52/54cm frame. Any smaller than that and you are into some serious geometry bodging. Bellow 52cm you need 650c wheels or even 24" wheels to get the geometry right.
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Old 04-23-19, 07:50 AM
  #57  
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Wsd

Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
I was only commenting on the big companies WSD designs and not on Terry bikes.

I can read the geometry and to a "T" they all just steepened the seat tube angle to make the top tube spec shorter on a spec sheet and left it basically at that. Maybe some narrower handlebars and a different seat but that was about it.

In truth you can only build a bike with 700c wheels down to a 52/54cm frame. Any smaller than that and you are into some serious geometry bodging. Bellow 52cm you need 650c wheels or even 24" wheels to get the geometry right.
Speaking from my own personal experience with Specialized's Ruby versus Roubaix, there was no difference in the seat tube angle. In a men's/unisex road bike, I ride a 52 typically. In the Ruby, I take a 54. Both the 52 Roubaix, and 54 Ruby have a 74 degree seat tube angle. Identical horizontal top tube lengths of 371mm, and seat tube angels were nearly identical at 72.25 (Roubaix) and 72(Ruby). They differed in Head Tube length however. 110 on the Roubaix, versus 140mm on the Ruby. In order for my husband's bike to be as relatively "upright" as the Ruby, we needed to swap out the stock stem for one with more rise, which made them fit nearly identically for stack/reach. 52 Roubaix comes with a 143 saddle, and 42cm bars, while Ruby comes with 155 saddle, and 40cm bars.

I'd never had a WSD specific bike before. All of my other bikes, AC Spacehorse, Diverge, etc have 42cm bars, and I've swapped out saddles on everything I've ever bought, but have to say, they all ended fitting me very similarly, though the Ruby is probably the most comfortable of all. I hope the end of wsd bikes doesn't mean that I'll only have choices of various takes on "black" for color.......
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Old 04-23-19, 08:12 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Craptacular8 View Post
Speaking from my own personal experience with Specialized's Ruby versus Roubaix, there was no difference in the seat tube angle............snip......
Sure. My view is that a 74° seat tube angle is too steep for men as well. Its a geometry fudge. Neither short men or women are served by pushing them forwards towards the handlebars.

I'm waiting for the day when small size bikes have decent geometry for men or women. Current/previous "WSD" designs are just something that needs to die before this can happen.

I used to be very pessimistic about this happening. Currently though I'm seeing some hopeful improvements. There are some current juvenile bike designs from Giant and Specialised that have made some HUGE improvements to the point that I can now ride an off the shelf bike with only some minor adjustments.
I bought one of these recently,

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/arx-24

A 24" wheel juvenile bike. Its a HUGE improvement geometry wise for short people over what came before it.
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Old 04-23-19, 10:56 AM
  #59  
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So Is Merida, who owns a fat share of Specialsed a brand they supply with product going to continue?

Trek has a WSD geometry model in many lines..

more than 1 source .. Shoppers..






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-23-19 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 04-23-19, 11:17 AM
  #60  
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There is as much variation between individuals within a gender as there is between the genders as a whole, and that two individuals of a particular height and weight are likely to need a similar fit regardless of gender. That is to say, they are selling bikes to individuals, not to genders. "Women" don't buy bikes as a group, they buy them as individuals.
Consider socks. Outside or fashion or cultural preferences, there's no reason a man and a woman who both have, say, a size 42 foot can't wear the same socks.
I think Specialized's logic makes sense. Sell frames for people of a given size, and leave the gender specific fitting to things like saddles, bibs, or other areas where gender plays a bigger role than simple size.
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Old 04-23-19, 11:57 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
There is as much variation between individuals within a gender as there is between the genders as a whole, and that two individuals of a particular height and weight are likely to need a similar fit regardless of gender. That is to say, they are selling bikes to individuals, not to genders. "Women" don't buy bikes as a group, they buy them as individuals.
Consider socks. Outside or fashion or cultural preferences, there's no reason a man and a woman who both have, say, a size 42 foot can't wear the same socks.
I think Specialized's logic makes sense. Sell frames for people of a given size, and leave the gender specific fitting to things like saddles, bibs, or other areas where gender plays a bigger role than simple size.

My only question is whether this means they're going to stop selling smaller size bikes or that they're just going to produce the same range of sizes and just not "gender label" them. If there really aren't statistically significant differences between the average proportions for the two sexes, then it's just the same problem for both sexes buying bike--finding the combination of sizes and proportions that fit you individually. Since virtually no one is "average" in both of these dimensions, that's the same as it ever was. Sex, then, enters into it only as styling and naming preferences.

