Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 53
  1. #1
    Climbs = necessary evil
    Reputation: rogerfromco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    546

    29-er for 5'2" Woman?

    My wife is recovering from a shoulder injury from a crash earlier this year, but since I just bought a 29er and her bike has never really wow-ed her (SC Blur XC), we are starting to research bikes for her.

    One challenge we have with all gear for her is good quality gear in her size. She's 5' 2" and about 125 lbs.

    Our riding around here in CO is rocky and rooty, with long sustained climbs and downhills. I was wondering if there were ladies her size on here who can recommend a good FS Trail bike with 4+ inches of travel? Wondering if there are any 29-ers that would work or if not, maybe a 650b.

    These recommendations will help focus her reading while she's laid up.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Paste eater
    Reputation: Jwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,480
    I live in Moab. My better 1/2 is 5'4" but likes a proportionally small TT. Some good options are the Trek Superfly (and the new ladies 29er) Transition bandit/covert 29ers as well as the Trance X 29er.

  3. #3
    29ers Only.
    Reputation: Niner Bikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,147
    As a woman in the industry, offering little bikes is a bit of a personal mission for me so I am stoked that we now make a few of our models in XS. You will find that the standover rivals a lot of 26" bikes.

    Jet 9 Carbon
    Jet 9 RDO

    Additionally, we offer some fit tips for smaller riders here, make sure to look at the Girl Bike Love article for specific suggestions about moving from 26 to 29. These suggestions apply to anyone's 29er, not just ours.

    Many riders try to use the same length stem on their 29 as they did on their 26. We have found that going wider in the bar, shorter in the stem and a bit longer in the TT offers a better overall big wheel ride experience - think about something as small as a 50mm for a rider who is 5'2". Above all, you have to ride the bikes, get to a shop to try anything you are interested in and make sure you have her do it with her favorite saddle and a good pair of cycling shorts so that her reach isn't messed up with a bad seat-rider interface.

    There are other great options out there, too. Best of luck!

    Cheers,
    Carla
    .........

    Passion. Commitment. 29ers only.

    Follow all things Niner Bikes on Facebook!www.ninerbikes.com

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    59
    Seems like inseam would be more important than height. My partner and I have the same inseam, 29, but I'm 5'3 and she's 5'5. All her height is in her torso. We ride the same size bike.

  5. #5
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,011
    Quote Originally Posted by rogerfromco View Post
    My wife is recovering from a shoulder injury from a crash earlier this year, but since I just bought a 29er and her bike has never really wow-ed her (SC Blur XC), we are starting to research bikes for her.

    Thanks in advance.
    What is the SC BXC issue, is it fit? or handling? If she wants the 29er, the tallboy, or the Rip9 would be fun, although she'd probably run into another set of problems. My wife went thru similar things in the end the longer travel trail bike with dropper post seems to be the fix

  6. #6
    Paste eater
    Reputation: Jwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,480
    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes View Post
    As a woman in the industry, offering little bikes is a bit of a personal mission for me so I am stoked that we now make a few of our models in XS. You will find that the standover rivals a lot of 26" bikes.
    That's awesome. Hope you extend that to the NONcarbon siblings. The Rip9 'small' has an ETT of 23.2677. That's awfully close to many manufactures mediums.

    My fiance at 5'5" has ridden a 15.5 trek superfly (22.4 ETT) with a 60mm and a medium (no small) Tallboy LT (23.1mm) with a 45mm. She prefers a wider bar and a more upright postion and the LT is a stretch. At 5'2" I see problems.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1
    As a small female rider who's 5'3" I can say that I love riding a 29er! Mines a 15.5" Trek Suplerfly 100 and I have no complaints about fit.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: shenny88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    509
    My concern with smaller sized 29ers is handlebar height. Im 5'8" and normally ride medium/17-18" frames and even i have to slam and flip the stem to get the bar into an aggressive enough (not upright) position. They can only make head tubes so short.

    If anything, find a frame that utilizes an internal or semi integrated headset, and probably an 80mm fork for her. Just my 2 cents.

  9. #9
    Paste eater
    Reputation: Jwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,480
    Quote Originally Posted by shenny88 View Post
    My concern with smaller sized 29ers is handlebar height. Im 5'8" and normally ride medium/17-18" frames and even i have to slam and flip the stem to get the bar into an aggressive enough (not upright) position. They can only make head tubes so short.
    .
    Some of us see this as an advantage. Not all of us prefer skin suites and pace lines.

