Author Topic: Long distance tour bike for small lady  (Read 6634 times)

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Offline On My Ride Today

Long distance tour bike for small lady
« on: November 27, 2016, 09:15:42 am »
Hi all,
Any recommendations for a 5 foot 1 woman for a touring bike? I will consider a steel or aluminum frame. Thanks all
:)

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 10:47:33 am »
Smallest size Surly Long Haul Trucker fits my 5' tall ex pretty well.

Offline DaveB

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 10:54:30 am »
Surly makes the Long Haul Trucker and Disc Trucker (same bikes but for rim or disc brakes respectively) touring bikes down to 42 cm with 26" wheels and that should fit people smaller than you.  They also offer it in 46, 50 and 52 cm and one of those four sizes will certainly work. 

Trek offers the 520 in disc brake only in 48 and 50 cm sizes and one of them should fit also.

These are both steel frames and very popular among tourists.

Trek also offers the aluminum frame, disc brake 920 touring bike in 49 and 52 cm sizes.

There are lots of others but these are a couple of suggestions.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 11:43:12 am »
Hi all,
Any recommendations for a 5 foot 1 woman for a touring bike? I will consider a steel or aluminum frame. Thanks all
:)
Use the bike fit calculator at competitive cyclist http://www.competitivecyclist.com/Store/catalog/fitCalculatorBike.jsp to get a starting point.

I say "starting point" because this calculator is not calculating for touring comfort, but for racing, so you probably will want to err on the side of that, and also unless you're getting a custom build, you'll have to make your final selection based on being able to adjust the seat and bars to fine tune your fit. 

In other words, remember that you can lift and drop the seat, and the bars, to compensate for differences between the calculation, your preference, and the actual frame construction but there only so much adjustment there to work with, likewise for moving the seat forward and back.

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 11:44:46 am by walks.in2.trees »

Online Pat Lamb

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 02:08:29 pm »
There was a similar thread back in the summer: http://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=14008.msg72912#msg72912

To recap, 5'1" woman was thinking about a custom bike from Terry.  A number of specific models were recommended, and there was a fairly good discussion about when custom is a great, good, and not-so-good choice.  (Spoiler: rider height extremes are good-to-great.)

Offline BrianW

Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 05:57:42 pm »
I have a very nice, used Co-Motion Pangea with S&S couplers for sale in your size. It's posted in the classifieds section here on the forums:

http://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=13768.0
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 06:04:24 pm by BrianW »

Offline canalligators

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2016, 12:01:36 pm »
If your mind is open, my wife is 5'2" and a Lightning P38 fit her well.

Offline my_aco

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2016, 02:25:58 pm »
I'm 5' and I don't know my inseam, but  I think I have rather short legs compared to my torso, especially for a woman.  I found I could not clear the top tube of the 46cm Surly LHT and worse, the top tube was too long so I was too stretched out on the bike.   I just took the stock 46 cm out for a 5-min test ride.  Because of those 2 things, I did not even bother trying to get the bike tweaked to fit better.

Just this summer got a chance to test ride the 42cm Surly Trucker (not too many stores seem to stock that tiny size) and finally, stand-over height was ok (still don't have the recommended 2" clearance) and the reach was great -- for the first time, I didn't feel like I would have to shorten the stem!  So this is the bike for me.

Years ago, I tried the 19" Trek 520 and that felt too big.

It took me a while to find a stock bike that kinda fit without too many mods so I think I understand what you'll have to go through.

Good hunting!


