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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wolfvegas's Avatar
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    4'10" What bike for me?

    Im absolutely new to biking, looking on getting more healthy (down 50 pounds) now I want to build muscle instead of just losing fat. Im 4'10" what kind of bike would you suggest for me. My road is not the greatest and I would love to ride around the lake which is a dirt road. I want to keep this under $300

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    For your price I would suggest
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gt/gt_nomad_2.htm

    Or
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/eclipse2.htm

    The Nomad has bigger tires, so it would be much better for dirt roads. The Dawes would be good too, but I wouldn't want to ride it on rough roads. Smooth dirt roads should be okay.

    Unless you find a good deal on craiglist for a used bike.

    For your height, get the smallest size. XS, S or 15 inch frame or 14 inch frame.

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    To Bike Forums, ScotiaScotia!

    We will try to answer all of your cycling questions to the best of our abilities!


    Are you male or female?

    What percent of your riding will be on paved roads?....How much dirt trail riding will you do?

    Got any mountains or hills?

    TIA

    - Slim
    Last edited by SlimRider; 02-21-12 at 04:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    To add to the above:

    Do you want a 'diamond frame' or a 'step through' style?

    Do you have long or short legs?- my legs are short, so I would ideally ride a bike with a shorter, longer frame than someone who is the same height but with long legs)

    What sort of distances do you plan on riding, and how much do you want to carry with you- a bike suited for short distance commuting and shopping will be quite different to one intended for high speed, long distance riding.
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChowChow View Post
    For your price I would suggest
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gt/gt_nomad_2.htm

    Or
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/eclipse2.htm

    The Nomad has bigger tires, so it would be much better for dirt roads. The Dawes would be good too, but I wouldn't want to ride it on rough roads. Smooth dirt roads should be okay.

    Unless you find a good deal on craiglist for a used bike.

    For your height, get the smallest size. XS, S or 15 inch frame or 14 inch frame.
    I'd suspect that even the small in the Nomad would be too tall for someone 4'11" tall. The standover height is 23" which is about 40% of Scotiascotia's height. The shock really pushes the front of the bike upward. I would suspect, based on years of trying to fit a small woman to bicycles, that even a 15" frame would be too tall.

    Additionally, don't send Scotiascotia's off to an on-line retailer unless you know something more about Scotiascotia's level of bicycle awareness. Since she (assuming a she) is asking the question she is asking, I suspect that she has no experience with bicycles nor with bicycle fitting. Buying on-line from Bikesdirect would be an exercise in frustration given her fitting issues. Best to find a bike shop in her area and work with them to find the right size bike...which isn't going to be easy.
    Stuart Black
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  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Depends on a couple of critical body dimensions. My wife is 5' and a little bit, but has short legs and arms. Her ideal size is 16", but she can ride a Raleigh Colt which is a 17" frame because of the short distance between handlebars and saddle. We have a Schwinn Sidewinder that is a 15" frame that she rides on occasion.

    That price point is going to be an issue unless you know bikes or have someone to help you out. That budget is better suited for a quality used bike than a new one, new bikes in that price range are going to be disappointing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I'd suspect that even the small in the Nomad would be too tall for someone 4'11" tall. The standover height is 23" which is about 40% of Scotiascotia's height. The shock really pushes the front of the bike upward. I would suspect, based on years of trying to fit a small woman to bicycles, that even a 15" frame would be too tall.

    Additionally, don't send Scotiascotia's off to an on-line retailer unless you know something more about Scotiascotia's level of bicycle awareness. Since she (assuming a she) is asking the question she is asking, I suspect that she has no experience with bicycles nor with bicycle fitting. Buying on-line from Bikesdirect would be an exercise in frustration given her fitting issues. Best to find a bike shop in her area and work with them to find the right size bike...which isn't going to be easy.
    She/he can always ask bikesdirect.com for sizing, before purchasing. That's if she/he does purchase from them. With her/him
    price budget, I don't really see much options as to a new bike. What can she/he get for a new bike from the LBS? It is better for an inexperience person to go to a LBS, but to do that you need to have more money. At least I didn't try to lean her towards a Walmart or Target bike.

    People do seem to get really mad when someone brings up about online purchasing.

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    Oh forgot to add. My wife is 4'10 and her bike frame is a 15 inch and it's a perfect fit for her.

    15 Ladies fits most riders 4'10" to 5'5"
    17 Ladies fits most riders 5'5" to 5'9"
    15" Mens fits most riders 5' 3" to 5' 7"
    17" Mens fits most riders 5' 7" to 5' 10"
    19" Mens fits most riders 5'9" to 6'
    21" Mens fits most riders 6' to 6’4”

    The two bike that I've recommended was for your price range and for your style of riding. Which you said it would be in dirt roads. Plus the shocks help absorb bump. Which most dirt road might have a few here and there. Unless i would recommend this one. Mostly for roads and hard pavement.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../avenue_fb.htm
    Last edited by ChowChow; 02-21-12 at 07:18 PM.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    4'10" ... how much of that is legs?

    can you find a bike shop to try some bikes in person?.


