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  1. #1
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    LBS's don't stock many women's bikes

    I am looking to buy a bike to rehab from a ski injury. I contemplated joining my husband road biking, but we live in Massachusetts and the roads are just too scary. Mountain biking will allow me to take the kids on trails, bring the dogs along and use it when we go to NH. I don't think I'll be a technical rider, at least not now. I am looking to start by increasing range-of-motion in my leg and enjoy the ride for now. I don't plan to move to clipless pedals until my leg is fully healed.

    At any rate, when my husband went to look at a few women's bikes for me last weekend, he found most shops don't stock many women's bikes in my size (I am 5'2), especially 29er. I wanted to check out the Trek Cali or the Specialized Myka. I am going to call around, but what do folks do if they can't ride? I still have five weeks before I am able to actually get on a bike (still not allowed to put weight on my leg for five more weeks), so I have time. Just starting to do the leg work (pun intended!)

    I'd love to hear your bike recommendations, as well. I am enjoying reading the forum so far. (I have a lot of sitting time on my hands these days!)

  2. #2
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    I am 5'3" and I can't ever walk into a bike shop and leave with an in stock bike. All the bikes in stock are 18" or 20" in MTBs and 54cm or 56 C&M in road. So usually they are close enough in size that I can ride one and get the general gist of the feel and how it shifts & rides, then I order one in my size(a 14-16" MTB or 48-51 cm road). This has worked pretty well for me in the past.

    One thing you'll need to be aware of is toe overlap with the larger wheels(29er/700c) with our small frames. I happen to have the feet of a giant(size 10.5 ladies....yup, I am an anomaly!) so I run into some serious hitting of my toes on my front wheel during tight turns if I try and pedal. So it takes some planning ahead and eventually it becomes innate(just like you learn to balance, you learn to compensate/subconsciously plan) But then maybe you have cute baby feet to match your body.....I just look like a character from Little Bill.

    Oh, and have fun! Bike shopping is very cool!

  3. #3
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    I am right there with you at 5'2, I keep a copy of the geometry chart from the bike I am riding at the present time. I go to the bike manufacturers websites and look at the geometry of the bikes to see what is available to fit me. I also see if I can find some reviews on line. I have bought mens XS before but I like the women's design since the forks are tuned to a women's lighter weight and strength.

    As far as 29ers I have a 29er hardtail but I am ready for a full suspension 29er - getting beat up on the hardtail. It's nice that there are more options for 29ers for women - Trek, Giant, Scott, Specialized. I have it down to 2 and neither is available to ride. I will have to go with my gut feeling of which to order.

    Good Luck with the recovery from the ski injury.

  4. #4
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    I would keep shopping and find a shop that has some your size in stock to try. Nothing in May? In Mass? Ridiculous. Support someplace that supports you. Call around to save some gas. Be open to other brands but tell them your height and budget and desires (full suspension or hardtail) and ask what they've got. Or come next door to VT or NH!

  5. #5
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    It's not just women's bikes, it's small sizes in general. I don't care for WSD frames and bikes, but I like small bikes and it's so hard to find something in a small in most bikes.

    @nakedbabytoe: so true. I have size 10.5 shoes too, so I hate riding the bigger wheels because I'm always buzzing or kicking the front wheel.

  6. #6
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    I posted in another thread about getting a womens Cannondale SL. I happen to be in eastern Mass. I got it at JRA Cycles in Medford. If you call them, I am sure they will build a few choices for you to try. Be it mens smalls or WSD. They had a few (three) womens 29ers built when I was there last week.

  7. #7
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    I am 5 foot zip and I tried the Myka last year. It is a nice bike. I currently ride the next step up, the Jett in a 15. I am surprised you can't find the Myka as last year that was all I could find really. I don't know much about Trek this season but I know for me, the Trek was just a hair too big. I think they are 15.5? But you are taller than I am but I don't know what your inseam is Sorry if I am rambling, I am half asleep.

  8. #8
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    I'm 5'2" as well. I've been bike shopping and researching for a few weeks. Finally bought the Specialized Myka 29er (small-15). It came down to that and the Trek Cali (15.5). The Cali fit me perfectly but I didn't care for the fork and frame. It is really stiff (almost felt like a 26 over the bumps). The Myka felt a tick small. However, going up to the medium made it too big. I went with the small Myka because I felt stable on it and I really liked how it responded to the roots and bumps. As the sales associate said "you need a smedium" Haha. I tried the men's Trek hardrock small (15) and felt a tick stretched out. Needless to say, I'm a hard fit! I feel confident with some adjustments to the seat and possibly a longer stem, it will be just right. I may get on the trail and it will be perfect as is, but I do have some wiggle room for adjustments. Long story short--just try as many as you can until you get that right fit. But it does seem hard to find WSD 29ers to choose from that are also in stock. Good luck!

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