Help us pick a Woman's first road bike



DZ-015

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Oct 25, 2005
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Hi,

My wife is pretty keen on getting into cycling - primarily to get fit and lose some weight. I'm a competitive road racer myself, so I'm really pleased she's considering getting into the sport.

Our price limit is £500 ($US950) for a woman's specific road bike.

This narrows our search down to a Trek 1000 WSD or a Revolution WSD (made by a Scottish company - Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op).

Comfort and safety are my top concerns and a test ride will be mandatory. We'd be very grateful for any opinions on the above bikes or general experiences on shopping for a woman's specific bike.

Thanks!
 

matagi

Well-Known Member
Mar 12, 2006
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I have no experience with either of those bikes, but just wanted to offer a suggestion based on my experience as a female rider..... Don't limit yourself to WSD bikes, they don't fit all women and you might find a mens compact frame works better, so it might be worth checking out those as well.
 

gclark8

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Apr 13, 2004
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Trek is Ok, see also Giant SCRw range.

Some of the entry level Felts are good for the ladies. My GF rides a Felt F100 47cm 650c, it fits her nice, better than the giants and treks. ;)

What height is the Lady?

Edit: OCR in Aus is SCR in UK. ;)
 

Little Jackie

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Sep 21, 2004
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Road bikes are not comfort bikes, but can be made more comfortable by the addition of a suspension seat post (only on flat bar though) and making sure the fit is just right. You did say that comfort and safety were your main priorities

I was just saying to the BF that road bikes are a much harder (as in firmer) ride. I have a mountain bike with suspension seat post for suburb riding which is much more comfortable - especially if I run the tyre pressures slightly lower. By changing the cassette on the back and changing the chain rings on a Giant Sedona, 2 years ago, I was able to get road bike performance before I was able to buy a road bike that actually fitted me. (Nothing previously available in my price range)

At the moment, I am considering buying a ladies Giant Upland 2007 and doing some modifications to gain an ideal weight and performance and keeping comfort for rougher terrain. My current mountain bike is perfect, but too heavy.

Hope this gives you some food for thought.

Jackie
 

DZ-015

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Oct 25, 2005
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gclark8 said:
Trek is Ok, see also Giant OCRw range.

Some of the entry level Felts are good for the ladies. My GF rides a Felt F100 47cm 650c, it fits her nice, better than the giants and treks. ;)

What height is the Lady?
She's 5 feet 2inches (157.5cm)
 

DZ-015

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Oct 25, 2005
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Little Jackie said:
Road bikes are not comfort bikes, but can be made more comfortable by the addition of a suspension seat post (only on flat bar though) and making sure the fit is just right. You did say that comfort and safety were your main priorities

I was just saying to the BF that road bikes are a much harder (as in firmer) ride. I have a mountain bike with suspension seat post for suburb riding which is much more comfortable - especially if I run the tyre pressures slightly lower. By changing the cassette on the back and changing the chain rings on a Giant Sedona, 2 years ago, I was able to get road bike performance before I was able to buy a road bike that actually fitted me. (Nothing previously available in my price range)

At the moment, I am considering buying a ladies Giant Upland 2007 and doing some modifications to gain an ideal weight and performance and keeping comfort for rougher terrain. My current mountain bike is perfect, but too heavy.

Hope this gives you some food for thought.

Jackie
Thanks Jackie. I realise that some comfort must be sacrificed for speed and low weight, but I really want my wife's first road bike experience to be a positive one. Lots of good advice here, thanks everyone!
 

SouthBayGal

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Aug 10, 2006
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DZ-015 said:
Hi,

My wife is pretty keen on getting into cycling - primarily to get fit and lose some weight. I'm a competitive road racer myself, so I'm really pleased she's considering getting into the sport.

Our price limit is £500 ($US950) for a woman's specific road bike.

This narrows our search down to a Trek 1000 WSD or a Revolution WSD (made by a Scottish company - Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op).

Comfort and safety are my top concerns and a test ride will be mandatory. We'd be very grateful for any opinions on the above bikes or general experiences on shopping for a woman's specific bike.

Thanks!

DZ,

Unfortunately, the is no "right" answer to fit everyone. I am 5-1 and tested the Trek, Giant and Cannondale bikes. I found the 47cm too large for me, but then I found the perfect fit in a 48cm Specialized. But everyBODY is different when it comes to proportion, and she won't know what is comfortable until she actually gets on one and is fitted.

You can get a nice starter bike for $950. The best solution is to look for a higher quality bike that is used/tuned up or for 2006 models. Since the 2007 models are coming out, dealers are willing to slash the prices for last year's models, most of which vary little from the newest versions.

