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  1. #1
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    Hybrid Bike for 5'0 tall female

    I did a search of the forums and found plenty of suggestions for road bikes but I couldn't find anything on hybrids. I am looking to buy a hybrid bike but am having a hard time finding a bike that fits. I'm currently 5'0 tall with a short torso and short legs! I currently have a folder (actually 3 of them) which I love but am now looking for a hybrid (don't know if I'll ever be ready for a road bike).

    My LBS carries Trek, Specialized, Biachi and Raleigh and I would like to buy from them since I am trying to form a relationship with them. However, there are 2 other bike shops in the area that carry other brands. One shop has a Serrotta certified fitter and they carry Felt (they have a road bike in my size), Surly, Parlee and Kona. The other shop carries Jamis which I have heard a lot of great things about, but I'm not sure if Jamis makes bikes for smaller framed women.

    I'm looking to spend up to $750 though I am in no rush to buy. I can even wait until the winter/spring when prices may go down. I am a recreational rider and like to ride on paved trails. I am not looking for speed necessarily, but I am looking for something versatile that can climb up hills fairly easily. I have 2 questions:

    1) Can you suggest some good hybrid bikes that can accommodate my petite frame?
    2) Can you give me your opinion on the bike below? It's at my local shop, has a 13" frame and is below my price range - I may just check it out if it is a good buy but I know nothing about components so I am not sure.
    http://dannyscycles.com/product/08ga...ronus-2451.htm

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Last edited by Jyyanks; 10-13-11 at 09:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    I don't quite follow... what makes you think you're not ready for a road bike? I mean, I like hybrids because I prefer flat bars for city riding, and they're slightly beefier for some mild off-roading. But if you want a road bike, why not just get one?

    Also I don't think any frame with 700c wheels is going work for you at your height, unless you have exceptionally long arms. Don't a shop try and put you on such a machine.

    The bike you linked to looks good - 26" wheels. The most important thing is - does it fit?

  3. #3
    Senior Member mobilemail's Avatar
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    I am a 5'4'' male, and all but the smallest hybrids feel like I'm riding my big brother's bike. I suggest that you keep your eyes out for a really clean pre-'90 fully rigid mountain bike. The early MTBs were often built on more standard frames, and are really better hybrids than they are offroad bikes. They offer several advantages:
    1. Smaller wheels and lower clearance make the bike fit and handling better.
    2. There is a wide selection of 26" tires.
    3. You can literally save hundreds of dollars and still have a perfectly good bike.
    4. Shimano hyperglide shifting arrived on mountain bikes around '88-89, so you are still getting a bike that shifts as well as the modern rides. They also were using 135mm hyperglide hubs, so upgrades aren't hard.
    5. Quite often the smaller frames are a better bargain because there is a smaller market (no pun intended) for them. I recently saw a 13.5" Klein on the local Craigslist for a very attractive price.
    Whatever you get, ride it like crazy!

  4. #4
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    My wife is 5' or 5' 1" and she's having trouble with her Trek FX series hybrid. It may be that she doesn't ride enough but she frequently complains of numb hands. Her stem is as high as it will go and I'm thinking about installing some pull-back handlebars to see if that will help.

  5. #5
    Bridge Burner RollCNY's Avatar
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    OP~ does bike you linked have a front Derailleur, or is it just a single front ring? If it is, depending on the gearing, that might get really annoying.

    I don't know who does a hybrid with 650c or 26" wheels, sorry, but it sounds like good advice from others. At 6'3", I have whole other issues.

    Corwin~ try Ergon grips for your wife. I have heard they have issues with some FX bars because of the non-standard handlebar diameter, but they have solved hand numbness for everyone I know.

  6. #6
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    My wife is 5'1" (but with longish arms) and she actually found that the XS in the Giant Roam 1W was too small for her and she went with the S instead. Our daughter who is 4'11" found the XS was a better fit for her. She ended up with a Specialized Ariel in XS (13.5"). This could work for you and is worth a look since your LBS carries Specialized. I will tell you that the XS frame is so small that the angle between the down tube and the top tube is so tight that she cannot get a full size water bottle in the holder, we are still looking for a short enough water bottle to fit. The bike is comfortable for her to ride though. If you are not looking for a suspension on the hybrid, the Specialized Vita may be worth a look.
    -Dave

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    2012 Giant Roam 1W (wife's)
    2012 Specialized Ariel (daughter's)

  7. #7
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    The Jamis Coda femme model comes in your size. Check it out, first!

