The Riding Gravel Forum
Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
DrSpoke

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 274
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a woman friend that is about 5'1" and is just starting to look for a gravel bike.  She has been riding her road bike w/27c tires with us lately and is loving it.  And will join us on the Belgian Waffle Ride (Wafer distance) on 4/24.  Currently she is riding a 47cm custom Holland Exo Grid.  So I'll assume she will be looking for a medium to high quality bike.  I don't have the stack & reach measurements as yet.  But I told her I'd start researching possibilities.  We agree that it would be nice to stay in the 700c wheel size.

Any ideas out there?
0
trippertim

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #2 
My wife is just under 5' and is very happy with her Litespeed Ku:Wa in the XS size. She normally rides 650c wheels on her road bikes, and is on 26er's on the MTB, but she ran my 29er wheels with 700x32 knobbies on her 26er MTB for a while and liked it, so we went with 700's on the gravel/adventure bike since there is much better 700c tire availability.

Here is a pic of it from the 'Show us your Gravel Bike" thread: http://ridinggravel.forumchitchat.com/post/show_single_post?pid=1288590417&postcount=109&forum=323926
0
DrSpoke

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 274
Reply with quote  #3 
^ Thanks for the input.  That looks like a very interesting option.  I've not heard of this model before - only the T5G.  And you've got it set up very nicely.  How is the TT length for her?  The geometry charts seem to indicate it at around 53cm which seem a little long.
0
trippertim

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #4 
The Ku:Wa came out after the T5G (that is what I ride). They classify the Ku:Wa as more of an 'adventure' bike that can be set up as a gravel/adventure or MTB configuration with 26", 650B or 700c wheels and more clearance, and the T5G is more road geometry with more clearance the the T5 or T5D, but not the clearance of the Ku:Wa.

With her being so short, top tube length is always an issue, but with the geometry of the Ku:Wa accommodating the different wheel sizes, she is actually running the same length and angle stem as on her custom geom. road bike, just with it flipped over / inverted (stole the stem off the road bike). We also have her seat pushed pretty far forward to get closer to a road geometry than the MTB setup.

So far she is very happy with it.
0
DrSpoke

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 274
Reply with quote  #5 
Very cool.  That frame looks like it can go anywhere.  I went to the Litespeed website for a look.  Do they make two frame - mountain and adventure or do they just switch forks?  That is, does your wife's bike have a suspension corrected fork?

I just got the spec on her road bike - it's a 51.5cm TT and an 8cm stem.  It has a sloping TT but it looks to be about an virtual 48 or 49cm seat tube.  I think the top tube was designed a little long to avoid toe overlap.  Regardless, it looks like it should a relatively easy fit when she's ready.  There are so many bikes on the market this year and most look to be very nice.
0
trippertim

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #6 
My understanding is they just make the one frame and set it up either way. It is the suspension corrected fork (it actually is the exact fork that is on my T5G). I prefer American welded Ti, but another one of our 'travel sized' friends who borrows my wife's bikes bought a Ridley and was able to get it to fit and seems happy with it, but so far I think she only has 1-2 rides on it.

0
DrSpoke

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 274
Reply with quote  #7 
I think it's pretty cool that the TT works for you wife.  It's kind of an alchemy to make a frame that can run all 3 sizes of tires, 2 styles of forks and probably 2 types of bars.

I'm 5'8" and have a Ridley X-Trail in XS - I'm a 53cm for road and usually a Med in mtn bikes.  Great bike BTW.  Looking at the charts it looks like an XXS would be a good fit for her.  My friend has a GT Grade in carbon and it looks like they have a very large range of sizes especially at the small end.
0
drwelby

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 433
Reply with quote  #8 
Here's a relatively unknown option for small riders: Islabikes Luath.

It's technically a cyclocross bike for kids but the geometry is set up well for small riders. The parts spec is on the budget end but it's not an expensive bike to begin with so it wouldn't be a big deal to make some upgrades.

They also have a smaller version that takes 26" wheels, which if it was up to me where I would steer small riders.

Another option would be the Surly Straggler 650b which goes down to some really small sizes and takes advantage of the smaller wheel to some degree.
0
DraxuLa

Avatar / Picture

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #9 
Personally I don't think you should count out 650b. Most Randonneur bikes have clearance for 42c tires and don't compromise ride quality to fit huge tires in to itty-bitty frames. This artical may or may not help some, either way it's a good read

http://www.adventurecycling.org/default/assets/resources/20130201_mechanicaladvantage_heine.pdf
0
DrSpoke

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 274
Reply with quote  #10 
Thank you for the above 2 comments.  I agree with the 650b suggestion as I made it myself to her.  She replied that she would be slower I assume because of the gearing.  I assured her that would not be the case.  In my opinion, she is sort of at the cusp of that decision point.  That is, if any shorter, almost definitely a 650b.  She is used to 700c wheels on her road bike but, of course, they get a little larger when you start putting on 40c tires too.  It would sure be nice to let her try one before buying but that may be easier said than done.  At first, I thought she might be under 5' tall so thought that might be a good option.  But at 5'1" I think we will be able to find a 700c bike that will fit.  When she is ready to commit to buy I'm sure we'll find out for sure on that.

