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Any cyclists around for a bit of advice?

(10 Posts)
Iwantmychairback Tue 17-Nov-20 06:34:10

Am I being a bit thick here?
I am looking for a second hand bike to potter around the village on. No serious long distance riding, just a bit of exercise.

I am small. 5 ft. I am struggling to find a small bike. So I have just been looking (on line) at a child’s bike. Suitable for age 8 to 12 according to the description.
The seat at its lowest is 74 cm from the ground. My inside leg measures 70 cm.

Am I missing something? This bike seems to be too big for me. Am I really smaller than an average 12 year old?

OP’s posts: |
toomuchfaster Tue 17-Nov-20 06:58:07

Don't forget your foot! Your inside leg only goes to the ankle!! I am 5'2" and ride a 16inch adult frame. You sound like you need to sit on a couple or you will end up with a bike much to small for you.

Solidaritea Tue 17-Nov-20 07:03:59

You shouldn't be able to put your foot flat on the floor on a suitably sized bike. This bike sounds fine or may be too small for you. At 5ft, I'd expect most people to be on an adult bike.

What about a trip to a bike shop to look at sizing? I know lockdown, so obviously you may not feel comfortable, but this would always be my advice tk someone buying any bike. You do need to sit on a few and have some expert advice to know what to look for. Buy a small item from the bike store to show your support/gratitude, then go back to your online second hand shopping smile

BarbaraofSeville Tue 17-Nov-20 07:39:49

You want your leg to be just about straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

Then you have the length of your foot to allow you to reach the ground. You can also lean the bike over slightly to allow you to put a toe on the ground.

SweatyBetty20 Tue 17-Nov-20 07:40:53

Adult bikes do come in small sizes - some female professional cyclists are pretty tiny, Emma Pooley is only 5ft1. Adult bikes are sold by frame size. Look at the link below - there’s a table where you can look at your height and inside leg and work out your size. Don’t forget your body geometry - a lot of women have long legs so women’s frames reflect this. I’m 5ft6 but am long waisted with short legs so a small men’s bike is actually better for me. Happy riding!

LunchWithAGruffalo Tue 17-Nov-20 07:46:27

I'm just slightly taller than you but find a bike that size is really too small to ride comfortably. I used to cycle DDs up to school each day so she could ride home and I'd walk back with DS. It was a lot harder than doing the same trip on my own bike, smaller wheels and the handle bars being a bit too close were the bigger issues than height ss I could just about get the saddle to a decent height.

Spudlet Tue 17-Nov-20 07:51:42

Bike shops are still open in England (if that applies to you of course op), a little local bike shop would be able to advise you and some sell secondhand as well as new bikes. They will also do things like servicing and repairs so are always good people to know!

AnnieKenneyfanclub Tue 17-Nov-20 07:53:53

I was always taught that for a bike to fit correctly you should be able to get your leg straight when your heel is resting on the pedal in its lowest position. (althuogh if yuo haven’t ridden for a bit you might want it a bit lower to start with.)

If you are fairy short then also consider the length of the frame. ( I personally find it very uncomfortable if I am having to lean to far forward to reach the handlebars.) A quick check for this is: put yuor elbow on the front of the saddle and your finger tips should reach the handlebars ( in the middle!)

Obviously these are just very rough guides and you do need to try a fee before buying.

NotMeNoNo Tue 17-Nov-20 08:13:51
This is just a random bike but if you scroll to sizing guide there is a helpful chart. You would be looking for an Extra Small bike I expect. I'm 5-3 and tried both XS and S the XS was too cramped but S fine. They had to chop a few cm off the saddle post so it adjusted low enough.

Thimbleberries Tue 17-Nov-20 08:56:41

My inside leg was a similar measurement to yours but I am 5'4". I got a 46cm bike in the end, but I learned that the frame size really depends on the style of bike (road bike, mountain bike, hybrid bike etc all different) so you really need the specific chart for your bike model or similar.

My old bike technically would have fitted me, but I found it very cramped and uncomfortable, and hadn't realised til I had a bigger one what a difference it made.

I am a wobbly cyclist so liked to be able to touch the ground easily, but actually in the end it's more comfortable to have the seat higher and just be able to touch with the balls of my feet, or toes.

There are other things you can change about the comfort too, from how far forward or back the saddle is, how high, how close, and at what angle the handlebars are, and so on.

And it also made a difference to me how big the standover height was. I still find it quite hard to lift my leg over the dropped crossbar to get off, though getting on is OK, and if there'd been a choice for my bike, I might have gone for a slightly lower one.

So lots of measurements that can make a difference. I did buy online in the end, but I measured a lot of things and compared many bikes - if you can find places to try in person, it would be a lot better. I definitely would try not to go too small though - height is not the only important factor.

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