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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by idon'tlikepink View Post
    are women specific bikes really worth it? why not just ride a small (13 inch) mens bike?
    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.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  11. #11
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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

  12. #12
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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.
    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.
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  13. #13
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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?
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  14. #14
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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!

  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. ... 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.

  16. #16
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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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  17. #17
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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.

  18. #18
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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

  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
    Gusset Slim Jim hot pink platforms
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    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

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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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  22. #22
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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

  23. #23
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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.
    +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?
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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.

  25. #25
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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.
    Hey sexy mama, wanna kill all humans?

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