Offline DaveB

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2016, 04:53:27 pm »
Just this summer got a chance to test ride the 42cm Surly Trucker (not too many stores seem to stock that tiny size) and finally, stand-over height was ok (still don't have the recommended 2" clearance) and the reach was great -- for the first time, I didn't feel like I would have to shorten the stem!  So this is the bike for me.
Well, standover clearance isn't as big a deal for women as it is for men so long as you can reach the ground flatfooted at all.   It's also not as big a consideration for a road/touring bike as it is for an MTB or cyclocross bike.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2016, 11:31:31 am »
I'm 5' and I don't know my inseam, but  I think I have rather short legs compared to my torso, especially for a woman.  I found I could not clear the top tube of the 46cm Surly LHT and worse, the top tube was too long so I was too stretched out on the bike.   I just took the stock 46 cm out for a 5-min test ride.  Because of those 2 things, I did not even bother trying to get the bike tweaked to fit better.

Just this summer got a chance to test ride the 42cm Surly Trucker (not too many stores seem to stock that tiny size) and finally, stand-over height was ok (still don't have the recommended 2" clearance) and the reach was great -- for the first time, I didn't feel like I would have to shorten the stem!  So this is the bike for me.

As noted above, my ex is the same height and is built similarly. Glad you like the 42cm like she does. I can easily see how the 46cm top tube would be too long. I was actually fortunate in that there is a shop here in Philly that, at the time, had a wide variety of sizes in stock, including a 42cm. When I saw it I "tricked" her into coming to the shop with me and suggested that she try it out just for S&Gs, knowing full well it would be a surprise birthday present if it fit.

Offline On My Ride Today

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2016, 01:08:50 pm »
Does the 42 have regular sized wheels? Thanks so much everyone. This really helps

Offline my_aco

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2016, 01:19:42 pm »
The 42cm Surly Trucker only comes with a 26" wheel.

Thx

Offline bikemig

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2016, 02:28:32 pm »
The 26 inch wheels that come on the Surly are "regular sized" wheels if by that you mean that tires are readily available. This, along with 700c, is a very common size. The 26 inch wheel size though is a better choice for a smaller frame like the one the OP needs.

Offline obinja

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Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2017, 01:44:39 am »
Don't know if you found a bike yet. I'm touring on an extra small Surly Troll. It fits better than my gen 1 Salsa Fargo size small. I don't think it carries a very heavy load very well. Bit that's OK, my kit gets lighter all the time. "Fit" is some what subjective. The guy who resonded about stand over clearance not being as important for females is pretty typical. For me, fit is about comfort AND my sense of safety. The industry is a little slow to catch on. Women's bikes don't need to just be smaller. There is a whole different geometry to consider. Terry has the right idea but I found the guage of the tubing made for a flimsy feeling bike. I got the sense that her bikes are designed for credit card touring or organized tours where they carry your gear. And that style of riding is fine. It's not my cup of tea. I'm off pavement these days, carrying everything. Would love to know how it works out.
Never a bad day to ride...

Offline John Grossbohlin

Re: Long distance tour bike for small lady
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2017, 11:18:01 pm »
Don't know if you found a bike yet. I'm touring on an extra small Surly Troll. It fits better than my gen 1 Salsa Fargo size small. I don't think it carries a very heavy load very well. Bit that's OK, my kit gets lighter all the time. "Fit" is some what subjective. The guy who resonded about stand over clearance not being as important for females is pretty typical. For me, fit is about comfort AND my sense of safety. The industry is a little slow to catch on. Women's bikes don't need to just be smaller. There is a whole different geometry to consider. Terry has the right idea but I found the guage of the tubing made for a flimsy feeling bike. I got the sense that her bikes are designed for credit card touring or organized tours where they carry your gear. And that style of riding is fine. It's not my cup of tea. I'm off pavement these days, carrying everything. Would love to know how it works out.
It appears that Terry has touring bikes that are intended for carrying loads (Coto Doñana Tour) and bikes that are intended for general riding and perhaps credit card touring (Coto Doñana Vagabond)... lighter tubing on the later. Which model did you examine when you formed your opinion? 

I recall when Terry came on the scene back in the mid-80s... The women I met that had Terry bicycles all loved them.  RE her saddles, the whole notion that women's pelvic girdles are shaped differently from men's was missed by seemingly everyone else back then. From looking at current offerings Terry still has game.