Looking for the Men's Cycling forum

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by doiturself, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. doiturself

    doiturself Member

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    Gotcha...

    Went bike shopping for a new road bike for my teenage daughter. The salesman was bound and determined to sell us a "women's specific" design. What's that? Her first road bike was a CAAD 9/7 which I got her at 12 years old. It was a "man's bike", right?

    No, it was a regular bike made with no concessions and it worked out perfectly. We still have it. We ended up ignoring the WS advice (never paid any mind to start with) and got her a carbon fiber Ridley Orion with a humble Shimano 105 gruppo. XS "men's" size. No fitting issues.

    My point is that for younger, fit riders, there is no reason to go to WS designs. It's all marketing.

    For older riders with comfort issues, that is a different story.
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear that your daughter has a bike that seems to fit. Women are anatomically different than guys, especially in femur and torso length - which is why WSD designs a worth looking in too. However like anything else, this isn't a one size fits all sport... But as for the somewhat loaded topic title - "where's the men's forum" Riccardo Ricco said it the best: "Cycling isn't for women, it hurts too much" ... Which is why there's a special section for the ladies ;)
     
  3. doiturself

    doiturself Member

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    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif

     
  4. nuliajuk

    nuliajuk New Member

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    Actually, womens specific bikes are made more with shop owners in mind. It saves them having to swap out the stem, handlebars, saddle, and sometimes cranks from a small bike to make if fit a small woman with narrow shoulders, short arms and torso.
    Back in the early 80s, I was suffering white-hot pain at the base of my neck after riding just an hour on my "10-speed" with the 22 inch top tube and 14 cm stem. When I took it to a bike shop to ask for a shorter stem, the owner brushed me off and told me "Nonsense, you have a textbook perfect position, you want to be stretched out." Only after finding a shop that took me seriously did I finally get a more comfortable position and start to enjoy longer rides.
    For us taller women, it's fairly easy to make a standard bike fit, but for women 5'-3" and under, WSD has been a Godsend.
    OH, and just about every other forum on this site is the mens forum.
     
  5. doiturself

    doiturself Member

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    You can be darn sure I am not raising my daughter to believe that. It's anyone's forum, just like a bike is anyone's bike. Just because a lot of men seem to be doing something doesn't mean men have an exclusive right to it.

    When one purchases a first road bike the fit is usually completely up in the air, and it is only with time and improvement that the fit is modified to be more efficient. The WS fit is indeed great for shop owners and for marketing but if you wish to modify your WS bike to be more efficient at power transfer and handling, you are going to run into problems down the road. A shorter top tube, wider, softer seat, and shorter, higher stem feel more comfy going around the block but as one's fitness and experience increases, the WS designs come up short. My kid's 5' 2 1/2" and the Ridley XS is a perfect fit now, with some tweaking and swapping of stems and seatposts.

    As a rider gets stronger, she is going to start torquing and twisting that WS frame and losing power on ascents. A traditional "unisex" frame does not compromise the frame design or geometry (read: power transfer and handling) and thus, as the rider becomes stronger and more proficient, the frame will not be a limiting factor.
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    In terms of weight distribution on the bike there's a difference between long top tube and short stem and shorter top tube and "average" stem, likewise relaxed seatangle and seat jammed forward and slightly more forward seat angle and seat in the middle of the saddle rails. It's this kinda stuff that's more important with regards to WSD bikes, rather than the items that can be swapped out.

    Weight distribution changes how a bike handles around corners and on descents and can be the difference between a fun 40+ mph downhill and able to relax and a white knuckle affair with those pesky speed wobbles that other people seem to suffer from.
     
  7. nuliajuk

    nuliajuk New Member

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    The only difference between a womens specific frame and a unisex frame is the slightly shorter length of the top tube. That's it. There will be no difference in the strength of materials or power transfer. Your daughter is lucky to have found that she doesn't need a wsd, but many women do get a better fit from this and it's patronizing to assume that they are weaker or less fit for needing it.
     
  8. doiturself

    doiturself Member

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    I said "as a rider gets stronger, SHE is going to start torquing and twisting the that WS frame...I believe that is self-explanatory and certainly does not imply weakness on the part of any rider.

    Regarding that WS frame; the seat tube is significantly shorter as well to reduce standover height, which compromises the rear wheel stays and the frame's torsional resistance. The crank arm length and BB height are also affected on some bikes.
     
