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  1. #1
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    29er height requirement

    I have heard that 29ers are not the best option for shorter riders. Apparently there are frame geometry and clearance issues with smaller framed 29ers.

    What is the minimum recommended rider height for a 29er?

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    According to these threads,
    FAQ: Show your Tiny 29ers- smaller than or equal 16" frames
    and
    I'm short. Can I ride a 29er? YES!

    The height requirement can be adjusted depending on your choice,

    off the shelf frame or custom size.

    How tall are you and what sort of budget do you have in mind?


    Ray

  3. #3
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaizerSozay
    I have heard that 29ers are not the best option for shorter riders. Apparently there are frame geometry and clearance issues with smaller framed 29ers.

    What is the minimum recommended rider height for a 29er?
    Hmmm...who did you hear that from?

    Ask these two...

    the one on the left is 5'1 and owns three 29ers. The one on the right is 5'7 and also owns three 29ers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaizerSozay
    What is the minimum recommended rider height for a 29er?
    I don't believe it is a height issue, but more of a inseam length issue.

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  5. #5
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    Just about anyone can get on a 29er and get a good fit. Whether or not that bike handles the way that rider wants it to handle depends on the rider. I have a 29er that I really like ( i am just under 5'6"), but I ride my 26er just as much. I think that part of this has to do with wheel size as it relates to my size.

    One thing to keep in mind is that fork height is an absolute. no matter how small the frame, the crown will always be high enough to clear the tire, even when your suspension is fully compressed. This leads to some challenges when setting up handlebar to saddle relationships.

    I often find myself censoring my opinions on the 29er board, as it can be pretty dogmatic/unfriendly to people who don't think they are the perfect bike. You may find that other small riders (women) who also think that there are potential minuses to this set-up for small riders may not express their full opinion here. Best thing to do is go ride a couple.
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  6. #6
    jrm
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    being..

    Quote Originally Posted by KaizerSozay
    I have heard that 29ers are not the best option for shorter riders. Apparently there are frame geometry and clearance issues with smaller framed 29ers.

    What is the minimum recommended rider height for a 29er?
    short and having a short inseam it really helps to size a frame using your inseam wearing the shoes you'll riding in. And your arm length to refine the top tube length. Otherwise it seems youll end up on a frame thats to short in the top tube and running to long a stem to compensate.
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  7. #7
    One Colorful Rider
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    I'm 5'6" I've been running 29ers since 2004

    I started out I ordered a 2004 Supercaliber Hardtail Frame. They said (Fisher-Trek) I might not get frame so then I got 2004 15.5 Fisher X-Caliber rode that for a year. The Frame accually came available so I took it and it sat in the box until the summer of 2007. I sold the X-Caliber and got a Gunnar Rockhound. Since they dont make a small I had to get it custom made. I rode that the Summer of 2005. In 2006 I ordered a custom Gunnar Ruffian Single Speed (SS). In 2007 I put the 2004 Supercaliber Hardtail Frame together finally as a SS. Last year (2007) Interbike I rode three 29ers A Salsa Mamasita, A Felt 29er and the Belt driven Spot SS. I really liked the Salsa and Spot. I picked up the Mamasita on a Close out and will build that for Chequamegon this coming fall. I sold of 26" wheels Except on really sloppy or snowy days I still ride my Surly 1X1 in winter. I did put a Karate Monkey Fork on it and plan on running a 29er Front wheel. Oh yea I have a Surly Monkey also


    My inseam is roughly 28"

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaizerSozay
    I have heard that 29ers are not the best option for shorter riders. Apparently there are frame geometry and clearance issues with smaller framed 29ers.

    What is the minimum recommended rider height for a 29er?

    If you are five feet tall ... or over, then you are fine ...


    I've had my kids riding my 29'ers and I have to pry them off with a crowbar!..


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  9. #9
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    In a related question, what is the shortest person anyone's heard riding a 29er, custom or not, with or without a shock? My wife is 4'8" with a 26" inseam. Quiring tried to design something for her to go with a shortened White Bros shock (60mm), but we both agreed it was not a good idea. Even with a 26er, her top tube will be sloping waaaaay down.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | bikecentric | ssoft

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    In a related question, what is the shortest person anyone's heard riding a 29er, custom or not, with or without a shock? My wife is 4'8" with a 26" inseam. Quiring tried to design something for her to go with a shortened White Bros shock (60mm), but we both agreed it was not a good idea. Even with a 26er, her top tube will be sloping waaaaay down.
    She sounds like a great 650b candidate Drev!

    YOu could do that without a lot of hassle either. Find a frame where the 650b will fit - snag a fox fork (you might already have one ) build up a wheelset and voila your wife would be golden on bigger wheels than what's she's rockin now.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    In a related question, what is the shortest person anyone's heard riding a 29er, custom or not, with or without a shock? My wife is 4'8" with a 26" inseam. Quiring tried to design something for her to go with a shortened White Bros shock (60mm), but we both agreed it was not a good idea. Even with a 26er, her top tube will be sloping waaaaay down.
    My wife is the one who had the custom Q made with a shortened travel. She is 5' even and absolutely loves the bike. I am unsure how much smaller a person could be and still get the ride they want.
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  12. #12
    One Colorful Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1strongone1
    My wife is the one who had the custom Q made with a shortened travel. She is 5' even and absolutely loves the bike. I am unsure how much smaller a person could be and still get the ride they want.
    Nice Build..need some color in the crank area though....rasta

  13. #13
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Yup, nice. Been working with Scott on and (mostly) off for over a year trying to figure out something for my wife...and for her to figure out what she wants Hopefully her ti 26er will be arriving at the end of this month/early next month

    So 5' is the smallest I've heard of for a person riding a 29er.
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  14. #14
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    someone posted in another thread about a 4 foot 9 inch tall Italian female rider who is sponsored by Niner - but from the images on her Italian web site she looked taller than 4 foot 9.

