Which Extra-Small Road Bike? (long)

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Eurastus, Feb 28, 2003.

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  1. Eurastus

    Eurastus Guest

    I am looking for an extra-small road bike for my daughter; she's very excited to ride a "real bike"
    with Daddy...I'd like to hear your opinions and advice...

    She's about 4'5" tall, a skinny 55 pounds and is emphatic that she does not want to ride a Mountain
    Bike like her brother...try as I might, I can't get her mind off a road bike with skinny tires and
    drop-bars.

    We've got a 1989 (I think) 48cm Cannondale that my wife used to ride many, many moons ago. (My wife
    is only 5'2" so I don't expect my daughter to grow much more than that.) The Cannondale is in fine
    shape--Shimano 105 7-speed components with down-tube shifters. I thought it looked too big but after
    my daughter pleaded for a week; I was game to give it a try. I lowered the saddle, using the old
    upside-down seat clamp method on a 27.2 seat pillar. The saddle rails are about 1/4 inch above the
    seat collar; it's not going any lower but my daughter really needs it to go down another 3/4 to 1
    inch. I replaced the standard stem with a 60mm extension...the reach appears to be OK. Break-reach
    is just a bit too long, though.

    My daughter can just barely ride the Cannondale, rocking her hips from side to side. She loves the
    bike and wants to ride whenever the weather will allow. I don't like the bike fit at all. I think
    she'd stop rocking if her legs were an inch longer...at the rate she's going, that might well be by
    mid-summer.

    I'd really like to get something that fits much better...maybe a 40-43cm with 650 wheels. Do you
    have any suggestions as to what's available out there?

    I notice that Cannondale now has a 40cm frame with 650 wheels available now but it retails at $1200
    and up (depending on group)...too rich for our blood.

    K2 has a model, the Mach 1.0, which is listed at 43cm, with a 51.2 cm top tube that at $520 is more
    reasonable. It has Sora break levers, which can be adjusted down for smaller hands. None of the
    local shops have one that small and will only order one if I put 50% down...I'd like her to ride it
    before we commit to the purchase.

    Anything else that small out there?

    I'd really like to get something that fits her better before she wrecks the one she's riding, hurts
    herself, and loses all interest in riding.

    Thanks, Eurastus.
     
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  2. Eurastus wrote:
    >
    > I am looking for an extra-small road bike for my daughter; she's very excited to ride a "real
    > bike" with Daddy...I'd like to hear your opinions and advice...
    >
    > She's about 4'5" tall, a skinny 55 pounds and is emphatic that she does not want to ride a
    > Mountain Bike like her brother...try as I might, I can't get her mind off a road bike with skinny
    > tires and drop-bars.

    Tell her I think she's cool! I love it when kids have the sense to follow their own ideas, not what
    everyone else does. And really, road bikes are _so_ much nicer to ride!

    > We've got a 1989 (I think) 48cm Cannondale ... My daughter can just barely ride the Cannondale,
    > rocking her hips from side to side. She loves the bike and wants to ride whenever the weather will
    > allow. I don't like the bike fit at all...
    >
    > Anything else that small out there?

    It sounds like the fit is not at all good.

    My daughter (5' 3") rode a decent quality Raleigh mixte frame for years, but recently we bought her
    a Terry, one with the small front wheel. She absolutely loves it, and I bet your daughter would too.
    She's much, much more comfortable on this bike than on her previous one.

    If you get a Terry, you're getting a bike designed specifically for women, esp. smaller women. It's
    designed by Georgena Terry, a woman who's a mechanical engineer, and that's cool in itself, I think.

    http://www.terrybicycles.com/

    BTW, after my daughter got the Terry, she invited me to do a coast-to-coast tour. How cool
    is _that_?

    --
    Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  3. Eurastus

    Eurastus Guest

    Yea, I looked at them but even their cheapest is $1150...way to much.

    I got the word to look at Fuji. Turns out they have a 44 with Sora and 650 wheels for $599
    list...that's more my price.

    I'll take a look at it.

