Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Lou-rolls
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Joined: 16 Nov 2020, 12:18am

Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

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

Hiya

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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Cunobelin
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Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby Cunobelin » 16 Nov 2020, 5:43pm

Islabikes used to be a common solution

L+1
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Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 5:47pm

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.

Altissima
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Joined: 4 Jun 2016, 12:11pm

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;

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/brand-x-trekking-high-rise-bar

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
Jo

Boring_Username
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Joined: 2 Mar 2017, 2:38pm

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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pjclinch
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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...

Tricyclebell
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Joined: 1 Feb 2019, 8:50pm

Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby Tricyclebell » 17 Dec 2020, 7:55pm

Hi, I am 4ft 10in and have been riding small road frames for almost 40 years. After a few bad experiences on so called 'small frames' I ended up having future frames made to measure. Off the shelf bikes regardless of how small they are tend to come with full size wheels (700c) and even worse, full size cranks (170mm or if you are lucky 165mm). If the manufacturer is trying to squeeze full size wheels onto a very small frame then you can be rest assured that there will be some compromises with the frame geometry which results in an uncomfortable ride for a small person. Often as part of their sales pitch they will claim a short top tube which may be true but at the expense of the seat tube angle which is made very steep and results in a long reach to the bars. Be very cautious of any small bike being sold with full size wheels if you want to be comfortable and also take into account crank length, 170mm would be far too long for someone of your height. I am 2" shorter than yourself and I ride 145 mm cranks which are far kinder on the knees, you will find a formula on line which works your crank length out for you. If custom build is out of your price range I could recommend Frog Children's bikes , I bought one in an emergency and was very pleased with it, the bike comes with 26 inch wheels,145 cranks and straight bars. It's worth having a look on the Frog website to see their range. Good luck with your search.

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531colin
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Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby 531colin » 18 Dec 2020, 5:42pm

If bike manufacturers use 700c wheels and standard 45mm offset forks for "small" bikes then reach issues are just about guaranteed. (see Steve Hogg sensitive issues). Reach can be made shorter by using a longer fork offset and correspondingly slacker head angle, for example 60mm offset and 70 degrees.
I wonder what happened to the OP? "Lou Rolls" ?really?

mumbojumbo
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Joined: 1 Aug 2018, 8:18pm

Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby mumbojumbo » 21 Dec 2020, 6:18pm

I think she has remarried,and gone back to Robin Banks.

UpWrong
Posts: 1064
Joined: 31 May 2009, 12:16pm
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire

Re: Petite lady looking for comfy road bike

Postby UpWrong » 13 Jan 2021, 2:38pm

Tricyclebell wrote:Hi, I am 4ft 10in and have been riding small road frames for almost 40 years. After a few bad experiences on so called 'small frames' I ended up having future frames made to measure. Off the shelf bikes regardless of how small they are tend to come with full size wheels (700c) and even worse, full size cranks (170mm or if you are lucky 165mm). If the manufacturer is trying to squeeze full size wheels onto a very small frame then you can be rest assured that there will be some compromises with the frame geometry which results in an uncomfortable ride for a small person. Often as part of their sales pitch they will claim a short top tube which may be true but at the expense of the seat tube angle which is made very steep and results in a long reach to the bars. Be very cautious of any small bike being sold with full size wheels if you want to be comfortable and also take into account crank length, 170mm would be far too long for someone of your height. I am 2" shorter than yourself and I ride 145 mm cranks which are far kinder on the knees, you will find a formula on line which works your crank length out for you. If custom build is out of your price range I could recommend Frog Children's bikes , I bought one in an emergency and was very pleased with it, the bike comes with 26 inch wheels,145 cranks and straight bars. It's worth having a look on the Frog website to see their range. Good luck with your search.

That's a good description of the problem. I've ordered a Squish 26 hybrid for the Mrs.