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I know this is kind of lengthy, but I wanted to get some experienced women's opinions on it. My girlfriend may be shopping for a bike in the coming months, so I was just wondering how good this article serves as a guide. Seems to have some good info, just want to get opinions (agree/disagree with certain points) of yall that own/ride a well-fitting bike.

BTW, she is about 5' 3"

http://www.titusti.com/08/custom/wfit.php

Thanks all :thumbsup:
 

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First of all I hate the first paragraph because of the use of the word "female" but those are my own issues :rolleyes:



I think it has very good advise, specially starting with the 7th paragraph on.
 

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The only thing I would debate is the statement that lighter bikes do everything better. While that is true - DH racers are always trying to get their race bikes as light as possible, there's a learning curve that's not addressed in that statement.

I have found that most/many women (and some men too) that have been riding XC on lightweight bikes, will get on a big heavy DH/FR bike (well over 40lbs) and do a shuttled ride and the first thing many of them will say is how stable it feels because it's so heavy.

Now admittedly, once they get better, they're going to want something lighter. Something easier to maneuver around, to jump over stuff, to flick in the air... I'm totally an advocate of lighter is better - in the long run. (and assuming you're not breaking it all the time)

But I know several women who have tried a big heavy bike and the combination of big burly tires, extra strong brakes, and just the extra weight and stability of a bike completely overbuilt for them makes them feel glued to the ground (which at that point makes them feel safe) - and they love it. (And therefore I know several husbands on shopping missions for small bikes resembling a tank...) They feel more confident that they're not deflecting off of little rocks, and they have extra traction and braking power. Obviously this is not for a bike they want to pedal uphill, but for first bike for lift served or shuttled stuff.

Now maybe (theoretically) they could learn better and faster by having a better, lighter bike, but that's not necessarily what they feel most comfortable on right away. So there is something to be said for a bike that's more of a steamroller as an entry level DH bike. (I started DH on an RM9 with a Monster T. It must have weighed 50lbs.) It gets you out there having fun and fuels the addiction on a bike that feels stable and confidence inspiring. Then once you're in love with the sport, you realize the bike is totally wrong for you and get something lighter that lets you actually develop better skills and ride better...


Other than that, my only complaint about the article is that it seems to assume that if you're a woman (sorry, a "female") you weigh between 115-120lbs.

And I can't fathom advising anyone to run V brakes. I run hydraulic disc brakes on my rigid singlespeed and can't imagine using anything less. I guess if you're... no, nevermind. If you're posting here looking for mountain bike advice, get good disc brakes.

And I'm a big fan of wide handlebars - narrow bars=less stability. But all that takes is buying wide bars to start with - try riding with them at full length and if they're uncomforable, cut them down 1/2" or so at a time until they feel right. That way you're making the decision of what feels right to you based on how it feels, not someone's formula or guess as to what width you're going to want.

But in general, it's a useful article.
 

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I have no experience as a woman

Does you gf ride already?
Why is she getting a bike?

I read the article and it just gave me a headache. To me it wasn't so much about "women's specific" but more about the just-the-exactly-right-and-perfect tone that is used to sell women on an idea in modern advertising. I was waiting for the word "pampered" to show up or "luxurious" or the phrase "you're worth it!" Sorry. It is just one of my pet peeves; pandering enmeshed with caring and informing.

So.... answer the first two questions and if they show she is a noob with vague notions then the article can largely be ignored. Establish a price point and go from there.
 

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Ditto on the V-brakes. I'm as retrogrouch as they come, and I'm 100% sold on my Avid mechs... brain dead adjustments, bombproof design, and I'm not toasting or grinding rims coming off the ridges in our area.

And I swear the way women's weight is mentioned that I should be weighed on a cattle scale, but that's another rant.
 

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I think the article offers some more specific information that many other bike companies do not. I also think they are gearing this information towards XC riding. I am 5'3" and ride a moto-lite and a racer-x both standard unisex geometry small and I love them both. Probably the best fitting and performing bikes I have owned out of 10 or so over the years. I found the Titus site was very helpful with getting me fitted, even if it was to undersatnd why I could not fit a women's geometry. I am not sure where all the bike companies get their women's geometry statistics from, but I have not seen a public posted source, nor do I fit into anyone's version of them except that I prefer a lighter XC bike..... Just my 2 c.

