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View Full Version : What size WSD raod bike for 4'11" woman?



desertgal
04-23-2006, 09:08 PM
I am looking for a bike and went to a few dealers in my city. The smallest bike that they have in stock for me to try is 48", but they are too big. One dealer recommended I order a 47" inch frame, but wouldn't give me a refund of the bike did not work out for me. Anyone in my size range recommend a frame size to start out with?

Dianyla
04-23-2006, 09:35 PM
What's your inseam? This is as important as your height for estimating frame size.

Running Mommy
04-24-2006, 08:38 AM
I'm 5'1" and my road bike is a 44. It's a Specialized Dolce from a few years ago. When I bought my tri bike I got a QR extra small and the fitter said even that was pushing it. I guess I'm a pretty squat little thing... Funny though, my girth makes it all an illusion. I actually think I'm square! :rolleyes:
Keep looking until you find one that fits. It may need to be a special order situation. And DONT buy it when they say they can "make it fit" by adding shorter stems etc.. It's just not the same!! Believe me, I bought that... once.. NEVER again!

Running Mommy
04-24-2006, 08:41 AM
Oh and I just reread your post... Get to a good shop who WILL order you a bike without forcing you to buy it. Though if you get a good fitter he will take all your measurements then find the bike that best matches your measurements. In that case you shouldn't have to worry. Remember, it's your $$! make them work for your sale.

Trek420
04-24-2006, 09:13 AM
That's horrid. One of my local bike shops offers all the time to special order bikes just for me to try out if I so much as ogle them.

They know I only have eyes for my road bike, I suppose they hope I'd fall in love with the SO bike and buy it too but ... not gonna happen with my budget.

They have figured out that our money's the same color as the men folk and the tiny bike will get sold. If not to you, another rider.

annie
04-24-2006, 06:24 PM
Not trying to be contrary here, but having worked in a small-town bike shop at one time, they may NOT be able to sell a bike in such a small size if one is ordered and then not bought. Maybe they can only afford to keep an inventory of bikes most likely to sell....... Just a view from the bike shop side...... :confused: I can't help but see both sides.

desertgal -- Could you find another person in your area with a bike in the size you might need and test ride that bike? I have loaned my bike for test rides and rode someone else's, also, when the size I wanted was not in stock.

BTW, I am also 5'1. (Could swear I used to be 5'2) and I ride a WSD (Womens' Specific Design), 51. cm with 650 wheels. I am completely happy with it and so comfortable. So we are all different. I can't even imagine me on a 44 cm. I would be a crunched up little potato chip! :eek: Just goes to show that height is not the only determining factor.

I wish you the best in finding a bike!!! I'd let you try mine, but I have a feeling (from your name) that we live no where NEAR each other. :rolleyes:

annie

tulip
04-24-2006, 06:42 PM
What's your budget?

Are you in New Mexico? Margo at Luna Cycles has a small one for sale. I highly recommend her bikes, even if you buy a pre-built one. Since you live in the desert, judging by your name, perhaps you can take a trip to Santa Fe and check them out.

www.lunacycles.com

Kathi
04-24-2006, 07:11 PM
I feel your pain, I've been riding for 26 years and still haven't found a stock frame that fits without a lot of tweaking. I'm 5'1 & 1/2 and ride a 44 cm frame. I wish I had the money I spent in the last 10 yrs trying to get frames that were not quite right to fit.

So....I'm building a custom frame and buying handbuilt wheels. Everything on this bike will be specked for me.

You didn't say what your budget is but Serotta makes a stock frame, the Fierte which comes in your choice of steel, ti or ti/cf. The 46p fit me fairly well and also fit my 5'2 friend. It has a sloping tt and is on 650c wheels. It's the only WSD bike I've tried out.

Everyone is individual, what works for one may not work for you. If you can find a good fitter, Serotta or otherwise, consider having a fitting done. Then you'll know what the right geometry is. Most shops waive the fitting fee (over a certain price) if you buy a bike from them. If you find something at Luna Cycles, unless you can go in person, get someone reliable to fit you before you buy from them. If you have an old bike be sure you can articulate to the fitter exactly what is wrong with the fit of it.

A custom frame may seem like a lot of money but if you're planning on keeping this bike and riding a lot it's worth it if you "do it right the first time"

Also, do more than a 5 minute ride around the parking lot. I demoed a Serotta in a 48 cm, we knew it was to big but I was evaluating the fame material. It didn't feel to bad, which surprised me. I took it out for a 10 mile ride and it wasn't long before I could tell how bad the fit was, everything about the bike was off.

Good luck, you'll find a lot of good advice here. The more knowledge you have about your needs the more successful you'll be in the LBS.

