5ft Lady new to cycling, HELP

by newtocycling   April 2, 2012  

Hi, everyone

I am new to cycling, I have an old Peugeot ladies road bike & have been riding it for the past year, I feel I need a new bike now, but all the bikes are unisex, can anyone advise as to what to get, I dont mind second hand & does anyone have one they would like to sell.

thanks

17 user comments

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Hi there,

Bikes are not necessarily uni-sex, there are 'female specific' road bikes - they just tend to be a bit rarer and unfortunately a little bit more expensive.

As possible routes to explore:

Check out Evans selection of female road bikes:

http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/bikes/road-bikes/f/female#!

or

The smallest size of the Triban 3 might do the job:

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-3-id_8167038.html

It would help to put yourself through this to help choosing sizes:

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO

posted by Fishy [49 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 11:15

2 Likes

Hi, welcome to the forum. Specialized seem to be well-regarded in this area, they have whole product management teams devoted to womens bikes and kit - unlike some vendors, this does not consist of simply using a condescending shade of pink paint. I believe the 'Dolce' is popular.

May I ask what your price range is? (Don't be shy of telling us that you don't want to spend megabucks, it might be an expensive sport but we aren't all loaded! Big Grin )

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3424 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 11:43

1 Like

Thanks Fishy & Notfastenough for your replies, I am hoping to spend max £500, either on a new bike or a good used bike, I have been told to try 47cm frame, but honestly its a minefield out there, am I being naive on the money??

posted by newtocycling [8 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 13:33

2 Likes

I think £500 is a great starter budget. I don't have experience of buying used, but as a starter, how about this for £434:

http://www.jejamescycles.co.uk/giant-avail-4-womens-road-bike-id59979.html

What kind of riding/distances do you intend to do?

This does also raise the question of accessories, which you may or may not have a separate budget for. There's no need to go mad, but there are a few things you will probably want to buy, some of which you may already own; helmet, gloves, shorts/tights etc. (If you don't intend to ride for more than an hour or so, you might choose to wear gym leggings or something, rather than buying a cycling-specific item with a padded seat area etc.) Also up for debate are pedals - you might choose to ride in trainers until you are confident in handling the new bike anyway (I did this), so clipless pedals and shoes aren't something you need to focus on yet unless you want to.

I'd suggest buying in a local bike shop rather than online. This way, the staff will adjust everything to ensure you are comfortable. Don't be afraid to ask for a test ride (you may want to agree this over the phone to ensure that the bikes are available - just mention entry-level female-specific road bike, listen for the 'um's and 'er's and you will probably get a feel for whether they have anything.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3424 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 15:42

3 Likes

Be careful of 'femail specific' bikes...I was looking for a bike for my wife and I noticed that the frames were identical. It was just a few components, particularly the saddle that were different. I bought a Giant extra small size in the end. Nice bike!

posted by SideBurn [857 posts]
2nd April 2012 - 20:01

2 Likes

Many thanks for all your comments, I shall start looking for these pointers & see how I get on, will let you know when I buy.

posted by newtocycling [8 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 8:42

2 Likes

Sideburn is right about 'female specific bikes. Also, the frame size alone isn't a good guide as frames come in different proportions.

Giant sell their Defy model in XS size (like this one), which may fit you. Its predecessor, the SCR, was also available in XS and an even smaller XXS size (39cm), which you may find for sale. Specialized sell their women's Dolce frames in 44cm while the smallest equivalent Allez is 49cm. These are all road (racer) bikes with drop handlebars.

A shop should make sure the bike fits you properly, both for size and adjustment of the saddle, stem etc. If not, then walk away, they're not doing their job properly. If you buy a unisex bike you may wish to swap the saddle, but it's not always necessary.

One alternative you might consider is Islabikes. Yes, technically speaking they are bikes for children, but I have met 2 adults using them, one an acquaintance of Isla riding a Beinn 26 in a long MTB event. I've also seen kids bigger than you and me (I'm 5'4") riding the 26" and 700c Luath models in cyclo-cross races.

