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303 Strawberry Hill  Ave.
Norwalk, CT  06851

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Women's Bikes – REAL SOLUTIONS or Clever Marketing?
If you pick up a recent Bicycle Industry Trade magazine you will read a LOT about WOMEN’S SPECIFIC BIKE DESIGNS. There is a fair amount of debate on the issue. Is it hype and clever marketing, or are these products truly going to make cycling better for women? Well, we believe that there are a LOT of hyped products out there as well as a fair amount of thoughtful women’s specific things happening. The industry sees women as a large, untapped market. Bike companies MUST sell new things to this segment of the cycling public in order to survive. NO DOUBT. But how does a consumer know what products are genuinely going to make cycling better for women and what is clever salesmanship…or what falls in between... and how effective will these "womens specific" changes be?   It may be over-simplifying it, but we believe that if you are a woman, and your bike fits you properly, then it is a woman's bike....do you understand?  Some education will help you decide...

First things first…we are talking about BIKES and FRAMES here…nothing else. Indeed, we are generally talking about Italian style road bikes…but the specifics of our presentation apply to all types of women's bicycles . Having said this…we move forward.

It isn’t our intention to get into great details here…we’d like to talk to you face to face and in greater detail about women’s designs and what is best for you, but as food for thought, consider the following.


WOMEN'S MULTI BIKE SHOE from Louis Garneau.  
As fine as it gets for the female foot.  
$89.99 - Always IN STOCK!


If a bike company scales down a "standard" (men’s) frame geometry, paints the bike a pretty color, names the model something like "Venus" and says it is a women’s bike…you can probably chalk it up to fluff and marketing. Fluff and Marketing is effective. We had a customer in our store recently, looking to buy his wife a high end, premium bike. When it came to the question of size, he announced that he was firmly set on buying her the "women’s" model because it was a "ladies specific design". To cut to the chase, he bought her the wrong size. He was plainly duped. The frame in particular was simply a scaled down size of the men’s version. The small men’s frame and the large ladies frame were the exact same geometry…pretty name, purple paint, clever copywriting…these things don’t make a better woman’s bike. Labels, names, colors aside…had the frame fit her properly, it would have been the right purchase…but it didn’t and it wasn’t!

Another brand may take the next step and TRY to differentiate the frame geometry a bit, but put more emphasis on things like using smaller grips, smaller pedals, a ladies saddle, narrower handlebars, and MAYBE shorter than normal crankarms…here, you probably have a true "female friendly" bike. All of those changes in equipment are going to make favorable differences for many female riders. 





HOWEVER...Building a TRUE women’s bike frame is much more noble and effective in the end, but it isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t cost-friendly for the mass builders. Plus, there is always the question of whether a woman really needs a "womans" frame or bike.  Perfect fit is perfect fit...it is personal, not gender specific in all cases.  Many times, with perfect fit as the primary objective, we will conduct a fitting session with a female client and determine that the best thing for her doesn't resemble anything even close to a "women's specific" design as the commercial bike industry defines and sells the concept.

Womens Mondonico Futura Leggero! 
 Exended Head Tube, Laidback Seat Angle and MORE! 


Torelli Toccata - WOMEN's STYLE! 

A REAL women's bike!  Torelli Countach Donna - You can have perfect fit, performance, comfort, stability and let's not forget DROP DEAD LOOKS!  

The Torelli Countach that is made for women comes standard with an extended headtube.  The seat tube angle is also relaxed by 1 to 1.5 degrees and all forks matched to these frames have a specific rake in order to complete the thoughtful design that makes this a great bike for WOMEN!



After 2 years of planning and design, GIANT introduces over 20 bike models specifically and THOUGHTFULLY intended to fit women properly and to deliver RIDE QUALITY that has eluded certain ladies for years!  We are happy to say that we like what they've done.  True fit and performance conscious ideas bring out the value of these bikes.  These models offer us even more options to make sure our female clients are riding the right bikes!




Bianchi Women's Bikes
Fit, Stability, Comfort, Function!





