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Nermal 03-06-07 09:56 PM

Why won't they just make. . .
 
a bike for short people. I'm getting really hungry for a new bike. Something bridging the gap between a touring and a road cycle. You know, reasonably light weight, semi skinny tires, say 700 28-32, and clearance for fenders. You know, they make such things, and on a good day I can convince myself that I can afford some of them, so off to read the specs. So, what's out there? Small, medium (or metric equivalant) large, and gigantic. So what's the standover height? About 26". What's my inseam in bare feet. Yep, about 26", and that includes the women's frames. Trust me, if I had to ride bare foot, that top tube would hurt. Well, that's it. Thanks for listening.

Oh, if anyone happens to know of something a bit lower than 26" without going to a 26" tire, my idea of affordable is somewhere between $900.00 and 1,200.00 - and that's on a good day. On a bad day, I'm 5'6", and cycling has taught me my legs are short relative to my not imposing height.

oilman_15106 03-06-07 10:58 PM

Well price range kills the deal, I was going to suggest a custom made frame. I'm 5'7" on a good day and there are plenty of frame choices out there if you expand your budget.

Tom Bombadil 03-06-07 11:23 PM

Here's something that's close, the 2006 Schwinn Super Sport DBX. Got a great review from Bicycling Magazine. I rode one and thought it was nice. Compact Frame geometry. The standover height for the XS version is just 26.5".
http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/...ail.php?id=607

In 2007 models, they have these two, which are closer to 26.4"
http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/...ail.php?id=744
http://www.schwinnbike.com/products/...ail.php?id=745

Tom Bombadil 03-06-07 11:31 PM

The Specialized Allez Junior Comp also has a standover of 26.4"
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=21902

There are a lot of bikes in the 28.5" standover range, like the smallest frames for the Trek Pilot series, Giant OCR series, Specialized Allez and Sequoia series.

BluesDawg 03-07-07 05:08 AM

Nermal, I can't tell from your post whether you have tried some of the smaller framed bikes or if you are basing your evaluation on reading specs. Keep in mind that standover height and inseam size for pants are two different things. The critical measurement for top tube height is PBH, pubic bone height. That is the distance from the floor to where you hit bone. My pants inseam size is 31-32. My PBH is 34.5. My road bikes have standover heights between 32.5 and 33.25.
So my point is that you may find that some of the bikes you are considering will fit you just fine. Touching and riding actual bikes trumps reading specs.

maddmaxx 03-07-07 06:04 AM

Would you reconsider 650c wheels. Bikes in this range come with appropriate crank lengths for the smaller sizes. A relatively minor gear change will make up for the wheel size and quality 650c tires are still available due to popularity on some TT bikes.

A coworkers wife is less than 5' tall and is very happy with her Motobecane Mirage.

DnvrFox 03-07-07 06:55 AM

Stand over height - I have about 1/2" (or less) of actual SOH on my road bikes. It has worked fine for me for 8 years now. It is not an important measurement for a road bike - as long as you aren't actually touvhing hard. As a previous writer suggested, try some out.

East Hill 03-07-07 07:07 AM

One word:

Mixtes.

see this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/227038-show-us-your-mixte-mhendricks-new-happy-place.html

Enjoy.

East Hill

Nermal 03-07-07 08:29 AM

26" is an actual measurement from heel to groin, standing barefoot, but I've been reading specs, not trying the actual bikes. Well, we have two bike shops. One of them, I don't like. The other is big on mountain bikes from Giant and Cannondale.

I'll take a look, East Hill. That is one I haven't looked at.

Little Darwin 03-07-07 08:31 AM

Nermal,

I don't have your challenge, but I do recall reading in the forums that 650c/26" options are no less efficient, and it allows the bike manufacturer to avoid geometric compromises to accomodate the larger wheels.

Good luck on your search.

Nermal 03-07-07 08:42 AM

I know, and they also go to either 650c and 26" to keep your foot from colliding with the front wheel on sharp turns. Thing about them is, there's not a lot of tire selection unless you like a fairly fat tire. I'll never be carrying expedition size loads, and would like to stay with a tire around 30mm.

Good points on trying the actual bikes. When I stop, I never actually straddle the top tube and stand flat footed. Right foot is on the ground, left on a pedal. Since the world won't come to me, I guess I'll have to go to the world.

Tom Bombadil 03-07-07 10:22 AM

Technically mixte frames were designed for women. But have become somewhat acceptable for men over the years. In my looking around, it is hard to find one that isn't heavy. Most were made of steel and that combined with having two top tubes & two additional seat stays, leaves one with a fairly heavy road bike.

I'm not aware of anyone offering a recent vintage, lighter weight mixte, but perhaps someone did (or even does).

As to the 26" and 650c wheels, when looking around recently, I was surprised at how hard it is to find new road bikes using them. Most manufacturers have dropped them completely from their road bike lineups. While I'm not surprised that nearly all of these are gone, I expected to find big companies like Trek & Giant still offering 1 or 2 that could fit people down around 5' tall.

