Q: I would like to buy myself a women's road bike. I'm particularly interested in ones with flat handlebars like the Giant FCR1, but I wouldn't rule out drops as long as the position isn't too severe. My budget is around £1000. Thanks
Rohini Cash, email
A: There are plenty of good road bikes designed for women around at the moment from the likes of Specialized, Trek and Giant, and you should certainly be able to find one within your budget. There aren't that many flat-barred models though. But that said, many flat-barred bikes have their geometry tweaked a bit anyway so that might not be a problem. Also, if you're not typically proportioned (shorter torso, longer legs) then women-specific bikes may be less relevant to you anyway.
The Giant is well worth considering, as are top-end Ridgeback Genesis models, the sportier models in the Specialized Sirrus range, and the alu version of the Cannondale Synapse (an out and out road bike with a women-specific drop-bar version). Trek do good flat-bar versions of their road bikes, as do Planet X. Marin's Highway One or Mill Valley models might also be worth a look.
Surf a few manufacturers' sites, make a short list, then get down to your nearest dealer for a test ride. They should not only let you have a go but offer advice on setting the bike up properly for you.
If you have a question you would like our panel of experts to answer simply email it to firstname.lastname@example.org