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Wanted: Bike fit advice for vert-challenged Females

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.

Thanks
rm68

9 Replies

Profile photo of Tsnap Xip
Tsnap Xip, February 12, 2013 at 6:48 pm

College = Stolen Bike if it’s nice. Get an inexpensive, brand new 24″ bike from Target or Walmart. Ugly bikes actually last longer on campus. No way would I spend more than about $100 on a bike for college.

#475598

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SFC JKL2, February 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm

I built my mountain bike from parts scavenged from bike destroyed/left on our college campus. Get her a beater for cruising around. It isn’t like she’s going to be doing centuries on it.

#475608

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