Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm small by guy's standard at 5'4. But my friend at 5' on a good day is REALLY small.

So, the challenge is to find some candidate bikes for her to try. Now, I know there're some options of small bikes around. But for full suspension, the choices are really limited. I'm having a hard time finding enough candidates for her to try to test ride. My current list are:

- Trek Fuel (they're stiff, and for god knows what reason, they come ONLY with disc brake! WHY???)
- Specialized FSR
- Santa Cruz Juliana Superlight

I like both the Specialized and SC, both of which I've ridden lots before. But we're having a hard time finding the actual bike for her to test ride. So I thought I should also broaden the list a bit so we may get lucky with a hit.

My thinking is we should not get fixiated on "women specific" bikes, but look into any model that offers really small sizes. Like 13"? What do you guys think?

Also, budgetery constrain will probably put a cap on the mid-thousand range, give or take.

I could use some hints on what brand and model to look into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
is she willing to spend some $$? the 14" ellsworth truth is lovely, very small, and light. i think with a short stem it could accommodate someone 5' tall nicely.

otherwise, the specialized stumpjumper women's specific frame seems nice.

eta: oops sorry, i missed your price range comment. it's going to be tough to find a 13 or 14" full suspension for much less than $2,000, unless you can find something used. i think cannondale has a reasonable option, too.
 

·
Trying a little
Joined
·
1,781 Posts
connie said:
Why would you not want disc brakes???
Disc brakes are a needless expensive upgrade on almost all XC bikes. Plus I see people every weekend that have something messed up on them where they squeel or rub and it ruins their ride until they can get to a bike shop. So they're impractical for most recreational riders, is what I am saying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Dusthuffer, for answering for me the reason why no disc brake. For x-c riding, disc brakes are really extra weight and hassle for real advantage. Besides, at the price point we're considering, it's not going to be the best disc setup, which means only more trouble in keeping it working properly.

Trigeek, both the Specialized and Santa Cruz can be had for between $1300-1600. The Santa Cruz is probably a bit lighter and less maintetance (single pivot). But Santa Cruz dealers are few and far between in the East Coast (we're in the NY/CT area). So I'm looking for ideas to broaden our choices.
 

·
i worship Mr T
Joined
·
5,543 Posts
abc said:
Thanks, Dusthuffer, for answering for me the reason why no disc brake. For x-c riding, disc brakes are really extra weight and hassle for real advantage. Besides, at the price point we're considering, it's not going to be the best disc setup, which means only more trouble in keeping it working properly.

Trigeek, both the Specialized and Santa Cruz can be had for between $1300-1600. The Santa Cruz is probably a bit lighter and less maintetance (single pivot). But Santa Cruz dealers are few and far between in the East Coast (we're in the NY/CT area). So I'm looking for ideas to broaden our choices.
if you can find a used Titus Racer X in size xxs it might fit the bill. new it will be out of the price range but used it might come in within the budget.

rt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Have you checked out Giant's Women's lineup? I live in Northern NJ and have 2 Giants - 2005 NRS and a 2007 Trance 1. The Trance is really a good choice for the riding in the NE, and Giant has sizing as small as 13.5" in the Woman's lineup. The only problem is the pricing, which is above the $2k mark...
http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/women/12/24569/

In the men's lineup, they make a Trance 3 in a 14.5" size that may work, it has rim brakes and MSRP of $1200 - this may be a nice option for you. http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/mountain/6/24771/

Try CycleWorks in Byram, NJ (www.cycle-works.biz), sometimes they have the smaller sizes in the store to try.

Good luck with the search.

DD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
NJ_DD said:
Have you checked out Giant's Women's lineup? I live in Northern NJ and have 2 Giants - 2005 NRS and a 2007 Trance 1. The Trance is really a good choice for the riding in the NE, and Giant has sizing as small as 13.5" in the Woman's lineup. The only problem is the pricing, which is above the $2k mark...
http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/women/12/24569/

In the men's lineup, they make a Trance 3 in a 14.5" size that may work, it has rim brakes and MSRP of $1200 - this may be a nice option for you. http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/mountain/6/24771/

Try CycleWorks in Byram, NJ (www.cycle-works.biz), sometimes they have the smaller sizes in the store to try.

Good luck with the search.

DD
I checked the link out. What's the deal? The standover height is 29.4"!!! I can barely stradle that one at 5'4! What small rider have standover of 29.4"? Or is it a typo?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
29.4"!!! I never noticed that...I can't believe it is correct.

One of the women I know that rides the women's specific is only about 5', she'd never be able to stradle that - so it must be a typo. One of the guys I know that has the men's small is only 5'4"...Try giving the bike shop a call and talk to John. He rides the men's small and will probably be able to give you better information.

DD
 

·
dirt enthusiast
Joined
·
182 Posts
my .02

as a vertically challenged rider (i'm 5' without shoes on) i found the trek fuel wsd to be very comfortable for me to ride and to purchase. i went from a rocky mtn fs and was never comfortable with any of the geometry of it. and i absolutely hated the v brakes. one of the requirements for my bike was that it had disc brakes. the best thing would be to take a test ride on as many bikes as possible in mens and wsd models within the price range. what feels comfortable to one person may not be to another. find out what she feels comfortable with~she's the one that will be riding it after all. its hard to say what frame size would fit too. my rocky mtn was a small 16" frame but i didnt fit to it. my trek is a medium and a 16" frame but its a wsd. a lot of it depends on the torso length and leg length.
 