    $300 does not get much in the current costs of the bike industry.
    and the poorly assembled X mart bikes,
    can be a disappointment waiting to happen.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 02-23-12 at 04:53 PM.

  10. #10
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    I always suggest that smaller riders should ride smaller wheels. 700c hybrid wheels are just too big, you want 26" MTB wheels.
    Big wheels make the bike to high at the front , too long and generally too cumbersome for a small rider.
    You need the lightest MTB you can find in a small size. You dont need suspension, fat tyres will be fine on lakeside trails.
    Decent midrange non-sus MTBs are very rare, you can get cheapo ones that are poorly aligned and fall apart, or expensive ones from boutique builders. You will probably find them branded as "urban bikes" like the expensive Canondale Bad Boy.
    Jamis do the Trail XR but that is a 330 bike made of heavy hi tensile steel rather than lightweight aluminium.
    In the UK, the only source is one special shop. Does anyone know a USA source?

  11. #11
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Your budget is kinda tight, but maybe you should look at kids bikes. With either 24" or 20" wheels, that's going to lower the stand over height of the frame right there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  12. #12
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    You got a KHS dealer around? Check this one out for the lake trails- http://khsbicycles.com/10_syntaur_g_12.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  13. #13
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    My wife is 5'2", and a 15" would definitely be too big for her. Even with a mixte frame so she could step over the top tube(s) the reach is too far. I'd recommend a few visits to shops, and ask about kids' bikes. They'll be properly proportioned for smaller riders, although the components tend to be cheap and you might eventually want some of them to be swapped out. A bike with 507 (mountain) 24" wheels would probably do the trick.

    Extra note: at that price range, DO NOT get suspension. A good shock will use up your entire budget by itself, which is another way of saying that an shock you get on a $300 bike will be cr@p.

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChowChow View Post
    She/he can always ask bikesdirect.com for sizing, before purchasing. That's if she/he does purchase from them. With her/him
    price budget, I don't really see much options as to a new bike. What can she/he get for a new bike from the LBS? It is better for an inexperience person to go to a LBS, but to do that you need to have more money. At least I didn't try to lean her towards a Walmart or Target bike.

    People do seem to get really mad when someone brings up about online purchasing.
    For small riders, simply asking about sizing isn't going to help. I've been down this road more times than I care to count. As an average sized male, I can walk into any shop in the world, point to a bike, purchase it and ride it away with no more trouble than getting the saddle height right. Fit...the holy grail of bicycling...isn't a problem for most average sized riders, no matter how often people say that 'fit is everything'. For the average sized person, as long as you are in the ballpark, minor adjustments are all that are really necessary.

    Small riders can't do that. Fit is everything for them and, often, they can't find a bike that's even in the ballpark. Often, as is the case with the GT above, there are warts that are hard to get past.

    I, frankly don't care about on-line purchasing but there are some practical problems with suggesting it for someone who asks the question "What bike for me?" and states that they are "absolutely new to biking". Lets say that they order a bike from on-line. The bike comes in pieces. Remember, this is a newbie with no idea how the mechanicals on a bicycle works. They probably can't just slap that puppy together. They'll have to go to a bike shop which is going to charge them $60 to $100 to put it together. The $300 bike just became a nearly $400 bike.

    Then they ride it. Say it doesn't fit. Back to the shop to have them disassemble the bike, pack it and ship it back. That's another $60 to $100 for the disassembly, perhaps another $50 to pack it, and another $50 to $80 to ship it back to Bike Direct. The cost of the bike has now jumped to over $600. An extra $300 is a lot to spend for a test ride.

    By the way, I'd give the same advice if Scotiascotia were looking at used frames. If you have to ask the question of "What kind of bike for me?", you shouldn't be looking at used bike. Get thee to a bike shop, Scotiascotia! They will help you through the process. It may cost a little more but it's worth the slightly extra cost. And they'll help you keep the bike running smooth.
    Stuart Black
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  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChowChow View Post
    Oh forgot to add. My wife is 4'10 and her bike frame is a 15 inch and it's a perfect fit for her.

    15 Ladies fits most riders 4'10" to 5'5"
    17 Ladies fits most riders 5'5" to 5'9"
    15" Mens fits most riders 5' 3" to 5' 7"
    17" Mens fits most riders 5' 7" to 5' 10"
    19" Mens fits most riders 5'9" to 6'
    21" Mens fits most riders 6' to 6’4”

    The two bike that I've recommended was for your price range and for your style of riding. Which you said it would be in dirt roads. Plus the shocks help absorb bump. Which most dirt road might have a few here and there. Unless i would recommend this one. Mostly for roads and hard pavement.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../avenue_fb.htm
    You have a small wife and you don't find anything a little funky about that fitting advice? I have several bike riding women in my life and that advice is so far off base as to be laughable. First, bikes have different sizes for different uses. A mountain bike has a smaller frame (with a proportionally longer top tube) than a road bike. My 5'5" daughter rides a 15" mountain bike but my 5' tall wife could never ride one that large. Her mountain bike is a 13" frame. My daughter rides a 49cm (19") road bike while my wife rides a 15" road bike. But that road frame doesn't have a 22" standover height due to a front fork.

