Are women different?

In some ways, it’s a trick question. When you build bikes one-at-a-time for the person who will ride them, every one of them is different. But asking how women, as a general category of rider, are significantly different than men is a good way of understanding the particular value of a custom Seven.
Again generalizing, women vary more in body proportion than men do. A woman of average height will have an inseam measurement that falls in a much wider range than a man of average height. Reach varies wildly, too, and those are just two of the more critical ways we think about fitting a person on a bike. It is also true that the industry doesn’t make stock sizes small enough for a fairly large percentage of women.
In fact, most women who don’t conform to the averages (and there are more of them than there are of men) have never ridden a bike that BOTH fits well and handles well. To make a stock size bike fit well, radical adjustments may need to be made to stem length and/or saddle position, and the result is overwhelmingly a bike that is too twitchy, not much fun to ride.
At Seven we control the variables. Bottom bracket drop, head tube angle, fork rake, not to mention seat tube length, stem length, etc., it all feeds into what will be a great riding bike for a rider of any proportions.
Women are not different in the sense that they want to feel confident on the bike. For far too many, a stock bike won’t get them there, and their cycling experience will be compromised. We take great pride in being able to deliver exactly what they need, regardless of size, proportion, or preference.

The Specific Woman

Who is the specific woman? We see a lot of “women’s specific” bikes out in the world, but we have yet to meet any specific women. In all the fittings and all the designs we have done, what is resoundingly clear is that women’s bodies are pretty non-specific. In fact, women’s bodies vary more than men’s do, in proportion, so it’s a hard task to design something that will fit most women, even of the same height, in any more than a cursory way. Making a man’s bike smaller doesn’t get at the half of it.

So we consider what makes women different than men. For example, women generally (but not always) have a wider pelvic arch than men, greater pelvic tilt also. These things affect saddle position and saddle height. Generally speaking (but not always) women have longer legs relative to their height than men do. Their weight is lower and farther back, which affects the center of gravity, handling and reach. Their shoulders are usually (but not always) narrower, and they have smaller hands (sometimes), all of which impacts front-end geometry and handling.

The generalized differences are informative, but really, when it comes right down to it, every rider, male or female, is an individual, with specific geometric needs, with a tubeset that matches their riding preferences, with their own aesthetic sense and ideas for their bike. That’s why we make rider-specific bikes.

As far as we can tell, there is no specific woman, but there might be a specific bike for every woman (or man), who wants one.