Monday, August 8, 2011

Finally, pics of my bike! (and some notes on female anatomy and saddles)

Ta-dah!!! Here she is!

That's my husband's bike in the background :-)

You'll have to forgive the quality of the photos; I took them in a hurry at Melbourne Central station with a camera that I'm unfamiliar with (borrowing my husband's while I try to figure out where my little one got to), so they're not as good as I'd normally like to take. But, I got to play with a different camera so that's always a good thing!

As you can see, it has the basket with the lining that I sewed for it a few weeks ago. Here it is from a different angle:

I also got a new seat for it about a week ago. I was finding that the seat which came with it was particularly uncomfortable when I leaned forward to go uphill. It basically came down to bunching of flesh in my groin. Not good. This seems to be caused by the fact that the original saddle rises slightly at the front:

My husband's seat: He has no problems with it (lucky person)
So when we went to the shop to get our bikes serviced, I asked about their selection of women's saddles and which might best deal with the issue. They recommended a saddle and suggested I try it. OH MY GOODNESS that thing was comfortable! I bought it on the spot. Here is a pic, for comparison:

The key differences are that this one is flatter, firmer, and has a "cut-out" in the centre of the seat, which you can't see from this angle. All in all, much more comfortable for a female body. There were, unfortuantely, a couple of trade-offs:

1) The tip of the seat isn't as tapered as the previous one, which will result in even greater wear on any pants that I have on while riding. This may be solved through thinner thighs (which I will hopefully get as I cycle more), but I may have to resign myself to cycling in cheaper, spare trousers until I find something even more suitable.

2) It's not as wide as my old saddle, which can theoretically be an issue given a woman's wider pelvis and the upright position of the bike. I haven't had any problems with it yet though (it's still a fair bit wider than a racing saddle), so I think it'll be fine.

I love my bike!

On a less fun note, it's time for me to go AWOL again. Full-time work plus a physics course plus a whole bunch of stuff I agreed to before I enrolled in said course is keeping me very busy and very tired, so I just can't guarantee I'll be able to blog regularly. I'll start blogging again weekly on September 5th, then see how I go until after exams.

Wish me luck!


  1. Your husband rides a step-through? I ask because my husband (who doesn't ride yet, but I'm trying!) says that if he got on a bike at all, it would be a step-through, he says the diamond frames look hard to get on and off. (Based on my limited experience riding other people's bikes, I tend to agree!) I told him that they're generally considered women's bikes but he doesn't care about societal pressure. He would, however, need one that can fit a 5'10" rider. If you don't mind my asking, how tall is your husband, and what brand of bike does he have?

    Also, good luck!

  2. Yep, my husband rides a step-through, and for the same reasons that yours cited :-)

    He's about 5"8-5"9, so his bike should work for yours. We both ride Gazelles, and these electric versions are HUGE. We thought that my husband's frame was as small as they got, and if I'd had one of those they'd have had to take the suspension out of the seat for me to fit!

    Luckily a smaller one did exist.

    Good luck! :-)

  3. I would not be able to ride a diamond frame, because of the big basket you can see on the back of my bike in the photo — I'm not tall (or limber) enough to lift my leg over that comfortably to get on the bike. Stepping through would be more comfortable even without it, but the basket makes it a necessity. I believe it's becoming less of a gendered thing — nobody has looked at me odd for riding a step-through, and you can get a step-through bike as big as a diamond frame.