And I agree with Matagi. Don't limit your search to WSD bikes. Compact frames do well too. Just keep in mind that the handlebars may seem a bit wide. Try to negotiate a deal with your seller about swapping out for narrower handlebars if necessary.
 

Little Jackie

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Sep 21, 2004
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DZ-015 said:
Thanks Jackie. I realise that some comfort must be sacrificed for speed and low weight, but I really want my wife's first road bike experience to be a positive one. Lots of good advice here, thanks everyone!

I was looking at an OCR3W (SCR3W in UK) in my LBS the other day and it looks like a nice bike for a small person - I think you would need 2W. The cranks are correctly proportioned as is most of the other gear. The wheels are 650c the same as my Felt (I am 5'). I have found no problem with 650c wheels as I can spin up faster and do not get left behind. If they are not considered to be so good, why do time trial bikes usually have 650c?

With the gearing changed on my 24" tyre mtb, I can duplicate the performance of the Felt as far as speed goes(though the bike is not stable), which only goes to show that smaller wheels are not the issue for performance, gearing is!

My Felt is a very precise little bike.

Hope that gives you some more food for thought.
 

tumbleweed77

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Aug 27, 2006
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I just bought my first road bike and absolutely love it... it's a women's specific Specialized, Dolce... it's a good beginner bike, but not shabby in the least. it cost around $850
 

DZ-015

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Oct 25, 2005
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tumbleweed77 said:
I just bought my first road bike and absolutely love it... it's a women's specific Specialized, Dolce... it's a good beginner bike, but not shabby in the least. it cost around $850
Thanks for all the useful advice.
It looks like we're going for the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op Continental Road Race WSD. The reach was good and there's plenty of options for adjustment.

http://www.edinburgh-bicycle.co.uk/catalogue/detail.cfm?ID=22629

My wife is test riding it on Wednesday, but I've also advised her to test ride a Dolce while she's at the shop. We also managed to get her kitted out with shoes, helmet, jersey, shorts and gloves for around £500 (including the bike if she goes for it).

On the way home from the shop she said if she'd spent £500 on clothes, she'd be wracked with guilt. Spending £500 on something that could change your life for the better is a completely different feeling!

Can't wait to get her out there. :):):)
 

imagesinthewind

New Member
Jul 11, 2006
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Did you get the bike for your wife?

I only ask because I wanted to add my humble opinion to this thread.

I tested the giant, the trek and a fuji royale.
I ended up falling head over heels in love with the Spcialized Sirrus Comp.
I got an 05 model on sale at the LBS for $850US.
It is outstanding in comfort and the gel inserts in both the carbon fork and the seatpost make riding it very nice and comfortable. I went to this bike from a MTB with front suspension and the other bikes didn't have the gel and I could feel the texture of the road in my hands and bum.

If you haven't bought a bike yet and have a chanse to try this bike out for her, I highly reccomend trying it out!
 

DZ-015

New Member
Oct 25, 2005
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Hi,

Yes we got her kitted out with one of these in a 44cm (compact).

http://www.edinburgh-bicycle.co.uk/catalogue/detail.cfm?ID=22629

Plus load of Specialized Body Geometry stuff (Shorts, gloves, shoes etc).
She's been out 'round the local park a few times and seems to be enjoying it so far!

We looked at more expensive stuff, but wanted to keep the budget low in case she didn't enjoy it. We'll probably upgrade the saddle and bar tape soon.

Thanks for all your advice!
 

Little Jackie

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Sep 21, 2004
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It looks like a nice bike and the slightly lower top tube is good for a woman, though I was wondering if the frame is slightly large for her. You could make it fit her better by kicking the seat further forward so that she is not as stretched out. Good to see that the bike has 165ml cranks! 170's would have been a strain on the knees.

As she is likely to have small hands you will find that you can adjust the STI levers. Get the bike shop to show you how, I also had mine brought out as far as safely possible to help with the reach.

Before upgrading the saddle, try experimenting with tilt and forwards and backwards etc. Her sit bones should be back well on the saddle, I prefer my nose slightly tilted up. (You may need to make adjustments with the stem and handlebars) She should find that she naturally sits correctly-not slipping forward and not getting sore ladies bits if the bike is properly fitted for her. We have a gym,some bike shops, locally that do bike fits, may be worth thinking about unless you know a lot about it. If you ache overly in the wrong places it puts you off riding. A soft saddle is not necessarily the most comfortable option either. Mine is a standard comfort saddle which is quite firm but has a cut out slot. And as I have a narrow space between the legs, it is quite narrow.

Happy cycling!
 

gclark8

Member
Apr 13, 2004
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I wanted to expand on Jackie's comments on bike fit. I have set her up on all her bikes and all (bar one) have been a half size or one size too big.

