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  1. #1
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    Girls on boys bikes....

    My g/f has a cheap mtn bike but wants to try to get a little more serious. I have most if not all the components off my old 26" bike that are in good shape. I was thinking about buying her a new frame in her size, but the only frames I can find that are in price range are guys. So, I was just wondering, how many of you ladies ride or have ridden a guys bike and does it present any issues?

    The frames I was looking at:

    Sette Reken Alloy Hardtail Frame at Price Point

    Ascent Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame - Mountain Bike Frames

    Budget's pretty tight at the moment but I'd like to get her on a better bike, at least this year until I can afford a nicer more appropriate bike maybe next year.
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  2. #2
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    So long as geometry fits, there's no difference.

  3. #3
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    My wife rides a SC Nickel w/out any issues. As long as you are buying the proper size for her, the difference between women specific geometry and standard is slight. More marketing in my opinion.

  4. #4
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    Thanks. I just remember how as a kid, the girl bikes had the top tube that swept down and the boy bikes were straight, and even now, the higher end bikes seem to still do that sometimes. So I wasn't sure if there was something to that or not. But that's good that the difference is negligible so hopefully I can get her hooked up soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Thanks. I just remember how as a kid, the girl bikes had the top tube that swept down and the boy bikes were straight, and even now, the higher end bikes seem to still do that sometimes. So I wasn't sure if there was something to that or not. But that's good that the difference is negligible so hopefully I can get her hooked up soon.
    Lol. As long as you don't have her riding around in a dress, should be good to go.

  6. #6
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    my g/f never rides a girls bike, she rides either her NEXT (mens frame) with suspension or recently she started riding my old Diamondback outlook solid frame that was designed for men with the upright bars.

  7. #7
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    Just make sure she likes the frame and it fits her. Has she seen the ones you've picked out? That's all that matters. I've ridden both and there's no true difference. It's awesome that you are building her one.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, she's seen the pics and likes the looks of both. Question...her current bike is a 15" and she says it fits well. The only options for the two frames I'm looking at are 14" and 16". If I don't find a new 15" frame to build, should I go up or down in size?

    Next time we are in town we are going to hit up a couple shops and see if they have any bikes in those sizes so that she can get a better idea on the size.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
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  9. #9
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    I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination because I just started out...but...I am short, real short, 5 foot nothing...I ride a 15 and I am on a Jett. The Myka by Specialized is a few mm smaller than my Jett and I can feel that slight difference in stand over when I am on my Jett, but I love the bike so I don't care. I can't really toe touch standing up but then again, I can't do that on any bike that fits all of me. When I tried a 14, I felt cramped and I could not even hope to ride a 15.5...but that is just me...so make sure she tries the frame sizes. I bet if she has a few more inches than me, she would be okay but it is really about how she feels on it (I learned that from reading and then testing it out and it is true, it is about what she is comfortable on.)

    Hope that helped some what :/
    Last edited by ksovich; 05-06-2012 at 06:46 PM. Reason: I need to proof read, somethings just didn't make sense.

  10. #10
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    It does. She's 5 foot nothing as well so maybe the 14" would be too tight. Hopefully we can find a shop that has some or a 14" bike to try. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
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  11. #11
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    hi, just got a 2011 trek ex 5 two weeks ago in 17.5 inch at $1490. but Im thinking of upgrading it to 2011 top fuel 9.8 with 15.5 frame. LBS is offering it at $2100. Im 5'5" tall. Is it a good upgrade? thanks

  12. #12
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    If its any help I got a Trek Remedy 8 2011 size M 17,5(actual 16,5). I`m about 167cm tall. Apparently im right in the middle of size S and M. I recently tried a S(15,5) frame specialized stumpy and loved the frame size. So playfull and easier to lift of the ground. I liked that the distance from the seat to the handlebar was abit shorter.

    So what I did was ending up changing the stem on my M Bike from 80mm to 60mm. Made a huge difference. Now I prefere a M frame bike with shorter stem then a S frame bike. Looking at pictures of me on my bike the bike actually looks pretty small, especially with the new stem.

  13. #13
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    I ended up getting an ex 8 15.5 inch frame. I love the fit and its way better than the ex 5.

  14. #14
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    I haven't ever ridden a girl's bike so I really can't compare. I had an old Gary Fisher, an old Trek, and I just got a new Wahoo and they worked just fine. The old Gary Fisher was not the right size for me even with a shorter stem, but the Trek and the new bike are much better fit wise.

    A better seat helped too.

  15. #15
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    My friend purchased her first 29er this weekend. Months of shopping around trying all the WSD bikes from several mfg's, stem swaps, bar swaps, alu vs carbon, everything I could think of. The bike she absolutely fell in love with with the least changes was a "man's" size Large 2012 GT Zaskar Carbon 9R Comp Mountain Bike -- Performance Exclusive -

    Narrowed the bars a bit, 10mm shorter stem, correct seat and positioning. I have not seen her that happy in a long time!!!

    I think women's specific bikes are a lot of marketing and a band-aid fix for newer riders who have been afraid of riding a guy's bike because of bad riding adventures on temporary let's-try-it mountain bikes.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post

    I think women's specific bikes are a lot of marketing and a band-aid fix for newer riders who have been afraid of riding a guy's bike because of bad riding adventures on temporary let's-try-it mountain bikes.
    There can be significant geometry differences in the wsd frames. For some women, especially women that fall into the wsd range of proportions, ( long legs, short torso) these bikes can make a real difference.

  17. #17
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    Indeed. It is about getting a bike that fits.

