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Female Bike Size.....

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
On average, what would be a good size bike for a female 5'3"?
post #2 of 8

Re: Female Bike Size.....

Funny you asked that- I was just looking at bikes today and I am 5'3. Anything from 15-17" would be good. The models do vary for overall fit so definitely try out a few different ones.
post #3 of 8

Re: Female Bike Size.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTARPilot View Post
On average, what would be a good size bike for a female 5'3"?
It depends on your upper body to leg proportions and to some extent whether you're looking at woman specific bikes with their typically shorter top tubes but in road bikes you're probably in the 47-50cm range.

Be wary of shops trying to put you on bigger unisex bikes. We went through this last summer when buying a new road bike for my wife. The sales folks at several shops tried to get her on unisex 51cm frames when it was obvious she could hardly reach the brake hoods even with short stems. She's 5'3" tall and ended up on a woman's specific 49cm Orbea and even then she had to go to an 8cm stem to get a comfortable fit.

-Dave
post #4 of 8

Re: Female Bike Size.....

There are too many variables to easily specify a bike size given only your height. For example, I'm a 5'9" male and own 15.5" and 17.5" mountain bikes, and a 52cm road bike. Also, since you posted this question in the "Road Cycling" forum, I assume you're looking for road frame sizing in centimeters not inches.

Your best bet is to get sized at a local bike shop. Online sizing calculators can be helpful if you can't make it to a shop. Here's two:
Simple calculator: The Colorado Cyclist :: Bicycle Parts and Accessories
Complex calculator: Fit Calculator - Competitive Cyclist
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Re: Female Bike Size.....

I'm aware there are a lot of variables I just want to get an idea. I'm helping a co worker look for a new bike and need to know where to start. She is looking for a road bike.

Thanks for the info...I was thinking somewhere around a 49cm would be in the ball park.
post #6 of 8

Re: Female Bike Size.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOTARPilot View Post
I'm aware there are a lot of variables I just want to get an idea. I'm helping a co worker look for a new bike and need to know where to start. She is looking for a road bike.

Thanks for the info...I was thinking somewhere around a 49cm would be in the ball park.
Scotty Dog's links are a good start. Remember, Women Specific designs are not always best even if a shorter reach is needed, because the geometry is usually compromised to some degree which results in a steeper seat tube angle.

No standards for bicycle sizing exist. A 43 cm of one brand can be a 45 cm of another.

Stand-over clearance is only one concern. You don't ride a bike by standing over the top tube. You ride with your butt on the seat and your hands on the bars-- hence the length of the torso combined with arm length, core strength and arm strength are critical aspects of reach.

Please take a look at Welcome to petitebikefit.com womensbikefit.com petitebikefit.com for a lot of great resources. The site is mostly geared for women 5'2 and under but would certainly apply to a woman 5'3. Also, if you don't know a good bike fitter, try your local Specialized dealer to see if they have any BG bike fitters. More About Bikefitting
post #7 of 8

Re: Female Bike Size.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by endurancemom View Post
Anything from 15-17" would be good. The models do vary for overall fit so definitely try out a few different ones.
Depends on the style of the bike, too. At 5'3", a 15" MTB would probably be best, a 15" or 17" hybrid like a Trek FX or Specialized Vita, or a 49-51 cm road bike. For a 5'3" woman of fairly average proportions, of course.
post #8 of 8

Re: Female Bike Size.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Depends on the style of the bike, too. At 5'3", a 15" MTB would probably be best, a 15" or 17" hybrid like a Trek FX or Specialized Vita, or a 49-51 cm road bike. For a 5'3" woman of fairly average proportions, of course.
I guess this is a bit OT, but how are you measuring that 15"?

I reckon that the top tube on a 15" MTB would probably be too long for a person who is 5'3" ... unless the bike were only being ridden on a bike path (not that there is anything wrong with that) & the bike had an adjustable stem which was cranked all the way up.

Not that 'I' am the arbiter of MTB sizing (the thread is actually about ROAD bikes) ...

A few years ago, someone who I think/thought/believe is only about an inch taller than I am bought a LARGE (maybe, it was larger!?!) Santa Cruz BLUR, and I would swear it is too large for him. I only saw the bike once, but the seatpost exposure on his Blur was about the same as on most of my road bikes AND his handlebars were set at comfort bike height (not that there is anything wrong with that, either) ...

He didn't have a bad back at the time that I'm aware of, then-or-now; but, I would have thought a MEDIUM frame (i.e., ~16") would be a better fit.

I would think that someone who is 5'3" (or, shorter) should probably consider an XS MTB frame (i.e., closer to ~13").
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