Help!

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by ccorrick, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. ccorrick

    ccorrick New Member

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    Gals,

    My wife is going to start riding, and I need some help.

    What size bike? She's 5'2" with a 28" inseam. Anyone close to this and what do you ride? I'm looking at a TON of different bikes, but haven't gotten her on any yet. Probably start shopping tonight. Gonna look at Giant/Cannondale/Fuji/Specialized/etc. Just curious if anyone is about her size and what you ride. I'll have to measure everything and use a chart, but wanted to get started and straightened out in my head.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    Not sure what my inseam is. I ride Specialized Allez Elite Cro-Mo (50)--standover height is just above 28 inches. I'm 5'3" with very very short legs, and when I stand over this bike, I'm not intimate, but I'm touching the top bar. This bike has 700c wheels. You may have luck if you look into 650c wheels. The only major problem: to fit, the seatpost is down almost as far as it can go, making it hard to get aerodynamic on this bike.

    I found that the Trek 5200 WSD (47) was a sweet fitting bike, but it's almost 3 times as expensive too. But I was told that several less expensive Trek models for women had similar geometries. I didn't try them because I was looking for steel.

    Good luck and happy shopping!
     
  3. Spin baby

    Spin baby New Member

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    Brightgarden....

    I'm curious as to why you were looking for a steel frame?

    ccorrick.....

    Have you checked out the Terry bikes? They are a female designed bike.... for females....

    Some good female specific tips on this site....

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/terry/index.html
     
  4. diane143

    diane143 New Member

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    I'm 5'2", not sure of my exact inseam. I just bought a Cannondale R500 FEM, size 47. Both wheels are 650, our LBS was pretty adament about keeping wheel sizes the same.

    The other one I was going to look at was a Jamis Ventura. Their XS is the equivelent of a 47. Unfortunately they didn't have one in stock. Not sure if both wheels are 650, the front one is anyway. I went with the Cannondale so we didn't investigate further, have heard it both ways. It could be something they changed this year (both wheels being 650).

    Keep in mind this is my first real road bike and due to the nasty road conditions right now, my only miles have been on the trainer at the LBS. It won't fit on our old trainer so I am waiting for new stock to come in (don't you hate when it costs more than you had hoped? LOL)

    They did change the stem for me, they really spent a lot of time fitting me to the bike. Told me to come back for a refitting when I put clipless pedals on. I'm tempted to ask what they'll charge to fit me to my mtn bike, the shop I got that for pretty much said "yeah, this will fit you" and handing it over to me.

    Good luck and have fun. My goal is to beat my DH. :D

    Diane
     
  5. ccorrick

    ccorrick New Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    Diane,

    I'm looking at an '03 FEM (they were an R400 last year). My LBS happens to be in another state and because they used to sponser me, I support them all I can. Anyway, it has the 650s and they will let her try all the saddles in stock to find a fit. That one is $650, a bit more than I wanted to spend, but if I can't find a good used bike I may do it. Seems to be about right everywhere as far as measurments. Of course all this is from measurement and not actual tests. I'm going to take her to a shop tonight and just see what will work.

    Thanks again everyone. This is helping and broadens my search a lot.

    :D I think i'm more excited than her!!:p
     
  6. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    Originally: because aluminum has a bad rap. doesn't last long, gets stress fractures, etc. my friends on aluminum bikes older than 10 years seem to hate em. same friends regret getting rid of their steel tanks. (I still have mine).

    Finally: because I discovered that Specialized makes a compact frame in steel!

    But until I found that out, I was just minutes away from purchasing an entry-level aluminum road bike just to get on one. plus some of my other friends were getting on my case for being a steel snob without any good reason.

    So, here's all I can say: I would (yes!) get a carbon bike if I could afford it. I would indeed test ride a titanium bike, and I would gladly accept one as a gift or a prize, hard-won, in a contest. I would also potentially purchase a very good fitting aluminum racing bike (for the strict purpose of racing), but chances of such a bike existing seem slim.

