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  1. #1
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    Women specific bikes - Industry moving away?

    Hi. Guy here with a question about a bike for his wife.

    Kona doesn't make the Lisa anymore. It looks like Cannondale isn't bringing back the Lexi for 2013. I don't think TREK or FELT has a full suspension women's specific bike.

    My wife is looking to replace her tired 1999 TREK 6000 WSD and she's always liked the idea of a women's specific bike but I can't find alot of legit options. So the FS options are the Juliana, Giant Anthem, and the Specialized Myka?

    It really looks like the Liv/Giant Anthem X 29r is the best choice out there. It's visibly tweaked from the men's version, and it seems like the thought is there. Is there any other manufacturer I should be looking at?

    I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    My lovely bride of 30 years just inherited my Yeti 575, which I modified for her very pleasant geometry. With minor adjustments such as stem length and rise, you can essentially create a women's specific build for her. As to women's specific factory builds, Trek, at least still has it's WSD line, I think.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by frontierwolf View Post
    I don't think TREK or FELT has a full suspension women's specific bike.
    Trek has the Lush, which is a women's specific full suspension bike.

  4. #4
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    are women specific bikes really worth it? why not just ride a small (13 inch) mens bike?

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't call the Juliana women specific. It does come in an XS, but the remaining sizes are identical to their Superlight counterparts. It used to have unique geometry, but no longer does. I have a Juliana (I liked the color) FWIW.

    What element of a WSD bike does your wife need? I tend to put little stock on the label. Most if the women I know ride unisex bikes or, like me, ride a bikes that's WSD in name only.

  6. #6
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    There are a couple of things she looks at. It may seem superficial but she can be picky about the color scheme and graphics. Then there can be a shorter top tube which is helpful. It's nice to have smaller cranks, shorter stem, women's specific saddle with a decent spec so we don't have to upgrade everything.

    I've mentioned just finding a small frame and building it up or getting a small unisex bike, but if it gives her confidence or she feels more comfortable with a WSD stickered bike I need to check that out before moving on to other options.

    I think of the Juliana as women specific if for nothing else than someone thinks about what color scheme a woman would want and puts that on the small ones. In the end she's leaving it up to me to recommend something since I've been through alot of bikes. I was hoping the selection of WSD bikes had grown through the years and that there were some standouts. If there aren't I'll let her know that and we'll just move on to small bikes.

    She really likes her Specialized BG shoes, and her favorite bike shorts are from Specialized. It could be something as simple as; she likes Specialized stuff, they have several FS WSD bikes to choose from and she just picks the one she likes the best. And that's fine if there's nothing else out there that's going to be significantly better.

  7. #7
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    I am a female rider and have always ridden unisex bikes in small until 2010 when I purchased a Specialized Safire. Nice bike that fit me well and it had high-end components; which is always an area where I see WSD bikes lacking. I just purchased a 29er and did extensive research to find a 29er that would fit my 5'4" frame. I went with a small Specialized Stumpjumper fsr. It was one of only two bikes that I found fit me correctly. I did read that Specialized will be introducing a WSD full suspension 29er in about 6 months. It may be a redesign of the Safire with 29" wheels, but I'm not certain. If she wants a 26" bike, I have a medium Specialized Safire Comp (2010) that is in excellent condition. It has an upgraded Chris King headset (pink), Salsa lip lock seat collar (pink), Pink chainring bolts and other pink bits (lock rings, water bottle screws) and Mavic Crossmax wheels if you are interested in a great deal.
    "My world is a flood....slowly I become, One with the Mud!

  8. #8
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    You might also like the 2013 Giant Trance X WSD, 5" Maestro without the aggressive Anthem race Geometry. Black with Hot pink accents.
    My LBS just sent pics back from the Vail, CO show. Looked pretty sweet.

