How Many Women Are Cycling On Bikes Designed For Men?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Connie858, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. Connie858

    Connie858 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm just curious.

    Right up until Easter last year, I had always ridden on bikes designed for men. This was mainly because the very concept of women's bikes away from the shopper type bikes which my mother had, was none existent.

    My first bike was child's bike, so we can ignore that one.

    I then migrated to my mothers shopper. It was very definitely a ladies bike with a basket on the front and a step through frame, but given when I started to ride it, it was that big for me I could not sit on the saddle and pedal, the step through frame was rather useful. I could only ride it standing up!

    My first bike was what were called racing bikes. I had an old 2nd hand Raleigh racing bike. It was a man's bike that I road until it pretty much died a death from neglect. I have no idea if it was the right size for me, I know it was too big for me when it was first bought, but I grew into in as you do.

    After that came a series of 3 or 4 (?) mountain bikes all needing the stems shortening by 10cm or more - all men's bikes . After 2 weeks touring on a man's mountain bike I reached the conclusion that a) I wanted to cycle around the world - don't ask and b) we would need to have custom built bikes because my left hand had gone numb and took a full 6 months to recover.

    Next came the custom build off-road touring bike, an expedition bike for cycling around the world - it wasn't a pipe dream. It is a man's bike and was adjusted as needed to fit me. It is fantastic and I love riding her. But there is no denying that it is a man's bike based on a mountain bike design.

    The came a man's road bike. I had to shorten the stem to get it to fit me and dramatically shorten the stem... It fitted the legs, but the reach was way too long. I also had to fit much narrower bars to it as well.

    Next came another mountain bike. This was a chance buy 2nd hand and an opportunity not to be missed, so it was purchased and whilst the reach was great, I needed a longer seat post. In fact having a slightly smaller frame soon turned out to be a really good move because for the first time I actually felt really in control of the bike on trails and didn't have to worry about it feeling too large for me. I just had to have the bars narrowed....

    Then my road bike died a death and I had to go out and come home with a new bike (I know but this is surprisingly hard on a bank holiday weekend!). I went to a bike supermarket and after looking at all of the men's road bikes was unimpressed. Then a sale guy directed me towards the women specific road bikes, something I hadn't even considered let alone noticed because they were tucked away in a corner and not that obvious and after 30-45 minutes of looking at all of the options and getting numerous ones out, I settled on a brand I had never heard of because it felt comfortable. I had my first women's specific bike and other than adding my own saddle and pedals, plus cross-levers, nothing needed changing! that was a first. I finally had a bike that was off-the-shelf so to speak!

    My latest bike is a recumbent trike and I know, you are left thinking, how can that be a man's bike or not unisex? Well its the little things like even though I am on the taller side for a women, the boom which controls how far the pedals are away from you and is equivalent to changing the seat post length, hardly needed moving from its shortest level! The steering levers are almost as close to the seat as I can get them. I bought the smaller model, for lighter riders and the seat is well, I hardly need the neck rest, its more a head rest...


    So out of my current 4 bikes, 3 are clearly designed for me and have needed adjustments, changes of stems, bars, seat posts... all to get them comfortable and fitted despite being the correct size for me. The other bike, a women's specific road bike needed nothing doing to it, other than my man's saddle adding!
     
    Tags:


  2. JoanMcWench

    JoanMcWench Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    17
    I've never ridden a bike designed for women. I don't even think I had a 'girl's' bike when I was a kid. I have all brothers so my family liked to pass things down regardless of gender. I prefer men's bikes. I know a lot of guys that prefer the girl bar design because they've 'bumped their junk' on the men's version.
     
  3. kana_marie

    kana_marie Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    11
    I am at the moment, but I'm borrowing a bike right now. I have every intention of buying a woman's bike as soon as I find the right one.
     
  4. Dora M

    Dora M Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2015
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    13
    I often ride my boyfriend's mountain bike. Since we have a very similar body build, it's not even necessary to adjust the saddle for me. I like his bike because it's light and a lot easier to get around with than maneuvering my big, chunky lady's bike around the place. Both bikes have their charm. I feel more settled and "grounded" dealing with the heavy road traffic in town on my own bike, whereas when going further afield, especially on nature trips, I obviously prefer the lighter bike.
     
  5. BeachyKeen

    BeachyKeen New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't think I've ever ridden a bike designed for women, is there really much difference compared to a men's bike? I'm pretty tall as well so that tends to be my deciding factor when it comes to choosing a bike (and I assume women's bikes are probably smaller...)
     
  6. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    4
    not me, I am too short for most of the men's bikes that I have found locally, and I don't really think that I am that short to be honest!
     
  7. gavinfree

    gavinfree Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    16
    Women's bikes are always preferable for women, assuming they're designed properly for a given lady's size. However, plenty of female riders, especially more casual ones, are more than willing to ride a bike that's supposed to be designed for men. Some adjustments will likely be necessary to make a men's bike work for the average woman, but it's not that big of a hassle...for most people. :D
     
  8. Connie858

    Connie858 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    3
    they tend to have a shorter reach by proportion to the size and narrower bars because women on the whole have narrower shoulders. On mtbs this isn't much of a problem, but on road bikes with drop bars, the width of the drops is meant to be the same as your shoulder size and having bars that are 44cm instead of 38cm causes problems with the arms being splayed outwards whilst riding (instead of the parallel position they are meant to be). This can pinch the spin and leave both shoulder and neck problems. Also if the reach is too long, but the leg length correct, the rider can't simply adjust the length of the stem. Like I said I was just curious because I have found I was far more comfortable on my road bike which was a female design than my road bike which was a men's design.
    The other obvious ones is that they do come in much smaller models, not that that helps everyone.
     
  9. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    6
    My girlfriend rides a bike that's designed for men. She tells me she likes cycling and she finds it nice. Never did I hear her complaining about the fact that it's a men's bike. I also don't mind that she's riding one, it's not like you can tell the design apart. But it's not one of those pinkish girly bikes, haha.
     
  10. Rhodolite

    Rhodolite Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    5
    I've always ridden men's bikes generally because I'm slightly taller than average for most women and I practically have man shoulders to boot so the width isn't an issue. Itty bitty waist but huge as hell shoulders. I never had problems riding men's bikes save for a couple which were slightly too tall for me but bars and whatnot were fine to me. I may take a look at a lady's bike out of curiosity.
     
Loading...
Loading...