Santa is considering a purchase of a commuter / hybrid bike for a vertically-challenged (~5’0″) teenage female. The bike will be used for light fitness riding and transportation at college next fall. There is no RAGBRAI in the immediate future for this bike/engine combination. The engine is capable and coordinated (gymnast), but not a really experienced/avid rider.
Her current bike is a mechanically-challenged 24″-wheel Wally World ‘mountain’ bike. The frame on this thing is TINY. Everything about the bike is TINY-except the amount of money required to turn it into a reliable bike. She seems to think that she has an appropriate bike. She also seems to think that taller wheels will make her unstable. Santa – being a somewhat more avid rider and ~5’9″ – disagrees.
Santa has looked at the Trek 7.2 WSD and the C’dale Quick 6 with 13″ frames (smallest available) as possible upgrades. Santa may also consider the C’dale Quick-5 to get a slighty lower granny gear than the Quick-6. (28X28 vs. 28X32)
All of these bikes come with 700C wheels. They all are Spec’d similarly and go for %500 to $600. Santa would like to stay in this price range.
I’m pretty sure that there are of plenty of 5’0″-ish (and smaller) females out there that ride quality bikes. Any advice from smallish women on the feasibility of a small-frame upright bike on 700C wheels? I rode the 13″ 7.2 around the inside of the store, and I kinda liked it.
Is there a quality commuter/hybrid out there that rolls on 650C’s?
I’d be particularly interested in something with slightly more off-road capability than my current choices. Something with a front suspension might be nice.