Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

What makes a womens bike "women specific?"

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What makes a womens bike "women specific?"

Old 12-30-11, 08:12 PM
  #1  
undisputed83
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
undisputed83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Westbrook, Maine
Posts: 555

Bikes: 2011 Litespeed M-1, 1991 Raleigh Technium (Commuter)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What makes a womens bike "women specific?"

Reason I'm asking is I'm shopping for a used bike for my gf. I'm trying to find something in the $600-$800 range used that has 105's or better. There isn't a very big used market for ladies bikes. And even if we do find something nice, what are the odds it'll be the right size?

So what I'm also wondering is if we happen to find a men's 49-51cm, could it be converted so that it's women specific?
undisputed83 is offline  
Old 12-30-11, 08:15 PM
  #2  
DropDeadFred
Senior Member
 
DropDeadFred's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4,429

Bikes: 2013 orca

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
geometry...me thinks

edit: google works try this
DropDeadFred is offline  
Old 12-30-11, 08:18 PM
  #3  
Velo Gator
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 14,702

Bikes: Cervélo S2

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Mine is a 48cm men's bike. Cervelo can make them "women specific" by adding more narrow handlebars and a different saddle.

Velo Gator is offline  
Old 12-30-11, 08:37 PM
  #4  
Bearonabike
Senior Member
 
Bearonabike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Space Coast of Florida
Posts: 1,065

Bikes: Jamis Aurora, Fuji S10S (Primary Bike), Nishiki Prestige (in rebuild)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Geometry, as in top tube length, as well as narrower handlebars and a female specific saddle. Plus, I hear they mix estrogen into the paint.
Bearonabike is offline  
Old 12-30-11, 08:59 PM
  #5  
abstractform20
Senior Member
 
abstractform20's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,884
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
correct me if im wrong, but womens specific bikes are mentally inferior, and cant vote.
abstractform20 is offline  
Old 12-30-11, 09:14 PM
  #6  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 33,262

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4406 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 173 Posts
Seems like most of them are just paint, stem and bars, maybe saddle. Unless she's really short, one can setup a "unisex" bike to fit her just fine.

Terry took a little time out to write a couple of paragraphs on her fit philosophy, if you want to read...

http://www.terrybicycles.com/Bike-Fit
LesterOfPuppets is online now  
Old 12-30-11, 09:18 PM
  #7  
DropDeadFred
Senior Member
 
DropDeadFred's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4,429

Bikes: 2013 orca

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
and they almost all are pink, purple or aqua of sorts....

or this
DropDeadFred is offline  
Old 12-30-11, 10:30 PM
  #8  
valygrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 8,546
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Get her a "gift certificate" or "IOU" for a bike - don't buy one without her trying it. Don't focus on "women's specific" - focus on fit. I am 5'2" and ride a not-WSD bike.

That said, women's bikes usually have
- shorter top tube
- taller head tube
- women's saddle
- narrower handlebars
- shorter reach brake levers (not often)

The important part is top tube fit, and just plan on having to do some saddle trial and error.
valygrl is offline  
Old 12-30-11, 10:43 PM
  #9  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
shorter reach levers are pretty important for smaller hands, but most of the levers offered today have shims to adjust the reach so it's not a huge issue.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Old 12-30-11, 11:26 PM
  #10  
a1penguin
Senior Member
 
a1penguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 3,169
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Respectable looking WSD. Unfortunately, there is toe overlap with the front wheel. I *hate* it when they make women's bike's pink or some other @_)^@$ wussy color. They sometimes give women's versions different names for the same model. Same for clothing. It drives me crazy.
a1penguin is offline  
Old 12-30-11, 11:30 PM
  #11  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 33,262

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4406 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 173 Posts
I like pink bikes personally but I don't care for it when they put those Ikea / Target shower curtain type designs on them. Yuck!
LesterOfPuppets is online now  
Old 12-30-11, 11:46 PM
  #12  
DGlenday
Senior Member
 
DGlenday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 1,248

Bikes: Cannondale, Trek

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bonktown - right now:

Kona Lisa RD (woman's) Bike

Alum with carbon forks

Selle Italia X2 Lady saddle

150 / Ultegra mix

18 lbs

$685 - right in your price range!
DGlenday is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 12:36 AM
  #13  
I <3 Robots
Senior Member
 
I <3 Robots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,657

Bikes: Cervelo S2, Workswell 062, Banshee Spitfire

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think its more marketing than anything else. "Shrink and pink" is what Gerard Vroomen called it.