    The problem you outline is not a problem on her bike with a 22.4 in top tube; Unless, of course, you do prefer skin suites and pace lines

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: djork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,568
    Not a big guy here. I'm 5'3" with shoes and ride a small Niner Air 9. I think it is a nice fit for me. I have a Thomson 50mm X4 stem with a Bontrager Big Sweep handlebar. It really doesn't feel or look big. If your wife is also considering a hardtail, then I suggest a look at the old Air 9. I assume the new Air 9 models (matte black with hydro-formed tubing *drooools*) also have the same geometry.

    Edit to add: My Niner is a rigid with a Pace carbon fork that does lower the SO height a bit.

  11. #11
    Paste eater
    Reputation: Jwind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,480
    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    Not a big guy here. I'm 5'3" with shoes and ride a small Niner Air 9. I think it is a nice fit for me. I have a Thomson 50mm X4 stem with a Bontrager Big Sweep handlebar. It really doesn't feel or look big. If your wife is also considering a hardtail, then I suggest a look at the old Air 9. I assume the new Air 9 models (matte black with hydro-formed tubing *drooools*) also have the same geometry.

    Edit to add: My Niner is a rigid with a Pace carbon fork that does lower the SO height a bit.
    Hardtail is painful around here. That's a no go.

  12. #12
    Climbs = necessary evil
    Reputation: rogerfromco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    546
    Thanks for the replies so far. Keep them coming ladies (and gents based on their wives rides). These are going on her "research list" and then she can figure out what to demo.

    Sent from my Android - because Carrier Pigeons are slow!

  13. #13
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,011
    Basically, to me and my wife the 29er is a double edge sword, it's nice to have easier time rolling over things and more stable overall. It does come at expense of sluggish handling and overall fit. Definitely more serious than the more playful 26er trail bike for an avg female riders.

    When we do the fireroad ride she likes the 29er HT but when we go to some buff-ish singletrack she complains about the bike being heavy, which I figure it out. I do feel similar but I just increase the effort in the corners and/or when lofting front wheel.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cecald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    100
    RogerfromCO - mind going into what your wife is looking for & what she doesn't really like about the Santa Cruz? Reason I ask about the SC is because my wife (5'2") and I are looking into putting together a small Blur LTc for her soon. She's not a fan of the XC geometry of her current bike, and we're thinking of trying to fit 650b wheels on there too.

    We'd love to get her to throw a leg over a 29er (Niner, Giant, whatever) - but that's just not a possibility for the next few months because of where we live. I believe there was another thread in the women's forum where maybe 2 people at the same 5'2" height found the Giant trance to be a good fit?

  15. #15
    Dudette
    Reputation: petey15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1,086
    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Basically, to me and my wife the 29er is a double edge sword, it's nice to have easier time rolling over things and more stable overall. It does come at expense of sluggish handling and overall fit. Definitely more serious than the more playful 26er trail bike for an avg female riders.

    When we do the fireroad ride she likes the 29er HT but when we go to some buff-ish singletrack she complains about the bike being heavy, which I figure it out. I do feel similar but I just increase the effort in the corners and/or when lofting front wheel.
    I would recommend the Trance X 29er. I have tried other 29ers in the past and they just never felt "right" to me. I was in the market for a new bike and honestly, I hadn't really considered a 29er. But when I heard the demo truck was coming to town, I decided to give one a try. On paper, the geo #'s looked great. In fact, I could hardly believe they came in an xs and had massive amounts of standover. How was that possible? To top it off, the HT angle was on the "slacker" side and with the 5" of travel, it sounded too good to be true.

    All I can say is when I first got on the bike, it just felt "right". I took it out for a demo ride and I was amazed at how at home I felt on it. Everything I asked it to do, it did in spades. Climbing was great (and I'm NOT a climber), going through the tight and twisty stuff was not a problem (although I have trimmed the bars down a bit - they are pretty long) and descending was amazing. I'm 5'4" (with shoes) and ride the small.

  16. #16
    Climbs = necessary evil
    Reputation: rogerfromco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    546
    Quote Originally Posted by cecald View Post
    RogerfromCO - mind going into what your wife is looking for & what she doesn't really like about the Santa Cruz? Reason I ask about the SC is because my wife (5'2") and I are looking into putting together a small Blur LTc for her soon. She's not a fan of the XC geometry of her current bike, and we're thinking of trying to fit 650b wheels on there too.

