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Salt Lake City, UT
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Discussion Starter #1
The wife and I used to ride together every weekend, until kids and all that responsibility stuff. She had a Trek Fuel EX5.5 WSD, but it was so heavy (33 pounds), and she wasn't riding it, so I sold it last year.

But now she wants to get back into it, and this time I want to build it from the frame up, so I can piece it together how i want.

She's only 5'2". (she says 5'3")

I had planned on building her an Extra-Small Yeti ASR5c - a simple, capable lightweight carbon 26r that I bet I could build in the 22-24 pound range, max.

But a friend of mine said I was nuts and should build her a 29. I was assuming that at her height, it might feel cumbersome, but that's hard for me to gauge.

Yeah yeah she should go demo one, and maybe we will, but I'm curious if anyone else out there has their kinda-short wife or girlfriend on a 29.

We are in Northern UT where its rocky with big climbs. The trail she would ride most of the time is right behind our house - rocky, solid climb.

But now some manufacturers are placing wheel size in direct proportion with the size - the new Yeti ASRc for example is 27.5 at a certain point in the smaller sizes; the larger sizes are 29. I would have to think that there is something to that logic.

I feel like a 26 or 27.5 might be the better option, but curious if anyone has experience.
 

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There's always next year.
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My wife's got an inch or two on yours, but she's never been happier on a bike then when I found an old Lenz Leviathan from a PinkBike user. I can't remember if it was a small or medium in their sizing, but with a 50mm stem its been perfect for her. Previous bike was a GT FS 26er, which never worked for her at all, and she's loved the roll-over and speed factor that the 29er has, even in our tight and twisty trails she rides in the PNW. The beautiful part of the Lenz was that it was old, so it was cheap, but pretty light... far lighter than her older GT.

Again, its the boring answer, but demos might be the best option... and maybe look at finding other trails to 'restart' on? I've noticed my wife's skills, enjoyment, and desire to bike have all increased when we found stuff that was easy/accessible for her (and maybe less fun for I) and now she's willing to take on newer, harder challenges.
 

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Salt Lake City, UT
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Discussion Starter #3
My wife's got an inch or two on yours, but she's never been happier on a bike then when I found an old Lenz Leviathan from a PinkBike user. I can't remember if it was a small or medium in their sizing, but with a 50mm stem its been perfect for her. Previous bike was a GT FS 26er, which never worked for her at all, and she's loved the roll-over and speed factor that the 29er has, even in our tight and twisty trails she rides in the PNW. The beautiful part of the Lenz was that it was old, so it was cheap, but pretty light... far lighter than her older GT.

Again, its the boring answer, but demos might be the best option... and maybe look at finding other trails to 'restart' on? I've noticed my wife's skills, enjoyment, and desire to bike have all increased when we found stuff that was easy/accessible for her (and maybe less fun for I) and now she's willing to take on newer, harder challenges.
Thanks. I know when I personally went to a 29, I was totally blown away at the rollover factor, and the ease of tech-drops, etc. So I would assume regardless of height, it would be an advantage, but ... I rarely feel the negatives of the 29 (tight cornering), but maybe at 5'2" those negatives are even worse. Like I said, there has to be a reason why companies place wheel size in-accordance-to size.

Her skill set probably didn't go anywhere, but yeah I agree (its only been 3 years, so not *too* long...kinda). I'll set her loose on some smooth stuff first - but we have a great trail that we can ride right from our house. Just an up-and-back, but 12 miles and 2k of climbing in rocky conditions. Good for cardio and tech skills. I just want her to get out and be a little more independent again.

I do plan do this on the cheap too - but the weight is my biggest concern. She's petite - tough, but little. I'll keep watching PB among others to try to find a deal on a carbon frame - and actually with needing an XS, closeouts will work really well into my favor too.
 

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Thanks. I know when I personally went to a 29, I was totally blown away at the rollover factor, and the ease of tech-drops, etc. So I would assume regardless of height, it would be an advantage, but ... I rarely feel the negatives of the 29 (tight cornering), but maybe at 5'2" those negatives are even worse. Like I said, there has to be a reason why companies place wheel size in-accordance-to size.

Her skill set probably didn't go anywhere, but yeah I agree (its only been 3 years, so not *too* long...kinda). I'll set her loose on some smooth stuff first - but we have a great trail that we can ride right from our house. Just an up-and-back, but 12 miles and 2k of climbing in rocky conditions. Good for cardio and tech skills. I just want her to get out and be a little more independent again.

I do plan do this on the cheap too - but the weight is my biggest concern. She's petite - tough, but little. I'll keep watching PB among others to try to find a deal on a carbon frame - and actually with needing an XS, closeouts will work really well into my favor too.
"Like I said, there has to be a reason why companies place wheel size in-accordance-to size"

Yes there is! For the riding you explained it sounds like she would be better off with a 26" or 27.5". My son is about her height and has a 26" wheeled FS bike and 29'er HT. Loves them both for different types of riding.
 

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My wife is also about 5ft2 and after test riding chose a 26" xc hardtail which she loves riding and we got a good bit off the price. Best to let her choose the bike she likes. I have a 29" xc hardtail.
 

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SS Pusher Man
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I'm going opposite of everyone else.

My wife is 5'3" on a good day. She loves her S Tallboy2C. She also has a S Niner EMD that she has no problems with.....she actually rides it more often. Niner now makes an XS frame size, which was not available when we built my wife's bike.

I don't think I could get her to go back to 26" wheels.
 

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I ride bikes
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I would say that 5'1-2" is probably about the limit of how small a person can reasonably fit on a 29er. Under 5 foot would be better off with a smaller wheel.

