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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    10

    Mens vs Womens bike issue

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    So I just recently bought my first real bike, a Cannondale Quick 4. I'd been biking for about a year before but on a really cheap bike.

    I went to a few stores, tried out the Trek FX line, the Giant Escape, Specialized Vita, and Cannondale Quick. I had narrowed it down to between the Vita and what I thought was the Quick 5 Women's bike, both at the same store. Due to either weather or work, I went back about a month later, intending to choose between the two, leaning toward the Cannondale, because it had a smoother ride and the handlebars were not so wide. When I went back they didn't have the Quick 5 so they said I should try the Quick 4 and if I liked it, they'd discount it. Well I didn't go out on either bike for too long, because I had already done a test ride before. I definitely sat better in the Cannondale, so I went for that one. But I had them give me the specialized saddle, because after riding like 15 different bikes, that was the one that was the most comfortable. They put it on but didn't adjust it, and I rode it home, which is when I realized I wasn't seated so properly on it.

    I went back and had them adjust it this past weekend but I was running late for somewhere so I didn't have time to mess around w/ it. It's still not that great, so I'm gonna have to go back again this weekend. I keep feeling like the saddle should be closer, or that it's not tilted right. All the bike shops around here are closed by the time I finish work, so I really have no option but to go there on weekends.

    When I was looking at bike specs online, I discovered that the bike I bought is the men's version, because they don't have that color in the women's version. So now I'm wondering (1) if I actually tried the women's version of the Quick 5, and (2) if it was the women's version I tried the first time, could the difference in size be the reason I feel the saddle is too far back?

    I'm gonna go back and have them readjust things this weekend, but I'm wondering if I should mention that I thought it was the women's bike and it's not, and see what they say. Is there anything I should insist on as far as adjusting goes? Or do I just have to have them keep doing it and then take a ride on it until it's better?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,302
    What size did you get? It looks like the women's sizes are offered in xs (26 inch wheel), petite, small and tall and the bike not marketed as a women's bike is offered in xs (again, a 26 inch wheel), small, medium, large, extra large and jumbo. The smalls seem to be the same geometry, just looking at the geometry chart.

    http://www.cannondale.com/2012-quick-womens-4-21041
    http://www.cannondale.com/2012/bikes...-quick-4-21002

    The colors for the women's is different. It looks like the saddles are different. Otherwise, unless I am missing something they look the same.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    AFAIK, Cannondale men's and women's frames are IDENTICAL. The only differences are in things like handlebar width and brake lever sizes (and only for Shimano, as SRAM are much more adjustable from the get-go), at least on their road bikes. I know the specs on their mountain bikes are also identical, aside from cosmetics and handlebar width. And saddles. The actual frame geometries are the same.

    Right now I'm eyeballing a Cannondale mtn. bike upgrade (since the one I have is a bit small for me and almost fits my 11 year old DS). I would likely go with a men's model, since I prefer the colors. Then we'd simply cut the handlebars narrower to fit me better.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    240
    How long was your test ride vs your first "real" ride?

    I only ask because I bought my first road bike this year. My test ride was pretty short, and I thought the bike felt great. On my first real ride, I was in so much pain and discomfort after about 8 miles. I thought maybe I had made a bad decision and chosen the wrong size/frame, etc.

    I went back to the LBS, they double checked the fit (and didn't change anything) and told me to keep riding. I did. Turns out I just was not used to the geometry of the new road bike over my old hybrid and it just took me a while to acclimate. Now...I love it.

    Is your position on the new bike very different from your old bike?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    10
    I got the medium. I was looking online and it appears that the men's medium falls somewhere between the women's small and tall in most areas. I don't know enough about frames and frame geometries to say whether they look proportional from the specs. I thought womens bikes were supposed to have proportionally shorter top tubes to help w/ reaching the handlebars.

    I'm 5'4, so I'm not sure what frame size is appropriate. With the Trek WSD they put me in a 15" Frame, I had a lot of trouble w/ the saddle being too close, among other things. I tried the Vita in 2 sizes and the smaller of the two was more appropriate. I don't know if that was the medium/large or small/medium. Since they showed me the Vita, which is just a women's bike, I assumed the Quick I first test-rode was the women's version, but as I said, I'm now second-guessing that.

    The women's version of the Quick has "Lock on" grips, I'm not sure what that means, and yes, the handlebar is a bit smaller. I don't have a problem gripping the brake levers thankfully.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    You'll find that for many bikes, there's just not that much difference between the "men's" bikes and women's, unless you're on the shorter side...and even then, that's only "maybe."
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Interesting...in looking at the geometry charts Cannondale actually DOES have pretty noticeable differences between their men's and women's frames. There are 6 available sizes for men and only 4 for women. And the sizes don't correlate as expected.