Someone mentioned the Motobecane Mirage. That does come with 650c wheels on their smaller frames:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...iragesport.htm

stonecrd 03-07-07 10:34 AM

Trek's mens bikes go down to 50cm and you could look at teh WSD models which go all of the way down to 43cm. I think the only difference between the men's and womens WSD is a different seat. At 5'6" I would think a 50cm or 52cm frame would fit. I am 5'7" and I ride 54cm frame which fits perfectly. I think you can find the Pilot 1.2 or the 1000 in your price range.

Louis 03-07-07 10:54 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Terry. I just overhauled one for a friend, it has a 700c rear wheel and a 24" front wheel, it's a nice bike.

I know Terry is supposedly a womens specific design but would it not fit a shorter man as well? Or perhaps there are numbers and angles I'm just not aware of.

East Hill 03-07-07 10:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Technically mixte frames were designed for women. But have become somewhat acceptable for men over the years. In my looking around, it is hard to find one that isn't heavy. Most were made of steel and that combined with having two top tubes & two additional seat stays, leaves one with a fairly heavy road bike. I'm not aware of anyone offering a recent vintage, lighter weight mixte, but perhaps someone did (or even does).

Joseph Ahearne just won 'Best City Bike' at the NAHBS for the mixte he made for his girlfriend:

http://bikeportland.org/2007/03/03/m...ets-her-mixte/

Thanks to donnamb who provided the original link.

The question is, does Nermal need a super lightweight bicycle? Nermal says he's looking for something between a touring bike and a road bike, and a mixte fits the bill pretty well. I know Nermal's got to have longer legs than I've got :p . They are also pretty cheap to purchase, although Nermal lives in an area which doesn't have a lot in the way of Craigslist finds. There is, however, always eBay...

Many of us in the Classic & Vintage forum love our steel bikes :D .

East Hill

East Hill 03-07-07 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Louis
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Terry. I just overhauled one for a friend, it has a 700c rear wheel and a 24" front wheel, it's a nice bike.

I know Terry is supposedly a womens specific design but would it not fit a shorter man as well? Or perhaps there are numbers and angles I'm just not aware of.

I've got a couple of older bikes which have the small front wheel and larger rear wheel (not Terrys, though). The ones I have are a bit twitchy, as they seem to be more race oriented than touring, but that is not necessarily the case with the more modern Terry bicycles.

WSD bicycles have slightly different geometries than men's bicycles. Additionally, they normally have smaller brakehandles, and the travel with the brakes is not as great (because women have smaller hands normally). It's not just the saddle that's different. Nermal may very well wish to check into Terry bicycles, although again, in his area, finding a Terry dealer may be difficult.

East Hill

stapfam 03-07-07 11:37 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I ride a Giant SCR 3.0 and I have a 29" inseam I have a 42cm frame in this model and it is stated that this model has a 28.7" standover height. I have just been to the bike shed and I have 4" between the crutch and the top tube.

On top of this- Standover height is not that important unless you want to straddle the bike with your feet on the ground and with the bike perfectly upright. I don't do this very often- probably about "0" times a year. Whenever I start on the bike- I have right foot clicked in and bike leant over. Whilst riding the bike I cannot touch the ground because with a nearly straight leg- My small feet are 2" too short to reach the ground. If I put the saddle down lower I could touch the ground but then I would not have the saddle at the correct height for pedalling efficiency. Then when I stop- I lift forward off the saddle and put one foot down and the bike leans to one side.

Problem that most of us shorties find is that if we have standover clearance- then the bike is too short- because the bike is too small. This was a minor problem with me and I had to change the bar stem to 100mm from the 80mm as fitted as standard.-but whats 20mm-3/4". I could accomodate this by putting the saddle back but that would then compromise fore and aft position of the knee over the pedal for pedalling efficiency.

Instead of just looking at the statistics on frame geometry- get out and find someone with a bike that is nearly small enough for you and test it. I did in fact try the 46Cm frame and it did not feel as comfortable for me as the 42- but a change of stem to a shorter one and that bike would have fitted.

Link below to the Giant SCR and look at the frame geometry stats to see how it rates for you- but don't get paranoid about it- Try the bike at a good LBS to see how it feels.

Attachment is of my bike and all I have changed is the pedals and the stem from original, pic is of the bike as it came from the LBS.

http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-GB...oad/124/14226/

Edit- This model SCR may not be available in the US but it follows thge compact geometry of the giant frames.

Nermal 03-07-07 11:59 AM

Stapfam, we just might have a winner here. I'll delve into it more this evening, but if it doesn't look like it fits, there are still the women's specific frames. Best of all, we have a local Giant dealer, and that is the only shop in town (small town) that I deal with. The other has Trek. I would be embarassed to drag a trek into Haven's Bikes for service, and the other shop seems less interested in what they're doing than the average Wal-Mart People Greater. I'm funny about stuff like that. I take your point on bikes with standover clearance for me being too small in other respects. My Giant Cypress now sports a quill/stem 23mm longer than standard, and it's still not perfect. Thanks for the help.

East Hill, I actually did look at the Terrys. Logistic concerns about having two different size tubes to lug around was one point, and still, for the tire width I think I want, the nod still goes to the 700s.

