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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-08-10, 05:43 PM   #1
alyson.noele
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Question for short riders (5'0 and below)

How many of you ride 49 cm frames? I know it's recommended that I should stick to 43-46cm, but with my budget right now, I have access to a 49cm Motobecane that I really like. I've been riding a 49cm which isn't so bad, but I've never had the chance to ride anything smaller so I don't have anything to compare to comfort wise.

Comments/suggestions?
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Old 04-08-10, 05:49 PM   #2
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If it feels right for you and you've been riding 49 for a while, I'd say stick with it... On the other hand, there's no harm in going to a LBS and asking to test ride a 47 or whatever. My buddy swore that he was a 50 till he rode a 47...
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Old 04-08-10, 05:52 PM   #3
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You are the same height as my gf, who has a 27" inseam. The problem for her is that, like many women, she has relatively long legs but short torso and arms. So seat height is not a problem, but top tube length is and she needs a very short stem. I'm 5'-3" with a 28" inseam, and ride a 49 cm frame which is just about right for me. So you can make do with a 49cm if you use a super short stem, but would probably be better off if you could get the smaller frame, which will have a shorter top tube.
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Old 04-09-10, 07:16 AM   #4
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Do you plan on riding with drops, or something like a flat bar/bullhorns?
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Old 04-09-10, 07:24 AM   #5
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you won't really know if the 49cm motobocane is right for you unless you ride it.

a bike with 26", 650c or 20" wheels are more likely to fit smaller riders better.
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Old 04-09-10, 11:25 AM   #6
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Do you plan on riding with drops, or something like a flat bar/bullhorns?
Probably flat bar because my arms aren't super long.

If I could have my way I'd get the IRO Mark V HD, but alas I'm not made of money and need a bike to get by.
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Old 04-09-10, 11:39 AM   #7
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A 49? I'm 5'9 and ride a 50cm.

Granted, it's slightly small, I still feel comfortable on it. Fitment calculators peg me for a 49cm; I always thought that sounded ridiculous, but after logging hundreds of miles on a 52 and a 54, I had an epiphany that the 50 suited me best.
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Old 04-09-10, 12:11 PM   #8
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49~53cm with 700c wheels (they're all the same size, don't let the number fool you) is suitable for someone around 5'6~5'8.
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Old 04-09-10, 01:07 PM   #9
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Probably flat bar because my arms aren't super long.

If I could have my way I'd get the IRO Mark V HD, but alas I'm not made of money and need a bike to get by.
My guess is that if standover is acceptable, you may be ok with a short stem and flat bar. Chances are you'll be in a slightly stretched out aero position if your arms are really short.
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Old 04-09-10, 01:19 PM   #10
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Probably flat bar because my arms aren't super long.

If I could have my way I'd get the IRO Mark V HD, but alas I'm not made of money and need a bike to get by.
Doesn't anyone know where I can find a track/singlespeed/coaster brake wheelset for this frame!?
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Old 04-09-10, 01:31 PM   #11
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A 49? I'm 5'9 and ride a 50cm.

Granted, it's slightly small, I still feel comfortable on it. Fitment calculators peg me for a 49cm; I always thought that sounded ridiculous, but after logging hundreds of miles on a 52 and a 54, I had an epiphany that the 50 suited me best.
Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it. I'm thinking I'm just going to stick to a 43cm frame. The Windsor has a 28cm standover height, which should work out perfectly for me. From what I've been told at my LBS, the smaller the better.
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Old 04-09-10, 03:11 PM   #12
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Well, I think the optimal frame size depends a lot on the geometry of the given frame. I am 5'8"ish, and I felt great with frame sizes of 49, 50 and 52 cm - because they had/have different geometries. But if you're 5' or shorter, I think a 49 cm frame is probably not the optimal size for you. But, you should really try it, to be sure.
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