A Question for ladies, do ladies ride ladies bike?

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A Question for ladies, do ladies ride ladies bike?

Postby gsxrboy » Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:01 pm

I went for a ride yesterday with my sister around the lovely Perth river run. We knocked over 27kms and my sister became increasingly frustrated with her bike. She hasn't been riding it much recently and wants something new, spesh after seeing my new ride. Her current bike is a GT ladies mtb, she (and I) think if she had a better roadie her motivation will pick up more and also her enjoyment.

Looking around though, I can't find many manufacturers that make bikes for ladies, specifically of a smaller frame, shorty is about 5' 2" thus restricting the choice a little more.

Do ladies just put up and shut up and ride guys bikes generally in road bikes ? or am I missing a whole heap of manufacturers offering them. The current thought is she could get a 08 OCR2W (sorry moosterbounce :P) which should do the trick, carbon forks and all. Budget is approx $1000, and she'll need to get a floor pump, some bits and pieces and some shorts probably. Any pointers for other 'ladies' rides?
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by BNA » Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:11 pm

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Postby europa » Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:11 pm

All the major manufacturers have a 'ladies' range, tailored for smaller and different shaped bodies to the men, and many bikes shops have a seperate section for the ladies. Methinks you just haven't looked in the right places yet. Mind you, many women (and I'm pretty sure our own Moo is one of them), find the men's bikes fit them better anyway.

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Postby Kalgrm » Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:40 pm

I know that at least Specialized make a range of women's bikes, but you wouldn't pick them just from looking at them. The only difference is the length of the top tube relative to the length of the seat tube. I rode with a lady the other night who just bought one of these bikes, but I can't remember the name of the frame. I can find out what it was and where she bought it if you like.

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Postby MountGower » Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:56 pm

G'day
Last edited by MountGower on Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sogood » Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:01 pm

I think the key issue to remember is that not every woman requires a so called woman frame. Similarly, not all men fits a man frame well. It really comes down to your particular body proportion. Those so called women's frame is a bit of an arbitrary division, partly driven by factual physical differences on average, partly driven by marketing.

A good bike fitter would check all those measurements and correlate it with the type of riding you need to do. Even in the regular men frame range from different companies, there are significant differences in the top tube length for a particular seat tube size.
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:06 pm

The differences a womans bike is suppose to have is;
- shorter top tube
- narrower handlebars
- less reach to the brake leavers
- wider seat

This caters for the typical differences between a male and female of the same height
- shorter body
- shorter arms
- narrower shoulders
- smaller hands
- wider hips

Some of the womans specific frames fail with this
- longer legs

As the other posters have pointed out not all of us have "typical" bodies
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Postby toolonglegs » Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:50 pm

Here is a brand made by woman for woman...
http://www.sarahulmerbrand.com
Don't know too much about them but Sarah Ulmer knows her stuff and they are made only for woman.
Plus being a kiwi I have to be biased :wink:
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Postby mikesbytes » Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:10 pm

There's some great photos of Sarah Ulmer

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Postby moosterbounce » Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:49 pm

Another of the failings of a women's specific design is that many of them are called the Diva model or come in pink :roll: and quite a lot don't have particularly good specs ie only available with Sora gears, not Ultegra (just an example...not picking!!).

There are:
SUB (Sarah Ulmer Brand) - Fleet in the city have heaps in stock
Scott - the Contessa range - don't think my BikeForce has any of these in, but can order
Trek - WSD range - I know there is at least 1 in the Joondalup BikeForce
Giant - they have heaps and seem to be available everywhere!!
Cannondale - Feminine range - try TBE
Specialized - Dolce range - try Fleet
Orbea - Diva range - Many shops including Fleet and Bikeforce
Bianchi - Dama Bianca range - check Elite Racing Cycles for all things "green"
LeMond - unsure who sells these locally
Felt - FW series...Elite sells these too I believe
etc

So...there are heaps out there.

