Advice on buying a ladies "anatomically adjusted" bike

just venturing into this part of the forum for the first time..not a tri person..only a beginner runner
but i think you guys will know the answer to my questions...

Ok - lately taken up more cycling due to injury preventing running at mo
- am really enjoying the cycling part and want to upgrade from old halfords type bike from 15 years ago for 80quid
(Maybe one day i will do a bike run - is that a duathlon ? but at the mo that is a long way off in dreamland as not fit beyond a short run)

Anyway, am willing to spend 200 maybe 300 but not sure what to get.

Went to local shop and they had a couple of "anatomically adjusted" bikes from Claude Butler and Specialized
- am convinced i need that -
it really makes a difference having a bike that actually fits a woman ie shorter "reach" - so that is on my list of essentials for the new bike spec

tried a "Valetta" (CLaude Butler?) 230quid - seemed okay but a couple of questions..
a) I hate the fact that all the ladies bikes come in pink or lilac (yuk) - doesn't anyone make one in a decent colour please? (according to bike shop owner - no)
b) suspension - i want to get front supsension and possibly rear - valetta has only front susp - i have heard that effort is lost through rear suspension if riding on road - but i don't care if it's only 10% because i am not racing just trying to get fit - any views on whether it's wrong to get dual suspension ?
and who makes a dual susp ladies size bike?
c)frame material - i would love a really light bike - but are they mega expensive? i think the bikes i was looking at are aluminium framed - is that a good material or am i going to have rust probs? (bike will have to live in a damp garage)
how much would i need to spend to get a really light frame ?
d) what other components are really important?
e) can i put hybrid tires on any bike?

background - I will mainly use the bike to ride round local forest tracks and some on-road riding . I am a beginner in fitness terms - think slow and lardy

other thoughts are creating a bike from components versus buying readymade

buying online versus highstreet

any input to any of the above would be much appreciated

i think i have been spoiled by someone once letting me have a go on their "orange" bike (?)




  • a. Dunno about that - I'm sure you can get decent colours - you may have to spend more though.

    b. If you aren't doing MTB stuff - forget the suspension. Heavy, not v good at those prices, and will make it an effort to ride.

    c. Aluminium is fine - but the more you pay, the better the grade.

    d. It goes frame wheels groupset. If you have a decent frame, you can upgrade the rest.

    e. Usually - depends on you getting the right size tyre.

    I think a hybrid bike is what you are looking for here - good on the road, without being a racer and plenty tough enough to handle your forest paths.

    MTB's are overkill, and you wouldn't enjoy the experience.

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    agree with cougs on all those points

    orange are at the more technical end of the mtb market so you have been spoilt a little.

    as a thought - look out for a good price 2nd hand frame and then spec the wheels and groupset - you may need advice from either a decent shop or someone who knows. a good frame should last - unlike components which tend to get knackered quickly - so that way even a 2nd hand frame would make sense. may not look great (scratches, dints etc) but hey - waht the hell - you should see my MTB which was new once!
  • FB has got a point - 2nd hand is better value for money - but if you want a womens bike - you might have to be a bit patient. There won't be the numbers around.

    Hey - how did you get on on that Orange ? Was the geometry OK for you ??
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    petal's first MTB was an Orange C16R - she loved the geometry on that and the bike - font sus only.

    lok - if you could get one of those frames you wouldn't go far wrong.....
  • that's helpful

    and yeh i wouldn't mind having a look on ebay

    i don't mind getting a really good frame and and getting components elsewhere

    but the colour thing is *really* a prob guys - you wouldn't believe it
    if i am buying new then i don't want to have to spray it

    update on the orange bike - am now told it was NOT an orange - but something else with an orange sticker put on (!)
    the geometry was all wrong - but i loved the feel of the suspension - and the whole thing felt incredibly light to me - dunno what it actually was though (sorry) - something cheaper than orange

    as regards the hybrid - you may be right that this is what i need but this is mainly for pleasure rather than serious training - so (pls don't cringe when i say this)i want something that looks sexy and the MTB's look sexier than the hybrids ..