Eden
04-24-2006, 10:32 PM
I think I may be the smallest to chime in here. I'm 5' even and I ride a 44cm with 700c wheels. My inseam is I think 29" so I've got a short torso and really short arms. I can stand over a 48cm and even rode one for years before I finally realized it was too big for me. I would guess I could easily stand over an even larger frame with 650's - my 44's top tube was actually taller compared to a 51 cm with 650's owned by a gal I knew - the difference in the wheel height I guess. My issues are much more with the top tube length than stand over height and my 44 has the shortest top tube that I could find.
When I got my my 44 I did have to special order it, but they assured me if it did not fit I could bring it back. They even ordered 2 more in 44cm and sold them both in a few weeks- fancy that (I do live in a large metropolitan area). I did get to test ride a similar bike (same frame, lesser componants) before I ordered mine so I was fairly well assured that it would all work out. Call around and see if you can find a shop - any shop that can let you test out little frames so you can see better what fits you and what you like. It might take calling all the places in a 50 mile radius of your house, but definitely do not let yourself get talked into buying something just because the shop does not carry a smaller bike.

Kathi
04-25-2006, 10:27 AM
Eden's post illustrates how different we all are. I'm taller than her but have a shorter inseam 28". I also have short arms, so, in order to get proper reach on my 44cm frame with a straight tt I need 3cm of spacers and stem with a very steep angle.

To get my handlebars high enough I need a frame with a higher head tube but then the standover is to high. So I need a frame with a sloping tt to accomodate the difference. Now all my bikes have spacers, steeper stems, etc.

I know all of this because the fitter at my LBS didn't recognize my fit needs and out of frustration I went to a Serotta fitter. I had my old LBS make the changes and he laughed, he said "I'd sit up so high that I'd be like the "wicked witch of the west"! Well, now I'm in a neutral position and no more achy shoulders and neck. And I can ride with a flat saddle instead of with the nose pointed down. I bend from the hips when riding instead of from the waist.

BTW, my standover height and tt length was right on, so fit is more than tt length and standover height.

I haven't got the spec's on my new frame. It'll be interesting to see the differences between the old and new.

carback
04-26-2006, 03:35 PM
I'm 4'11". Since I don't know my inseam length or arm length, i don't know how much help I'll be.

I ride a 43cm Trek 2300 with 650 cc wheels. And it fits me like a glove.
I also ride a 47cm bike (touring) with 700 cc wheels. It fits me well, but I prefer the way the Trek fits / feels- but that could be due to a lot more factors than just bike size.

When buying my mountain bike (13 inch frame, Gary Fisher), the bike shop and I battled back and forth about them ordering it for me and if it didn't fit, whether I was committed to it. I can see it from their side as well (not a lot of us tiny folk out there and most kids my height aren't going to spend (or their parents aren't going to spend) $2500 on a bike... Luckily for me, it fits beautifully.

Good luck.

desertgal
05-27-2006, 09:15 PM
I ended up getting a 47cm Trek Madone, which ended up working just fine. :)

melissam
05-30-2006, 02:35 PM
Desertgal,

Oooh, a Trek Madone -- I'm sure you'll be very happy indeed! Congrats!!

How does the 47cm WSD fit you? How many rides have you gone on since your purchase?

-- Melissa

PS I'm 5'1" and I have 47cm Trek 5200 WSD, and I'm very happy with the fit. I think for fit, we can give a ballpark figure based on height & inseam, but in the end, you just gotta try out the bike. I know that this just isn't very practical for those of us who aren't in the average height range and who don't have a lot of local shops around, but in the end it's sure worth it to have a bike that fits.

Jaclyn
06-29-2006, 05:12 PM
Glad it worked out for you ... I've tried riding my friend's (she's 5'1") Trek 47cm Madrone and it was just too big for me!

I usually lie about my height (never my age) ... I spent 2 hours getting fitted at a Dearborn MI bike shop a few years ago. The measuring devices could not be deceived. I had a few bikes in mind, and they were silver or black. And they were too big. They ordered a 40cm Cannondale WSD R800 frame and it fits beautifully. I've grown to love its pepto bismal pink paint. I highly recommend going to a bike shop that will take the several hours required to measure and match your dimensions to bike geometry and spec's. And then wait while they order and customize your bike. And plan on more time as they work with you and bike on a trainer to adjust it all until ... it works.

esther231
07-16-2006, 09:50 AM
I'm just getting back into biking after years of raising the kids. :) I went looking this weekend. I'm 5' tall. The bike store measured my inseam said I should buy a 47 frame. I tried it. I could do it but then I tried a 43 frame and felt happier on it. But it looks so small.

