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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after some time of riding my bike it seems my wife wants to join the fun.

We went to get sized and the LBS measured her and tested out a 52cm Cannondale R700. I wanted to see if they had the R700 Féminine and from what I understand the differences can be minor. With the ability to swap out handlebars and necks, I was told to rest assured that with the minor adjustments there shouldn't be much of a difference.

She went a test ride and said other than minor intimidation of vehicles on the road she thoroughly enjoyed it. So we put an order in for a 52cm Cannondale R700.

Now that I am home and realizing we are ordering a bike... should I just order an R700 Féminine? Is there a difference in measurement? Is it worth it to put a woman on a Féminine frame?

I tried overlaying the photos within Photoshop to see the geometry differences and they look substantial. Plus, the R700 comes with Shimano rims and the R700 Féminine comes with Mavic but they are about the same price.

Thanks for the help.
 

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In general, men have longer torsos & arms. Women have longer legs, shorter arms & torsos. For example, I'm 6'3' and my wife is 5'10". We have identical inseams. IMHO, top tube lengths are one of, if not the most, important dimensions on a bike. I'm sure not trying to tell you what to do, but if it were me, I'd investigate the difference between the two bikes more carefully. Test riding a bike for a couple of miles is a lot different from trying to stay comfy & efficient for a few hours.
 

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If you got fit then I suggest you put some more trust in the person that fitted you and your wife. I would be interested in knowing whether your experience with the fitter gave you a sense of confidence in his/her abilities and judgment. I gather two scenarios that may apply to you. One is that you do not know much about how bikes are sized as far as fit is concerned so you think that because it says it's a woman-specific design, it must fit better on your wife because of that.The other scenario that may apply is that you do not trust the fitter for one reason or another, and think you are being taken advantage of.

Generalities are just that, generalities, not specificities.Your wife was measure and fit to a bike. She test rode it and declared it comfortable. Granted a short test ride will not tell you enough about proper fit. Much depends on rider fitness and how much time is spent on the bike and what effort is put into the ride. For a very good explanation of bike geometry and how it affects handling, go to this site: http://www.calfeedesign.com/frontendterms.htm

Whether to go with the standard R700 or the R700 Féminine, it depends on the weight distribution. One or the other would put your wife in the sweet spot, 55/45. It is possible both would be close enough, definately. It does depend, after all, on just what your wife's measurements are.

I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the advice everyone. I'll admit it... I'm definitely not a seasoned rider but I do have a lot of faith in the owner of our chosen LBS. With him being a Cat 2 rider and bike shop owner, he definitely knows what he is doing (at least from my perspective).

But from I do know we checked out multiple bikes ranging in size, however we didn't get a chance to check out the right size in a Féminine. He simply has none in stock. And I'm a person who likes things to be perfect. And such items as the top bar difference could mean a lot more comfort on a 60+ mile ride. So it's bothering me.

Very true on my confusion. Although I do understand everyone's body is built differently and my wife claims to have a longer torso and shorter legs than the average woman there is a part of me that is determined to believe "she's a female, she must fit better in a Féminine". Overall, I want to buy her an excellent bike to enjoy cycling as much as I do. I would hate for her to have excitement in the beginning and then suffer from a semi-decent fit and shrug off the sport. And my post is just to clear my conscious, I guess. Thanks again.

I have started reading your link and there are some items I will take with me to the next fitting or test rides.
 

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velodev said:
I wanted to see if they had the R700 Féminine and from what I understand the differences can be minor. With the ability to swap out handlebars and necks, I was told to rest assured that with the minor adjustments there shouldn't be much of a difference.

She went a test ride and said other than minor intimidation of vehicles on the road she thoroughly enjoyed it. So we put an order in for a 52cm Cannondale R700.

Now that I am home and realizing we are ordering a bike... should I just order an R700 Féminine? Is there a difference in measurement? Is it worth it to put a woman on a Féminine frame?

Go to the Cannondale site and look at the geometry of each bike . R700 Womens frame does not come in a 52 size, so there is no direct comparison. A quick look shows that the LBS owner is correct, ie. differences are minor.

I think some bike companies have brakes & levers specifically for women if your wife has small hands. Another feature I like to confirm is "will the bike accept 25 or 28 tires?" 28s run at a slightly lower pressure can smooth out the ride qualities a lot. 25s are probably just fine.
 

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Went through a similar panic when I bought my wife's bike

She is 5'2", and I was very worried about fit. I did the research and had her ride several. She ended up on a standard frame bike, and with a few adjustments it fit her perfectly.

Key thing here is the word "fit". Women's frames are built around the "general" measurements for women, as noted being longer legs with shorter torso's and arms. Hence top-tube becomes critical. However, women come in all shapes and sizes, just like men. There are bikes that fit me better than others as I have longer legs and shorter torso than others my height. So, I need more seat tube, but less top tube. Same thing applies for women.

Since you had a fitting, I would trust the fitter. Especially if it felt comfortable to her on the ride. I would suggest (as others have) that you do a compare of the geometry, especially the top tube and seat tube. Some other things may differ (crankset lenght, etc.), but I think you will find that most of the angles and measures are within 1-2 cm between the bikes. If so, you are probably fine with the order as a few adjustments (shorter or longer stem, seatpost setback, etc.) can dial in the fit just fine.
 
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