I happen to disagree with the v brakes idea. While many women do not weigh enough to need a disc to stop, discs will greatly increase the ability to control the bike and therefore instill confidence, which is a big factor for some women.

My only advise to your gf would be, to find out what geometry she is suited to first. One thing that Titus does that I like, is offer regular geometry and custom as well. If she is looking for a first bike, all this information may too much for her to understand.
 

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V-brakes are a poor idea. The better and more nuanced your stopping power, the faster you can descend. Some nice Avid hydraulics with the reach properly adjusted will go a long way toward making stopping a non-issue.

As for the rest, Berkley Mike is correct, your price point is going to have a lot more to do with what she buys than anything else. Read the FAQs on this forum, go test ride as many bikes as you can and buy the one that feels best. Get a good saddle and send your sweetie off to a weekend MTB skills camp. As she is learning, if she makes a comment about something that is giving her trouble, stop and think whether or not it is skill or set-up related, or both. Change things up if you can make the bike work better. If you do everything correctly, and if she likes mountain bikes, she will want to sell whatever it is she has currently and buy a new bike within a year. If she doesn't like MTB, then it won't matter what you bought because it will just be sitting in the garage.

FWIW, that article is very biased toward the Titus product line, but can you blame them? Titus doesn't want you to buy a Trek. They make super light bikes and some of the smallest available FS bikes, so they are going to steer you toward light and small. And, honestly, in general, many of the women I have seen on Titus bikes have some of the poorest fit I have ever seen (hackles down, Titus-ladies, I am not talking about you) :) So perhaps their good advice is ignored somewhere down the sales line?
 

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I agree that the article is dated. The weight difference between disk brakes and V-brakes is much less now, for example. It's rare for a high-end bike to come with V-brakes these days.

I do think that the point that one should match a bike (frame and components) to one's weight (and riding style) in addition to one's height is well-taken, if poorly stated. It goes both ways, really and is not gender-specific. I do know that my small, light friends are acutely aware of the weight of their bikes as a fraction of their body weight. Weight also makes a difference off the bike, as a lighter bike is easier to get into the car, onto the roof rack, up the stairs, and so on.

Like any advice out there, pick out what's useful, disregard the rest, and take nothing as gospel.
 

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I use V-brakes on my Bontager Race Lite

I have disc's on my Stumpy. Disc's are much more powerful and supple. Having said that I have no problem at all with my V-brakes. I've always thought it would be nice to have a disc on the front of my Bonti but the fork doesn't have disc brake tabs and it just is no big deal.
I think the "need" for disc's is oversold as few riders really "need" that much sophistication. Riders working at the edge of control in racing or hard riding certainly appreciate a disc but it is hardly a requirement for enjoyable mountain biking.
 

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Worth reading but...

The article says most women have shorter torsos and longer legs by proportion, (which might be the case), but this is not always true, as I am the exact opposite. I actually feel more comfortable with a normal sized top tube, and the geometry of regular bikes seems to work better for me - I'm really comfortable on a small non-woman-specific bike, and it works great for me. For reference, I'm 5' 5" with a roughly 29-inch pantleg inseam - and a little bit heavier than 120 lbs. DOH! :p

Bottom line: Your GF would do well just trying out a few different bikes - women-specific, and regular - before any purchase is made. And just get the suspension (assuming FS) tuned for her weight, and she should be good to go. In fact, this is what anyone would do regardless of gender. The hardest part is finding any small size bikes in stock at the shop to try out. :(

Plus, why do most bike manufacturers assume that all women like pastels, like pink? :madman:
 

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shredchic said:
Plus, why do most bike manufacturers assume that all women like pastels, like pink? :madman:
This has been discussed at length in other posts, but the short answer is that they don't. However, there is no other signifier that can be seen from across the shop floor that calls out to a new rider "I am a women's specific product" as clearly as does the color pink. Educated riders are not the target - they will find the gear they want, but new riders respond very strongly to simple visual cues that help them to understand a product's purpose which then increases sales in a limited market.

Bottom line - complaining about pink is essentially asking manufacturers to sacrifice some profitability in a market that most companies enter with trepidation (bike-related companies are not get-rich-quick propositions). Sometimes you have to accept the pink in order to support the people that are putting money into gear sized for women. Worth thinking about.
 

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chuky said:
This has been discussed at length in other posts, but the short answer is that they don't. However, there is no other signifier that can be seen from across the shop floor that calls out to a new rider "I am a women's specific product" as clearly as does the color pink. Educated riders are not the target - they will find the gear they want, but new riders respond very strongly to simple visual cues that help them to understand a product's purpose which then increases sales in a limited market.

