best set up for ladies

cotterpins
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best set up for ladies

Postby cotterpins » 7 Oct 2016, 9:03pm

Should I set up a friends young lady's cycle as if it was a man's cycle. It's a 15speed index dropped bar "racer"? Is there any special position regarding saddle height, stretch. saddle over b/bracket, tilt etc. should I pay more attention too? you must appreciate I'm still of the 531 Benelux gears days.

nosmarbaj
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby nosmarbaj » 8 Oct 2016, 12:33pm

Wouldn't it be best to set it up for her individually, without regard to gender? (You're not likely to get it right unless she's there to try it.)

The existing saddle (as distinct from its set-up) may or may not suit her, but only she can decide that.

cotterpins
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby cotterpins » 9 Oct 2016, 12:58pm

Sorry, I should have said: Do I advise a friend's young lady on set up the same as I would for a man?

nosmarbaj
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby nosmarbaj » 9 Oct 2016, 1:45pm

cotterpins wrote:Sorry, I should have said: Do I advise a friend's young lady on set up the same as I would for a man?

Ah - understood. In that case I can't see why the answer wouldn't be "yes". But as I'm neither female nor a bike-fitting expert, I'm willing to be corrected.

Flinders
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby Flinders » 10 Oct 2016, 12:40pm

From bits I have read it seems to have been suggested recently that ladies may benefit (in comfort) from having the saddle a little bit nose-down. I can't vouch for that personally, but am intending to try it soon and will report back.

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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby Vorpal » 10 Oct 2016, 1:09pm

cotterpins wrote:Sorry, I should have said: Do I advise a friend's young lady on set up the same as I would for a man?

yes 8)
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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cotterpins
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby cotterpins » 10 Oct 2016, 2:19pm

Flinders wrote:From bits I have read it seems to have been suggested recently that ladies may benefit (in comfort) from having the saddle a little bit nose-down. I can't vouch for that personally, but am intending to try it soon and will report back.


That's interesting. Because I noticed that the saddle was pointing downward, and it wouldn't lift up at all. The only way I could get it to tilt upward was to remove the saddle and mount it backwards, then turn the whole lot [seat pin as well] round the correct way towards the bars. Saddle tipped slightly upwards now.

Flinders
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby Flinders » 11 Oct 2016, 7:31pm

cotterpins wrote:
Flinders wrote:From bits I have read it seems to have been suggested recently that ladies may benefit (in comfort) from having the saddle a little bit nose-down. I can't vouch for that personally, but am intending to try it soon and will report back.


That's interesting. Because I noticed that the saddle was pointing downward, and it wouldn't lift up at all. The only way I could get it to tilt upward was to remove the saddle and mount it backwards, then turn the whole lot [seat pin as well] round the correct way towards the bars. Saddle tipped slightly upwards now.


I think the theory of having things more nose-down for ladies is that, unlike it is with the gentlemen, our tenderer bits and pieces are not up clear of the saddle in front, so to speak, so it is supposed to keep more weight on the seat bones and off the tender bits if the saddle slants slightly down at the front.

From a Guardian report:
British Cycling put together a conference of experts to deal with the problem. There were tribologists, who specialise in analysing friction; reconstructive surgeons, who were experts in dealing with pressure sores; and Prof Jane Sterling, a top consultant in vulval health from Cambridge University.

This niche symposium made some useful discoveries. Top of the list was the realisation that if riders were allowed to tilt the nose of their saddles downwards, much of the pressure on their delicate soft tissue would be alleviated.

In one of its “just because” rulings, the UCI, cycling’s global governing body, had decreed that saddles were only allowed a tilt of less than 2.5 degrees, with a 0.5 degree margin of error. “We presented our findings to the UCI and they have since increased the angle of tilt to nine degrees with a tolerance of one degree. This has had a major impact on rider health, for both men and women, across the sport,” said Burt.

