Women's bikes vs small men's bikes?

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Women's bikes vs small men's bikes?

Postby MattyK » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:24 pm

Hi all
My wife is shopping for a road bike after having a flat bar roadie for a while. Most women's bikes are/have pink and purple and she hates the cliche colours - colour scheme seems to be the main buying criteria. Is there anything notable between women's bikes and a small men's frame? She is liking the look of a Merida 905... Got measured in the shop and it is reportedly the ideal dimensions for her (52cm men's)

She's faced saddle discomfort so that will be the other thing that needs sorting out, hopefully with some pre-purchase testing

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Re: Women's bikes vs small men's bikes?

Postby gabrielle260 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:41 pm

Marty, for some so called "women's specific bikes", you are right - it is the colour scheme and little else.
The better ones will have slightly different proportions to a small men's bike including some or all of the following; shorter top tube, more upright seat angle, narrower handlebars, perhaps a longer head tube, shorter reach brakes/shifters, shallower drop handle bars.
You are on the right track though- the fit is the most important thing then the saddle.
Some women are lucky and can ride a small men's frame but many need something more specific.
As I've posted before, I got passionate about this when I realised how much pain my wife had put up with until she got a custom built frame. Her first remark on riding it for the first time was "I didn't realise cycling didn't need to hurt"

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Re: Women's bikes vs small men's bikes?

Postby Venus62 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:12 pm

I ride a men's Merida (904) and it is very comfortable. Actually the women's specific models were too small for me. I replaced the stock saddle with a Selle Italia Lady Diva, which was the right move for me. No saddle discomfort from day 1.

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Re: Women's bikes vs small men's bikes?

Postby marinmomma » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:42 pm

I ride a 'men's' frame however I have a women's saddle and bars than are the right width for me swapped over from what came standard.

I also have a women's specific bike bought for commuting however it was the best bike for the purpose that I was buying it for.

Merida are shocking for the WSD frames coming in 'girly' colours and lesser components compared to the men's.

Specialized were better until last years frames, in my opinion.

The specialized saddles are my preferred ones.


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Re: Women's bikes vs small men's bikes?

Postby ball bearing » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:48 pm

My wife inherited a Merida 905 from me. As we are the same height we can ride each others bikes - very handy. I popped on a Diva saddle and narrow bars. She hated the 38cm bars which I guessed were the right size for her according to her shoulder width. She prefers 44cm. I only wish that she would try clipless pedals.

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