Ladies road bike – make a short list shorter!

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  • Ladies road bike – make a short list shorter!
  • Premier Icon RichT

    Planet X pro carbon with sram rival was on offer at £999 at the weekend.


    Odd mixture of mens and womens-specific bikes.

    The Specialized Secteur is the alloy framed version of the Roubaix. Specialized do a women-specific Roubaix-alike called the Dolce.

    Boardman also have womens bikes – the “fi” range.

    Having said that, there’s some debate about whether “womens” geometry is really required. Cervelo say there’s no point. It might just be marketing, unless your friend is particularly petite it which case it seems to be better.


    and after a chat with the lbs yesterday the cube/giant maybe impossible to get due to stock issues….may be worth checking before a firm decision is made…

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    Morning All!

    A friend had sent me this list of bikes she’s considering. Last time we spoke, she said she needs a road bike for exercise, fun and commuting, with the occasional triathlon, but thinking maybe sacrificing out-and out raciness for some comfort and practicality for the 98% of the time she’s not racing.

    I’m not really up on these. Are there any that deserve to at the top of the list? Or struck off entirely? Any others out there? I’m wondering whether something like an Genesis Equilibrium, or maybe even a Cross Check should be on there too.


    Felt ZW75 – £999
    Scott Contessa Speedster 25 Womens 2012 Road Bike – £949
    BIANCHI C2C Via Nirone 7 Alu Xenon 2012 Road Bike – £950
    Specialized Secteur Elite 2012 – £900
    Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105 Womens 2012
    Felt Z6 £1275
    Giant Defy 1 £999
    Cube Attempt £999
    Boardman Team Alloy £999

    Focus Cayo 105
    Carbon frame – Shimano 105 shifters
    Ribble Sportive Bianco – £995
    Carbon bike BUT Tiagra not 105 gears

    If you’re feeling extra clever, see if you can guess how she’s financing it!


    alternatively, go for a full custom build.

    i built my missus a bike over the winter using a sub 1kg Ambrosio frame bought from ebay for just £100.00 (complete with polished welds and a carbon fork).

    i bought a new 105 triple groupset from merlin and picked up all the other components brand new from various online suppliers… the whole purchase part took one boozing evening on the interweb.

    the end result was a 100% custom bike which fits the missus like a glove. the stem and bars are exactly the right dimensions for her, the carbon seatpost and saddle works perfectly over buzzy road surfaces, and the spd touring pedals are ace for all-round riding. i also picked up some of the those rather excellent shims (made by specialised from memory) which bring the brake/gear levers closer to the bars for people with smaller hands.

    all up cost was about £600 which gave her a bike easily worth over £1k if new. it was also very rewarding building it for her.

    If she’s around 5′ 4″ and would like to save a bit of cash there is an apparently brand new specialized dolce on ebay at the moment with a buy it now price of £450. It’s nothing to do with me but it could save her £200 on retail.



    Women- specific designs are all well and good, but does she have women-specific dimensions?

    How tall is she? What is her inside leg length? I ask because my wife has short legs and arms and a long body, completely the opposite of traditional women’s sizing. WSD’s tend to have shorter top tubes to accomodate a shorter body. Sadly the market has standardized on 700C wheels, which for small frames is a mistake. Think 15″ 29ers. We have an old Trek 2200 WSD with 651 wheels that fits my 5’0″ son and my 5’2″ wife fine.

    Campfreddie’s bike is lovely, but I can’t help thinking that the smaller wheels would suit the bike better.

    Of your list, the Boardman Fi are nice looking well riding good value bikes. Carbon for £1000 is a good buy.

    EDIT: just read it was Alloy, but the carbon is on offer


    Women- specific designs are all well and good, but does she have women-specific dimensions?

    WSD worked really well for mrs antigee and took her from cycling gives me a bad back to doing multiday road, commuting, mont ventoux (specialized dolce for road but the one above the RTW price i think unless very good deals around)
    i can think of a couple of her friends that have got and needed womens specific – a couple of others totalled unsuited

    pink tape and pink cables – thats a bsb (barbie specific bike) each to their own i guess


    remember you tend to pay more for a WS frame too, and it tends to have a lower spec. Just get her to go and try some with a list like that she needs to be speaking to LBS not asking for generic advice when size is everything (ie as already mentioned whether WSD will fit her).

    Premier Icon nedrapier

    Cheers all,

    I’d quite happily help her build something up from carefully shopped-for bits, but it’s a C2W voucher that’s paying for it, so all needs to come from the same place.

    Sent her a link to this. She says thanks, and “People love talking about bikes don’t they!” 🙂

    I tried the Cannondale Synapse whilst on my hunt for a commuter bike and liked that. I didn’t get it in the end because I went for a flat bar road bike as I’m commuting rather than getting in to road riding as a hobby.

    I’m one of those that needs WSD, I’m 5’5″ got short arms I think!


    Thanks all for the words of wisdom. Boardman are out because Halfords run their own scheme and I don’t think the Focus Cayo is available any more. Ditto the Cube. I’m narrowing it down slowly. Planet X looks good. I’m jus always nervous about not trying before I buy. My previous bike was a Specialized Dolce Elite, at least before it was stolen! I’m 5’8″ and not petite so potentially don’t need a women’s specific bike.

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