A large portion of my business comes from female/petite cyclists. Not because I am “Macho”, but because I understand the differences/and misconceptions between Male and Female anatomy. More importantly, I recognize that most women’s product is designed and manufactured by men, thinking within the context of being a man.
I remember one of my first phone-calls to Speedplay in 1998 about making shorter spindles for petite cyclists:
“Hi. My name is Chris Balser, and I am a bike fitter located in Minneapolis, MN, looking for a pedal solution for petite cyclists.”
“Petite Cyclist.” “Petite individuals tend to require a narrow pedaling base (q-factor at the time).”
“That makes no sense… If we did that theshoe would hit the crank-arm.”
“…Because they have big feet?”
I recently came across a sweet website — www.petitebikefit.com — that I strongly recommend reviewing for smaller cyclists.
Yes, the industry is slowly moving towards addressing the needs of smaller/thinner/petite cyclists, but quality 36cm handlebars, narrow cranks, short spindle pedals, shifter mods, and < 51 cm top-tubes are difficult to find. The petitebikefit website provides some great information regarding things to look for, product availability, and comparative specifications.