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  1. #1
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    Quick question about pro women's bikes

    Do pro women ride small mens bikes or WSD bikes like the wsd madones or amira for two examples.

    Or do they ride tarmacs and regular madones?

  2. #2
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    If they are smart, riders of any sex choose the bike that fits them best.

    I'm a male but I ride a Trek WSD. I did avoid the chartruse color, though.


  3. #3
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    I'm not a pro but I ride small men's bikes. I do not have a single wsd bike.

  4. #4
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    Because I work at a shop and feel weird putting women onto mens bikes. But i guess it is alright.

  5. #5
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    I'm also not a pro and am a woman and ride small men's bikes. I also wear men's jerseys and gloves. Actually the only bike gloves I own are men's because women's just don't fit right at all.

  6. #6
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    What do you think we rode before there were WSD bikes??? You must be awful young. And as far as I can tell bikes have no "gender." They aren't "men's" bikes, they are "people's" bikes.

    Only thing I might consider a women's bike are the old style step through (mixte) frames, still made in cruiser and touring versions. Because it wasn't considered lady like to fling a leg over a frame, and if you want to wear a longer skirt while riding I suppose it might be necessary. But then these wouldn't be racers would they?

    The other thing about most WSD frames is they are usually spec'd out with one level lower components than the similar "men's" bike. This is blatant crap IMO.
    "When it shall be said in any country in the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am the friend of its happiness: when these things can be said, then may that country boast its constitution and its government." -Thomas Paine

  7. #7
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    Pro?

    Quote Originally Posted by AidanKeats
    Because I work at a shop and feel weird putting women onto mens bikes. But i guess it is alright.
    I don't think pro women buy their bikes at the LBS. Sell them what fits their body and their checkbook.
    Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by theBreeze
    What do you think we rode before there were WSD bikes??? You must be awful young. And as far as I can tell bikes have no "gender." They aren't "men's" bikes, they are "people's" bikes.

    Only thing I might consider a women's bike are the old style step through (mixte) frames, still made in cruiser and touring versions. Because it wasn't considered lady like to fling a leg over a frame, and if you want to wear a longer skirt while riding I suppose it might be necessary. But then these wouldn't be racers would they?

    The other thing about most WSD frames is they are usually spec'd out with one level lower components than the similar "men's" bike. This is blatant crap IMO.
    Good points.

    Companies like Shimano and LOOK are marketing products like shorter reach brake levers and the LOOK Optimum frame to both men and women. The shorter reach lever could have been called something like the "girlie lever" but wasn't. The LOOK Optimum is essentially the same design as the female specific Elle but is marketed to anyone wanting a shorter top tube and more upright position.

    And yeah I'm dismayed at the quality of components on some women's bikes.

  9. #9
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    Not so long ago on this forum I investigated de difference between the standard and WSD Bianchi Via Nirone 7 frames. Different geometries, which is good, given the average different proportions in leg, torso and arm lengths between the genders. Bad thing was that the WSD came in white with Celeste accents, whereas the standard came in proper Celeste with white accents.

    I've noticed that WSD bikes often are specced with lower quality components. Could the idea be something derived off the very fact that women's pro races are half as long as men's?

    But I'm forgetting the OP's question!
    It seems to me that the pro women ride smaller standard frames, taking a frame with an appropriate top tube length and build from there.
    Last edited by kbwh; 04-18-2011 at 07:55 AM.

  10. #10
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    Fit is fit. I think WSD is a nice concept, but keep in mind that neither men nor women have the same geometry universally. As long as you size people right, it's no biggie either way. Size them wrong and you'll have the same 'ol problems regardless if it's WSD or not.

  11. #11
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    The Trek WSD's are fine bikes, BTW.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek2.3
    The Trek WSD's are fine bikes, BTW.
    Compared to what, Trekkie?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by theBreeze
    What do you think we rode before there were WSD bikes??? You must be awful young. And as far as I can tell bikes have no "gender." They aren't "men's" bikes, they are "people's" bikes.

    Only thing I might consider a women's bike are the old style step through (mixte) frames, still made in cruiser and touring versions. Because it wasn't considered lady like to fling a leg over a frame, and if you want to wear a longer skirt while riding I suppose it might be necessary. But then these wouldn't be racers would they?

    The other thing about most WSD frames is they are usually spec'd out with one level lower components than the similar "men's" bike. This is blatant crap IMO.
    Well said!!

  14. #14
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    WSD is just marketing imo. You can take a men's frame and fit it to a woman rider with proper width handlebars, a proper stem, proper sized cranks,and proper seat height. Pro women do not ride wsd bikes. Just get a good bike fit. The wsd come with inferior components. Actually, some small framed mens frames have the same geometry as the women's frames. I just bought a cannondale supersix himod in a size 48 and the geometry was almost the exact same as the women's, and of course the men's came with full dura ace components and carbon everything whereas the women's model came with ultegra and more aluminum.

