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  1. #1
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    What frame size should we get? We are really short... :)

    I am thinking of getting a mountain bike, or perhaps a hybrid. They will only be used either on paved roads or dirt roads on bike paths in large parks. We are casual riders, expected to ride with our teen-aged girls.

    Although my height is 5'5", my inseam is only 24 inches. My wife's inseam is about the same but her height barely reaches 5'2".

    So what sized frames should we get? I've been looking at the charts on different sites but I get conflicting info - anywhere from under 13-inch up to 16-inch.

    Please advise...

  2. #2
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Is that your pant size inseam or actual cycling inseam? If that's your cycling inseam you should stick to 13" frames I think. If it's pants inseam some 14 and 15" might work for you but your wife should probably stick with 13"

    You will probably want a longer than stock stem, while your ol' lady should be fine with a standard length.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    Is that your pant size inseam or actual cycling inseam? If that's your cycling inseam you should stick to 13" frames I think. If it's pants inseam some 14 and 15" might work for you but your wife should probably stick with 13"

    You will probably want a longer than stock stem, while your ol' lady should be fine with a standard length.
    We followed the instruction on the other web site - standing up indoor without shoes then measured it from the floor. So would this be considered "cycling inseam"?

  4. #4
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Best way is to jam a book up in there, level book by lining it up with the wall, then measure to top of book, then you'd have your cycling inseam.

    A fairly thick hardcover book does a good job of imitating a bike saddle so you get a good accurate measurement.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  5. #5
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    FWIW I'm a 5' 3" guy with longish legs for my height (what there is of it) and my average MTB frame size has run around 15". In some brands there's only the choice of "small", among small, medium, and large.

  6. #6
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    I just tried that technique, and now I am getting 26"....! That means both myself, my wife and my elder daughter have 26" cycling inseams.

    Given this, what would be the best frame size then?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnorris View Post
    FWIW I'm a 5' 3" guy with longish legs for my height (what there is of it) and my average MTB frame size has run around 15". In some brands there's only the choice of "small", among small, medium, and large.
    This probably means 15" might be too big for me. Although I am 5'5", my sitting height is almost as tall as most people at 6'.

    What is the best way to determine the size when you are with the bike? When I sit on the saddle, should I be able to touch the ground on both feet? On toes?

  8. #8
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    If you want an XC bike and value efficient pedaling you should be barely able to toe the ground while seated. BB heights and shoe sizes vary so a better way to set saddle height is to put your heel on a pedal and align that crank with the downtube - your leg should be pretty much straightened out in that position.

    With your long torso I wouldn't rule out all 15" bikes. Many may be to tall for you, but I think a lot of them will have the right reach for you. Keep in mind if some 13-14s feel cramped you can always put a longer stem on. Try a LOT of bikes out 'til you find the one you like.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    If you want an XC bike and value efficient pedaling you should be barely able to toe the ground while seated. BB heights and shoe sizes vary so a better way to set saddle height is to put your heel on a pedal and align that crank with the downtube - your leg should be pretty much straightened out in that position.

    With your long torso I wouldn't rule out all 15" bikes. Many may be to tall for you, but I think a lot of them will have the right reach for you. Keep in mind if some 13-14s feel cramped you can always put a longer stem on. Try a LOT of bikes out 'til you find the one you like.
    Very helpful, thanks.

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