Looking for a small bike

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Stendhal
Posts: 332
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:43 am
Location: Silicon Valley

by Stendhal

My wife is interested in moving from spin classes to road riding :D She is very short, at 4'10" or 4'11". She briefly rode a size 48 Trek in the early 2000s and thought it was too large. At the same time she wants a more upright, comfort bike (like a Synapse, a contender). Are there any recommendations from the shorter riders here? Hidden gems in sizes such as 2XS or XS? Any Canyon 3XS riders (some models come in that size)? Thank you.
Cervelo Aspero (7.75); Orbea Orca OMX (7.30)
Retired: S-Works Tarmac SL6, LOW// mki, Pinarello Dogma F10\F8, Lapierre Pulsium, TIME Fluidity, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2\R3\R5, Felt Z25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

joejack951
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Location: Wilmington, DE
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by joejack951

At that height, you are better off looking at kids bikes in my opinion. 700c wheels and frames at those sizes are going to have really odd geometry. Moving down to 26” (559mm) or even 24” (520-540mm) allows for more reasonable angles and way less toe overlap issues.

I built up this kid-size Orbea for my wife’s sister-in-law who is ~5’ 1” and it fit her nicely. I used a Tiagra 4700 group and re-laced the original rims with a 105 hub set. Schwalbe actually made a version of the Pro One for wheelchairs that fit the somewhat odd rim size.

https://flic.kr/p/2aNo5Ze

by Weenie


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Stendhal
Posts: 332
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Location: Silicon Valley

by Stendhal

joejack951 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:11 pm
At that height, you are better off looking at kids bikes in my opinion. 700c wheels and frames at those sizes are going to have really odd geometry. Moving down to 26” (559mm) or even 24” (520-540mm) allows for more reasonable angles and way less toe overlap issues.

I built up this kid-size Orbea for my wife’s sister-in-law who is ~5’ 1” and it fit her nicely. I used a Tiagra 4700 group and re-laced the original rims with a 105 hub set. Schwalbe actually made a version of the Pro One for wheelchairs that fit the somewhat odd rim size.

https://flic.kr/p/2aNo5Ze
Thank you, and your bike looks great. With gravel biking increasing the availability of 650b wheels, that might provide me with more options.
I visited Wilmington last winter for a business trip and really liked it.
Cervelo Aspero (7.75); Orbea Orca OMX (7.30)
Retired: S-Works Tarmac SL6, LOW// mki, Pinarello Dogma F10\F8, Lapierre Pulsium, TIME Fluidity, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2\R3\R5, Felt Z25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

g32ecs
Posts: 666
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:50 am

by g32ecs

Specialized makes 44 now

JMeinholdt
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Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:31 pm
Location: Topeka, KS

by JMeinholdt

Canyon's 2XS and 3XS sizes come with 650B wheels. Another important consideration is crank length. Personally, 165mm would be a max size.

Do the 24" youth sized bikes have a long enough chainstay to support an 11-12 speed groupset without chainline problems?
Wilier Cento10AIR Rim Brake - Ultegra Di2
BMC GF02 - Ultegra R8000 - Commuter/Trainer

YouTube content (JM Cycling Videos): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTGn14 ... _N-wHlViQ/

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Mr.Gib
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
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by Mr.Gib

At that height the right thing to do is go with 650 wheels. Anything else will be a far less then optimal solution.

Cranks? 160 or shorter. Praxis Alba are brilliant (but heavy). Get them with 48/32 rings. Your wife will thank you.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

Hexsense
Posts: 1218
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am

by Hexsense

Mr.Gib wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:25 pm
At that height the right thing to do is go with 650 wheels. Anything else will be a far less then optimal solution.

Cranks? 160 or shorter. Praxis Alba are brilliant (but heavy). Get them with 48/32 rings. Your wife will thank you.
Not sure about 48/32 though. 650B with not so big tire already reduce the effective gear ratio by quite a bit.
Continental GP5000 650B 25mm or 28mm would roll quite a fair amount shorter than the 700c varient or even 650b with big gravel tires, thus requiring a bit higher gear ratio for on road usage.

How is spinclass's normal cadence compare to road cyclist, by the way?
If she is used to high cadence then 48/32 with small tire 650b on road might be just right. But if she has average beginner cylist cadence (\ie very low) then 48+ 650b with small tires might be restrictive on road descend/tail wind.

none
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:29 pm
Location: NE PA

by none

My wife is about 4' 11", I built her a 34cm Fuji aluminum frame, 650 wheels, with 151mm crankset.
Image

She also have her recumbent with 150mm crankset:
Image

I think it's more difficult to find short enough cranks so her knees are not coming up to her chest as the pedals come up.

