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Vintage Frames for the Petite Rider

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Vintage Frames for the Petite Rider

Old 04-11-20, 10:38 AM
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Nice looking bike, enjoy.
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Old 04-11-20, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. 66 View Post
This was an option someone is selling in Seattle.

Checked the link out -that's quite a gem! All it needs is a jazzy rear rack and panniers.
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Old 04-11-20, 08:14 PM
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I know this thread might as well close as OP got her bike.

But if anyone is still hungry and wants a smaller ride we've seen some nice choices. And, for someone looking to try building from scratch and wanting a cheap, smaller frame surely there is a member in Indianapolis who can facilitate. Bike flights/Ship bike for a 48cm frame must be really really cheap for shipping anywhere in lower 48.


Raleigh 460 Technium. I believe 460's were better quality (brazen on shifter bosses) than the 440s
$15 on FB
F&F, headset, water bottle cage bolts and seat post bolt included. Nice condition too.

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Old 04-12-20, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jcswanson View Post
I'm quarantining with my dad and without my bike, and I've been missing riding. As I was poking around craigslist for a beater, I had the idea to use my time (and ease my boredom) with a restoration or rebuild project. So far I've been looking at vintage touring bikes, and while there's a lot of information online, I'm having trouble finding resources and advice for a rider of my stature. I'm hoping the bike forum community can help.
Haven't finished reading the thread, but I found this on CL. Your size, good price, appears to be in good condition. I'd grab it with both hands. Just be prepared to change the cockpit.

EDIT: Finished the thread, so never mind about the very nice Singletrack. May I suggest you save your pennies and buy a very nice road crankset with short arms! Like 152mm!! Not cheap, but then they're not cheap. You'll get more power out of your pedaling, and your hips, knees, and ankles will thank you.

Last edited by Korina; 04-12-20 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 04-12-20, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Having fought many battles in the Small Frame Wars, I have to say that you (probably) shouldn’t be riding a 49cm frame. You are likely riding a frame that is about 6cm or about 2 sizes too tall. My wife is 5’ tall with similar inseam and she rides a 43cm frame with 650C (571mm ERTRO) rims. That’s about 50mm smaller than a 700C rim. She started about 40 years ago on a 10 speed Big Box store bike that was my size (58cm) and I have been weaning her down to her proper size over time. It took a long time to convince her that the bikes she had been riding were too tall. It wasn’t until we found a Terry Symmetry that she actually began to realized how much too big her bikes had been.

The biggest problem is that the “vintage” bikes that she was forced to ride...they weren’t vintage then...were never built small enough for her. It’s still an issue because people aren’t making that many small bikes. “Small” is often considered to be in that 49cm range that you are currently riding. It’s simply not small enough. About the only vintage bike worth considering for your purposes would be a Terry Symmetry in a 43cm with the small wheel in front. If you could find a 650C road bike in a 43cm frame, that would work too.

Don’t go down the road of thinking that a 15” mountain bike would work either. That’s a bike for someone 3” to 4” taller than you are. Mountain bike frames are built to be 2” to 3” shorter for clearance and have proportionately longer top tubes for the frame size. You’d need a 13” mountain bike for the right proportions. There are some out there but they aren’t necessarily “vintage”. They’d be about 20 years old. Trek (and others) were making WSD (Women Specific Designs) back in the 2000s which are pretty good bikes but get the proper size.
-1 on the mountain bike. My heart bike is an 18" '92 RockHopper. A shorter stem and V-O Porteur bars negated the long top tube and made it super comfortable. The best part are the 26" wheels; I finally don't feel like a chihuahua on stilts and I'm 5'4".
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Old 04-13-20, 02:00 PM
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Are you able to find an old Terrry bike? My inseam is only a half inch longer than yours, but a large 700 front wheel causes significant toe overlap, making sharp cornering hazardous. The smaller Terry's have a 24" wheel, so no cornering issue. I found a Terry Solstice for $40 which is very beat up, but frame is still intact. Making it rideable will be pretty expensive, but worth it to me. If you try for a bike with both wheels 24", that will be a lot cheaper, but don't expect to ride it further than 30-40 miles at a time. I know because I tried riding my grandson's 24" Redline on a gravel grinder.
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Old 04-13-20, 07:24 PM
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Congrats on the new bike! As a shorter rider myself (5'1" male), I've also struggled with finding a bike that fit me and actually handled well. I finally ended up with a few bikes with 650c wheels (one is a "woman's" bike and the other is a youth/junior bike). They handle and ride so much better than my previous 700c bikes and it's a shame all the big manufacturers have basically phased this wheel size out except for on a few remaining kids bikes.

The other thing I would like to add is that with your short inseam, short cranks will definitely help in the long run. You can get Origin8 branded short crank arms for around $50 to see if you'd like them. I have 145mm and 152mm and they let me spin much easier and faster for longer distances. Enjoy your new ride!

And if anyone else sees any good deals on 26" or 650C wheeled bikes, let me know! I might go the custom route to build something similar to the Surly Pack Rat or Velo Orange Campeur.
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