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surprise bike for girlfriend, need a good detective.(16 posts)

surprise bike for girlfriend, need a good detective.indianabob
Jul 1, 2002 8:14 PM
I'm getting my girlfriend a bike, probably a Trek 1200, for her birthday (FYI-she's saving money to buy herself one), and want to surprise her with it. Problem is, how do I nail down her frame size without her knowing about it? If I suggest she go for a fitting, she may catch on. She's 5foot 7inch, and wears a 32 length jean. The only other tidbit I can offer is that I ride a 61cm road frame (center to top), and her inseam is about 8 cm shorter than mine. Would it follow that she would need a 52-54 cm frame?

Any help appreciated.
I think you count backward for 9 months...LC
Jul 1, 2002 8:30 PM
oh, it's about a bike ;) At 5'7" and 32 length jeans (probally 33 actual bike measure) she is going to have trouble with too long of a tope tube for a mens frame and may need a woman specific frame. Can't you just take her to the bike shop for her birthday so you can be sure you get the right size. Maybe just buy her a water bottle or something, wrap it up and add a note that this goes with your new bike!
I think you count backward for 9 months...indianabob
Jul 1, 2002 8:49 PM
Good suggestion LC, but I would just like to take care of it all ahead of time. I'm a good mechanic, so things like swapping out stem, bar, dialing in the seat fore/aft adjustment, I can handle. But, I agree, there's nothing worse than riding a bike that's the wrong size.
Jul 1, 2002 8:55 PM
The 54's toptube would be too long. Expect a little more spacers and most post showing.
I'm 5'6 1/2, 32 jean length...PseuZQ
Jul 1, 2002 9:53 PM
And I'm on a 54 cm Trek. Different model though. I had no issues with the top tube, but I did have to get a longer stem. (110 v. 100.)

I think it's really sweet that you're getting your girfriend a bike, but the competitive chick in me keeps thinking, "I hope she whoops his ass!!" Anyhow, good luck!
"surprise" and "bike"...heloise
Jul 2, 2002 4:24 AM
two words that don't belong in the same sentence.

sorry, but i work in a shop and i have to say that one of the major causes of "poor bike fit" is boyfriends/husbands buying bikes without consulting the "giftee".

you mention her inseam, but what about reach? the only way she is really truly going to get the best fit is to ride both the 52 and the 54 (and possibly the 54wsd) and then make a decision.

have you considered a gift certificate??? i was just thinking that with the $$$ she has saved PLUS a gift cet. from you she might actually be able to upgrade to a trek 2000. now THAT would be a great gift!

another possibility for a thoughful gift would be to buy her all of the "accessories". first time bike buyers often forget to budget for these items. you could easily surprise her with ~$500-600 worth of tools, computer, gloves, shorts, shoes, helmet...etc etc. bike stores are generally more lenient about exchanging a helmet that doesn't fit than a bike that's the wrong size.
Does she have a bike now?Spoke Wrench
Jul 2, 2002 5:06 AM
I had a husband buy a Klein for his wife for Christmas. He just brought in her old Mercian, which she loved, for me to measure. I set up the Quantum Race to mimic the fit of the Mercian and she was both delighted and utterly surprised.

Incidentally, I'd usually exchange an adult's gift bike for another size. I might be leery of a super big or super small size, but in the sizes you are talking about I wouldn't be too worried. Just make sure it's still in new condition when you bring it back. If you ride it 30 miles first, I'll be able to tell.
I agree. A good bike shopMiklos
Jul 2, 2002 6:23 AM
will do an exchange. Thats one of the benefits of the LBS. Just talk the shop and let them know what you are doing. They should let you take your closest size guess home for the birthday, then return it for sizing or exchange. The shop I use would have no problem with it.

If the shop won't allow it, find one that will.

Oh yeah, the shop I'm referring to is the Bicycle Gallery in Portland, OR.

Got to agreegrandemamou
Jul 2, 2002 5:10 AM
with the other poster. There are lots of variables beside frame size. I have really long arms and usually size up and use a long stem. Stem length,handle bar width, colors, wheels etc. are all imprtant variables Why not suprise her with a gift certificate. Or pick her up and drive her to the shop and you could choose together.
With a 32 inch inseam...GK
Jul 2, 2002 6:49 AM
this girl's got legs from here to Alaska. DUDE!!!! Forget about WHAT bike... We'd just like to see those legs in action.

But seriously, I am in the same boat. Wife gets her new road bike next year after her 9 month biological effort. There is no need to "surprise" her with the bike because she knows that fit is everything. So I'm going to buy her the shoes and the Cinzano jersey, and slip the card inside saying her bike is waiting to be picked out.

I'd recheck that inseamDougSloan
Jul 2, 2002 6:58 AM
Better recheck that inseam measurement. It's best done while nude, you know. If you want to conceal what you are up to, you might have someone else do it. You'll likely get some offers here.

I just bought one for my wifePhatMatt
Jul 2, 2002 8:50 AM
I just took her to the store and let her pick it out. I feel it is best that she like the fit and feel. Remember girls are a little different than most of us. With my wife at least she would not know the difference between Sora and Dura-ace, but she damn well knows the difference between sparkly purple and puke green. She may also feel uncomfortable if she needs to resize, but does not want upset or hurt your feelbads. Remember you are dealing with not just a fellow cyclis but a girl at that.

P.S. Sorry if I offended any female cyclist out there this is just based on my wife and her insights on cycling. Aftar all she lives by fashionover Function. And I am just the oppisite.
Borrow the bike from the LBS...Bruno S
Jul 2, 2002 9:11 AM
Just tell the LBS what you just told us, take your best guess and return with her for a fit or a complete bike exchange. The only drawback to this approach is that you may leave the LBS with a 2200 or a 5200.
re: Dont guess....jrm
Jul 2, 2002 9:48 AM
Surprise her on her B-Day by telling her your buying her a new bike. Then go buy it with her. Youll get the right bike for her and everyone will be happy.
re: Dont guess....indianabob
Jul 2, 2002 1:54 PM
Thanks all. It's her first real bike, so figure that as I'm not made of money, something like a Trek 1200 is the way to go, especially given that she may put only 20-30 miles a week on it.

And, yes, I could probably make an educated guess and go with a 54, but as I just had a custom steel (landshark) frame built for me, I know how important fit is. So, I'll do it the bike shop way, unless she randomly decides to go in for a fitting in the next couple of weeks.
re: Dont guess....rengaracchi
Jul 3, 2002 12:04 AM

I've just purchased a bike for my girlfriend, and it is a Land Shark. It is a surprise gift, too. GVH Bicycles happened to have a frame that has nearly perfect geometry for her. If you have visited GVH site recently, you might have seen the frame called Fusion.

How did I find out her size? The other day, I was playing with Wrench Science and invited her to try it out. I know she would do it because she always teases me about the length of my legs: her inseam is the same as mine, but I'm 5'8 and she is 5'6. After taking her measurements, that I have proportionately shorter legs compare to hers was "scientifically" confirmed. She teased me again, but I've got her geometry :-). Be imaginative a bit. You can find a trick that works.

Good luck!