Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fitting Your Bike
Reload this Page >

Starting place for short rider/small bike frame?

Notices
Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

Starting place for short rider/small bike frame?

Old 10-06-19, 05:23 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,173

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
Starting place for short rider/small bike frame?

Hi all,

I am thinking through some bike sizing for a short girl I know. I am hoping there are more options than I think.

For starters, she was going to borrow my mountain bike but it is too big. Its a 26" wheel size with a 48cm seat post (center of bottom bracket to center of seat post clamp). The approximate height of the seat at it's lowest point (above ground, not in relation to the bottom bracket) is 77cm depending on where you measure to (tilt of the seat etc). Since the top tube is so tall for her to start with I'm thinking a frame with a seat post in the 42cm range would be a better starting point. I think the dimensions we have now are actually pretty close if she was riding the bike - the length to the pedals for her isn't far off, but we can't get any further down to get her more comfortable to start with.

The top tube on the bike is 53cm. That seemed like it would work, but I think shortening that up would be even better to get her more upright - maybe down in the mid/upper 40's would be better.

As far as materials go - something inexpensive, so steel is the likely route, but I wouldn't rule out aluminum if it suits. Being able to add accessories like racks and fenders would be a big plus - so braze-on's would be a must. I know there are ways to add them (braze-on's and accessories without them), but I think getting a frame/fork with them from the get-go would be the way to do it if possible.

Terrain is mostly paved trail, some road, and some unpaved trail. From the riding I do and where we want to ride I'd say a tire width in the upper 40mm to 60mm range would be ideal, if at least having more frame/fork clearance for wider then run a narrower tire to start. I don't think anything less than mid-40's is going to work well for her.

Thoughts?
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 10-06-19, 05:32 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 720

Bikes: Road, mountain and track bikes and tandems.

Likes: 0
Liked 18 Times in 15 Posts
Beyond being described as "short" ---- More specifically, she's how tall**********
Brian25 is offline  
Likes For Brian25:
Old 10-07-19, 04:09 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
AnthonyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Queanbeyan, Australia.
Posts: 4,135
Liked 420 Times in 289 Posts
Forget 26" wheel bikes as a starting point from the get go.

The correct starting point is a juvenile 24" wheel bike. Lots of good options to look at these days from Giant and Specialised to start with.
AnthonyG is offline  
Likes For AnthonyG:
Old 10-07-19, 04:47 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,465

Bikes: Trident Spike 2 recumbent trike w/ e-assist

Liked 374 Times in 288 Posts
Her height would be useful. I'm not tall, 5'4" and I absolutely love riding 20" and 16" wheeled folding bikes. They are nimble, stable, fast on acceleration, and easy to control. I have a friend who is 4'11" and she can ride them as well. You can try to find a small Bike Friday (or if your budget allows, get a new one or one of their "pre-loved" resales) or a Dahon (make sure it is one with the adjustable stem). Brompton is probably out, as it didn't quite fit me (too long reach).
linberl is offline  
Likes For linberl:
Old 10-07-19, 10:20 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,173

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
I will find out her height next time I get a chance.

As far as folding bikes go - I have a Dahon Mariner D8 (20" folder) for fitment giggles, but I don't think she wants to go that route.

I will have to look in to the 24" range and see what's available. I never thought about it as it isn't a mainstream (I don't consider it to be, anyway, maybe it is more so than I think) size. I've always thought 26" would be the smaller contender as far as general use bikes go (mix of road/off-road).
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 10-08-19, 09:33 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,465

Bikes: Trident Spike 2 recumbent trike w/ e-assist

Liked 374 Times in 288 Posts
Terry bikes are full sized but can be made for very small riders: https://georgenaterry.com/why-custom/
linberl is offline  
Old 10-09-19, 10:58 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: SoCal
Posts: 119
Liked 24 Times in 17 Posts
Maybe a step through bike like Specialized Crossroads? Crossroads 1.0 & 2.0 have 700x45mm tires and are listed on their website for $450 & $550.

Specialized used to make extra small Sirrus a few years ago but i don't know whether or not they still do.

Last edited by slowpacer; 10-09-19 at 11:03 PM.
slowpacer is offline  
Old 10-15-19, 05:23 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,173

Bikes: Surly Disk Trucker, 2014 w/Brooks Flyer Special saddle, Tubus racks - Duo front/Logo Evo rear, 2019 Dahon Mariner D8, Both bikes share Ortlieb Packer Plus series panniers, Garmin Edge 1000

Liked 115 Times in 99 Posts
As far as height goes - she's 5'2".

We were talking about bikes the other day and she likes the folding bikes. I am not sure that is the best "start", though. We'll see how she takes to my Dahon Mariner D8 first. I think a regular bike would be a better starting point (gear range, frame strength, accessory mounting - racks, fenders, etc). For local rides without much incline a folder with equivalent gear range to the Mariner (or greater range - namely on the low end, top at 90" bottom under 30") would "work" but it is a limitation for having a "versatile" set up to start with.
KC8QVO is offline  
Old 10-15-19, 11:31 PM
  #9  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: East side of the Emerald City
Posts: 20

Bikes: Liv BeLiv 1 (2018), Mosaic GT-2 (custom, 2019), Brompton S6L (2018)

Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm 4'11 with a cycling inseam of I think 27", so I sympathize with your friend--finding a bike "off the rack" that fit was a nightmare. The Liv Beliv was the best I could find that was still full-size (I also tried a Bike Friday and ended up returning it) but with a low enough stand over height. Has brazeons for fenders/rack, and certain models come with those already. I still ended up changing the handlebars out to narrower ones, and put on shorter cranks. There's a significant amount of toe overlap though, especially with fenders on, so she'll need to be mindful of that when starting out. You get used to it pretty fast!
fishgirlcycles is offline  
Old 10-16-19, 02:45 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
AnthonyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Queanbeyan, Australia.
Posts: 4,135
Liked 420 Times in 289 Posts
Originally Posted by KC8QVO
As far as height goes - she's 5'2".

We were talking about bikes the other day and she likes the folding bikes. I am not sure that is the best "start", though. We'll see how she takes to my Dahon Mariner D8 first. I think a regular bike would be a better starting point (gear range, frame strength, accessory mounting - racks, fenders, etc). For local rides without much incline a folder with equivalent gear range to the Mariner (or greater range - namely on the low end, top at 90" bottom under 30") would "work" but it is a limitation for having a "versatile" set up to start with.
OK, at 5'2" she's not really that short. This is why people wanted numbers and I was giving advice assuming she was shorter than this. Truth be known its actually harder to get her a good fitting bike because she's in the awkward middle.

If you were going for perfection then I would build a custom bike with 650c or 24" mtn wheels. Or you could even go custom with smaller 20" wheels. 26" and 700c wheels are still to large for her.

I'm 5'1" and I bought myself one of these, https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/arx-24
Yes it needs higher gears for an adult and I have fitted another crankset along with a new seatpost (long) yet the fundamental geometry is MUCH better than larger wheeled bikes. Its one of the best starting points going. Other than this you go full custom. Folding bikes are another option yet personally I find the cranks to be too long on the folders.
AnthonyG is offline  
Old 10-16-19, 02:26 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,465

Bikes: Trident Spike 2 recumbent trike w/ e-assist

Liked 374 Times in 288 Posts
Originally Posted by AnthonyG
Folding bikes are another option yet personally I find the cranks to be too long on the folders.
Cranks can be changed on all but the cheapest folders, where it is a one piece system. My Bike Friday has 160mm which fit me perfectly.
linberl is offline  
Likes For linberl:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.