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building a female bike

Old 03-12-06, 04:28 PM
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tansc
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building a female bike

Hiya

A bunch of my friends are thinking of fixing up a cheap, low cost 2nd hand (think <$100 - we're putting stuff together from all the parts we have/can find) ladies bike for a girl's birthday.

She's hasn't cycled for years, and is likely to only do recreational cycling (probably a 30 min to 1 hr ride every week?). She's average height (~1.7m tall).

I'm reading around and there seems to be a LOT to consider for a female bike. Is all this all seriously important for a first/casual bike, or is it only for the pro riders? Can't I just use a smaller frame raise the seats/handlebars a little?

Is it good to get someone a bike as a surprise bday gift? There seems to be a lot on "DON"T BUY UNLESS YOU TRY"...

Cheers
Sing

(i posted this in general forum, but there isn't much feedback)
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Old 03-12-06, 05:36 PM
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First, your friend is a bit taller than average (1.7M = 5'7" ).

Yes, there is a lot of overkill if you just want a casual ride for her. I'd make the bars fairly close to seat height and the reach to the bars modest. There are several adjustable stems that will let you change the bar position after installation.

What type of bike are you assembling? A drop bar road bike? A hybrid? How complex will the drivetrain be? The answers to those questions will have a big effect on the components you choose.
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Old 03-12-06, 09:02 PM
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Grand Bois
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My wife loves the bike I built for her:

http://community.webshots.com/photo/...68014369QQAdCs
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Old 03-12-06, 11:36 PM
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cascade168
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Originally Posted by Dirtdrop
My wife loves the bike I built for her:

http://community.webshots.com/photo/...68014369QQAdCs
That's a great bike. You'd see many like that in Holland, but in the US people laugh. More bikes should be like that. Nice job ;-)
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Old 03-12-06, 11:59 PM
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tansc
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Originally Posted by HillRider
First, your friend is a bit taller than average (1.7M = 5'7" ).

Yes, there is a lot of overkill if you just want a casual ride for her. I'd make the bars fairly close to seat height and the reach to the bars modest. There are several adjustable stems that will let you change the bar position after installation.
Hmm..yea I read about how female arms are shorter? How do I take this into account when assembling the bike?

What type of bike are you assembling? A drop bar road bike? A hybrid? How complex will the drivetrain be? The answers to those questions will have a big effect on the components you choose.
Aaahhh...questionsquestionsquestions....I have no idea. What do you recommend for a fairly young female getting her first bike as a gift?

Since we're assembling something from 2nd hand parts and pieces we can find, so I think it may be easier to put together something more common - either MTB or roadbike. In terms of the comfort question - would a MTB be better?
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Old 03-13-06, 08:18 PM
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ridesoldtrek
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Originally Posted by cascade168
That's a great bike. You'd see many like that in Holland, but in the US people laugh. More bikes should be like that. Nice job ;-)
Well, let them laugh, I say. Really, that bike is not so far out, and looks like a fantastic bike for what you want it for. Absolutely - more bikes should be like that.
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Old 03-14-06, 11:27 AM
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Shrink it and pink it. Seriously, though, if you're doing this project on the cheap think about getting a short (9cm) adjustable-angle stem so that you have a fair shot at getting the reach in the right neighborhood. Assuming the frame size is in the ballpark, you can adjust the saddle height and the reach to dial it in. I also think that a hybrid (road frame/flat bar/700c wheels) is a great first ride. Use wide tires (32's?) and canti brakes and basic shifter/brake pods. Good luck!
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