Forget diamonds- I’ll take a ruby. Well, a Specialized Ruby Comp anyway.
As you know, I have been riding my husbands road bike. The more I rode and especially the farther I rode the more my shoulders and hands hurt. After talking to many experts, I came the conclusion that I really did need to get a women’s specific bike that fit me.
What makes a bike a Womens Specific? Well it starts with the geometry of the frame and goes on from there. There are millions of dollars spent in research and development that pinpoint the differences in women in order to calculate the design of these WSD (Women’s Specific Design) bicycles. The following are some of the differences.
- the handlebars can be smaller (narrower, shallower drop, and shorter reach) and the stem can be shorter and/or more upright, to further reduce the reach to the bars.
- the brakes and shifters are smaller in order to fit smaller hands and shorter fingers (I can attest this one makes a huge differance).
- the saddle is made to accommodate a woman’s wider sit bones and usually has a cutout to prevent soft tissue damage.
My friend and I went to the Specialized Open House in Utah and while talking to some of the Specialized folks and explaining my “sharing a bicycle with my husband” predicament, they agreed to give me a 2009 Ruby Comp in order to test it and really experience the difference.
Glory Hallelujah! The first time I got on my new bike it was amazing! Darrin put it on the trainer and I rode for a bit. It felt so much better. I could reach the brakes without a problem and the length from the seat to the handbars was much more comfortable. Being on the trainer was great but I knew the real test would be in taking a true ride out on the road.
The day I went it was a little cold and I piled on the clothes. As it turned out this was a mistake – I got so hot. Luckily I was in layers so Ipeeled back to the base layer and was a lot more comfortable.
Being on the Ruby was a joy. It was a whole new experience. I didn’t even think about my shoulders, the pain was completely gone and my hands wrapped around the gears and brakes with ease. I did almost fall at a stop sign when I couldn’t un-clip but I got out just in time. I have no doubt that the fact the bike was the correct size and that I could easily reach the grounddidn’t hurt. I went form Darrin’s 54″ to a 51″ on the Ruby!
I was enjoying myself so much that I even forgot to shift as I was climbing a small hill. What a difference a WSD makes. I wouldn’t have thought it would be so noticeable, but there was no denying it after that ride.