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  1. #1
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    650c Wheels to Bring The Total Standover Of A Road Fram Down?

    My girlfriend has been riding this REALLY small Daimondback mountain bike (the seat tube is only 13" long), which has been causing her alot of discomfort recently. I told her that we ought to just look for a larger frame. So I set her up on eBay, and she finds this 53cm Bianchi frame that she wants to buy. Her standover is somewhere between 29 and 30 inches. With 700c wheels, would this put the total standover to an unmanagable heighth?

    I was looking at www.bikeman.com, and they have an article about setting up standard road frames with long reach calipers to use 650c wheels. Would going this route (smaller wheels) have any effect on the standover of the bike? If we can make it work, we're willing to spend the time and the money, but if it isn't feasbile, then my attitude is buy a cheap frame that is bigger and have it painted celeste green.

  2. #2
    cs1
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    In most cases ebay is the place to go. In her case it isn't. Because of the size concerns try to find a competent LBS with sizing experience. Look for a Terry dealer. They specialize in women's bikes in small sizes. Good luck

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
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  3. #3
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Tell us more.

    How tall is your girlfriend to start with?

    Why is she uncomfortable on her current Mtn bike?

    Why do you want to go to a road bike from a Mtn bike and what impovements are you after?


    I'm 5' 1" myself and ride a custom built 650c bike. I've done a LOT of research into fit for short people and its not going to be that easy or cheap to get a good fit for a short person although there are a few cheaper options if you don't discount them too early.

    One of the biggest problems in getting good fit is not height. Theres plenty of short seat tube bikes out there. The real problem is getting a bike with a short enough reach (horizontal distance from Bottom Bracket to headset). Top tube length is only part of this problem.

    My educated guess is that your girlfriend is uncomfortable on her current bike because the top tube is too long and going to a 700c wheeled bike is only going to make things worse. The thing is that the smaller the wheels are the shorter the top tube length can be and visa versa. Putting 650c wheels in a bike designed for 700c wheels isn't going to fix a thing.

    The easiest fix?

    Go for a bike with 24" wheels. Mtn or road.

    I've got a 24" Mtn bike as a beater and its realy a good bike for the price. Try some of the juvenile 24" road bikes too. You could even try out something like a Dahon with 20" wheels although watch out because they often have long top tubes actualy.

    Regards, Anthony

  4. #4
    Senior Member ollo_ollo's Avatar
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    All of the above, although you may find a Terry on e-Bay. Your girlfriend may find another problem beside the standover on that Bianchi. I have a Bianchi Trofeo with a 51 cm seat tube c-c & it has a 54.5 c-c top tube & my 53 cm bikes usually have 54 or 55 cm top tubes. Best to find out the top tube length on any bike she's interested in as generally, women need a shorter top tube to be comfortable. Before her growth spurt, my grandaughter was comfortable on a 24" wheeled Felt. Don

  5. #5
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    Also look at newer Treks as they produced a line of bikes using the acronym WSD for Womens Specific Design. They are built with shorter top tubes etc. I have a lady friend who tells me this is the first bike to ever fit her well. Roger

  6. #6
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    You can put 26" MTB wheels on road frame

    Lord&C,
    If she has a 29-30" inseam then a 53cm road frame with standard top tube will be pretty close to right-maybe just a little tall, but not much. Others have mentioned that some bikes were built with "compact geometry" which meant short seat tube, but long top tube-.On the 53 Bianchi this would mean a 56-57cm top tube.Woman usually have longer legs,shorter torsos(relative to men), so this would cause a real mismatch.
    The 650 wheels are one option if the standover is a little too much, however it is easier just to get a correctly sized frame.
    Another option-if the frame is really, really a great deal,and she loves it- is to go to 26"mtb wheels and BMX type brakes.They are over 2" shorter(559 vs 622) than 700c,so they will drop standover by one full inch. The 650s are about 570-but they are much more expensive than mtb wheels/tires. I'm pretty sure I got this idea from S Browns site-BMX brakes on road frame. It works very well. The long-90mm-BMX brakes flex, but it doesn't seem to hurt their braking power.
    It will be easier to just get a good fitting frame.
    Luck,
    Charlie
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    Riding inseam or pant inseam? Big difference. Based on a pant inseam of 29"(me) a 53cm frame in almost any mfg is going to be too big. Compact sloping geo. may be the only way she can use this frame.