    Sent from my A500 using Tapatalk 2

  9. #9
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    There are a couple of things she looks at. It may seem superficial but she can be picky about the color scheme and graphics. Then there can be a shorter top tube which is helpful. It's nice to have smaller cranks, shorter stem, women's specific saddle with a decent spec so we don't have to upgrade everything.She really likes her Specialized BG shoes, and her favorite bike shorts are from Specialized. It could be something as simple as; she likes Specialized stuff, they have several FS WSD bikes to choose from and she just picks the one she likes the best. And that's fine if there's nothing else out there that's going to be significantly better.
    If she likes the Specialized stuff then the Safire Comp would be ideal. Needs virtually nothing IMO. Trek Lush SL is also right there but I'm not buying into the new Fox DRCV fork. Trek also has lower level models of the Lush. Call around for the 2012 Safire or get the 2013. The new Giant Trance X WSD would be good to check out also.

    2013 Safire Comp



    2012 Safire Comp



    2012 Trek Lush SL



    2012 Trance X1 W

    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    IMO no. They tend to come with lower level components (or if you're lucky same level components) for a higher price.

    However, what may be worth to some folks is the WSD bikes sometimes come with is suspension tuned for a lighter weight rider and narrower bars, neither of which work for me (29" bars, 175 lbs and 5'4").

    When I bought a WSD bike, I had to change out the fork and rear suspension for something that worked with my weight.
    You're totally wrong IMO. Go have a look at the Specialized Safires and the Trek Lush lines and that Giant Trance X1 W. Really good stuff. The majority of woman are never going to use 29" bars like you (mine are 28.5" after trying 29.5" which were to darn wide...and I'm a guy with 30+ years of riding dirtbikes with 30" bars) and nothing personal but your weight is also above the norm IMHO. Some excellent bikes listed in these links below with top flight component levels. My GF's 2012 Safire Comp and my daughters 2010 Safire Comp needed nothing but fine tune adjustments and ride. Priced no different from the mens or uni-sex models.

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Lush - Women's collection - Bike models - Trek Bicycle

    Bike Finder - Giant Bicycles | United States
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    Wow I'm impressed. Not many guys have the nerve to come in the WL and call someone just short of being fat.

    Not all or even most women fit your norms, especially in the weight area.

    Just because I'm not 130 lbs or less doesnt make my passion any less than someone who weighs less or the fact I will never reach an unrealistic BMI means nothing about my passion or ability to ride.
    PLEASE do not read something into what I did not say or would ever say. I also said IMHO and am trying to be sensitive to that point for almost any woman. Did I ever mention anything about your passion or ability to ride? NO. I really could care less what you weigh and am glad you enjoy mtn biking as I wish more woman would.

    How about the bikes I linked to...did you even bother to check those out?
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    Wow I'm impressed. Not many guys have the nerve to come in the WL and call someone just short of being fat.

    Not all or even most women fit your norms, especially in the weight area.
    ...
    LOL, go Stripes! + rep! Skidad has a lot to learn about women and MTB'g, or maybe I should just say a lot to learn about people!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    You're totally wrong IMO. Go have a look at the Specialized Safires and the Trek Lush lines and that Giant Trance X1 W. ... Some excellent bikes listed in these links below with top flight component levels.
    ]
    I have to agree... I know with my road bike, which is a Specialized WSD, the male equivalent has the same components and same price at the same trim level. Only thing is the geometry difference, which a WSD suits me better since I'm so stupidly proportioned. My MTB I can't speak for because I've never cared looked at what is the male version of it. But because of the fit, I would probably stay with a WSD if I stayed with Giant, though I feel that my next MTB will be carbon and therefore limiting down choices.

    The biggest gripe I have about WSD bikes is that everyone assumes every single WSD bike is pink, and only comes in pink, and therefore that's why they do not want one. Ummm, hate to say it, but the overwhelming majority of them are NOT pink! And often if there is a pink option, there's another color theme option to choose. My two cents on that subject, LOL.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post

    The biggest gripe I have about WSD bikes is that everyone assumes every single WSD bike is pink, and only comes in pink, and therefore that's why they do not want one. Ummm, hate to say it, but the overwhelming majority of them are NOT pink! And often if there is a pink option, there's another color theme option to choose. My two cents on that subject, LOL.
    My Syren frame is white I added pink components (pedals, grips). I bought the frame (2008) and the bike was built up with decent components. Transition doesn't produce Syren any more.

