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Unisex bike, men's saddle

Posted: 3 Jun 2020, 7:55pm
by Garry Booth
My partner ordered herself a Ridgeback Expedition from a well known independent bike shop in the North of England. She asked quite reasonably I thought if it could be fitted with an off the shelf women specific saddle, rather than the off the shelf men specific saddle. The shop said yes, but she would have to pay exra for the women's saddle. To me, the bike's geometry doesn't make it a 'man's bike' so why should she have to pay extra for the perch? Or am I missing something?

Re: Unisex bike, men's saddle

Posted: 3 Jun 2020, 7:58pm
by Paulatic
Garry Booth wrote:My partner ordered herself a Ridgeback Expedition from a well known independent bike shop in the North of England. She asked quite reasonably I thought if it could be fitted with an off the shelf women specific saddle, rather than the off the shelf men specific saddle. The shop said yes, but she would have to pay exra for the women's saddle. To me, the bike's geometry doesn't make it a 'man's bike' so why should she have to pay extra for the perch? Or am I missing something?

You aren’t missing anything but if I was your partner then a well known independent bike shop in the North of England might easily be missing a sale.

Re: Unisex bike, men's saddle

Posted: 4 Jun 2020, 8:59am
by bogmyrtle
I bought my Ridgeback Panorama from an independent shop in the North West of Englandshire. They made a few adaptations including a change of saddle for no extra cost.

Re: Unisex bike, men's saddle

Posted: 18 Jun 2020, 8:15pm
by pjclinch
My guess (and it's just a guess) is that they get bikes from Brand X as they are sold, and that'll be with a standard saddle. If Brand X don't offer a saddle choice then it will cost the shop more to change it. Whether they choose (as Bogmyrtle's supplier did) to go that extra mile and cut their margin a bit is because they're a good shop, but there's nothing obliging them to do that.

Even if the well known independent bike shop in the North of England isn't missing a sale they might be missing some repeat business. Good shops understand the value of repeat business. You also might have a moan at Ridgeback about why there isn't a ladies' saddle as a standard option on any bike they sell. If enough people ask it'll happen.

Pete.

Re: Unisex bike, men's saddle

Posted: 18 Jul 2020, 7:25pm
by mumbojumbo
When people assembled touring bikes in last century many chose to buy own parts,often at higher cost.By requesting a modification,you are raising costs and should be prepared to pay a little more.A sensible saddle bike shop would fit the saddle free,charge for saddle and buy back the unwanted item.There is no such thing as a unisex bike-its a marketing termtBeds are unisex but vener seen a mans bed or a womans bed,except my mums.

Re: Unisex bike, men's saddle

Posted: 31 Aug 2020, 9:12am
by TrevA
When my wife bought her tourer from Spa, she requested a women’s saddle and a shorter stem. They charged extra for the saddle but not for the stem. This is because they would be able to sell or re-use the stem for another bike or customer, but the stock saddle that came with the bike (Dawes Horizon) is so bad that no-one else would want it. I think this all seemed fair. I usually change the saddle on any new bike I buy, to my preferred Charge Spoon. However, when she bought her women specific Trek FX2 hybrid, it came with a comfortable women’s saddle.

Re: Unisex bike, men's saddle

Posted: 31 Aug 2020, 10:41am
by pjclinch
mumbojumbo wrote:There is no such thing as a unisex bike-its a marketing termtBeds are unisex but vener seen a mans bed or a womans bed,except my mums.


Despite much hoopla about Women Specific Design for bikes, Boardman (overseen by someone who had carte blanche to make have anything made that might possibly aid the performance of a small, elite women's track team) reckons the only real differences are in average size and the contact points (e.g., the saddle). From their web site:
At Boardman we've always believed that cyclists want to ride bikes which offer a great blend of performance and enjoyment whether they are male or female. This means that with our Women's range we use the same frame design and only minor changes to the geometries of our men's bikes, but offer smaller sizes and tailor the contact points to suit the needs of female riders. With a range of Women's bikes which cover every type of cycling, there's something to suit whatever adventures you have in mind.


Lots of people go on about relative trunk/leg length and reach, but the variation within the sexes turns out to be far more than any difference between them and it seems that particular factoid has gained traction from continual repetition rather than actually being true. As long as the frame fits you there is then a choice of e.g. stem and bar to suit your particular preference/shape/size, whatever sex, but where there is a clear difference is around the pelvic area so it's quite likely a woman-centric saddle design will work better for a woman (but not certain due to general variation in people). Because women are on average smaller a women's range will have smaller frames available, but tall women shouldn't have any trouble moving to the "man's" range, as far as the frame goes, and shorter men may be better off with a "women's" bike.

So actually there is such a thing as a unisex bicycle. Something like a Brompton doesn't discriminate, though you may wish to fit your own saddle.

Pete.

Re: Unisex bike, men's saddle

Posted: 1 Sep 2020, 6:32am
by mumbojumbo
| agree and they are called bikes-the unnecassary prefix is a marketing device-like making a low alcohol beer by dilution.