Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

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Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby Lou-rolls » 16 Nov 2020, 1:38pm


I'm just after a bit of advice please. I'm only 5ft tall and have been road cycling for a couple of years. I've just sold my liv advanced size xs as I just never felt like it "fit" me. I had a bike fit, I replaced the stem to make my reach smaller but I still always felt like I was never comfortable when riding on the hoods with my hands covering the brakes. It was always just to far away.

I'm now considering buying a flat bar bike such as the liv thrive as I'm wondering if maybe its just the road bike position that doesn't suit me as on my mountain bike I always feel much safer and happier in that more upright position.

However, before I splash out a grand on the thrive I wanted to get other (short!) peoples opinions on a good road bike frame that fits small women better.

Also if anyone has the thrive, is it a decent bike?

I am not after speed. I just want to go for medium to long rides and be comfortable.

Any suggestions much appreciated

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my ONEPLUS A6003 using hovercraft full of eels.

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Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby Cunobelin » 16 Nov 2020, 5:43pm

Islabikes used to be a common solution

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Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby L+1 » 16 Nov 2020, 6:58pm

Did your Liv Advanced have ‘brifters’? Were they the source of your problem? Many smaller women (or anyone with smaller hands) find them just too large to cover/operate successfully.
I’ve recently changed my tourer - a Condor Heritage - to bar end shifters with simple brakes on compact drop bars, for that reason. My Condor is a lovely bike - highly recommended - but maybe not what you are after. I’m 5’2” on a 46cm frame. That’s the smallest size.

Again, maybe not what you are really after but Surly’s Long Haul/Disc Truckers go down to 42cm - so that or the 46cm would your size. You would definitely be able to customise one or other to be a really great fit. But actually trying out bikes ‘in the flesh’ isn’t so easy in the current circumstances.

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Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby Altissima » 16 Nov 2020, 7:24pm

Hi Lou-Rolls,

My wife is a bit shorter than me, she is 4ft 11 and in May this year she bought a Specialized Sirrus 1 XS size for £450 at our local bike shop. We have kept the original stem and changed the almost straight flat bars for a pair of Brand X swept back bars like these;

My wife has another (touring) bike and with the Brand X bars fitted the contact points on the Specialized bike are now the same distances to the handlebar grips as her existing bike. I don't know if you have a LBS nearby that could supply a range of bikes for you to try after lockdown I know that demand is probably higher than supply) but hope this helps.

The parts fitted to the Sirrus 1 are Shimano Tourney which are ok but bottom of the Shimano range. They could be upgraded as you go along as we have fitted new (Deore) brakes and will upgrade the 7 speed to 9 speed in time

Best wishes

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Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby Boring_Username » 16 Nov 2020, 7:32pm

Are the tops of your handlebars lower than the top of your saddle, and if so by how much?

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Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby pjclinch » 18 Nov 2020, 9:06pm

Can't competently comment on frame fit for short folk, but note that despite having ridden pretty much nothing but drops for the best part of two decades I really don't get on with them that well any more, preferring a more upright riding position these days even though I've no reach problem, so I can sympathise with the idea that drops and a roadie crouch aren't right for everyone. While for big rides I "cheat" with a recumbent, I have a moderately sporty-ish upright I'll use for moderate rides (say, up to about 40 miles) which has flats and some Cane Creek Ergo bar ends, and I find those make a useful comfort difference.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...