    Really should spend some time at several LBS's to see what is out there for her.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
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    You can do it, but just remember the bottom bracket is going to be lower, possibly leading to pedal strikes in the corners.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
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  9. #9
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    Standover height is only one part of the "fit", reach and drop are at least as important. Smaller riders would do well to consider road frames designed for 650 wheels or smaller. 650 wheels on a frame designed for 700 wheels will not make a bike fit unless the rider has very short legs and a lonnng torso.

    WSD is good.

    AnthonyG's advice, above, is very good.

    Al

  10. #10
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    Alright, let's see if I can answer all these questions!

    Her RIDING inseam is 29", not her pant leg. She is 5'5" or something like that. She is uncomfortable with her bike because she does not get very much leg extension on her downpedal, and has knee pain as a result. Her criteria for choosing a frame originally was "green, yellow, or orange." I'm pretty sure that with a longer seatpost and quill stem, we could make it work okay. I also suggested powder coating her current frame along with this, but she doesn't think that it is worth spending the money on the frame.

    Her needs are simple - she needs it mainly for commuting, and after I posted this last night she expressed a desire to "go on trails". She also wants to keep her flat bars w/bar ends, full fenders, and rear rack with folding metal baskets on it. She refuses to use slick or inverted tread tires, even though nearly all of her commute is on roads. Her current bike has 26x1.5 knobbies with a streamlined tread. She also is big on shifting, and uses a wide range of gears - I'm pretty sure she has 21 now, so something like a three or seven speed is out of the question.

    A mountain or 'cross frame comes to my mind as a solution to this problem. But I wouldn't know really what to look for (besides mounting points), and don't know what frame sizes and lengths will be adequate for her, and how far we could fudge things - for instance, with a mountain frame, can wou work with different seat tube lengths so long as the top tube length isn't too long for her?

  11. #11
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    Older mtb and frames are cheap

    Lord&C,
    There is a recent thread-in vintage-in which e discussed just how cheap fairly high quality older steel MTB bikes and frames are. She could get one of them-15-17" would work-and switch parts from her old 13" mtb. A frame-a good frame-DB chrome moly-wouldn't cost more than $50 delivered-and could cost a lot less.
    The MTB are usually measured C-top of seat tube, and they usually suggest more 'crotch' clearance than on road bikes.
    The nicer, older frames(80-90's) will look a lot like a nice road frame.
    Luck,
    Charlie

  12. #12
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    Now that I know how tall she is I think there is a good chance of a good fit on a road bike with 700 wheels. My concern would still be the reach to the handlebar and the vertical drop from saddle to handlebar, assuming that the standover is also good. I would look for a frame with a relatively short top tube and more laid back head tube angle, not a Trek or Lemond (long top tubes).

    Al

  13. #13
    High Octane superunleaded's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordconqueror
    she needs it mainly for commuting, and after I posted this last night she expressed a desire to "go on trails". She also wants to keep her flat bars w/bar ends, full fenders, and rear rack with folding metal baskets on it. She refuses to use slick or inverted tread tires, even though nearly all of her commute is on roads.
    An old Bridgestone XO-1 or the likes would prolly fit the bill. and it uses 650B's. You mentioned fenders and trails and roads, this kind of bike is versatile enough to pretty much give you waht you are looking for.

    A good one to check out: http://www.rivbike.com/bikes/bleriot
    I'm sure you can use a moustache bar and it'll be like an XO-1 set up.

    A good one that looks like what you are looking for.
    http://www.phred.org/~alex/bikes/xo1.html
    Last edited by superunleaded; 02-02-07 at 12:24 PM.

  14. #14
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    For commuting/general riding/occasional trail use, a roadified MTB sounds a better bet than a road bike.
    15" is in the right ball park for a leggy 5'5" rider. Older style, midrange, non-sus models have all the braze-ons and can be quite nippy with the right tyres.
    If she really want a Celeste green bike, Bianchi make some good smaller, cross-country style MTBs.

  15. #15
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    OK you probably sent me off on a tangent because you were talking about using 650c wheels and that she had a 13" frame already. Stick with a 26" wheeled Mtn bike of the correct size. Some of the older designs without suspension should be a little shorter in the top tube than some of the modern designs and those long travel suspension forks realy jack up the front end effecting standover clearance.

    I once owned a Diamondback Mtn bike and found it to have a VERY long top tube for its size.

    Regards, Anthony

  16. #16
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by San Rensho
    You can do it, but just remember the bottom bracket is going to be lower, possibly leading to pedal strikes in the corners.
    i was thinking the same, this is less of an issue with clipless pedals and shorter cranks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

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