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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 06-03-10, 11:23 AM   #1
kpritcha
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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
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Old 06-03-10, 11:43 AM   #2
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Thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, CL....
If you know what size you need.

Enjoy
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Old 06-03-10, 01:00 PM   #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.
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Old 06-04-10, 10:27 AM   #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?
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Old 06-04-10, 12:15 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 06-04-10, 12:26 PM   #6
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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).
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Old 06-04-10, 12:29 PM   #7
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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
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Old 06-04-10, 12:33 PM   #8
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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
Is this Terry frame worth the price and able to be converted? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT
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Old 06-04-10, 12:58 PM   #9
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that's an awesome candidate.
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Old 06-04-10, 01:13 PM   #10
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I agree, that looks excellent, much better than the first link imo.
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Old 06-04-10, 03:23 PM   #11
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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).
+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.
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Old 06-04-10, 03:40 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 06-04-10, 03:49 PM   #13
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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.
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+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.
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Old 06-04-10, 04:05 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 06-04-10, 04:22 PM   #15
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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.
don't worry, a lot of big makers haven't the slightest clue as to how to design proper frames for smaller riders either
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Old 06-04-10, 05:32 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 06-04-10, 05:51 PM   #17
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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?
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.
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Old 06-04-10, 05:54 PM   #18
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??

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
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Old 06-04-10, 06:10 PM   #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.
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Old 06-04-10, 07:09 PM   #20
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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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