Looking for a bike for my (very short) wife- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Looking for a bike for my (very short) wife

    Hi all,
    My wife is just getting into mountain biking, mostly biking, now that our kids are getting old enough that we have enough time to do this. She's been on a Diamondback Lux 29er that I got her many years back. The thing is super heavy, but mostly the issue is that the standover height is too much for her and she's constantly feeling like she's hurt herself when she tries to stand.

    She's 5'0" and has a longer torso and therefor shorter legs. Even the XS bikes for women that we tried at the bike show (ie. Canondale Habit) just wouldn't work because the saddle pushes her far enough forward that she's basically high-centered on the frame as it comes up to meet the handlebars.

    I think she needs a 26 wheel, maybe youth size. She's seriously considering a Canondale kids bike with 24" wheels! The only bike that felt remotely comfortable for her was a Scott Spark 600 XS that was not sellable demo. Any recommendations for bikes with especially low standover height? I've googled and read all sorts of guides and reviews, but haven't found anything in our price range that actually works for her.

    Edit: forgot to include, budget of about $1500, looking for full suspension. Browsing some previous posts sounds like we should check out Trek Lush used. Any recommendation on where to buy used bikes would be much appreciated as well.

  2. #2
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    My wife is 410 and has similar issues with most 27.5 wheel bikes she has ridden. Currently looking at getting her a yt jeffsy primus 26 wheel bike. Another option is the giant trance jr,both bikes are about 2k though

  3. #3
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    That's great info! I haven't been able to find good bikes in youth sizes (maybe just the Scott Sparks 600 - but the fork on that was so stiff and not very tune-able when we tried at our LBS). We're trying a Trek Lush 26 this week and that seems to have quite a lower standover height.

    I'll check out the YT Jeffsy 26". Thanks!

  4. #4
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    As always, check out Juliana bikes. And Ibis with Roxy Lo making sure bikes fit smaller (especially women) riders. I say contact her directly. They (Ibis) makes sure the bike not just fits the size but their suspension is tuned to riders of that size or weight. My friend who's 4'10" or so rides a Pivot Switchblade. This friend also rode the Yeti Beti in her size and said she's conflicted. She said she tried the Ibis and Juliana and both were a tad to big for her.

    Edit:
    Oh crap. I just noticed your budget. Ugh...........That's a problem. Thinking you'll have to stick with a hardtail.

  5. #5
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    Hi! I'm a friend of Gmats and he told me about this post. I'm 4'10' and am very happy with my XS 650b+ Pivot Switchblade. My husband got me into riding about 13 years ago and had scoured the earth for a proper FS bike for me. In 2006, we settled on a Titus built by Chris Cocalis. Several years later, we met Chris and he got me on a 26" Pivot Mach4. (I am also long in the torso and short in the legs.) Since then, I've had 3 more Pivots and have been very happy with them all. Although you won't find a new one for $1,500, perhaps you can find a used XS/S. As Gmats mentioned, I also loved the Yeti Beti...... I personally have my original 2009 Mach 4 hanging in the garage and could be talked into selling it, but not for $1,500, as it holds sentimental value because Chris Cocalis found that bike for me. Good luck!

  6. #6
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    @Cyclorswife - where are you located?

    Thank you so much for your feedback! This is immensely helpful. I'll definitely keep the Pivot models in mind once she gets a little more experience and we want to buy a better bike. I think you're the first person I've seen online that has similar build/needs as my wife.

    We ended up picking up a Trek Lush earlier today. It's a 26" wheel model. After trying an XS and M, we actually ended up on their larger frame, 17.5" actual, that has the same standover technically, but the seat is farther back so she actually comes down above the flat portion of the crossbar. Because of her longer torso, she actually reaches the handlebars just fine and if we need, we might get a riser handlebar to sit her further back in the cockpit.

    I just redid the brake pads and it rides really well for her. We'll do this for a season or two and if she keeps going as she has been, we'll go for the Switchblade

    Thanks again for the feedback.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tstitans View Post
    @Cyclorswife - where are you located?

    Thank you so much for your feedback! This is immensely helpful. I'll definitely keep the Pivot models in mind once she gets a little more experience and we want to buy a better bike. I think you're the first person I've seen online that has similar build/needs as my wife.

    We ended up picking up a Trek Lush earlier today. It's a 26" wheel model. After trying an XS and M, we actually ended up on their larger frame, 17.5" actual, that has the same standover technically, but the seat is farther back so she actually comes down above the flat portion of the crossbar. Because of her longer torso, she actually reaches the handlebars just fine and if we need, we might get a riser handlebar to sit her further back in the cockpit.

    I just redid the brake pads and it rides really well for her. We'll do this for a season or two and if she keeps going as she has been, we'll go for the Switchblade

    Thanks again for the feedback.
    That is so awesome to hear. I hope there's loads of enthusiasm and she has loads of fun. Riding should always be fun otherwise there's no point and the bike will end up getting stuffed in some corner and collect dust and be wasted $$. I've said that to my friends who wanted to go and buy cheap, Wal-Get bikes.

    On another note, just in case, I've been enjoying the videos Kyle and April put out. I've been riding trails and tech since the mid 80's and enjoy how these two break things down. Look forward to updates on progress with you and your wife's riding.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4e...V56kTrSpvL6BKQ

    Aloha!

  8. #8
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    @tstitans no problem! Good luck to you and your wife. We are located in the Northern California Bay Area.

  9. #9
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    I have been looking for my 4'10" wife. Here are some I've found with reach/stack/stand over.

    The most surprising one is the 2020 Pivot Mach 4 29" It has the smallest stand over by far compared to other 27.5 and even Trance JR 26". I never would have imagined that from a 29er.

    Bike Reach Stack Standover

    Hei Hei Trail XS 385 592 696

    Cannondale Habit XS 366 600 700

    2020 Liv Intrigue XS 405 577 692

    2019 Liv Pique XS 374 581 661

    2019 Mach 4 xs 27.5 392 550 662

    2020 Mach 4 XS 29er 405 580 613

    Giant Trance JR 26" 371 553 657

    Furtado XS 400 572 690

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