    Try it! I think you'll like it!

    - Slim
    Last edited by SlimRider; 10-14-11 at 06:22 AM.

  8. #8
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    A-codasportf_rd.jpg

    This is the Jamis Coda femme model





    The Durango femme model also comes in the size 12"...

    AA-11_dragonpro.jpg I once saw a girl riding this bike...It's sexy!

    This is the Jamis Durango Sport femme model - Just add slick tires before the deal is closed!

    - Slim

    PS.

    Thinner and slicker, means faster!
    Last edited by SlimRider; 10-14-11 at 07:27 AM.

  9. #9
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jyyanks View Post
    I did a search of the forums and found plenty of suggestions for road bikes but I couldn't find anything on hybrids. I am looking to buy a hybrid bike but am having a hard time finding a bike that fits. I'm currently 5'0 tall with a short torso and short legs! I currently have a folder (actually 3 of them) which I love but am now looking for a hybrid (don't know if I'll ever be ready for a road bike).

    My LBS carries Trek, Specialized, Biachi and Raleigh and I would like to buy from them since I am trying to form a relationship with them. However, there are 2 other bike shops in the area that carry other brands. One shop has a Serrotta certified fitter and they carry Felt (they have a road bike in my size), Surly, Parlee and Kona. The other shop carries Jamis which I have heard a lot of great things about, but I'm not sure if Jamis makes bikes for smaller framed women.

    I'm looking to spend up to $750 though I am in no rush to buy. I can even wait until the winter/spring when prices may go down. I am a recreational rider and like to ride on paved trails. I am not looking for speed necessarily, but I am looking for something versatile that can climb up hills fairly easily. I have 2 questions:

    1) Can you suggest some good hybrid bikes that can accommodate my petite frame?
    2) Can you give me your opinion on the bike below? It's at my local shop, has a 13" frame and is below my price range - I may just check it out if it is a good buy but I know nothing about components so I am not sure.
    http://dannyscycles.com/product/08ga...ronus-2451.htm

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    My wife, JoLynn is also 5 foot tall, with a 26 in. inseam, we are waiting to pick up her, 2011 KHS Vitamin B hybrid/fitness bike, it comes in a 13 inch frame size which should just fit her. The "ladies" version is 16.5 inch semi-mixte style but that worked out too large for her so we've gone with the 13 inch mens frame. She uses a 37cm or 14.5 inch set up on the back seat of our Trek T-900 Tandem but the top tube drops very low on the frame in the "storker" area.




    Last edited by bjjoondo; 10-14-11 at 07:55 AM.
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    2011 Jamis Allegro 1

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=bjjoondo;13363653]My wife, JoLynn is also 5 foot tall, with a 26 in. inseam, we are waiting to pick up her, 2011 KHS Vitamin B hybrid/fitness bike, it comes in a 13 inch frame size which should just fit her. The "ladies" version is 16.5 inch semi-mixte style but that worked out too large for her so we've gone with the 13 inch mens frame. She uses a 37cm or 14.5 inch set up on the back seat of our Trek T-900 Tandem but the top tube drops very low on the frame in the "storker" area.



    +1 ^^^^This one looks good too! ^^^^

    - Slim

  11. #11
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=SlimRider;13363771]
    Quote Originally Posted by bjjoondo View Post
    My wife, JoLynn is also 5 foot tall, with a 26 in. inseam, we are waiting to pick up her, 2011 KHS Vitamin B hybrid/fitness bike, it comes in a 13 inch frame size which should just fit her. The "ladies" version is 16.5 inch semi-mixte style but that worked out too large for her so we've gone with the 13 inch mens frame. She uses a 37cm or 14.5 inch set up on the back seat of our Trek T-900 Tandem but the top tube drops very low on the frame in the "storker" area.