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georgew
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby georgew » 12 Oct 2016, 10:36am

Women usually do require a shorter distance between the saddle and the bars which translates into a shorter top/tube as far as the frame goes. Chris Juden looked into this and said that the reason for this was because women bent forward a bit further up from the waist than men. All of my experience in fitting-up bikes to suit women riders have confirmed that he was right.

cotterpins
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby cotterpins » 12 Oct 2016, 5:53pm

Flinders wrote:
cotterpins wrote:
Flinders wrote:From bits I have read it seems to have been suggested recently that ladies may benefit (in comfort) from having the saddle a little bit nose-down. I can't vouch for that personally, but am intending to try it soon and will report back.


Thanks Flinders, I'll put the saddle back the way it was . . . nose down, then I have a chat with her about the length of the stem which seem far too long.

cotterpins
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby cotterpins » 12 Oct 2016, 6:05pm

georgew wrote:Women usually do require a shorter distance between the saddle and the bars which translates into a shorter top/tube as far as the frame goes. Chris Juden looked into this and said that the reason for this was because women bent forward a bit further up from the waist than men. All of my experience in fitting-up bikes to suit women riders have confirmed that he was right.


The lady concerned is only about 5ft [or under, from memory] and the stretch is at least 2inches too long for me, so I'm wondering if she purchased it through mail order or a supermarket, on the one bike fits all take it or leave it, principle.

Flinders
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby Flinders » 13 Oct 2016, 1:56pm

I'm 5' and female, but have proportionally a long back and arms and short legs. My back length isn't much less than Mr Flinders' and he's nearly 6' tall. A tall friend of mine says I'm the only person he knows who disappears out of his sight when they get off a bar stool.
(I call it the orang-utan build, I can be as stiff as a board but still touch my toes, no trouble).

It's not about male/female when it comes to body proportions, it's more about measuring the individual.

All that stuff about women having long legs and short backs, and men vice-versa, is a myth anyway. I spend about three hours a week measuring the proportions of people in the buff, and any average male-female proportions would fit next to nobody. :mrgreen:

eileithyia
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby eileithyia » 13 Oct 2016, 8:19pm

Should be set up to fit the rider regardless of gender IMHO.
Not sure about the nose down principle either... have never ridden with a nose slanting down..... Iwould be concerned that i would be sliding forward and possibly causing more pressure either in delicate places or on the hands and arms as you support yourself.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

cotterpins
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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby cotterpins » 13 Oct 2016, 8:41pm

eileithyia wrote:Should be set up to fit the rider regardless of gender IMHO.
Not sure about the nose down principle either... have never ridden with a nose slanting down..... Iwould be concerned that i would be sliding forward and possibly causing more pressure either in delicate places or on the hands and arms as you support yourself.


Thanks, Eileithyia. that was exactly my thoughts. Also I cut a piece off the stem so as to lower it a bit. The stem wouldn't go any lower because it rested on top of one of the bottle cage fittings on the seat tube [even with one of the screws removed].

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Re: best set up for ladies

Postby Vorpal » 13 Oct 2016, 8:54pm

eileithyia wrote:Should be set up to fit the rider regardless of gender IMHO.
Not sure about the nose down principle either... have never ridden with a nose slanting down..... Iwould be concerned that i would be sliding forward and possibly causing more pressure either in delicate places or on the hands and arms as you support yourself.

I rode with saddles slightly down (5ish degrees) for years, but that's mainly because I was riding on blokes saddles that weren't quite right for me.

Having had some trouble with saddle comfot in recent years, I have done some experimenting, and generally what I find is:
-Slippery saddles (leather, leather-like plastic, or smooth synthetics) have to be either level, or even tilted slightly nose up to prevent sliding forwards.
-Grippy saddles (suede, lycra, fabric over gel, etc.) are fine tilted slightly downwards because the grippy material counteracts the slide tendancy.

I still need to have the saddle on my road bike tilted slightly down (handlebars below the saddle), but on my other bikes, the saddle is at or near level.

This is just me, and may not apply to other people. I think it is quite common form women to tilt saddles a bit nose down, but I suspect that this is due to buying bikes with unisex saddles, and making do with something that isn't perfect.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom