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Touring Bike - for short female!!! Please Help!!!

mogriggmogrigg Posts: 73
edited August 2008 in Tour & expedition
I'm pretty much at a loss and would be most grateful for any advice on a suitable touring bike, one that will be capable of being fully loaded for cycle camping etc and preferably be able to take front and rear panniers (although front not hugely essential). I’m a 5’2” female with an inside leg of 27” and a maximum budget of £600. I shall be riding on roads in both UK and Europe and at most the odd canal path. No off roading.

So far, I’ve tried the Dawes Horizon – but the 46cm is too long and they no longer make them any smaller. I’ve been unable to find an older model, which did go down to 43cm. I’m finally tracking down a Dawes Kara-Kum 17”, which I shall be trying out for size at the weekend.

My question is, if this doesn’t fit, do you have any other alternative suggestions. I have read from other threads that the following may be suitable:

Trek 7.3 fx
Specialized Vita
Giant SCR 3

Unfortunately, I don’t have the budget to go custom made, so buying off the rack is my only option.

I can’t believe it’s proving so hard to find something! I can’t understand why touring bikes are not made in smaller sizes for women? :(

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much. :D

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    edited July 2008
    It's not really an answer to your question I'm afraid, but there are some interesting videos by Georgena Terry (who designs bikes/cothes/saddles for women) about the issues involved in designing bikes for shorter women.

    http://www.terrybicycles.com/movies.html

    It might help in trying to track something down.

    Please don't shoot me for suggesting this but what about

    http://www.islabikes.co.uk/bike_pages/luath700.html

    Also have you thought about asking on the forum at www.shecycles.com ?

    http://www.shecycles.com/defaultForum.asp?sp=&v=9

    Edit:

    I used to have a Trex 7.3FX (or the equivalent back in the day). It's not bad - a little bit heavy but it would do the job until you could afford to trade up.

    Don't necessarily reject getting a road bike, as there are ways you can get round the absence of mudguards fixings etc.

    Trek used to do a bike called the 1000c WSD which had 650c wheelss. Might be worth looking out for secondhand.
  • Is the frame massively too big? Could you do some fettling with stem length and spacers?

    Kirsty
  • Special KSpecial K Posts: 449
    I remember reading something on www.crazyguyonabike.com about a young lady with short arms/body who ended riding a Dawes which fitted her fine.

    Best thing to do is check out the smaller sizes of the production bikes and get out on as long a test ride as the bike shop will allow to see if you get neck ache or any other wrong size symptom.

    Also, check standover height in your normal cycling shoes. If I wear my wafer thin sandals my bike seem that much bigger all of a sudden.
    "There are holes in the sky,
    Where the rain gets in.
    But they're ever so small
    That's why rain is thin. " Spike Milligan
  • xiliosxilios Posts: 170
    My wifes bike, she's riden this bike for several tours around Europemore, details on our page at www.geocities.com/bike_journeys/index.html
    hers2.jpg
    cheers
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    It would be worth looking at the Edinburgh Bike Co-op (they have a few branches around the country now), they have a good range of small sizes for their most recent version of the Revolution Country Traveller, which at £599 is right on your budget. It doesn't say it explicitly on the website, but I think I recall reading somewhere that their smaller sizes have a geometry aimed more at women.

    www.edinburghbicycle.com

    A Welsh based female tourer i know was dissatisfied with the touring bikes she could get in the UK, and bought a German bike - there is certainly a much wider range of women specific touring bikes available in Germany and Holland. At the time (about 3 years ago), she said that the bike she got was better value than the equivalent Thorn she had been looking at, even taking account of the cost of flying over and bringing it back.

    An ex of mine, about your size, bought a Specialized dolce road bike (it was about £500) and equipped it with tougher tyres and an oldmanmountain rear rack (these don't need eyelets). She found it super comfortable on a tour of SE Asia, that included rough roads.[/url]
  • culverwoodculverwood Posts: 256
    Until we purchased a custom built tourer my 5' 1" wife got on pretty well with a Kona mountain bike with a rigid fork and road tyres and mudguards. If price is a limiter the adapted mountain bike is one way to go as they already have the low gears you need for touring with a load up the hills.
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