Angelina, a good point. My step-thru MTB (good brand of Trek) weighs 18.2kg. I need a MTB for stability when carrying loads from shopping, library, etc, but the weight does not encourage me to try most AC rides. Some years ago the Australian Trek catalogue included a women's specific bike in lighter chro-moly but it was not imported into Australia. Go figure! I have searched in vain since for the bike I want.
I wonder about that myself when admiring some of the cool looking step through ladies bikes. They look fantastic, but I can't imagine they're much fun up a hill or trying to handle at 3km/hr behind traffic. When I got into cycling ~5 years ago I rode up to Mt Lofty on a 20kg bike and quickly decided to get another.
Have you looked at touring bikes? This style of frame looks ok.
And how important is it to have a step through frame? I understand it would be advantageous for commuting in a dress/skirt. Those chain guards look heavy too...
My wife had a Dawes Galaxy in a mixte frame a long time ago. When she used it for real touring, ie rear panniers filled up, it wobbled too much. The mixte frame wasn't rigid enough to cope with the loaded panniers. She ended up selling it and getting a custom made frame. This was in London -- I don't where you find a custom frame builder Adelaide. Frames for short women are a problem (she is 5ft) as you can't just scale the frame as the wheels are the same size.
I can fully understand why you'd change to a lighter bike after cycling up to Mt Lofty on a 20kg one!
I suspect that step through is important for some people and I agree that the chain guards look heavy. I have seen some internal hub cruising bikes but again, very heavy.
Thanks for the link to the touring bikes. I like the frame. A nice compromise between flat bar and step through!
My 20+ year old bike that I ride is quite heavy.
I am considering upgrading.
If people really want something different won’t they eventually get something different?
Once you get to the enthusiast level bikes is there a lot of difference between the needs of men vs women?
Are high end bikes a unisex product?
Or am I just a chauvinistic male?
Im sure if your got the "$$" that is, Bianchi high perfomance bikes from BE in halifax st, look like a good option for female's looking to enter the road crit races and or just fly up mt lofty.
I think the body pattern is different in terms of ratio of arm, torso and leg lengths. The pelvis is wider and tilted at a sharper angle so the soft parts are more likely to get pressed into the saddle.
Some discussion here seems quite good.
@Don the main differences that are touted that women specific road bikes have as opposed to mens bikes are, shorter top tubes as our torso's are shorter/ legs longer than men of an equivalent height and a womens specific saddle and narrower handle bars. But . . . this really is depenedent on the girl and I love my mens road bike. I did have the shop put a ladies saddle on it (and that is vital) but with broad shoulders I don't need smaller handle bars and I don't notice the difference in the top tube length at all.
With commuters/ leisure bikes women need a step through so they can wear skirts and baskets carry handbags beautifully, with no sweat marks from a back pack. The real problem I think in the womens market is that it is such a small market compared with the mens, that said the difference I noted when I dropped 4 kgs of weight from my old bike to my new one was comparable to a jet engine, so surely it can't be impossible to produce a 10 or 11 kg leisure bike. I am wondering though if it comes down to $$. People will pay $10,000 for a 7.0 kg road bike but I haven't seen many leisure bikes for over $800.
If you really want to invest in your dream bike there are several bespoke bicycle craftsmen in australia, check out the current treadlie magazine, they can make whatever you want, exactly to fit.