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  1. #1
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    Inexpensive mountain bikes

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    I am casually looking for an inexpensive mountain bike that would be more suitable than my Cannondale Quick for ratty dirt roads, fire roads, and some non-technical mountain bike trails. I had put knobby tires on my Quick and have used it. Now I find that the tires have been rubbing on my fork and have removed paint down to the carbon. A full suspension seems over the top for my needs, pricey, and difficult to find for someone 4'11" tall with a short reach. So, I am looking at hardtail bikes.

    My standover is about 27.5" but I have very short arms. My Quick has a 50.5 effective top tube, which is pretty good.

    So far I have found:

    Specialized Myka Sport (maybe disc) that comes in a 13" size, 52.5cm top tube, and about 25.6" on standover, at $630. Or I could go as low as their non-disc, nonsport version at $470.


    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...cname=Mountain

    Specialized Jett Comp, also in a 13" size, 53cm top tube (getting to be a bit much), with bout 25.6" on standover, but kind of pricey at $1250:

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...cname=Mountain

    Jamis Trail X2, with a 12" size, 52.1cm top tube, 25.27" standover, and inexpensive at $475, but kind of unattractive:

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik..._trailx2f.html

    A bit more out of the box, a kids mountain bike with a 12" frame, 49cm Top tube and 24 inch wheels, a Kona Kula at $949:

    http://www.konaworld.com/kids.cfm?content=kula_2-4

    Bikes direct has a number of possibilities in their Motobecane brand, with 52cm top tubes, and acceptable stand over at 26", but most seem to be sold out and the ones I originally looked at are now gone.

    Thoughts?

    EDIT: None of the bike shops within 100 miles of my current location have any of these bikes in the small size I am looking at. This has long been a problem of mine, nothing to try out.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 04-21-2012 at 07:09 AM.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    My Quick has a 50.5 effective top tube, which is pretty good.

    So far I have found:

    Specialized Myka Sport ... 52.5cm top tube

    Specialized Jett Comp ... 53cm top tube

    Jamis Trail X2 ... 52.1cm top tube

    49cm Top tube ... a Kona Kula

    Motobecane ... 52cm top tubes
    What are the seat tube angles on these frames? You need to normalize the ETT by the differences in STA.
    Laura

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by laura* View Post
    What are the seat tube angles on these frames? You need to normalize the ETT by the differences in STA.
    Thanks. Here is the data:

    Specialized Myka Sport ... 52.5cm top tube, STA 74 degrees

    Specialized Jett Comp ... 53cm top tube, STA 73 degrees

    Jamis Trail X2 ... 52.1cm top tube, STA 74 degrees

    49cm Top tube ... a Kona Kula, STA 73 degrees

    Motobecane ... 52cm top tubes, STA 73 degrees

    So, only one degree difference. Does it matter?
    Last edited by goldfinch; 04-21-2012 at 11:32 AM.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  4. #4
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    I see that my well fitting Cannondale Quick has a seat tube angle of 76 degrees to go with the 50.5cm top tube. How does that compare with these other bikes?
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I see that my well fitting Cannondale Quick has a seat tube angle of 76 degrees to go with the 50.5cm top tube. How does that compare with these other bikes?
    Nominally, one degree of change in the STA results in 1cm change in the effective top tube. The exact number depends upon the seat tube length, so for smaller bikes, the ETT change will be slightly less.

    Your 76 degree 50.5cm Quick is equivalent to:

    75 degrees 51.5cm
    74 degrees 52.5cm
    73 degrees 53.5cm

    Thus, the Myka is the same length as your Quick, and the others actually a bit shorter except for the Kula which is a lot shorter.
    Laura

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by laura* View Post
    Nominally, one degree of change in the STA results in 1cm change in the effective top tube. The exact number depends upon the seat tube length, so for smaller bikes, the ETT change will be slightly less.

    Your 76 degree 50.5cm Quick is equivalent to:

    75 degrees 51.5cm
    74 degrees 52.5cm
    73 degrees 53.5cm

    Thus, the Myka is the same length as your Quick, and the others actually a bit shorter except for the Kula which is a lot shorter.
    Thanks, that is extremely helpful to me!
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  7. #7
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    Jun 2009
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    I'd say stay away from the 24 inch wheels unless you are really good at front wheel lifts. The larger the wheel circumference, the higher obstacle you can "roll over" rather than have to lift the wheel and place it on top.

    For illustration purposes, think of a kids bike tire perpendicular to a curb. See where the curb hits the tire? like halfway up! It's not going to roll over that. It's going to smack into it and stop.

    Now think of a tractor tire perpendicular to that curb. The curb is WAY at the bottom, and the tire would roll over the curb like it's barely there.

  8. #8
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    second stay away from kids bikes. There are plenty of small frame options out there for petite/tiny women. If your lbs doesn't understand this, find another one. They even make 29"ers for tiny frames.
    07 Stumpjumper FSR Pro
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    A bit more out of the box, a kids mountain bike with a 12" frame, 49cm Top tube and 24 inch wheels, a Kona Kula at $949:

    http://www.konaworld.com/kids.cfm?content=kula_2-4
    What about the Kona Tika, their lowest priced WSD?
    RockShox XC 28 fork
    Shimano Acera drivetrain
    Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
    Kona women’s saddle
    $755 USD

    http://www.konaworld.com/womens.cfm?content=tika
    Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on the road ~ Motobecane Mixte
    N+1 new bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Commuter ~ Soma Buena Vista Mixte

    http://madeinusareviews.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
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    You mentioned that you don't like the way Jamis looks, but have you seen the Durangos?

    Smallest size is a 12", and much spiffier than their other, inexpensive models. Price is $660.00. I'd like to test-ride, but no one carries them.

    ETA: Ah, the SO is 27.83. I guess that would be too tall? I'll leave it in case someone else likes this model. Sorry!

    Anyway, I vote for the Specialized, either Myka or Jett. I'm also looking at those.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-27-2012 at 10:36 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  11. #11
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    Yeah, the Tika and the Durango are too high on the standover. Nice bikes.

    I did decide that the kids bike wasn't a good idea. I am leaning towards the Myka or Jett. I am going to be in Minneapolis in a few weeks and have tracked down a Myka to try out.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 04-27-2012 at 05:11 PM.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  12. #12
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    Did you get to test anything yet? I'd love to try some of these, but anyone who carries the womens models, tends to carry the smaller sizes.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

  13. #13
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    Well, this is frustrating. Back last spring I tried the 13" Jett Comp, with 26 inch wheels, and the 13" Myka, also with 26 inch wheels. I liked the light Jett the best but the higher price put me off. I decided to wait until later in the year and see if I could pick up a cheaper one. Or, just give in and pay the extra.

    Can't find any 13" closeouts. And, the Jett is no longer made with the 26 inch wheels and 13" frame.

    I am bummed.

    They also changed the geometry on the Myka line.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 09-07-2012 at 10:49 AM.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  14. #14
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    Have you looked at a Trek Skye? I have a 14 inch and it took a lot of test riding to find a comfortable bike.

  15. #15
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    FWIW, the top tube on my mountain bikes, even when taking into consideration the differences in HTA are longer in the TT than my road/touring bikes.

    I have the Myka in the non-disc version. It would be fine for your purposes unless you ride in wet conditions a lot. My only complaint with the componentry (I'd have to check to see if this year's model is the same is mine) is that it was VERY hard to shift between chainrings. Going from bigger to smaller was fine, but smaller to bigger was very hard.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

 

 

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