3-4 years ago Trek launched a women’s aluminum road bike model line up called “Lexa“. Since, the Lexa has become a widely popular road bike in the US as Trek has offered many different model levels and a variety of colors to appeal to any woman. Additionally, the WSD fit of these bikes is a hit with women of many proportions. I’ve had the opportunity to test ride many Lexas and finally was able to snag an SLX model for a long term review to see how it really will last for women looking to invest in a new road bike.
This past summer Raleigh Bikes released photos and spec of their 2014 cyclocross line, including the RX 1.0 Women’s bike. The bike didn’t change too much other than paint and some small part upgrades. I was excited about the bike (mainly due to the paint job and price) for women and thought it would be a perfect do-all bike for my better half. So here we are doing a second review of the women’s RX 1.0!
This second review of the Raleigh RX 1.0, in the 2014 model, is to look at it as an all purpose bike. This is how most women are looking to purchase a cross bike in this price range as a do all, fun finder. There could be road rides, green-ways, Rail to Trails, commuting, baby hauling and maybe a cyclocross race thrown in there to say you did it.
A long time ago I wrote an opinion article on why I didn’t believe women’s designed 29ers worked. Designers were being pushed so hard to get things to market that the result was lack luster, and in my opinion these bikes often handled like crap compared to their non-women’s designed brothers. The front end was flip-floppy, unless you had a crazy short stem and wide handlebar. While this works well for the true mountains, it doesn’t work well for women just learning how to mountain bike. Fast forward a few years, more experienced designers, brands with patience and maybe some more knowledge. Now you have women’s bikes that don’t have crazy head tube angles and carry well in switchbacks up or down. Thus, inspiring confidence and excitement to carry momentum through the trails.
Meet the 2013 Giant Anthem X 29er 4 Women’s
Sizes: 44, 48, 51, 54, 56
Details: Geometry is based on front stack height (how tall the front end is), Shimano Dura Ace through out other than the Cannondale Hollowgram SI cranks. Wheels/Tires are from Mavic
A women’s carbon bike that is happy on the all day century, yet stiff enough for trying your hand at criteriums.
Details: Performance carbon frameset with a taller headtube and a little more relaxed geometry
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra 6770 Di2 with 6700 bits mixed in. A full Shimano groupset which is rare to find these days
Components: Handlebar, stem, seatpost and seat are all the Raleigh brand of Avenir. Not top level parts but competitive in durability and weight
Wheels: Weinman DP18 laced to Formula hubs
Full Spec on Raleigh USA
While the growth of available product for women in the bicycling industry is evident there are two key area’s lacking, high end mountain and road product. It takes a bold company, with a strong belief in women, to invest in product with a high price tag for women. Cannondale is doing it with their SuperSix Evo Hi-MOD. Available in SRAM Red, Shimano Dura Ace and Ultegra Di2. I recently took delivery of the Shimano Dura Ace model and will be putting it through some abuse to see if the $6600 road bike is for you.
Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women’s Hi-MOD Dura Ace
If you have been keeping tabs on me lately you know that I am moving to Denver, CO where my lady is going into her intern year as a doctor in pediatrics. When we recently went to Denver to look at houses one of our top priorities was that she could ride easily to her main hospital of Children’s Hospital Colorado. We found a home in the Stapleton area, about 3.5 miles by neighborhood streets to the hospital. Her other hospital, Denver Health, is about 7 miles by bike paths and dedicated bike lanes.
As a graduation present for her from medical school I scooped up a 16″ Surly Pugsley for my lady to commute on. I went with the complete Surly build as it has a solid parts spec and I was only going to need to switch out a few things to make it “Doctor Approved.”
Meet the Surly Pugsley Banana Cracker
You know you are dating a pediatrician when they call their bike “Banana Cracker”
Bigger Additions and Reasoning:
Purple Thermalite BMX pedals- These are pretty thin with a solid base for pedaling in snow boots if needed. They have replaceable pins to keep a grasp of the bottom of her sneakers/clogs or whatever she wears
Abus Bordo XL Lock – this lock is extra long to get around that fat front wheel and frame for locking. White of course.
Women’s seat- in white (going to find a purple Fizik when possible)
Surly Nice Rack- Not pictured, but a rear rack with Ortlieb panniers (in white of course)
Knog Blinder USB light- front/rear. Will be upgraded to brighter lights in the fall
Surly Black Floyd Tires- Not pictured as we won’t switch these out until she actually starts the commute. Smooth, balloon like tires for easy rolling.
It is a rewarding time as a woman that loves bikes. More styles of bikes are being released, especially in the full suspension trail category. Specialized came out swinging with the Rumor, a 110mm travel 29er bike. This bike will be for the girl that loves to climb but wants to rip down whatever their trail has to offer.
Reasons why I’m excited for this new bike to hit market
• Shorter front end, which should provide better balance and front end handling
• Pretty low stand over for Small model (706mm)
• Well spec’d
• More options for women growing in the sport
• Carbon in the future? (maybe?!)
A guest post by Laura of Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta, GA
I love a good mountain bike ride, but if I can’t make it out of the city, there are few things better than cruising around town on a beautiful, warm day with a great bike underneath you. Atlanta had it’s first glimpse of spring this past weekend. It was sunny, almost 70 degrees, just a little breezy, and quite literally the perfect day for city cycling. I had several errands to run and was looking forward to being out and about on a new machine.