I am currently setting up her Giant Upland 14" ladies bike. See: http://www.cyclingforums.com/t363004.html It is 30mm too big across the top of the bike. It came with a 19mm rear offset seat post and a 90mm 25 degree fixed stem.

I am shifting her forward on the bike, both the stem and seat post will be replaced. This will open up her hip angle, her knees will not be so close to her abdomen and also reduce the stretch from her shoulders thereby relieving some of the weight on her hands.

I will do this with a reversible head seat post, the seat clamp will now be in front of the post by 13mm and a longer 100mm adjustable stem will be fitted. This will also fine tune the weight on her hands.

The end result is a more comfortable bike, less cramped, a little better visibility and easier pedalling at higher cadences.

I hope some of this helps with you fitting efforts today.
 

wackydeirdre

New Member
Mar 12, 2005
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DZ-015 said:
Hi,

My wife is pretty keen on getting into cycling - primarily to get fit and lose some weight. I'm a competitive road racer myself, so I'm really pleased she's considering getting into the sport.

Our price limit is £500 ($US950) for a woman's specific road bike.

This narrows our search down to a Trek 1000 WSD or a Revolution WSD (made by a Scottish company - Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op).

Comfort and safety are my top concerns and a test ride will be mandatory. We'd be very grateful for any opinions on the above bikes or general experiences on shopping for a woman's specific bike.

Thanks!
Bikes are really specific to the riders build for comfort. I have short legs, a long torso, and short fingers but don't appear out of proportion. I am very comfortable with my GIANT OCR3. I did change the saddle though. You basically have to try a couple bikes out until you find one comfortable for you. Happy shopping! :)
 

Fitmiss

New Member
Oct 13, 2004
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I am 5'2" with longer legs and a short torso which is typical for women. I am riding a Trek Pilot 50 cm which fits perfectly. I tried a friend's 47 cm or 48 cm frame and it was too small. So alot will has to do with the individual's proportion.

The Pilots are a little more comfortable for some as you sit up a little higher. I ride a carbon frame but perhaps one of the aluminum models will fit in your price range. Remember the lighter the bike, the easier it will be to get up hills, and rolling roads. Get the best frame you can afford. You can probably do better on 2006 or even 2005 leftovers. At 5'2" you wife will more than likely be more comfortable on a WSD bike! We are the women for whom the WSD bikes were made.

By the way, if you can financially swing a little more money, people love the Trek 1500. It is just a lot more bang for the buck than the 1000.
 

DZ-015

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Oct 25, 2005
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Thanks, the advice continues to roll in !! We bought the bike 2 months ago and we're out riding just about every weekend now.

It was quite difficult persuading her to raise the saddle at first, but it's going up a few cm at a time after every ride. The reach is fine - no sore shoulders or back. She's still a bit scared of pulling the toestraps tight (cleats and clipless were out of the question!) but the confidence will come.

She's managing about 30K at the moment and we just turn round when she's had enough. So far it's going really well and we're setting some goals for the Spring - a few hills to be conquered. I'm aware of the the danger of pushing things too hard too soon, so we treat each ride as it comes.

Thanks for all the replies!
 

wackydeirdre

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Mar 12, 2005
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DZ-015 said:
Thanks, the advice continues to roll in !! We bought the bike 2 months ago and we're out riding just about every weekend now.

It was quite difficult persuading her to raise the saddle at first, but it's going up a few cm at a time after every ride. The reach is fine - no sore shoulders or back. She's still a bit scared of pulling the toestraps tight (cleats and clipless were out of the question!) but the confidence will come.

She's managing about 30K at the moment and we just turn round when she's had enough. So far it's going really well and we're setting some goals for the Spring - a few hills to be conquered. I'm aware of the the danger of pushing things too hard too soon, so we treat each ride as it comes.

Thanks for all the replies!
If she were to get used to the cleats and clipless pedals she would feel far more comfortable in them than she does in the straps as she can snap her foot out of it so much faster if the need arises, and it will, to come to a quick stop. I would suggest shoes with a bit of a rubber heel and toe so she can easily put her foot down without slipping. Just get used to the cleats in a spot where there are no cars before going for a ride. Have fun and be safe!;)
 

leit

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Jan 6, 2007
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Hi - I hope you don't mind me tagging on the end of this post. It has a lot of great information.

I, too, am looking for a bicycle to do some commuting, bike trailing/picnic stuff and (planning) to participate in a 200km bike ride (which may be a once off thing depending on how I fare). I am 4'8" (at the beginning of the day :) ).

So far, the only recommendation I have been given from a couple of bike stores is the Trek 3700 and Trek 3900. After reading this post and going to these bike stores, I am wondering why the Treks are the only ones that have been recommended and not the others that have been mentioned in this thread...?