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View Full Version : Want recommendations on LIGHTWEIGHT bike for small female riders



Runner750
01-04-2011, 04:10 PM
Hello this is my first post of my own.

I have been using a so-called "town bike" for commuting. It is that kind with relatively fat tires, an upright riding position, and a not very sporty look. Not quite a beach cruiser but its looks are closer to one than a sport bike. Since my commute is very short (Dupont to downtown), I don't have any complaints about my bike not being very high-performance. Actually I like most of these features. But there is one problem: it's too heavy for me to get it out of the basement in the morning and back in the evening. Can anyone recommend a model & make of a bike for a small female rider which is very LIGHT WEIGHT and WITHOUT a bar that goes parallel to the ground in front of the saddle? Thank you very much!

Joe Chapline
01-04-2011, 07:32 PM
You will have a lot of choices, but the first thing that pops into my mind is to look at Trek bikes. They've been offering hybrid bikes with diagonal top tubes (lower at the seat end) for many years. (So there are a lot out there if you want to shop for a used bike.) They also have a lot of Women-Specific Design (WSD) offerings. For many models that do have a high top tube, they also offer a version with a step-through frame. And they have models in every price range. I hesitate to suggest specific model, because it really depends on price range. It sounds like you don't need a high-performance bike, but you still have a choice to spend more or less for a more-reliable or less-reliable bike. Here's a link to look at (http://www.trekbikes.com/women/wsd_products/bikes/bike_path/72fxwsd/) as a starting point. You can go up or down in price from there.

Joe Chapline
01-04-2011, 07:47 PM
I'm moving this thread into "bikes and equipment" -- seems like a better place for it.

Mark Blacknell
01-05-2011, 11:07 AM
Hi, Runner750. I suspect you mean lightweight as relates to your existing bike, and not lightweight in the fast-carbon-racer kind of way. To that end, I'd suggest taking a look at the bikes over at Bikes for the Rest of Us (http://bikesfortherestofus.blogspot.com). If you're really committed to having a step through, you can click here (http://bikesfortherestofus.blogspot.com/search/label/step-through) to only show those kinds of bikes. Most reviews list a weight, so you can compare them to your existing bike. Good luck.

Runner750
01-05-2011, 11:21 AM
Dear Joe

Thank you very much for your quick response. And sorry for the wrong place I placed this question. I am brand new in this forum so please bear with me. I will have a look at the link you passed on to me. Thanks again.


You will have a lot of choices, but the first thing that pops into my mind is to look at Trek bikes. They've been offering hybrid bikes with diagonal top tubes (lower at the seat end) for many years. (So there are a lot out there if you want to shop for a used bike.) They also have a lot of Women-Specific Design (WSD) offerings. For many models that do have a high top tube, they also offer a version with a step-through frame. And they have models in every price range. I hesitate to suggest specific model, because it really depends on price range. It sounds like you don't need a high-performance bike, but you still have a choice to spend more or less for a more-reliable or less-reliable bike. Here's a link to look at (http://www.trekbikes.com/women/wsd_products/bikes/bike_path/72fxwsd/) as a starting point. You can go up or down in price from there.

Runner750
01-05-2011, 11:21 AM
OK Thanks.


I'm moving this thread into "bikes and equipment" -- seems like a better place for it.

Runner750
01-05-2011, 11:22 AM
Dear Mark
Thanks for your response. I am pleased to know that there are more choices than I thought. This time it seems like shopping will be easier than last time.


Hi, Runner750. I suspect you mean lightweight as relates to your existing bike, and not lightweight in the fast-carbon-racer kind of way. To that end, I'd suggest taking a look at the bikes over at Bikes for the Rest of Us (http://bikesfortherestofus.blogspot.com). If you're really committed to having a step through, you can click here (http://bikesfortherestofus.blogspot.com/search/label/step-through) to only show those kinds of bikes. Most reviews list a weight, so you can compare them to your existing bike. Good luck.

baiskeli
01-05-2011, 01:05 PM
WITHOUT a bar that goes parallel to the ground in front of the saddle?

A bike without a top tube is a lady's bike, now called a step through, as you saw from the other link. They were first designed for women riding in long skirts (i.e. a century ago). You can still find them, but they're probably going to be no less heavy than the kind you have now. You might just need a smaller frame, unless you're commuiting in skirts too of course. It's nice to have that option.

In general, the lighter the bike, the more expensive because of the cost of lighter materials that are only used in performance bikes, but an aluminum frame can make a big difference in weight without busting your budget.

Joe Chapline
01-05-2011, 04:05 PM
Anyone: I always look at bikes with the larger 700c wheels, because that's my preference. Would Runner750 be better off looking at bikes with smaller, 26" wheels, for weight, and/or for her smaller size?

RE the top tube, there are bikes that have an angled top tube, which gives you more clearance to stand over the frame. A true step-through frame allows you to dismount without swinging one leg over the seat. As baiskeli said, those were originally designed for women in skirts, but are also practical for anyone that has to get on and off the bike a lot. (Mail carriers, for example.) I don't know if Runner750 is looking for a bike with a low top tube, or a true step-through frame, but both are available.

Last note for now: You can save some weight in the tires. If it does make sense to look for a bike with 26" wheels, a lot of those are mountain bikes and may have big, fat, knobby tires on them. But the wheels will probably accept narrower, lighter tires.

baiskeli
01-06-2011, 10:28 AM
Anyone: I always look at bikes with the larger 700c wheels, because that's my preference. Would Runner750 be better off looking at bikes with smaller, 26" wheels, for weight, and/or for her smaller size?

RE the top tube, there are bikes that have an angled top tube, which gives you more clearance to stand over the frame. A true step-through frame allows you to dismount without swinging one leg over the seat. As baiskeli said, those were originally designed for women in skirts, but are also practical for anyone that has to get on and off the bike a lot. (Mail carriers, for example.) I don't know if Runner750 is looking for a bike with a low top tube, or a true step-through frame, but both are available.

Last note for now: You can save some weight in the tires. If it does make sense to look for a bike with 26" wheels, a lot of those are mountain bikes and may have big, fat, knobby tires on them. But the wheels will probably accept narrower, lighter tires.

I would imagine the style of bike she'd get with either 26" wheels or step-thru might negate any weight savings. That's why I mentioned that. Also, I wondered if her desire for no top tube meant her entire frame was just too big for her. Yeah, getting something with 26" and then switching to tires that don't belong on a Humvee is an option, as it is for lots of people.

But obviously she needs to just shop around. Also, she can probably find a reasonably-sized steel bike. I don't know what she rides now, but I'd guess just a smaller frame, leaner-style bike is all she needs. She's probably done reading this and out shopping by now anyway.