I would think that not gender-specifying should actually allow Specialized to be able to market its smaller bikes more efficiently. If you divide up the already small segment of the market at the left end of the size curve into two parts, you're increasing your production costs per bike--in theory, lumping all the small riders together should allow Specialized to produce the smaller size at lower cost than is currently the case.
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Old 04-23-19, 12:19 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
My only question is whether this means they're going to stop selling smaller size bikes or that they're just going to produce the same range of sizes and just not "gender label" them. ...

I would think that not gender-specifying should actually allow Specialized to be able to market its smaller bikes more efficiently. If you divide up the already small segment of the market at the left end of the size curve into two parts, you're increasing your production costs per bike--in theory, lumping all the small riders together should allow Specialized to produce the smaller size at lower cost than is currently the case.
My understanding is that will still market a full range of sizes. They simply won’t be marketing frames by gender. Like you, I suspect this may result in increased efficiency and less waste in smaller sized frames.
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Old 04-23-19, 02:03 PM
  #63  
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Unless you’re talking about the geometry challenges inherent in very small frames, the whole “women specific” thing was always marketing. They do up charge nicely for it though, don’t they?

Most of the women I know who ride just ride bikes. Like most of us, they choose saddles, stem length, and bar width for their unique morphology. But they’re riding “men’s” bikes I suppose.
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Old 04-23-19, 02:19 PM
  #64  
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Georgina Terry got The Segment going , now She seema focused on selling what you wear ,

to look good, riding , rather than selling bikes.
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Old 04-25-19, 01:01 PM
  #65  
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Seems fair to me.

In many cases, the main differences seem to be the stock saddle, color, size availability, and sometimes, handlebar width. IMO stock saddles are usually gross and handlebars are easy enough to replace. For Trek's Emonda and Domane lines, these are in fact the only differences: the frame geometry, by size, is identical.

Maybe this is a backwards move for Specialized, but I doubt it. Turns out that a lot of female road cyclists - particularly those expecting to drop $2K+ on a bike - are athletes like anyone else, and really do not want/need something that looks girly. Entry level and comfort bikes are a different story entirely.
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Old 04-25-19, 11:25 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Seems fair to me.

In many cases, the main differences seem to be the stock saddle, color, size availability, and sometimes, handlebar width. IMO stock saddles are usually gross and handlebars are easy enough to replace. For Trek's Emonda and Domane lines, these are in fact the only differences: the frame geometry, by size, is identical.

Maybe this is a backwards move for Specialized, but I doubt it. Turns out that a lot of female road cyclists - particularly those expecting to drop $2K+ on a bike - are athletes like anyone else, and really do not want/need something that looks girly. Entry level and comfort bikes are a different story entirely.
A lot of the stores I'm in seem to have two sections "women's bikes" and " bikes", the latter section being divided into several subcategories. As a man, it's tempting to see this as special treatment for women, but then I realize that just means I'm considered the "default" gender, and the store has a little pink ghetto. There's so much variation within the genders that it just makes sense to throw out a range of colors, sizes and geometries, and let men and women sort out which combination suits them best.
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Old 04-26-19, 01:50 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I've definitely seen more men on WSD bikes than I have women. Lots of short dudes out there, I guess, and an equal number of women who just want a bike in "regular" colors.
That's because men ride bike far more often than do women. The closet you get to an even distribution in on college campuses.

Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
This much is true. Took a while for Specialized and maybe others to realize that.

It was a marketing move at best that didn't pan out in the end.

I always loved Specialized's Womans Specific Design...Ha!!!! Pure marketing fluff right there.

Closest thing to a woman targeted bike should be the color. Lot of women I know like pink, purple and baby blue colored bikes. 3 colors of bike I will not buy.
You are in contradiction. What's good for the former should be good for the latter. Should it not?

Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Sales and the bottom line (profits) are what matters to the bicycle company. I’m assuming women’s specific bikes were not selling enough to justify production. Why not make one bike in plenty of sizes so both men and women can ride it.
Counterpoint: why not devise a scheme to discontinue building women's bike without creating any negative feedback that the company is anti-female? Clever girl?

Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
The all flat-black 'men's' bikes are as ugly as sin, IMO. With my relatively long torso and short legs, WSD bikes aren't for me, but the colors are. Don't forget, at one point the charcoal gray suit with pink shirt was one of the most admired looks for men.
Counterpoint: black goes with everything.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:42 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
Seems fair to me.