DnvrFox 03-07-07 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nermal
The other has Trek. I would be embarassed to drag a trek into Haven's Bikes for service, around was one point, and still, for the tire width I think I want, the nod still goes to the 700s.

Don't be afraid about that. Most bike shops make most of their money on service. They would take it as a compliment. And the parts should not be a problem.

Nermal 03-11-07 10:02 PM

Sure hope you're right, Dnvrfox. That SCR seems limited to the UK, and I ended up with REI's Randonee. Seems decent, and has gearing that could pull stumps, and I mean uphill. I'm having trouble adjusting to the drop style handlbars with STI shifters, but today is day, so that's not unexpected.

Great crew at REI, by the way. I called for availability on Friday. They had the smallest size, but not assembled, and they simply didn't do that on Saturdays. I went down, mentioned something about the 187 mile trip Farmington to Alb, and darn if the didn't get it ready. Good pricing too. In addition to the usual member discount, there was a 20% extra, I believe on anything in the store, but only for one purchase, or something like that.

I do wish they hadn't let Igor torque the peda, and I really don't want them to be unhappy.ls down with a 4' cheater bar. I can't get them off to change them out. This is a job for the LBS

EDIT because the final makes no sense, at least to me. Anyhow, I can't get the pedals out to install the SPDs that I haven't bought yet. For this reason, I definately hope the LBS isn't unhappy about the sale going to REI. At least it is not a brand carried by a local competitor.

Good research. 41cm might even be too small for me, but sure looks good, especially at the price.

cs1 03-12-07 04:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nermal
I know, and they also go to either 650c and 26" to keep your foot from colliding with the front wheel on sharp turns. Thing about them is, there's not a lot of tire selection unless you like a fairly fat tire. I'll never be carrying expedition size loads, and would like to stay with a tire around 30mm.

Good points on trying the actual bikes. When I stop, I never actually straddle the top tube and stand flat footed. Right foot is on the ground, left on a pedal. Since the world won't come to me, I guess I'll have to go to the world.

26" might not have a great selection of road tires but 650C sure does. The 650C standard is basically a road wheel. You should be able to find all kinds of nice tires. Good luck

Tim

East Hill 03-12-07 07:58 AM

Here you go Nermal:

lotek spotted this one for me, it might work for you!
(I know it's not really what you want, but it's so tiny...)

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/291293343.html

I don't think they get much smaller than this.

East Hill

jm01 03-12-07 08:32 AM

1 Attachment(s)
my wife rides a small (49cm) Opus Capriccio...nice flat bar road bike, it's a small canadian mfr/distributor

http://www.opusbike.com/site.htm

The Specialized Sirrus would be comparable and comes in an extra small

stapfam 03-12-07 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nermal
Sure hope you're right, Dnvrfox. That SCR seems limited to the UK, and I ended up with REI's Randonee. Seems decent, and has gearing that could pull stumps, and I mean uphill. I'm having trouble adjusting to the drop style handlbars with STI shifters, but today is day, so that's not unexpected.

Great crew at REI, by the way. I called for availability on Friday. They had the smallest size, but not assembled, and they simply didn't do that on Saturdays. I went down, mentioned something about the 187 mile trip Farmington to Alb, and darn if the didn't get it ready. Good pricing too. In addition to the usual member discount, there was a 20% extra, I believe on anything in the store, but only for one purchase, or something like that.

I do wish they hadn't let Igor torque the peda, and I really don't want them to be unhappy.ls down with a 4' cheater bar. I can't get them off to change them out. This is a job for the LBS

EDIT because the final makes no sense, at least to me. Anyhow, I can't get the pedals out to install the SPDs that I haven't bought yet. For this reason, I definately hope the LBS isn't unhappy about the sale going to REI. At least it is not a brand carried by a local competitor.

Good research. 41cm might even be too small for me, but sure looks good, especially at the price.


You are turning the pedals in the right direction? Stiff pedals- make certain that you have a tight fitting spanner and then just a knock with a 2lb club hammer works for me. I also started on road bikes with drop handlebars last year and it took me a while to get down into the drops- I still don't that often but into a headwind or fast downhills and I am glad they are there. I ride a 42cm frame so 41 is not going to make all that amount of difference. Just spend a bit of time getting the saddle position correct and if you think you have to change the bar stem- Think about what you want. I worked out that I needed a higher stem and just a bit longer. I tried a couple in the spares box and even sat on the bike with a broom handle poised on top of the bars with spacers to get the right height. It worked. Told the LBS the length and rise I wanted- fitted it- and its perfect. Other choice is to get an adjustable stem but even then- try to work out the length you want.

Hwy 40 Blue 03-12-07 02:09 PM

How about a Bike Friday? They sell used ones for less, and they make bikes to fit anybody -- from way under five feet to way over six feet. The crossbar is naturally low, for easy step-over. The little wheels work especially well for the height-challenged rider.

Yes, I ride one, and it's my main bike. A great bike.
Check this out: http://www.bikefriday.com/WhyBuyABikeFriday


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