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Thread: 29" xs

  1. #1
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    Hope 29" xs

    Hi, i just started to bike this year and have been using a urban bike, this last weekend i went out with a group outside the city and after a guy let me use his bike a bit, i realized that if i want to make those longer rides i need a different bike, so now i want a 29" bike but i need an XS frame (I'm 5' 1) and so far i've just found the Trek Cali, was wondering if you know any other brands and models that fit what i want. Thank you very much for your help and have a great ride

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    Niner makes an XS 29" hardtail.

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    The Niner 29" hardtail is a good bike. They also do have XS available in the Jet9 RDO but I have a feeling that's not what you're looking for.

    I am 5'2" and I currently ride a S Niner Jet9 and I think it fits pretty well with minor adjustment. You really need to ride before you buy. If you have a Niner dealer nearby check with them.

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    Specialized, Cannondale and Giant all have 29ers that would fit you. I'm 5'1" as well and I ended up with a Cannondale Tango 29er hardtail.

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    my xs friend demo'd the xs giant trance 29r. She found her legs actually hit the wheel on some tight turns. Some frames cannot handle 29/xs. Make sure you test them out first.

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    Toe overlap is a big problem for ladies at your height (5'1) trying to get on a 29er. The reasoning is that when you are a small person, you need a smaller frame. You need it to be smaller for standover, reach, and all-around fit. But larger wheels need a larger frame.. The wheelbase must be wider to accomodate larger wheels, and therefore the frame must be larger to accomdate the wheelbase. It's much better to get the right frame and wheels that don't cause toe overlap, which would be 27.5 size or 26 more likely.

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    Juliana Nevis Juliana Bicycles | The Original Women's Mountain Bike made by Santa Cruz Bicycles

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    Quote Originally Posted by lisettesuper View Post
    Toe overlap is a big problem for ladies at your height (5'1) trying to get on a 29er. The reasoning is that when you are a small person, you need a smaller frame. You need it to be smaller for standover, reach, and all-around fit. But larger wheels need a larger frame.. The wheelbase must be wider to accomodate larger wheels, and therefore the frame must be larger to accomdate the wheelbase. It's much better to get the right frame and wheels that don't cause toe overlap, which would be 27.5 size or 26 more likely.
    Yes, definitely check for this - and it will kind of depend on your shoe size. As I said above, I'm 5'1" and have a 29er hardtail, but I wear a women's 6.5 shoe, so I don't really have any toe overlap issues. It will really depend on the specific bike frame and wheelbase. But you should have someone hold the front handlebars and turn them right and left while your feet are at 3 and 9 o'clock. See if the wheel hits your toes.

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    I had a very similar issue! I so badly wanted a 29er, but I am 5'2" and needed a xsmall frame as well. While trying 29ers at the bike shop I just felt the frames were not small enough, I could not find any women's 29ers with my price range with disc brakes. I honestly don't care for most of the women bikes, so I ended up with a men's xsmall 13.5" frame 2013 Trek disc hardtail. Half the price of the 29er and it feels amazing, I don't think I will regret a 26.

  10. #10
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    i ride the Giant trance 29er extra small. no toe overlap for me, but i have tiny feet. if you are on flats, you'd need to ride closer to the ball of your foot if toe overlap is a problem. Clipless wouldnt hit at all probably.

    i did hear that the giant anthem had some toe overlap issues on their smallest frame, and i believe that, because the anthem is a "steeper" bike. the head angle is steep, therefore bringing the front wheel back closer to the rider, rather than slack and away. So take a look at the geometry of a bike. check the head angle. if it's more than 69.5 or 70 degrees, you're looking at steep angles, and more likely to hit your toes.
    fap

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    Thanks for all the comments, they were really useful, specially the ones about overlap cause that's something i had not thought about. I ended up buying the Trek Cali in size 14 (XS) and i'm veeeeeeeeeery happy with it, i do like the womens' frame and i already tried a bit on mountain, city and on the road (bike path in the highway) and so far everything was excellent, now some friends want a 29er too (and they are taller tan me, so it shouldn't be a problem), so, highly recomendable and of course that a petite girl can ride a 29er!

  12. #12
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    As a woman in management at Niner Bikes, I've spend a lot of time talking with the engineering staff about great small designs. We absolutely DO NOT have toe overlap on our XS frames. 29ers offer huge advantages in terms of rollover, technical handling and reducing rider fatigue - just because we are small doesn't mean we shouldn't be able to take advantage of the benefits men see with 29 inch wheels.

