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Road Bikes for smaller riders?(12 posts)

Road Bikes for smaller riders?Ginz
Aug 4, 2001 9:45 PM
I recently spent several weeks searching for a Mountain Bike frame that was small enough for me. (I'm 5'4" with a 28" inseam). Does anyone know of a manufacturer that makes smaller, entry-level road bike frames?
Terry makes womens bikesspookyload
Aug 5, 2001 12:24 AM
They started exclusively making frames for women. Realizing women and men are different, they developed frame sizes and geometries that are unique to fit the majority of the population(which are women by the way). They even sell them to men if their pride will allow them to ride a well fit bike. Otherwise look at the Cannondale R800 which comes in tiny sizes. I believe Trek makes on too.
Just say no to Terryjtolleson
Aug 6, 2001 6:52 AM
Parlaying feminism into extra cash for the manufacturer, that's all it is. You can put smaller levers and get a smaller frame from a lot of different companies (and I'd agree that Trek and Cannondale are two good options).

Terry significantly overcharges for what she offers, and her politicized pitch about women's needs is more illusory than real. Cannondale offers a nice frame as small as 43 cm (though under 47 cm you go to the 650 cc front wheel) and Trek's 47 cm will fit most women down to about 5'1". Or obviously several high end companies can make just about any custom size.
re: Road Bikes for smaller riders?sral
Aug 5, 2001 4:40 AM
Trek makes models 2300, 2200, and 2000 in Women's design. With sizes 43, 47, 52, and 54cm frames.
Giant OCR?cyclopathic
Aug 5, 2001 7:10 AM
Compact frame would give you enough standover, has good reviews check out

I wouldn't buy Terry. Terry is a good bike, but 650c front wheel is an ugly solution to difficult problem. You end up carring everything double pls if you flat second time what are the chances someone has extra 650c tube?
Airborne ZeppelinCitius
Aug 5, 2001 7:19 AM
I recently bought a 43cm Airborne Zeppelin for my wife. For a frame this small, I think that sloping top tube is definately the way to go. Because Airbornes are fully customizable, I was able to spec a very short 2cm Icon stem and a Terry handlebar with shorter reach to the brake levers. She loves the bike.
Aug 5, 2001 8:37 AM
You said the "A" word. Now "GoHuffy" will break in with a rant.
Uh-Oh...mike mcmahon
Aug 5, 2001 12:56 PM
Things have been quiet on the Airborne front recently. For a while, every thread seemed to devolve into an "Airborne is the Best Buy in Ti" vs. "Airborne is a Glorified Huffy" thread.
Aug 6, 2001 5:56 AM
I am guilty of the degradation on the Airborne threads myself. I will try to refrain from answering the huffy posts. In my defense, I never claimed Airborne to be "the Best Buy in Ti", only that they are good bikes.
Not sure if it's an entry level bike...Lucky
Aug 5, 2001 11:24 AM
but a petite friend of mine, about 5'2", just bought a Speciallized road bike with 650 wheels. Cannondale also makes a petite frame with 650 wheels. Trek has their Women's Specific Design (WSD) sizing for women, and might have something for you. Others have also mentioned Giant. Look at the manufacturers websites and see what the dimensions of their frames are. I'm 5'5", with a slightly longer inseam, and I fit pretty well on a 49cm (center to top) frame with a 51cm top tube and a 100mm stem. I have more than enough standover height, but got the smaller frame to reduce the reach. I have long legs and a short torso. If you look for frames that have similar or slightly smaller numbers than these, you should be able to pinpoint a few to testride. Good luck!
re: Road Bikes for smaller riders?Mike K
Aug 5, 2001 12:30 PM
Probably best to look at women's specific designs like the above mentioned Terry, Cannondale and Trek bikes (I'm sure there are others).
You may have to look at bikes with 650c wheels (which in not a huge deal from the rider's standpoint but allows designers keep the geometry of small road frames simular to larger versions). The biggest issues for most women seems to be reach (at least it was when we shopped for my girlfriend's bike - ended up with a Trek WSD (women's specific design)).
The best thing you can do is visit as many shops as you can and test ride, test ride, test ride. You may have to travel a bit since most shops will not stock a large number of very small frames.
re: Road Bikes for smaller riders?Becky
Aug 6, 2001 5:11 AM
I'm 5'5" with about a 30' inseam (leaving me with a very short torso). I ended up buying a 47cm Cannondale R500 Feminine and I absolutely love it! It does have 650c wheels which means that finding tires is a little more difficult and a little more expensive. That said, the excellent fit more than justifies any tire problems. Check out for specs and a dealer locator. Good luck with your search!