/ Women's mountain bike

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LP - on 09 Dec 2013

So... the lady friend will be getting a mountain bike this Christmas. Trouble is she is only five foot and half an inch tall on a sunny day.
A chap in a bike shop was talking all 27.5" wheels and the like- not sure if this is worth looking into or not.(feeling so last season with my 26" knowledge now).
.. So far, I have looked at the cannondale sl4 which seems to do sizes small enough if I can ever find one in stock. Can anyone else recommend a tiny but decent adult women's mtb? Budget around 500.


Thanks in advance!

P.s "blue will match her helmet"
Post edited at 19:09
climbingpixie - on 09 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:

I think she'd be better sticking to standard 26" wheels if she's short. When I was MTB shopping a while ago I looked at 29'ers and quickly realised that most of them didn't come in anything smaller than a 15" frame.

FWIW I'm 5'2" (in my trainers) and I have a 14" Kona Cindercone. I got it super cheap in an end of season sale when they only had tiny frame sizes left. At her height she may well be able to get a really good bargain on the smallest adult frames.
LP - on 09 Dec 2013
In reply to climbingpixie:
thanks cp! Will have to shop around for one of those as I'm not sure she's worth that much... They look nice though.

Do you know or find much difference in geometry? Can I just change components on a men's frame?
Post edited at 19:34
Moondancer - on 09 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:

I bought a Cannondale SL4 last month. Have only been out on it once, so can't say too much about it, but was happy with how everything worked during that ride. I've got a size small (= one size up from Cannondale's 'petite/XS' size) and am 5'4.

I do know that it's this/last year's (2013) model and I don't think they make the exact same model anymore, so quite hard to find in store. I bought mine at Alpine Bikes, who still had a size XS for sale on their website at the time.
LP - on 09 Dec 2013
In reply to Moondancer:
Lovely - thanks for your reply!
Uluru on 09 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:

I'm 5'2 and have a small Norco Charger, blue and silver so would match her helmet :). It's been a great bike. I got it on sale at Evan's Cycles was 400 so within budget.

It did get stolen recently but thankfully the local police realised that the 6ft tall bloke trying to ride it obviously didn't own it!

It's a great bike.
baron - on 09 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:
My wife reckons she's 5 feet 2 inches but she never is, more like 5 foot nothing!
She has an old cannondale jekyll in a petite size, a giant trance in a small and a merlin malt 3 in a 14.5 inch. She collects bikes like some women collect handbags, mind you she's got a few of those as well!
Obviously the cannondale is out of your price bracket but the giant was bought in a sale for 700 and the merlin was about 450 albeit quite a few tears ago.
Don't get my wife started on male bike shop sales types, even I find them patronising towards her, she might be a fifty year old stumpy but that doesn't mean she can't ride a bike.
Check out the merlins, not the flashest looking but quality bikes and components which are well put together.

Pmc
LP - on 09 Dec 2013
In reply to baron:
Thanks Uluru -,colour coordination features high on the requirements list for some reason, will check it out.

And what is it about these stumpy women laying claim to extra inches? My missus will not let anyone forget she is five foot " and half an inch". The sales bloke had her on a 16" bike and was saying we could just drop the saddle and change the stem! She looked like a circus act trying it out.

I am hoping to get a decent rig so happy to stray over budget as it might guilt her into getting it on it more! Thanks for your help guys - was getting bored of trawling the web, this have given me some new avenues to explore.
climbingpixie - on 09 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:

> Will have to shop around for one of those as I'm not sure she's worth that much... They look nice though

I paid less than 500 for mine - it was the year before's model reduced to almost half price.

> Do you know or find much difference in geometry? Can I just change components on a men's frame?

I tried a few different bikes and came to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter on a mountain bike as you move around and change position a lot. Mine is a unisex bike, I've just put a women's saddle on it and shortened the reach to the brakes. Oh, I also swapped my forks to air forks as coil forks aren't great if you're at the lighter end of the spectrum.
Escher - on 10 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:
My GF has a Btwin Rockrider 8.1 in small (she's 5'4"), it might be a touch too big for someone of 5 feet but it does depend on proportions. New, they are outstanding value for money, get universal outstanding reviews and have better quality kit than anything else for the price (except sale bikes), no one else can compete on price. If you peruse bike forums you'll see it come up over and over and amongst the best entry level bike when recommendations are sought.


http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-81-2012-mountain-bike-grey-id_8168918.html
Rigid Raider - on 12 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:

At that size, the weight of the bike will matter a lot to her. My wife had a Specialized Myka, which looked great but weighed a ton and had a very tall riding position, heavy suspension forks and fat tyres, making it a nightmare to ride as it was so slow and heavy. Consequently she never rode it. My mum aged 83 had the same problem recently with a Land-Rover branded bike. In both cases we solved the problem by buying them light hybrids with aluminium frames, narrowish tyres, no unnecessary suspension and a reasonably forward-leaning position. Both are delighted with their new bikes, saying they can't believe how long they put up with the old lumps.

She probably doesn't need a mountain bike or at least front suspension. At her size I would look seriously at Islabikes, which are built to be light and fast for smaller riders.

Rigid Raider - on 12 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:

This costs 499.99 and comes in three sizes, see the size chart:

http://www.islabikes.co.uk/bike_pages/beinn29.html

LastBoyScout on 12 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:

Try ebay - friend of mine got a ridiculous bargain on a nearly new Trek, as it was a really small frame size.
altirando - on 12 Dec 2013
In reply to LP: If you live near Cheshire try Dave Hinde in Northwich, perhaps their xc frame. His bikes are built up to suit so the lady friend should be able to get a perfect fit.

T_Mac - on 12 Dec 2013
In reply to LP:

My other half has an Orange Diva hardtail that I built up for her. She is also dinky at 5,2 and struggles for sizes but the diva frame is a 15 and she gets on fine with it.
I built it up with Reba's, SLX brakes and chainset and Sram X7 1x9 gearing.
The wheels are a pretty light set on Bontrager Racelites so the whole package is pretty light which is my point, little riders NEED a light a bike. She climbs faster and decends more confidently due to the whole bike working for her. If you stick your 'lady friend' on a heavy, cheap mtb, she'll not enjoy riding it and probably be cursing the thing after the first climb.
LP - on 15 Dec 2013
In reply to LP: Thank you all for your responses! Some great information here; very much appreciated - I will let you know how successful I am... or be posting for riding buddies in the new year.

Cambridge-Climber - on 16 Dec 2013
In reply to LP: I bought a Saracen Kili earlier this year, it's a 29'er, but it really smooths out the bumps.

Had a quick look around and found the trail, (2 models down from the model I plumped for) reduced from 800 to 500. You could do a lot worse for 500

http://www.summittosea.co.uk/kili-trail-29er-mountain-bike-by-saracen.ir?cName=cycling-bikes-mountai...






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