Liv, Felt, Canyon, Specialized, Pinarello, BMC...looking for an awesome women’s road bike

I am a 114lb female racer and would love a recommendation for a new road bike. I currently have a Specialized Amira, but looking for something with awesome performance. I am looking for something lightweight and aero, to help with climbing AND rolling road, crits too. Assuming price isn’t too much of an issue, what are some good recommendations? Thank you!!!

Can you tell us:

  1. your height
  2. the size of your current bike and if you’re happy with how it fits

5’4”, and my current bike size 51 and it’s perfect

I don’t think there’s anything to be gained with female-specific frames in the road category.

Critical aspects of fit are gender neutral. Blindfold a group of men and women, and I’d guess that roughly half of each group will choose the “men’s” frame and the other half will choose the “women’s” frame.

MTB frames have more standover clearance in the women’s category, but again there are plenty of men who could benefit from that and plenty of women who wouldn’t.

What’s your budget? Canyon’s currently the best bang for buck when it comes to carbon road bikes.

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Assuming a 10k budget, and it doesn’t matter to me if it’s a men’s frame or not, I am interested to see what the top 3 bikes would be. Thanks for your input!

As with most things fit-related, it depends. If your body is longer on arms and legs and shorter on torso, a “women’s-specific” frame geometry might fit you better, because that’s the assumption those frames make about how women are shaped. It’s not a great assumption, since we now know that there’s more variation within genders than between, but the end result does fit people shaped that way–men or women–better than “unisex” frame geos.

The other advantage to “women’s” bikes is that they usually get stocked in stores in much smaller sizes than “men’s”/“unisex” bikes. If OP is 114lbs, that may be important.

OP, your current bike that fits you perfectly does have a “women’s-specific” geo, so you might fit well on more of the same. Specialized, Liv, and I think Canyon all do different geometries for women. You might fit great on a different geo too! Try everything, try all the things. Go to your local bike shop, ask to see the best aggressive road race bikes in every brand they have, test ride them all. With a 10k budget, anything you get is going to be very high quality, so it’s going to come down to what’s comfortable and what’s got which bells and whistles.

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This could be an interesting article for you: https://cyclingtips.com/2019/10/where-have-all-the-womens-bikes-gone-a-look-inside-an-ever-changing-market/

I think it’s tough to say what’s the best top end bike, as most manufacturers are making such good bikes these days. You can certainly find something light and aero at that price point, but the most key thing is finding something that fits the best. If you have geometry you already like, then that’s a good start for comparison. There are a lot of new lightweight bikes that are aero that may be worth a look, Cannondale Supersix, Scott Addict, but if you want to buy from a local shop, they will most certainly have something that fits the bill.

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My top 3 are the Venge, Madone, and Dogma F12.

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From what I remember reading over the last three years or so, Cyclist Magazine has given very high marks to the Fuji Supreme 1.1 and the Specialized Tarmac Pro; I remember their female reviewers gave them high marks and praised their fit, value for money and overall speed and capability. I do remember they also liked the Canyon WMNs CF bike
I’m fairly certain these are all under $10k
Hope this helps

For what it’s worth I’ve been looking a lot at getting my wife a new road bike my budget isn’t as high as yours is but I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to canyon women’s endurace or ultimate, leaning more towards the endurace for comfort. But canyon makes good frames and components can’t be beat for the price when compared to other companies

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Where do you feel the Amira is lacking?

My suggestion is to have a chat with the owner of the bike shop you trust and get a bike from whatever selection they offer.

In the end of the day, it is the place you’re going to be visiting for any warranty issues or maintenance.

All modern bikes from big brands are pretty good, so pick whichever one YOU like the looks of and rides the way YOU like. :slight_smile:

Good luck.

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Maybe aero, but it’s the best bike I’ve ever had. I just feel the technology changing, I should get something more stiff, aero, and light for climbing…

Try riding several and see which one suits you better. Even then, you need at least 10-20 hours of riding before you start to get a real feel of the bike in question. This is why picking a bike is almost like picking the right saddle… it just never bloody ends.

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I have an Endurance and it is great. The revelation for me was that the XS frame with the 650b wheels and the slight change in geometry that entails made it so much more of a joy to ride than the other road bikes I’ve had. It was like finally I was riding the right size bike. Imagine, putting smaller wheels on a smaller bike! Revolutionary!

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At our shop we regularly set up 3 or 4 frames for one to get a feel on trainers, then when weather is good they ride them. That’s pretty crucial. There are so many good bikes out now, but you really owe it to yourself to find a shop that offers choices. Talk to the mechanics too, as ours really set me right on some brands I thought were pretty solid and made me aware of some the the relative unknowns…What lurks inside those frames are a testament to engineering that may matter down the road.

I’ll second all posts saying you should talk with a local bike shop and see what’s what in person. That being said I have a few thoughts.

At 5’4" and 114lb, you’re about my size. I’ve often had a hard time finding bikes that fit properly, and have often ended up riding “women’s” frames as a result. It’s all about the stack/reach. Some notes I’ve made about bikes at the smaller end of the size spectrum:

  • Stay the hell away from Canyon. Their small size bikes are tuned horribly, and are therefore about as interesting to ride as a 2x4. They also nuked the geometry - it’s fairly clear no one at canyon rides anything smaller than a 52. Head tube angles slacker than 70 degrees don’t belong on road bikes, much less racing bikes.
    *The Amira is a fine bike - it was the women’s version of the old Tarmac. In time, the tarmac has advanced a lot, and the same can’t be said for the Amira. I’d hop on a Tarmac and see how that feels.
    *I didn’t want to like the Liv Langma as much as I did, but that bike rules. It’s light, stiff, somewhat aero, and once I got my fit numbers built out on the bike it was a riot to ride. It’s also a good value, which is nice because the stock wheels are garbage and should be replaced ASAP.
    *I haven’t spent too much time riding Felt’s newer road bikes, but they never felt right (sorry) to me. Can’t quite put my finger on it.

To be perfectly honest, at your budget I would go find a shop with a mechanic who’s on the same page as you about riding, style, and preference in bikes. Nail down what you want in the frame, and then build out the bike as you please. I’m a firm believer in the fact that you’ll end up with the bike you want eventually, so it’s cheaper in the long run to do it right the first time than faff about trying different things on the way there.

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With that budget and your bike fit nailed, the world is your oyster. You will have to choose between great options.

But you first should narrow down the type of bike you’d like to have. For example, the BMC Teammachine is a magnificent bike, which is fast, comfortable and loves to carve corners. That’s quite different from an aero bike like the Venge. I would recommend you try as many bikes as you can.

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If the OP didn’t talk about aero I was going to suggest to go with a custom steel/ti builder to really dial in the fit and build a bike of your dreams. Heck for a frame that small, I also think if you get your fit and positioning right, the punishment of lack of aero and stiffness and weight will be a lot less obvious.

Builders like speedvagen, english, stinner or seven or moots or… the list goes on…

Ya the xs women’s sizing was one of the things I really liked about the endurace. My wife would be an xs also. Thanks for the feedback I’m definitely thinking that’ll be what she ends up getting