    I've been a poster here on MTBR for almost a decade, and the one thing that drives me ape is seeing riders limit themselves without trying good product. One of the reasons I work in the industry (and have for 18 years), is because back in 1992, Georgena Terry called bullsh*t and started making a women's saddle that was comfortable from day 1. Before that, everyone just accepted that women had a disadvantage and had to spend months breaking in leather seats. The same thing is happening with wheel size - over and over it has been shown that there are huge advantages to the larger wheel, but small women are being told "that isn't for you".

    Frankly, telling small riders they can't ride 29 is sexist garbage, poor bike fit and lazy engineering more than anything else. The only thing stopping other companies from making a tiny 29er is anticipated sales volume from the women's demographic. As a small company, it is a big deal that we have invested in the engineering and the molds to produce XS frames, hopefully there are enough women out there to support it, so I can convince the guys to make it in other models, too.

    I work for Niner because years ago, someone gave me a Niner for my birthday and it changed my riding forever. It means a lot to me that I can help other women to have that same experience.

    Cheers,
    Carla


    Gwen here is 5'0". She is riding our XS Jet 9 Carbon with our Low Top Bar. This bike has a lower stand over than many WSD 26" wheeled bikes. As forks get taller, even riders on small wheeled bikes will find that they need to adjust front end height - our Low Top is another example of how just a tiny bit of effort on the part of a company can set a rider up for a great fit.

    29" xs-gwen.jpg


    This is me on a size small at a local Enduro race. Again - no problem with tight corners, technical handling or frame size. I'm 5'5", so the XS is actually TOO SMALL for me.

    29" xs-endurox.jpg



    Quote Originally Posted by lisettesuper View Post
    Toe overlap is a big problem for ladies at your height (5'1) trying to get on a 29er. The reasoning is that when you are a small person, you need a smaller frame. You need it to be smaller for standover, reach, and all-around fit. But larger wheels need a larger frame.. The wheelbase must be wider to accomodate larger wheels, and therefore the frame must be larger to accomdate the wheelbase. It's much better to get the right frame and wheels that don't cause toe overlap, which would be 27.5 size or 26 more likely.
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    Hey Niner, i'm not in the market for a new bike any time soon, but lets say i was....i noticed (and correct me if i'm wrong) that the only XS full suspension you had, was the carbon Jet. THat would be out of the price range for many. Will there be any XS options for the RIP in the future, or at least a more affordable aluminum option with the Jet? Since i already ride a trail bike, i'm guessing RIP is more my style, but i didnt see XS.
    fap

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    Carla, if you could see about the distribution of Niner in Mexico, that'd be great, i really wanted to give it a try and there was NO distributor i could find in Mexico city, the only one that sold Niner was at the north of the country (Monterrey i think), so no chance to ride it. i was happy the day i found Niner makes xs size and it was a let down to not find anyone distributing here, truly i have friends who said "i never thought a petite girl could ride a 29er 'til i saw you", and i'm more than happy to show it is possible!! we are not a country of super tall girls and i bet many would enjoy to ride a Niner

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    29" xs

    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes View Post
    29ers offer huge advantages in terms of rollover, technical handling and reducing rider fatigue
    Are you really saying 29ers technically handles better than 26" bikes? I'm going to disagree.

    As for the rest, that's awesome.

  16. #16
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    I am blessed to have both 26/29'er bikes for different types of rides, and I love them both dearly.

    29'ers are without a doubt, the best tool for the job of long XC rides, and the part of "technical handling" that they cover well is that they make rolling over obstacles and rolling down drops a lot less intimidating. They also can make endo's less of a worry, (although not impossible), as you have a more rubber out in front of you. Kind of like having a slacker HA without having a slacker HA.

    However, I agree with stripes that the longer wheel base and more flexy wheels aren't an advantage for cornering, jumping, responsive handling, or overall "playfulness". There are things you can do to alter the feel of your 29'er, like get a thicker thru axle in the front wheel, reinforced rims, etc. Jump landings I find are a bit sketchy with my 29'er as I feel a little flex in the wheels, although that could just be because it doesn't have rear suspension. But that type of riding is not why I bought my 29'er. There's no way I'd take a 26'er out on a long XC ride where efficiency/stamina is critically important.

