View Full Version : Women's bikes and hand size?
08-25-2008, 05:46 AM
My Mom rode her new bike for the first time yesterday. She really enjoyed it, however, she noticed that the brakes, and shifters, seemed a bit oversized. We pulled into Performance Bike, Tualatin, and Rachel there mentioned that she had a similar problem. We were in a bit of a time crunch, so we didn't have time to talk to the mechanic (shop was busy).
Mom is 5' about 100lbs, and the brake housing seemed perfectly sized... for me (5' 11").
Is this problem really that common? Any of you know of an aftermarket brake system with integrated shifters suitable for a petite woman's road bike?
My mom had the same problem. Her arthritic 70 year old hands could no longer pull the brake levers. The folks at Performance fixed her up with shorter reach, better stopping power brakes, so she could ride. Thanks guys.
My girlfriend's new WSD bike also had too long of a reach, but the Shimano 105 brake levers have an extra block to adjust the lever for small hands. Not sure why a WSD would not come with this as standard, but the folks at Bike Gallery fixed it no problem.
Gear that fits makes all the difference. Guys, how would you like it if everything was too small.
08-25-2008, 08:17 AM
The guys at Revolver ended up putting "cyclocross style" brakes on her bike. That way she could sit up and brake.
Interesting issues...bike companies might want to think about it since the number of older people riding bikes is increasing.
In my Women on Bikes program the average age would be around early to mid 50's.
08-25-2008, 09:01 AM
Sometimes, it's just that people have weaker hands, from age, injury, whatever.
Before buying a bike, you should always make sure that you can adequately reach AND use the shifting and braking mechanisms.
A good bike shop should be able to help you find a way to get your dream bike and accomodate you.
I've had my WSD Trek since March, and am slowly building up my hand and forearm muscles for the different hand positions for braking, shifting, etc. It's quite different from my Schwinn, which is a flat-bar road bike, with those handy thumb shifters.
Sometimes, I do have trouble with the brakes on the WSD, but that's because I have tendinitis in both hands. :)
08-25-2008, 09:58 AM
Shimano makes a shorter reach brake lever - Ultegra or 105; I don't remember.
The Cane Creek SCR-5C brake levers are for smaller hands, as well.
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