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  1. #1
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    Question Does anyone make a SS full-susp MTB for petite rider?

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    I am now realizing how stupid I was for not having my beloved XS Titus Racer X converted to a single-speed and bringing it to our new home in Belize. The riding here is all beach, dirt trails, unpaved roads with potholes and rocks, or cobblestones. Everyone rides beach cruisers, including me, but I sure would LOVE a full-suspension, as a lot of the riding here is downright uncomfy on the tush and hands/wrists/arms/shoulders.

    So, is such a beast (SINGLE SPEED full-susp MTB) available ready made? I am 5'2" and rode an XS size Titus.

    Just curious at this point since I don't even know what is available out there. I probably can't afford one anyway, but a girl can dream, right? An aluminum frame would be a must in this harsh environment.

    Any advice/pointers to models I might at least look at online?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by emily_in_nc; 03-05-2012 at 01:34 PM. Reason: more clearly specify that I am looking for a single speed bike
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
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  2. #2
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    Emily, what's your approximate standover height?

    ETA: What about a Santa Cruz Juliana??
    Last edited by Becky; 03-05-2012 at 12:03 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hi Emily,

    I know specialized makes full suspension of women.

    2 that I know off hand is one of the Jett's & one of the Myka's. It certainly will fit you fine since we are about the same size. Full suspension is more $$ than a hardtail.

    Here is the link from the Specialized Mtn bike site.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/....jsp?scid=1100
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    Emily, what's your approximate standover height?

    ETA: What about a Santa Cruz Juliana??
    My cycling inseam is approx. 28.5". Juliana's are geared bikes, though; I am looking for single-speed. Is that an option?

    Thanks!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo-n-NY View Post
    Hi Emily,

    I know specialized makes full suspension of women.

    2 that I know off hand is one of the Jett's & one of the Myka's. It certainly will fit you fine since we are about the same size. Full suspension is more $$ than a hardtail.

    Here is the link from the Specialized Mtn bike site.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/....jsp?scid=1100
    Thanks, but these are also all geared bikes, as far as I can tell. I am looking for single-speed, if such a beast is made. Dealing with derailleurs and shifters in a marine climate is just asking for trouble, and since it's perfectly flat here, completely unnecessary.

    Thanks!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
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  6. #6
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    This is only a guess, there might be a full suspension single speed out there; but it would sort of be an oxymoron and I doubt there is a production FS single speed. It would probably be an off brand (custom) or such.

    Mountain bikes FS are usually designed for off road riding which usually includes lots of hill climbing. Hence the name Mountain! Anyway, most people that I know that ride single speed mountain bikes in the mountains are what I call "Mutants". They are really tough, they ride the hills in big, big gears and they pedal and coast like madmen downhill! They are also usually kind of retro so most single speeds that I have seen are hard tails not FS. It is kind of a cult type of bike!

    Like I said, there may be a FS single speed production bike, but I bet it would be hard to find! Anyway, anyone know of one????

    I would also think that the way a FS bike works with pivots and movement in the rear might even make a single speed impossible since there is no deraileur and no give in the chain area, so I would think that the chain would just bounce right off all the time. There are ways to use a tensioner on a regular hard tail conversion to single speed to keep this from happening, but I'm not quite sure how that would work with a FS bike???

    You could get a cheap suspension seat post to get a little cush for your seat. Maybe, a suspension fork for your front?
    Last edited by spokewench; 03-05-2012 at 01:50 PM.

  7. #7
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    Oops! Sorry Emily- I missed the part about single speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by spokewench View Post
    I would also think that the way a FS bike works with pivots and movement in the rear might even make a single speed impossible since there is no deraileur and no give in the chain area, so I would think that the chain would just bounce right off all the time. There are ways to use a tensioner on a regular hard tail conversion to single speed to keep this from happening, but I'm not quite sure how that would work with a FS bike???

    You could get a cheap suspension seat post to get a little cush for your seat. Maybe, a suspension fork for your front?
    I think Spokewench is onto something here. I don't see how the rear triangle could move and still maintain the chain tension, unless the rear wheel moved in a fixed arc around the bottom bracket. That said, I sort of recall a discussion about single speed FS bikes over at the MTBR forums. It might be worth a check over there...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    I think Spokewench is onto something here. I don't see how the rear triangle could move and still maintain the chain tension, unless the rear wheel moved in a fixed arc around the bottom bracket. That said, I sort of recall a discussion about single speed FS bikes over at the MTBR forums. It might be worth a check over there...
    Great, thanks. Obviously I am not up on the technical details of this. I kind of like the idea of a hardtail with suspension seatpost, though -- hadn't thought of that one. I will go over to the MTBR forums and have a look as well, thanks.

    So, back to the original question but with a change -- does anyone know of any hardtail single-speeds for petite women (long femurs, short torso/arms)?

