Having a difficult time finding a bike for my petite wife. I’m a afraid there’s nothing in a 700c wheel that will fit her. We’ve tested at least a dozen bikes. The step through models are deceiving because if she is straddling the bike, the seat won’t allow her to stand back far enough. The front of the seat basically pushes her in to the top tube where it starts to rise vertically. Even though she can “technically” straddle the bike, it is NOT safe for her to be wedged between the seat and the top tube like that.
If we go down to a 26 inch wheel, she has just a few more options, but not much. There are a bunch of 13 and 13.5 inch frames out there, but the stand over height is between 23 – 25 inches. It basically comes down to how dramatic the slope is on the top tube. If it’s too flat, she’s got no stand over clearance. If it slopes down at a steep angle, then it’s almost like a step through where she jammed between the seat and top tube.
We did find one lonely bike out there with a 12 inch frame and a 21.5 inch stand over. It’s the 2009 Diamond Back Lustre. But I would have to order it without having a chance to test it. I think we are leaning towards ordering it. She’s tested so many bikes in the last two weeks that we’re confident this geometry would be perfect for her. But before we do that, I want to exhaust all the possibilities in a 700c wheel.
Is it even possible to have a 700c wheel on a frame with a 21 – 22 inch stand over?