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Solutions for a short rider

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Solutions for a short rider

Old 06-30-10, 08:35 PM
  #1  
RobE30
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Solutions for a short rider

I ride a 56-58 with no problem. My wife however seems to be having a miserable time finding a suitable bike (she's 4 11"-5 0"). I had a 48cm C-dale R-400 that proved to be just a little big even with the seat all the way down. She doesn't feel comfortable on her tip-toes while on the saddle. We have a small Trek MTB for her that she has no issues with but, she wants something to go on road rides w/ me. Her skill level is OK but no great and I think that is why she has some trepidation w/ being on her tip toes. We also tried a newer road bike that was a 46cm (Al frame, carbon fork) but the seat post extension (on the frame) sticks up quite high not letting the seat go down far enough for her. So what do you think would be some decent options? We think that a 44cm might fit well but I think finding one will prove difficult
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Old 06-30-10, 08:44 PM
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The problem with a saddle that low is that her knees will be under much more stress than with a properly set saddle height. Have her practice standing while riding, and starting and stopping while standing on the pedals. Yeah, I know, easier said than done! Maybe take her to an empty, flat parking lot and remove both the saddle and seatpost. Then tell her to ride.
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Old 06-30-10, 08:55 PM
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Here is an alternative:

Get her a slopping TT MTB or hybrid and build it up as a road bike (if you so wish). I think that it might be her only ticket to ride...
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Old 06-30-10, 08:57 PM
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I think she is slightly scared to get hurt on the TT.... I can imagine having her ride the bike w/out a seat or post will likely land me on the living room floor. If we can't find anything else I will push harder. Just this spring she started pedaling while standing (she didn't ride much as a kid, unlike me) so, I really don't want to push too hard
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Old 06-30-10, 08:58 PM
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I recently had the same problem. Got my girlfriend on a road bike for the first time and she kept complaining that the seat was too low because she couldn't put her feet down while on the saddle. I have kept telling her to start and stop while standing on the pedals and had her watch me but she just wasn't feeling it.

She is finally getting it but only after a couple rides and she has more confidence and better balance.


For reference, those little bikes do exist. I just sold this little Raleigh a couple weeks ago. I think it was a 44cm frame.

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Old 06-30-10, 08:59 PM
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KHS makes a mixte that'll work http://www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_xpress_l_10.htm but we are trying to find something else (ie cheaper)
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Old 06-30-10, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RobE30 View Post
We have a small Trek MTB for her that she has no issues with but, she wants something to go on road rides w/ me.
Build some 650b wheels with good rubber. If they clear the frame you've got a speed bike that can take dropbars, long dual pivot road calipers, etc.
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Old 06-30-10, 09:50 PM
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Smaller bikes are at a premium. I had a C-dale 2.8 I believe that had smaller wheels to accommodate smaller riders. Sold that in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-30-10, 10:09 PM
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Would this work?
seems like maybe

http://cgi.ebay.com/BRIDGESTONE-550-...item43a024c3e8
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Old 06-30-10, 10:35 PM
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The Bridgestone would work but, I don't see it going for a decent price. I think it's going to go high....
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Old 06-30-10, 11:50 PM
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I was going to mention a Terry design bicycle as well - I just picked one up three days ago. Unfortunately, they usually go for a ridiculous price due to their very specific market. You can try the Terry bicycle company forums - they have a very limited FS board there.
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Old 07-01-10, 12:23 AM
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fuji makes short people friendly bikes 46cm with 650c wheels

u can always go with an old school MIXTE frame, built up with all new components
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Old 07-01-10, 01:07 AM
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I ran into a similiar situation, my wife is 5-0. She had a 44cm panasonic sport (hi-ten). I gave up on finding a better frame and just improved the parts. Bottom line is that fit far outweighs anything else - especially as a casual ride. You may end up settling on a frame - I've rarely seen 42cm-44cm frames at a reasonable amount - but they are out there (so I've heard). Early on, I was close to getting a 3 reshno - should have pulled the trigger.

What's interesting is that I bought a raleigh marathon (youth version) for my 10 year-old for a litle over $100. It's also a 44 cm frame, but like the above bridgestone, the rear wheel is 27" and the front is 24'. I mention this because the above bridgestone is likely a youth bike.

Good luck with the search. Asking around, like you're doing, is probably the best option. Worst case, check out philly CR for small, lower end frames - build it up and keep your eyes open for a better frame option down the road. I bought the marathon from the guy on CR with tons of beater bikes in his garage (outside Philly/Havertown - this guy http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/1820174670.html ). It's likely he has a 44cm beater. He is a nice guy.

