Which 120 – 140mm trail bike for 5’3″ woman? (Orange 5/Trek EX8…)

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  • Which 120 – 140mm trail bike for 5’3″ woman? (Orange 5/Trek EX8…)
  • Premier Icon CheesybeanZ

    Mrs beanZ stands at 5,2 and a half , rides a santa cruz super light size small . comes with a fox 120 with a 15mm bolt throuth fork .she loves it 😆 hard to get a demo though..

    Ooh that’s interesting! I was very tempted by a superlight but I’m thinking I probably want a bit more travel… not sure though… how does she find the reach and standover?

    Well, after months of resisting the urge I’m now properly tempted by a full suss!

    As a 5’3″ woman choices are definitely limited but there do seem to be a few gems out there…

    It’s worth explaining that my plan is to buy a whole bike then strip it down (apart from forks) to sell the new parts – transferring the bits from my HT to the new frame, which I will convert to ss using the parts from my ss – and sell my ss frame. (Anyone follow that?!) Anyway, that should offset the cost a fair bit.

    It’s also worth explaining that I’m set on the idea of a 20/15mm bolt thru fork, so if a bike doesn’t come with that I’d want to strip the fork off and sell that to fund a new fork. (Bit pricey and a hassle though I know but it makes sense to do the upgrade at the same time as going full suss I reckon)

    Anyway, at the moment I really like the look of the Trek EX8 wsd (it’s only lacking the bolt thru). The Marin Mount Vision 5.8 also seems pretty good but they don’t do a women’s spec so I’d have to get the 5.7, which (unlike the men’s 5.7!) doesn’t come with a bolt thru either.

    Then, there is this mad part of me that really fancies an Orange 5 pro! But I’m not convined it’ll fit me. They do a diva version I know, but I’m pretty sure that would be too short, but I think the standard 14″ may well be too long! (How frustrating!) I really like the idea of the five though, especially as it comes with a bolt thru fork. Do any short-ish women own a five?

    Additionally, I’m not sure if 140mm be overkill for me – especially if it’s that bit heavier too. I do ride trail centres a lot though, and do like going downhill fast – I just don’t want to have to drag my bike to the top first!

    Anyway, I know I need to test ride them (and hopefully will get to try out the Marin 5.7 and Orange 5 Pro soon), but I’d be interested in your opinions or alternative suggestions. Especially from women!

    Also does anyone happen to know how the frame weight of the Trek or Marin? Would the Trek/Marin build up much lighter?


    Premier Icon CheesybeanZ

    standover is good , changed the stem to a 60 x 25 rise and fitted dh bars.
    she also has a on one summer season in size 14 , looks like a 29er its so small 😀

    Fair enough – sounds like a little on the longside then! I’ve got a 14″ inbred too, which is OK but not ideal. Do you happen to know which she find longer?


    Giant Cypher 120mm bike well worth a look, my LBS has an 08 one in XS going for £900.


    Five always both comes in lighter and rides lighter than people would imagine…

    The amount of times I get the old “yeah but it must be pretty heavy right?” *picks it up* “Oh that’s alright actually”


    If the diva is too small and your concerned the 14 is too long….from memory orange fit in house stem which is i think about 95mm C-C and the in house seat post has a little lay back, so if you’re transferring stuff over from another bike. go inline and use a shorter stem, that could gain you up to 2″..

    Thanks again guys! Yeah Sharki – you’re right about the layback – could well work! I only need to gain 3/4 an inch for it to be really good. Exciting!… Oh dear, I think I’m talking myself into it already! 🙄

    Anyone know the weight of the Orange 5 frame?

    Premier Icon Driller

    Orange Five. If I was a 5’3″ woman, that’s what I would buy.

    Ride it, up hills, then especially down hills, have fun, grin, repeat.


    My girlfriend has a Giant Cypher and she loves it, OK on the climbs and brilliant on the descents. Very nice bike and if you could get one for £800 (they were £1500 when new) I would definately have a look at one

    Mind you she did swap a few bits out, when she got it to knock so weight off and fitted her Joplin

    Cool, 6.6lb isn’t that light, but then it is masses of travel I suppose… I guess I’ll see how easily it goes up… I have a feeling coming down won’t be a problem!

    Thanks for the tip Rich and Plugger – I’m not aware of them, but will have a look… she says, desperately trying to keep open-minded…

    I don’t suppose anyone knows the frame weight of the Trek EX8… Sharki?! 😀


    One thing my SO found was bikes she liked the look of, didn’t necessarily suit her when she rode them, so a demo’s weekend are well worth tracking down so you can try a few back to back over the same course.

    Yeah, cheers Rich – I’ve organised to take the Marin 5.8 out the weekend after next and am in the process of organising a demo on the Orange too. I do get easily carried away, but it’s a lot money so I definitely want to try them first. Afterall, if the Orange is too big it doesn’t matter how awesome it is (that’s what I keep telling myself!)

    I have sold a couple of XS Chumba XCL’s to woman of your stature 🙂

    Available as frame only or with Fox Qr15 forks etc… and i have a really good deal on the frames at the moment 😉

    Pic of mine

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