Fitting a woman to a bike properly can be a challenge. (We run into the same issues when fitting women to frames of all geometries, styles, and purposes.) To say the least, it is not the same as fitting a male to a bike. There are two reasons for this. 1. Women have a proportionally longer femur (upper leg bone) than men. 2. The pelvic and hip rotation of a Woman is very different than a man. The length of a woman’s femur becomes an issue because it usually works against using the proper crankarm length. It can also easily fool the rider into using the wrong saddle height and fore/aft position. Hip Rotation is a problem because it works against a woman’s ability to properly fit the length or REACH of the bike frame. The bend that is necessary at the waist is difficult to achieve for a woman when you use standard fitting ideals. Quite simply, most women are set up to experience tightness or even pain on their bike because of this. Once you think you have solved one of these issues, it becomes clear to you that you have to undo it to satisfy the requirements of the other. It can become a vicious circle even for an experienced fit technician.

What about the challenges that the framebuilder faces when building a women’s specific frame?
They face the same two issues. Dealing with femur length and hip rotation while trying to retain the PERFORMANCE and personality that a frame’s reputation is built on is not easy. One "solution" to the femur length riddle is to relax the seat tube angle, effectively lengthening the distance between the knee and the hip. This seriously changes the performance of the frame and does nothing for the other side of the equation…hip rotation. Most builders will refuse to build a frame with a seat tube angle so relaxed. They do not get much inquiry into building women’s frames so little effort is made to find a good solution.

No one has been able to work miracles…but Torelli and Mondonico, after 2 years of pre-production, have introduced a women’s specific design unlike most others. It works quite nicely. But don’t expect to see it being pumped out in mass quantities by commercial companies anytime soon. We’ll leave the details for their design for in-store conversation, but in a nutshell what they have done is slackened the seat tube angle by no more than one degree (retaining stability and other important riding features), and they have extended the head tube by about 1.5 centimeters (this lets the rider sit a tad more upright at the hips, and eliminates bending that isn’t natural). These frames received excellent reviews from field testers and our recent experience while fitting women to these frames has been very positive. We fully endorse these innovations in women’s frames. Not every woman needs to consider this geometry. Some plainly might be too tall to consider it. In the end, what having these new designs available does for us is they give us better options to SIZE AND FIT A (FEMALE) RIDER to her frame properly so that the bike’s performance isn’t compromised and neither is the comfort of the biker!   We're happy to carry the GIANT BRAND of Women's specific bikes as well.  These new ladies models blend true female-friendly designs with the dollar value and technological advances that a big company like Giant can offer!


For Lisa - Mondonico Futura Women's Model.  Custom 48cm frame with extended head tube and relaxed seat tube angle.  Metallic Sky Blue, fork painted to match.  Century Grey equipment.  SMOOTH!


For Melissa - Mondonico Futura Legerro. Custom 54cm frame. Built with Campy Centaur Equipment. Fork painted to match. GORGEOUS!


Our new friend Joanna with her Santa Cruz Blur XC.  Our fitting expertise helped us get Jo on a bike that fits great and in her own words 'makes her a better rider'!


We carry women's clothing from great brands like Louis Garneau, Primal Wear, Terry, and others!


Our friend Heather G.  
Riding her BLUR XC with Kit #1 at Stewart AFB!  Fits her like a GLOVE...she loves it so much she came back and bought a NOMAD!  

Kris hucking on her new Intense 6.6!


GIRLS LOVE DIRT!  This one sure does anyway!
Kristen on her VP Free, getting ready to pound the slopes!


Of course, once the proper frame size and geometry is determined and the FIT of the rider to the bike is nailed-down, we can choose from a wide variety of components and accessories specifically designed for ladies to make a bike even more satisfying for a female rider!

Vicious Cycles offers a stock women's specific mountain bike and can build any of their frames in a thoughtful women's geometry.


Heather and Kris are hooked on mountain biking!  These ladies drive 100 miles EACH WAY to shop with us.  

Here is what Heather said about her new SCB NOMAD after one ride:


It was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
Love it very much.  It was a lot of fun.  It pedaled well up climbs, and went over EVERYTHING!
Will always luv my Blur too, but the Nomad is a great all around bike.
Took a couple minutes to figure out the shifting, but I think I'm beginning to like it, as I get used to it.
Thank you so much.
We love doing business with you.