  15. #15
    pvd
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    Riding a 29er and being shorter that 6 feet tall is just dumb. It can be done, but at the expense of fit and handling. A frame builder knows this. If they are trying to justify it, it is to capture a neiche for sales.

    Just stay away from it if you are short.

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    I think riders of different heights may or may not enjoy 29ers. They aren't the right bike for everyone, but neither is a Demo 9 (etc.). Just depends on what you want. I don't have terrific SO on my Dos, but it works and I haven't had any problems with it. There are plenty of 29ers with better SO, but I've only got that bike as a 29er

    There are plenty of shorter females riding on 29ers.

    I'm 5'8 and love mine, for what I have it for (XC and endurance). I'd love to get a 29er SS (and a 29er FS, and a....)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Riding a 29er and being shorter that 6 feet tall is just dumb. It can be done, but at the expense of fit and handling. A frame builder knows this. If they are trying to justify it, it is to capture a neiche for sales.

    Just stay away from it if you are short.
    Whats a "neiche"?? Is that a short person? Something like a "nome"?


    Your statement is either a troll, or uninformed. Either way, you are completely wrong. Smaller riders can and do ride and enjoy 29'ers, I am one of them.

    The only "dumb" thing in this forum ... is your post.



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  18. #18
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    Talk about "sitting in the frame" Wow. Must feel kinda like when u were a kid and used a "big person's" bike and sat on the TT. Cool
    Quote Originally Posted by 1strongone1
    My wife is the one who had the custom Q made with a shortened travel. She is 5' even and absolutely loves the bike. I am unsure how much smaller a person could be and still get the ride they want.
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  19. #19
    PDB
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Riding a 29er and being shorter that 6 feet tall is just dumb. It can be done, but at the expense of fit and handling. A frame builder knows this. If they are trying to justify it, it is to capture a neiche for sales.

    Just stay away from it if you are short.
    Does this mean I have to stay away from my road bike too? Seriously... I've been saying that my wife has been keeping me away from the road bike - but I could have been using the excuse that I'm too short this whole time.

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    Works for me.

  21. #21
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    Threee words. Negative Rise Handlebars.

    Otherwise, kiddy wheels are for, well, really small adults and kids. Here in Holland, 11 y/o kids get full blown 29" cummuter bikes. Fits fine. I see them every day.

  22. #22
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    If a 180cm tall man can ride a 36er then a 150cm can ride a 29er- it is no brainer, the shorter you the more in between wheels you are positioned, thus more stable and less endo prone. You must take heed of one thing- you must get a much longer offset forks both for toe overlap + lightening the fornt wheel stereability/manouevrability.

  23. #23
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    You're both talking about NON SUSPENSION bikes so HT height isn't as much of an issue. Also on road bikes they do tend to use 650B wheels when you get to the smaller sizes must be a reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Threee words. Negative Rise Handlebars.

    Otherwise, kiddy wheels are for, well, really small adults and kids. Here in Holland, 11 y/o kids get full blown 29" cummuter bikes. Fits fine. I see them every day.
    Quote Originally Posted by PDB
    Does this mean I have to stay away from my road bike too? Seriously... I've been saying that my wife has been keeping me away from the road bike - but I could have been using the excuse that I'm too short this whole time.

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  24. #24
    PDB
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    are you kidding? HT length is the same on a 29er as it is on other bikes... why would it be bigger? HT length is more determined by frame size than the wheel size.
    29er - small niner = 90mm
    26 inch - small fisher = 90mm to 110mm depending on frame (full suspension and front suspension)
    51cm lemond road bike = 137mm

    6 foot minimum is ridiculous... maybe some smaller folks would have some issues, but this smaller size is WAY below 6 feet. I'm 5'7", and am comfy on a 29er. My saddle position relative to my bars is the same (no negative rise stem) as it is on my 26 inch bike. Maybe you are assuming that frames can't be made relative to body size.

    Also - smaller (650) wheels was originally marketed to the triathlete group as an option for their bikes (some say it's more aero) - but not to the UCI racing types (they require road bike specs). Some VERY small women's specific bikes are offered in ONLY this wheel size, but these frame sizes are smaller than what the manufacturer has been able to offer in the past - thus demonstrating the "extreme" small nature.
    Most people that are remotely close to "normal" sizes can ride a 29er or 700c wheel without issue AND proper positioning. (BTW proper positioning is relative and this adds more uncertainty to any fit related argument)
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  25. #25
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    Um Kids, let's pay attention now OK!

    Mountain bikes with suspension forks have to have the front end "jacked up" so that they can get the travel i.e. if you have a 4" travel fork, your HT is going to be roughly 4-4.5" taller than a no suspenion correct bike/road bike. The front end has to be almost actual 4" taller compared to the rear which get it's travel using an upward an arc motion, so in essence it is easier to keep the front end lower on a roadie/non suspension corrected bike than on a suspension corrected bike.

    I'm not arguing rider height here, just wheel size and HT height off the ground i.e. where the stem can then mount to.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDB
    are you kidding? HT length is the same on a 29er as it is on other bikes... why would it be bigger? HT length is more determined by frame size than the wheel size.
    29er - small niner = 90mm
    26 inch - small fisher = 90mm to 110mm depending on frame (full suspension and front suspension)
    51cm lemond road bike = 137mm

    .................................................. ......yada, yada, yada
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