  15. #15
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    Depends on the woman rider I would guess. A true "women's specific bike" would offer a shorter top tube, shorter reach levers, and narrower bars, shorter cranks, women's saddle and not cheap out on other parts. women tend to have a shorter torso and longer legs, smaller hands...doesn't mean we need heavier frames, brakes, fork,etc.

    Get a proper fit and buy what fits you. If you're a pro, get a proper fit and have your team manager order what fits you.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TreeSaw View Post
    Depends on the woman rider I would guess. A true "women's specific bike" would offer a shorter top tube, shorter reach levers, and narrower bars, shorter cranks, women's saddle and not cheap out on other parts. women tend to have a shorter torso and longer legs, smaller hands...doesn't mean we need heavier frames, brakes, fork,etc.

    Get a proper fit and buy what fits you. If you're a pro, get a proper fit and have your team manager order what fits you.
    Absolutely correct. The anthropometric differences between men and women virtually dictate the need for woman-specific designs. I assure you the HTC ladies pro team are NOT riding men's bikes ....

  17. #17
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
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    That's interesting
    Do Specialized make "woman specific" (in want of a better term) frames?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    That's interesting
    Do Specialized make "woman specific" (in want of a better term) frames?
    Yes indeed. To the extent that design is very much influenced by a design team comprising women and a comprehensive prototyping program where "project black" bikes are ridden by selected women riders before production schedules are set. The Amira currently used by all the top Spec women riders might superficially resemble the men's Tarmac, but under the skin the 2 bikes are vastly different. This includes lighter tubesets, specific geometry, structural and manufacturing adaptations, different tapers on the head tube, yes, even lighter weight per size.
    In fact the new 2011 Roubaix borrows from a head-tube design originally developed on the women's Ruby!

  19. #19
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    Let's see, I bought the Dolce from Specialized for my wife (but now it will be for my 14 year old daughter, long story My Daughter Crashed a Brand New Bike. )

    This bike seems to fit right on for my daughter and I will have to get another bike for my wife but reading this thread makes me wonder, would be better a women's bike or a men's bike for her?

    I bought this one for about $800 and my Allez for about $700, the components seem to be about the same quality.

    Dolce:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...7&menuItemId=0

    Allez:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...4&menuItemId=0

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusted Angel View Post
    Let's see, I bought the Dolce from Specialized for my wife (but now it will be for my 14 year old daughter, long story My Daughter Crashed a Brand New Bike. )

    This bike seems to fit right on for my daughter and I will have to get another bike for my wife but reading this thread makes me wonder, would be better a women's bike or a men's bike for her?

    I bought this one for about $800 and my Allez for about $700, the components seem to be about the same quality.

    Dolce:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...7&menuItemId=0

    Allez:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...4&menuItemId=0
    A lot has to do with your wife's overall size. You certainly won't get the same size curves between the 2 models and men's bikes typically suit taller or bigger women and the smallest men's bike is a fair bit bigger than the smallest women's bike. Also see the top tube slope - on the Dolce it is exaggerated to increase confidence in female riders by having a lower stand-over appearance. Also the reach and bar width will be smaller on the women's bike and the gearing is significantly lower with a compact triple. One is designed for a woman, the other for weekend warrior men.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclequip View Post
    A lot has to do with your wife's overall size. You certainly won't get the same size curves between the 2 models and men's bikes typically suit taller or bigger women and the smallest men's bike is a fair bit bigger than the smallest women's bike. Also see the top tube slope - on the Dolce it is exaggerated to increase confidence in female riders by having a lower stand-over appearance. Also the reach and bar width will be smaller on the women's bike and the gearing is significantly lower with a compact triple. One is designed for a woman, the other for weekend warrior men.
    We went to the LBS today and she liked a lot the new 2012 Dolce in BLK/Blue mate, I told her if she gets the Dolce Sport is only about $150 more for better components but she wants the color over the components.

    I guess it will be alright; she won't go on a group ride, most likely she'll ride only with me and my daughter.

    The salesman told me he'll measure her again to be sure on the size, the Dolce Sport she has now is a 48 but that one is going to be for my daughter now.