  9. doiturself

    doiturself Member

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    It's not hard to get the lowdown on WSD, as Specialized has a nice FAQ:

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCWomenFAQ.jsp?render_mode=faq&athlete_name=REFERENCE#mqEmp

    Basically the geometry and build are very different from "men's" bikes. The tubing is lighter, the cranks are shorter, running down to 165s, and the overall frame is more compact and not as stiff.

    Specialized specifically states that WSD bikes are designed for female riders and thus can be made lighter and less strong than "men's" bikes.

    Perhaps Specialized should be accused of "patronizing" women./img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif
     
  10. BadWolf

    BadWolf New Member

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    I'm somewhat tall (5' 14") and I've always ridden a man's bike. Size has always been an issue for me.
    I'm glad to see such a variety of different bikes available now.
     
  11. doiturself

    doiturself Member

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    My wife rides a Specialized Dolce WSD which is ideal for her fitness level and size. She doesn't pull tall gears, climbs in a real low granny gear as we set her bike up with a compact crank and MTB cassette (11-34 SRAM 9-speed with Deore XT derailer).

    My daughter is built like a little wrestler at about 5' 3" and likes to put some torque down using taller gears and rides more aggressively, so the "men's" bikes work well for her. Standover height is fine with the 48 cm unisex bike (XS).

    I didn't post this stuff to start a fire but just to pass along some info about what you get and don't get when looking at WSD.
     
  12. Camilo

    Camilo New Member

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    Having bought two bikes for small women in my family (one is 5-2 and young, the other is 5-1 and, er, I shouldn't say "old", so I'll say just slightly younger than me).

    Both would have fit fine on a "regular" XS or similar frame size. Same can be said for similarly sized WSD frames.

    The WSD is surely partly marketing, but surely very functional for many female riders.

    Of course you do know that females, in general, have different bike-fit anatomy than men: different hip/sit bone structure, different leg, torso and arm proportions, different hand size, etc. Why would you think that frame geometry couldn't be improved to accomodate these differences? Sure, many if not most can be fit to a man's frame, but just like many men shop extensively for subtle differences in geometry to suit their structure - even to the point of custom frames which are just a bit different than commercial - why do you think it's not smart to design frames around the known general differences that women have?

    My wife's Specialized Dolce is better for both her and my daugher right out of the box. The other bike works fine, but took some tweaking, works fine, but I believe is not ideal. The Dolce's shorter TT allows a little longer stem which I believe improves balance and handling. The narrower bars meant I didn't have to exchange them like I did with my daughter's bike. The STI shifters are better suited for her hands (although my daughter's bike w/ adjustable Sora do work fine). The shorter crank arms are better suited.

    Frankly, the only thing she didn't really like about the WSD bike was the fact that the highlight colors on the white frame are pink. I understand that some WSD downplay the feminine colors. I'm sure there are women that like WSD colors and some that swallow hard and buy the bike because fit is more important to them than colors.

    The saddle is something else - it's not a great saddle, but then again, the saddle on my daughter's bike is not great either. But to me saddles on bikes are throw-aways anyway since everyone in my family has a preferred saddle through trial and error and we always swap them out unless they happen, by pure luck, to be an improvement on what we have. But at least the WSD had a saddle that was intended for the intended female user, the "regular" bike had a man's saddle on it.

    Anyway, my opinion is that there are good reasons for many if not most of the features of the WSD. Yes, it's somewhat marketing, but not only marketing.
     
  13. emconnors

    emconnors New Member

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    I've never gone for "women's" sporting equipment, because for me I've found it doesn't matter much. While I might have little-to-no torso, I have giant man shoulders and huge freakin' gorilla arms (seriously, my wingspan is longer than my height D:) and really, really long legs. I snowboard like a man and I ride like a man. The question is -- is that because of my build or because I buy men's equipment?

    My main reason for buying guy's equipment is because there are more options. But if it's true (I'm not sure that it is) that men's equipment is also stronger and built to handle rougher treatment, then so much the better.

    If, however, lady's sporting equipment really does feel better for some people, then I'm glad it exists and I'm glad they found it.

    The only women's anything I've really been thinking about looking into is bike seats. A bike seat designed with girljunk in mind would be splendid.
     
  14. Aries86

    Aries86 New Member

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    Aries86
     
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