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Women's MTBikes!

midgey's picture

By midgey - Posted on 23 January 2013

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone can pass on any experience or feed back regarding women's bikes, particularly in the $1 to $2k mark?
I'm looking to upgrade my girlfriends ride - Until now she has been riding a 2009 Giant Alias, its getting a bit tired, and I was looking at getting her on a 29er...

Whilst she is rather slow, she technically rides pretty well. She manages to conquer nearly all the downhill I do, and I was hoping the 29er may help on the hills.

I've short listed the following, but happy to hear anyone's thoughts or suggestions:


Ian_A's picture

How tall is she?
My wife is around 5'9' with fairly long legs and rides a medium 26" mens Giant Trance and finds it perfect for cruising around. It also has enough standover heigh (or low enough) for her to touch the ground while stradling the bike. She is also pretty good with the technical stuff but doesn't like to do much over 20km and doesn't like loose stuff.
I actually did a 4hr race on it the other day (my bike is in getting a bit of surgery) and was surprised at how good it was.
Much better spec in men's bikes if she is tall enough and feels comfortable on one. If we were buying again, we would look at a Trance 29er or Anthem 29er in a men's small or maybe medium for my wife. She also didn't like any girlie colours and liked the blue of the Trance.

Blocky's picture

Mrs Blocky has committed to a Giant Anthem 29er W 0, it was close to $2k. Have not picked it up yet but is a well specced bike for the money, they do a cheaper 4 model but the 0 is worth the stretch. This is the one ;

Brian's picture

Personally I don't know what the difference would be except for colour. Men come in all shapes and sizes as do women so I don't see why there should be sex specific bikes

hawkeye's picture

Women are typically longer-legged and shorter in the torso than a male of the same height. Of course there are variations and some women will be fine on a mens bke with an appropriate saddle to take account of their usually wider sit bones. Often, all you'd need to do is run a shorter stem, which would improve descending anyway.

Brian's picture

I understand the saddle. If women tend to have longer legs then why is it one major thing that can define a women's bike is a lower top tube. Shouldn't that be on then men's bike?

hawkeye's picture

Most are also typically shorter than men. Unless your name is Brian Sticking out tongueEye-wink

Brian's picture


hawkeye's picture

Just kidding Smiling you're a far better cyclist than I am, and I admire the results you've been getting - a just reward for hard work

Ian_A's picture

When we were looking, there was actually no difference in the geometry (for the specific bikes we looked at), just the womens top tube curved down and the spec was worse (X5 etc, mens had SLX).
We put a womens saddle on the bike - much shorter and wider. The saddle makes all the difference though - my wife won't sit on my saddle for more than a few minutes.

Scottboy's picture

the womens spec bike has a shorter top tube in hence shorter wheelbase then a mens bike in same size

Eyeball's picture

Be careful of advertised sizing. My wife upgraded to a 2013 Giant trance (29er). No more 26ers Sad Giant claim a similar stand over height to the previous (26") model. Unless you remove the seat and wedge your bum against the seat tube the actual stand over height is about 80mm higher than advertised. Her xs trance has a taller stand over than my 18" Trek! It is difficult and dangerous for her

Moose's picture

My wife upgraded from an alias to a Myki 29'er, and hasn't looked back. The difference was huge, she's now making me push a little to keep up, which makes for a much more enjoyable ride.

Beware of the brake levers though. For some reason Specialised have put levers on this thing that are perfect for my hands (I'm 6'2), but her dainty little digits have to really stretch to grab on.

Can't remember the pricing, but it was in that range from memory.

midgey's picture

Naturally we will get down to our LBS to check out sizing etc.
She is about 5'10" so that would open the possibility of a men's frame.

I guess a better question may have been "does anyone have one of these bikes, and what are their good/bad points?"

I appreciate there is always compromise, but I'm leaning towards the giant, mainly due to our favorable experience with her current ride, and the difference in price.

Cheers again!

hawkeye's picture

That can be adjusted

Bernie-Burn's picture

Just so happens and I don't know how, all my bikes are women’s bikes. When I got my Giant anthem at the time there no difference in the frame compared to the men’s, it had all the same lengths and angles. The only difference I noticed was the seat and handlebars which most shops should swap over for you if you buy a men’s. I wouldn't have thought the 29er would help her in the hills, if anything make it harder but I don't know how she rides. Might be an option to go to a demo day, I know giant have one coming up. (rumour has it that’s it is at Ourimbah) Smiling

I"m 5'10, I have a small but now I wish maybe I had tried the xsmall. Most 29ers don't come in an xs, I have heard of one and I think it was trek but not sure. all the best

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