    +1 ^^^^This one looks good too! ^^^^

    - Slim
    Slim, wanted to get her into a Feme Coda Sport but the smallest the frame size is 14 inch, with a 28 inch standover height, too tall for my "26 inch inseamed wife", RATS! Found the 13 inch KHS Vitamin B, with carbon fork/Alum steerer less than $100 more than the Trek 7.2 FX WSD in a 13 inch frame. It will be her commuter/recreational (single) bike. Since she's 100 lbs lighter than myself, I figure the carbon fork would work for her, as a Clydesdale rider, (230lbs.), I'm more comfortable with the Cro-Mo fork of the Coda Sport
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    2011 Jamis Allegro 1

  12. #12
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    If you have a comfortable riding position on your folder, measure up the points of contact (pedals, saddle, bars) in [x,y] dimensions using the bottom bracket as [0,0]. You may find it useful to mark the x=0 point on your main tube. Use a plumb line for accuracy.
    Once you have the positions, mark them out on graph paper. You can then figure out a suitable effective top tube length. For a small rider, I would consider a stem length of 6-8cm.
    The TT length is critical. Small riders often use bikes with a very compact style frame; this gives the standover clearance but is often too long.
    As noted, 700c wheels are too big to fit into an XS frame. 650c are for road racing and only come in narrow tyre sizes. MTB26" is a standard size, available from 1" upwards.
    In addition to correct frame size, you may want to consider WSD type features: short cranks (160-165mm), narrow bars.
    Most small bikes are made of the same tubes as big bikes, but cut shorter. This makes XS frame structurally much stronger and stiffer than the XXL size, the opposite of the requirements. Look for a bike with narrow diameter frame tubes for lightness in a small frame.

    Terry Susan B is probably your best bet, the current model has an Alu frame with cromoly fork, a combination which works well and is hard to find elsewhere. They may be a bit overpriced for the component mix but hold their value very well. They also seem to sell out so your forward planning may enable you to snap one up.

  13. #13
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    Thank you for all your helpful responses!

    Violet - I haven't gone for the professional fitting yet because I'm trying to determine which LBS to go to since they all carry different brands. I'm looking for a hybrid because there are some dirt trails in my area and I would like the flexibility to ride on thos with the new bike. Of course, I can always use my fokding bike on the trails but I like the versatility of the hybrids

    mobilemail - I have been looking on craiglist but I don't see any small or xs bikes but will keep looking. I didn't consider a mountain - assuming a mountain will perform decently on the road?

    Rollc - no idea about the front derailler - I'll have to ask the LBS. I may not go with the bike I linked to since feedback has been scarce

    Corwin - Treks do seem to run larger. Sorry that your wife is having issues, perhaps she needs to get adjusted?

    Naehring - I was considering a specialized but good to know that it fits your daughter. They are definitely on the top of my list which now also includes some of the other suggestions from this thread

  14. #14
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    My responses to your very helpful posts Continued



    Slim - knew you would come in with a Jamis! All your posts have put it on my list. I was concerned that it would be too big. Will see if the 14" fits.



    bjjoondo - ooo love that bike. Never heard of the brand but found another LBS in the area that carries it (I have a lot of bike shops by me). I am about 100 pounds - so a carbon fork should work for me as well!



    Michael - my folder may actually be a bit too big. My arms stretch out a bit too far which makes my palms hurt. It's great for short quick rides but I do not think it will work for longer rides. I don't have a Terry retailer by me but its worth the ride if I can find one that fits.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jyyanks View Post
    Violet - I haven't gone for the professional fitting yet because I'm trying to determine which LBS to go to since they all carry different brands. I'm looking for a hybrid because there are some dirt trails in my area and I would like the flexibility to ride on thos with the new bike. Of course, I can always use my fokding bike on the trails but I like the versatility of the hybrids
    The bike you linked to looks just about perfect then - pretty much a rigid mtb with slicks. By the looks of it you could stick knobbies on it and hit the single track.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Violet View Post
    The bike you linked to looks just about perfect then - pretty much a rigid mtb with slicks. By the looks of it you could stick knobbies on it and hit the single track.
    Thanks Violet!

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