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Bloke's bikes!

Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
edited September 2008 in Women
I'm going to Llandegla at the end of this month, and I'm thinking of trying out a full-susser. I was thinking about demoing a Commencal Meta, but I'm not sure if even the smallest one would be too big for me.

I'm 5ft 2, and currently ride a 14" Trek, which sometimes feels a little too small for me. The height is fine, but I feel a little cramped length-wise sometimes. However, I've tried a 16" Kona Kikapu (bloke's version) and that felt a bit too stretched across the shoulders.

I know it's awkward as the only real way to tell if a bike's for you is to demo it, but I'm wondering (given the rather steep cost) whether it's actually worth me even bothering trying the Meta. Have any other short women been in a similar situation?

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  • lost-timelost-time Posts: 549
    Well, the meta comes up as 15.9inches on the 'S' (this for the 5.5.2) and for the meta 4 series the 'S' is listed as 15.7.

    It really depends on where you are 'missing' the height from! My other half-to-be is 5ft 1.5 and is quite short in the leg compared to others of a simimlar height. She actually rides a 13'' Rockhopper.

    If it's a serious demo then they should be able to swap stems and try a narrower bar (you say you were stretched on the Kona) as this can make a difference w/o upsetting the handling. Obviously if you change stem too much you can alter the ride quality as I'm sure you know.

    The Meta is a fantastic bike (I ride a 5.5.2) but that isn't going to help if it feels all wrong due to not fitting.

    Changing the bar width and possibly the stem should be an option on any bike you consider be it a blokes bike or ladies bike.

    Hope it all goes well at the demo
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Mrs Toast wrote:
    I'm going to Llandegla at the end of this month, and I'm thinking of trying out a full-susser. I was thinking about demoing a Commencal Meta, but I'm not sure if even the smallest one would be too big for me.

    I'm 5ft 2, and currently ride a 14" Trek, which sometimes feels a little too small for me. The height is fine, but I feel a little cramped length-wise sometimes. However, I've tried a 16" Kona Kikapu (bloke's version) and that felt a bit too stretched across the shoulders.

    I know it's awkward as the only real way to tell if a bike's for you is to demo it, but I'm wondering (given the rather steep cost) whether it's actually worth me even bothering trying the Meta. Have any other short women been in a similar situation?
    Ah, i think you may well be a perfect candidate for one of teh (sadly very few) women specific MTBs.
    These tend to have shorter top tube lengths, based on the assumption that women often have shorter bodies, and longer legs (relatively speaking) than men.
    I know Trek, giant and Marin make some bikes for your particular needs, and I'm sure a few others do as well.
    All the comencals I've seen have had fairly standard top tube lengths, not too long, not too short - for a man. This suggests that you may still feel a little overstretched.
    But, regardless, give it a go, you may find that it's perfect.
  • I think you need to try as many bikes as possible. I looked for a bike for about 18 months and went to a couple of demo days (Giant and Specialised) as well as Mountain Mayhem to try bikes there.

    I'm 4ft 10 and am basically short all over! I'm not the "typical woman shape" of short in body and long in the leg, and found many of the womens specific bikes way too short in the top tube. The Kona Four Lisa 14" was really really short in the top tube, the Saffire was less so but still too short for me. I really liked the Women's anthem as it had a longer top tube due to the race geometry but wasn't enough of a step up from a hardtail for me as it only had 80mm travel on the front. The Santa Cruz Juliana, from what everyone told me was going to be the bike for me, but I just didn't like it at all

    Eventually, and almost by accident I found a Giant Trance X2 in mens x-small. The front end was quite high so I've taken some of the spacers out, but on the whole I find it a really stable bike that has done me well on Welsh trails, XC and a fortnight in the Alps.

    Standover height was more of a problem for me, and you, with a couple of extra inches should be OK. I spent a lot of time looking at the geometry in the back of the catalogues and have come to one conclusion - you just can't trust what's printed! The only thing you can do is ring around and find shops with what you're looking for to actually sit on.

    Hope you find this some help!
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