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  1. #1
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    good bike for a little person

    I am getting back on the road after many years off, and looking to update with a new bike. I am just under 5'0", and my old bike was 44.5 cm with 27" wheels. I will not be racing, just club riding, so 27" wheels are not a necessity. I am thinking of looking for a bike with 650c wheels in the interest of getting a little bit tighter geometry, in the ~$1,000 range, but can move on that. I am partial to steel, just a traditionalist. Short top tube would be good for my proportions, although that is in opposition to the tighter geometry I that would like to have. There are many options now in bikes with women's geometry, but I am curious to hear what people like. Your thoughts and passionate opinions would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Retro. Grouchy.
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    Try Terry Precision Bicycles. I'm taller than you are, at 5'3", and I have both a Symmetry road bike and a Classic tourer (fitted out by me as a commuter). I like the shorter reach to the handle bars, and there are no problems with toe-clip overlap (foot hitting the front wheel during turns), because the front wheel is smaller than the back. The geometry is fairly relaxed, but the bikes are pretty nimble. And steel, too!

    For a good price on Terrys, try their 'For sale' page. http://www.terrybicycles.com. I got both bikes, barely used, for way less than new there.
    Last edited by Infodiva; 09-28-05 at 11:52 AM.

  3. #3
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassie*1101
    I am getting back on the road after many years off, and looking to update with a new bike. I am just under 5'0", and my old bike was 44.5 cm with 27" wheels. I will not be racing, just club riding, so 27" wheels are not a necessity. I am thinking of looking for a bike with 650c wheels in the interest of getting a little bit tighter geometry, in the ~$1,000 range, but can move on that. I am partial to steel, just a traditionalist. Short top tube would be good for my proportions, although that is in opposition to the tighter geometry I that would like to have. There are many options now in bikes with women's geometry, but I am curious to hear what people like. Your thoughts and passionate opinions would be appreciated!
    Terrys (as mentioned above) are one option. My wife is your size and has looked at them and didn't particularly like them. She was bothered more by looks than by performance. For her size, she didn't like the little wheel in front/big wheel in back configuration. And Terrys cost more which was an issue at the time.

    She has a Trek 8000 WSD that she rides everywhere (she is a casual rider) and she likes it a lot. It's very light and fits well

    Recently we have looked at road bikes, mostly Specialized. The Sirrus is comes in a very small frame and is relatively cheap. She liked the fit and the handlebars of a Sequoia. The Dulce is also quite nice. The Dulce ranges in price from $800 to $2400 depending on components.

    Look at the Trek WSD. Cannondale has the Feminine line also.
    Stuart Black
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  4. #4
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    I also do not like the aesthetics of the Terry - Ugh! and who wants to carry two spares?

    The Trek WSDs look pretty nice, and waaay little!
    Thanks for the suggestions!
    A

  5. #5
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    There are also Luna Cycles for women.

    Its better at certain heights to ride bicycles with smaller wheels. Either 26" (559) or the slightly bigger 650c. You will find you can handle the bicycle better. Also, toe overlap is removed or at least minimized.

    I am a little person with a 74cm inseam. Personally I ride a steel hardtail to commute. This type of bike features 26" (559) wheels which make for good geometry for a small frame. I use this type of bicycle to offset the price because as far as I can tell bicycles with 650c wheels can be expensive.

    Some good steel hardtails:

    Marin Bicycles - Steel Hardtails

    Jamis Exile

    Gunnar Rock Tour

    You can put slicks on these bikes and make other modifications to set up these bicycles for road use.

    If price is no object is is one of the best 650c bikes you can buy:

    Rivendell Saluki

  6. #6
    Mostly Harmless Dead Extra #2's Avatar
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    My (very small) girlfriend just bought a Specialized Dolce elite. It fits her much better than some other bikes that were just smaller versions of the big ones. It is aluminum though......

  7. #7
    @#$% cars
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    Have you seen the Ibex JayVee. They recommend it for adults under 5'.

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/VTG-JV-Details.html

  8. #8
    52-week commuter DCCommuter's Avatar
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    My wife is very petite and has a Terry Classic that she likes. The only drawback is that people think it's a kids bike!

  9. #9
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    Did you say steel? How about the women's Lemond Croix de Fer. They come as small as 45cm.

    It may be slightly higher than $1,000....but not by much.

  10. #10
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    My wife is 5'1 and recently purchased a Trek 1000 43cm road bike. The fit is fine for her, although I need to purchase a new more upright stem. Trek makes other womens specific sized bikes too, but you would have to try some to see if they fit you. Terry bikes are great also and Georgina Terry really pioneered the correct bike fit for women under 5' and over too. The most important thing to do is to try different bikes to make sure that they fit you correctly. Check stand over height, reach from the seat to the handlebars, stem length, handlebar width, and even brake lever reach. The reason that I bring these up is that about 15 years ago I built my wife a new road bike because nothing out there fit her. Took a 44 cm Vitus aluminum frame and fork and used a very short stem, narrow handlebars, womens seat , and short reach brake levers. It is a lot easier today to buy a complete bike to fit a woman than years ago. Good luck !

  11. #11
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    Should be able to snag a Bianchi Eros Donna with a pretty nice steel frame right around your price range, maybe less if you get lucky.

  12. #12
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    I am very petitie as well 5'0 and weigh about 135 pounds. I tried out several road bikes and fell in love with the Specialized Dolce Elite. I just purchased the 2005 model and I love it. I did try the Trek WSD 1000 and 1500 with the 650 wheels, but the Dolce Elite just felt more solid and comfortable. This bike shifts with great ease. I can take on hills like never before. My bike is less than a month old and I have about 250 miles logged already. Considering some cold wet weather we had this past month.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadd
    Did you say steel? How about the women's Lemond Croix de Fer. They come as small as 45cm.

    It may be slightly higher than $1,000....but not by much.
    I was in a club ride during the summer and a woman who owned a Terry told me it was a hard ride! The smaller wheelbase, frame and front wheel make for a rougher ride. I experienced this with my folding bikes first hand so it is true. If I were small and buying a small bicycle, a Brooks saddle would be a must or a quality suspension seatpost.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    If you have small hands consider Campy components. The hoods and shifters fit small hands more comfortably.

    Kathi

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Also, Serotta makes the Fierte in a 46p, very nice frame, but its more than the price range your quoting.

  16. #16
    Beauty Everywhere snowy's Avatar
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    I have to talk up the Specialized Dolce Elite too, I love this bike its smooth as all get out, it shifts very nicely, takes corners well, etc. I'm small frame too. I'm 5'3 alittle taller.
    The wheels are 700's but really I couldn't tell the difference between them and the 650's.
    This bike rocks for the price and everything that comes with it.

  17. #17
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    The Decathlon company have a range of road bikes and the inexpensive Decathlon 7.1 series has the two smaller sizes, 44cm and 48cm with 26" wheels. They have a couple of stores in the US and you should be able to find their whereabouts (East coast, I think) on www.decathloncycling.com(?). They have another site which is appalingly designed but which also has the addresses on it.

    Good luck

  18. #18
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    Here ya go - just what the doctor ordered!

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