    My all mountain is a (bronze) SC Blurr LT again I bought the frame and it was built up with my choice of components. The bike is not gender specific

    Both bikes are fun to ride
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    You're totally wrong IMO. Go have a look at the Specialized Safires and the Trek Lush lines and that Giant Trance X1 W. Really good stuff. The majority of woman are never going to use 29" bars like you (mine are 28.5" after trying 29.5" which were to darn wide...and I'm a guy with 30+ years of riding dirtbikes with 30" bars) and nothing personal but your weight is also above the norm IMHO. Some excellent bikes listed in these links below with top flight component levels. My GF's 2012 Safire Comp and my daughters 2010 Safire Comp needed nothing but fine tune adjustments and ride. Priced no different from the mens or uni-sex models.

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Lush - Women's collection - Bike models - Trek Bicycle

    Bike Finder - Giant Bicycles | United States
    The average American woman is 5' 3.5" and 164lbs. So, your humble opinion or not, her weight really is pretty normal. Maybe the average guy thinks the average woman weighs 120-130lbs, but that doesn't make it reality.

    I'll agree with you that components on WSD bikes are pretty decent - most of them are the same as the comparable men's model, though I'm also with Stripes on the handlebar issue. I replace the bars on most of my unisex bikes to make them wider - the ones on WSD bikes are ridiculously narrow for me.

    The bars on the 3 bikes I ride most often are 29", 30", and 31". I'm 5' 8". And I've seen a lot of women benefit from trying wider bars.

    Also have to agree wish Sooshee that most WSD bikes are NOT pink. I love pink. And I've owned two WSD bikes - one is green/gray, the other was white. And the one pink bike I've owned is a unisex bike. I've added pink components to plenty of bikes, but that's a whole different thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    My Syren frame is white I added pink components (pedals, grips).
    I want pink pedals!!! Are they flats or clipless? My MTB is gray with pink accents (the writing is pink, the seat had pink stripes, and I've had a pink bottle cage and grips) and it could always use some more

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    I want pink pedals!!! Are they flats or clipless? My MTB is gray with pink accents (the writing is pink, the seat had pink stripes, and I've had a pink bottle cage and grips) and it could always use some more
    Gusset Slim Jim hot pink platforms
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    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    I want pink pedals!!! Are they flats or clipless? My MTB is gray with pink accents (the writing is pink, the seat had pink stripes, and I've had a pink bottle cage and grips) and it could always use some more
    Awesome pedals and super easy to rebuild, I have 2 pairs....not pink though. Highly recommended if a bit pricey.



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  20. #20
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    it seems to have changed this year, but remember when i was looking at a Trance last year, the Women's tranceX1 was the top for women's mtb, but the men got the even higher spec'd model. i wanted the mens trance, but they didnt fit me.

    now i'm happy to see Giant has brought back XS size on many of their bikes. They've also changed the names of some of there women's bikes to match the mens models. (still talking about Giant here).

    women tend to have shorter torsos, so swapping the stem on a small men's bike is often all you need. thats what i do.
    fap

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    PLEASE do not read something into what I did not say or would ever say. I also said IMHO and am trying to be sensitive to that point for almost any woman. Did I ever mention anything about your passion or ability to ride? NO. I really could care less what you weigh and am glad you enjoy mtn biking as I wish more woman would.

    How about the bikes I linked to...did you even bother to check those out?
    I've been looking at the Specialized selection which seems to be the broadest of any manufacturer. I'd probably lean more towards the Myka for her. I'm really more concerned with soaking up roots than anything else. I've never had above 115mm travel on a bike myself. There is a local shop that sometimes gets Specialized women's bikes in. Finding something in stock seems to be the hardest part. That's a killer for me because when they cut prices in the fall it's on the in-stock men's bikes. To even test ride most FS women's bikes the shop is going to have to order it and it's going to be full price which isn't as good a deal for the same components.