    Also, newer 29'ers are being built with shorter chainstays & wider bottom brackets, which help a little in the playfullness aspect. My On-One Lurcher has this more fun, updated geometry, which makes it feel less like a barge than some other 29'ers I've ridden. But it will never replace my 26" FS for fun rides where speed is not an issue and I'd rather play around and launch off the little kickers.
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    A couple months ago I was in the market for a trail / am bike and tested a Giant 29". I know riders rave about their rolling ability and how it ploughs over everything. I found that it rolls and ploughs as promised. Its a good bike if your riding style is to keep both wheels on the ground.

    I like riding gnar. I like to pop and jump. In the end, I chose the 26" transition bandit (small) because I found it suited my style and rode technical better than the 29". I like how the 26" is more nimble in pop pivots.

    In addition I ride in the winter on ice using studded tires. The tire contact on the ice with the 29" was poor and lost traction. I had to make much wider turns than with my 26". Something weird happens with 29" with winter riding it just doesn't handle as well... and i was using top of the line studded tires

    I can see some advantages for the 29... but maybe my next trail/am bike will be a 650b (carbon bronson sc) which seems to combine the best of both 26 and 29
    Last edited by cyclelicious; 08-01-2013 at 06:25 AM.
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    So now telling someone they shouldn't ride a wheelsize because they're short is sexist you reallly need to gte out of your sexist box and take a look. Short people on 29ers are a compromise, just because the founder of Niner is a shorty and you guys can only make 29ers, of course you're going to say they fit everyone and that's just plain BS, it's like saying just because you're 350lbs you should be able to ride the same bike as a 170lbs rider Wheelsize is just one parameter in bike fit and just because your company has pigeon-hold itself into only being able to make 29ers and therefor are missing out on the 650B market (which suits shorter people better) don't come on here and try to push your BS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes View Post
    .............I've been a poster here on MTBR for almost a decade..............
    Frankly, telling small riders they can't ride 29 is sexist garbage, poor bike fit and lazy engineering more than anything else. The only thing stopping other companies from making a tiny 29er is anticipated sales volume from the women's demographic. As a small company, it is a big deal that we have invested in the engineering and the molds to produce XS frames, hopefully there are enough women out there to support it, so I can convince the guys to make it in other models, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    So now telling someone they shouldn't ride a wheelsize because they're short is sexist you reallly need to gte out of your sexist box and take a look. Short people on 29ers are a compromise, just because the founder of Niner is a shorty and you guys can only make 29ers, of course you're going to say they fit everyone and that's just plain BS, it's like saying just because you're 350lbs you should be able to ride the same bike as a 170lbs rider Wheelsize is just one parameter in bike fit and just because your company has pigeon-hold itself into only being able to make 29ers and therefor are missing out on the 650B market (which suits shorter people better) don't come on here and try to push your BS.
    Its sexist because it primarily refers to women....

    Wait ...are we in the womens lounge Lynx? RUN!!

  20. #20
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    yes, wheel size can compromise a frame to some degree. However, my 29 fits me better than my 26, for the reason that i have a very short torso, and long legs (i'm 5'3). Lets just say, i probably have the leg length of somebody a couple inches taller. So what does that mean? it means i'm needing to jack the seat up higher, and then the bar to seat ratio is "off". i start to feel tippy. The 9er was already "tall" up front out of the box, so i didnt have to mess with it. That being said, a slightly longer travel 650B would probably be just as well fitting. In the 26 world however, i'd probably need a beefy AM rig with lots of travel in order to have my seat to bar ratio correct and feel stable. Frankly, thats just too much bike for me.

    there is no bike that does it all, and people need to realize the difference between the 3 sizes, BUT they also have to realize that the pros and cons are often super exaggerated! NO, 29ers do NOT roll over everything. We're only talking 10-15% tire height difference. you can still endo...and i have. They wont turn a bad rider into a good rider.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    A couple months ago I was in the market for a trail / am bike and tested a Giant 29". I know riders rave about their rolling ability and how it ploughs over everything. I found that it rolls and ploughs as promised. Its a good bike if your riding style is to keep both wheels on the ground.

    I like riding gnar. I like to pop and jump. In the end, I chose the 26" transition bandit (small) because I found it suited my style and rode technical better than the 29". I like how the 26" is more nimble in pop pivots.

