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  1. #1
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    starter ss/fg for 5'3" female

    Hey guys - I'm trying to find the best starter ss/fg bike for myself (5'3" female inseam about 29"). I live in Southwestern Virginia where there aren't many options on craigslist and none of the local bike shops have single speed or fixed gear bikes. We do have a local co-op which I visited and they said they would help be build a bike if I could find a frame as they didn't have any in my size.

    I'm looking to spend about $300 total and would prefer a used bike/frame that I could then slowly upgrade and learn from the co-op people how to work on it and take care of it. But I also want to ride it ASAP. I've been looking online for a few weeks and need to just go ahead and take the plunge so I can be riding around town.

    Any recommendations?

    Is this bike worth to start with on ebay?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

  2. #2
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, CL....
    If you know what size you need.

    Enjoy
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    You're a dick, if your bike gets stolen I hope that you don't get a thread.

  3. #3
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    The Mercier Kilo TT comes in 44 and 47cm sizes. My wife is only 5' and should require a 45-ish cm frame. It's not a "womans" frame though, but I think the top tube is slanted enough to be comfortable.

  4. #4
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    With the Mercier Kilo TT I'm concerned with toe overlap. Seems the smaller bikes especially with compact geometry have that issue. Looking for a more relaxed geometry maybe the Toto Tomcat on ebay or Motobecane Track or Windsor Hour on BD in 49cm?

  5. #5
    Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz cc700's Avatar
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    even smaller road bikes will have toe overlap unless you go to a smaller wheel.

    IRO heidi is going to be the best bet for avoiding toe overlap.

    my 53cm kilo has toe overlap. it's something you deal with and learn to ride with when you ride a road bike.

  6. #6
    snob rogwilco's Avatar
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    You don't need to look at "women's" frames, that should make finding something easier. Women-specific geometry etc for road bikes is mostly a marketing gag; any men's bike in the right size would work just as well - except if you're wearing a skirt often or so (but then this ebay bike wouldn't be convenient either).

  7. #7
    AEO
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    IMO, better to go for a 26" conversion or find a terry or centurion with 24" front wheel. I'm not even sure 650c would allow a proper fit for your height at 5'3. 700c wheels just aren't made for riders smaller than 5'8.

    This company knows more than anyone else about bikes for smaller riders.
    http://www.terrybicycles.com/cycling_savvy/fit
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    IMO, better to go for a 26" conversion or find a terry or centurion with 24" front wheel. I'm not even sure 650c would allow a proper fit for your height at 5'3. 700c wheels just aren't made for riders smaller than 5'8.

    This company knows more than anyone else about bikes for smaller riders.
    http://www.terrybicycles.com/cycling_savvy/fit
    Is this Terry frame worth the price and able to be converted? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

  9. #9
    AEO
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    that's an awesome candidate.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  10. #10
    snob rogwilco's Avatar
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    I agree, that looks excellent, much better than the first link imo.

  11. #11
    Banana-tastic! JesusBananas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogwilco View Post
    You don't need to look at "women's" frames, that should make finding something easier. Women-specific geometry etc for road bikes is mostly a marketing gag; any men's bike in the right size would work just as well - except if you're wearing a skirt often or so (but then this ebay bike wouldn't be convenient either).
    +1

    If you can do a conversion, that that would be the way to go, I think. Otherwise, any of the other singlespeed Bikes Direct offerings would be better if you wanted a pre-built bike. Windsor, Dawes, and Motobecane all have more relaxed geometry (i.e. less/no toe overlap) and putting a fixed cog on the other side would be super easy.
    Quote Originally Posted by striknein View Post
    The banana has spoken.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    "This rides nearly as nicely as your mom."

  12. #12
    Member moonraker's Avatar
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    I don't know that the Iro HD or the Terry are really necessary. I just built my girlfriend a 44cm(which is like 47 actual) Kilo frameset, she is 5' and has a 27" inseam, while the standover is not quite comfortable for her she deals with it because she loves her bike. All she would need to be comfortable really is an extra half inch to an inch on her inseam. Her bike is also set up with 700c wheels.

    Also, my Kilo is only one size up from hers at 47cm and I am very comfortable with the standover, my inseam is just under 29" as well. I ride clipless on my bike and have no toe overlap, my girlfriend does with the clips on hers but as many have said it is only an issue if you are doing very slow circles/turns and you get used to it quickly.

