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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

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Old 04-20-17, 08:00 PM   #1
Hisamatsu
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Women bicycle for the very short petite help.

The local bike shop fitted & suggested a Trek FX 7.2 15" size hybrid for my gf. She has been riding it for a couple years now. On long rides her arms gets tired and have discomfort/pain from the saddle (pubic rami region). Watching her form and positioning seems like she needs to leaning forward to reach the handle bar.

She is 4'10" (147.32cm) tall. Looking at sizing charts online shows he needs a 13" frame size instead of 15". Few others seem to suggest 650c wheel size bikes too. However, I'm having a hard time finding bikes that size. The local bike shop doesn't have any, the FX 7.2 was the smallest one they carry already.

Any suggestion/recommendation which to get?
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Old 04-20-17, 08:06 PM   #2
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700c and even 26" wheels are a large format for a frame that would properly fit someone that short. Just making decent clearance for the wheels imposes minimum dimensions, so even if the height can be made OK with a sloping top tube, there will still be length issues.

Also, adult bikes come with full size 170mm or so cranks which mean 340mm difference between top and bottom which is a lot for short legs.

You'll find the best fit on a bike made for youth, or if still available a woman specific bike either of which will use smaller wheels and shorter cranks.
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Old 04-20-17, 08:52 PM   #3
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Terry bikes, Bike Friday or other quality-riding folding bike, or a 24" kids bike. My son's friend is 4'10" and she ended up on a kids bike because she didn't want to spend very much. She had to swap out the stem and bars because the reach was still a bit much but she rides it ok. However, she has decided to save up for something "adult" that fits once she is putting in more miles.
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Old 04-20-17, 09:29 PM   #4
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+1 Terry bikes.
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Old 04-20-17, 10:37 PM   #5
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Does anyone know who makes women's bikes around small (like 24') wheels? Or even just a front wheel? Terry used to but it seems they are no longer selling bikes judging from their website.

Hisamatsu, you don't say where you live. (I'm guessing Japan, but if you live in the US, try googling Terry bicycles or searching Ebay and Craig's List.) There are Terry bikes around from 20 of more years ago that are in good condition. Getting one of these and working with a local bike shop might well be the cheapest way to get a very good bike that fits her well. These bikes were designed for women from the ground up. (I laugh as I type this. The website for one of the big three bike manufacturers says their women's bikes are designed "from the ground up" but they sell 44 cm frames based on 700c wheels. See FB's post above about wheel sizes for frames for her size. I agree with FB completely.)

Many of the smaller Terrys used small front wheels. This will be a challenge because good small tires are a lot less common and come in far fewer choices. But going to the common big wheels will saddle her with a bike that will never be right. Fit; having a bike that is sized for your body, is essential if you want the bike to be a joy to ride for years to come. My body is VERY different from hers, but I too have issues that mean most bikes out there are poor fits. For me, they are OK to ride into town or for 15 mile rides. I have had three bikes custom made and many stems and seatposts just to get bikes to fit right.

Those bikes I had made are a joy to ride. Well, well worth the time, effort and money that went into them. Look around for a Terry. (Every once in a while, a custom woman's bike shows up with small wheels. Terry was not the only builder, but did have the biggest lineup and numbers.)

(Georgina Terry was a good bike racer in the '70s. She had a framebuilder make her custom bikes. After racing, she thought it was absurd that all women her size who wanted to perform well on a bike had to go through what she did and founded a company that designed, worked with framebuilders and marketed bikes specifically for small women when no one else would touch that market.)

The other avenue is custom. There are many framebuilders in the US that could do it. Yo will have to do some research to find the one that has the interest to do it best for your girlfriend. Sorry, I don't have any leads here for you.

Ben
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Old 04-20-17, 10:52 PM   #6
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My preferred wheel size for small road bikes is 650a, but tire availability will be limited.

However a standard mtn wheel (26x 1.5 or so) is small enough make a nice small road bike. Tire availability in sizes like 1.25 or so is good, so today, if building custom, I'd go with that, or a 24" wheel.
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Old 04-20-17, 11:30 PM   #7
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Surly Straggler comes with 650b and as small as a 38cm frame. Maybe that would work...they make nice bikes. Straggler 650b | Bikes | Surly Bikes
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Old 04-21-17, 02:19 AM   #8
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Are you looking for a Road Bike? Hybrid? MTB? City Bike?

For a road bike, you could either go with 24" (520) wheels or 650c wheels.

Fuji Ace 650 would be a possibility. Somewhat cheaply made, but you could upgrade it as needed.

Trek used to make some nice WSD 650c bikes, but I think they've dropped the products. Used ones might show up if you're hunting.