    Any others?

    Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Eurastus wrote:
    >>
    >> I am looking for an extra-small road bike for my daughter; she's very excited to ride a "real
    >> bike" with Daddy...I'd like to hear your opinions and advice...
    >>
    >> She's about 4'5" tall, a skinny 55 pounds and is emphatic that she does not want to ride a
    >> Mountain Bike like her brother...try as I might, I can't get her mind off a road bike with skinny
    >> tires and drop-bars.
    >
    >Tell her I think she's cool! I love it when kids have the sense to follow their own ideas, not what
    >everyone else does. And really, road bikes are _so_ much nicer to ride!
    >
    >> We've got a 1989 (I think) 48cm Cannondale ... My daughter can just barely ride the Cannondale,
    >> rocking her hips from side to side. She loves the bike and wants to ride whenever the weather
    >> will allow. I don't like the bike fit at all...
    >>
    >> Anything else that small out there?
    >
    >It sounds like the fit is not at all good.
    >
    >My daughter (5' 3") rode a decent quality Raleigh mixte frame for years, but recently we bought her
    >a Terry, one with the small front wheel. She absolutely loves it, and I bet your daughter would
    >too. She's much, much more comfortable on this bike than on her previous one.
    >
    >If you get a Terry, you're getting a bike designed specifically for women, esp. smaller women.
    >It's designed by Georgena Terry, a woman who's a mechanical engineer, and that's cool in
    >itself, I think.
    >
    >http://www.terrybicycles.com/
    >
    >BTW, after my daughter got the Terry, she invited me to do a coast-to-coast tour. How cool
    >is _that_?
    >
    >--
    >Frank Krygowski [email protected]
     
  4. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Eurastus" wrote:

    > I am looking for an extra-small road bike for my daughter She's about 4'5" tall, a skinny
    > 55 pounds

    > We've got a 1989 (I think) 48cm Cannondale that my wife used to ride many,
    many
    > moons ago. (My wife is only 5'2" so I don't expect my daughter to grow
    much
    > more than that.)

    > The saddle rails are about 1/4 inch above the seat collar; it's not going any
    lower
    > but my daughter really needs it to go down another 3/4 to 1 inch. I
    replaced
    > the standard stem with a 60mm extension...the reach appears to be OK. Break-reach is just a bit
    > too long, though.

    > My daughter can just barely ride the Cannondale, rocking her hips from
    side to
    > side.

    How old is she? I can understand not wanting to spend a lot of money on a bike she will outgrow in a
    year, but riding a bike that fits as poorly as you describe is never a good idea.

    Racing style bikes with 24" wheels may still be available for young riders. A compact frame (sloping
    top tube) might be another option if the top tube length is appropriate.

    Art Harris
     
  5. Melisa Johns

    Melisa Johns Guest

    Your local bike shop has something to fit her. You know she will outgrow it pretty fast. So in
    this case, I'd go to Walmart. No kidding. For $120 or so, a 24 inch wheel 24 speed anything will
    get her on the road with something that fits her today. When she outgrows it in a year or so,
    you're out $100.

    Then in a year or so, Cannondale, Terry or Litespeed if you choose.

    "Frank Krygowski" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Eurastus wrote:
    > >
    > > I am looking for an extra-small road bike for my daughter; she's very
    excited
    > > to ride a "real bike" with Daddy...I'd like to hear your opinions and
    advice...
    > >
    > > She's about 4'5" tall, a skinny 55 pounds and is emphatic that she does
    not
    > > want to ride a Mountain Bike like her brother...try as I might, I can't
    get her
     
  6. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >I'd really like to get something that fits her better before she wrecks the one she's riding, hurts
    >herself, and loses all interest in riding.
    >

    Have you considered putting shorter cranks on the bike. If your only serious concern is that her
    hips are rocking, some 152s might do the trick, that would knock off about a half inch and would be
    cost effective until she does grow into the bike.

