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mack_turtle

Wanted: extra-small hardtail

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Looking for a relatively modern XC hardtail with 650b or 26" wheels, disc brakes, and a decent suspension fork. Must be basically the smallest size frame made for a 5' tall adult.

My wife has taken an interest in riding with me. Her mid-90s Cannondale M300 is a fine neighborhood cruiser but it's holding her back on trails. I can't find a worthwhile 1" threadless suspension fork for it (not that I expected to!) so it's new-ish bike time! She's not interested in technical trails but something that inspires confidence in a timid rider on stuff no more advanced than Walnut Creek would be terrific.

 

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Knowing her, five bucks!

Seriously though, I would be surprised if she's willing to shell out $500 for any bicycle. She's well aware of how little bike that will get her on the new market so we're definitely considering used bikes. A 10-15 year-old XC 26er with Deore level stuff and a 80-100mm fork could work just fine.

Edited by mack_turtle

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5' means she's looking at a size 14" or slightly smaller frame.

If I can find one I can build you up a bike for the price of the frame and maybe $150-$200 more (it depends on what parts you want to go with).

This gives you up to maybe $250 for a frame. Not necessary, but if you want a "...modern..." frame. I think you can find a good frame for less than that though. And if you go with straight instead of tapered fork it also makes the budget more flexible.

Edited by RidingAgain

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Weird, but thanks for that link!

We've been cruising CL and Facebook ads and found a few candidates so far. Yeah, she needs a XS or a women's frame for sure. She's gotten on a few "small" frames and they still seem huge.

We have not tried Yellow Bike yet and there's probably something there for her. She really hates visiting YBP and I don't blame her. Let me know if you happen to see something there.

Edited by mack_turtle

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13 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

I think she is 100% sold on some sort of front suspension. Not worth the hassle of finding a fork to fit that.

I have three suspension forks that would work on it — if it has a 1 1/8 steerer tube. And all the forks I believe can fit a 27.5 wheel/tire. I was think of making it a 76er. 

That Co-op is pretty nice though.

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I just picked this up last night... Good reviews online about the frame. It's a small, but from my experience older GIANT frames tended to be on the smaller side of sizing. 

 

IMG_4299.jpg

Edited by RidingAgain

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Another small, but it's female specific... Short stem and seat forward may do the trick... $350... Maybe a little less.

It's a Diamondback Lux 27.5.

78219406_10103901455489281_4969251928539136000_o.jpg

Edited by RidingAgain
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2 hours ago, RidingAgain said:

Another small, but it's female specific... Short stem and seat forward may do the trick... $350... Maybe a little less.

It's a Diamondback Lux 27.5.

78219406_10103901455489281_4969251928539136000_o.jpg

Just saw this on CL too. A small on that bike is designed with someone 5'4"-5'7". Tempting as that is, I really want something small enough that it really fits.

I just checked and realized her old Cannondale is a 16" frame. We put the shortest stem we could find and slide the saddle forward, but it's probably still a big big.

Man, some of the begginer level new bikes on the market are heavy pigs! Why do they bother putting 3x7 drivetrains on them? Surely it could be done cheaper with 1x8.

Edited by mack_turtle
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5 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

Why do they bother putting 3x7 drivetrains on them? Surely it could be done cheaper with 1x8.

I was thinking the same thing! Better/ easier for someone to learn on too!

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8 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

Just saw this on CL too. A small on that bike is designed with someone 5'4"-5'7". Tempting as that is, I really want something small enough that it really fits.

I just checked and realized her old Cannondale is a 16" frame. We put the shortest stem we could find and slide the saddle forward, but it's probably still a big big.

Man, some of the begginer level new bikes on the market are heavy pigs! Why do they bother putting 3x7 drivetrains on them? Surely it could be done cheaper with 1x8.


Don't write it off so quickly... My wife is around 5" 6 1/2" and rides a medium GT Helion. Her past bikes included a Trek Fuel 16.5, Giant NRS small, and a Cannonade Scalpel small. She liked the Trek (rode well), loved the Giant (small but quick and easy to handle), hated the Cannonade (thought it was too small). And she loves the larger feel of the GT Helion, which is recommended for riders up 5' 7" - 5' 10".

I think the Diamondback Lux looks bigger that it is because of a slack head tube angle and big wheels on a small frame. It's also got a fairly long stem on it... And a setback seat post.

Use a "0" stem and it will take at least 2+" off the length of the current forward position... And use a straight seat post and you'll move the seat position forward by 1/2".

That would be 2 1/2+" shorter than what the manufacturer claims the current frame set up is for — 5' 4"-5' 7". Overall you'd be reducing the TT + stem length by a touch more than 10%... Which, all things being equal, means you'd be reducing the 5'4"-5'7" claim by 10%... Meaning you could now fit the bike to a 5' rider.

And yes, I know the above is all just useless gymnastics... But it wouldn't hurt to get a "0" stem and go check the bike out with your wife.



 

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21 hours ago, mack_turtle said:

Man, some of the begginer level new bikes on the market are heavy pigs! Why do they bother putting 3x7 drivetrains on them? Surely it could be done cheaper with 1x8.

Because to the entry level bike buyer, 21 > 8. 

I can't tell you how many times someone who doesn't ride looks at my bike and says "nice bike. how many speeds is it?" as though the number of gears is a direct representation of the bike's value. 

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Those entry level bikes also have things like riveted chainrings, square drive, weird cassettes, steel bars, etc.  It's easy to take 5lbs off by changing fork, bars, and cranks if you have those around.

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24 minutes ago, AntonioGG said:

Those entry level bikes also have things like riveted chainrings, square drive, weird cassettes, steel bars, etc.  It's easy to take 5lbs off by changing fork, bars, and cranks if you have those around.

cranks, tires, handlebar, stem, seatpost are all usually very heavy. a trip to Yellow Bike will cost less than $50 to replace those things and I could donate the stuff I take off.

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