  • Ebay is always worth a look. Easy to browse.

    Hmmm - colour. You could try getting it muddy ?

    LOK - that pretend Orange bike probably was a really nice one - but would have been a lot more expensive. You can get full sus MTB's for £300 - but they'll ride like a space hopper filled with water.

    I raced a few seasons proper MTB on a rigid GT bike, so you don't need suspension for your trail rides.

    And if you are talking pleasure - then make it easy on yourself. A cheap MTB will weigh a tonne. A hybrid without suspension will be much lighter and easier to ride - hence more enjoyment !

    And there are some very sexy hybrids out there. The sexiness of the MTB's you are looking at is only skin deep. After a few rides trying to get up any hill, it'll be consigned to the depths of the garage.
  • (I'm really not keen on the cheaper full sus machines am I ?) ;-)
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    but I have to agree

    (Marin Mt Vision)
  • can you give me some names of specific bikes then please - am not sure what i need to ask for
    if necessary give the bloke version name and i can at least ask if there is a female equivalent

    or any websites to look at???
  • i think i am reverting to the idea of a front(only) sus bike with a v light frame - but who makes those?

    and what do they cost ?
    are we talking 500 ? or 1000 ?

    maybe i can't afford what i want, but would like to see them to compare..

  • I'm buying a bike in a couple of months (first one I've had since the "Raleigh Denim" which I grew out of at age 11) and I think I'm going to go for the Specialized Hardrock Womens 2004 which is £299.

    It seems to be ok for off-road cycling reasonably durable and not too ridiculous for pootling about at the weekend.

    Plus I like the colour: Frost blue - LOL!
  • OK - we are winning you round bit by bit ! ;-)

    I've found a dead sexy Giant Hybrid for a grand - but you can't have that - I want it !

    Erm - where is Jeffrey Lady Killer when ya need him - he's a proper bike shop person.

    You can easily get a decent bike for £500, but a better one for a grand.
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    or even better for £1500-£2000
  • Hi "lady of kent"
    I'm a very slow cyclist/runner and do some triathlon. I agree with the guys that a hybrid is what you want at first; full on MTBs are very heavy. My hybrid is Specialised Crossroads and has done really really well for the 15 odd years I've had it. I paid £400 then, don't know what they cost now. A make worth exploring is Orbea (look on their web site)they are Spanish and do small sizes for women yet their colours aren't too girly, and they are fairly cheap £300-£600.My racing bike is a Bianci (Italian) ladies specific which bluey/green-same as the mens but definately a no no as a first bike; it handles like a ferrari and scares the **** out of me!
    I would advise getting properly measured up by a specialist shop even if you don't buy from them, they may charge you for the privilage refundable against purchase.
  • Oooh - Orbea. I do like their Orca.

    And Bianchi - v popular choice for forumites - Multi and Lizzy B have them as well.
  • Come to the next London social and drag one of this lot along to Evans in Waterloo before you all get too lagered!

    Lots of deals on last years stock at the moment - e.g.
  • just spoke to local mtb shop and they recommend Giant Mistral hardtail for 299 - apparently it's new 2005 model (silver) but can't find it on web
    they reckon not worth rear sus unless i can afford NRS intelligent sus - but on bikes of 700+

    random web surfing brings up this result
    which i like the look but..

    don't think my fitness level justifies spending more than 300 on bike really - maybe reward myself with really nice bike if i get round a 10k in decent time

    stripey cat - yeh i saw the specialized one - i am just not mad on pastel colours in general i think (sorry am fussy c*w)

    chaos - i will probably be at london social - as for yanking someone outside - am i safe alone with these people (!?!) LOL

    deirdre - will look up what you said - sounds very wise
  • (ya don't need the front sus. Honest !)
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    Evans cycles web page has a womens section - although not looked at it.

    If anyone wants a really class looking bike some guy just emailed me pictures of 3 mid 80s Cioccs he is selling - so nice you could just hang them on your wall.
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