Good luck with your bike hunting, I hope you find one you enjoy riding.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2031 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 14:51

3 Likes

do give islabikes a call, they've been great with my sons' bikes.
Look for a frame fit rather than a women specific design, there are lots of calculators that a friend can help you measure yourself against. Reach or top tube length is as important (maybe more so) than seat tube, tho they're all sold by seat tube.

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO is a reasonable one, I used this and the geometry tables to determine if a 60cm CAAD10 would be something to order in, it was and it's fabulous.

good luck and take your time

Cannondale CAAD10, Condor Terra-X and an orange Brompton.
Ride for East London Velo

zzgavin's picture

posted by zzgavin [208 posts]
3rd April 2012 - 15:46

1 Like

I did as advised by you all above (many thanks so far) & went into 3 different shops & I think I found the bike!! its a Specialized Vita Expert 2011 womans small, got on it & it just felt right, only draw back its £700, £200 more thank my budget, I can justify it if you think its right??

Please give me your opinions.

Thanks

posted by newtocycling [8 posts]
5th April 2012 - 9:01

1 Like

If it feels right it probably is right! When buying a bike there always seems that by spending a little more you get that extra bit that you need! Probably true of anything! I am sure the bike shops know that they can squeeze a bit more out of you...and then help you do some modifications here and there which equals more £ spent. Then some quality 'must have' clothing which equals more £ spent! Welcome to cycling!

posted by SideBurn [857 posts]
5th April 2012 - 9:23

2 Likes

Hi Newtocycling,
cracking bike - have no worries with that bike. My Daughter has that very bike and it has everything she wanted, and more. Hers has SRAM apex gears which has a huge range rear cassette with compact front crankset, quick on the flat and hills are straightforward due to the low range 34/32. The bike has carbon forks with Zerts dampers both front and rear which really do take the 'stingers' out of the road, eg rough surfaces. I fitted a rear rack for her so can carry what she needs for work - she hasn't looked back. Though not the primary concern for her, it looks the biz too....
It may be a little over initial budget but IF you can stretch to it you will have a cracking bike and for some time to come. Spares are easy to get and Specialized are everywhere.
Hope this helps.
Regards

Trikeman. Wink

Grunt, puff, pant and groan goes the old man - but he gets there in the end. ;o)

trikeman's picture

posted by trikeman [386 posts]
5th April 2012 - 9:28

2 Likes

Thanks Guys, I have put down a 10% deposit & having read your comments, it confirmed my feeling for the bike & I think I will definately go for it, would like to have it for the weekend.

Cant thank all of you enough for all your advise & support, what a bunch of great people.

Cheers Big Grin

posted by newtocycling [8 posts]
5th April 2012 - 9:51

2 Likes

newtocycling wrote:
Thanks Guys, I have put down a 10% deposit & having read your comments, it confirmed my feeling for the bike & I think I will definately go for it, would like to have it for the weekend.

It sounds like you've found exactly what you wanted, that's a lovely feeling. I'm sure you won't regret spending the extra for a bike that feels right. Smile

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2031 posts]
6th April 2012 - 18:01

1 Like

Big Grin I love a story with a happy ending!

Funny how we always spend more that we intended...

Glad you found it, sounds perfect.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3424 posts]
7th April 2012 - 23:31

1 Like

Hi Guys, Happy ending indeed Laughing , bought the Specialized Vita Expert 2011 womans small, perfect fit! picked it up Thurs night (couldn't wait any longer Smile ), was out on it Fri, Sat, Sun (even in the rain), joy or joy, loving it...so once again thanks everyone for all yuor help & support.

Happy Cycling Big Grin

posted by newtocycling [8 posts]
10th April 2012 - 8:09

1 Like

3 times in 3 days - oh good god, on your bikes everyone, or the newbie will be faster than us all in no time!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3424 posts]
10th April 2012 - 8:53

3 Likes

Crying You bet, notfastenough.......&.....just enquired about joining a cycleclub to give me more confidence...watchout Newbie on the block Devil

posted by newtocycling [8 posts]
10th April 2012 - 8:59

1 Like