help deciding on a women's road bike

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by oberlaenderm, May 31, 2003.

  1. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    Hi! I am switching from a Trek 7200 hybrid bike to a road bike, so I can build up speed in my cycling. I still plan to ride primarily on a long, flat paved bike path that runs the length of my Florida county. I am considering buying Fuji's Finest Women's road bike with a 51" frame, since I am 5' 3" with a short torso and have heard that the women's geometry of the bike would make it fit better. I have ridden about 3,500 miles since last September, so I'd like something that's comfortable in a racing bike design. Does anyone have any experience with the Fuji bike? Or do you have any better suggestions for another model that I should try? I have a limited budget, so I'm not shopping in the upper echelons of price range. I'd appreciate any input you may have on this matter. Happy cycling!
    Michaela
     
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  2. MtnBikerChk

    MtnBikerChk New Member

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    sounds like you are headed in the right direction. go to lots of shops near you and talk to lots of people and ride lots of different bikes.

    I ended up with a non-women's specific bike - just find what's right for you.
     
  3. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. What do you ride?
     
  4. MtnBikerChk

    MtnBikerChk New Member

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    I bought a Giant OCR 1.
     
  5. jollydog

    jollydog New Member

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    I am 5'2-1/2", I also ride in flat Florida, and started biking last summer when a knee injury kept me away from my first love, running. I got a Fuji Robaix Pro for my 15 year marrige anniversary. I love it. It is 46" frame, fits me like a glove. I only had to change the seat, got one with a hole in the middle (Serfas racing model). The saddle bike came with slopes upwards at the front and hurt me on rides longer than 1hr. I rode Key West to Key Largo (100 miles), then the MS Bike Tour (75 miles). Very confy. Sounds like the size bike your are looking at may be to big (51"???) if you are short like me. I only long for fancier drive train , but for the money this bike is great. If this is your first road bike, Fuji Robaix Pro is great. My next bike will have the fancy stuff.
     
  6. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I was told it depends on the bike co, which measurements count: i.e. I tried a Lemond 49 cm bike and it fit, but the 51 cm Fuji Finest fits fine also. Mine has one of the channel saddles, but I must say I miss the cushy one I had on the hybrid. I guess I'll get used to having a different part of my pelvis hit the saddle, since the body positioning is so much different from riding a comfort-type of bike. I do enjoy the fact that now my average is up considerably over my old bike, without more effort. What kind of fancy stuff are you longing for? If you're in Pinellas Co, let me know and maybe we can ride on the 34-mile long Pinellas Trail together.
     
  7. jollydog

    jollydog New Member

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    I ride in Broward and Palm Beach County ...I've heard of the Pinellas Trail, will have to check it out. Re:fancy stuff, I'd love to have smoother gears, would like to put my bike gloves in some of those Dura Ace or Campagnolo Record ones...maybe for my 20th anniversary (instead of a diamond). For now my Fuji Robaix Pro with shimanos 105' s will do. May the Force let you put lots of miles in your Finest.
     
  8. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    Thanks. Happy cycling to you as well!
     
  9. idealhilton

    idealhilton New Member

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    Haven't seen a mention of toptube measurement yet. Althougth the seat-tube is important will all the compact frames around today finding a frame like a 44cm is quite easy but compare the toptube length between bikes .But if you want a race bike make sure the headangle is not shallower than 72 degrees or it will probably ride like a tractor.
     
  10. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    Okay, this shows my ignorance of the technical details: I definitely have to find out what exactly toptube measurements and headangle measurements are in order to have the faintest clue how they would affect the rige. I guess I'll swing my local bike shop and find out more.

    Another question: my bike has the 650 cc wheels instead of the full 700 cc ones, since these fit the frame of the bike. Since a smaller diameter wheel has to turn longer to cover the same distance than a larger diameter one, would there be an appreciable difference in cycling speed or in the amount of energy that needs to be put into the pedaling, if the wheel size is the only factor to consider? It's something that my husband brought up, after I had purchased the bike. Anyone who has an inkling of physics in conjunction with cycling might want to tackle this one.
     
  11. idealhilton

    idealhilton New Member

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    26" (650) wheels have their merits in producing a more proportional bike for small riders. They are a bit lighter & stiffer & appear to accelerate out of corners quicker ....
    BUT you'll have a more limited choice of tyres & tubes, in the event of a mishap it is unlikely you will be able to borrow a fellow riders wheel, tube, tyre etc. & the general consensus is 700c wheels will roll better at top speed & will give a less harsher ride.
    You will find plenty of arguments for & against 650c on tri websites.
     