Personally, I don't like the WSD at all. I am 172cm (about 5'7") so perhaps that gives me more flexibility with bike designs. My husband is 176cm and. if he ever rode my bike, the seat would need to be lowered. I also have quite a long reach and broad shoulders, so the CR1 I bought didn't even need a stem change!!

I can appreciate the closer brake levers, but believe these can be adjusted. Remember, even with men's bikes, they need to cater for many different heights, and short men don't have huge hands so the brake levers would need to cater for them too.

As for seat...it really is personal preference. I'm happy with my standard Selle Italia C2, and find that a wider seat isn't as comfy as it feels like it is pushing my hips apart (and I have pretty wide hips!!). Maybe this is just what I am used to.

I reckon she needs to try a few different bikes - both women's and men's specific, to work out what feels best. Don't forget the big difference betwene a road and an mtb. I'm not comfy on an mtb but like the road positioning - she may be the same.

Hope some of this helps.
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Postby sogood » Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:49 pm

mikesbytes wrote:There's some great photos of Sarah Ulmer

Was that a women specific frame? :wink:
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Postby LuckyPierre » Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:58 pm

sogood wrote: Was that a women specific frame? :wink:

I strongly suspect that it was a 'one woman specific' frame - and there weren't many other women who could catch her on it! :wink:
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Postby gsxrboy » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:05 pm

Thanks for the info, I had web looked at a few of those brands and wondered at the pricing of them, they might be a little bit over what she wants to spend, but we will have a good look around. Cheers!
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Postby beauyboy » Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:54 am

The Sarah Ulmer Brand or SUB for short seams to be quite popular. These bikes are very easy to pick out as they have the Biological symble for female on the frame. Many a time when a lady rides past on a drop or flat bar she is on a SUB

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Postby cray- » Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:06 am

Most importantly the SUB bikes come in PINK!

I had my gf in tow while touring a few bike shops yesterday and that was the bike she said she wanted, regardless of spec/price/etc.
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Postby beauyboy » Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:25 am

They do come in more girly colours. However I am yet to see a pick one. I have scene paste green and blue but not pink.

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Postby sogood » Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:45 am

cray- wrote:Most importantly the SUB bikes come in PINK!

:shock:
I am thinking of Tuco's bike right now...
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Postby moosterbounce » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:59 pm

I find the "ladies" colour scheme and naming conventions really annoying about the women's specific frames. I wish they were called "shorter body and narrower shoulder" frames. Seriously, there are quite a few men that are better suited to a WSF, but would never buuy one as it would be a death sentence to ride a pink Feminine bike. Luckily Tuco only cops flack about the colour...imagine if it was one of these models too?! :shock:

I think it is limiting the market...and stereotyping both men and women.

Rant over now folks :)
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Postby Kalgrm » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:25 pm

Good rant Moo. Well said.
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Postby gsxrboy » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:39 pm

Price checking some of others show most to be above what she is likely to want to spend. The Trek 1000wsd, '07 SUBzero.1 and Giant OCR2W will be about the limit considering she will need to grab other stuff like a floor pump, shorts and travel pump/kit for the bike, maybe even a new cadence pooter. Bianchi, Scott, Specialized etc will all be a bit much, though sis may surprise me yet :)

24-27sp sora + carbon front should be a decent, speedier step up from her current mtb.

We'll go ride fit her out on the weekend, weather permitting.

Appreciate the input from all, but it wouldn't be fair for her to by a Bianchi and not get me one :wink:
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Postby europa » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:44 pm

The other thing to remember is that when buying new, you can usually change things with little or no cost - the parts on the bike just going into the shop's stock inventory. Make sure she's fitted when you buy the bike.

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Postby gsxrboy » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:51 pm

Measured up and purchased last saturday after many hours in a few shops. As is always the way, sis spent a bit more than she wanted, but will be happy on a 2008 Subzero.2
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