·
i worship Mr T
Joined
·
5,543 Posts
abc said:
I checked the link out. What's the deal? The standover height is 29.4"!!! I can barely stradle that one at 5'4! What small rider have standover of 29.4"? Or is it a typo?
i do. [insert sheepish grin here]

5'1", 31" inseam.

egads of standover but i was absent the day they passed out torso. :D

rt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
I am 5'2" woman and ride a Trance 14.5" unisex frame. My inseam is 28" and I have plenty of standover clearance (at least 2"). The standover listed on the website spec's must be a virtual figure, but because of the design of the top tube, there is significantly more standover in real life.

I love my Trance and I am sure the wsd model would be a good choice, because Giant builds decent bikes at an affordable price point. I was given a quote for a custom Ventana frame. Sure, custom would be nice, but the frame cost as much as my used Trance 1.

BTW I love my disk brakes. I have not had any problems with them. I have replaced a rotor, replaced pads, adjusted the pistons and the calipers by myself. Not a problem, not one trip to the LBS in 400 miles and I am not a mechanic. Those are the Hayes that came on the bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
186 Posts
My wife is 5' & rides a K2 T-Nine Summit, XS. I also swapped out the 100mm fork for an 80mm to lower the standover a bit but she didnt need it. The new fork is lighter though. For the money its a fantastic buy & I've seen her riding skills improve. As for disc brakes, they are a little heavier but well worth it. You cant beat them in wet weather & they are very easy to maintain. Dont let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise.

http://www.rscycle.com/s.nl;jsessio...jGr5XDqQLvpAe?sc=7&category=692&it=A&id=12778

DP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Glad to hear that you like your Trance. My bf surprised me with a 07 Trance 1 for Christmas this year, I've had it out 7 times already and love it! Thanks for chiming in with the standover information - I thought the website info was off. Its nice to know that another Trance rider thought the same thing.

I agree with the disc brake comment, all my bikes (Cannondale SS, Giant NRS, Trance 1) all have disc - I've have the Avid mechanical disc brakes and the Hayes discs, they are both easy to adjust and do routine maintance, and are great for stopping in wet conditions. I'd never go back to rim.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
dusthuffer said:
Disc brakes are a needless expensive upgrade on almost all XC bikes. Plus I see people every weekend that have something messed up on them where they squeel or rub and it ruins their ride until they can get to a bike shop. So they're impractical for most recreational riders, is what I am saying.
I don't see why learning basic maintenance for your disc brakes is any harder than learning how to adjust a derailleur. It's actually easier, in my experience.

Maybe it's where I live, where all my riding is in the mountains, but I just can't imagine riding without disc brakes. Sure they're more expensive, but I think brakes are very high on my priority list of things that make a huge difference on a bike. The faster you can stop in control, the faster you can ride in control. And not only more stopping power, but better modulation, a huge improvement in wet, muddy conditions, etc.
 

·
Hueston Woods Trail Crew
Joined
·
1,844 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
At 5'3" (barely :D ) I'm pretty new to mountain biking overall and just recently purchased a x-small Santa Cruz Blur and I love it. I was originally going to get a small Juliana, but discovered that there was something smaller. I've heard that Santa Cruz's sizing is changing somewhat for their '07 batch so you may need to ask about that if you go think that you might go the SC route. ALSO- many stores that were not aware that Santa Cruz made an x-small Blur so you may have to specifically ask about that too as you shop around.

Hope this helps and I wish you the very best of luck. :)

Alisa

abc said:
I'm small by guy's standard at 5'4. But my friend at 5' on a good day is REALLY small.

So, the challenge is to find some candidate bikes for her to try. Now, I know there're some options of small bikes around. But for full suspension, the choices are really limited. I'm having a hard time finding enough candidates for her to try to test ride. My current list are:

- Trek Fuel (they're stiff, and for god knows what reason, they come ONLY with disc brake! WHY???)
- Specialized FSR
- Santa Cruz Juliana Superlight

I like both the Specialized and SC, both of which I've ridden lots before. But we're having a hard time finding the actual bike for her to test ride. So I thought I should also broaden the list a bit so we may get lucky with a hit.

My thinking is we should not get fixiated on "women specific" bikes, but look into any model that offers really small sizes. Like 13"? What do you guys think?

Also, budgetery constrain will probably put a cap on the mid-thousand range, give or take.

I could use some hints on what brand and model to look into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
Question - does a small, presumably light-weight, woman have to take into account the type/level of damping used by the shock?

I just remember when we were buying my wife's 03 etsx, a mtbr member wrote that she would be best served by the pre -Propedal Fox shock, since she was so light.

Hmmm. . .
 

·
Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
Joined
·
10,913 Posts
Ahem, Jamis has LONG catered to small riders offering 13" full suspensions sized for people as short as 4'10" for a decade now. Hell, Mountain Biking once ran an article for FS for short people where the test riders were all the teen kids of the magazine staff, and the three brands represented were Jamis, Marin and I think Titus. Jamis's new 2007 frames have even more standover than earlier years, and the frames are lighter too (talking santa cruz like weights for 1/2 the price).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,787 Posts
dusthuffer said:
Disc brakes are a needless expensive upgrade on almost all XC bikes. Plus I see people every weekend that have something messed up on them where they squeel or rub and it ruins their ride until they can get to a bike shop. So they're impractical for most recreational riders, is what I am saying.
Odd, I've been riding Trail/XC for a year now with disc brakes (Avid BB5) without a single issue. Still on stock pads, cables, levers, etc. I ride year round. Going from no disc to disc..incredible difference.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top