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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Gang,

Is there anyone out there that is a bit on the short side of the scale and ride 29ers?

I presently ride a 26" ti single speed. The frame size is a 14". I love the bike, but t he rocks and such here in PA is quite harsh, and I am looking at a GF hifi deluxe 29er size 15" (small). I test rode an 18" model at a local bike shops' parking lot. The bike felt surprisingly nimble. Track stands, and very slow manuvering was easy. It was rather difficult to get the front wheel up over 2" though. I am not sure if that was becuase of the long top tube and stem or the circumfrence of the wheels. Perhaps a combination of the two. The 18" did feel a bit stretched out though.

If it helps, I am 5'3" tall and weigh 130#.

Is there anyone out there that is short and ride 29ers?

Thank you for the forum guys. I have learned a great deal about these newer bikes over the past few weeks.

Cheers,
Amy
 

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I'm 5"4" and have a custom Ti fully rigid 29er and l wouldn't recommend it. Lifting the front wheel has been the hardest thing and the Hi Fi has a much longer wheel base than mine. Even if toe overlap allowed the same wheelbase as your 26" the front of the front tire is still significantly futher out front. The biggest advantage is in desending stabllity. With the higher axles and the inherently lower cg of short people it is really hard to endo. I thought the long chain stays would make climbing difficult but the traction (at least with Rampage tires) is great. The larger diameter tires do roll over obstacles better but I find that more important in a rigid ride. I would guess you would need a full custom to reduce the fit compromises and even then if you need to frequently lift the front over roots and rocks I find the pluses and minuses are pretty much a wash. Some say one rides a 29er differently. They say you should just bash into things w/o lifting. I've never ridden a full suspension so I can't say. You definitely should test ride the smallest size and try to ride other 29ers (I believe the Hi Fi has a longer wheelbase than most). Good luck and by far the most important thing is fit. Remember most (99% ?) of the people posting on this forum are tall and their results may not translate to your riding. I attached a pic showing how tiny (11" efff. seat tube) my bike is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Feathed,

Thank you for your thoughts. I was a bit worried about lifting the front wheel. I do that all the time with my rigid single speed.

There are no shops around central PA that has a small 29er in stock to try out. When a shop does have a small to try, it is usually a low end model that is quite heavy. I understand that there are few short riders and even fewer female riders and the shops have to cater to the most folks that will pay thier bills. I am not sure if paying 2400 for a bike I am not 100% on is the way to go.

Maybe the best way to go is to get a cheap 29er singlespeed and try that first.
 

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Hi Amy,
If restricting the discussion to fully rigid, I would say the balance tips toward the 29er platform even with some of the other compromises. That is assuming fit is good as the top tube is necessarily long to prevent toe overlap. I cheap fully rigid SS 29er that I would suggest you look at is the Raleigh XXIX http://twentynineinches.com/2007/07/18/raleigh-shows-08-29er-line-up/ I've only test rode it so I'm no expert but the frame is designed around a non-suspension corrected fork (430mm A-C). This helps alot with standover clearance. If you swapout the fork for a Ti and get Ti handlebars this should be a super smooth ride. If you do decide to go this route and are interested in a Ti fork let me know. I wimped out and put a suspension fork on the bike above so the pictured fork is just sitting in the garage.
 

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The whole toe overlap and top tube thing has been outdated for hardtails since this season's Fishers came with 51mm ofset forks, which also call for a slacker head tube angle.
Before that, rigid bikes could already be made to fit way short, if the builder had the vision for it.

For a hardtail, I regard 4'11" as the practical minimum height for a 29" rider. Rigid, it could go a bit shorter still.

Remember that if you have a longer front end, more weight is on the rear, and the front will feel lighter. It's all about getting used to it though, As a 6' rider can also wheelie a 36"er. That said, a larger wheel tends to make lofting it less necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for all your input everyone. I don't know why I did not think of checking the faq. Silly me.

Its good to see other shorter women on 29ers. Hard tails seem to be very popular. Maybe a dual suspension is overkill for me.
 

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My wife is 5-4" and rides a 29'er. I'm 5-4" and ride 29'ers also...both FS and HT.

Anyone can ride a 29'er, the same as anyone can ride 26'ers, as long as you are over about five feet tall.

However, with the emergence of the excellent 650B wheelset and tires to fit it, a 26'er with a 650B front wheel seems to be a better option for "shorties".

R.

amythewasp said:
Thank you for all your input everyone. I don't know why I did not think of checking the faq. Silly me.

Its good to see other shorter women on 29ers. Hard tails seem to be very popular. Maybe a dual suspension is overkill for me.
 

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amythewasp said:
Hi Gang,

Is there anyone out there that is a bit on the short side of the scale and ride 29ers?

If it helps, I am 5'3" tall and weigh 130#.

Is there anyone out there that is short and ride 29ers?
How about 5'3" and 115#?

Just getting ready to head out with the dogs....

 

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5'5", 180 pounds of oldish fat guy and I ride a 16" Voodoo Canzo FS 29er. Toe overlap is no issue. now that I've inverted the stem, my grips are about an inch above my seat and I can move the front end around without issue. Manuals, bunnyhops and even wheelies are no issue. Locking out the suspension for wheelies is a must though as getting the front end up more than 2.5 feet with the squishy still squishy is tougher than I'd like. - I'm still a kid inside, so I like to ride wheelies when bored.

One thing I've noticed as a small guy on the 29er, is that bar height is very important to feel. On my GF Sugar 3, it wasn't as big of an issue, as long as it was close, it handled well and was nimble. The Canzo climbs better, rolls over everything better, but the switchbacks take a new approach (see damaged face from being overconfident and less than comfortable with the new bike on my first weekend with it - I took it to Downieville). I think I've got it down now, but slow speed tight turns are not my favorite on the 29er. Aside from that, I think my Canzo does everything the Sugar did, only better/easier now that I have the bars close.

I will be getting some flat bars to test getting the bars to the same height as the seat and see how it works for me.
 
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