    I'm saying it's a lot of marketing, and that marketing is working by putting women on bikes who may have been fitted improperly on a man's bike and had a bad experience. They walk into a shop, ask for a WSD and get pointed to a few options instead of walking over to a bike that a guy may be standing next to considering taking home. It can be daunting and add to the memory of riding a poor fitting bike years ago that some guy tossed her on. A Bicycling magazine article said the testosterone aesthetic and even the name can make some women less likely to ride.

    I'm guilty of it: my college GF was put on my bike with a long TT and long stem, she crashed her brains out and never wanted to ride that bike again. If only I knew then about stack height, and to put a different stem length and angle on....

    In that March 2012 Bicycling feature "The Truth About Women's Bikes", Heather Henderson, product manager for Trek's Women's Specific Design line, says "it's total bunk" that women need a shorter top tube due to the long leg/short torso makeup.

    Henderson theorized that many women tend to roll their hips back to relive soft-tissue pressure from the saddle, which causes them to arch their backs, and, effectively, need to reach farther to the handlebar.

    The Bicycling article went on to say the short-torso explanation is simple to explain and it works for about 80% of women.

    The two female friend I helped buy bikes in the past six months had 36" inseam and were both 5'9". Talk about long legs and short torso!!! Both are riding men's large 29ers and have the most perfect comfortable visually "normal" fit, and their riding shows they are having fun and putting the power to the ground. I also believe both would like the marketed "plush" road bikes for men: taller head tube, more relaxed upright position.

    It is a good read. March 2012, Bicycling magazine.

    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    There can be significant geometry differences in the wsd frames. For some women, especially women that fall into the wsd range of proportions, ( long legs, short torso) these bikes can make a real difference.

  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the input. Still looking for a frame but this will help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  19. #19
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    you're right to start on a less expenisive frame.bike/build to start. I'm 5'3, relatively proportionate (neither my torso or my legs seem "too long" for the other) and i started out on a Gary Fischer Marlin GS HT. It was a women specific bike, and when i initially started on it it felt great. But after two seasons of riding it I started getting intense pain in my back, especially when climbing. I also kept feeling like the seat was too low. The frame was 13", and to start it was a great fit, but the more I rode the more "flexible" I became and needed a farther reach. I now ride an ellsworth epiphany, size small with a 15.5" seat tube. The bike fits me like a glove, yet it's not a womens bike. So, just because you're a woman, doesn't mean you need WS geometry. Best bet is to demo a few bikes and learn the geometry to figure out what specifics work and what don't, and take it from there. Also, over time she may realize what "fits" now, may not "fit" later, judging on the type of rider she wants to be. It's best to blow the big bucks on something you know you'll have and love for awhile.

  20. #20
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    I'm not sure that the geometry makes as much of a difference in a mtn bike than in a road bike due to the different riding positions.I am one of those women with the long legs short torso thing going on. I resisted buying a WSD road bike for a long time, because I don't really like pink, frilly things. But I have had so much shoulder pain on all different sizes (53, 51, and yes 44, which is the best even though I am not really short at 5'6) of M's bikes I decided to give it a try recently (and some of the manufacturer's are getting better) Bike comes in in a week. So we''ll see once I get out for a longish ride.

    Anyway....I have a 15" Men's 29er mountain bike, but no pain from that. So I wonder it it is the different riding position.

    Just make sure she gets fit well.

  21. #21
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    My wife is kinda tall (5'10") and rides a large frame 12 Giant Yukon FX and loves it. She was on a women's medium framed Giant before this and hated it. Her legs and back hurt after every ride. As others have said as long as the fit is good it'll be fine. And make sure this fit is good by her standards, not just the numbers. We test rode a few different bikes by different makers all with slightly diff geometry and she ended up liking the Giant the best.
    2010 Giant Yukon FX
    Pure XCR Wheelset/Geax Saguaro Tires/Tubeless
    Bike Weight Lost: 2.48lbs (1124g)

  22. #22
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    I'm looking at a Trek Y frame bike, but it's medium and I can't figure out if it's men's or unisex sizes, a 2 inch difference according a Y frame fanatic fanpage. Lol. I'd try it first, but driving 45 minutes to go pick it up would probably be bad if we got there and it didn't fit.

  23. #23
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    @Nubster

    Women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos then men so the drop from the saddle to the bars on a menís frame can be too low. To alleviate this issue many women specific frames have slightly longer headtubes (or are sold with taller stems).

    Honestly, the most important thing is having good standover clearance and a finding the right size stem. Too short compromises peddling, too long compromises handling.

    Personally, I would look around for a used Santa Cruz Chameleon (before they switched over to the new geometry). It's a really fun versatile compact frame with a very low standover. It's a perfect first bike. It's extremely versatile. You could probably pick up a used frame with a seatpost, headset, and derailler for 150-200 if you looked carefully.

    I would also consider a Transition Transam.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heartlostangel View Post
    I'm looking at a Trek Y frame bike, but it's medium and I can't figure out if it's men's or unisex sizes, a 2 inch difference according a Y frame fanatic fanpage. Lol. I'd try it first, but driving 45 minutes to go pick it up would probably be bad if we got there and it didn't fit.
    I had one of those in my shop the other day, and I sent a photo to my area Trek rep, just for fun. He replied back, "I'm sorry."
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  25. #25
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    When my boyfriend and I went into his bike shop we asked about a women's bike but the guy working there said they didn't really have any specifically for women for what I was looking for. He showed me a few men's/unisex bikes and I thought it felt just fine. I guess maybe the only thing that might be hard to get for a men's or unisex bike is if you wanted it pink or something. I ended up with a Trek 3700, I'm just learning to ride

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