1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well My lil lady's bike problems

    Hi there,

    I'm trying to encourage my partner to start cycling more seriously with me.

    She's a quite a petite thing, and finds her bike a little bit unwieldy.
    I think it may be because the bike is too big? She's riding a small Giant NRS at the moment.

    It was suggested to me that the i could swap the existing wheels to smaller diameter wheels?
    But then i've also been told it was a stupid idea... so what to do?? help would be really appreciated!

  2. #2
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    New bike. Can't use smaller wheels. Think about it. The brakes won't hit the rims.

  3. #3
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    Her bike is kitted out with disc brakes, so braking isn't a problem..

    has anyone dabbled with fitting smaller wheels to a cross country style bicycle?

  4. #4
    Going for a ride......
    Reputation: energetix's Avatar
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    It depends on exactly what the problem is:
    Does she have ample clearance over the top tube? If not then best looking at a new frame or new bike.
    Is it just the general riding position that's uncomfortable? If you can experiment with a shorter stem & a riser bar & also her seat position that may find a solution.

    I recently brought a 16" trance 3, I know it felt alot better once I put a truvativ husslefelt 60mm dh stem and riser bar on - I think mainly made the reach just rigtht for me. Not the best for hill climbing, but nothing a bit of weight shifting wont fix and something I'm willing to compromise.It feels alot more responsive than the stock set up did as well - & I'm the sort of woman who doesn't know that much about bike geometry etc. I tend to think my last bike (17") was slightly too big for me as this one feels way better!

    If you can post up a bit more detail and possibly how tall etc she is and I'm sure there will be plenty of ladies who may be able to offer some advice.
    energetix



  5. #5
    Collector of Scars
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    If it were me, I'd check into a totally new bike. The geometry is probably all wrong with the current setup, and smaller wheels (if even feasable) are gonna screw up what is currently there, geometry-wise. Think about it, how would your bike ride differently with 29 inch wheels on it? It'd be a totally different beast, seeing as most 26 inch bikes aren't meant for 29ers.

    Just my opinion, but I'd see about getting her a fit session at a LBS. Take it or leave it.

    Best of luck, and let us know how it goes.

    Ross
    "I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on, let's do it before I lose my nerve" - Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk)

  6. #6
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    Hi Energetix,

    You mean whether the top tube is too long? I have put a shorter stem and riser bar on her bike, that has helped with reach i think.

    But I was thinking that more standover height over the bike may help her feel more comfortable. However the seat position is at it's lowest at the moment, and the only way I've been told to increase standover would be to fit smaller wheels.

    This was suggested by the bike shop from which i purchased the bike. However, my local bike shop then quickly dismissed this is a misguided idea, so I'm not too sure who's opinion i should rely on?

    She's about 5'1 tall. The bike is a small, which equates to a 16 inch seat tube height.

  7. #7
    Going for a ride......
    Reputation: energetix's Avatar
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    Yes sorry I just wasn't sure if you were talking about overall fit feeling too large or just the standover.
    Well I'm 5'5" so yep I reckon the best thing would be to get a smaller frame - or bike. I know Trek do 15.5" models, Giant does a 14.5" in the Trance / Reign in the US. Depends what sort of bike you're after .

    I wouldn't know much about putting smaller wheels on a standard bike, but personally I'd rather buy a new frame & sell her current one if you don't want to fork out for a complete bike. But if you're not that mechanically minded there's the extra cost in getting the lbs to put it all together as well. So just assess your options I guess.

    If the bike was purchased and she was at the shop at the time, your lbs should have fitted her properly and not sold you a bike that was too big for her.
    energetix



  8. #8
    Formerly DMR For Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerbdrop
    Hi Energetix,

    You mean whether the top tube is too long? I have put a shorter stem and riser bar on her bike, that has helped with reach i think.

    But I was thinking that more standover height over the bike may help her feel more comfortable. However the seat position is at it's lowest at the moment, and the only way I've been told to increase standover would be to fit smaller wheels.

    This was suggested by the bike shop from which i purchased the bike. However, my local bike shop then quickly dismissed this is a misguided idea, so I'm not too sure who's opinion i should rely on?

    She's about 5'1 tall. The bike is a small, which equates to a 16 inch seat tube height.
    I know Jamis and Specialized both make 15 and 13 inch bikes....maybe get her to try one of those and see how it feels

    with using smaller wheels....as long as you have discs I would think you could try that (the only thing that this would effect is the straightline stability of the bike at speed)...it would probally be a slightly less exspensive option to buying a new bike

    DMR

  9. #9
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Well, probably a new frame. I doubt changing to smaller tires would help her.

    My GF is like 5' (1.55mts) and we're trying to find a nice FS frame for her. Right now she's almost set on a Santa Cruz Juliana frame. I've looked in the SC forum, and some gals around that height seems to really like that frame.

    Another brand you might look at is Titus. I personally prefer Titus, but she liked the Juliana more (at least from pics), and there is a big difference in price ($999 for the Juliana frame vs 1,795 for a Titus Racer-X or 1,395 for a Titus Moto Lite), and we have a dealer in Mexico (but he's slooooow guetting stuff, well, at least I've been 2 months wait for a Chameleon frame

    I think all 3 frames would fit her, but I just don't know your budget.

    Also, let her do some researching. Probably take her to some LBS and have her see some bikes, ask some questions of her own, bring her on this forum, and let her do some Q's, probably that would help her.

  10. #10
    ride hard take risks
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    energetix has some great #'s on frame sizing, that Giant Tranc is a sweet frame! rzozya1969 also has a xcelent sugestion with the Titus but it is not cheap. You buy Titus because it is the best XC Race frame.

  11. #11
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    Hey guys, THANK YOU for the fantastic advice!!!
    you guys have been super helpful! it has saved me much confusion and bewilderment running between the bike shops!

    We aren't planning to do any racing or extreme (?) riding, we are just wanting to get out together to do some general trail riding.
    So for general riding, I think her bike will be ok. It's just that on the more technical sections, she seems a little bit uncomfortable with shifting her weight around.

    Quote Originally Posted by rzozaya1969
    Well, probably a new frame. I doubt changing to smaller tires would help her.

    I think all 3 frames would fit her, but I just don't know your budget.

    Also, let her do some researching. Probably take her to some LBS and have her see some bikes, ask some questions of her own, bring her on this forum, and let her do some Q's, probably that would help her.
    So you all ahve convinced me to wait it out a little while, get some more miles under our tyres, before we change to a more suitable frame for her..

    Acutally, been doing some snooping around, and the ventana x-5 looks gorgoeus!
    haha.. but, she is somewhat peeved at me spending so much on her bike, and neglecting to buy her non-bike goodies. So getting her a new bike will have to wait till SHE wants to get one.

    And i won't bother messing round with smaller wheels. I imagine the XC purists would quite likely be giving us some indignant looks!

    I guess what's important now is just to make sure she enjoys herself.. i think i'm too hung up about her "ride" that i forget to enjoy THE ride!

    and i'll try convince her to sign up to the forum!

  12. #12
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    many good threads in the Women's Lounge on small bikes and petite riders. You might surf on over there and check it out.

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