    My guess is that anything new in that size is going to be expensive unless you do something like
    build a mixte hybrid into a road bike.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  7. Eurastus

    Eurastus Guest

    I certainly agree with everything you've mentioned. In fact, I knew all this already. I'm looking
    for specific models of bikes available in smallwe sizes.

    Thanks for your words..

    "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >"Eurastus" wrote:
    >
    >> I am looking for an extra-small road bike for my daughter She's about 4'5" tall, a skinny
    >> 55 pounds
    >
    >> We've got a 1989 (I think) 48cm Cannondale that my wife used to ride many,
    >many
    >> moons ago. (My wife is only 5'2" so I don't expect my daughter to grow
    >much
    >> more than that.)
    >
    >> The saddle rails are about 1/4 inch above the seat collar; it's not going any
    >lower
    >> but my daughter really needs it to go down another 3/4 to 1 inch. I
    >replaced
    >> the standard stem with a 60mm extension...the reach appears to be OK. Break-reach is just a bit
    >> too long, though.
    >
    >> My daughter can just barely ride the Cannondale, rocking her hips from
    >side to
    >> side.
    >
    >How old is she? I can understand not wanting to spend a lot of money on a bike she will outgrow in
    >a year, but riding a bike that fits as poorly as you describe is never a good idea.
    >
    >Racing style bikes with 24" wheels may still be available for young riders. A compact frame
    >(sloping top tube) might be another option if the top tube length is appropriate.
    >
    >Art Harris
     
  8. Eurastus

    Eurastus Guest

    If I could get ahold of a smaller frame I have no problem transferring most of the 105 kit from the
    existing 48cm Cannondale; I did work in various bike shops for over 10 years. The problem is in
    finding one. Particular models?

    Thanks.

    [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote:
    >>I'd really like to get something that fits her better before she wrecks the one she's riding,
    >>hurts herself, and loses all interest in riding.
    >>
    >
    >Have you considered putting shorter cranks on the bike. If your only serious concern is that her
    >hips are rocking, some 152s might do the trick, that would knock off about a half inch and would be
    >cost effective until she does grow into the bike.
    >
    >My guess is that anything new in that size is going to be expensive unless you do something like
    >build a mixte hybrid into a road bike.
    >
    >Jon Isaacs
     
  9. Eurastus

    Eurastus Guest

    Thanks for the reply, but I'm not interested in a Wal-Mart Huffy or the like. I don't mind spending
    a few bucks ($450-$600) for something decent. I have three younger kids growing up after her that
    will certainly use the bike after...

    "Melisa Johns" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Your local bike shop has something to fit her. You know she will outgrow it pretty fast. So in
    >this case, I'd go to Walmart. No kidding. For $120 or so, a 24 inch wheel 24 speed anything will
    >get her on the road with something that fits her today. When she outgrows it in a year or so,
    >you're out $100.
    >
    >Then in a year or so, Cannondale, Terry or Litespeed if you choose.
    >
    >
    >
    >"Frank Krygowski" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >> Eurastus wrote:
    >> >
    >> > I am looking for an extra-small road bike for my daughter; she's very
    >excited
    >> > to ride a "real bike" with Daddy...I'd like to hear your opinions and
    >advice...
    >> >
    >> > She's about 4'5" tall, a skinny 55 pounds and is emphatic that she does
    >not
    >> > want to ride a Mountain Bike like her brother...try as I might, I can't
    >get her
    >
     
  10. "Eurastus" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:D[email protected]...
    > If I could get ahold of a smaller frame I have no problem transferring
    most of
    > the 105 kit from the existing 48cm Cannondale; I did work in various bike
    shops
    > for over 10 years. The problem is in finding one. Particular models?
    >
    > Thanks.

    I've seen the Trek 1000 in my local shops in a 43 cm version. List is also
    599. Or, look for a frame on ebay. Here's a link to a 43 cm terry, currently at $102.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2713813137&category=7298
     
  11. Eurastus <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I am looking for an extra-small road bike for my daughter; she's very excited to ride a "real
    > bike" with Daddy...I'd like to hear your opinions and advice...
    >
    > She's about 4'5" tall, a skinny 55 pounds and is emphatic that she does not want to ride a
    > Mountain Bike like her brother...try as I might, I can't get her mind off a road bike with skinny
    > tires and drop-bars.

