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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    This is not a typical which bike to buy, but I am torn, and I'm lost.

    First about me, I am nearing 36, I am 5 foot 5. I've ridden bikes leisurely my whole life. When I was 18 I bought a GT tempest in hopes of learning to mountain bike but...I had kids and never got into it. My husband has been wanting to get into biking forever. We went looking an I thought I wanted a Dual Sport, but changed to mountain after some research.

    i have an 18 month old daughter who is obsessed with bikes and will be going everywhere with me for a while. I can't store 2 bikes for myself so I am getting the mountain.

    Ive done all the research, driven to 10 bike shops, some over an hour away. Problem is NO ONE stocks women's frames and I don't feel comfortable buying without trying everything. I fell in love with the men's Trek 4300, but want to compare it to a woman's bike...1 is the GT Avalanche 2.0 That dealer ordered it for me with no obligation. The trek dealer won't bring in the Skye SL Disc without full payment.

    i am all over the place and I need someone to help me sort my thoughts

    I want to be a mom taxi with baby along the Mississippi and take the seat off and be able to be a trail rider for now plus ever street in New Orleans is like riding off road!

  2. #2
    Kathleen in AZ
    Reputation: DurtGurl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Do not restrict yourself to a women's frame! While there might be some science behind it, I think it's all a marketing ploy. Try any bike that makes you smile and is in your price range. Sounds like a hard tail (no suspension in rear) might work best for you. When test riding, make sure the saddle isn't pointed upwards but is instead flat or pointed slightly down; the shop guys set up the bikes for guys... not for women. Ask the shop boys to change it for you if needed. Ask for a shorter stem. I am 5'7" and ride smalls or mediums, so I'm guessing you will ride a size small. Any bike is better than no bike.

  3. #3
    2WD is offline
    Rides like a girl
    Reputation: 2WD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    ^^^ 100% in agreement! And usually women's bikes have lower componentry on them but you are paying more because there's some pink on them or flowers or some sh*t like that!

  4. #4
    gobsmacked Moderator
    Reputation: girlonbike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by ie2special View Post
    I don't feel comfortable buying without trying everything.
    You probably need to get over that because there are thousands of bikes for you to try.

    Quote Originally Posted by ie2special View Post
    I fell in love with the men's Trek 4300
    Your answer right here.

    fwiw, I don't have a womens specific bike.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I have at least 6 bikes - 5 MTB and none are women's specific don't limit yourself what feels right and makes you smile when you ride it. The only concession I make is saddles and even then I have about half and half mens/women's

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    As others have said, I wouldn't get too hung up on the women's specific issue. What's important is that the bike fits you, & for many women that comes in a men's bike.

    With that said, not all women's specific versions are just marketing ploys. Case in point, my Trek Fuel is a WSD & both its top tube & standover height are different from its male counterpart. Not a huge amount, but enough to make the difference for me. For me, it was the right choice, it fits me better than any frame I've ever been on. That doesn't necessarily mean that a women's specific bike will be right for you though. Get on some frames & try them out for yourself. Above all, don't overthink / overanalyze the situation. If you ride something that feels right & puts a smile on your face, then I'd say winner winner chicken dinner.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013

    This is not a typical which bike to buy, but I am torn, and I'm lost.

    I personally think that the womens bikes are a marketing ploy to get women to spend a little more on a bike with certain colors and what not. Every bike shop I have been to has pretty much told me the same thing . I ended up with a "universal" or whatever you want to call it.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: June Bug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by ie2special View Post
    First about me, I am nearing 36, I am 5 foot 5.
    Keep in mind that proportion matters. If you have very long legs and short torso, a WSD (i.e., the frame geometry is actually different and has a relatively shorter top tube and otherwise optimized for this body type) might be useful. However, if you have ridden a bike like the TREK that just feels right to you, be confident in that.

    I have had a truly Women's Specific frame (Santa Cruz Juliana hardtail) and really, really liked it.

    + 10,000 on getting a good saddle and at least a basic bike fit from the shop after you buy. I'm using the Selle Italia Diva and it is worth every penny.

    Some bike shops have rentals and will apply the cost of renting towards a purchase. If that is an option, take advantage of it.

    A hardtail sounds right. Once the baby is bigger and gets to the little kid stage, you'll likely be pulling him/her in a little trailer, so make sure the bike you get can accommodate that. I'm not sure how these trailers attach.

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