Touring bike for 5'5" with short (28") inseam?
I'm planning a tour this summer with my girlfriend. She's a normal height but has a long-in-the-torso look to her. When we broke out the tape measure for the bike hunt we found:
Height: 5' 5" (165cm)
Inseam: 28" (71cm)
Two questions I guess:
1- If we find a bike with a horizontal top tube she can actually clear, will that fit?
Seems like she wants a 5'7" person's top tube with a 4'11" person's seat tube. The smallest 17"(43cm) Trek 520 gives her .5" of clearance but has a 21.3"(54cm) top tube. Is that cool? Should we be looking for a 19-20"(48-51cm) mixte?
2- Can anyone suggest models to keep an eye out for, even if they seem non-traditional?
We're college students and don't have $1000+ to drop on a new bike. I know the names of touring bikes from the 70s through now, but never seem to find any on Ebay/Craigslist with sufficient standover. Any mixte touring models out there? Should we give up on road bikes and go for a mtb or hybrid?
Thanks a ton everyone!