    In addition I ride in the winter on ice using studded tires. The tire contact on the ice with the 29" was poor and lost traction. I had to make much wider turns than with my 26". Something weird happens with 29" with winter riding it just doesn't handle as well... and i was using top of the line studded tires

    I can see some advantages for the 29... but maybe my next trail/am bike will be a 650b (carbon bronson sc) which seems to combine the best of both 26 and 29
    thats interesting, (the winter riding part). i found i was having an easier time riding in the snow than my 26er friend, because there was more tire patch on the ground, and the wheel floated a little better. Then again, 29ers are going to turn and handle a little slower, so perhaps thats what you're feeling? i'm getting a winter hardtail very likely, and it will be 29 because i already have the tires and i found the larger wheel at least half-ass keeps up with the fat bike riders i have to ride with. Also, 29 tires tend to be a tad narrower, which can make a huge difference in the snow riding world. A wider 6er tire would outperform a narrow 9er tire any day
    fap

  22. #22
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    What I ride isn't for YOU to decide. It is for me to decide as an individual. Telling ALL small women that 29 won't work for them IS sexist and size-ist by definition. You are lumping them into a group, not treating them as individuals with unique preferences.

    There are a ton of great bikes out there for riders to try. We don't hate on other folk's designs, but we do work hard to make good stuff, so of course we believe in our products. I couldn't really contemplate a life of working on projects I didn't believe in.

    Cheers,
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes View Post
    You are lumping them into a group, not treating them as individuals with unique preferences.
    Pulling out "sexist" card is utter bollocks. Body size is body size.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes View Post
    What I ride isn't for YOU to decide. It is for me to decide as an individual. Telling ALL small women that 29 won't work for them IS sexist and size-ist by definition. You are lumping them into a group, not treating them as individuals with unique preferences.

    There are a ton of great bikes out there for riders to try. We don't hate on other folk's designs, but we do work hard to make good stuff, so of course we believe in our products. I couldn't really contemplate a life of working on projects I didn't believe in.

    Cheers,
    Carla
    Carla, you sound a bit sexist implying that men are being sexist in regards to bike fitting for smaller chicks, i find your generalisation regarding sexist remarks a bit offensive, Do you dislike men?
    Your aggressive feminist style has just put me off niner bikes, please pass that on to your management.
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  25. #25
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    Totally not my intent to insult the many great guys in cycling. Without my cycling community, which is 90% guys, I'd be poorer.

    My only point is that people used to tell women they couldn't ride bikes *period* because saddles were uncomfortable. Thoughtful design solved that problem. I see the same thing happening with wheel size - thoughtful engineering makes every wheel size available to those who want to try them.

    Cheers,
    Carla
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB View Post
    thats interesting, (the winter riding part). i found i was having an easier time riding in the snow than my 26er friend, because there was more tire patch on the ground, and the wheel floated a little better. Then again, 29ers are going to turn and handle a little slower, so perhaps thats what you're feeling? i'm getting a winter hardtail very likely, and it will be 29 because i already have the tires and i found the larger wheel at least half-ass keeps up with the fat bike riders i have to ride with. Also, 29 tires tend to be a tad narrower, which can make a huge difference in the snow riding world. A wider 6er tire would outperform a narrow 9er tire any day
    I didn't notice much difference between 29" and 26" riding on packed snow or when there was a light dusting of snow on the trails or roads (pavement or dirt). Where I noticed the loss of traction was on ice and on icy patches. The bike would skid and lose it's grip. This happened on flat sections like on a frozen river and ponds as well as on hills. It was especially skittish on turns and anything off camber. I rarely lose traction under these conditions with the 26" with studded tires. I don't have a reason why... it just happens. Maybe it's because the 29r tire is narrower... I don't know.

    I'm 5'4" or 5'5'' (after a yoga class ) and my legs are also proportionately longer but my height has no bearing on the size of wheel.. I think it has more to do with riding style, preference and skill ability.
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  27. #27
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    I agree with you Nicole. Winter riding on 29er particularly on technical terrain is way more fun due to wheel size and contact patch. We don't use studded tires in our group as we hit very rocky trails with packed down snow.

    Now, once we get our Fat bikes this winter (group buy) - that will be even more FUN. ,
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  28. #28
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    Right on the button Tones.

    What a bunch of BS from someone representing a company that I actually like.

    And continuing to flail.

    lynx - your comments are correct as well. Nothing sexist about them. To be honest I haven't seen a more supportive and encouraging community towards female participants than MTB community. It is becoming tiring to listen to whining and complaining of this sort and it doesn't only apply to sexism.

    If lynx' comments are sexist against women - niner girl comments are equally sexist against men.

    But I guess men don't complain as much so who cares.

    Political correctness sucks.

    I love chicks on bikes. The more the merrier. Particularly on 29ers.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niner Bikes View Post
    What I ride isn't for YOU to decide. It is for me to decide as an individual. Telling ALL small women that 29 won't work for them IS sexist and size-ist by definition. You are lumping them into a group, not treating them as individuals with unique preferences.