This Diamondback Podium 650 looks like a little nicer than the Fuji Ace.
Diamondback Podium 650 Youth Junior Women's Road Bike Ultegra Velocity 49cm TT | eBay

Oh, it looks like Giant has a little mini-Cyclocross bike.
Giant TCX 26 CX junior youth kids cyclocross gravel road bicycle bike | eBay

NOTE:
It looks like the little Giant is $710 new, so I'd offer quite a bit less for the abused one. Giant may also sell those direct to international customers which might help.
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/tcx-espoir-26

For a "city bike", the Soma Buena Vista Mixte comes in a 26"/650 size. Although it appears to have a fairly long effective top tube length.
Buena Vista Frame Set | SOMA Fabrications

If you wish to go with a cheap MTB, there should be a pretty good selection of kid's 24" MTBs.

Last edited by CliffordK; 04-21-17 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 04-21-17, 02:36 AM   #9
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I've built up a couple of bikes for small(adult) riders using small mtb frames for 26" Wheels.
Takes some tinkering, but they go together with minimum/no fabrication and have - so far - turned out rather well.
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Old 04-21-17, 05:25 AM   #10
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I'm 5'2". I always worry about fit.

This year I bought a Jamis Satellite Sport(road bike). The model is discontinued but is very similar to the Quest. Jamis does make women specific bikes and have frame sizes down to 44cm in the women's specific frames. I have the 48cm frame and it fits really well.
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Old 04-21-17, 05:47 AM   #11
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What's her inseam? I'm 5', with 29" inseam and use a 48cms road bike. Sloping top tubes are your friend in this situation. Mine is a custom bike and with 700 wheels because here 650b is not available in road sizes (only very fat mtb tyres)

Specialized and Giant (Liv is their line for women) are bikes I remember stock small sizes.

Since you mentioned the FX bike I'm assuming you're looking for a hybrid?
Specialized Vita comes in XS size.
Giant/Liv Thrive also comes in XS.
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Old 04-21-17, 06:55 AM   #12
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I can (and have) ranted forever about bike fit for small people. Unless your prepared to spend a lot of money for a custom bike then a juvenile bike with 24' wheels is the way to go.
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Old 04-22-17, 06:46 PM   #13
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Recalls the joke on "Sex and the City" about the small guy buying his suits in the kids' department because they fit him well.

When you're a small person, "adult" fashion is limited to average to tall people.

They clysdales and athenas on our big people forum here can relate. Fit isn't always easy to figure out - no matter how short or tall or heavy you are.

There are plenty of kids' bikes that work perfect and the only stigma here is they're kids' bikes.
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Old 04-28-17, 12:50 PM   #14
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look at the Fuji Finest 35cm, 44cm and 46cm, those sizes should fit a petite person.

Last edited by xodondum; 04-28-17 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 04-28-17, 01:04 PM   #15
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Found out about islabikes.com, UK based, higher end kids bick focus, but there is a site in portland, oregon USA. I'm considering taking a trip there to get her fitted.
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Old 04-28-17, 01:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Surly Straggler comes with 650b and as small as a 38cm frame. Maybe that would work...they make nice bikes. Straggler 650b | Bikes | Surly Bikes
Looks interesting, don't see many 38cm frame and fat 41mm tires maybe good for gravel rides.
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Old 04-28-17, 01:20 PM   #17
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What's her inseam? I'm 5', with 29" inseam and use a 48cms road bike. Sloping top tubes are your friend in this situation. Mine is a custom bike and with 700 wheels because here 650b is not available in road sizes (only very fat mtb tyres)

Specialized and Giant (Liv is their line for women) are bikes I remember stock small sizes.

Since you mentioned the FX bike I'm assuming you're looking for a hybrid?
Specialized Vita comes in XS size.
Giant/Liv Thrive also comes in XS.

Inseam:26"
Trunk:20
Forearm:11
Arm:22
Thigh:18
Lower Leg:18
Sternal Notch:47
Total Body Height: 58

fit calculator suggest
top tube 43.9 - 44.4 cm
seat tube 43.9 - 44.4 cm

which comes in line with many bike's 44cm size.

however

https://www.islabikes.com/size-guide/

shows her barely fitting inbetween luath24 and luath26 bikes.
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Old 04-28-17, 01:45 PM   #18
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Brands sizing is all over the place, that's why it's better to take a good look at geometry charts.

Not many options in that size, Specialized carries women road bikes in 44cms so they'll probably have an equivalent in hybrid. Hybrids have a longer ETT road bikes, though.