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Old 07-01-10, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for all the input guys. If anyone finds anything, please let me know. Beer as a finders reward?
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Old 07-01-10, 06:53 AM
  #15  
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Look at Dahon Speed TT folding bike or Speed TR. The TT is a 27spd road bike and the TR is a 24 spd touring bike. Both have 20 inch wheels.
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Old 07-01-10, 06:59 AM
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You definitely need wheels smaller than 700c, and cranks shorter than 170 mm.

Big Boss Man posted a bike somewhere... mebbe in the Raleigh Grand Prix thread? Anyhow, it was an old Raleigh made for 24" wheels; but he put 26" (MTB size) wheels on it, and made a pretty good looking road bike out of it. Hi-ten, of course. These juvenile-sized ten speeds aren't that common, but when they appear they aren't terribly expensive. I'd go for a white Peugeot, to match yours.

Alternate idea: Raleigh Twenty! There are a gazillion threads on updating them, mostly in the folders forum.
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Old 07-01-10, 07:01 AM
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i'm not saying this to poke fun, it's a serious question. There are people that can't ride standing on the pedals??? AS a kid I think we barely spent any time on the seat! I don't see what the big deal is about being on tippy toes, how often are you at a complete stand still on the bike? does she ride with cycling shoes? if so, perhaps put some regular pedals on it for a bit til she gets more comfortable?
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Old 07-01-10, 08:46 AM
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Wrong side of the country and pricey

46cm Womens / Petite/ extra smaller / Specific Roadbike [Terry] - $559 (santa clara)
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Old 07-01-10, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by CPFITNESS View Post
i'm not saying this to poke fun, it's a serious question. There are people that can't ride standing on the pedals??? AS a kid I think we barely spent any time on the seat! I don't see what the big deal is about being on tippy toes, how often are you at a complete stand still on the bike? does she ride with cycling shoes? if so, perhaps put some regular pedals on it for a bit til she gets more comfortable?
Yeah, as a kid I rode that way too. But as my cycling style has matured, I've given that up. Now I stand on the pedals only when coasting over rough patches on the road. I don't even stand to mash up hills anymore; now I downshift.

I suspect the fundamental assumption, in a thread like this, goes "If I could find my partner a bike that fits him/her the way mine fits me, then we could ride together." Of course that's not the complete story, but it seems the biggest obstacle at the outset. My wife solved the problem by getting a 650c wheeled Bianchi Eros, which she loves... but still doesn't ride very much. I solved the problem by getting tandem, which is more work for me, but we stay together this way, and I don't have to wait around at the top of every hill.
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Old 07-01-10, 09:38 AM
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How about a mixte? or a traditional ladies frame?
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Old 07-01-10, 10:04 AM
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My wife is relatively tall, but prefers to be able to keep her feet flat on the ground at a stop, and she never comes off the saddle. As a result, she rides a small frame with the saddle all the way down, and I have to ride in first gear so I don't leave her in the dust. My solution was the same as rhm's, we got a tandem. I think the folding/small wheel bike suggestions are also excellent ideas, or maybe you could chop down a mixte a la Vanilla Bicycles.
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Old 07-01-10, 10:13 AM
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I guess perspective on standing on pedals is - I ride a 58cm. What's the big deal in riding a 44cm instead of a 48cm? It's equivalent to me riding a 62 cm instead of 58 cm - most wouldn't do it.

I would say size is the #1 priority. I would take a 58 cm boat anchor over a 62 cm 531 tube any day. Quality of the frame doesn't matter if the bike doesn't fit. Small hybrid may be easy to find cheaply and swap tires to smallest possible. I did this for a while on a commuter - but ended up pinching flats all the time. I never got the tire size formula down...

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Old 07-01-10, 10:42 AM
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+1 on a mixte. There are some nice ones out there and this would fix the TT anxiety. Chicago CL has what appears to be a Miyata 210 mixte, post 1984 so canti brakes, DT shifters, asking $175. I am tempted to try and snag it to replace one of the mixtes in our family fleet.
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Old 07-01-10, 11:06 AM
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I just met a guy with some NOS Schwinn Super Sport frame sets and from the color of them they seem to be from the mid 80's or early 90's and I will check and see what sizes he has for you if you would like.
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Old 07-01-10, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Glennfordx4 View Post
I just met a guy with some NOS Schwinn Super Sport frame sets and from the color of them they seem to be from the mid 80's or early 90's and I will check and see what sizes he has for you if you would like.
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The smallest Schwinn frame size for the 80s super sport (88 was their last year IIRC) was 19", which is about 48.5 C-T. Standover height on my son's '89 Traveler is exactly 29 inches to clear the TT and a tad more to clear the brake cable... I suspect that the SS has similar dimensions
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