Which Extra-Small Road Bike? (long)



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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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Mark Wolfe

Guest
If you can, look for an old school Terry. I found one for my daughter awhile back, gave $100 for it.
I'm slowly upgrading it (brifters next) but she loves the thing. She already fits in mom's shoes,
and has been clipping in since about 8 on her BMX race bike. These are probably the smallest you'll
find. My daughter also fits a Trek WSD with 650c wheels just fine too. If you don't want to keep
looking (suggest ebay), and don't want to spend much, Fuji makes a small woman's model too.

Anyway, here's what the oldschool handbuilt Terry's look like:

http://www.wolfenet.org/gallery/Bikes?&page=5

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.
>
> 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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