Bike for a 4' 10" woman

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
Here's a challenge, I've got a friend who want's to do proper sports road riding. The problem is she's 4' 10". I've been looking around but really can't find anything which is small enough reach, leg length isn't a huge issue. Besides going for a custom frame do people have any suggestions?
 

Broadside

Guru
Location
Fleet, Hants
Has she tried out some of the very smallest framed road bikes? My wife is 5'5" and I was sure she would need a 51cm road bike but she has just bought a 54cm because that is what fitted. I was surprised she could ride such a big frame, i am 6 foot and ride a 56cm frame. Likewise perhaps your friend might be okay on a 48cm frame? It has to be worth a go.

Failing that, then perhaps she could look at Islabikes, I am sure they would have something suitable? They are billed as child bikes but children are just small people.
 

zizou

Veteran
Specialized do road bikes like the Amira down to a 44cm frame

Maybe worth checking out something with 650b wheels, think Felt do womens road bikes with wheels that size.
 
OP
GrasB

GrasB

Veteran
Location
Nr Cambridge
My wife has the smallest Specialized Ruby (44cm), but that's too long for my friend. The problem she has is reach, she has long legs & quite a short torso for her height. I spent this afternoon going around bike shops with her & we came up with nothing which didn't mean she was almost armed on the tops.

Another problem is she doesn't want to spend more than £400 on a new bike. I can't see picking up a road bike for that kind of money that's new. But first things are to find a bike that fits her & then we can discuss bike prices.
 

Broadside

Guru
Location
Fleet, Hants
That (i understand) is where ladies bike frames differ from mens - they cater for longer legs and shorter torso. If your friend does not feel comfortable on a 44cm Ruby then perhaps a shorter (60mm?) stem is in order? However her big constraint is going to be budget at £400, that is going to be tricky. Nice bike BTW the Ruby....

I agree, a new bike needs to be forgotten about; find the right size/bike/setup first and then go shopping to find it. But my gut feeling is that at that budget she is going to remain disappointed.
 

Binka

Über Member
Location
Lincoln, uk
I was just going to say Islabike as well.

I'm 5ft2" and have a 49cm Tricross. It is too big for me really. I can't stand over it without it being slightly uncomfy but when I'm actually riding it it's ok. So I put up with that. I tried a Dawes Galaxy as well which at 45 or 44cm was smaller on paper but the reach was worse.
 

Binka

Über Member
Location
Lincoln, uk
But I have the proportions of a child! My 11 is taller than me, has longer reach, bigger hands, etc. I couldn't be bothered to go over to Ludlow or where ever to try one but I suspect if I had I'd have found the fit better as most kids over the age of 12 are taller than me. ^_^ I saw a journal on CrazyGuy where a woman was touring fully loaded on a Luath 700. She said the fit was great.
 

Cyclist33

Guest
Location
Warrington
I know it's not a full on road bike but praps consider a flat bar roadster? Shorter reach comes as standard! Cannondale do a Quick in extra small and women's specific frame, but not step through... Pretty light and quick and could most probably take 25mm slicks, coz mine accepts 23s!
 

Broadside

Guru
Location
Fleet, Hants
[QUOTE 2053651, member: 45"]Isla is wary of recommending her bikes for women as she said that they're designed for children's proportions.[/quote]

I am sure she is very wary of it , but if the major manufacturers don't produce a frame down to the right size then where else do women go? i would say go 44cm frame with a short stem and after that go to Islabikes, she really ought to welcome the custom as the ladies looking for such a bike really are not rare.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I often stop for tea
Location
East Devon
If possible go for smaller wheels, especially if you're talking about a road bike. The frame can then be sized without worrying about toe overlap or the bars being too high in relation to the saddle.
 
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