WSD Bicycle Frames

  • Question for those of you that are avid cyclists. 

    I am getting more into cycling and looking to do triathalons.  I've been given some very different advice by the pro shops and am wondering about personal experiences.

    I've been told to consider getting aluminum instead of carbon because of my size.  I'm 4'11" and now 127, but still rapidly losing weight.  I'm a genuine mesomorph so I'll likely be 110-115 at goal, which is 12% body fat.  At that size I was a competitive sprinter.

    Some argue that carbon is always better.  I've also been advised that because of my size I'll feel everything with carbon more than someone else, therefore needing a heavier bike.

    I don't care about the cost difference, just getting what's right for me.  I've also been told I should have it made custom, which I'm considering, but then it will be aluminum or steel, not carbon.

    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • If money isn't the issue, go with the carbon!  I ride a Specialized Tarmac and LOVE it.  Carbon is lighter so you can ride longer and it absorbs more of the shock than aluminum as it's more flexible.  It doesn't matter how much you weigh, it's the nature of the material.  (though it was easier for me at 190 than 230!) Aside from that, part of the extra cost of a carbon bike is that it comes with better components (gears, shifters, etc)  Makes for a better ride al around.

    I've been mulling a half ironman and was torn between the Tarmac and the Roubaix which is built for longer rides so it's a more flexible frame that absorbs more of the bumps but sacrifices a little of your power.  It was the right choice for me, I love it.  

    You don't need to have one custom built, you just need to go to a bike shop that will measure you for the right frame size and properly set your seat and handlebars.  Most manufacturers have lines that are designed for a woman's body geometry, I know Specialized has several.

    Finally, get a road bike and not a tri bike.  Triathletes train on a road bike and use their tri bike for competitions because of their aerodynamics.  They don't handle as well and aren't used for day to day training.

    Matthew McClelland

    2010 Grand Master Champion

  • Thanks.  This was really helpful.  I am 4'11" and built more like a guy in that I have a long torso and short legs so I'm a tough fit.  I will see what I can do with the women's designs.  I wanted a Project One Trek, but all the options in that line are too big for me.  

    I'll be going with carbon.  I figured I wouldn't get a tri bike unless I became a serious competitor and then as my bike for that., but not my regular use  It will be a speed racing road bike for me.  

    Would you go with a double or triple crankset?  


    Jessica Mighty Max ~ 2013 Body-for-LIFE Champion ~ Champion is a VERB!

  • IMHO, carbon is the only choice if you're not worried about the money.

    As far as the double vs triple crankset, that's up to you.  I would say go with the triple because of your size.  You really won't use it unless you're going up some serious hills, but will be happy to have it should the need arise.  As far as I know the only tradeoff is a couple grams of weight but I doubt you'll even notice that.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.  

    Matthew McClelland

    2010 Grand Master Champion