Leah probably has the only Kästell bike in Australia, possibly the world. I’m sure this post will generate the very first “Kästell bike” hit that appears in Google, it’s that rare. Kästell is an Austrian ski company that had a very brief foray into making bikes (ca. 1987). The main problem with the Kästell is that it’s indestructible, built with very thick steel, severely limiting the opportunity(excuse) to up-grade. Another consequence is that it weighs a whopping 15.3 kg and like skis it only goes fast in the downhill direction. Time for a new bike.
Where to start? There is the joy of “reading copy”, and there is the advice everyone gives: go to the bike shop(s) and “get fitted”. It soon becomes apparent that Leah has a short upper body compared to leg length.
The industry is way ahead of us, and have it covered: WSD (Women Specific Design: TrekTM), Juliet (Merida), Femme (EMC2), Féminine (Cannondale) are just a few of the women specific road bike offerings.
Let’s have a look:
Hard to go past this, it’s almost a lay-down misere. Horizontally stiff AND vertically compliant, the Holy Grail. But very expensive.
But then there is:
“perfectly adapted to the female physique”, how so? Well it seems to be mostly a matter of key phrases:
A bike that is not only comfortable, but creates comfort, has an AWS (Anti Wrinkle System) and more. However “some modles additional internal runnung” is a concern.
Amazingly Cannondale have named a whole bike series after the atomic weight of carbon, and even more amazingly they have managed to cut the atomic weight of carbon in half.
What to do? How to choose? Fortunately when you see “the one”, you know it is the one. The Synapse Féminine 5:
I mean look at the size of the dog this woman has to protect her Synapse, while she takes her clothes off in the street:
Avoiding the carbon (which Cannondale in known skimp on) the Synapse Féminine 5 still comes in at a cool 9.3 kg. Watch out Xmas Epic!