Re: AW: [CR]Woman's frame (not mixte) lightweights?


Example: Production Builders:LeJeune

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 08:16:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: Fred Rednor <fred_rednor@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: AW: [CR]Woman's frame (not mixte) lightweights?
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
In-Reply-To: <000001c7bfb4$4d7fd430$0758a8c0@Twinhead>


> I recently sold some womens frames since nobody around me
> wanted to ride
> the complete bikes. So I decided to part them out. In
> measuring i found
> out that they are relatively long. As an example a 51 frame
> had a 57cm
> toptube-length. My conclusion was that they made the seat
> tube shorter
> for use of a longer seatpost in order to obtain a shorter and
> therefore
> stiffer rear triangle to compensate for the loss of stiffness
> due to the
> lowered toptube. I might be wrong here since I am not a
> geometry expert.
> My girlfriends always prefers mens frames for better handling
> qualities
> and a stiffer ride. Whenever I tried to ride a womens bike it
> felt
> sloopy and not stable. I think it does not make sense to
> alter the well
> constructed mens diamond frame setup in a race bike just to
> make it
> easier to mount the bike without having to lift your leg over
> the
> saddle. It makes some sense in city or touring bikes when
> women ride
> with a skirt but I have never seen a woman ride a race bike
> with a
> skirt. My impression is also that those bikes were mostly
> bought by men
> for ther wives in order to get them into riding but then
> those bikes are
> never ridden. All women I know who ride seriously ride mens
> frames.....

Michael,
     My theory about the long top tubes on "lady's frames" is that those bikes were designed for use with swept back handlebars; i.e the same bars as used on 3-speed style bicycles or those nice French touring handlebars. Either way, a short top tube would bring the bars too close to the rider's knees.
     I wonder if Jan Heine has ever discussed this with Ernest Czuka (of Singer) who seems to have built a number of very high quality "lady's frames".
     Cheers,
     Fred Rednor - Arlington, Virginia (USA)