In many cases, the main differences seem to be the stock saddle, color, size availability, and sometimes, handlebar width. IMO stock saddles are usually gross and handlebars are easy enough to replace. For Trek's Emonda and Domane lines, these are in fact the only differences: the frame geometry, by size, is identical.

Maybe this is a backwards move for Specialized, but I doubt it. Turns out that a lot of female road cyclists - particularly those expecting to drop $2K+ on a bike - are athletes like anyone else, and really do not want/need something that looks girly. Entry level and comfort bikes are a different story entirely.
But my bike is so pretty! Then again, I don't think the silver/pink paint scheme would necessarily be a turnoff for all men. I've had plenty of compliments on it out on the road - and none from women. And I didn't have to sacrifice on quality. The Ruby Sport and Roubaix Sport had exactly the same components. And the list price was the same for both. I got a deal on the Ruby because they needed to clear inventory and they don't have a lot of people looking for 56 cm women's specific carbon fiber bikes.
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Old 04-26-19, 11:21 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by NomarsGirl View Post
But my bike is so pretty! Then again, I don't think the silver/pink paint scheme would necessarily be a turnoff for all men. I've had plenty of compliments on it out on the road - and none from women. And I didn't have to sacrifice on quality. The Ruby Sport and Roubaix Sport had exactly the same components. And the list price was the same for both. I got a deal on the Ruby because they needed to clear inventory and they don't have a lot of people looking for 56 cm women's specific carbon fiber bikes.
So basically, what made it a WSD is that they said so, and a splash of a rather subdued pink. Like I said before, Specialized should just offer the same range of colors and sizes and just let people choose whether or not they see it as appropriate for their gender.

It sounds to me like your bike would probably be a perfect fit for me, but I wouldn't have bothered to look at it because I would just assume there weren't any 56 cm bikes in the women's section. I really couldn't care less about the color. So basically, they probably cut off half or more of the potential buyers of that bike because they stuck it into a section where most men just wouldn't bother to look.

I do love that you got such a good deal off of a change in their marketing strategy.
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Old 04-26-19, 11:54 AM
  #70  
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so nobody actually in the company or a shop employee writing here just consumers in the bleachers , watching..
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Old 04-26-19, 12:11 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by NomarsGirl View Post
But my bike is so pretty! Then again, I don't think the silver/pink paint scheme would necessarily be a turnoff for all men. I've had plenty of compliments on it out on the road - and none from women. And I didn't have to sacrifice on quality. The Ruby Sport and Roubaix Sport had exactly the same components. And the list price was the same for both. I got a deal on the Ruby because they needed to clear inventory and they don't have a lot of people looking for 56 cm women's specific carbon fiber bikes.
I also love that you got a good deal due to the change in marketing strategy

That might be the main downside to eliminating women-specific bikes: fewer good deals on WSD bikes in sizes that are usually found in both men's and women's varieties (I'm thinking 50-56cm or so). FWIW, my road bike is pink. I'm definitely not a pink person, but the bike is pretty rad, so I roll with it.
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Old 04-26-19, 12:16 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by NomarsGirl View Post
But my bike is so pretty! Then again, I don't think the silver/pink paint scheme would necessarily be a turnoff for all men. I've had plenty of compliments on it out on the road - and none from women. And I didn't have to sacrifice on quality. The Ruby Sport and Roubaix Sport had exactly the same components. And the list price was the same for both. I got a deal on the Ruby because they needed to clear inventory and they don't have a lot of people looking for 56 cm women's specific carbon fiber bikes.
You can't just say that and not show us what it looks like!

M.
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Old 04-26-19, 02:14 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
so nobody actually in the company or a shop employee writing here just consumers in the bleachers , watching..
We pay for those bleacher seats, so ours is the only opinion that truly counts.
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Old 04-26-19, 05:49 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
You can't just say that and not show us what it looks like!

M.
She's further up in this thread. Post 12.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:48 PM
  #75  
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They've probably been losing money, a lot of money, for a long time now. I'm sure they stuck with the line for as long as they possibly could, and then some.

It's like the wnba: it's been losing tens of millions of dollars since it's inception. It's not a business, it's a social justice campaign. It's pathetic because the women players claim they are "underpaid" even though the league has never, ever turned a profit!

The BOTW women's tennis tournament just shut down operations at Stanford University recently. My understanding is that the tournament lost money just about every year as well.

How much money is being wasted promoting women's cycling? I would lay a bet that every single bicycle company is losing money on women's specific designs.

Women spend money on yoga pants, shoes, makeup, stuff like that. Bicycles, not so much.
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