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Specialized dropping women road specific designs

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Specialized dropping women road specific designs

Old 04-18-19, 06:44 PM
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TiHabanero
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Specialized dropping women road specific designs

Read with a chuckle the opinion piece at roadbikereveiw covering Specialized's decision to no longer market women's specific road designs. Going after the "white male roots" of the sport and the whole social justice nonsense gave me a chuckle and I chortled reading a response to the opinion piece framing the move as a cost cutting move and SBC spinning it to stink positive like a rose. Having been a dealer for 20 years, that is exactly what is going on here.

When SBC came out with the Ruby models they made sure we dealers understood the frame tubing was not the same as the men's models, and it was tailored to the lighter weight of a woman and the smaller frames. Apparently this is no longer a need. Marketing before truth. Makes good sense, no?
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Old 04-18-19, 08:05 PM
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They probably are still gonna need women specific colours.
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Old 04-18-19, 08:14 PM
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I was disappointed to hear that Trek dropped the 650c Madone a while ago.

But, I've heard the "long legs, short torso" thing for a while, so on a couple of brands I compared WSD specs to mainstream specs, and could not find any difference, at least in the frame.

I have to imagine the difficulties in building multiple monocoque frame sizes, although they often aren't a pure monocoque, and may well be able to share things like hidden lugs.

Nonetheless, I find it disappointing to ignore half the worlds population with their marketing.
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Old 04-18-19, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Nonetheless, I find it disappointing to ignore half the worlds population with their marketing.
I think their marketing is pretty good, even the GCN show brought up this ad:
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Old 04-18-19, 09:05 PM
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No wonder I got such a great deal on my Ruby. I was looking at a Trek Checkpoint, and the saleswoman looked me up and down and asked if I actually ride gravel. When I said no, she showed me the Ruby. I don't think they got a lot of call for a 56 cm women's specific bike and it had to go to make room for the new line.
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Old 04-18-19, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I was disappointed to hear that Trek dropped the 650c Madone a while ago.

But, I've heard the "long legs, short torso" thing for a while, so on a couple of brands I compared WSD specs to mainstream specs, and could not find any difference, at least in the frame.

I have to imagine the difficulties in building multiple monocoque frame sizes, although they often aren't a pure monocoque, and may well be able to share things like hidden lugs.

Nonetheless, I find it disappointing to ignore half the worlds population with their marketing.

I don't see this as ignoring women, just not pretending they need a different geometry. It may actually increase their options if it stops discouraging smaller men from looking at sizes that have been previously marketed as women's sizes.
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Old 04-18-19, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I think their marketing is pretty good, even the GCN show brought up this ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be6RfwzwgRU
Well, that ad certainly doesn't look like the bike is taking up all the bumps.

I'm surprised they aren't riding Roval wheels.

Black bikes for all.
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Old 04-18-19, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by NomarsGirl View Post
When I said no, she showed me the Ruby. I don't think they got a lot of call for a 56 cm women's specific bike and it had to go to make room for the new line.
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I don't see this as ignoring women, just not pretending they need a different geometry. It may actually increase their options if it stops discouraging smaller men from looking at sizes that have been previously marketed as women's sizes.
And, I suppose that may be the main issue. Tall women, and short men.

I was going to fix up a Specialized Dolce bicycle for my nephew, but was afraid of the potential "Girl's Bike" stigma.

Yet, there are many situations where people may choose to cross boundaries.
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Old 04-18-19, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Well, that ad certainly doesn't look like the bike is taking up all the bumps.
You're expecting any road bike to take up all of Paris-Roubaix's bumps?
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Old 04-18-19, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post

But, I've heard the "long legs, short torso" thing for a while
I'm a man, 6'4", and I have this problem.
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Old 04-19-19, 01:35 AM
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Rider First Engineered
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Old 04-19-19, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
And, I suppose that may be the main issue. Tall women, and short men.

I was going to fix up a Specialized Dolce bicycle for my nephew, but was afraid of the potential "Girl's Bike" stigma.

Yet, there are many situations where people may choose to cross boundaries.
Unless it is a "girly" color, I don't think anyone would be able to tell. I do see Specialized point. If the bike fits, it fits. I do think mine looks kind of girly though. My husband has no desire to ride it. (And it would be too big for him).

