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suprise bike for the girlfriend - but sizing!

oxfordianoxfordian Posts: 196
edited August 2007 in Road beginners
Hi all,

I am going to put together a bike for my lady, I am looking at the ribble winter frames. I have all the other bits for it, and the frame is only 110 quid.

Shes 5'10, what frame size would you get - if she were a bloke i would go for a 56cm. But ladies are proportioned differently.



  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    A tall woman! I would buy the 56cm and make minor adjustments in stem length. Some women are reportedly longer legged than the equivalent sized (height) man. I think you can therefore even out the minor differences by putting up the seat post (if nec) and shortening the stem / flipping it over. Note, not all women have long legs/short torsos. My wife 5'8" fits a 54cm bike comfortably. She bought her best bike at 55cm and I think it is a tad big for her, but she has shortened the stem and is happy with it.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    I admire your sentiments and wish to surprise, however I am always reluctant in these cases. My wife is now on her fifth bike ( a Thorn Raven Tour) and the one thing that has surprised me each time is how she has chosen differently from what I would have thought.

    In the latest case the Raven is a size larger, but with a shorter top tube, and she finds it very comfortable.

    I would always recommend that the rider chooses the frame to ensure a good fit and a comfortable ride.
    <b><i>He that buys land buys many stones.
    He that buys flesh buys many bones.
    He that buys eggs buys many shells,
    But he that buys good beer buys nothing else.</b></i>
    (Unattributed Trad.)
  • Richrd2205Richrd2205 Posts: 1,267
    I got a not-such-a-surprise-but-gift-anyway frame for my partner & would echo the advice above. The average woman has longer legs & shorter torso when compared to the average man of the same height (hence WSD designs having shorter top tubes), however, averages are no use when trying to get a good fit. E.g., I'm 6'4", but have long legs compared to the male average, so need a large frame with a shorter stem to fit me, my GF is 5'6", but her inside leg is almost as long as mine, so needs WSD with an (even) short(er) stem. You could try getting measurements by asking, but there's no beating getting fitted properly...
  • Top tube length is always a problem for me - inside leg wise I fit a 54cm but your average top tube length on a 54 always has me far too stretched out (to the extent that I'm riding a 49cm with long cranks, but it's still not quite right). I'd go for a 54 or 56 with a shorter stem and if you can, short and shallow bars - I'm tempted by these: ... 0Handlebar
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    <font size="1"><font color="red">The biggest dumb censored on this forum</font id="red"></font id="size1">
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