  12. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    Thanks! I'll check out the tri websites & stock up on some inner tubes, just in case. My best on-road repair tool right now is still my cell phone -- so I can call my husband to come and get me, instead of trying to do repairs on-site, since I'm not the most mechanically gifted person in the world.
     
  13. omega lambda

    omega lambda New Member

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    oberlaenderm,

    Did you get a bike? I can't tell if when talking about wheel size, you are referring to your new road bike or your previous bike.

    At any rate, I've been stoking on a tandem for about a year now, and finally got my own bike last weekend. After shopping around a bit and riding a bunch of different women's and men's bikes, I finally decided on the Lemond Zurich. It's a great bike for me, and incredibly stable at high speeds. Check it out if you haven't already.
     
  14. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    Yes, actually, I did buy the Fuji Finest Women's specific bike -- that's the one with the 650 cc tires. And I found out that I have to go to a cycling shop to get inner tubes, since Wal-Mart doesn't carry them.
    The Lemond bikes seemed very nice when I checked them out. Maybe for when I upgrade. . . Psst! Don't tell my husband -- he thinks I'll ride this bike forever. :)
     
  15. oberlaenderm

    oberlaenderm New Member

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    My Fuji has a triple 52-42-30 crank up front and has Shimano Sora shifters & derailleurs. I paid $600 for a Finest, so $700 for a Robaix is a steal.

    I plan to upgrade the Sora stuff and make it a 9-speed with Shimano Ultegra before the year is out, and then it ought to be a fine ride. I'll keep the triple however, just in case I do any hilly rides, although here in Florida it's pretty flat.

    What material is the Robaix made of? Mine is cromoly steel, so that provides a comfortable ride, with decent weight, although it's not superlight. One of my cycling chick friends pointed out that all the fuss about a few grams less weight here & there is really negligible -- especially since she'd do much better by losing 20 pounds. :)

    I must say that I really like Fuji's women's geometry -- by now the bike seems like an extension of me. And I tried some other much more expensive ones first. Spring for a professional fitting ($55 here) and it will work much better for you. The standard saddle on my bike (blue & gray leather with a cutout in the middle) is wonderful if you do longer rides. I let the bike shop talk me into trying a $40 Serfa women's seat & that was ditched after about two weeks.

    I just rode my first century ever today, and although my rear is sore (need to tote a small amount of bag balm for when it wears off after some hours next time), I was pleased to find that my Fuji was able to keep pace with people on much "sexier" bikes, that cost at least 5 times a much. Ultimately, if the bike fits you, I think the rider makes the most difference, especially if you're not doing pro racing.

    I'm not certain that I answered the question about "silly gearing," since I'm not sure what you mean by that exactly. But Bicycle magazine recently made buying recommendations, and Fuji bikes ranked well, even though they don't elicit the kinds of reactions among other cyclists that Bianchis or Lightspeeds, for instance, do. I'd really recommend it, provided that the frame fits your size.

    Hope this helps. Happy cycling!
     
  16. jollydog

    jollydog New Member

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    To Oberlaenderderm & Runtherookies:

    Since my last post I decided to keep driving my 8 y/o stationwagon and splurge on a custom all carbon fiber bike before I got to old and scared to ride fast. My Fuji Robaix Pro was Reynolds 853 steel with shimano 105's, I am sorry to say that the ride on the carbon fiber bike is only a little better(smoother). The carbon fiber bike is about 2 miles per hour faster than the Fuji (that is a big difference), and climbs better, but I think it is because the wheel set (fancy Mavic Ksyrium Elite) is so much better than Fuji's standard Richey wheelset, not because of difference in bike weight.The carbon fiber bike does not seem to be that much lighter than the Fuji.

    I have better gear system now (ultegra/dura ace) but I do not need to switch gears a lot since I ride in flat land. The 105's are fine.
    I also ditched the serfas seat and now have Terry butterfly gel - that seat with some A & D ointment makes centuries painless.

    Fuij changes the components of their models from year to year so do not know exactly what Runtherookies has in her Robaix, but a $700 entry level bike is a good price - then keep driving your old car and get the bike of your dreams when you know what you need.
     
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