Bottom line - complaining about pink is essentially asking manufacturers to sacrifice some profitability in a market that most companies enter with trepidation (bike-related companies are not get-rich-quick propositions). Sometimes you have to accept the pink in order to support the people that are putting money into gear sized for women. Worth thinking about.
I really had no idea I was asking bike companies to sacrifice profitability. I just don't like pink. :p But, if selling pink bikes is actually helping to keep the women's bikes worth making, then allrighty - sounds good to me.
 

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chuky said:
Bottom line - complaining about pink is essentially asking manufacturers to sacrifice some profitability in a market that most companies enter with trepidation (bike-related companies are not get-rich-quick propositions). Sometimes you have to accept the pink in order to support the people that are putting money into gear sized for women. Worth thinking about.
I won't complain I WILL (and have) turn around and walk right out of the store and to a different brand (custom if I have to). Someone that doesn't find the need to make my bike "girly" and "pink" can have my $2+k. These aren't entry level bikes, so I can't believe that it's marketing BS aimed at beginning riders.

Yes, I feel that strongly about what I feel is being told I should be girly simply because I'm a girl (Plus I'm not fond of pink and I'm not going to spend that much on a bike that I'm going to want to paint every time I see it...).

Maybe manufacturers should think about that a little too, especially since quite a few mid to high end unisex bikes come in 2 colors per year, so what's the harm in doing the same with the WSD models making one "gag me pink" and the other something crazy like bright yellow or even simple black?

I would of course be willing to test ride a pink bike and order it in another color if that option were available.
 

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CougarTrek said:
I won't complain I WILL (and have) turn around and walk right out of the store and to a different brand (custom if I have to). Someone that doesn't find the need to make my bike "girly" and "pink" can have my $2+k. These aren't entry level bikes, so I can't believe that it's marketing BS aimed at beginning riders.

Yes, I feel that strongly about what I feel is being told I should be girly simply because I'm a girl (Plus I'm not fond of pink and I'm not going to spend that much on a bike that I'm going to want to paint every time I see it...).

Maybe manufacturers should think about that a little too, especially since quite a few mid to high end unisex bikes come in 2 colors per year, so what's the harm in doing the same with the WSD models making one "gag me pink" and the other something crazy like bright yellow or even simple black?

I would of course be willing to test ride a pink bike and order it in another color if that option were available.
What's funny is that I'm a huge fan of pink. I have two high end bikes that are pink, but they are unisex frames (one is actually custom painted white with pink rims and accessories, but I digress...)

And the one and only women's specific frame (Transition Syren) I own did not come in pink. (It came in Black Sparkle, White, and Baby Blue - I went with the black). And Transition has sold unisex frames in pink before too.

So I guess you should just look at other frame manufacturers, because some of them are already doing what you want! :thumbsup:
 

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CougarTrek said:
These aren't entry level bikes, so I can't believe that it's marketing BS aimed at beginning riders.
You would be surprised at what the numbers show. There are a lot of first time buyers WELL above the $2k mark.

C
 

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chuky said:
This has been discussed at length in other posts, but the short answer is that they don't. However, there is no other signifier that can be seen from across the shop floor that calls out to a new rider "I am a women's specific product" as clearly as does the color pink. Educated riders are not the target - they will find the gear they want, but new riders respond very strongly to simple visual cues that help them to understand a product's purpose which then increases sales in a limited market.

Bottom line - complaining about pink is essentially asking manufacturers to sacrifice some profitability in a market that most companies enter with trepidation (bike-related companies are not get-rich-quick propositions). Sometimes you have to accept the pink in order to support the people that are putting money into gear sized for women. Worth thinking about.
Hey now! Don't confuse us with the facts!

Okay, taking your on-target logic into consideration, if we want companies to move away from eye-drawing pink color schemes, we need to find another visual component that will be equally as enticing to women.

A ha! I've got it! They just need to put a few of these on the WSD racks.

 

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A few thoughts

The average American woman is 5'4". That squarely falls in the "short" range Titus is targeting this piece for.

Out here in Boulder, a lot of the "female" riders I hang with are 5'4" and under and weigh significantly LESS than 120 pounds. The weight of the bike when you are 110 pounds and less is a very big factor. Weight also impacts fork options considerably. Once you dip below 150 pounds, you are usually off the chart for the fork specs and those of us below 120 have trouble finding forks that work at all for our weight. I can have someone custom design a bike frame to fit me, but will have a dickens of a time finding a fork that works.

