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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 06-02-11, 11:09 PM   #1
crispyblunts
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where can I find small frames?

hey guys, I'm trying to build a fixed gear for my girlfriend. Unfortunately shes 4'11'' and I'm having a tough time trying to find a frame without it being a slanted top tube type bike. I figured if I can find a 49cm frame I can put it on 650 wheels and it should fit her fine, but I cant seem to find much on ebay and cl without paying a lot.

Ideally I'm looking for a website that sells old bikes so that I can just convert it to save money. I'm really not looking to spend much more than $200. I did check out bd's windsor hour (which is the bike I have), but that's a last resort because it's a little out of budget.

Separate question on the windsor though... At what size do they switch to 650 wheels? I saw that they sell as low as 43cm, but I didn't see any info on its' wheel size.

Any help is good help. And if you think this <$250 bike is not possible lemme know. Thanks in advance guys.
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Old 06-03-11, 12:14 AM   #2
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...eBay or CL?
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Old 06-03-11, 02:43 AM   #3
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i know this is out of your budget but its been on cl for a minute.. could probably talk down to $300..

50cm njs kiyo
http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/2410229210.html
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Old 06-03-11, 06:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by crispyblunts View Post
Separate question on the windsor though... At what size do they switch to 650 wheels? I saw that they sell as low as 43cm, but I didn't see any info on its' wheel size.
They use 700c on all sizes of the Windsor Hour, even the 43cm. However, Fuji makes the same bike with 650c wheels in the 43cm size.
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Old 06-03-11, 06:40 AM   #5
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Using 650c wheels on a bike meant for 700c is a bad idea because it will put the bottom bracket too close to the ground and result in unavoidable pedal strike. The 43cm Fuji Classic Track 650 is a good idea but it's well above your $200 budget.

http://www.cyclechoice.com/store/pro...e-Bike-Yellow/

Why is a slightly slanted top tube such a bad thing?
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Old 06-03-11, 06:47 AM   #6
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Consider a MTB- plenty of them with 13" frames 26" standovers-and low prices.
A bike is a bike.
Granted rigid framed bikes aren't exactly MTBs - but they were sold as MTBs, so that is how folks usually advertise them.
Just put on slicks-call it a day.There is far better tire selection with 26" vs 650.
Or You can also get a hardtail(suspension fork) put a rigid fork on if you want..
The stuff about "you need a corrected fork" is BS.
Granted you will have a bit more weight on the front end with a slightly shorter fork- but so what??
Try a MTB.
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Old 06-03-11, 08:32 AM   #7
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You might be able to find an old juvenile bike with 24" wheels: They're rare, but they normally sell for next to nothing. The frame will be about the right size for your girlfriend. Keep in mind that IGH 3-speeds are common in this size, which means you will need to replace the wheel or hub.
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Old 06-03-11, 08:38 AM   #8
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I'm 5'1" and ride the Fuji Classic Track in 43cm/650c wheels that TT and Scrod mentioned. Yeah it's above your budget but I love this bike.

As you can see the top tube is only very slightly slanted.

new handlebars by kazbo, on Flickr

There's also a Surly Cross Check that comes in a 42cm, but it's got 700c wheels.

The nice thing about a small bike w/ 650c is toe overlap is greatly reduced. My commuter is a Bianchi Volpe 46cm with 700c, and I'm used to it now but toe overlap is a slight issue at slow speeds.

I'm 2 inches taller than your girlfriend and have a long torso/arms and could not imagine riding a 49cm bike. Seriously. You may need to reconsider your budget -- as much as it sucks, the fact is there are very few tiny frames out there and finding them used is even harder.
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Old 06-03-11, 12:41 PM   #9
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Swobo Sanchez XS works pretty well (700c). It is tough to find these smaller frames on short notice, but if you troll CL for a week or two you should see some stuff pop up.
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Old 06-03-11, 12:48 PM   #10
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I think you will have a tough time finding a bike that small for under 250. The fuji looks like a pretty good option.
Smaller frames don't come up too often and when they do they aren't super cheap because they have been built up with pretty good gear, and go quickly.

I would definitely recommend 650c vs 700c wheels if you have a choice.
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Old 06-03-11, 12:52 PM   #11
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easy solution.
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Old 06-04-11, 10:10 AM   #12
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lots of good advice here, thanks guys.

I think my best option will probably be going with a mtb frame. The slanted top tube thing is simply a matter of looks. I'm just shooting for what she see's as the ideal bike, but sacrifices must be made in order to stay within budget. If she doesn't go for the mtb then I'll just try to convince her to shell out a little more and just buy a complete bike.

What you guys think of SE drafts? They're slightly cheaper than the windsor, but it's made of hi-ten. Is that going to be significantly crappier than cro-mo?
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Old 06-04-11, 11:03 AM   #13
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Honestly, your best bet is going with the 650c Fuji Track. Finding a MTB frame and building it up piece by piece is most likely going to cost more.
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Old 06-04-11, 11:09 AM   #14
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Please dont buy your girl a Draft.. Find a deal on a Lager at least. I'm 5'1" with somewhat short legs and the 47cm fits me well, even with a top tube protector. Not sure exactly what my inseam is, though. I'll go measure myself and my standover if it will help
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Old 06-04-11, 01:40 PM   #15
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I am 1.67m tall and I ride a 59 frame with 52x19t fixed with brakes....F*U Yeah!
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Old 06-04-11, 03:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyblunts View Post
They're slightly cheaper than the windsor, but it's made of hi-ten. Is that going to be significantly crappier than cro-mo?
Yes.

Cro-mo is a lot stiffer than hi-ten, which will keep the bike from feeling too noodly. On the other hand, hi-ten is popular for forks because this softness means better bump absorption.
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Old 06-04-11, 04:00 PM   #17
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Cro-mo is a lot stiffer than hi-ten
Nonsense.
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Old 06-04-11, 05:33 PM   #18
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You want a very small bike with a level top tube on a small budget. I don't think you can have your cake and eat it too. I'd say look for a 650 wheeled bike. Building up an old MTB the way you want may end up costing just as much as a complete bike and leave you with a bunch of compromises.

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Cro-mo is a lot stiffer than hi-ten, which will keep the bike from feeling too noodly. On the other hand, hi-ten is popular for forks because this softness means better bump absorption.
Uhh what? Take a materials class...
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