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Bike for a short woman

Old 01-19-22, 04:10 PM
  #1  
UberIM
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Bike for a short woman

A friend is retiried . 65. wanting to get back into biking which she hasn't done since childhood.
She's 4'11"
Suggestions for a bike?
TIA
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Old 01-19-22, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by UberIM View Post
A friend is retiried . 65. wanting to get back into biking which she hasn't done since childhood.
She's 4'11"
Suggestions for a bike?
TIA
Vintage 26" wheeled mountain bikes make great rides for us shorter riders. They're dirt cheap compared to modern bikes, better quality for the price, and can be built up any way she wants. You can find 13" to 16" bikes; here's a 13" Stumpie, Specialized's lightweight racing bike; that's a great one, but maybe a little small for her. In general, you want to stay away from suspension forks as they add unnecessary weight and complication. C&V's Vintage MTB To Upright Bar/Urban Bike Conversions has a lot of inspiration. HTH.

Here's my main ride; a bit large, but I like it.



A Princess on the Mad River
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Old 01-20-22, 09:33 AM
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Chances are your friend will need to look at bikes in extra small size.

If your friend has the funds and wants new over used, Giant Bikes for Women are called: "Liv." and are very nice.

Looks like they do have bikes in this size range. Example of a hybrid:

https://www.liv-cycling.com/us/alight-3

They have others options if she wants disc brakes and more of a bike.

Last edited by travbikeman; 01-20-22 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 01-20-22, 12:18 PM
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Take her on a tour of local bike shops. If she's just return iing to the cycling world, she should hear what different shops have to say, especially how they size her and their suggestions. Then maybe you want to start an Ebay search if 'used' is the preference. But, I'd suggest the LBS route - ongoing support can't be underestimated.
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Old 01-20-22, 05:42 PM
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Guessing since it's posted in "Hybrid", that's the type of bike she wants. Several manufacturers make bikes for women, available in XS size. Just an example of one of them: Quick Women's 5 Remixte | Fitness Bikes | Cannondale
You may want to check what bike shops in your area handle, and see what they recommend.
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Old 01-21-22, 09:50 AM
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My wife who is 5' on a really good day uses a step through bike. We were shopping for her last year and she didn't like the bike where she had to throw a leg over a bar. Found a nice Bianchi "grandma" bike my son calls it. The bike was really nice but no go on the bar. We did find a bike called Roll from Spec. It was a big winner for my wife because it was step through bike. She loves it and rides it often now.

The bike she chose:
Roll - Low-Entry | Specialized.com

The bike that was close second. But the step through wasn't quite right but still an awesome bike. I really liked them both but this was a really classic bike.
Venezia Lady - Nexus 3sp - Bianchi Bicycles
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Old 01-24-22, 12:09 PM
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I have a stryder bike for sale. kidding.

Like suggested above, it might be best to go to a local bike shop. They will be able to point her in the right direction based on what type of riding she is wanting to do. Good luck!
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Old 01-24-22, 12:17 PM
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There's never any harm in going to a bike shop. You can find out what you like, try things you wouldn't otherwise, and get solid advice. They are there to sell, but also to inform.

If there is a used bike place, that's another option. There's a great place here in Colorado Springs called the Pedal Station / Mt. Eqip. Resellers. They sell donated bikes that have been refurbished as well as bikes on consignment. Lots of options.
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Old 01-24-22, 02:32 PM
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Since your friend has been away from cycling for a long time, the best option would be to try some in person in bike shops, used bikes or rentals. It will help her decide what riding position is most comfortable for her, therefore the type of bike that best suits her.

The most important measurements to look at are stack and reach and some people find standover height important as well.
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Old 01-25-22, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by UberIM View Post
A friend is retiried . 65. wanting to get back into biking which she hasn't done since childhood.
She's 4'11"
Suggestions for a bike?
TIA
So? Did she find something?
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Old 01-27-22, 12:29 PM
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I second the idea of a bike with 26" wheels, especially if she's open to looking at used bikes. Most hybrids today will have 700c wheels (which use the same rim diameter as 29" wheels), and the whole bike is just going to be "taller" (even if it's a step-through). Suspension forks add weight but also add height to the front of the bike, so it may be best to avoid them for the very short.

If she really wants new, check into the Townie brand (marketed by Trek). The aforementioned Specialized Roll is another great choice. There are almost certainly other bikes in this category from other brands as well (too many to list probably). Looking for bikes online with "step through" or "low step" frames is probably a good start (if she's interested in that frame style).
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Old 02-02-22, 09:06 PM
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Two of the shortest women I know (4'11" and 5'0") ride bikes with 700c wheels. I set a Trek that one of them bought up with a new saddle. I'm almost certain it was a 48cm frame. I'm also pretty sure Georgina Terry, or her company, is still making women specific bikes and likely takes petite women in the 4'11"+ arena in her stride. I believe she also uses 24" wheels too when necessary. 26" wheels are, of course, an option and may well work for the o.p.'s friend. Not because she is short, but because there are lots of tire choices for the kind of riding a returning older rider might be doing. The women I know are doing club rides with the B group of 30 to 50 miles and 700c has just the right kind of tires for that kind of riding. 26", not so much.
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Old 03-30-22, 06:31 AM
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My 5'2" wife settled on a Trek Verve 3 after riding it and the Specialized Roll. She rode a S Roll but did not care for it. She tried the Verve in both XS and S - she and the shop agreed the S was a better fit for her. The proportions look a bit off with the 700C tires but the bike is easy to ride and for the first time in her life has a bike that actually fits. Plus, we picked up the previous year's model for a significant discount and supported the local Trek shop.