I will be riding with my husband who will (obviously) be on a bigger bike. Does a smaller frame mean I have to work harder to ride the same speed he does?

I'm so confused. I really liked the smaller frame but don't want to be left in the dust.

Cari
07-16-2006, 11:07 AM
I'm just getting back into biking after years of raising the kids. :) I went looking this weekend. I'm 5' tall. The bike store measured my inseam said I should buy a 47 frame. I tried it. I could do it but then I tried a 43 frame and felt happier on it. But it looks so small.

I will be riding with my husband who will (obviously) be on a bigger bike. Does a smaller frame mean I have to work harder to ride the same speed he does?

I'm so confused. I really liked the smaller frame but don't want to be left in the dust.

Actually no, it means that you'll have to carry less frame weight, so you can go faster! :) And of course, the more comfortable you feel on your bike, the harder and longer you'll be able to ride.

Your 43cm frame came with 650c wheels, correct? They're smaller than your husband's 700c wheels (which is what most people use) so make sure you always carry your own saddle bag with a 650c spare tube. If you get a flat, his 700c tube won't fit your 650c tire.

Happy riding,

~Cari

Kathi
07-16-2006, 01:22 PM
Standover height is not the only thing you need to consider when trying bikes, top tube length, femur and arm length is important as well.

Were the 2 bikes you tried the same brand and model? Bike companies measure differently so a smaller bike from one company may be similiar in geometry to a larger sized bike from another company.

Here's a good article on how to properly fit a bicycle.

http://womenspecific.com/cycling/35/is-your-body-women-specific--

esther231
07-16-2006, 06:09 PM
Oh, that's a great point. They were different models. The 43 was the TREK pilot 1.2 WSD. The 47 was a cannondale but not a WSD. They'll try to bring in a 47 pilot 1.2 this coming weekend so I can try it.

You think the Pilot 1.2 is decent? Should I stretch to upgrade to 2.1? Big jump in price.......is it worth it?

Bikes have changed so much since I was riding. lol OMG, it's incredible how light they are. And the gearing is different.

The tires were smaller than his. I think on the 43 they are the 650. That's why I started thinking I would always be the last one in on any ride I went on with anyone on a larger bike. That's a good tip. Thanks for it. :)

Kathi
07-16-2006, 07:22 PM
Oh, that's a great point. They were different models. The 43 was the TREK pilot 1.2 WSD. The 47 was a cannondale but not a WSD. They'll try to bring in a 47 pilot 1.2 this coming weekend so I can try it.

You think the Pilot 1.2 is decent? Should I stretch to upgrade to 2.1? Big jump in price.......is it worth it?

Bikes have changed so much since I was riding. lol OMG, it's incredible how light they are. And the gearing is different.

The tires were smaller than his. I think on the 43 they are the 650. That's why I started thinking I would always be the last one in on any ride I went on with anyone on a larger bike. That's a good tip. Thanks for it. :)

Esther,

I looked at the Trek website at the specs for the Pilot 1.2 and 2.1. Yes, definitely go for the 2.1 if you can. There is an upgrade in components, shifters, brakes, etc. which you'll be a lot happier with.

The 47cm has 700c wheels. I ride 650c's and I don't think I'm slower than anyone else.

A friend of mine has the Pilot, not sure which model but she loves it.

FWIW, I'm building a custom frame, which is due Tues., but the frame size is 48cm and designed for 650c wheeels. My Aegis is a 44cm. I'm 5'1" with a 28" inseam. Don't know yet what the standover is going to be on the new frame.

Good luck with your purchase.

esther231
07-16-2006, 07:30 PM
Well, I'm happy.

I feel confident that if I find myself happier on what looks like a kid's bike :eek:, I still might be able to keep up with the bigger bikes. At least stay in hollaring distance. Said hopefully.

I'll see if I can get that price down some. If they'll met me part way, I can swing it. Hope so. Not sure yet but hope so.

Much thanks.

Kathi
07-16-2006, 07:41 PM
Well, I'm happy.

I feel confident that if I find myself happier on what looks like a kid's bike :eek:, I still might be able to keep up with the bigger bikes. At least stay in hollaring distance. Said hopefully.

I'll see if I can get that price down some. If they'll met me part way, I can swing it. Hope so. Not sure yet but hope so.

Much thanks.

My friends in Cincinnati said my bike was so small it looked like it came out of a Cracker Jack box! :D

Kathi
07-16-2006, 07:46 PM
Esther,

It sounds like the 07's are starting to come in maybe they'll give you a deal on an 06

esther231
07-16-2006, 08:16 PM
lol Good description. This one too.

Cross your fingers for me.