Author Topic: Women's touring bike help? Feeling lost and in need of some guidance!  (Read 4071 times)

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Offline thechanel

Looking for a new bike is definitely hard especially given the lapse of touring education in some stores around Hollywood, LA area. I'm 4'11, 98 pounds. Can generally fit a 47-49 inch bike. Does anyone have recommendations on what they have ridden and enjoyed? I'm leaning towards finding a women's suited touring bike; however, unisex is fine just as long as it comes in petite. I don't want to spend more than $2,100. The bike would be mainly suited for riding around cities. LA to SF, and commuting to and from work and home. The last tour I did was from England to France, my load was pretty light, tent, some clothing and some food all in my back rack. I have been reading tremendously and am leaning towards Cannondale but have been finding it hard to find the Touring 1 available in my size. Any tips, recommendations, advice, would be amazing, considering I'm feeling discouraged and just want to get my gears out and running again. Thank you :)

Offline DaveB

Re: Women's touring bike help? Feeling lost and in need of some guidance!
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2015, 06:56:26 am »
I assume you mean you need a 47-49 cm frame. :) 

Surly offers the Long Haul Trucker and Disc Trucker frames in sizes down to 42 cm with 26" wheels and Trek sells their 520, both caliper and disc brake models, in a 48 cm size. Both are well respected touring frames and the sell comfortably within your budget. 

I don't know of any off-the-shelf Women's specific touring frames. 

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Women's touring bike help? Feeling lost and in need of some guidance!
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2015, 09:21:11 am »
My GF is 5' even and has the smallest size Surly LHT made. She really likes it. She did some loaded touring with it using a B.O.B. on both paved and unpaved roads. Now she uses it for some city and trail riding. She even rode it on D2R2, which is a very hilly, mostly dirt radonee in New England.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Women's touring bike help? Feeling lost and in need of some guidance!
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2015, 01:14:19 pm »
There are small frames that meet your standover requirements.  The real question is about your torso length and the top tube length.  The bike manufacturers know that smaller frames are purchased by adolescent males and females of a longer age range.  So a smaller stock frame may work for you.  You just need find a bike dealer that you can trust to properly fit you.  There is only so much magic that can be done with changing stems.

Georgina Terry made her whole career out of female friendly bicycle.  She is semi retired now.  I think she sold her company to Trek, but she has a web site and was selling complete packages based on Waterford frames.  Last time I looked, her pricing was pretty good but it will be at the high end of your range or just outside your range.  You will have to look and see for  yourself.

Trek used to have their WSB (women specific bicycle) line, but I don't know if that is still around anymore.

Seriously, find a good dealer and go from there.

Danno

Offline DaveB

Re: Women's touring bike help? Feeling lost and in need of some guidance!
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2015, 09:06:16 pm »
Trek used to have their WSB (women specific bicycle) line, but I don't know if that is still around anymore.
Yes, Trek's WSD line is still around and pretty extensive but has no touring models.

Offline BrianW

Re: Women's touring bike help? Feeling lost and in need of some guidance!
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2015, 09:38:58 am »
My wife is likely going to sell her Co-Motion Pangea S&S bike (26" wheels). I forget the exact frame size, but it would definitely fit you. Haven't gotten it ready to list yet (on Ebay), but I'm thinking around $2450 (retail is around $5,000).

If you have any interest, let me know via PM and I can get you more info and photos.

Offline TokyoNose

Re: Women's touring bike help? Feeling lost and in need of some guidance!
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2015, 04:18:23 pm »
You could also check out the Salsa Vaya. The stock gearing is not as low as you will find on an LHT, which might require some part swapping, or even a frame-up build to put it in a range that is comfortable for you, should you plan to do any loaded touring in difficult terrain.

What you might like about the bike is that it has a sloping top tube and a taller head tube than a standard (by which I mean having a top tube parallel to the ground) touring frame, such as the LHT. For some, this offers a better, more comfortable fit. I don't know that you will fall into this category, but it might be worth a look. Until the 2016 model year (these bikes are just hitting the market now), the Vaya used 26" wheels on the two smallest-sized frames. For 2016, all frames will use 700c wheels.

paddleboy17 hit the most important criteria, I think: "...find a bike dealer that you can trust to properly fit you". There is definitely something out there for you, but it could take a few trips to some different shops to throw a leg over it/test ride it to find it. As he mentioned, the stem-swapping magic works only after you are on a frame of the proper size and geometry and need only to make small adjustments to fit.


Offline DanE

Re: Women's touring bike help? Feeling lost and in need of some guidance!
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2015, 04:40:35 pm »
I would suggest that before you do anything you go to Georgina Terry's web page and watch every video and read every document she has about bike fit and what you are up against as a small framed female. She has made her living by dealing with the problems you face with bike fit. She explains the design constraints and the compromises that have to be made in order to build a bike for someone who is smaller. You need to know what these are in order to buy a bike that fits you and to cope with what sales people will tell you in stores.

She has good information about what bicycle companies do when they make their build choices and how it effects the bike and the rider.

http://georgenaterry.com/bicycle-frame-design/

The information there will give you the knowledge that most bicycle shops will not explain or perhaps even know about fitting a bike to someone your size.

I understand about staying within a budget, but remember it is cheaper to buy once and have something work for you than to buy twice when the first thing you buy doesn't fit. Your main concern has to be the fit of the bike.