Originally Posted by stapfam
It takes courage and a bit of getting used to but you have to have the saddle at the right height for pedalling efficiency.
That often means that for us shorties- we cannot touch the ground while seated on the saddle. I can't- My legs are about 2" short.
Way to check is sit on the saddle and put your heel on the pedal. Then put the pedal at the bottom of it's movement and you should find that the leg is just straight with no bend in the knee. Then when you put the ball of the foot on the pedal and ride the bike- You should just have a slightly bent knee.
There is a lot more to saddle position than that but that is the first basic check. But if you are not happy about the advice given to you- then check with another shop. One thing I can tell you is that a bike that is too large- is not going to be comfortable. A bike just a bit small can be adjusted to fit but there is nothing better than the right size in the first place.
BUT- There is a frame type that suits us shorties and it is called a compact frame. I Ride Giants and their frames are compact. Basically it means that the top tube on the bike slopes drastically in comparison to a normal frame. Attachment is of my Giant OCR and you can see what I mean. It does allow the saddle to be lower-if you want- and better than that Giant and several other manufacturers do them in a womans fit. The womans fit normally has a shorter top tube and certain things like short brake levers- narrower bars and a different shaped saddle.
Edit---And that 46" frame will be 44Cm.
This is great advice, stepfam! I really appreciate you taking the time to explain everything. I also appreciate your advice too, Michael. I think you were going for the same idea/same explanation. All of your advice has helped tremendously. It's hard when you're new at this. It is also difficult going into a bike shop and listening to them when you get the feel that they're just trying to sweet talk you and tell you all of this stuff when they KNOW you're good bait because you don't know otherwise. I also am not looking to spend thousands of dollars when I'm still such a "new kid on the block". I'd love to take what I learn from these forums and the bike experts at these shops and turn around and find something decently priced on CL.
Monkey, I appreciate you posting. I don't think $350 is necessarily cheap when they're trying to make a deal on CL AND it was probably only a $700-800 bike to begin with, which is fine by me. I'm not looking for anything top of the line by any means. I think it is just like you said, a matter of me going to sit on it. So I think I might just check out the 44" frame and see what happens. I like Stepfam's idea where you can adjust a 44" frame to make it bigger, but you cannot really adjust a 48" frame too much to make it smaller.
Stepfam, I was also looking at a female specialized bike so I know what you mean about the "female bike". It felt great - especially for someone who is short like me with short arms and legs.
Thank you to you three and if anybody else has ideas/thoughts/etc. please keep them coming! I appreciate everything.