    But my savings are going toward a custom steel frame bike that fits me. My bike feels good, and is a good enough fit for me to have fun on it. But I can't get aerodynamic on it, and that bums me out.
     
  7. ccorrick

    ccorrick New Member

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    Hmm..I'm a alum addict!! Glad my wife knows no better, cause she's gonna get an alum too! hahaha.
     
  8. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    better watch out! she may outstrip even YOUR enthusiasm for biking! :cool:

    and I'm not really down on aluminum... some of my best friends' bikes are aluminum...

    ...and they beat my pants off...



    [and i confess, i bought my daughter an aluminum bike (she doesn't know better either)]
     
  9. diane143

    diane143 New Member

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    It's funny, because I know no different either. Mine is alum, and the 04 Ventura is as well. DH has an 03 Ventura - steel. Hey, I'll take anything in my favor. ;)

    But yeah, I'm a little worried about how much I'll get beat up. We do road racing (cars) and have stiff suspensions that never bother me, but with partial bodyweight resting on my wrists I may feel differently. Personally I can't even deal with mushy car rides, I get nauseous!

    Guess there is only one way to find out how I like the bike! :D

    Diane
     
  10. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    I think for the average enthusiastic amateur rider, aluminum's lack of durability is highly exaggerated. I don't know that I'd recommend aluminum if you're planning to ride the same bike for over a decade but most cyclist will find they want a new bike before a decade passes by.

    I have 5 bikes and they all have aluminum frames. The one with the most wear and tear is my hard-tail mountain bike. It has 5-years of 4-7 rides per week on a trail that is anything but kind to the equipment. Surely someday the frame will give but I've read suggestions of replacing aluminum frames every year or every two years. This sounds like a great sales gimmick.

    My oldest aluminum roadbike is about 12 years old and still offers as good a ride as it ever did. The equipment is a bit outdated, (i.e. downtube shifters, 6-speed cogset, etc.). I don't have access to x-ray equipment but I have no doubts concerning the frame's integrity. That metal fork doesn't quite instill the confidence of the carbon fiber on either my 2001 or 2003 aluminum frame road bikes, though.

    Aluminum can take quite a pounding over a reasonably long period. I think the more important question is how much of a pounding can you take since aluminum likes to share every bump in the road with the rider.

    :)
     
  11. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    OOh I'm jealous..shopping for a bike!!
    I'm 5'3" and long legs for my height. I ride a Litespeed Tuscany and its a 49. http://www.litespeed.com/bikes/tuscany.aspx# fits me nice. my inseam was 29 and i was in between a size of frame. 49 or 50. no half sizes. SO I went smaller.

    in case you dont know this::: measuring is important!
    Tell your honey to take her shoes off and hold a stick under her crotch area. .... a yardstick or something would work...and hold it LEVEL horizontally up at the crotch with the same pressure she would feel if she were sitting on a seat. ~ yeah its kinky..haha!~ Then measure from the floor to that stick. its gets you an accurate inseam for determining the frame size. Dont go by the pants inseam. I wouldnt trust that accuracy and you need to know where the seat is sitting

    I would definitely recommend to you, if you havent already, to look at the Bianchi frame or the Serrota for a woman. They are really nicely set up for a woman's body without even being woman specific. classic, tight metal frame.
    They are all different prices. Shop around too and just because it sounds expensive.....You might get lucky and find one in her size on sale.
    check out this website.:: http://www.hi-techbikes.com/

    But you should still definitely get her to make her final decision with a test ride!
    GOod luck and happy riding!!!!!! I am so excited for you guys! Its like getting a puppy or something. :) only without the mess
     
  12. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    Just curious.... Why do you keep buying aluminum??

    ''Ride it hard and put it up wet baby :)''

    steel needs a bit more TLC sometimes, right?

    yeah I think it still comes down to the test ride.
     