Last edited by I <3 Robots; 12-31-11 at 12:41 AM.
I <3 Robots is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 10:56 AM
  #14  
adacas
noooooooooooooooooooob!
 
adacas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Fresno, Ca.
Posts: 261

Bikes: Schwinn Fastback Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Women tend to have longer legs, shorter torsos and arms with narrow shoulders and small hands. Their seats are also tuned for them as well. We've fit women on WSD frames who have been riding a mans frame and most of them have stated there being a difference. With that said we haven't had too many problems fitting women on mens bikes either. Especially if they are giants by lady standards. Just takes a bit of adjusting with shorter stems, wider seats, and narrower bar. We've seen too many women stretched out on oversize male bikes with poor fittings. With all that said I have noticed a bit of trend in some manufacturers to take a lot of performance out of female bikes by using poorer components than the male specific equivalent. We have switched components on a couple of bikes for this reason. Manufacturers are getting better about this as they take note of complaints.
adacas is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 11:24 AM
  #15  
Wizel603
Senior Member
 
Wizel603's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NH
Posts: 61

Bikes: 85 univega supra sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by adacas View Post
Women tend to have longer legs, shorter torsos ...
I believe that part itself is mostly a myth. The female abdominal region to rib cage proportion is slightly larger I believe, and for overall height of men and woman of the same leg length females on average tend to be shorter. But the leg to torso ratio difference, on average, is negligible.

http://www.active.com/triathlon/Arti...-Dimension.htm
Wizel603 is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 11:37 AM
  #16  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,095
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 155 Times in 131 Posts
Originally Posted by Wizel603 View Post
I believe that part itself is mostly a myth. The female abdominal region to rib cage proportion is slightly larger I believe, and for overall height of men and woman of the same leg length females on average tend to be shorter. But the leg to torso ratio difference, on average, is negligible.
I haven't designed a lot of bikes for women, but this is my understanding. If anything, there may be a slight bias towards women that need longer top tubes for their frame size.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 01:36 PM
  #17  
AEO
Senior Member
 
AEO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A Coffin Called Earth. or Toronto, ON
Posts: 12,258

Bikes: Bianchi, Miyata, Dahon, Rossin

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I'm a guy, but I would benefit from a bike with shorter top tube.
__________________
Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm
AEO is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 01:57 PM
  #18  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 30,474

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 428 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10328 Post(s)
Liked 515 Times in 327 Posts
I agree it's 98% marketing bullsh*t. And 2% pink.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is online now  
Old 12-31-11, 01:58 PM
  #19  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 30,474

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 428 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10328 Post(s)
Liked 515 Times in 327 Posts
Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
Respectable looking WSD. Unfortunately, there is toe overlap with the front wheel. I *hate* it when they make women's bike's pink or some other @_)^@$ wussy color. They sometimes give women's versions different names for the same model. Same for clothing. It drives me crazy.
What's wrong with toe overlap?? All my bikes have MAJOR toe overlap and it's not an issue once you know it's there.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is online now  
Old 12-31-11, 02:37 PM
  #20  
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,804

Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Take a look at the Jamis Satellite Sport Femme Model...

It's right there!

www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/satellite/12_satellitesportf_wh.html

- Slim

Last edited by SlimRider; 12-31-11 at 02:41 PM.
SlimRider is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 07:51 PM
  #21  
trek2.3bike
Senior Member
 
trek2.3bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 255

Bikes: Trek 5.2 and Trek 2.3 WSD upgraded to full Ultegra.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Wizel603 View Post
Originally Posted by adacas
Women tend to have longer legs, shorter torsos ...


I believe that part itself is mostly a myth. The female abdominal region to rib cage proportion is slightly larger I believe, and for overall height of men and woman of the same leg length females on average tend to be shorter. But the leg to torso ratio difference, on average, is negligible. [now, this last statement is correct]
If one is true, so is the other. You can't have it both ways.
trek2.3bike is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 08:01 PM
  #22  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 33,262

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4406 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 173 Posts
Originally Posted by datlas View Post
What's wrong with toe overlap?? All my bikes have MAJOR toe overlap and it's not an issue once you know it's there.
+1 ! If I get on a bike without overlap I'm like "What the hell is this? Some kinda mountain bike?"
LesterOfPuppets is online now  
Old 12-31-11, 08:28 PM
  #23  
009jim
Senior Member
 
009jim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,288

Bikes: Giant CRX3, Trek 7100

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I figure women are more inclined to purchase something that has been made "specifically for them". Whether there is any difference is questionable. Seating could be important. If I had that sensitive stuff between my legs I would not want to crush it into my seat for 10 miles.
009jim is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 08:37 PM
  #24  
a1penguin
Senior Member
 
a1penguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 3,169
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by datlas View Post
What's wrong with toe overlap?? All my bikes have MAJOR toe overlap and it's not an issue once you know it's there.
It hasn't been a major issue.... yet. Hopefully I won't find myself in a position where it is a problem. Crappy picture, but you can get a pretty good idea how much overlap there is. I didn't want a bike with 650 wheels, which is what they often put on bikes with smaller frames.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
toe_overlap.jpg (48.2 KB, 12 views)
a1penguin is offline  
Old 12-31-11, 11:47 PM
  #25  
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,804

Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I once hit a pothole and was jarred out of my saddle directly onto the top tube. It hurt like the dickens! I couldn't help but to wonder why mens bikes have to have the top tube so much higher than womens bikes.

....Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Just Say'N...

- Slim
SlimRider is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.