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What frame size for the shorter lady?

_Lizz__Lizz_ Posts: 17
edited November 2011 in Women
I'm looking at getting a new bike,(because I feel like it :lol:) and considering going for a full sus rather than replacing the hardtail.

I'm about 5'2 and wondering what size frame others are riding and how you find they compare to other brands if you've tried others?

I know we're all different and I need to go and sit on lots of bikes, but I'm used to riding a 16 inch bike. It's too big and I don't want to buy another that's too big just because it feels the same as I'm used to!

Help me bikeradar women, you're my only hope! How small is your bike?! :D


  • stanniestannie Posts: 167
    Choosing frame size without sitting on the bike isn't easy, but it is also never easy to get small frames to try out.

    I am 5'4" and generally use a 16" or "small" but many manufacturers sizes vary.
    Do you have any make in mind?

    I have found that most of the ladies specific frames come in smaller sizes than 16" so it might be worth having a look at them.
    Waterford RS-14
    Trek Domane SL6
    Ridley Noah SL

    A woman can never have too many bikes!
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    edited July 2011
    I'm 5ft 2-ish (maybe 5ft 3) and I ride a small Specialized Stumpjumper FSR. Reach-wise it's perfect for me, but standover is a bit tight. I tried a small Commencal Meta once, but there was no standover. I've got on rather nicely with a 16.5 Trek Fuel, the 14 inch frame was far too small.

    Orange 5s are quite good for shorter ladies, not sure if they still do it but the Diva 5 used to be a 14 inch frame that comes in long (same geometry as the standard 5s) and short (special ladies version if the reach is too long on the standard one).

    With full-sussers it's worth considering how much travel you actually need, as obviously the longer the forks the harder it is to get on diddy sized frames. Rear shocks vary in length too, so if you're really struggling to find a full-susser that fits, I'd look to ones that have horizontal rear shocks instead of vertical ones.
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    I'm 5ft and ride a 14" ladies (GT Avalanche hardtail) although tbh I'm not entirely sure it isn't too small for me. Height wise it's fine but I'm not sure the reach isn't too short.
  • kathgkathg Posts: 142
    Def try the Orange 5 Diva. My friend is 5 2" and it fits her perfectly. It comes in either long or short too so there's a good chance one of em will be a good fit for you. They're awesome bikes too :D . I ve got the 16" Orange 5 regular and am 5 4". I tried the Diva and it was too small for me.
    Good luck!
  • _Lizz__Lizz_ Posts: 17
    Hmmm... as much variety as expected then! Why can't we all be the same size/shape, it would be so much easier!

    I've had a sit on an Orange 5 14" and Trek EX 5 16". The Trek was too big... but that's the only size they have left.
    The Orange was a better fit but felt very twitchy and short, no doubt it feels better on a trail than in a carpark, but I think I would very quickly have a very dented Orange if I went for one of those. Not sure if it feeling less stable was because it was much shorter than I'm used to?

    A couple of mens 16" bikes I've also sat on (I think bike-shop guy was determined that I would magically grow to fit one of his bikes) but I just didn't have long enough arms and torso for those.
  • I am 4ft 10" and ride a men's Giant Trance X2 in XS. It is awesome. It is OK, in terms of standover, and was the best of the bunch in terms of the full sussers I tried about 3 years ago. You could also look at the Giant Anthem (men's again) or Santa Cruz Juliana. Titus and Pivot also do small frames, but they come at a price. I spoke to Pivot at Mayhem, and they are based on the South Downs and have some demo bikes.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,572
    I'm 5ft 4 and I ride a 14" Orange 5 Diva and a 15" Kona Minxy - very happy with the fit of both. The Diva can feel a bit twitchy as it's such a short wheel base, great on the trails as it's easy to throw around. My Minxy has a much longer wheelbase which makes it feel more stable. I would suggest just trying as many as possible and not getting too caught up in 'what size you're meant to have' - just ride what feels right for you!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

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