Bike Build for a Lady Question

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  • Bike Build for a Lady Question
  • mrsflash

    I use 175 cranks on my bikes. Saddle is very much a personal thing, every woman you ask will probably give you a different answer!

    Bars, I use Easton. You may find you need to cut them down a bit, depending on how narrow her shoulders are.

    Premier Icon CHB

    175 cranks will be fine. It's my son at the top of the on-one size chart and he rides with 175 Hone cranks with no problem.
    A fleegle bar is also ideal for that bike.

    Premier Icon funkynick

    When I was trying to find a saddle for my other half after she insisted on having a 'comfort' saddle, and I refused to buy one for her… I ended up dragging her to a shop with one of them Specialized sit-bone measurey things, and got her a saddle based on those measurements, but it was one of the women specific Spesh ones.

    Thankfully she has forgiven me now as she finds the saddle more comfy than the old squishy one.


    You can't know the joy of shorter cranks until you have tried them ! If she has shortish legs in relation to body def go for it – the riding position is much improved and the bike will handle better. At 5 foot 4 you could go 170mm with standard shimano parts. I ride 165mm and wouldn't go back to longer, just end up bumping my toes and the pedal circle feels wrong knees come up too high or something.

    Only proper bike companies spec shorter cranks on their "ladies" bikes e.g. Cannondale. Most companies just paint a flower on the seat and write some waffle in the brochure about "relaxed frame geometry".

    My GF has 170mm cranks, If I could find 165's I've have some for her in an instant, but she is much shorter than your 5'4" though.

    Premier Icon billyboy

    This is a what crank length for a lady question?

    My lady is 5'4" and I'm going to build up a 14" 456 frame for her….it made sense because I have a Revelation fork from another 456 going spare. I know the On One website had a section giving different sized customers' set ups so I'll give that a look first but I don't remember seeing anything there on crank lengths. A search on the web has failed to give me any clues as to appropriate crank sizes for given sizes of person.

    She is currently riding a Scott £500/600 WSD hardtail. I was surprised to find the cranks on that are an ordinary 175. There again I seem to remember reading that women have proportionately longer legs. If 175 is going to be correct I'll gladly go with that because I have a spare XT Hollowtech crank I can use.

    Can anyone give informed input…… or point me at a useful source of info on the subject.

    Any input on best riser bars for women….best saddles for women… would also be appreciated.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    I use standard size cranks and I am 5'5" but have long legs. Also ride a 14" Inbred with lots of seatpost showing.

    Another vote for Easton bars, can recommend the carbon ones! I like them wide which can be 'interesting' on narrow trails!

    Agree with mrsf – saddles are personal.


    Mrs NBT is 5'4" and uses 175 cranks on her 14" inbred with loads of seatpost showing, as featured on the on-one site!. She does have long legs though, she has the same inside leg as me and I'm 5'9"

    and I'm about to fit my old revelations to it for her, set at 115mm though as it's a standard inbred not a 456


    Mrs F rides a 16" standard InBred with 175mm cranks, 5'6", 30" inside leg. She's very happy with both bikes – the clincher was changing the stems for short high On Ones (35 degree 80mm) – but I guess as hels says, you can't know whether shorter cranks would be better without trying.


    Mrs carlos is 5'5" and has an XS mens Cannondale that came fitted with 170mm cranks , she's not happy with the 175mm ones on my bikes though says it doesn't feel right.

    I'd reccomend trying shorter than 175mm if you can , an old GT i-drive I had came with 170mm cranks and it always felt like I didn't have enough leverage on steep hills.I'm 5'10"

    IMO the crank length will depend upon your gf's style of riding. Longer crank lengths increases the lever arm and allows more force hence the suitablility for hard sustained efforts such as mountain biking. Shorter cranks allow for a higher cadence. So if your gf is comfortable turning big gears at a low cadence then she may want a longer crank length. Raceface do 170mm cranks and FSA go down to 165mm – personally I have TA Vegalite 165mm cranks on my road bike because I am not strong enough to push big gears at low cadences so prefer an easier gear with a higher cadence for long alpine climbs.

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