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Old 04-19-19, 05:44 AM
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Here is some female geometry. No stock bike would fit her. It was built as a road bike in 1985. And as for the color...


Last edited by MoAlpha; 04-19-19 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Here is some female geometry. No stock bike would fit her. It was built as a road bike in 1985. And as for the color...

If it wasn't pink, I would definitely think that was a man's bike with the horizontal top tube.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by NomarsGirl View Post
If it wasn't pink, I would definitely think that was a man's bike with the horizontal top tube.
Understood, but in 1985, you would never have seen a road bike with anything else.
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Old 04-19-19, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by NomarsGirl View Post
Unless it is a "girly" color, I don't think anyone would be able to tell. I do see Specialized point. If the bike fits, it fits. I do think mine looks kind of girly though. My husband has no desire to ride it. (And it would be too big for him).

Good for you that Specialized's decision has gotten you a great deal on a new bike!

Once Specialized determined that there is no statistically significant difference between female and male proportions relevant to bike design, it's funny that this is now going to boil down to a question of whether Specialized will continue to offer pink as a color. I already don't see a lot of new baby blue bicycles, but if there were, am I wrong in assuming women wouldn't be as adverse to riding them as men are to pink bikes?

I happen to really dislike pink, but I suspect my colorblindness makes it a very drab, kind of icky dirty-looking color to me.

BTW, prior to the 1920s, the general rule was pink for boys, blue for girls. Weird, huh?
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Old 04-19-19, 07:14 AM
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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.
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Old 04-19-19, 08:57 AM
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This has always been a head scratcher for me. We never needed men’s and women’s specific bikes. We do need bikes of various sizes with size specific geometry and size specific builds, which the high end brands have been doing better for a few years now.

If you have relatively long legs and a short torso you may or may not want a shorter reach depending on your arm and hand length, or your ape index. Then you also need to consider overall physical condition and flexibility. And the gals have wider sit bones myth has been debunked many times as over generalized, thus meaningless as a saddle standard. Ideal crank length and crank power are functions of technique, training and conditioning, more so than any arbitrary formula of leg length or bike frame size, and certainly have nothing to do with what sex you happen to be.

Clearly even the high quality production bike brands will make a finite number of frame sizes and geometries out of necessity. But wouldn’t it be nice if dealers offered options to swap out saddles, seat posts, cranks, stems, and handlebars all included in the asking price? I suppose that’s asking for too much consumer indulgence on already strapped LBS. Besides, isn’t customizing and upgrading after purchase part of the lure of cycling culture?

Oh and as for masculine vs. feminine colors, anyone remember the loud colors of the 90s when MTB cycling was really coming into it own? Color norms are personal, social, and even trendy. No big surprise.
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Old 04-19-19, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Sapperc View Post
We never needed men’s and women’s specific bikes.
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.
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Old 04-19-19, 09:23 AM
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What was addressed in the article was concentrating on things such as saddle and bars which would be more female specific. As leg/torso ratios vary, the stem lengths come into play. I would hope that they would also have narrower bars available as well. While these are available, will the LBS stock them is another question.
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Old 04-19-19, 10:01 AM
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When I bought my 2019 Roubaix, my shop said they didn't have a saddle or bar swap policy. Wonder if that will change since there will technically be fewer fit options.

I thought some of the Ruby colors where cool, much more interesting and complex than the non-Sagan Roubaix offerings. Now that the Roubaix is unisex, everyone benefits from more color options without the stigma of choosing the "wrong" bike gender.
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Old 04-19-19, 11:43 AM
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Hunh. Just came from Specialized's site, and the women's road bikes start at 44 cm, and everything else starts at 49 cm. That's a shame.
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Old 04-19-19, 12:55 PM
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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.
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Old 04-19-19, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Understood, but in 1985, you would never have seen a road bike with anything else.
Mixte and Step Through bikes. There were some quality ones, and many with drop bars.
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Old 04-19-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Mixte and Step Through bikes. There were some quality ones, and many with drop bars.
True and I remember them, but not set up with Nuovo Record and tubulars on Mavic GP4s, or that kind of quality. And a mixte, while technically a bike with a slanted top tube, is, I suspect, not what the poster I was responding to hand in mind.

Last edited by MoAlpha; 04-19-19 at 01:14 PM.
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