Author Topic: Women’s Specific Bicycles  (Read 3134 times)

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Offline JLDolan

Women’s Specific Bicycles
« on: February 03, 2019, 01:12:17 pm »
Looking for a touring bike for my wife. Is women’s specific design (WSD) a thing of the past? I’ve been told elsewhere that WSD is no longer relevant which I find hard to believe. We’re both getting into touring and I have a ton of options. From what I’m seeing, there are not a lot for women.
Looking for a bike that can accommodate front and rear panniers, drop bars , decent grouppo, disc brakes, thru axels and women-proportioned cockpit.

Offline HGuthertz

Re: Women’s Specific Bicycles
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2019, 08:48:49 pm »
I am 5 feet, 2 inches and a very experienced long-distance biker - I am currently 64 and have been touring since aged 16. That said, I must say that my worst bike by far was a WSD - I will not mention the brand, but suffice it to say it was very expensive.

My advice is for your wife to visit a local bike store that has an expert fitter. You might have to ask around at bike clubs, etc. to find out who is good. I would then see what he or she recommends.

It is possible to outfit a touring bike with many different wheel configurations - 700 cm wheels; 26 inch wheels; 650b;  that can help with the fit. Even if your wife is under 5 feet, 2 inches there are possibilities. I have toured on a Bike Friday travel bike with 20 inch wheels - used my regular Arkel panniers.

So don't get sucked into the WSD thing. Seek out a good fitter and go from there.

If you have more specific questions, we can continue to discuss via private messaging.


Offline Inge

Re: Women’s Specific Bicycles
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 12:38:18 am »

Here another woman who has never bothered with women specific bikes. Always used the "men's" versions for they are way stiffer - frame wise. Depends on the brand how long the reach of the top tube is. I would suggest to go to a good bikeshop/ bikefitter with lots of different brands and try out a few.

Offline oldguybiker

Re: Women’s Specific Bicycles
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 08:19:57 am »
You can't go wrong with a custom frame from a reputable builder. They fit the frame to the rider and the entire bike to the purpose intended. Co-Motion makes custom bikes, and is an ACA supporter/sponsor/advertiser. I have one of their touring models, a Cascadia, and swear by it for fit, form, function and quality.

~~ spins, grins, and tailwinds   

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Women’s Specific Bicycles
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 12:10:29 pm »
I think a lot will depend on what your wife's fit issues are.  There are smaller frames, and they are often done with women/girls, and adolescent boys in mine.  In theory, compared to a male of the same height, a female will have longer legs and a shorter torso.  So smaller frames often have shorter top tubes.  Of course most of us are not text book with our fit needs.  I have short legs and a long torso, and have one custom bike, but I almost always can find a stock frame that fits me.

Georgina Terry had a bike company that sold women's bikes with a 700c rear wheel and a smaller front wheel.  Georgina sold her company and retired, but she still dabbles.  Last I heard she was equipping stock frames made by Waterford.  I think she is in New York.  Her bikes are not cheap but they are not outrageous either.  It worth your time to visit her web site.

So if you are not interested on Georgina Terry then I think your next stop is to find a bike shop that you trust and work with them.  Just remember that fitting a race bike is nothing like fitting a touring bike.  I guess it also goes without saying that if they steer you to go custom, that a bike company known for custom racing bikes, may know squat about doing a custom touring bike.

I think I would avoid a custom touring bike for your first touring bike.  Unless you are rich and money is no object, or a very confident that touring is something that you want to do, I would start with something more off the shelf.

Why are you insisting on a thru axle?  This will limit your choices and it is not required for most touring. 

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Women’s Specific Bicycles
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 01:27:15 pm »
What's the particular issue? I crossed the country with a small group that included five women. None of them has WSD bikes.

If the issue is finding a small size, check out the Surly Disk Trucker. Everything you are looking for except thru axle, which I agree is unnecessary for most touring, if at all. But it is trendy.