    The LBS has a Dolce Elite on sale for $1300, I really like this bike for the components but again, we don't really like the clear colors and this one is white.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclequip View Post
    Absolutely correct. The anthropometric differences between men and women virtually dictate the need for woman-specific designs. I assure you the HTC ladies pro team are NOT riding men's bikes ....
    Mostly because Specialized wants to market it, mostly as a sales pitch. A bike fit is a bike fit, WSD or not.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by spade2you View Post
    Mostly because Specialized wants to market it, mostly as a sales pitch. A bike fit is a bike fit, WSD or not.
    Yeah, whatever....... Marketing, sales pitch, better things to do than waste years on research .......

    Your ignorance is telling. I at least have 20 years bike fitting experience behind me, fit for some of the best women riders in the pro ranks (including 4 different national champions) and know of 3 VERY good women riders on a national team who detest the men's bikes their team makes them ride because the fine elements of proper fitting become so difficult to achieve they are constantly compromised and uncomfortable. Contrast this with a team mate riding an Amira - they have tried her bike and are blown away.
    But you don't have to believe me, this is the internet after all and it is so much easier to display ignorance with trite comments like 'a bike fit is a bike fit, WSD or not.' I give daily thanks to brands like Spec and Trek who take the time to develop these designs because it permits me to achieve better fits and this means happier customers in the long term.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclequip View Post
    Yeah, whatever....... Marketing, sales pitch, better things to do than waste years on research .......

    Your ignorance is telling. I at least have 20 years bike fitting experience behind me, fit for some of the best women riders in the pro ranks (including 4 different national champions) and know of 3 VERY good women riders on a national team who detest the men's bikes their team makes them ride because the fine elements of proper fitting become so difficult to achieve they are constantly compromised and uncomfortable. Contrast this with a team mate riding an Amira - they have tried her bike and are blown away.
    But you don't have to believe me, this is the internet after all and it is so much easier to display ignorance with trite comments like 'a bike fit is a bike fit, WSD or not.' I give daily thanks to brands like Spec and Trek who take the time to develop these designs because it permits me to achieve better fits and this means happier customers in the long term.
    1. Are you a Specialized and/or Trek dealer?

    2. Fitting a bike isn't rocket surgery. Neither men nor women have universal leg length:torso:arm length or flexibility. So, I also ask you, is Spec/Trek's dimensions unattainable on other non-WSD bikes? Sure, you may need to special order a crank arm and/or stem.

    Specialized offers a fairly comprehensive fitting program, but you're kidding yourself it their goal isn't to get you to buy as many Specialized components as possible.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by spade2you View Post
    1. Are you a Specialized and/or Trek dealer?

    2. Fitting a bike isn't rocket surgery. Neither men nor women have universal leg length:torso:arm length or flexibility. So, I also ask you, is Spec/Trek's dimensions unattainable on other non-WSD bikes? Sure, you may need to special order a crank arm and/or stem.

    Specialized offers a fairly comprehensive fitting program, but you're kidding yourself it their goal isn't to get you to buy as many Specialized components as possible.
    I am a professional bike fitter by trade. I am in my 50's. I have been doing this successfully for some time.

    It is universally trite to say there are no universal flexes, leg or arm lengths. Symmetry is scarce. Commonalities, by definition, less so. So take your average woman of height x and scale her against a man of the same height, and for the sake of utilitarianism, see if there are any common differences as the sample numbers aggregate.

    Now tell me that all the research and sampling of a simple thing like ischial tuberosity width differences between men and women is irrelevant! Simply put, it is real, measured, common, and for the love of Mike, why to be discounted as irrelevant. The same applies to shoulder widths, weight-for-height, arm length, arm span and all the rest. There is no doubt that measured across populations, women have greater proportions of weight distribution below the midriff than do men. Why ignore this. Women bear children, men dont! Get used to the differences since they're real.

    And sorry, but anyone who touts that fitting a bike isn't rocket surgery speaks from a position of ignorance. A simple reply to your question re non-WSD bikes is a resounding NO!

    I can comfortably replicate saddle height and cockpit length with any bike. But whether or not I can replicate set-back, drop, wheel loading and weight distribution is an entirely different issue. And since these last-mentioned impact significantly on bike handling and comfort, please permit me to consider them as germane and relevant.

    I am responsible to many people who ride bikes for a living. They need to perform to pay the rent. So while it isn't rocket science/surgery, achieving long-term success is just as intricate and no less difficult. It has taken me over 20 years to fully appreciate this. I wouldn't expect you to understand this as you obviously have little frame of reference.

    So by all means feel free to discount proper bike fitting and go and SIZE (not FIT) your ride buddies. Any idiot can do this. You can even monkey a fit off some online calculator. But whether or not I can stack this against a bunch of hungry riders looking for prize food is another thing. No other sport requires as close a match of man and machine, especially when the asks are high.

    So i'll happily use any brand of accessory that helps me get the job done properly. My rent depends on it.

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