Let’s face it, despite the fact that a man and a woman of the same height are likely to be proportioned quite differently, bikes have traditionally been designed with a male rider in mind. Now that we have more women riding bikes (yay!), some manufacturers are paying attention and making quality performance bikes designed to better fit women.
What is Women's Specific Design (WSD)?
WSD (Women Specific Design) is an approach to building bikes that considers female proportions to produce a bike more suited to a female rider. Far from just being a marketing fad, female-friendly bike design comes from a position of genuine concern for the user experience and a desire to provide a well-fitted, appealing bike for female riders.
More and more Australian women are taking up cycling so Women’s Specific Design (WSD) is here to stay, and that’s a great thing.
The same applies to the front end of the bike, where the handlebars are narrower, aiding control of the bike and better matching the narrower width of female shoulders. Stems are also usually shorter, both as a further measure to keep the reach to the handlebars manageable, but also to sharpen the bike’s handling in smaller sizes and counteract relaxed head-angles which can be necessary to avoid toe-overlap with the front wheel.
Crank lengths also tend to be shorter on ladies bikes, again based off a proportional scaling down to factor in smaller sizes.
Benefits of a WSD Bike
You may read all of the above and wonder, ‘why does this matter to me?’. If you’re only riding a couple of kilometres at a time, or you’re comfortable on an existing non-WSD bike, maybe it doesn’t. But if you have any underlying injuries or a poorly sized bike, discomfort has a funny way of making its presence felt as you spend more time in the saddle and as your distances increase. So if you're thinking about training for your first 100km, a WSD bike will make it even easier in comfort.
REDUCE INJURY RISK
A correctly fitting bike means that you’re less likely to suffer from discomfort in your back and neck, reduce your time to fatigue and enjoy your time on the bike more. Rather than feeling stretched out along the bike and overreaching for the bike’s controls, you’ll be poised and comfortably positioned to get through the ride with a minimum of discomfort. There’ll also be substantially reduced strain on your core.
You'll notice a difference riding a WSD bike fit for you
Once you’ve gotten past the first jitters of riding a bike, you learn and then start to crave the moment where you’re carefree, your body and bike are working in perfect unison and the kilometres roll effortlessly past beneath your tyres.
That feeling is much harder to attain if you’re not comfortable on your bike. The human body varies and will fit a bike differently from one woman to a next, but in many cases WSD significantly enhances the rider experience. Loving your ride is the first step to loving cycling. You'll find yourself getting fitter faster once you find the passion for pedalling.
Browse WSD Collection
SHOP REID CYCLES, AUSTRALIA'S BEST VALUE BIKES
If you’re getting more involved in your riding and are looking for a potential increase in comfort and performance, test a bike that is designed specifically for women – you might find it’s just what you need, but never knew you wanted.
For all new bikes we offer FREE servicing for 12 months, lifetime warranty on frame and forks and 2 years warranty on parts.
If you’d like some more information, give us a call or come into one of our stores for a warm welcome and some friendly advice. In the meantime, check out our full range of WSD bikes