  13. #13
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonraker View Post
    I don't know that the Iro HD or the Terry are really necessary. I just built my girlfriend a 44cm(which is like 47 actual) Kilo frameset, she is 5' and has a 27" inseam, while the standover is not quite comfortable for her she deals with it because she loves her bike. All she would need to be comfortable really is an extra half inch to an inch on her inseam. Her bike is also set up with 700c wheels.

    Also, my Kilo is only one size up from hers at 47cm and I am very comfortable with the standover, my inseam is just under 29" as well. I ride clipless on my bike and have no toe overlap, my girlfriend does with the clips on hers but as many have said it is only an issue if you are doing very slow circles/turns and you get used to it quickly.
    Quote Originally Posted by JesusBananas View Post
    +1

    If you can do a conversion, that that would be the way to go, I think. Otherwise, any of the other singlespeed Bikes Direct offerings would be better if you wanted a pre-built bike. Windsor, Dawes, and Motobecane all have more relaxed geometry (i.e. less/no toe overlap) and putting a fixed cog on the other side would be super easy.
    trust me, you two have no idea what is necessary for smaller riders.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  14. #14
    Member moonraker's Avatar
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    I trust you, I'm not saying I do. I just saw the thread and asked my girlfriend what she thinks and that was what she told me so I thought I would offer it up. Not trying to step on any toes here, looking at my post I probably would have reworded the first part. Ideally we would have gotten her a smaller bike, but that was the most readily available and she really wanted it.

  15. #15
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonraker View Post
    I trust you, I'm not saying I do. I just saw the thread and asked my girlfriend what she thinks and that was what she told me so I thought I would offer it up. Not trying to step on any toes here, looking at my post I probably would have reworded the first part. Ideally we would have gotten her a smaller bike, but that was the most readily available and she really wanted it.
    don't worry, a lot of big makers haven't the slightest clue as to how to design proper frames for smaller riders either
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  16. #16
    Banana-tastic! JesusBananas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    trust me, you two have no idea what is necessary for smaller riders.
    ??

    The way you quoted that was confusing; I said +1 for rogwilco's post that a women's-specific bike is unnecessary. Are you saying that smaller riders need women-specific bikes (this I disagree with) or that I was wrong in saying that there would be less toe overlap with the singlespeed BD bikes (in which case, yes, I probably don't know what I am talking about)?

    Not picking a fight, just confused.
    Quote Originally Posted by striknein View Post
    The banana has spoken.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    "This rides nearly as nicely as your mom."

  17. #17
    THE STUFFED Leukybear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpritcha View Post
    With the Mercier Kilo TT I'm concerned with toe overlap. Seems the smaller bikes especially with compact geometry have that issue. Looking for a more relaxed geometry maybe the Toto Tomcat on ebay or Motobecane Track or Windsor Hour on BD in 49cm?
    Toe overlap should not be a problem for female anatomy / feet, especially at your height... unless you have longer feet....

    This problem is most common for guys with size 10.5+ feet....

    I have toe overlap on majority of my bikes and I've never had a problem..... although track stands are another story.

  18. #18
    AEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesusBananas View Post
    ??

    The way you quoted that was confusing; I said +1 for rogwilco's post that a women's-specific bike is unnecessary. Are you saying that smaller riders need women-specific bikes (this I disagree with) or that I was wrong in saying that there would be less toe overlap with the singlespeed BD bikes (in which case, yes, I probably don't know what I am talking about)?

    Not picking a fight, just confused.
    it could be that your definition of 'women's specific' and my definition of 'women's specific' are different.
    I just look at it as properly designed frames for smaller riders. It just so happens that Terry is about the only one who does it properly and they cater to women.

    I think your definition is that 'women's specific' from the big manufacturers is actually a joke played on us all and that the frames get shorter in the vertical direction, but they don't get shorter in the horizontal direction. In which case, you're right. 700c wheeled bikes simply don't get 'smaller' than 21"/53cm and all the 'smaller' frames do is address the stand over, which is totally useless when the bars are a mile away.

    The terry is a properly small frame suitable for small riders as the 'reach' to the bars is genuinely shorter and it also doesn't have toe overlap problems.
    I like the explanation here: http://www.terrybicycles.com/cycling_savvy/videos
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  19. #19
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    Just get the IRO! My friend Megan bought a late 80's Fuji with a 27" rear wheel and 24" front wheel for a pretty good deal, but a bike like that only comes around on craigslist once in a while.

  20. #20
    Member moonraker's Avatar
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    Yeah, I see what you mean about proper geo, I was just looking at it from a standover POV. I can see how it would be problematic if my girlfriend's bike were set up with any longer stem and/or something with more reach like road or track drops instead of her short stem and risers.

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