My wife(5'2") just had her first ride on her Salsa Spearfish 29 (16" frame) and she loved it. First 29er for her. She was amazed at how smooth everything was(it only has 80mm rear travel) and how well it kept momentum. She loved it after first ride. The standover was a bit of a stretch and an extra inch of clearance would have helped.
 

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Cactus Cuddler
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With the quantity of good 650B setups for that height range, I'd at least try it. The Beti ASR would be the first one to check out, but the Giant AnthemSX line is actually pretty awesome in the smaller wheelsize too.
 

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Salt Lake City, UT
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Discussion Starter #9
With the quantity of good 650B setups for that height range, I'd at least try it. The Beti ASR would be the first one to check out, but the Giant AnthemSX line is actually pretty awesome in the smaller wheelsize too.
Yeah I agree and the Yeti Beti ASRc would be my first pick (I'm partial), but this is going to be a on a tight budget. I'm not convinced she'll have the initiative to go ride by herself too often (its very hard for us to have free-time together); I don't want to drop 4k on a bike as an experiment.

Plus, it will be fun for us to build it up together. Ok maybe just fun for me.
 

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Yeah I agree and the Yeti Beti ASRc would be my first pick (I'm partial), but this is going to be a on a tight budget. I'm not convinced she'll have the initiative to go ride by herself too often (its very hard for us to have free-time together); I don't want to drop 4k on a bike as an experiment.

Plus, it will be fun for us to build it up together. Ok maybe just fun for me.
With 26" wheels being out of style :) that is your best value.....27.5 and 29 inch wheels bikes are generally more expensive.

For my 10 year old he outgrew his 24" wheeled bike and I found a XS 26" SC Nickel for $900. Alum frame but it had a Fox fork, Chris King wheels and Sram XO drivetrain. Probably cost $4K or more to build that bike.

You could find a really nice 26" SC Blur (Carbon) or something similar CHEAP these days.
 

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Cactus Cuddler
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I was thinking Blur or something too - even an older ASRc would be pretty brilliant, and it's still totally possible to find some really nice 26" wheels (at one point the closeout Mavic Crossmax or whatever kits were so cheap, I was tempted to snap up the set just to build a short travel goofing around bike.
 

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Salt Lake City, UT
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Discussion Starter #12
With 26" wheels being out of style :) that is your best value.....27.5 and 29 inch wheels bikes are generally more expensive.

For my 10 year old he outgrew his 24" wheeled bike and I found a XS 26" SC Nickel for $900. Alum frame but it had a Fox fork, Chris King wheels and Sram XO drivetrain. Probably cost $4K or more to build that bike.

You could find a really nice 26" SC Blur (Carbon) or something similar CHEAP these days.
Yep thats why my first thought is the ASR5c. Cheap, but really light and damn good. But I'm sure finding a Small ASR5c frame won't be easy. But yes, a Blur, etc. 26" was my first thought because of budget. Wheels will be cheap, etc. But finding a GOOD fork I think will be tougher since it would probably be 1 1/8" straight.

I had a 2013 Giant Reign 1 and couldn't give it away (I had a**holes offering me $1200 for it). 26" stuff is cheap now, but I wonder how quickly it will be tough to find tires, etc. You'd think legacy stuff like that should be around for quite a while, but the 27.5 "thing" happened overnight.
 

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Perpetual n00b
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Are you in the Ogden area?

My wife, who is 5'5", rode a 29er for awhile and hated it. Her last 2 bikes have been 650b and her current bike is a Juliana Furtado. She loves it.
 

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Yep thats why my first thought is the ASR5c. Cheap, but really light and damn good. But I'm sure finding a Small ASR5c frame won't be easy. But yes, a Blur, etc. 26" was my first thought because of budget. Wheels will be cheap, etc. But finding a GOOD fork I think will be tougher since it would probably be 1 1/8" straight.

I had a 2013 Giant Reign 1 and couldn't give it away (I had a**holes offering me $1200 for it). 26" stuff is cheap now, but I wonder how quickly it will be tough to find tires, etc. You'd think legacy stuff like that should be around for quite a while, but the 27.5 "thing" happened overnight.
My son's Nickel has a tapered HT. Tires should be around for a long time...

Components > Wheels, Tires and Tubes > Tires and Tubes > Tires | Jenson USA.

However if you can swing it a safer bet is a 27.5" wheeled bike
 

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Other thing is when you put a small rider on a 29er is the sky high handlebar. That often puts the rider in a super upright position and can suck when it comes to handling.
 

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Salt Lake City, UT
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Discussion Starter #17
(dgw2jr - I'm in the SLC area)

Yeah a 27.5 would be my choice if I had all three options laying in front of me right now.

And thanks for the reminder about high-bars @RS VR6 - good point.

I think she'll feel like she's riding a huge tractor with the big wheels. I'll get her on mine to get a rough gauge.
 

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I'm 5'6. Was on a Epic WC and now on a Thunderbolt BCE. Very different bikes...

Epic was fast, but very tall. The Thunderbolt far better fitting and more stable. I understand geo plays a role but I would generally recommend 27.5 for anyone using a small or XS frame.
 

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Salt Lake City, UT
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Discussion Starter #19
I'm 5'6. Was on a Epic WC and now on a Thunderbolt BCE. Very different bikes...

Epic was fast, but very tall. The Thunderbolt far better fitting and more stable. I understand geo plays a role but I would generally recommend 27.5 for anyone using a small or XS frame.
Thanks and yeah I agree; the comments here just reinforce what I was generally thinking. I had little intention of a 29 build but after my friend "insisted", I thought I'd get some other opinions.
 
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