I want to get my wife a new bike for her birthday. Our kids are of a bike riding age now so I want us to be able to cruise around the neighborhood, and I also want her to be able to go riding w/ me (once I get my 1st new bike in over a decade...due soon).
She's 5' tall, and I want this to be a surprise...I'm thinking a 13" frame, but am hoping that there are others out there who can give me a "ballpark" guesstimate if they know or know someone around that size.
I realize that I should have her ride them, but I'm really just looking in the $200-300 for this one, and figure she'll be happy w/ just getting a new bike so we can all go out.
My friend's wife is just under 5' and she got an XS (14") Devinci Phantom. It fits her well...and they lightened it up by swapping the stock fork for a Rockshox SID. But that bike is a little bit out of the price range you indicated.
Gary Fisher Tassajara mountain bike and an Iron Horse Triumph road bike
My wife is just 5' and has a 13" Iron Horse mtn bike. She MAYBE could've gotten away with a 15" but when she tried one out, she had to stretch just a tad to reach the ground while straddling the top tube.
However, I'd do as Ranger suggests and take her to get a good fit. Bike frame geometry varies a little from manufacturer to manufacturer. A 13" Trek may feel more or less comfortable than a 13" Giant ETC. Also, bar width, saddle size and crankarm length should be considered.
Didn't mean to confuse you, but even if you're only spending 2-$300, you should make the most informed decision that you can. Ask anyone who's stuck spending hours on the saddle of an uncomfortable bike.