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 $600. Santa would like to stay in this price range.
I’m pretty sure that there are of plenty of 5’0″-ish (and smaller) females out there that ride quality bikes. Any advice from smallish women on the feasibility of a small-frame upright bike on 700C wheels? I rode the 13″ 7.2 around the inside of the store, and I kinda liked it.
Is there a quality commuter/hybrid out there that rolls on 650C’s?
I’d be particularly interested in something with slightly more off-road capability than my current choices. Something with a front suspension might be nice.
Will the bike be parked outside 24/7 at school??? In Florida or in Maine would also make a difference, a harsh winter outside with no way or time to perform regular maintenance can ruin a good bicycle. If she is happy with her cheapo bicycle maybe you should wait until she “sees the light” and wants something better. Good luck.
When my daughters were in college I never bought them expensive bikes. They were stolen if they were good bikes (and the best locks don’t help so don’t bother arguing about it), and all of them deteriorate outside.
check at the local bike shops for trade-in and end of year specials. Maybe in 2-3 years she will want to upgrade to something like a Terry, or maybe you can find a used one of them on ebay/graigs list. Campus bike theives have little tast, they usually go for things they can unload easy. 3 bikes in the racks outside ISU library since late April, a Huffy, Schwinn & a Trek. the Schwinn was harvested &
is now only a frame with a U-lock, the unlocked Huffy just dissappeared last weekend, the Trek, all still there.
Raleigh bikes makes a C-40 in your price range 400$ for shorties..15″ frame and 16″ frame for women..the top tube is slanted to allow for clearance..the wheels are 700c..the difference between 700c and 26in is minimal..
Found a sweet deal on a Size XS (13″) Novara Pika.
It’s slightly used for $280. If the clerk didn’t say used, I’d never notice that it was used. Smooth as glass with a SRAM X3 drivetrain.
I may go back and pick that one up.
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.