Forum home Mountain biking forum Women

Small bike build.

Dandelionclock30Dandelionclock30 Posts: 306
edited July 2012 in Women
Hi, I've think I've never had a mountain bike thats fitted me properly and I've had a fair few over the years. Im between an extra small/ small and Im 5" 2 and 3/4 with a 28 " inside leg. Im now thinking about building my own up if I can find a small enough frame. I think I'll be able to do it, as I usually do all my own maintaining etc.
Does anybody know where I can get a small enough frame that will fit me?. I know on one do a 456 in a 14 but I've looked at it and I will be too stretched,I can tell just by looking at the pics.
Anybody got any ideas?
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Posts

  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    I think Trek and Specialized do some of their hardtails in 13/ 13.5 inch?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    You need to look very close at the measurements! One manufacturers 14" can be wildly different from anothers ie in standover height and reach (not to mention the difference components make!)

    The only thing to do is keep looking really, or try some full builds out - you seem to have an idea about what reach you want, so that is a good start. Some fine tuning can be done with saddles and stems too.

    What sort of bike are you after, do you have any components in mind? What reach are you used to?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    IIRC. The ladies Focus frames went quite small. Not sure what the deal is with tem now that Wiggle are not he exclusive suppliers.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Orange 5 Diva 14" or Santa Cruz Juliana 15" (but strangely smaller than the 5 :lol: )?

    Both great bikes! I am 5ft 4" and have custom built both of these - they could both be easily tweaked to a smaller rider still. The Orange is a fantastic trail bike - with 140mm forks it has seen everything from DH trails in Morzine to xc races (3rd overall 8) ). The Juliana has just been built up with 100mm forks as a lightweight xc race bike.

    Hope that helps!! If you are anywhere near Southampton you are very welcome to come and have a look / pedal?!
    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!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Thanks for that but its a hardtail Im after, not a full suspension bike. Did you fit the bottom bracket and the headset yourself?, and bleed the brakes? etc. If so Im very impressed.
    I thought I was doing well, with dealing with all my own wheel issues, indexing the gears, putting on a new stem and bar etc.
    Every bike I've had has been a tad on the large side, this is what I've had- Marin Murwoods- Mens 15, Trek 4300 Mens 16, Orange EVO 2 Mens 17, WSD Stumpjumper 15.5.(This is over the last 20 years)
    The Stumpjumper was the best, but still a bit big, so I put on a riser bar and rotated it back slightly, this helped.The flat bar it came with was shocking, really put loads of pressure on the hands.
    I've never had any standover whatsoever, and I've always been stretched ranging from a bit to very
    I want a bike with a nice fox fork and hope brakes like I had on my stumpjumper- I dont want a Suntour fork.
    Thing is bike shops tend not to have a large range of small bikes in.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    I've never had any standover whatsoever, and I've always been stretched ranging from a bit to very
    I want a bike with a nice fox fork and hope brakes like I had on my stumpjumper- I dont want a Suntour fork.
    Thing is bike shops tend not to have a large range of small bikes in.
    Standover disappeared with the advent of suspension for the shorter person. Less than 175cm.

    See the sticky in general.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Well I can honestly say that I have fallen off once or twice and have never hurt myself as a result of lack of standover.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Ah, sorry, didn't realise you were after a hardtail :D

    And as for the build - I do the easy stuff and the taking apart, and the bike shop does the important stuff and the putting back together. I don't trust myself :lol:
    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!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • You should have a go!, I went on a cycle maintaince course and it was very good. This has been a big help as before I could never get the back wheel back on the bike!

    Where I live there is also a bike workshop thats free and you can take your bike along and they will help you with it.You have to give a small donation of a couple of pounds.
    Theres different nights for women and men etc!
  • kathgkathg Posts: 142
    Hi there,

    I'm 5 ft 4 with 28" shorty legs too and my beautiful Whyte 19 alloy hardtail with great Fox 120mm forks is a dream bike! I strongly recommend you try one. It's really light, nimble and superb downhill I regularly ride round black grade trail centre tracks as well as on many XC adventures in the Welsh Hills. Just a lovely bike :D

    Let me know if you want me to e-mail you any more info about it.

    Kathg
  • Just had a look at them, looks lovely,but unfortunatley is a bit out of my budget at the moment.
    Im thinking of something around 1k ish, maybe a little more.
    The main issue is getting the frame size correct, and everywhere I go they dont seem to have a good selection of smalls and extra smalls in stock.Also I think to really get a feel for a bikes fit you need to take it on a decent ride not just ride round a car park for 2 minutes.
  • Some of the Giant range come in XS and XXS sizing - perhaps only the lower end bikes, but could be the answer to finidng a suitable frame. SPecialized also go down to 13" from recollection on Myka range.
  • Merrick25Merrick25 Posts: 14
    I am 5ft 2in with 29in inside leg and used to have a xs Giant Boulder (hard tail). The reach was too long for me (I have a shortish upper body with relatively long arms)