    The rest of those numbers are absolutely bogus for a road bike. They are mountain bike sizes. At around 6' tall, I ride a 19" mountain bike but those values above are listed for a hybrid which is sized more like a road bike. In road bikes, I ride a 58cm frame.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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    To me as I see it. As long as you have a 1-2 inch clearance for a road style bike or a 2-3 inch clearance for a mountain bike you should be fine. If you have the clearance that you need and you still have trouble getting on the bike, then it's you and not the bike. There is also a lot of things that will help you feel more comfortable. Like adjustable stem etc.

  17. #17
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    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cane_elite.htm

    There you go. A 14 inch women frame and no fork suspensions. Very comfortable upright position and decent components. $249.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Wolfvegas's Avatar
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    Im a man, should I measure my inseam to see what ride height I should use?

    Also I plan on riding up and down some hills and some dirt roads but no serious off road trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotiascotia View Post
    Im a man, should I measure my inseam to see what ride height I should use?

    Also I plan on riding up and down some hills and some dirt roads but no serious off road trails.
    In your case, I think it's better to go to a local bike shop and get yourself measure etc. If you're not going serious on the off roads, then a hybrid would be your best bet. A 14 inch frame should be a good fit for you, but get yourself measure to be sure.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Wolfvegas's Avatar
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    My local bike shop http://valleystoveandcycle.com/

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    You have a small wife and you don't find anything a little funky about that fitting advice? I have several bike riding women in my life and that advice is so far off base as to be laughable. First, bikes have different sizes for different uses. A mountain bike has a smaller frame (with a proportionally longer top tube) than a road bike. My 5'5" daughter rides a 15" mountain bike but my 5' tall wife could never ride one that large. Her mountain bike is a 13" frame. My daughter rides a 49cm (19") road bike while my wife rides a 15" road bike. But that road frame doesn't have a 22" standover height due to a front fork.

    The rest of those numbers are absolutely bogus for a road bike. They are mountain bike sizes. At around 6' tall, I ride a 19" mountain bike but those values above are listed for a hybrid which is sized more like a road bike. In road bikes, I ride a 58cm frame.
    My wife has a 15 inch frame, 38cm SO bike with a adjustable stem and it fits her perfectly.
    Last edited by ChowChow; 02-22-12 at 08:11 PM.

  22. #22
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    At the $300 pricepoint, you're gonna have to buy used from ebay or Craigslist. You could possibly buy new from Schwinn Signature, or Jamis bicycle shops. Perhaps even Nashbar.com, or Bikesdirect.com, will have a deal or two!


    www.bikesdirect.com/products/gt/gt_aggressor_1.htm
    The GT Aggressor @ $300

    www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_529188_-1_203131_10000_202383
    The Mongoose Crossway 125 @ $180

    www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/mountain/2012-frontier-mens-14351
    The Frontier Mens @ $330

    www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/hardtails/trailx/12_trailxr_bk.html
    The Trail X @ $330

    - Slim

    PS.

    You would have to either go thru www.myus.com , or pick it up at a US destination, because bikesdirect.com does not deliver directly to Canada.

    Nashbar ships to Canada at your cost.

    * Buying a used chromoly steel 10 speed bicycle from a local source would be a great alternative here!
    Last edited by SlimRider; 02-22-12 at 09:26 PM.

  23. #23
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotiascotia View Post
    Im a man, should I measure my inseam to see what ride height I should use?

    Also I plan on riding up and down some hills and some dirt roads but no serious off road trails.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scotiascotia View Post
    Depending on what you mean by "hills", given your size, budget, and offerings from your LBS that you linked to, you consider this Haro BMX if the money is burning a hole in your pocket or just save a little while longer- possibly for the Giant Roam 2 W, Specialized Step-thru and a long shot Specialized/Globe Work Step-through.

    You might also just go talk to the people at the LBS and explain your budget, needs, and concerns about finding the proper fit. They might have something in the back that might work for you or they may know of someone (like a regular customer) who might be able to help you as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  24. #24
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Go and talk to the folks at the bike shop. I agree with not purchasing online for your first bike. Purchasing a bike that is very uncomfortable is going to result in another bike sitting in a garage.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

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    GT make nice bikes BUt their funny triple triangle design is extra stiff for large sizes. When used in smallest sizes it is too stiff, too heavy but worst, the very low rear seat stays place the rear rack eyelets way too low to be useful. Small GT users need racks with very long and bendy connecting stays to reach that far down.

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