Road bike for a female beginner

by Callum   May 18, 2013  

I am looking for my first road bike and want to know what would be the best bike to go for.

I am around 5'1 and have a budget of up to £700/800.

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I am also female (logged in on bf account)

posted by Callum [2 posts]
18th May 2013 - 17:57

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Welcome to the forum.

I have a feeling you may get one or two 'tongue in cheek' replies. Don't worry, it's just that there have been a number of 'what bike?' threads recently.

Sadly there isn't a search facility for forum threads to help.

Bike fit is important. Do you any LBS that do fitting and stock brands that appeal?

posted by Super Domestique [1583 posts]
18th May 2013 - 18:00

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There is a search facility....although unless you know what to look for, its useless. http://road.cc/search

As SD says, bike fit is important, I would say the MOST important part of buying a new bike. Its worth spending part of your budget on that and then going from there.

Its not that we can't suggest a bike for you, its that EVERYONE is shaped differently, so one bike is perfect for one person and then is the worst fit for another.

So we ALWAYS recommend going to your LBS (Local Bike Shop) and trying out different models and sizes and getting a bike fit done. Then using all that knowledge gained, fit a bike that fits your needs.

Its alright coming online for suggestions, but we can only suggest bikes and brands we know and use or have used. So you are going to get a limited number of replies from the mainly male based forum....

You might want to change the title to

"Road bike for a FEMALE beginner"

That might attract more females to the thread....

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posted by Gkam84 [8645 posts]
18th May 2013 - 18:20

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Hi,
Firstly it is what you feel comfy on, not for other to decide for you. The local LBS maybe male dominate, try an find a female road cyclist with knowledge in the LBS, she probly would be more help full.
If I was female and in your shoes, I would be looking at the following choses ( Please note this are just an opinion on choses) :
1. Specialized Dolce
2. Forme longcliffe 3 fe 2013
3. Scott Contessa Speedster 35
4. Jamis Ventura Race Femme
5. Bianchi VIA Nirone 7 Dama

posted by Ashleyhoaken [37 posts]
18th May 2013 - 18:54

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Hi, from a female rider.

If you're 5ft1, you'll probably be wanting a female specific frame. To be honest, it's not necessary to have one (I don't and don't ever plan on getting one - I'm 5ft7), but women's frames do come in smaller sizes and that means you can hopefully test one (you almost certainly won't be finding 47 or 49cm unisex/male road bikes as test models in your local shop), although they should be available to buy.

A female specific bike will also have narrower bars and a female specific saddle, so possibly better value if they work for you. A good fit is very important.

What do you want to use the bike for?

@oddbydefault

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posted by oddbydefault [91 posts]
18th May 2013 - 18:57

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As SD says, I would suggest you visit some retailers. Go with the one that listens and doesn't patronise as well as stocking appropriate bikes. These may be few and far between, but Giant Avail and Specialized Dolce are excellent and make small enough frames for someone your height. Cannondale, Trek and Boardman do Women-specific models
http://www.boardmanbikes.com
http://www.trekbikes.com/ie/en/collections/womens/road
http://www.cannondale.com/gbr/#bikes_women-s

There is very little different on women's models apart from the colour, the saddle and, in some cases, more shallow handlebars. If you decide on a unsex/men's bike you needn't feel it's inappropriate.

The price will be mainly down to the gearing you choose - the more gears on the cassette at the back the higher the cost. There's nothing wrong with 8 or 9 speed systems so don't assume they are necessarily inferior.

If you consider secondhand then the Giant SCR size XS (predecessor to the Avail) should fit you and is a great bike.

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posted by Simon E [1889 posts]
18th May 2013 - 19:06

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Sorry, just to clarify, by search facility I meant that just did forum threads. Not a site search.

Hope that makes sense now.

posted by Super Domestique [1583 posts]
18th May 2013 - 20:55

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On the subject of women specific bikes.

My wife recently changed her bike (mtb) from a small frame men's bike with woman's saddle etc for a full women's specific bike. She can't stop recommending it.

That is a Specialized in her case.

posted by Super Domestique [1583 posts]
18th May 2013 - 21:00

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My wife is 5 foot exactly, it has been really important to get her to sit on a bike before she buys it, the online retailers are simply no help, which is a shame because there are some real bargains out there.

Go into a bike shop, you can still get quite a bit of discount if you are cheeky, but most importantly, the bike will fit you. Where do you live? You may be able to get some shop recommendations based on that.

My wife had a Trek Lexa, the 47 cm size should fit you nicely and before that a Spec Dolce again in that size.

posted by nappe [39 posts]
18th May 2013 - 21:39

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My wife is around 5', our lbs recommend a xxs Women specific Giant FCR. It's got flat bars, 700c wheels, a triple chainset & 9 speed cassette. It looks & rides great. Would recommend Giant bikes.

I see Simon E is recommending the Giant SCR, this was my first road bike, they do come with drop bars.

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posted by Mikeh789 [137 posts]
18th May 2013 - 21:47

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£59 over your budget. And it's ridden by a girl!

https://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/series/roadlite-al.html

When you upgrade, because you'll become hooked, you'll have a training bike.

posted by Tom Amos [232 posts]
18th May 2013 - 21:51

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Talking of discount, our lbs got us 'last seasons' models, which saved a few quid. The only difference was the colour schemes.

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posted by Mikeh789 [137 posts]
18th May 2013 - 21:51

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I wouldn't rule out web shops. Wiggle do a no quibble 30 day trial period which I've taken advantage of and is very good. Plus this is a bargain for 600 http://www.wiggle.co.uk/verenti-belief-2013/ leaving you budget for a change to saddle if needed.

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posted by TheHatter [810 posts]
18th May 2013 - 22:40

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The XS Verenti geometry is almost identical to the XS SCR (which was replaced by Defy/Avail). And it's extremely good value for a 10 speed bike!

I think Verenti are rebranded Ridleys, so it's a quality manufacturer.

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posted by Simon E [1889 posts]
18th May 2013 - 22:48

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Hi, and welcome to the forum. My friend is 5"2" and she is happy with a unisex cannondale synapse, so don't feel you 'should' be going for female-specific. Many firms have been guilty of the 'shrink it and pink it' approach to women's products, but things have improved a lot. Specialized are thought to be very good, with an entire product team dedicated to getting it right in this regard. Together with their BGFit bike fitting stuff, I reckon you could solve the whole problem with a visit to a Specialized Concept Store.

See if you have one local by going here:
http://www.specializedconceptstore.co.uk/m/stores/

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2890 posts]
18th May 2013 - 22:57

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I've got a Specialized Dolce and I love it. Smile

posted by sparklehorse [1 posts]
18th May 2013 - 23:29

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Just to add my two penn 'orth the Specialized Dolce and Trek Lexa are both highly regarded bikes but as has already been said don't feel that you have to go for a women's specific model because you don't.

As has also been said, shop around and try out a few different bikes, so you can get a feel for what's available and for the differences between different models.

One thing I would suggest is that you go for something with a compact geometry - the advantage here is that even in the smaller sizes you'll still be able to set the bike up with plenty of seat post showing which will boost your ride comfort without sacrificing riding efficiency.

You always get a lot of bike from Giant so it might be worth checking out the Avail range - you might want to ditch the tyres though.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4131 posts]
19th May 2013 - 0:34

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