    You ended up with a men's medium...what size was the women's you tested? You're about my height--a medium sounds maybe a hair big for you. My current Cannondale mountain bike is an XS/Petite. That's a bit too small for me (I'm 5'3.5" and like to be in a fairly stretched-out position). A small should be perfect. A Tall would be too big.

    In the Quick I think I'd likely need a S in the women's or the men's. Those sizes appear to be the same across both genders.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    10
    The last bike I had was I guess like a city bike w/ the big seat, and a basket on the front, and 3 speeds.

    I don't know what size I tried the first time in the Quick 5. I figured if I went back they would just give me the same sizes to try. My test rides were about 10 mins each the first time and maybe a little shorter the 2nd time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    Quote Originally Posted by emichele View Post
    I'm 5'4, so I'm not sure what frame size is appropriate. With the Trek WSD they put me in a 15" Frame, I had a lot of trouble w/ the saddle being too close, among other things.
    I'm 5'5" and I ride a Trek WSD 17" frame. However, that doesn't mean a lot because my husband is also 5'5" and we are proportioned completely differently. He has short legs, long torso, long arms. If he biked I'm sure he would not be comfortable on my bike.

    I agree you should keep working with your bike shop, ask if there's any geometry differences between the frames. Bike fit is mostly about the bike and the rest is about tweaking saddle height, saddle tilt, moving the saddle back and forth along its rails to be closer or further from the handlebar. It can take a long time to get it dialed in just right for you. It helps to get a multitool and learn how to make these adjustments yourself, especially if you're restricted to that bike shop's weekend hours. They are pretty simple adjustments to make.

    Good luck!
    Rachel
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    10
    My friend has a multitool that I can use but the shop should be able to set me up w/ it properly. If I should actually be in a small, whether men's or women's, and not the medium, I'm pretty much out of options cuz I already bought the bike.

    My inseam appears to be between 75 and 76cm w/ bare feet, so between 29.5 and 30".

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by emichele View Post
    My friend has a multitool that I can use but the shop should be able to set me up w/ it properly. If I should actually be in a small, whether men's or women's, and not the medium, I'm pretty much out of options cuz I already bought the bike.

    My inseam appears to be between 75 and 76cm w/ bare feet, so between 29.5 and 30".
    Sounds like we are body doubles, almost! Yeah, I'm suspicious that the bike that fit you so well was a size smaller. I doubt I'd be comfortable on a medium, either.

    Do they have any record of the size you test rode? If they screwed up and sold you a markedly different size than what you tested, then it should be on them to make it right, even if you've already purchased the bike and rode it around.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Grab the multi tool, make some adjustments, go out on the bike, take the tool with you. Fitting your saddle isn't an exact science and it often takes a few trials to get it right. Other options abound - different seat post, different handlebars. Don't panic and go have fun
    Sky King
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    10
    The first time I rode the bikes at this shop, I rode the Quick 5 in one size and the Vita in 2 sizes, but I have no idea what sizes those were. The second time I rode them, I was more concerned with how smooth the ride was since I assessed that I sat fine in both the quick 5 and the smaller vita. The bike I rode the 2nd time was the one I bought but I again just assumed it was the same as the previous time but in the next model up. I mean I can go back and ask if maybe I rode the size smaller the first time because the saddle had to be moved back instead of forward and see what they say.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,827
    Quote Originally Posted by emichele View Post
    My friend has a multitool that I can use but the shop should be able to set me up w/ it properly. If I should actually be in a small, whether men's or women's, and not the medium, I'm pretty much out of options cuz I already bought the bike.

    My inseam appears to be between 75 and 76cm w/ bare feet, so between 29.5 and 30".
    Not necessarily. My road bike was bought first by someone else and she returned it because she didn't like the gears. So depending on the shop policy, you might be able to exchange it for a different size. I would definitely talk to them about the situation.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    I am curious, if you have time could you measure from the bottom bracket (that's where the pedals attach) to the top of the seat tube (where the seat post goes in-- don't measure the seat post itself)? That's where they got 15" on the Trek you tried. Your height & measurements are pretty close to mine and I ride a 17". My old bike was 15" and it was too small. I made it work with an extra long seatpost and some other adjustments. I can ride my dad's 19"-- with a lot of adjustments.

    The bike size, and the adjustments the bike shop make, will get you pretty close, but I found it was just a lot more convenient to make these tiny adjustments on the spot myself.

    It is important to tighten things down really well. My seat slipped more than once-- but since I knew how to adjust it I could get it back into place easily. It was pretty funny when it was saddle angle I was tinkering with, and I'd get it where I wanted and then halfway home I'd get goosed when it slipped!
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

 

 

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