    Thanks!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
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  9. #9
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    Actually, I wonder if an urban/city bike with front susp. fork might be a better (and less expensive) choice for me. Then I could add on a suspension seatpost. I don't want to spend a ton since the climate down here is harsh and eats bike components, and theft is an issue too. We're super careful with our beach cruisers b/c they are nicer than most of the bikes down here (we shipped them down from the US), but bikes do have a tendency to go missing, so anything too pricey or showy is a huge target here.

    Off to look at urban/city bikes online...
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  10. #10
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    I am always interested in small bikes so your question interested me. I did find one single speed full suspension "mountain" bike: http://www.lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=4
    But, I don't know if the smallest size is small enough. After all, it is a 29'er.

    I think your idea of an urban/city bike with a suspended fork makes sense, and then either add a sprung seat or seatpost.
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  11. #11
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    Emily - as an avid MTBer, and an avid SSer, I can safely say that a FS SS MTB is nearly impossible. Having broken derailleurs while in the woods, and needing to quickly do a SS conversion just to get home, the issue with pivots and suspension changing the chain line causes significant issues (as in, you can't keep the chain on) - just as Spokewench said.

    I have a HT SS 29er with a suspension fork that I love. I don't find the lack of rear suspension (and I only ride FS MTBs) to be an issue for me, even on the boniest singletrack. I would suggest this as an option to begin with, and then think about the suspension seatpost as others have suggested.

    Can't help with a specific brand as I'm significantly taller than you. DH picked up a Motobecane frame to build my SS MTB bike for relatively short $. I have a shorter friend who rides a Surly as her SS on the roads, while I ride a Kona SS-specific CX frame on the roads.

    Good luck!

    SheFly
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I am always interested in small bikes so your question interested me. I did find one single speed full suspension "mountain" bike: http://www.lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=4
    But, I don't know if the smallest size is small enough. After all, it is a 29'er.

    I think your idea of an urban/city bike with a suspended fork makes sense, and then either add a sprung seat or seatpost.
    That Lenz Sport is a lovely bike, but way above my price range, and being a 29er, even the Small is way too tall for me with a 29" standover. Actually, that's a good thing, so I won't be lusting over it!

    Since the bike I'm thinking of would essentially be a beach bike much of the time (I live on a sandy island), I would not want to spend over $1000. I now understand that full-suspension is probably not going to work, and it increases the price a lot.

    I did look at urban/city bikes, but I would need to be able to run wide, MTB or beach cruiser tires (2"+), so that option probably won't work either.

    So I am back to SS hardtail MTBs and will keep looking. It's a fun thing to do on a rainy day. Unfortunately, being in Belize, building it myself would be far too difficult (parts availability is just about nil, and import duties high), so I will keep looking for something ready-made.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheFly View Post
    I have a HT SS 29er with a suspension fork that I love. I don't find the lack of rear suspension (and I only ride FS MTBs) to be an issue for me, even on the boniest singletrack. I would suggest this as an option to begin with, and then think about the suspension seatpost as others have suggested.
    Thanks for all the good info, SheFly! Wish I *were* tall enough for a 29er as those seem more common than 26" MTBs nowadays.

    I can see where hardtail would work fine on gnarly single-track, because you're out of the saddle a LOT, right? Here, it's dead flat, but the unpaved roads are riddled with rocks and potholes, and the paved roads are mostly cobblestone, so I wouldn't want to be out of the saddle all that much -- with conditions here, I'd have to ride out of the saddle nearly *all* the time to avoid all the bumps, so that is why I was thinking full-suspension. I am not looking to ride aggressively here, just upright and comfortably. My current beach cruiser is a peach on flat, packed sand and flat pavement, but we don't have much of that.

    Since a SS fullie is an impossible dream, a suspension seatpost would be my best option, I think, so I could stay seated and have more comfort than on my current beach cruiser.

    I may just end up adding a suspension seatpost to my beach cruiser and call it done, as a cheap fix. But it's fun to look at new bikes and dream a little, even if I never do anything about it.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
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  14. #14
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    hmmm, don't they make some beach cruisers with front suspensions, or am I confusing those with something else? I know I've seen something like that at the local bike stores. Probably not a beach cruiser but they had wider tires. Perhaps something like that with a suspension seatpost?

  15. #15
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    Emily, I'm no MTB expert, but I do have a a Cane Creek Thudbuster LT SS on my hardtail. It's one of the better reviewed suspension seatposts on the market and it's set up so that you use different elastomer combinations based on the rider's weight. If you go this route and if memory serves, you'll have to seperately order an extra "white" elastomer because of your low weight. You'll also want to check the specs on it, or any SS that you order, to make sure you have enough clearance for it. Your seat has to be high enough so that's there's room to accommodate it.
    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.

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