    We'd love to get her to throw a leg over a 29er (Niner, Giant, whatever) - but that's just not a possibility for the next few months because of where we live. I believe there was another thread in the women's forum where maybe 2 people at the same 5'2" height found the Giant trance to be a good fit?
    One of the main things she doesn't like is the lack of travel when following me on the downhills. She sees me flying over stuff in front of her while she has to pick lines to avoid the big rocks so she doesn't get tossed around. She'd like more travel so she can plow through it.

    It was my idea to see if there is a 29-er that will work for someone her size. I keep seeing small women on 29-ers on the trails and think "maybe there is one that will fit her". I'm amazed at how much easier the big wheels roll over the obstacles and think that with more travel than her current 100mm and a 29" tire, that will smooth out her ride and give her more capability and confidence on the downhills.

  17. #17
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
    Reputation: DeeEight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,582
    Have you considered a 650B yet ?
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  18. #18
    Climbs = necessary evil
    Reputation: rogerfromco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    546
    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight View Post
    Have you considered a 650B yet ?
    Yes, we are open to the idea, but know nothing about them yet.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    591
    I am 5'3'' with 28" inseam. I started riding a hard tail 29er last year and love it. I have thought about getting a 29er FS as well, but sizing has been difficult because of my inseam. Indeed some companies are making XS and women's specific, but the cockpits are all way too short for me. This is good news, as most women should be able to fit a 29er now, maybe just not me yet. I have had my eyes on Niner and Pivot but I have not found a small to demo.

    In the mean time, I purchased a 650b front wheel and put it on my Titus Motolite which fits me perfect. I lowered the handlebar height a tad to accommodate the higher front wheel and it rides great as a all around trail bike!

  20. #20
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
    Reputation: DeeEight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,582
    Find a KHS or Jamis dealer near you, either should have a 650B on their showroom floor given the brand's have been pushing the format for three years each now. MTBR has a LARGE dedicated 650B forum also to ask questions in.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ATXZJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    366
    Quote Originally Posted by rogerfromco View Post
    My wife is recovering from a shoulder injury from a crash earlier this year, but since I just bought a 29er and her bike has never really wow-ed her (SC Blur XC), we are starting to research bikes for her.

    One challenge we have with all gear for her is good quality gear in her size. She's 5' 2" and about 125 lbs.

    Our riding around here in CO is rocky and rooty, with long sustained climbs and downhills. I was wondering if there were ladies her size on here who can recommend a good FS Trail bike with 4+ inches of travel? Wondering if there are any 29-ers that would work or if not, maybe a 650b.

    These recommendations will help focus her reading while she's laid up.

    Thanks in advance.


    Have you considered a SC superlight 29er or are you done with santa cruz?
    Santa Cruz Bicycles SUPERLIGHT29

    I've seen a few women riding the superlight 29 and they seem to fit quite well. I ride a large SL29er and have taken it on some fairly burly trails here in new mexico with quite a few jumps and drops. It has performed and held up well considering my clyde riding style

    For comparison

    My wife is riding a SC Juliana size S with a TT length of 21.8 and a 75mm stem. She is about 5 4" and 116 LBS with a 32" inseam and fits fairly upright on the bike, so much that I had to drop the pressure in the fork to 65 LBS to get the proper sag/compression.
    SC:12' Butcher (sold)
    SC:12' Superlight 29er (sold)
    SC:12' Juliana (wife's)
    SC:12' TBLT

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: laine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    103
    I'm 5'1" with 28"-ish inseam and I have a hardtail 29er. It's a size small Cannondale Tango SL1 and I love it. The standover is probably a tiny bit higher than I would like (it's easy to stand over, but I have stopped short once or twice and banged my crotch into the bar - eek!), but other than that, it fits me pretty well.

    Geometry here:
    TANGO SL 1 - Tango 29er - Hardtail - Women's - Bikes - 2013

    I also test-rode the Specialized Jett size 15" and the Tango just felt like it fit my geometry a little better.

    -laine

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,524
    There is a new Trek Lush 29er coming out that looks promising. I am going to get my wife to throw a leg over one at a demo when they are out this summer.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    5
    So glad I stumbled upon this thread. I 5'.2" with a 29" inseam and am looking for a 29er but in a hardtail. I am currently demoing the niner emd but would rather have the air or sir 9s but I can't find one to even swing my leg over to compare the models.

    Any thoughts on hardtails?

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ATXZJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    366
    Quote Originally Posted by onefuzzy View Post
    Any thoughts on hardtails?
    maybe

    Santa Cruz Bicycles HIGHBALL
    SC:12' Butcher (sold)
    SC:12' Superlight 29er (sold)
    SC:12' Juliana (wife's)
    SC:12' TBLT

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •