I keep finding a WSD version of bikes I'm interested in buying. What does WSD mean?
Many of the big bicycle manufacturers have bicycles aimed specifically at women, sometimes there's an obvious scheme like Trek's where they tack on a "women's" designation, sometimes it's more subtle (for instance, the "Ruby" is the women's version of Specialized's "Roubaix".)
Most are based around some assumptions about women that aren't necessarily true (or that can be just as true for men, especially smaller men). In other words, there are women that will fit better on a "men's" frame, and there are men that will fit better on a "women's" frame. It's vastly more important that the frame fit the rider than that the manufacturer's concept of gender fit the gender of the rider.
In particular, the general assumptions about women that bicycle manufacturers tend to use when designing the frames are:
- narrower shoulders
- shorter arms
- shorter torso
- longer legs
The women specific stuff can include things such as:
- shorter distance between seat and handlebars (shorter stem and/or shorter top-tube), based on assumption of shorter torso/longer legs (compared to same height man). A shorter top tube affects the frame geometry greatly, so often there will be other changes (such as head tube angle and size, seat tube angle) related to this.
- wider seat and different cutout shape (the bones in your pelvis that you sit on are different between the genders, and obviously the other bits are different)
- narrower handlebars (on road bikes maybe also smaller in other ways) for narrower shoulders
- brakes and shifters sized for smaller hands
- shorter cranks and different gearing to accomodate more "spinning"
- frame just generally made for a lighter rider
- lower top tube. I guess because it's sorta traditional. (not on the more "serious" women's bikes)
- different frame color choices and/or "feminine" detailing in the paint job
The exact details vary from bike manufacturer to bike manufacturer and model to model.