Thanks again for all the replies.
0
Sadlebred

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #11 
Take a look at Specialized Cyclocross bikes across all price points. They go down to a 46cm. I'm 5'3" and ride an older 46 cm Crux as my gravel bike that is a good fit. It might be an option if she doesn't want the hassle of building something up.
__________________
Southeastern Cycling
http://www.southeasterncycling.com
0
Laeljon

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #12 
I'm 5' and ride a custom 46cm We debated about 650B, but went with 700C just for tire choice. Had some toe over-lap, but not noticeable. Then I cut my crank arms down to 135MM and have absolutely no problems.... DSCN3483.JPG 

__________________
No such thing as bad weather....just bad clothing...
0
DrSpoke

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 274
Reply with quote  #13 
Sadlebred - I have 3 friends that are riding the Specialized Diverge.  There smallest size has a 51.4 cm EFF so that could work.  I'm not a big fan of the Diverge personally however and probably wouldn't recommend it to her.

Laeljon - That Moots is very nice.  She loves riding her Holland road bike off-road but not sure if she wants a full custom for her 1st gravel bike.  If so, it would likely be another Holland as they are local and our club has close ties with them.  At 5'1" it looks like we'll be able to find a stock frame that will fit.  She's given me the geometry of her custom Holland.  It includes everything but stack and reach for which I'll measure.  And then we'll try to match it as close as possible.
0
at_ecd

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #14 
Bringing this one back from the dead...

Since its now 2018, does anyone have new advice for fitting someone (wife) who is 5' tall?

I have found plenty of frames with 700c wheels that have geometry pretty close to what she needs but I am thinking a bike built around 650b would be ideal for her.  She rides/races on 27.5 mtb and the smaller wheel size creates a bike that i think fits better. 

Canyon seems to be the only manufacturer I've found that has geometry built around the 650 wheel size.  I know we can go custom but that is $$$$

The other big issue I'm finding is 650b tire selection is pretty poor. (For a frame built for 650b, not road plus)

**I should also add it needs to be relatively lightweight and adaptable between cx and gravel racing.  
0
chas

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 466
Reply with quote  #15 
What size tires are you thinking?  Seems like Schwable has a fair number.  Maybe it is a German thing (Schwalbe & Canyon)...

some bikes:

Canyon (love mine!)
Surly Straggler
Jamis Renegade
Kona Dew Plus
Surly Disc Trucker.
city space horse
Salsa Journeyman

You are right - it is hard to create the right "trail" on a small frame with large wheels without some funky geometry. Canyon makes a lot of 650b wheeled bikes for riders below 5'6". They can explain it better than I can (and a picture):

Quote:
Achieving the desired trail values on any frame size smaller than XS is limited by the fact you need a longer wheelbase and super slack head angle just to accommodate 700C wheels, which inevitably results in more trail and slower handling. Equipping 650B wheels on our two smallest sizes (2XS and 3XS) eradicates sloppy handling thanks to reduced trail and wheelbase, plus a steeper head angle. The rider also gains from a much more balanced position on the bike.



[04_handling_02_b15afdc81d841e2c3838e3fc5ec92feb92d2ae68]

0
at_ecd

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas
What size tires are you thinking?  Seems like Schwable has a fair number.  Maybe it is a German thing (Schwalbe & Canyon)...

some bikes:

Canyon (love mine!)
Surly Straggler
Jamis Renegade
Kona Dew Plus
Surly Disc Trucker.
city space horse
Salsa Journeyman

You are right - it is hard to create the right "trail" on a small frame with large wheels without some funky geometry. Canyon makes a lot of 650b wheeled bikes for riders below 5'6". They can explain it better than I can (and a picture):



I would like to have options from 28c all the way up to 40+ depending of the terrain.  Ive looked into the Canyon Inflite but i don't see max tire size specs.  The Canyon Grail is another option.  I guess I'll call them this afternoon and see what they say.

EDIT:  Spoke with Canyon and 38c is max rear tire size of the Inflite regardless of 650 or 700 wheel size.  That would probably be more that enough for most terrain but it would be nice to have a mid 40's option.
0
drwelby

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 433
Reply with quote  #17 
The two smallest size Norco Search XRs are built around smaller wheels - 650b/26".
0
at_ecd

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drwelby
The two smallest size Norco Search XRs are built around smaller wheels - 650b/26".