ETA: How about this Felt? Size 45 and Felt is a good affordable brand http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2016...-40-Women.aspx

Last edited by kuroba; 04-28-17 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 04-28-17, 05:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Hisamatsu View Post
Inseam:26"
Trunk:20
Forearm:11
Arm:22
Thigh:18
Lower Leg:18
Sternal Notch:47
Total Body Height: 58

fit calculator suggest
top tube 43.9 - 44.4 cm
seat tube 43.9 - 44.4 cm

which comes in line with many bike's 44cm size.

however

https://www.islabikes.com/size-guide/

shows her barely fitting inbetween luath24 and luath26 bikes.
Based on her inseam I wouldn't go bigger than the Luath24. It seems like a decent bike but I'm concerned that the seat tube angle is too steep (which is unfortunately normal). Of that range the luath24 is the pick and then I would recommend fitting a rear-set seatpost to move her saddle position rearwards which will take the weight off her hands and stretch the bike out slightly.
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Old 04-28-17, 06:04 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by kuroba View Post
Brands sizing is all over the place, that's why it's better to take a good look at geometry charts.

Not many options in that size, Specialized carries women road bikes in 44cms so they'll probably have an equivalent in hybrid. Hybrids have a longer ETT road bikes, though.

ETA: How about this Felt? Size 45 and Felt is a good affordable brand Verza Speed 40 Women - Felt Bicycles
That is a little big. Closest one we tried was Canondale synapse 44cm which according to sizing chart she barely meet.
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Old 04-28-17, 06:13 PM   #21
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Based on her inseam I wouldn't go bigger than the Luath24. It seems like a decent bike but I'm concerned that the seat tube angle is too steep (which is unfortunately normal). Of that range the luath24 is the pick and then I would recommend fitting a rear-set seatpost to move her saddle position rearwards which will take the weight off her hands and stretch the bike out slightly.
What about the Luath pro series?
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Old 04-28-17, 06:31 PM   #22
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Looks interesting, don't see many 38cm frame and fat 41mm tires maybe good for gravel rides.
I like how they offer so many frame sizes from that 38mm up....so you can definitely find what fits. Also, it can be set up with fat tires, hybrid tires, even roadie type tires so you can pretty much use it anywhere. Very versatile bike. "It’s a day tripper and a weekender. It’s a ‘rough road’ road bike. It’s a cyclocross bike with no pretense about racing. It’s a utilitarian townie. It’s a light-duty touring bike. It’s an all-weather commuter. And when you get tired of one set up, you can swap parts around and turn it into something else."

If finding a bike in your size is hard, it is a good thing to get one that fits a lot of different needs =)
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Old 04-28-17, 06:51 PM   #23
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What about the Luath pro series?
Its fine too. I was a little confused about the standard vs the pro. Since your girlfriend isn't growing anymore definitely stay with the 24" wheeled bike. I think there is a little crossover in order to account for growing children.

My advice is that you will want to fit a rear-set seatpost to move the saddle backwards as far as you can go (if I was building a custom frame for her it would have a relaxed seat tube angle but we are dealing with an off the shelf bike) and you will probably need to raise the handlebars but the 24" model is the one that is the best fundamental size.
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Old 04-28-17, 07:21 PM   #24
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Its fine too. I was a little confused about the standard vs the pro. Since your girlfriend isn't growing anymore definitely stay with the 24" wheeled bike. I think there is a little crossover in order to account for growing children.

My advice is that you will want to fit a rear-set seatpost to move the saddle backwards as far as you can go (if I was building a custom frame for her it would have a relaxed seat tube angle but we are dealing with an off the shelf bike) and you will probably need to raise the handlebars but the 24" model is the one that is the best fundamental size.
What about these? I can get them at discount pretty cheap. Better geometry than the islabike?

$289 https://www.diamondback.com/kids-bikes/podium-24
$389 https://www.diamondback.com/podium-650

Also considering the surly straggler 640b since it goes down to 38cm in size.
Straggler 650b | Bikes | Surly Bikes
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Old 04-29-17, 01:52 AM   #25
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What about these? I can get them at discount pretty cheap. Better geometry than the islabike?

$289 https://www.diamondback.com/kids-bikes/podium-24
$389 https://www.diamondback.com/podium-650

Also considering the surly straggler 640b since it goes down to 38cm in size.
Straggler 650b | Bikes | Surly Bikes
I thought you were after an expensive bike since you mentioned the PRO model.

The Surly 650b is a HUGE bike. 26" mountain wheels are smaller and would be better than 650b. I know its confusing because 650C is a small wheel.

I don't really like the Diamondbacks either.

The islabike Luath24 had 145mm cranks which I did like. To be honest you will likely have to move the saddle rearwards on anything your going to buy.
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