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Stendhal
Posts: 332
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:43 am
Location: Silicon Valley

by Stendhal

:welcome:

Very good ideas. And that size 34 frame is epic.
Will try a size 44 Synapse first that a local shop has in stock. If that is too big w/700, maybe it'll work with 650s
Cervelo Aspero (7.75); Orbea Orca OMX (7.30)
Retired: S-Works Tarmac SL6, LOW// mki, Pinarello Dogma F10\F8, Lapierre Pulsium, TIME Fluidity, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2\R3\R5, Felt Z25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

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pdlpsher1
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Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

Here's another option for you. I'm a tandem rider and I take my wife and kids on the bike. I would never want to ride bikes with my wife if she's on her own bike. I wouldn't want to wait for her and not being able to enjoy my ride. When I ride a tandem we both get an equally satisfying workout without anyone having to hold back waiting for the other one. Tandem's rear position is usually designed to fit a very wide range of riders. And you won't have to worry about things like wheel size, toe-overlap, and gearing, etc. If you have kids it's also a great way to spend family time together. My 15-year-old loves riding and due to Covid we have grown closer together via riding.

none
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:29 pm
Location: NE PA

by none

Keep in mind that a tandem can be a major investment, and it WILL accelerate your relationwhip, good or bad; you will find out pretty quickly on a tandem bike.
The stocker on regular tandem doesn't get to see a whole lot while riding, other than the back side of the captains head. Conversation between captain & stocker can be challenging.

Wife & I have a semi-recumbent tandem since 2008, we do about 4-5 rides a year on it.
Image
I volunteer to take legally blind person on charity rides, but with COVID, that's not happening this year.
Semi-recumebtn tandem allow the stocker to sit in front of the captain, unobstructed view of vision for both riders.
Easy communication between both riders also possible since the heads are close to each other.
Last edited by none on Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

TobinHatesYou
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:02 pm

by TobinHatesYou

none wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:45 pm
I think it's more difficult to find short enough cranks so her knees are not coming up to her chest as the pedals come up.
Rotor Aldhu comes in 150mm. Aldhu 24 comes in 155mm. Shimano 105 R7000 comes in 160mm.

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Stendhal
Posts: 332
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:43 am
Location: Silicon Valley

by Stendhal

We have an answer (not entirely satisfying but OK).

My wife tried a size 44 Roubaix. It fit well as to stand over height (at 686mm), but even with the seatpost fully inserted it was too tall. That meant she could not get comfortable with the bike even though the post could have been cut and the bike would have fit. She remembered that she does not like drop bike bars at all. For a while she looked at an offensive monstrosity 45 lb Specialized electric bike because it had a huge seatpost and no real top tube (like a cruiser) and flat bars and a huge saddle. It finally became clear to her that riding it would not be exercise, it'd be driving.

Fortunately, I found a flat bar hybrid bike a customer had left, and she agreed that that was what she wanted -- flat bars but not electric. The shop did not have any as they have been selling fast, and many Specialized models aren't even available to order. However, the top of the line Sirrus (6.0) is in stock, and has decent enough componentry (105 drivetrain and brakes, Praxis Alba cranks -- I am a fan, a Power seat, KMC chain). It also is matte black with the awesome reflective rainbow logo. So we ordered one for receipt in perhaps 2 weeks, at size XS -- the smallest in the model, with probably a good enough stand over height at 714mm once the seatpost is cut. It can take up to 40mm tires and comes with 30mm\32mm Griptons, which are good. Down the road (no pun intended), I can see putting on 35mm or 38mms. The model also has a version of Future Shock so that should help.

BTW, I forgot who posted it, but whoever wrote that Canyon 3XS bikes are specced at 650b wheels is correct, thank you very much :thumbup: (to both the poster and Canyon, smart move). The Endurace would have been an option had my wife not had a preference against drop bars.
Cervelo Aspero (7.75); Orbea Orca OMX (7.30)
Retired: S-Works Tarmac SL6, LOW// mki, Pinarello Dogma F10\F8, Lapierre Pulsium, TIME Fluidity, Wilier Cento1 SR, Ridley Noah, Cyfac Cadence, Cervelo S2\R3\R5, Felt Z25, Klein Quantum, Cannondale 2.0

by Weenie


none
Posts: 215
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:29 pm
Location: NE PA

by none

I fitted inline brake levers along with the STI levers onto regular road drop bars, so wife could use the brakes at the bartop flat section of the road bar and still have options to use the hoods or drops.
Also fitted an adjustable stem to allow quick adjustment to handlebar position during rides for her to try them out.
Image

Also built wife a MTB with 14" frame, 24"wheels, 152mm cranks.
Image
Had the same experiment with adjustable stem before finalizing on her prefered reach on the bike:
Image

In the winter time, she rides her 50cc Honda Metropolitan to allow me to motorpace:
Image
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