    My daughter's taller, maybe 4'9", and like me, all legs. No hips yet, though, so her jeans are size
    16 boys slim.

    We're also looking for a small women's road bike for her coming up, so we can pass her bike down to
    her sister -- I appreciate all the suggestions people are making here so I can see them too.

    Warm Regards,

    Claire [email protected]
     
  12. Eurastus

    Eurastus Guest

    The most promising leads I've found so far are the four bikes in the Trek WSD line
    (http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2003/bikefinder/winners/road/wsd_best.jsp). They look great and get
    great reviews and are available as small as 43 cm frames. Unfortunately, they start over $1100 and
    go up to $2700 suggested retail. Trek is the largest manafacturer in the US and dealers are
    everywhere. Chances of them having the smallest sizes are very slim, but they can always order.

    In a more reasonable price range, the Fuji Ace-SE (http://www.fujibike.com/road/bike.asp?category_s-
    hort_name=road&myArray=1,2,3,4,5,19,6,7,8,18,16,9,10,20,11,12,13,17,15,14,54,55,56,57&myArrayID=18)
    and Finest Womens (http://www.fujibike.com/road/bike.asp?category_short_name=road&myArray=1,2,3,4,5-
    ,19,6,7,8,18,16,9,10,20,11,12,13,17,15,14,54,55,56,57&myArrayID=16) models look good. They aren't
    the bikes the Treks are, but they run from $450 to $600 on the 'net. Fuji is not a real big name in
    the States and usually only small, independent shops carry them. In fact I don't have a Fuji dealer
    within 100 miles of my home--I'll probably order one off the 'net somewhere. The Finest Womens model
    is looking pretty good right now, unless I can find a used bike somewhere.

    Best of luck on your search.

    [email protected] (Claire Petersky) wrote:
    >Eurastus <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >> I am looking for an extra-small road bike for my daughter; she's very excited to ride a "real
    >> bike" with Daddy...I'd like to hear your opinions and advice...
    >>
    >> She's about 4'5" tall, a skinny 55 pounds and is emphatic that she does not want to ride a
    >> Mountain Bike like her brother...try as I might, I can't get her mind off a road bike with skinny
    >> tires and drop-bars.
    >
    >My daughter's taller, maybe 4'9", and like me, all legs. No hips yet, though, so her jeans are size
    >16 boys slim.
    >
    >We're also looking for a small women's road bike for her coming up, so we can pass her bike down to
    >her sister -- I appreciate all the suggestions people are making here so I can see them too.
    >
    >Warm Regards,
    >
    >Claire [email protected]
     
  13. M Gagnon

    M Gagnon Guest

    > "Melisa Johns" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >Your local bike shop has something to fit her. You know she will outgrow
    it
    > >pretty fast. So in this case, I'd go to Walmart. No kidding. For $120
    or
    > >so, a 24 inch wheel 24 speed anything will get her on the road with something that fits her
    > >today. When she outgrows it in a year or so,
    you're
    > >out $100.

    "Eurastus" <[email protected]> a √©crit:
    > Thanks for the reply, but I'm not interested in a Wal-Mart Huffy or the
    like.
    > I don't mind spending a few bucks ($450-$600) for something decent. I
    have
    > three younger kids growing up after her that will certainly use the bike after...
    >

    If you can't find anything, modifying a typical "teen bike" by replacing tires with skinny high
    pressure ones would be a tremendous helper. If you buy road bars (1970-style narrow and shallow
    touring bars would be the best -- buy used), road brake levers and shifters, you would get a "brand
    new" bike her size, except for the high bottom bracket.

    Another option. Look at the Cannondale you have. If the cranks are the typical 170 mm, replacing
    them with 155-160-mm cranks would help. Not cheap, though.

    Regards,

    Michel Gagnon
     
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