    Can you get someone to measure your natural reach (look at angle of bends etc) and look at the whole frame measurements not just height, as you will more likely get a much more comfortable ride.
  • Thanks for those replies-I dont really wnt a MYKA as although I think the frame is good, I think the components including the fork are not very good(on the hardtails) and I dont want a suntour fork!
    I will have a look at the Giants, but I want to try one before I purchase it.
    Yeah I could do with being measured up properly and it all written down for me exactly but I dont know anyone that does this.My experience of bike shops is that if you can stand over it and grab the handlebars then it fits! Thats not good enough for me.
    I think its an important issue to get a good fit because otherwize its a pain literally.
    Does anyone know anywhere that they will measure you for reach etc ? I know theres places in London but I need West Yorks really.
  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    Have you had a look at the Boardman Women's MTBs? The 2010 small is definitely small, as my 10 year old just about fits it, and at £500 looks a bargain. The newer model seems to be a more sturdy bike.

    Both these bikes are well under your budget, so you have cash to upgrade... though both are much more XC than a 456.
    Vitus Sentier VR+ (2018) GT Grade AL 105 (2016)
    Giant Anthem X4 (2010) GT Avalanche 1.0 (2010)
    Kingley Vale and QECP Trail Collective - QECP Trail Building
  • That looks nice and the components seem quite good,I'll have to go to Halfords at the weekend to have a look.
    They dont list the geometry of it on the site.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Geo is on the main boardman site.
  • Does anyone know anywhere that they will measure you for reach etc ? I know theres places in London but I need West Yorks really.

    Have you been to All terrain cycles in Saltaire or Chevin cycles in Otley.

    Despite my grumble in another thread, they did seem to be interested, All Terrain cycles do have a (poor) limited Womens choice but if your ok with a mens bike then have a look at them.

    Chevin cycles were good when I looked for my 29er, but it was Trek who had run out of stock
  • Im not struck on Chevin Cycles in Otley and I wont go there. I've been in a couple of times and have been patronized.

    I have been to All Terrain Cycles before but it was a while back now.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Im not struck on Chevin Cycles in Otley and I wont go there. I've been in a couple of times and have been patronized.

    I have been to All Terrain Cycles before but it was a while back now.
    which part of West Yorks are you in? as if in my old patch it may be better to look out side of Gods own county.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • There is life outside of Gods own county?
  • Leeds.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    There is life outside of Gods own county?
    Yes, but the calls are more expensive and the Beer sucks.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Leeds.
    Been to Stif? Up Headingly road past the Uni?

    http://www.stif.co.uk/
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • I got a previous bike from them an Orange EVO 2 about 10 years ago.
    They have moved now to somewhere out in the sticks past Harrogate.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    Thought they were running both shops together.

    Bet they made a killing on the land if they owned it.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nicklouse wrote:
    There is life outside of Gods own county?
    Yes, but the calls are more expensive and the Beer sucks.

    That is two things a Yorkshire man doesn't want to hear, we are tight fisted with our brass and like a good ale
  • No the one in Headingly has definatley shut and has been for a couple of years now. I think its been taken over by the hairdresser next door!
    The previous shop was o.k but on the dear side..they never seem to have much reduced. Saying that the staff were always nice and helpfull.
  • Thanks for those replies-I dont really wnt a MYKA as although I think the frame is good, I think the components including the fork are not very good(on the hardtails) and I dont want a suntour fork!
    I will have a look at the Giants, but I want to try one before I purchase it.
    Yeah I could do with being measured up properly and it all written down for me exactly but I dont know anyone that does this.My experience of bike shops is that if you can stand over it and grab the handlebars then it fits! Thats not good enough for me.
    I think its an important issue to get a good fit because otherwize its a pain literally.
    Does anyone know anywhere that they will measure you for reach etc ? I know theres places in London but I need West Yorks really.


    Appreciate the built up Myka range isn't great spec, but you suggested in the opening thread you wanted a small enough frame to build from. If you can buy a nice lightly used Myka frame or even a complete bike (a 2011 Disc one sold local to me on eBay last week for £220) you have plenty of cash left for some very good kit to hang off it

    Just a thought

    Alternatively perhaps have a look around on eBay for small / extra small frames - these often dont sell for much money due to the size.

    I appreciate you really want to sit on a few buitl up bikes to establish which frames suit and which don't - this isn;t easy as most outlets only stock a few ladies bikes, and very few small framed mens models.
  • I meant a new frame, yes I could get a secondhand one but I need to know if it definatley fits first really.
    I could go to the specialized store in Harrogate try and find out if its the 13 or the 15(Its 15 according to their charts) that would be best and then keep an eye out on Ebay. Get the frame and get a respray and take it from there.
    Good idea.
    I dont know why shops dont stock smalls and extra small- I mean 5 3 is a fairly average size for a woman and women do ride bikes so what is the problem?
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