What short top tube 29er frame for a 5'6" woman?

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • What short top tube 29er frame for a 5'6" woman?
  • Mrs MTG is currently riding my old Medium size Scandium Kona Big Unit. It’s about a 600mm top tube, measured horizontally.
    She finds the reach too long, even with the shortest stem I cold find, so we are looking for a shorter frame.
    Most manufacturers seem to have gone for 650B for their smaller frames.
    I would prefer to still be able to swap wheels between my bikes and hers, so we want a 29er.

    What makes and models of 29er frame should we be looking for with a 550mm or so top tube?
    Nothing exotic, cheap and second hand is best.
    Probably asking too much, but EBB or sliders for a Rohloff would be nice.
    Standard 1.125″ headset and 68mm BB would make it easier to swap components as well.

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    In the best STW tradition of recommending what you’ve got yourself, regardless of whether it’s suitable or not, Salsa make an XS El Mar (565mm effective top tube) with swinging dropouts, 44mm HT (so would take 1 1/8 forks) and threaded BB.

    (Mine is a medium so no idea how odd it will look).

    mboy
    Member

    Hi Graham

    Selling my GF’s small sized Kinesis FF29 at the moment. It’s a 15.5″ seat tube, ETT is sub 23″. It was a bit short for her anyway and she’s 5ft8, would say it would be ok down to about 5ft2ish…

    DickBarton
    Member

    You want a 29er frame, she just wants a bike that fits her…being that height, I’d suggest a 29er is the worst size she should be riding…

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Pinnacle Women’s Ramin 29er goes down to 545mm / 21.5″ ETT with a fairly standard MTB seat angle. 381mm reach or 393mm for the size up. £675 at the mo. http://www.evanscycles.com/products/pinnacle/ramin-three-2015-womens-mountain-bike-ec071318

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    I’d suggest a 29er is the worst size she should be riding…

    Depends. If the rider’s not after a bike to ‘throw around’ and appreciates how a 29er rolls and is harder to endo etc, and the frame is well proportioned – I don’t see a good reason why not.

    pirahna
    Member

    Just for something different, Salsa Fargo with a flat bar.

    I suppose I should have planned ahead a bit better and actually measured the frame she’s got now. 🙄
    As soon as she gets home she’s going to measure the seat tube and I’ll work out from this chart what the ETT is.
    If it’s an 18″, as I think, then it’s a 597mm ETT, so the Kinesis would be only 14mm shorter

    That Pinnacle and the Salsa look good. At least I know of a couple of specific models to look out for second hand now.

    Jameso, spot on. Neither of us is in to technical stuff, we’d rather go somewhere, using quiet lanes, tow paths, forestry and farm tracks. I guess what she wants is something between a mountain bike and a cross bike. Flat bars and front suspension with big wheels. In other words, a 29er.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    Salsa Fargo with a flat bar.

    Good call. A Gryphon may do that job also if the sus isn’t really needed.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Sam sorted out one of them for an Italian lady xc racer. It looked ace.

    My 5’6″ wife is now on a medium swift with a 60mm stem. She loves it. 100mm Reba’s SH off here. I don’t know what the TT length is, but Sam sorted a demo for us and she got on well with it. She loves it now, it’s changed her mindset to climbing, so much better uphill than her old clockwork. I’ve set quicker times DH on it than my Dialled PA, too!

    You could do similar and get something like Kinesis Crosslight wheels and Thunder Burts. A bridleway joy!

    mboy
    Member

    If it’s an 18″, as I think, then it’s a 597mm ETT, so the Kinesis would be only 14mm shorter

    Find a shorter stem… Seriously! A long(er) TT and short stem combo will inspire more confidence on steeper/techier sections than a shorter TT with a longer stem.

    FWIW the ETT is just over 580mm on the small FF29, a couple of girls around 5ft4 have ridden my GF’s and said it felt fine for them. I’d say that with a short stem like a 50 or a 60mm, riders down to about 5ft2 could probably ride it. At 5ft8, with a 90mm stem fitted, my GF found it too short. She now has a 17″ Stanton Sherpa with an ETT of 605mm with a 70mm stem and is much happier.

    mboy
    Member

    You want a 29er frame, she just wants a bike that fits her…being that height, I’d suggest a 29er is the worst size she should be riding…

    There’s a lot of women out there, many of them not particularly tall, that prefer 29ers because of the confidence the larger wheel seeems to give them. I know at least 2 ladies personally that are sub 5ft4 that prefer them, and my experience is that newer riders and/or less confident riders tend to find more confidence more quickly with bigger wheels.

    pirahna
    Member

    Find a shorter stem… Seriously! A long(er) TT and short stem combo will inspire more confidence on steeper/techier sections than a shorter TT with a longer stem.

    Isn’t always the answer, some people genuinely do need a shorter top tube and a short stem. My wife is good example of someone like this, very long legs means a shorter upper body and arms. She’s 5’8 and I’m 6’1, there is 10mm difference in our respective saddle heights. Her road bikes are all custom with a 56 seat tube and 52 top tube, if you work in S,M and L this is large frame in height and a short one in length. After owning a few mountain bikes she’s finally found that’s a reasonable fit, a Specialized Fate. This is large frame with the stem changed for 50mm, riser bars and inline post.

    She broke both femurs about three years ago and has got titanium pins in both legs. This has caused all sorts of other flexibility and fitness problems and as a result, she needs a very upright riding position, she simply can’t stretch out for any length of time.
    She spends hours on an old sit up & beg Triumph lady’s bike with a Sturmey Archer three speed, so what I’m trying to do is copy that position on a modern bike with a Rohloff and front suspension.
    I would prefer to buy locally from someone I know, mboy, but I’ve already fitted a short stem, I think it’s 50 or 60mm, so I think we’d be best off going for the shortest frame possible, with the option of going back to a longer stem if it turns out to be too short, which is unlikely.
    Specialized fate. Thanks Pirahna, that’s another one to look out for and probably a bit more common second hand than the more niche brands mentioned, although niche would be better if course if I can find one. 😉

    jfb01
    Member

    Just a thought,how about trying a set of Jones style handlebars?

    Premier Icon ratherbeintobago
    Subscriber

    although niche would be better if course if I can find one.

    Where do you think this is? STW?

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

The topic ‘What short top tube 29er frame for a 5'6" woman?’ is closed to new replies.