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Old 08-08-08, 06:56 PM   #1
desederada
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Shopping for first "real" bike

Went to the cycle shop today to start shopping for my first real bike. I'm 5'4" in my shoes. I'm looking at the Trek 4300 WSD and the Gary Fisher Marlin GS. The Trek is a 16 and the Gary Fisher a 15.5. Just wondering if those would be the size of bike I would most likely need? I'm going to go back and ride them but I wanted to see what other shorter riders rode. I should add that I'm about a 30 inch inseam.

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Old 08-08-08, 08:39 PM   #2
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That's probably the right size for you to start looking at. But read this, too...

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-sizing.html
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Old 08-09-08, 05:27 AM   #3
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Great article with alot of information to absorb. I compared the geometry of both bikes and found they are quite different.
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Old 08-09-08, 07:24 AM   #4
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Fit fit fit....That is the KEY! Try everything and make sure it fits, each fram eis different. AT any given price point most bikes will be similar regarding components..so it is all about the FIT.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-09-08, 10:57 AM   #5
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Great article with alot of information to absorb. I compared the geometry of both bikes and found they are quite different.
Make sure in fitting that you do not limit yourself to women specific bikes. Yes, there's quite a bit of variation in bike geometry as well as in people geometry. I see you are built similarly to my GF - 5'-4" and a 30" inseam. She rides a couple of 15" Konas. I, on the other hand am 5'-10" with a 30" inseam. I ride 17" and 18" bikes. We can pedal each other's bikes but the cockpit position/comfort is catty-wampus. She's long-legged short-torso, and I'm short-legged long-torso. Interesting, the difference in people's bodies.

Like other poster said, the fit is the most important over whatever the size is given as, it's just a reference point. Try a bunch of bikes and you'll discover the one that's for you.
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Old 08-10-08, 06:14 AM   #6
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I'm the same size you are and I went with a Specialized Myka bike. I rode a Trek and another one (forget the name) and was amazed at the difference in fit. The Specialized was the only one that felt comfortable to me. But a mountain bike does take some getting used to. You sit more leaning forward which felt weird to me at first, but I've gotten used to it and am now having a great time!
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Old 08-10-08, 06:57 AM   #7
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I would have guessed a 16inch bike was too big, but with a 30" inseam, you've got long legs! I'm 5' 9" with a 29.5" inseam, I ride a 17" frame. My 6' son who has 30.5" inseam also rides a 17" frame, so with your long legs, maybe 16" is the right size.
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Old 08-14-08, 11:05 AM   #8
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Well today I tried this one at another shop and really liked it. It's an XS (13") but felt pretty good with what limited riding you can really do in a parking lot. http://sunsetcyclery.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=5729 Being 5'4" with a 30" inseam do you think I would be more comfortable in a bigger bike? Or does this seem about right? I thought the 16" Trek in the WSD seemed a bit long from the seat to the handlebars. Heven't had a chance to ride the Gary Fisher in a 15.5 yet. The Specialized has the disc brakes and is more than 200. more than the other two about 200 more than I was planning on spending. It also seems lighter maybe just my imagination.

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Old 08-14-08, 11:11 AM   #9
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I'm the same size you are and I went with a Specialized Myka bike. I rode a Trek and another one (forget the name) and was amazed at the difference in fit. The Specialized was the only one that felt comfortable to me. But a mountain bike does take some getting used to. You sit more leaning forward which felt weird to me at first, but I've gotten used to it and am now having a great time!
What size are you riding in the Myka?
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Old 08-14-08, 11:18 AM   #10
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Well today I tried this one at another shop and really liked it. It's an XS (13") but felt pretty good with what limited riding you can really do in a parking lot. Being 5'4" with a 30" inseam do you think I would be more comfortable in a bigger bike? Or does this seem about right? I thought the 16" Trek in the WSD seemed a bit long from the seat to the handlebars. Heven't had a chance to ride the Gary Fisher in a 15.5 yet.
The reach distance between seat and bars is also important, and not as easy to adjust as seat height. If you can get the seat high enough with the smaller frame, go with the reach distance that works for you.
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Old 08-14-08, 11:26 AM   #11
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My wife rides the WSD small Epic. She's 5'2" and just couldn't get a good fit in a mens small (15)
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Old 08-14-08, 11:29 AM   #12
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I actually just tried those two same bikes recently. I'm quite a bit taller, and based on my height, the bike shop person thought I'd need a 19.5" in the Trek 4300, and a 19" in the Fisher Marlin. Even though there was only a half inch difference, the Marlin felt much smaller when I leaned forward on the bike. I later compared geometry on both the Trek and Fisher sites. With Fisher's new G2 geometry for '09 bikes, some of the measurements were quite a bit different, particularly in what I noticed about leaning forward on the Marlin. I went back into the bike shop when I had more time to be sized, and tried the 21" Fisher, and it made a world of difference. As said previously, the key is to get properly sized despite what ballpark you might think you'd be in based on height.
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