    I'm really thinking hard about this one.



    The Anthem X 29r 4 W.

    I have an anthem X 29r and I love it. She would probably dig having matching bikes and it looks pretty solid for under $2k. The best thing might be the subtle touches, narrow bar, different HT angle, the top tube dips more, and things like the light blue accents. I want to make sure she gets what she wants, but I could recommend this if she ends up ordering and if she see's something in a store she likes better before we order that's fine to.

    I checked and it looks like there's still a little wait on the 2013 X4 so that gives us some time to look around and see if there's something in stock that catches her eye.

    Maybe we need to take a trip somewhere they have larger stores with more stock. Somebody has got to have a women's FS bike in her size that she can at least try out.

    And yes to the poster above. The Anthem X 29r 0 W is a pretty decent spec. It's X-9 ish and a Reba but if you need higher than that you're probably going to want to pick brakes, cranks, wheels, etc anyway. Its $1000 more though and by the time my wife needs that we'll re-evaluate what she wants again.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    women tend to have shorter torsos, so swapping the stem on a small men's bike is often all you need. thats what i do.
    Dude here (sorry, i'll leave the lounge after this). This can be true depending on the rider unless you're talking about hyper- masculine or feminine proportions. My gf and I have a 10" height difference and practically the same inseam. Definitely different geometries, not just sizes, required.

    As far as manufacturer commitments to womens' frames: having worked at specialized, trek, cannondale, and giant dealers, I've gotten the impression that they see making products for and marketing to women as the industry sector with the biggest growth potential.
    "A thing is right when it tends to perserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." - Aldo Leopold

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    Gusset Slim Jim hot pink platforms
    Aww pooey, I ride clipless Which I guess would be silly to have pink pedals because you can't really see the pedal, so the solution would be pink shoes... LOL!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Aww pooey, I ride clipless Which I guess would be silly to have pink pedals because you can't really see the pedal, so the solution would be pink shoes... LOL!
    Well, there are actually a couple out there in a quick Google search



    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  25. #25
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    Shhh, you're not suppose to encourage me spending money!! :P

  26. #26
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    I'm having a really hard time finding a full suspension XS frame for my wife. She's 4'11" and only 98lbs so I was looking to buy her an all carbon bike to make it as light as possible for her. It's only 27" from the ground to her crotch so I was hoping to find a "standover" of about 25" to give her a few inches of room.

    So far the closest I've found is the Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon but that even has a 26.5" standover.

    Any ideas? manufactures? I really don't want to put her on a 25lb or more bike. She's tiny

  27. #27
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    i'm small and my bike is around 26.5. Any lighter and you'll be spending a lot of moolah! some of the carbon hardtails are stupid light. but i know you wanted FS.
    i think anything under 27.5 is considered pretty light. My BMC extra small has a nice short top tube. The Giant Trance for women is pretty small as well. (Trances are awesome. ride so nice)
    fap

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    Can't find the standover for the BMC, looks big though. The Giant Trance XS is 30.9". The Giant 29er is 27.5".

    Huge pain in the butt. Thanks, I'll just keep looking. Bound to find something

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    Wow That's friggen cool.

    I'm not stuck on carbon, I just wanted it to be as light as possible for her.

    She's a noob but she's definitely gonna be a little bad ass rider once she gets used to it and I want her to be able to catch some air and throw it around easily.

    Thanks for the info. haven't heard of those bikes before.

  30. #30
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    With so many adaptations available for a frame, bikes have become unisex for many. Try getting a bike fit. It night cost a little, but a basic one can help. You could spend thousands and still be unsatisfied, but I think an hour long session would help.

    Spoke with a couple on two moots ti bikes, same frame, different sizes, with diverse fit adjustments. It was a good example and they both got fits done.
    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

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    Thanks a lot Stripes. Been a huge help.

