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Is there a Big difference between men and women bikes?

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Is there a Big difference between men and women bikes?

Old 02-20-08, 01:57 PM
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vdubsta05
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Is there a Big difference between men and women bikes?

I got a chance to pick up a schwinn womens bike for free. Im pretty short 5'4, with a pant inseam of 28-29. Its about an hour drive just to pick it up.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:11 PM
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Many bike manufactures have a Womens Specific Design (WSD). The changes vary, but often include compact cranks, WSD saddle, short drop handle bars. Not to mention the compact frame. Each company is different.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:16 PM
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I'll add that most of those WSD design changes are recent additions. If this is an old model schwinn, it very likely is just a stereotypical female color (pink, purple, etc) and has a sloping top tube (may even be a mixte frame). Will be in a smaller size, but hopefully won't be too small for a 5'4" person.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:28 PM
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I think Terry started the current trend in WSD bikes, and Trek has been offering WSD's for several years.
WSD's typically have a shorter effective top tube offering a better fit for people with relatively long legs and short torso's. My 5' 1" wife became a better rider after switching to a 47 cm WSD. The better fit has made her more confident as well as more comfortable. WSD's usually have narrower bars, a womans saddle, and sometimes shorter reach to the brakes. Nothing wrong with a man on a WSD if it fits better (well maybe with a man's saddle).

Al
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Old 02-20-08, 05:37 PM
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women's bike

When I bought my 2008 Women's Lemond. The sale's man told me the main difference is: the distance from the seat to the handle bars is shorter because women have a smaller torso, the shifter and brakes are closer to the handle bars because women have smaller hands, and the handle bars are a little higher so that I sit more up-right. This is what I was told. I asked the same question. ;-) I'm only five foot four and a half. ;-)

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Old 02-20-08, 05:39 PM
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Worst case it doesn't work for you and you sell it on.
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Old 02-20-08, 06:03 PM
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Womens bikes tend to smell better.
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Old 02-20-08, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Sprocket Man View Post
Womens bikes tend to smell better.
More specifically -- the seats.
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Old 02-20-08, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
I think Terry started the current trend in WSD bikes, and Trek has been offering WSD's for several years.
WSD's typically have a shorter effective top tube offering a better fit for people with relatively long legs and short torso's. My 5' 1" wife became a better rider after switching to a 47 cm WSD. The better fit has made her more confident as well as more comfortable. WSD's usually have narrower bars, a womans saddle, and sometimes shorter reach to the brakes. Nothing wrong with a man on a WSD if it fits better (well maybe with a man's saddle).

Al
Terry specializes in women's bikes, but their bikes (during the 1980s) used to all have 24" front wheels and 700c rear wheels. The smaller front wheel helped to shorten the top tube. Many of the Japanese companies used the same design (I don't know who copied who). Now days, women's bikes with 2 different wheel sizes are very rare. If a designer can't get the geometry they want with two 700c wheels, they'll use two 650c wheels instead. Terry was one of the last companies to jump on this trend; finally abandoning their 24" front wheels. Having two different wheel sizes is a hassle and high quality 24" tires are expensive. I think Terry held out so long because the small front wheel was a marketing gimmick and maybe also they sold a lot of expensive 24" tires.
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Old 02-20-08, 08:52 PM
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shrink it and pink it!

other than that, you usually end up swappin components for a better fit for the rider anyway. not all women constitute a WSD. for example, my wife is 5'8" a buck-forty soakin wet, only thing on her bike WSD is the spacer in the brifters and the saddle. Other than that, just another ordinary OCR1.

then again, I've seen some men who could use a WSD design themselves. poor fellas...
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Old 02-20-08, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by celticfrost View Post
More specifically -- the seats.
Oh my God! You've taken a perfectly innocent comment of mine and made it dirty!
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Old 02-20-08, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Sprocket Man View Post
Womens bikes tend to smell better.
nom nom nom
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Old 02-20-08, 11:10 PM
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Many WSD bikes have shorter top tubes and sometimes shorter stems and narrower bars. It sounds like your legs are long for your short height so this might actually be good for you (bad for me, 5'11" with a 30" inseam), so try it out. You have nothing to lose anyway.
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Old 02-20-08, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by waltersc View Post
Many bike manufactures have a Womens Specific Design (WSD). The changes vary, but often include compact cranks, WSD saddle, short drop handle bars. Not to mention the compact frame. Each company is different.
Shrink it and pink it.