That being said, the frame offerings have gotten better over the last few years and I suspect the fork options will improve as well.

Don't even get me started on the pink bike thing (I have one, a Fat Chance).....

Catzilla, you're idea is the best!
 

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The Martian
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connie said:
What's funny is that I'm a huge fan of pink. I have two high end bikes that are pink, but they are unisex frames (one is actually custom painted white with pink rims and accessories, but I digress...)

And the one and only women's specific frame (Transition Syren) I own did not come in pink. (It came in Black Sparkle, White, and Baby Blue - I went with the black). And Transition has sold unisex frames in pink before too.

So I guess you should just look at other frame manufacturers, because some of them are already doing what you want! :thumbsup:
I've looked at so many bikes my head is spinning and my eyes are crossed. I know I can find them in something other than pink ;)

In fact pink only crossed one or two off my list. My experiences when telling bike shops "if it doesn't come in another color put it up and show me something else" is that they get a large enough percentage of women riders that say the exact same thing (or similar) that they are hounding their reps to please please please reconsider their paint choices. That sounds like the opposite of the what "market research" for "attracting" females is saying (not that I'm saying it's wrong, my experience is limited). Yea, I know it's a girl's bike from across the store, doesn't help much if I won't buy it...

I'm also getting a tad bit tired of baby blue and white/silver as I already have 2 bikes with that paint scheme. I'd buy it, but I really don't want a third. Seems that's the standard go to scheme for women's bikes that aren't pink... Meanwhile the guy's bike in the same model has a much "better" paint job (at least to my esthetics :( )

My real problem is finding something, anything, that will FIT right at 4'11" and 110 lbs. Looks like my options come down to Titus (which I can only afford if I don't eat for a few months and forgo the luxury of a mattress or cooking equipment for longer), Rocky Mountain (it's pink, but at least it's only the lettering, and it's countered by black (see I can be reasonable ;) )), and maybe maybe Salsa (now that's a good paint job) if I want an XC full suspension; only one of those is women's specific!. None of which are available to ride in my size in my area. Since I'm so hard to fit I find laying out $2-3k for a bike I've never seen, much less stood over or ridden, a bit hard to swallow...

Thinking seriously about going hardtail...Jamis Dragon or Voodoo Bizango; can't ride those either though...
 

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The Martian
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chuky said:
You would be surprised at what the numbers show. There are a lot of first time buyers WELL above the $2k mark.

C
How many of these "first time buyers" are really hubby that's into mountain biking and buying the wife/girlfriend a totally [email protected]$$ bike that will sit in the garage and collect dust because they have more money than sense? Or how many of them are people that have more money than sense in general and won't actually use the bike?
 

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Does it matter why they buy the bikes?

Have some respect and don't diss other riders - those guys buying bikes for their wives and those people who never ride the bikes make it possible for you to get good gear. If they didn't exist, we wouldn't be able to afford the tooling costs, manufacturing costs, dealer education and marketing expenses for women's specific product. My hope is that manufacturers eventually make enough money that we don't have to go to pink as an automatic choice, but that takes a very long time and significant investment on the part of the company. Good paint and second colors cost money - it isn't a matter of just switching to a different bucket.

You started riding in 05? Frankly, you and your crotch are so freaking lucky you didn't ride prior to 1994. Back then, people didn't think that a women's saddle would be profitable. It took a lot of guts for Terry to start that product line and it took years to convince shop guys to order them despite the obvious advantages. In the end, the reason most shops picked them up was because they increased shop profitability - putting a Terry saddle on a bike for a test ride significantly improved the chance of a bike sale, which led to higher shop sales - the subsequent business allowed Terry to develop an entire line of women's products.

Pink is another example of the above phenomenon - pink increases sales at the shop level, then our shops will buy more pink product, which then enables the bike industry to fund more WSD projects.

I am betting that in 10 years, this argument will be moot, but it isn't yet. We still have to prove to many dealers that even carrying WSD product is a good idea, and to do that they have to see good sell through on the products that they buy first.

Now, I am going to go find an onion to wear on my belt and go pay retail for something pink at my LBS.

P.S. FWIW, Orbea makes a great small hardtail that might fit you well - the d'Ella.
 
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