Ladies Bikes - What are you riding?

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  • Reading through the other threads, I can find very little about what current bikes the ladies are riding (aside from self-builds - isn't going to happen unless someone does it for me).

    I've been looking through the London-Brighton pics but can't seem to identify anything from the photos.

    Are any of you riding OTPs? If so, what? I'm particularly interested to hear from the ladies that did the London to Brighton. What were you riding?

  • I dont ride an otp but I hope this helps.

    simoncini 51" self build
    49:19 gearing

  • My first fixed bike was a Charge Plug and I loved it - gradually upgraded parts as I learnt more about the bike, by the time I got a custom frame built, I pretty much moved over all the parts from the Plug to the new build.

    Quite a few ladies ride Surly Steamrollers, as they go down to pretty small sizes and they are great bikes.

    I rode my new build on the Brighton ride, which was a 58" Surly Crosscheck, with 8 speed Hub gears - which helped me get up Ditchling.
    My fixed is a 59" custom Paul Villiers frame. Like many ladies I have the very long legs, very short arms/torso problem - which means that most larger frames are too long in the reach for me. So my custom frame has a shorter top tube to rectify this.

    I'm 6ft and have a leg length of 34-35"

  • 1980's Peugeot Mixte at the moment. A very kind friend got it up and running for me, and a bit of adjustment / customisation has occurred to get it looking more like I want it.

    When i've got the fixed gear up and running (which requires a new job so could be a while realistically) that will also be an 80's Peugeot but with a horizontal top tube. Smaller frame as I also have the arm/torso length issue. My current bike is a bit long in the reach although otherwise fine, but I'm having a spot of bother with the ulnar nerve which is most likely related to that. Worth getting fitted if you can run to it.

  • thanks this is all really useful... keep the info coming. ;o)

  • Worth getting fitted if you can run to it.


    It's been something I've been meaning to do for a while, and after a few of the ladies commenting on the fact that I drop my right hip quite far down when I ride (due to my club foot and lack of flexibility on my right foot), I'm going to get a cleat fitting from the Bike Whisperer.
    Stiff Link (who was on the last ladies ride) and Scherrit provide an excellent and affordable service by all accounts.

  • I have a 1980s carlton pro-am frame SS conversion set up by my gal - I ride this most at the moment but it's going through some changes soon as it's being fitted out as my summer touring bike (going to ride Barcelona to Nice, yipee!) with new wheel-set and various other goodies.

    Started out with an OTP Giant bowery w/flip flop hub & various parts changed out, which suited me perfect for commuting to work etc. Still love it for crashing round on, not as smooth as the carlton but light as and pretty innocuous for locking up round town.

  • Neil Orrell track frame (self build), started out with a carlton courette mixte (which I converted to single speed) but was a bit small for me.

    I'm tallish and its unfortunatly difficult to find larger ladies frames, I like the feel of the track frame its more responsive. I've got risers on the track frame and a shot stem to give it a slightly shorter reach.

    • 55 cm Eddy Merckx Corsa 01 (geared), its a tiny tiny bit big, but only gets ridden once a week so is manageable
    • 53 cm Kinesis Crosslight (geared), not build up yet, but should fit perfectly (albeit with metres of seatpost)
    • 58 cm Holdsworth equipe (ss), setup with short stem and risers, so long top is totally negated
    • 15" BeOne Aspire (mtb), fits perfectly

    All have horizontal top tubes apart from the mtb (which is still a 'mens' frame). I owned a ladies frame peugeot for about a week once but hated the ride, really weird feeling of having a load of dead weight distributed around the BB, didn't get on with it at all. I'm 5ft 8 with 33" legs btw, dunno if that helps with relating things together.

  • I ride an OTP. It's a Specialized Vita Elite - small. I strongly suspect it's a tad too big for me as I'm below average height, but Corinne/Scheritt's bikefit helped a lot. I may well get a shorter stem as I feel a little too stretched.

    My ideal would be custom builds, but until I have the money I'll have to track down WSD bikes that come in XS or XXS - they ain't too common apparently.

  • Road bike is a K2 women's frame (teeny tiny - 48cm I think) - twas a gift from my ex

    Track bike is a Condor Pista 46cm frame - currently riding 48:15 at Herne Hill - has track wheels and tub tyres - will convert gearing and wheels and add a front brake and ride it on the commute over winter

    Commuter bike is a lovely red brompton

    School run/mum bike is a monster Hase Pino that takes me and my 5-year-old about town

    On the look out for an old frame to make into a pub bike - hard to get anything in my size though.

    Started commuting by bike about 3 years ago - hadn't owned a bike for about 15 years before that - now look at me!

  • Started communting by bike about 3 years ago - hadn't owned a bike for about 15 years before that - now look at me!

    You give me hope ;o)

  • I also started riding again less than 3 years ago.

    My bikes:

    • Cotic Roadrat single speed equipped with 32 tyres and back mudguard for the rain and off road (although that's rare). Very comfy and I have done most of my long rides with it (Isle of Wight, Dunwich Dynamo, etc...)
    • Ellis Briggs. (54cm) A converted road bike into a single-speed that I only use on my commute.
    • Roberts Audax bike built for me :) That was my bike on the ride to Brighton and it is amazing. Gears, gears, gears. It was pretty expensive but is making a huge difference to what I want to do, ie ride more longer distances.¬≠.html
  • I built up a Giant Bowery for my fiancee. She's 5ft nothing and so finding track frames was more of a challenge. The Giants come in a massive range of sizes and the cool thing about the small size is it is phenomenally light!