WSD is a load of bull**** of the highest calibre.
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Old 02-20-08, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Shrink it and pink it.

WSD is a load of bull**** of the highest calibre.
It used to be, but the frames now have a different geometry. Look up the specs. Of course, that doesn't mean it is made for all women, just for the average body proportions of women.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight View Post
It used to be, but the frames now have a different geometry. Look up the specs. Of course, that doesn't mean it is made for all women, just for the average body proportions of women.
Exactly, the average proportions of women are no different than men.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:03 AM
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My wife insists on a WSD, even though she has legs that are short for most women her height. I'm pretty sure she'd actually fit better on a non-WSD.

As for WSD being BS, not so. The idea is that many (most?) women have proportionally longer legs/shorter torsos for their height than men of the same height. Making a frame that takes that into account make sense.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:10 AM
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Gals - do you really like the colors of the WSD bikes out there? Pinks, light blues, etc.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:33 AM
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Here's something I've noticed about women and their bicycles:

I ride with a lot of avid women cyclists, and I've observed that most of them prefer their bars right around the same height as their saddles.

The same doesn't seem to be true for men, who seem to have at least a 2" drop from saddle to bars.

I have no idea why there is a difference between males and females in this bar height preference, but it sure seems to be very common. I can only assume at least some of the WSD designs take this higher bar location into account.
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Old 02-21-08, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Exactly, the average proportions of women are no different than men.
Incorrect.
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Old 02-21-08, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sprocket Man View Post
Womens bikes tend to smell better.
+1
Also...generally male bikes are faster.
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Old 02-21-08, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Here's something I've noticed about women and their bicycles:

I ride with a lot of avid women cyclists, and I've observed that most of them prefer their bars right around the same height as their saddles.

The same doesn't seem to be true for men, who seem to have at least a 2" drop from saddle to bars.

I have no idea why there is a difference between males and females in this bar height preference, but it sure seems to be very common. I can only assume at least some of the WSD designs take this higher bar location into account.
I haven't seen this to be the case with girls I have ridden with. Many of them have the same drop if not more then many men. Women are inherently more flexible and I can think of two good reasons why they can endure a bigger and not smaller bar drop compared to men.

To your point, men are naturally more aggressive and they will endure more pain to be faster.

Again, the women I ride with are if anything more aero then men.
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Old 02-21-08, 07:57 AM
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FWIW, I recently purchased a small Devinci compact CX and a Specialized WSD 47cm Dolce. For argument's sake, let's say they're both apples, i.e.,the Devinci S = a Spec 47cm.

The wheel base and the top tube on the Devinci are @ 1cm longer than the Spec but the handlebars are the same width. About what one might expect with a WSD.

And of course the paint job on the Dolce has femininity written all over it.
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Old 02-21-08, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Exactly, the average proportions of women are no different than men.
Wow. I'm glad I don't live in Toronto. Must be some seriously ugly women up there.



Seriously, there is a good article on WSD in the Velonews Buying Guide that just came out. It breaks WSD down into 3 categories:

1) Small frame and pink,

2) Women friendly ( some components smaller, and lighter.)

3) True WSD, different frame geometry, as well as components spec'd for a woman's weight and size.
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Old 02-21-08, 08:15 AM
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I wondered what the point of WSD bikes were. I would have thought just getting a smaller size bike would be sufficient. Wouldn't a smaller size bike have narrower bars for example or do the manufacturers just have the standard size bar on a small frame even if the bike is designed for a small guy? Makes no sense.

I would say the only thing a woman needs is a different saddle, but not entirely sure that's even required.

Does this thread imply a short guy needs to ride a WSD bike? Maybe it's just marketing. However, an earlier post mentioned his wife moved to WSD and was more comfortable, so who am I to argue...
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