I'm in the process of purchasing my first bike and had a few questions. In a bike shop today, I was shown the Trek FX 7.2 and was told that I don't fit any of the women's models - they apparently only go up to 19" frame and I should be on a 20". I'm 5' 6" but apparently I have longer legs. I was hoping for the women's bike, only because its easier for me to get on and off with the lower bar. I know the bike shop employees are pros at this, but I can't help feeling like its not completely right for me (maybe its cause the sales guy looked like he was in high school, I dunno). I like the Trek FX a lot - its the right price, light, seems like a lot of bike for the $$, and fits what I need it for. I guess I'm just questioning using a unisex bike? I'm sure there's plenty of women out there that use it no problem. I'm going back to try the 20" tomorrow night (they had to build one since they didn't have one the exact one on the floor ready today - I tried another 20" trex fx instead). Is there anything else I should mention to the sales guy or look for? Is there any reason a 19" with a higher seat wouldn't work?
Thanks for any suggestions you can give me!
I looked at the FX online. Trek makes what they call WSD models for women. I copied a small portion of the specs from Trek's website for the 7.2 WSD model-
|Sizes||Women's 13, 15, 17, 19"; Stagger 15, 17.5, 20"|
|Frame||FX Alpha Black Aluminum|
|Fork||High tensile steel w/lowrider mounts, straight blades|
Though I'm not sure what is meant by "stagger", it does show 20" as an option.
When you start with a higher seatpost you can be incorrectly aligned with the bike-basically your posture won't provide you with the best fit which can cause problems.
One thing you want to remember..YOU will spend a lot of time on your bike, and if you're not comfortable now, you won't be later. Don't compromise! If you feel uncomfortable, speak with someone else or better yet-visit more shops, ask about sizing, get some opionions and then make your choice based on knowledge, not what someone thinks. TRUST ME...you will love yourself & your bike later on!
Pros at the shop might easily be trying to get rid of inventory.
Happy hunting and don't hesitate to ask more questions if needed.
As noted you should be happy with the fit going out the door. The FX bikes are pretty neat I think. They are great for people looking for a fitness vehicle, are good for commuting even and for pretty fast spinning around town. You can change the tires on them to an expensive race tire if you want to do a century for example or a knobby type of cyclecross tire should you wish to ride dirt roads and trails and be comfortable on the shoulder of a road.
Generally, the WSD's are slightly shorter in the top tube dimension. So long as you are comfortable with the stand over height and your reach is with your arms slightly bent, once the saddle height and fore/aft position is set you should be good to go. One of those FX bikes should do it. I personally would get a bike "a size big" for myself as I like and am used to leaning over the bike and not being upright.Compared to most road bikes the FX bikes are shorter in the top tube. If you are uncomfortable with that aspect, that is you prefer to be upright, then probably the WSD is the way to go. Keep in mind that if climbing a lot, being upright makes climbing more difficult when you are on an incline because your body is now tilted back (as the front wheel goes up, everything else goes back!)
Try test riding it with bike pants on and gloves. This can have an impact too re: fit. Many riders go into a shop, say, they don't like the pressure on their arms and legs and get a more upright bike. Why would their arms feel good if they have not been on a bike in 15 years?! Those muscles do get stronger. Even on my own bikes, in the Spring for example, my arms, triceps, get sore on my first long ride as my mountain bikes don't lean over as much so I just don't stress my arms as much in that road position.
Make sure the drive position is correct. (Where your hips are relative to the pedals. Height and saddle fore/aft postion.0
Then drop into the handlebars position. The reach should be such a that your arms are slightly bent at the elbows.
Make sure the bike looks cool to you. You are more likely to want to ride your bike if it looks sharp!
To me there is no reason why a 19" would not work relative to a 20" bike. These are similar in height. Your size by height would usually be a size smaller but a very leggy person might prefer a larger frame (but this usually means a longer top tube too which would make one think that a WSD would be good.) There are several models of FX but in general the frames are the same dimensions. So, you should be able to find the right frame size with bikes already built and then pick the model, up or down, that you desire!
Wow! So much info...thank you so much to you both! I did indeed by a bike. I went back and was helped by a different person who mentioned that they DID infact have a 19" WSD trek fx in the back. So I test rode that and I did feel more comfortable. After a little more research, I went ahead and bought it. I am very happy with my purchase and am hoping the weather here in New England stays good for awhile so I ride it as much as possible.