  • Obviously not being a member of the female homo sapien, however I have build two bike for Trip (she's 5'4)).

    The first one is a 51cm Raleigh that I made for her as a christmas gift 2 years ago when I want her to get into cycling and the best way to do that is to build a pretty bike with all the bell and whistle (coaster brake, brooks saddle, tape, bag, wooden mudguard, white tyres, pastel green frame etc.), and before I know it, she rode it everyday with a smile, sadly it got stolen couple of months ago;

    Her current bike is an old unknown double butted 48.5cm English track frame that's currently running coaster brake, a dutch-style handlebar and a leather saddle (not brooks), it's her 'beater' after getting her pretty Raleigh stolen.

    Track frame in that size is pretty rare to find, so I end up bidding more than I should for it (£200), but defintely worth it since it fit her perfectly as girls tend to need a shorter top tube length than normal, it got a 52cm top tube length oppose to the old Raleigh (54cm, too long) it's a good thing that she already enjoyed cycling, so she doesn't really care about the appearance of her beater, it also very light allow her to able to carry it in and out of her flat, the choice of handlebar is simple, slight upright position with comfortable wide bar yet still find it very manoeuverable.

    She doesn't really like the step-thru bicycle simply because she's aware of how they tend to flex and weight more than a normal frame, also she kept commenting how much better the new frame is after riding the Raleigh for a year, especially when the Raleigh was a gas pipe frame that's nothing special.

    She'll soon have two bike, the beater for general fun and exercise, and the new dutch-style bike for general everyday stuff when she just need the bike to go somewhere/shopping/commuting without needing to worry about what outfit to wear (like dresses for instance) and still enjoy riding it.

  • Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. This info is just BRILLIANT ;o) I'm 5ft 2in so will need a small frame too... I feel I am going to have to get someone to build me a lovely bike (and probably spray it pink).

  • Since you're 5'2, it's best to go for a 650c wheel bicycle than a 700c.

    Luckily, there are decent frame that you can choose from, such as the IRO Mark V HD (design for those who's 5'3 and under), and the Fuji Track 650c, this is as far as I know, I'm sure there must be more 650c bicycle, but I have a feeling the best place to find them are Japan.

    The problem with 700c is that for you it's huge and there's only so much you can go down in size (apart from a sloped top tube frame)

    A 650c bicycle to you will be like a 700c to a person of average height, here's an example of a 650c wheel bike and a 700c wheels one;

  • Since you're 5'2, it's best to go for a 650c wheel bicycle than a 700c.

    there are decent frame that you can choose from, such as the IRO Mark V HD (design for those who's 5'3 and under), and the Fuji Track 650c, this is as far as I know.

    problem with 700c is that for you it's huge and there's only so much you can go down in size (apart from a sloped top tube frame).

    A 650c bicycle to you will be like a 700c to a person of average height, here's an example of a 650c wheel bike and a 700c wheels one;

    THANK YOU for such wonderful input. xxx

  • i'll post.

    mai girl rides this, which i built for her. She loves it. The forumula is simple: brakes, smallish frame, shorter reach, easy gear, comfy seat, a longish fork with a decent amount of rake to allow some flexing over bumps, pedals that are gentle on both feet and nice shoes with thin soles, and three speed bars.

    this is an old Miyata.

    maybe a 51cm? 52? She's about 5'6".

    Click to make bigger.

    personally i think toe clips are unnecessary and also very impractical to use with proper nice shoes. I just go dual sided platforms and tend to choose plastic or rubber jobs so as to not mess up the leather sole of nicer shoes. No one wants to wear Vans all the time.

    for the love of all that is holy, please don't spray the bike pink like every other girl on the planet!! ;-)

  • i am 5ft 6 and the bike that is custom made a 50.5cm square. the other has a longer top tube 53cm which is a tad big if i want to use drops.
    I think that ed is right about the frame size but I am not sure abou the about the 650 wheels.
    maybe a 48cm is good for your size. another thing is that if you are planning to use risers you can afford a longer top tube.

    I can help with building, depending on the bb brand as i only have a campag tool. you can buy a cheap camapg bb in condor

  • where ever one thinks they should put "riser bars" do whats best and use three speed bars.

    this isn't meant to be an insult or some kind of "what traditionally done" thing. Riser bars carried over form MTBs when hipsters were building fixed gears and needed something other than drops.

    A much better choice is a nice set of three speed bars like i posted above. Much more comfortable and you won't feel like you're waterskiiing when riding the thing.

    the only advantage to riser bars is if you are riding very agressively, on a bike with a very short reach and a tall saddle to bar drop.

    if you a primarily cruising around quickly seated, then three speed bars win almost every time.

  • moustache-style bar are all kind of awesome, bike handle rather lovely with those bar.

  • that too.

    main point being the over application of "riser bars" is poor choice and a better options almost always exist for bikes that are meant to be mostly chill and comfy but retain some quickness when needed.

  • Kinda like this then;

  • i've never ridden a bike with that much sweep for any extended period, but i imagine they are at the far chill end of the spectrum.

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Ladies Bikes - What are you riding?

Posted by Avatar for Shoosh @Shoosh