    I've been messing around on competitive cyclist web site and they have a kit calculator for various brands of bikes. It seems pretty easy to get a complete bike under 25lbs. Pivot, Yeti etc.. Just as an example I took an XS Yeti As-R Carbon, XO 1X10 XC package, Shimano XTR cranks, Time Carbon pedals and got 23lbs. She won't fit on a Yeti but hey it's interesting to mess around with that calculator.

    I'll probably end up buying it part by part from various places. I personally see no need for a front derailleur for either one of us. 10 gears should definitely be enough.

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    This is where the bike industry is dumb. They are offering XS small 29ers now, what they should be doing is offering 24" wheels for the smallest of bikes.

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    Pivot Mach 4 comes in XXS and has a 25.5" standover. 100 or 120 fork travel (standover goes up with the 120 fork of course) bike and the geometry doesn't scream total XC. Not sure of the weight but I'll guess pretty light.

    For kicks and giggles I would try to find a Trek Lush in an XS and see how it fits her. Might actually be ok or you could run the bike with lots of sag on both ends or even shim the fork and shock down. It also comes in a carbon version but you're into the 5K range and for a newbie it's overkill IMO. Your money though and they are very nice bikes. My unofficial bathroom scale test had my daughters Specialized Safire Comp size medium @ 26.5 lbs with pedals out of the box. 25lbs or under is totally doable without resorting to carbon.

    Womans bikes designed around the 650B wheel size seem like a no brainer to me. Definitely an improvement over 26" wheels in a multitude of ways without many of the constraints of a 29'r platform. The size is really taking off for 2013 with numerous companies (10 or more and counting) coming out with 650B bikes and I would hope to see woman's specific versions at some point.
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

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    I think the Mach 4 might be the best bet. It's only 3/4 of a pound heavier then the 5.7 carbon, and a 25.5 standover is damn near perfect.

    Pivot also has a 3 year warranty like Ibis does, which is the new bike I'm buying for myself.

    I'm almost set on all the other various parts to buy for both bikes, it's been kind of fun doing all the research. Pain in the butt at times, but mostly fun. Gotta love the internet, the entire world is at your finger tips.

    Thanks for all the help. Much appreciated

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    Quote Originally Posted by TaylorMade33 View Post
    I'm having a really hard time finding a full suspension XS frame for my wife. She's 4'11" and only 98lbs so I was looking to buy her an all carbon bike to make it as light as possible for her. It's only 27" from the ground to her crotch so I was hoping to find a "standover" of about 25" to give her a few inches of room.

    So far the closest I've found is the Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon but that even has a 26.5" standover.

    Any ideas? manufactures? I really don't want to put her on a 25lb or more bike. She's tiny
    The XXS Mach 4 is one of the nicer solutions out there for smaller riders, which is why we have one in our garage. There are other options for cross country, though I have not had to redo the search for a couple of years. If you are looking in the 150 travel range (Mach 5.7), options are slimmer. You have the Orange 5 Diva, Transition Bandit 26, Santa Cruz Nickel to name a few, but you will have to decide trade offs between reach and standover.

    I would not personally chase carbon or frame weight. If you have room in the budget, a smart parts selection will do wonders for how the bike feels. A lighter set of wheels with good hubs will do wonders for acceleration and endurance, and make sure that you consider crank length, don't just chase the lightest option.

    Scott makes a 24" xc full suspension bike, and kona used to, especially for the downhill market. If you are considering hardtails, the bikeman house brand, carver bikes, used to do an xs hardtail, the mini, that would run 24, 26, or mixed wheel sizes, as does Mifit cycles with their ALC Jr.

    If the budget allows, the other option is a custom soft-tail. Would not be cheap, but if the other options do not pan out, would get you the low stand over of a hardtail with a few inches of travel in the back.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaylorMade33 View Post
    I'm having a really hard time finding a full suspension XS frame for my wife. She's 4'11" and only 98lbs so I was looking to buy her an all carbon bike to make it as light as possible for her. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by TaylorMade33 View Post
    I'll probably end up buying it part by part from various places. I personally see no need for a front derailleur for either one of us. 10 gears should definitely be enough.
    If I were trying to optimize a bike for a 98 pounder, I would not stop when I got to the gears. I think most people that small would benefit from lower gears than available from a 1x10.

