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Help ... Right Bike for shorties !


Novice Mommie
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Hi,

 

I'm a newby at this mtb - trying to keep up with my kids :)

 

I have been looking around for a second hand bike for myself but phew .... what is the right one ?

 

I don't have much budget but EVERYONE advises to buy a good bike - I have no idea what I am doing ... I visited my LBS but there I just feel like a complete chop !

 

I don't even know what the right size is for me to buy - I am very small - 1.5m tall and weigh just on 50kg (if I am lucky) - any suggestions guys...

 

I have seen local ads for:

 

Avelanche Reflex - says 16" ?

Scott Tampico - small ?

 

thanks

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hi NoviceMommie (NM from now on ;) )

 

DO NOT look at the WSD bikes - these are generally low-specced and HEAVY in relation to their size.

 

I'm also 1.5m so i know the feeling of struggling to find "the right bike".

 

look at any XS bikes or a S with a more compact geometry - the Giants and Schwynns are very nice in that aspect.

 

Personally i now (having previously had a schwynn mesa) ride a Mongoose Meteore Elite... the first thing i did was have a shorter stem put on and that makes a huge difference. also, go for flat bars (or if what you get comes with risers replace with flat bars) and have them cut down to the correct width for your shoulders - reaching out to the sides while stretching is a recipe for disaster.

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Just completed a bike build for my (short) wife. used a 16" rm5 raleigh frame and she loves it. Had to change the bars and fit a shorter stem (60mm)

 

If you can give me your inseam, I can give you frame dimensions for your lenght.

 

Chio.

 

PS. welcome to cycling.

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Thanks guys,

 

will measure inseam tonight with assistance ... flip - can't do that on my own and ...well here at work they already think I am a NUT ! :)

 

will revert in the am

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You will, in all probability need a 14 inch frame. You shouldn't feel a "chop" in a bike shop, everybody has to start somewhere.

 

Visit a few shops and tell them what you want to do on a bike and let them make suggestions. At least, as a complete novice, you will get a bike that is properly sized and set up for you.

 

Being a novice, I assume your bike mechanic skills are nil. At least when buying from a shop, they will be less eager to charge for small jobs like setting gears etc.

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You will, in all probability need a 14 inch frame. You shouldn't feel a "chop" in a bike shop, everybody has to start somewhere.

 

Visit a few shops and tell them what you want to do on a bike and let them make suggestions. At least, as a complete novice, you will get a bike that is properly sized and set up for you.

 

Being a novice, I assume your bike mechanic skills are nil. At least when buying from a shop, they will be less eager to charge for small jobs like setting gears etc.

 

Thanks Eugene,

 

You are quite right - my mechanic skills are NIL :) and it's a bit of a case of me being keen .. not hubby so... go do it on your own ... if I can't afford a horse I have to find another way to be "outriding" ... so the idea of going with the kids new interest in duathlon ... seems a great idea to me :)

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The prob with not knowing when you go to a shop is that they will try to sell you a wsd - these tend to be the entry level (read heavy and very low spec'ed) bikes with a custom paint job and cost 10% more than the "regularly branded" version.

 

my mongoose is (i think) a 15 inch - finding smaller is either expensive or means you end up lugging 16+kg of bike around. simply replacing the stem with a shorter stem and one or two other adjustments (flat bars, cut bars narrower, etc, etc) can make a 10kg bike feel comfortable. when you're riding 5-or-more-kg can make a huge difference.

 

the best is to test ride, and if possible get them to swap the stem for you to ride with a shorter one. you should be able to sit on the bike comfortably and not feel as if you're stretching to reach the bars.

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Thanks Eugene,

 

You are quite right - my mechanic skills are NIL :) and it's a bit of a case of me being keen .. not hubby so... go do it on your own ... if I can't afford a horse I have to find another way to be "outriding" ... so the idea of going with the kids new interest in duathlon ... seems a great idea to me :)

 

Your husband will soon feel left out, when he is the only one in the family watching from the sidelines when you guys take on your first Tour of Durban.

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Welcome

 

A friend recently bought this bike in a Small for his wife, who is roughly around your size.

http://www.obike.co.za/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=94&category_id=6&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1

 

I see they dont have any small's left but maybe look around the site to see if there is anything you like, its an importer's website who is trying to get rid of old stock

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Yep, nothing bigger than a 14".

 

My daughter is about 1.5m, and I bought her an XS Raleigh Sahara which is a WSD bike. As far as bike weights go, it's in line with bikes in the R4k-R5k price range, and I would estimate in the 13Kg range. Actually, it suits her well, although the wheelset could do with some work if she gets going with cycling. On the latter, that's probably true for all bikes at that price-point.

 

My wife's friend is also a shorty, and given the trouble with finding decently specified small bike, I built her one. I also built one for a colleague who I think doesn't even make it to 1.5m. As you point out, sadly there seems to be a bit of a gap for proper XS WSDs with decent parts, eg with proper wheels and a shock that isn't made out of cast iron!

 

Good for you for giving cycling a shot!

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