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I need help with bike sizes?

Old 08-06-12, 10:01 AM
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bubbles3
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I need help with bike sizes?

Hi, I'm new here and I'll admit, I really don't know anything about bikes. My old bike broke down and I need to buy a new one. I'm 4'11" with a 27" inseam, and female. Would a 43cm bike frame fit me? This is the bike I want: http://www.citygrounds.com/se-bikes/...bike-2011-1435
It's 43 cm but it lists the tires as 700x28c, so that means a 700c tire, right? I know that's bigger than 26" (I think) and I know 26" is too big for me. But does it matter if the tires are large if the frame fits? Or is it possible to replace the tires with smaller, 24" tires? I'm very confused and I just want to avoid buying a kids bike, because that seems like my only other choice. I can't afford to spend more than $250 or so.

Also, the same bike in the 2012 edition (a year newer, here it is: http://www.citygrounds.com/se-bikes/...bike-2012-1429) in the 43cm size has a 650c tire. Would that be a better fit for me? Any guidance would be helpful!
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Old 08-06-12, 10:17 AM
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Retro Grouch 
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4'11". That's definitely an issue but I think that you are taking the right approach.

Georgena Terry is an American bicycle manufacturer who has created a market nitch selling bikes that are designed to fit short women. The issues are top tube length and toe interference with the front wheel. Compared to all other bikes, Terry bikes have short-short-short top tube lengths.

Not everybody likes Terry bikes and I don't know if they can meet your price constraints but I think that you should check them out. When I had my shop I never had a serious buyer test ride a Terry bike and not buy it. I think that's because it's probably the first bike they had ever ridden that fit.

To answer your other question, a bike that has 650c wheels will definitely fit you better than one that has 700c wheels because fewer compromises will have been made in designing the bike's frame. The only drawback is you'll have to carry your own spare inner tubes with you on group rides.

Last edited by Retro Grouch; 08-06-12 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 08-07-12, 09:49 AM
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What Retro said. My wife is 5'0", and she loved the two Terrys she test-rode. We didn't buy one because she's an infrequent rider and we couldn't justify the price, but they fit really well.
Have you been to a serious bike shop to see what they can do? Go in on a Tuesday when they're not busy and let them work with you. They probably won't have anything in your price range, but they'll give you an idea what to look for. NOTE: if you use their time and expertise like this, and don't buy a bike, I think you're obligated to use them when buying tubes, accessories etc. in the future.
Finally, toe interference with the front wheel is a theoretical problem, but I think rarely a real one. I rode one of my bikes for five years, at least 8000 miles, before I even noticed that my size 15 shoes overlapped the wheel. You just don't often turn the wheel that far.
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