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stu42j
02-16-2004, 07:23 AM
I am trying to help find a new road bike for my girlfriend. She is 5 feet tall with an inseam about 28 inches. Her legs are proportionately very short compared to her torso. It seems like the WSD bikes are designed for women with longer legs and shorter torsos.

Are there any similarly proportioned women that could give me some advice on how to help her find the right bike?

Steph_in_TX
02-16-2004, 08:50 AM
I see you are in Dallas....have you talked to the guys at Rich. Bike Mart? They've fit several women I know, including myself twice! They've done a good job every time.

stu42j
02-16-2004, 09:03 AM
We went to Richardson Bike Mart yesterday and they had a decent selection of small bikes but the guy helping us just didn't seem very concerned with making sure that we got the *right* bike. He was very nice and helpful but he didn't really make any effort into checking the size and making adjustments.

Anyway, we tried a 44 and a 47. The 44 seemed a little too small and the 47, a little too big.

Adventure Girl
02-16-2004, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by stu42j
I am trying to help find a new road bike for my girlfriend. She is 5 feet tall with an inseam about 28 inches. Her legs are proportionately very short compared to her torso. It seems like the WSD bikes are designed for women with longer legs and shorter torsos.

Are there any similarly proportioned women that could give me some advice on how to help her find the right bike?

stu-
I am a "similarly proportioned" woman. I'm just under 5' tall and my in-seam is about 28". I ride a 47cm Trek (WSD) road bike and it fits me pretty well. Not being an "off-the-rack" sized body, I'm used to making sacrifices for fit. I did have the bike custom fit to me and I have shorter cranks and a short stem. They also had to do some custom work to bring the break levers closer to the bar because my hands are so short.

I tried lots of bikes before I found the one that I bought. Each manufacturer measures their bikes differently and the geometry is different. So a 47cm on one bike fits differently than a 47 on another.

I'd suggest trying lots of bikes. Find a LBS that offers good service and lots of lines of bikes. Have her ride a few on a trainer for a while to see how they feel. The time spent on finding the right bike is definitely worth it!

DeniseGoldberg
02-16-2004, 03:22 PM
Have you considered a Bike Friday? You can check them out at www.bikefriday.com or call and talk to a sales rep - they are very helpful. They have both custom and stock bikes, and they can be set up for very short people, very tall people, and all of us in between. I own both an Air Glide and a Pocket Rocket - and although you need to get over the looks of the little wheels, they ride just like big wheel bikes.

You can see photos of me and my bikes in action in my cycling journals.

Denise
www.denisegoldberg.com

wavedancer
02-29-2004, 05:08 PM
I also have very short legs...maybe a little under 28 inches. I found the Cannondale WSD 44cm fits me quite well with 650c wheels. It seems to have a little more length in the cockpit than the Trek did.

I had even fewer choices in finding a mountain bike that fit me. The only one I found that gave me a couple of inches of standover height was a Gary Fisher Big Sur GS extra small. I am happy with both bikes. Fewer choices made the decision-making process easier!

emily_in_nc
03-01-2004, 09:45 AM
Have you looked at Terrys? They make a 16" frame size that
might fit your girlfriend perfectly. If she's 5'0" with short legs,
I suspect her inseam is less than 28", since I am 5'2" with average
legs for my height, and my inseam is 28"! I ride a 17.5" Terry
frame and a 46 cm frame on my new Aegis Swift. The 17.5" Terry is
the next size up from the 16" frame. The 16" frame is very short.
A woman in my bike club who is about 4'10" or 4'11" rides it
and loves hers! www.terrybicycles.com.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!

stu42j
03-01-2004, 06:25 PM
I think when I said 28" inseam, I actually meant 28" standover. I don't remember.

I did look at the Terrys. The problem is that she needs a bike that is short enough that she can stand over it without hurting herself but long enough that her head is not sticking way out over the front wheel. Based on the Terry website, it did not seem that the geometry of their bikes is any different in that proportion than other WSD bikes.

Right now she is riding an old Bridgestone that used to be my sister's (it actually looks very similar to the Terry Symmetry, small front wheel sort of thing). We put a longer/taller stem on it, moved the seat back and she seems to be liking it ok. Just need a better saddle! :)

In two months, we will be riding in the MS 150 - Red River Challenge (http://www.ms150.org/rrc/donate/donate.cfm?id=118585). Wish us luck!

Thanks for all the suggestions.

zigzag17
03-04-2004, 11:46 AM
Check out WS Sizing System at https://www.wrenchscience.com/WS1/default.asp. It may help you to know at least theoretically what size bike you should look for.