Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

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zeeino
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Joined: 22 Apr 2022, 4:45am

Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by zeeino »

After 15 years of faithful service, my wife has finally move on from her very heavy, 24"" tired, 6 speed cassette equipped Cannondale mountain bike. She's interested in an appropriate sized gravel grinder for both spring/fall/winter road riding as well as fire road type adventures. We're old enough that hard core mountain biking is no longer attractive. A problem is that she's only ~ 5'2"" and shrinking and there doesn't seem to be a huge selection for that demographic. She races triathlon on a 650c wheeled Speed Concept. We're willing to spend a moderate amount for a suitable bike.
Any thoughts on a great gravel grinder for a petite flower?
Thanks,
Nearholmer
Posts: 562
Joined: 26 Mar 2022, 7:13am

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by Nearholmer »

Totally “off the wall” suggestion, but has she looked at Frog bikes? The Frog 78 is certainly big enough for a 5’2” person, is a light machine, and very robust as befits its core market. The only limitation might be gearing, which could be too “easy” for a very fit adult looking for a burn-up.
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twowheelstwokids
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Joined: 12 Apr 2022, 3:42pm

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by twowheelstwokids »

I am having the same challenge but for myself. Canyon sizing goes down to a 2XS and Planet X say their Small size is good for 5′0″ to 5′7″ (152.4cm-170cm) but when you check the individual bikes they say best for 5'3 and up. I think Salsa go down to XXS as well. Of course it will depend on the geometry.

I got a sore head trying to find one for myself so am sticking with my HT mountain bike for now. Even if it's a bit sucky on the tarmac at it's a lot more fun on any descents I accidentally come across.
slowster
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Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by slowster »

I suggest you consider the latest version of the Sonder Camino (not the older frames which are currently discounted). The front end geometry of the new version is much less likely to result in toe overlap. By my rough calculation the front centre measurement of the small frame is 626mm, although there is no substitute for double checking this. Standard builds are all 1x, which many do not like for road riding, and it might be better to buy a frame and build it up to her preferred specification, e.g. possibly including things such as shorter cranks, preferred shape and width of bars, and possibly a long layback seatpost to compensate for the steep 74.5 degree seat angle of the small frame.

https://alpkit.com/collections/sonder-camino
mumbojumbo
Posts: 1132
Joined: 1 Aug 2018, 8:18pm

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by mumbojumbo »

Most gravel bikes are very similar to a touring bike with radical tyres, and a cheap option is to modify an existing bike. The traditional cyclist ,short in the arm and in the bank improvised, which added to the fun.Sadly people seem happy to buy a near facsimile of the bike in the shed.
freeflow
Posts: 1602
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 1:54pm

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by freeflow »

Mrs F is 5 ft 1 and has an electric Cannondale Synapse gravel bike. You might look for the non electric equivalent. 650b wheels with 50c tyres.
Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by Jdsk »

I'm not sure what a gravel bike is... but you could make one from an Islabike Beinn?
https://www.islabikes.co.uk/products/sm ... bike-beinn

Jonathan
Tricyclebell
Posts: 18
Joined: 1 Feb 2019, 8:50pm

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by Tricyclebell »

I am 4ft 10 inches and have a Reilly titanium bike, the model is Gradient. 650 wheels. This one was made to measure as they did not have one small enough for me but I believe they are now making this frame size as part of their regular collection. I had the frame built up to my own spec as I wanted very short cranks (145mm). Single chain ring and 11 speed, it is perfect for what I want and is very comfortable. Cost, just under £4,000, worth every penny. Good luck.
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plodding_cyclist
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Joined: 1 Mar 2022, 8:36am

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by plodding_cyclist »

Hi, I am 5ft 3" and I use the Liv Devote Advanced bit on the expensive side (over 1k), but overall a decent and sturdy bike. Enough gears to cope with the worst hills, tubeless ready with a dropper seat post. (I actually find that annoying though) She did me well during my LEJOG cycle last year.
I have used it mostly this year as my off-road Bikepacking bike. I have racks fitted on the front forks and I attach a rear rack of the seatpost.
mumbojumbo
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Joined: 1 Aug 2018, 8:18pm

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by mumbojumbo »

£4000 for a gravel bike-that is a lot of lolly.Do you have to pedal?
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twowheelstwokids
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Joined: 12 Apr 2022, 3:42pm

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by twowheelstwokids »

I'm still on the lookout (though my budget is well below 4k!) and this conversation just came up in a FB group where someone suggested Ribble bikes. They have sizing down to XXS and although not in all models, there are some and they do custom builds, I believe. Worth a look. https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-cgr-725

Have you found/ordered anything yet?
Life on two wheels - with the family and for the holidays and a bit of campaigning thrown in.
Tiggertoo
Posts: 311
Joined: 2 Jun 2021, 4:52pm

Re: Any gravel bike suggestions for a petite woman?

Post by Tiggertoo »

Regardless what the manufacturer might say as to size appropriate, you might suggest your wife goes to a bike shop and try one out herself. Drop the saddle down to the bar and she might find a decent fit.

"A problem is that she's only ~ 5'2"" and shrinking "
Maybe using the wrong soap powder? :P
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