Why it’s never been so good to be a female cyclist. Bike manufactures have made huge leaps forward on WSD bicycles, and the industry in general is starting to realise that ladies have different needs that men. Trek in particular have been leading the way with a fantastic range of WSD bikes from entry level to World class race bikes.
Why are we at Senova Cycles different from other bikes shops doing women’s bikes? Firstly we all cycle together, so we get to exchange ideas, views and understanding. We have an understanding of how women sit differently on a bike from men and this is extremely important. We listen, we understand, and have a huge wealth of knowledge of bike fitting and essentially of the bikes themselves and how they are put together. We are not a shop full of men, we have Nikki that works in the shop. Nikki is not there in an administration role, but as a sales person, cyclist and advisor. In some cases it is easier for ladies to talk to another lady, maybe go for a test ride, Nikki is there due to her passion for bikes and cycling and her desire to inspire and get ladies happy on their bikes. Senova Cycles pride themselves on having combined force of knowledge and approachability. Try us.
The most often heard complaint is “I love cycling, but my bike doesn’t love me…!” Discomfort in the saddle region makes itself apparent the harder and longer we push ourselves. While both male and female riders can suffer, the majority of unhappy riders with this complaint are women.
Female saddle discomfort usually starts in the soft tissue of the genital area. When we wish to ‘turn up the wick’ and pedal harder we adopt a head down racer’s style. This may be more comfortable for a man who lies flatter on the bike and whose weight is fully supported by his pelvic bones. The difference in anatomy means that for the female rider lying flatter leads to the painful experience of chaffing and pressure on the soft tissue.Trying to hold your body and ease the pressure with muscle strength leads to a sore neck, shoulders and back.
With the popularity and growth of women’s road cycling, designers have had to admit there is a difference between men and women! This has led to bikes that take into account female anatomy and posture on the bike. The result is more comfort and endurance, which leads to speed and more speed-happiness.
The female-specific bike will keep the rider a little more upright to reduce stress on the back and neck; however you will still be able to get down low into your ‘attack’ position. The main difference in female-specific road bikes is a slightly shorter top for a given size compared with a man’s bike tube and taller head tube. Add in a specially-designed ladies’ saddle and narrower width handlebars – and the days of taking a man’s cycle to the ‘shrink and pink’ department have long gone.
At Senova Cycles the Trek range of WSD (women’s specific design) road bikes show cases the most up-to-date designs and ideas in women’s cycling.
“I need more cush for my tush!” (or, How to find the right saddle…)
For those experiencing saddle discomfort the first step is to make sure your position on the bike is optimal. Correct saddle height, saddle to handlebar measurement, and saddle tilt angle are just a few variables that can make even the ideal saddle a pain in the butt…
Having a professional bike fit will go a long way to eliminating many of the causes. From here one can either choose the traditional trial and error method of trying test saddles over a long period of time – was that saddle I tried three months ago more comfy than that one from five months ago?!
The Senova Cycles’ way is to have a saddle pressure map test. This is a saddle that contains sensors that measure the intensity of pressure and where that pressure is distributed. Human beings are rarely built symmetrically: one leg longer than the other, hip and back problems, all these can give cause to us not sitting in the saddle square. An uneven distribution of weight will make us shift continuously to relieve the pain that builds up from this imbalance.
This is just one example amongst many for the cause of saddle discomfort. When taken into account along with the rider’s anatomy and physical measurements an informed judgement can be made in choosing the correct saddle. Even a 5mm adjustment front/back or five degree up/down change can make an appreciable difference in comfort.
Here at Senova Cycles we are always looking to enhance your enjoyment of saddle time and that means we have a great range of saddles for you to try. We are particularly pleased with the results and feedback from the Selle Italia Diva.
Women’s kit is something we are continuously trying to improve, be it fit, fashion or function. We currently stock two brands:
We would love to have you join one of our ladies’ only rides – ask for details or see our Ladies’ hub page on Facebook. If you would like to talk bikes with Nikki or Emma (or even grease monkey Erol!) email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.