Now to figure out a saddle that fits better than the one that came on the bike...
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Old 03-30-22, 06:38 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Trav1s View Post
My 5'2" wife settled on a Trek Verve 3 after riding it and the Specialized Roll. She rode a S Roll but did not care for it. She tried the Verve in both XS and S - she and the shop agreed the S was a better fit for her. The proportions look a bit off with the 700C tires but the bike is easy to ride and for the first time in her life has a bike that actually fits. Plus, we picked up the previous year's model for a significant discount and supported the local Trek shop.

Now to figure out a saddle that fits better than the one that came on the bike...
Congratulations to your wife!

What's up with the saddle? Too wide, too narrow, too squishy? She may feel uncomfortable for awhile, until her body adjusts to riding. That said, the last new bike I bought I managed three rides before changing saddles (I had to resist the urge to burn that thing; uncomfortable at first sure, but that one caused pain). These days I use a Brooks B17 softened leather saddle, and love it. But, butts are different and she may need to try a few before finding the right one. I wish her luck and many happy rides.
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Old 06-24-22, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Trav1s View Post
My 5'2" wife settled on a Trek Verve 3...

Now to figure out a saddle that fits better than the one that came on the bike...
FWIW After trying many different saddles, my 5'3" wife found a Brooks C17S works best for her on her Trek Verve 3. The short nose keeps the saddle from snagging on her pants when stepping through the step-through. We put a Kinekt suspension seatpost under it and now she's good for 50+ mile trekking days no problem. The stock saddle was ok for a few trips but a bit too soft and chafes on the butt-thigh interface if that makes sense.

I have a WTB Koda on mine and love it, can ride all day. Also replaced the seatpost with a sping-in-tube one (but not as fancy as the Kinekt) to gain a cm in height and get rid of the unwanted pivoting in the stock post. Could not believe what a difference that made.
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Old 06-24-22, 09:51 AM
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WTB Koda is a good lightweight 'short' saddle - and also available in a 'wide' version (150 mm)

( wide titanium rail version is around 210 gms )

have one reserved for a future bike / build
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Old 06-29-22, 05:38 PM
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@Trav1s, how's your wife's riding going? Does she still like the bike? Did she ever find a comfortable saddle? And pics; we want pics.
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Old 06-29-22, 09:40 PM
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btw -

not familiar with current Trek lineup - but at one time Trek offered the FX hybrid in a women's (WSD) 13" size

7.2 FX WSD , 7.5 FX WSD, 7.6 FX WSD

really cool little hybrid


link to 2007 catalog

https://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek-Fis...07treklife.pdf

.
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Old 06-29-22, 10:40 PM
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Old 06-30-22, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p View Post
btw -

not familiar with current Trek lineup - but at one time Trek offered the FX hybrid in a women's (WSD) 13" size

7.2 FX WSD , 7.5 FX WSD, 7.6 FX WSD

really cool little hybrid


link to 2007 catalog

https://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek-Fis...07treklife.pdf

.
+1

I recently purchased a like-new 17 inch 2007 7.5FX WSD for $325. I did a drop bar conversion on it. It's now an all-rounder for my GF. Basically a road/gravel bike (runs 38mm GK Slicks) that fits her perfectly. The short effective top tube (WSD frame) is the key. Very agile bike and much lighter than the Verve.


Last edited by fishboat; 07-01-22 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 06-30-22, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
@Trav1s, how's your wife's riding going? Does she still like the bike? Did she ever find a comfortable saddle? And pics; we want pics.
Yes she does like the bike but we've been down on ride time this year but for a good reason. I secured new employment and we will be relocating in the next 30-45 days. We'll look into the saddle issue once we get resettled in central Ohio after 18 years away. Thanks for checking Korina and I saved the suggestions you offered.

Pics, eh? If you insist!
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Old 07-01-22, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Trav1s View Post
Yes she does like the bike but we've been down on ride time this year but for a good reason. I secured new employment and we will be relocating in the next 30-45 days. We'll look into the saddle issue once we get resettled in central Ohio after 18 years away. Thanks for checking Korina and I saved the suggestions you offered.

Pics, eh? If you insist!
congrats - and good luck !

have a number of relatives in that area

at one point it appeared my youngest kid would also be living there - but he is now located in SW Ohio
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Old 07-07-22, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by t2p View Post
btw -

not familiar with current Trek lineup - but at one time Trek offered the FX hybrid in a women's (WSD) 13" size

7.2 FX WSD , 7.5 FX WSD, 7.6 FX WSD

really cool little hybrid


link to 2007 catalog

https://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek-Fis...07treklife.pdf

.
FX 7.6 13"
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