    There are a ton of great bikes out there for riders to try. We don't hate on other folk's designs, but we do work hard to make good stuff, so of course we believe in our products. I couldn't really contemplate a life of working on projects I didn't believe in.

    Cheers,
    Carla
    First of all Carla, they are not SMALL women OR MEN. They are SHORT women or men. Calling them small because they are short is insulting.

    I told my not so tall male friend (5.1) that he should test ride the 29er before he ditches his 26er resulted in him sticking with the 26er.

    Boy I must be male to male sexist pig.

    It is not about gender or height. Ride the bike that will put a grin on your face every time you throw your leg over it.

    Regardless of if it shaven or not.

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  30. #30
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    Good to know that most of the women MTBers don't have any chips on their shoulders in terms of sexism I just acquired a quite nice SM/16" HT frame and it has 26" wheels and I honestly feel that it makes fit a lot easier for the women I have taken out to introduce them to MTBing with inseams of <28", with 29" wheels standover would be a major concern.

    I have a client who is visiting the island and brought her own bike, unfortunately she has no experience MTBing and it's an old rigid, that's heavy as hell, she did the first ride on this bike and I took it easy as I know from experience just what a rigid is like, especially when first staring out, but I could tell she didn't really enjoy it as much as she should. She asked to go out again and without asking her, I brought along my SM HT mentioned above and offered it to her to ride FOC because she is so enthusiastic, it weighs about 25-26lbs and she rode much better and faster and had a much better time, so much so that she's asked if she can go out for another ride before she leaves the island on Wednesday.

    Because she had a proper fitting bike, that didn't weigh a ton she got to get the "real" experience and this makes me happy to know I've brought another into the fold I call MTB.
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  31. #31
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    Bar width?

    For you ladies riding SM and XS bikes, what width bar do you use and what type of riding are you doing? Wondering just how wide to go with on my SM, right now have on a 25"/635mm wide for mostly XC, thinking of going to maybe 685mm-700mm, but don't know if that would be too wide I'm 6'2" with long arms and run anywhere from 750mm and wider on my bikes, so no clue how a shorter person feels and most who ride the bike are new, so they don't really know anything, just want a good base to have for people to start on and get accustomed to.
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  32. #32
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    29" xs

    Lynx, I am a 5' 5" rider, small frame, and I use 710 mm handlebars with a 50mm stem. This setup feels great to me - probably could even go wider. I can't go back to riding narrower bars.
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  33. #33
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    Cool, thanks for the reply Shredchic. much appreciated. Wasn't sure how bars that wide are for shorter people, haven't been that height since I was 13
    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    Lynx, I am a 5' 5" rider, small frame, and I use 710 mm handlebars with a 50mm stem. This setup feels great to me - probably could even go wider. I can't go back to riding narrower bars.
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    Hi LyNx- I'm 5'1" riding an XS Pivot Mach 5.7. I put on a 70mm stem and 685mm bars. This is the widest I've tried so far. My shoulders aren't very broad, so I'm not sure how much wider I would go. I'd have to play around with set-ups, but at this point, I'm pretty comfortable with the current set-up.

    I also have a 29er hardtail, a small Cannondale Tango SL1. On that bike, I have the stock stem and handlebars - 50mm (I think) and 660mm.

  35. #35
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    Lynx - I am a 5'2" rider with my bars right at 700mm and stem at 70mm. I ride a Yeti ASR5-C XS. I could go a bit wider on the bars but definitely not narrower.

  36. #36
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    OK, so cool,thanks for the heads up Ladies, now I know I'm not thinking too wide at all, will go for the 700-710mm bar Guess proportionately you guys are getting the best of everything since for you that width is quite wide and gives good control (prob more than me on my 785mm), yet not even really close to approaching my width and the problem entailed with then such as having to watch tight tree/bush lined trails and such
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  37. #37
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    Theres one out there for you!

    I was searching for the same thing. I am also a petite gal; not quite 5' 1". I had to do a lot of looking and demo riding. I did run into your overlap with some bikes. Well, I'm happy to say I have now been riding my Specialized Rumor in a size small frame for two weeks. I absolutely love it. The standover high is amazing and no issues with toe overlap. I was beginning to fear all the negativity I was getting about me being too short for a 29er but that is not the case.

  38. #38
    Dab-O-Matic
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    I would like to know if anyone reading this has tried a Yeti XS in a 575 or ASR. I believe it's a "unisex" or men's XS, so definitely different than a WSD model.

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