Thanks for the info!  I saw that bike was released but forgot look into it.  Seems to be the perfect geometry.

Where do you get 26" wheels and tires though [biggrin]
0
chas

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 466
Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_ecd


I would like to have options from 28c all the way up to 40+ depending of the terrain.  Ive looked into the Canyon Inflite but i don't see max tire size specs.  The Canyon Grail is another option.  I guess I'll call them this afternoon and see what they say.

EDIT:  Spoke with Canyon and 38c is max rear tire size of the Inflite regardless of 650 or 700 wheel size.  That would probably be more that enough for most terrain but it would be nice to have a mid 40's option.


Yep, I asked and they told me the same.

I run 40mm tires easily - I have read that 42mm will fit and I believe it, but I wouldn't go bigger.

The Grail looks like it has the same clearance.  Bigger than that and you really have to start compromising the design.  You will have to delete the 2x option and probably have to drop the chain stay or start using mountain bike cranks.  Those things are going to change the personality of the bike in order to get to 45mm+ tire size.
0
chas

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 466
Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_ecd

Where do you get 26" wheels and tires though [biggrin]


I bought some closeouts, but don't know what I'm going to do after that.  Most of my favorites have been discontinued in that size, and some stores don't even carry 26" any more.  Seems like the tires left are mostly for cruising or trekking.
0
at_ecd

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas


Yep, I asked and they told me the same.

I run 40mm tires easily - I have read that 42mm will fit and I believe it, but I wouldn't go bigger.

The Grail looks like it has the same clearance.  Bigger than that and you really have to start compromising the design.  You will have to delete the 2x option and probably have to drop the chain stay or start using mountain bike cranks.  Those things are going to change the personality of the bike in order to get to 45mm+ tire size.


That's good to hear.  Is it like credit card thin fit or plenty of mud room?

The biggest problem is finding a tire like the gravelking sk in 650x38 or 40
0
chas

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 466
Reply with quote  #22 

I wouldn’t want to do gumbo mud with 42s on.  ISO standard is 6mm clearance on each side, which is why Canyon say 38mm.   With 40mm tires on there, I probably have 4mm on one side and 6mm on the other side eyeballing it.

Did you see my Inflite review here?  It is light, very fast (acceleration/climbing) and agile.   It’s more like a high end road bike with more tire clearance. It loves to play and I love to play on it.  I wouldn’t choose it for bombing down steep loose mountain roads, but my frame is a little on the small size for me.  The Stack is a bit low (i.e. racy) and the spacers below the stem add up to 40mm stack (or as little as 13).  The front fork has more than 60mm internal width, so a 54mm tire is an option I’m considering for extreme conditions.

 

Maxxis rambler just came out in a 650b 38.

https://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=94461

 

Schwalbe has some new 650b tires.  Cross tires are 33, the G-One all around is 650b 35mm and 40mm (and 57mm and 70mm)

0
at_ecd

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #23 
Thanks for the info.  I did just read your Inflite review and it sounds like the perfect bike for her.  Something that does most everything (we don't bike-pack).

Sounds like smaller 650b tire sizes are starting to show up so thats good news.  G-One's for most riding and ramblers for rough races. 
0
Mark_Landsaat

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #24 
Hi guys,

First a disclaimer, Noble Bikes is my brand so clearly I'm biased, but I believe this is not just a shameless plug.[smile]

Right now we are in the process of getting bikes made with expected delivery in August. Both the aluminum GX3 and carbon GX5 go down to 48cm (traditional sizing) and this fits riders between 5'0"-5'3".

Seattube for the 48cm is 45cm, this is done to create a little extra standover height.

For more details, check out the gravel bikes on the Noble website.

https://www.noble-bikes.com/gravel

Cheers,
Mark. 
0
chas

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 466
Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_ecd
Thanks for the info.  I did just read your Inflite review and it sounds like the perfect bike for her.  Something that does most everything (we don't bike-pack).

Sounds like smaller 650b tire sizes are starting to show up so thats good news.  G-One's for most riding and ramblers for rough races. 


Just did a fast road ride last night (Cat 1-3, with Madones, Cervelos, Pinarellos, Venge).  The Inflite (on 32mm road tires) kept up well with those high end bikes.   I got 26 personal records, and then a few KOMs on my commute to/from the ride.  (I've been tracking this ride about as long as Strava has been out, so I'm blaming the bike for my speeds).

But  yeah, definitely check out Mark's bikes.  From what I have ridden, they are more comfortable for the long hall (the Inflite is pretty racy) and take bigger tires.  
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.