  13. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    why??
    I am so curious! does it just feel like you are scrunched? I swear I have that problem. I feel like my knees are in my chest.
    it could be

    the ...chest factor?? ... just kidding (hahaha I wish I had that problem!) but seriously explain what you mean. Maybe someone can give you advice on how to help that.

    I got one of those cycle videos of Virginia in the fall. <sigh> very pretty. :cool: wow. you are so lucky. :)
     
  14. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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  15. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    Aluminum's reputation for a harsh ride is the result of the stiffness of the material. This may feed more of the bumps and jolts to the rider but it also provides a better feel to the rider for what is going on at the interface between tire and road. In addition, a rigid frame transmits more of the rider's power to the rear wheel and handles with precision when it comes time to flick the bike in and out of turns at high speed.

    Much like the stiff suspension of a sports car/race-bred automobile, aluminum is a trade off. Harsher ride, better feel and handling. Of course if the asphalt gets rough, then the lack of compliancy in the frame material does the opposite. Everything in design is a compromise.

    As you mentioned, steel is less resistant to the environment - namely, rust. It's not a huge problem unless the bike lives outdoors and you live in a moist area but when you consider that the wall thickness of chromoly tubing can be as thin as .3mm, it doesn't take much rust to create a weak spot.

    :)
     
  16. ccorrick

    ccorrick New Member

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    Thanks!

    Yes the 28" is accurate. Saddles, levels, a square, and a tape measure were all involved.(kinky indeed). I will check out all the suggestions!. I've been riding for a long time now, and to me all this is kinda second nature. It's hard to compute what's needed for someone exactly a foot shorter and only 100 lbs! We're hitting the bike shops tonight. Stupid price limit is moving up already....wish I could spend more for her.

    C-
     
  17. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    I kinda want an aluminum frame suitable for a crit bike.

    yeah. well I want a LOT of things and this is probably not happening THIS year. My bike is a good 'all purpose bike' But not the best for time trials or for crits.

    You know what you have to do. Is just get a lot of friends that ride and are the same size as you. ;)
    Rich friends with lots of bikes.

    that new LOOK frame ( the one that Jalebert rides) wow. carbone with LUGS. I do believe you can't see the aluminum but its in there somewhere.
    check it out. http://www.lookcyclesusa.com/f-kg481.htm
     
  18. JuneBug

    JuneBug New Member

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    OH sorry! I have to say that I was a mountain biker long before I got my first road bike. I already knew what I wanted and saved and really shopped around every chance I got. I found a great deal and had to get it. It was almost a steal.... once in a lifetime chance.
    The funny thing is that my husband was totally ANTI ROAD at the time of the purchase and I literally bought it without his knowing. LOL!
    I had to sneak it home and hide it from him somehow so I just put it up in the bedroom LOL ((just kidding!))
    yeah well...I stared at it for days. like a work of art. I justified the expense by reminding myself that at my age some women go out and ger fur coats that cost that much., or more! this is better than a fur coat ,dangit! plus no one had to kill anything for it.

    THEN.....he went out and got a nice road bike shortly after and NOW all he wants to do is ride his road bike. He got really buff, shaves his awesome legs, and we ride together all the time.
    AND....we met some wonderful people on the club rides that we would have never met on the mountain bike trails.....and therein lies the addiction.

    see sometimes men just need a good kick in the pants to see the light!
    by the way. Dont get her TOO nice of a bike because they are really good 'man magnets' truly . :)
     
  19. Spin baby

    Spin baby New Member

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    I prefer my steel mountain bike as well....and that's great for ripping around the trails and paths... but it is a tank on the pavement for sure.

    I'll ride it as long as I can though... at least until my knees demand an easier ride, or I decide to take to the pavement on a regular basis.... ; )
     
  20. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    haha! :D

    well well well. that is my sweetheart bike too! can you just imagine how far down the seatpost is on that thing? good thing i don't have a digital camera.... especially right now with all my holiday fat still hanging over my beltline...

    but, after tonight, must tighten up.

    happy mardi gras!
     
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