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    You could be right, the good thing is we could always add that later if it is an issue.

    Either that or I'll follow her up the hill screaming...

    "TOUGH IT OUT, GROW A PAIR, NO MERCY FOR THE WEAK!!!"

    Knowing her she would stop, jump off and say

    "That's it, I quit, have fun getting the bike home.......TAXI!!!!!"

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    Safire

    I am interested in the Safire. How much are you asking?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    +1 on the fitting. It's amazing how easy it is than trying to decide on a WSD bike.

    Did Giant finally have a women's bike that's spec'd high end like the mens?
    Here we go with the WSD question. I am a smallish woman at 5'2" 130lbs. I also happen to have a long torso so the mens X-Small is often my best option. A little stem adjustment, trim the bars and some 170mm cranks and I'm good to go. I honestly really do not like pink, purple or most pastel colors. My new xs YETI is black and white and I trimmed it out in grey. I think it is a mistake to limit yourself either way. Just ride what you like and works best for you.

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    I think that the argument is a little like frame sizes. A 16" in brand A doesn't equal a 16" in brand B. WSD bikes from one manufacturer may work great for someone, but from another brand not so much. We need to not get so caught up in that branding IMO. Me, I gravitate toward them because IME they tend to work well for me (at least the ones that truly have different geometry). My Trek Fuel is WSD & the top tube is different in both length & standover vs. the men's equivalent - it happens to work well for me. But yeah, ride what fits/feels good, & don't worry about how it's branded or marketed.

    And as far as the topic about the industry moving away from WSD, I don't understand how anyone could think that, then or now.

  41. #41
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    I picked up a Juliana Origin a couple of weeks ago.

    -was in a bind and wanted an affordable 29r @ 2500$
    -NEVER have owned/rode a WS bike (other than the MYKA my boyfriend rides...)
    -I am not short, petite or light (built like a "brick shat-house")

    My choices fell between the Fuel ex 29r, Scott Spark and Juliana all with comparable component options (low end be it). The freakin' Juliana was so damn comfortable to ride it was ridiculous. Flickable and poppy to boot. I DID NOT want another SC bike and was hell bent on getting the spark (rode it @ KT nembafest). So it pained me to like it so much.

    The items they marketed on it that make it WS are the skinny bars/grips and I guess the saddle, otherwise its a Superlight frame. I rode it for 2 days with the skinny bars @ KT and didn't care for the narrow bars, pulled them off and put on a nice wide Diety bar with my regular Yeti grips. The seat is a keeper (of course until my big butt breaks it).

    Not sure what it is about the geometry but it certainly does ride/climb/handle nice. Best to try them out before just buying online. All the numbers are nice for comparison but it really comes down to feel.

    The whole Juliana line shows how there is still industry for WSD bikes (we'll see if its still around next year).

  42. #42
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    I'm down to only one WSD bike out of my four, and that's my road bike. I'm "lucky" in the sense that I'm 5'8" with a 34" inseam so I just fit on male bikes naturally due to height. I still always have to change my stems due to my short torso. I went from my WSD Giant Rainier to a Specialized Epic, and I just had to go to a shorter stem and a squisher seat, but otherwise the bike fits fine and I have no qualms.

    I will never switch back to a WSD mountain bike, unless I decide to add a Spec Fate to the lineup so I have a hardtail. Otherwise, I love the Epic line and have no reason to change. Road bikes will always be a different story... a male's road bike just has too many things for me to change in the handlebar/stem department for a proper fit. Heck, I ever had to put narrower bars on my WSD road bike... and what can I say, I AM partial to neon pink when it comes to my road bikes.

    My Crux was interesting... way smaller frame size (I went with a 54... my road bike is a 57). Put on a shorter stem, but left the wider bars for now, which weren't too wide since it's so small. And hell, the Crux might as well be unisex since there isn't a WSD cross bike (that I am aware of).

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