Why Are Womens Bikes Different To Mens Bikes?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by roseblanchgte, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. roseblanchgte

    roseblanchgte New Member

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    Meaning a ladies bike has a different type of frame design and ive always wondered why?
     
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  2. Totalarmordestine

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    Well I've noticed that this is changing a bit, particularly with Jamis bikes. I just bought a Jamis femme bike and the frame is a little different than a regular women's bike, but it's much, much better than any other bike I've ever ridden. It's closer to a "man's" bike, but it's much more fit for women, if that makes any sense.

    Anyway they do that because men and women are shaped differently. A man riding a women's bike would likely feel physically awkward and uncomfortable, and vice versa
     
  3. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    The "open frame" design was pioneered by Columbia on it's "safety bicycle". The safety bicycle was the first bike to have two medium sized wheels driven by a crank in the middle and chain drive, rather than a huge wheel in the front that tends to pitch you over the handlebars. The open frame was developed to allow women to ride bicycles in dresses.
     
  4. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    Because men and women have different physical characteristics. The frames were designed in a way that would suit them in order for them not to have difficulty using the bike.
     
  5. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    Goes back to when women only wore dresses and skirts. Aside from the natural differences between skirts and paints, the physique was also taken into account.
     
  6. harmonygreer1

    harmonygreer1 New Member

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    Women and men bikes can differ in a lot of ways! One way is of course, the color and design. A women may chose a pink color with polka dots on it and a man may chose something way different. I also see that some women like to keep their bikes small, while men like them big. Women bikes are shaped differently from men's, almost like anything else.
     
  7. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

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    Part of it is tradition, and woman's clothing (skirts) being different, but women's bodies are also different in size and proportions. Women's bikes are designed with the female body in mind. While a woman can ride a mans bike if it is the right size for her, a woman's bike may be more comfortable and easier to fit
     
  8. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    So obviously this can mean two different things, and the variance of the replies reflects this.

    1. If you mean the traditional "Girls" bike with a heavily slanted or missing top tube, it is just as another poster mentioned in that it was to allow women to mount and ride bikes in dresses. You still see them today, but they're usually marketed as "Step Through" frames that allow people with limited flexibility to mount and ride a bike without having to climb over the top tube.

    2. Women's bike geometries today differ from men's in their proportions if not their actual design. Women aren't just smaller versions of men, they are proportioned differently. Generally women are a bit longer in the leg and shorter in the torso than men, leading women to feel "stretched out" on men's bike geometries (as a man would feel cramped or too upright on a women's bike geometry). It's actually a fairly recent development that true women's geometries vs. the SAP approach (Small and Pink) have started to show up at the lower end of the industry.
     
  9. Sunflogun

    Sunflogun Member

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    I think it has to be something wardrobe related, I don't think it's an anatomic issue? Well, this was until I read your post, good explanation there keeper!
     
  10. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

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    The women's specific geometry is one of the biggest shams in the bike industry. Dan Empfield (Quintana Roo, slow twitch) has written quite a bit about the subject.
     
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  11. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    Women's bikes don't have the same horizontal crossbar. I have heard that it is more tradition than anything. not having the same height on that part of the bike meant women (who were wearing only dresses at the time) could ride it more "lady like."
    I'm pretty sure most of the strength resides in this part, so it's really detrimental to engineer a bike this way.
    I think the industry is changing now to a modern unisex outlook on bikes.
     
  12. Sunflogun

    Sunflogun Member

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    If that is the fact, I wonder why they keep doing them? Eventually for older people who have a harder time getting on the bike, but even like this it doesn't make much sense to me.
     
  13. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I remember the olden bikes when I was a girl. There was this girl's bike which has a different body. The style is similar to a scooter while the ordinary bike has a body like a motorcycle. According to my brother, the girl's bike is designed like that so the girl need not lift up her feet thereby lifting her skirt in the process. That time, slacks for women were not yet in fashion. But now I don't seem bikes like that anymore. Maybe because women usually wear pants or shorts when they go biking.
     
  14. joshposh

    joshposh Banned

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    As everyone has already said. We are built differently, physically. So the frame of the bike will reflect that. Men are normally bigger and heavier, so that frame and size has to reflect that. It has to compensate for the weight and length differences.
     
  15. Sunflogun

    Sunflogun Member

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    Funny enough even bikes for competition for women are different. I do wonder which ones are better, I guess there is no major difference.
     
  16. rightct

    rightct New Member

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    Yeah, this would answer it. I was actually wondering the same, haha.
     
  17. PennyS

    PennyS Member

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    People keep saying "we" are built differently but when it comes to the bicycle cycling motion I'd like to hear what you think is so different! It's like when they said women had to ride horses sidesaddle because we have such enormous thighs a straddle saddle would be too uncomfortable LOL.

    Basically gender different are small, average not dichotomous and do not matter a damn for the ergonomics of cycling. Men and women can use so called male and female models interchangeably. For most of my life I used models for men that were handled down to me by siblings.

    The step through frame relates to clothing only and I doubt many women these days are biking with ankle length skrts and voluminous petticoats, and an absolute prohobition against allowing a man on the street see one's stockinged ankle.

    In terms of getting from here to there, the so called mens and womens bikes are the same. The pedals are the same, the ratio acheivable between the seat, handles and pedal are the same (when comparing people fo the same height), the moving parts are the same, the materials are the same.
     
  18. sbatz72

    sbatz72 New Member

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    I have always wondered this myself. I prefer a mans bike over a womans bike, just because I like the design better.
     
  19. niightwind

    niightwind Member

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    Reading through this topic has been very interesting. To be honest, I've never taken much note to the difference between men's bikes and women's bikes. I've never had a "girl's bike" in my life; always a unisex design. So I've never actually noted that there were differences like this aside from women's bikes being supposed to look more "feminine" than the ones made for men.

    Personally, based on what I know I'd agree with the answers given here so far, but I'd also say that I don't think there needs to be a difference between the two set of bikes in the first place. Like PennyS stated, I don't believe the difference between men and women anatomically warrant having an entirely different set of bikes.
     
  20. Sunflogun

    Sunflogun Member

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    I feel the same thing, I think it's just a matter of tradition that just stuck, I don't see such a big anatomic difference to justify it.
     
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