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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife wants to get back into cycling after a few years off the bike. She's 5'5". I am looking for a good bike for her. I don't want to break the bank, but i want something with Ultegra SL/Rival level components. I've got a builder that will build me a custom Ti frame around Rival and Bonty wheels for ~3000. Any ideas as to what stock stuff is out there? I'd also like to get something light but also comfortable. Thanks for the help.
 

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haole from the mainland
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If you want Ti, backcountryoutlet has some closeout Merlins in her size:

Extralight, 49cm. I'm 5'4.5" and ride a 49cm unisex Merlin.
http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/outlet/MLN0002/Merlin-Extralight-Ultegra-Road-Bike-Mens.html

Camena, women's model that seems to have been discontinued for 2009. I'd be between a S (650c wheels) and M (700c wheels)
http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/outlet/MLN0001/Merlin-Camena-Road-Bike-Womens.html

They also have a Works CR, but I think even the XS would be too big.
http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/outlet/MLN0003/Merlin-Works-CR-Road-Bike-Complete-Mens.html
 

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corning my own beef
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If you have the opportunity to go custom Ti w/ Ultegra for $3k, that's a decent option, IMO. I assume you've seen this builder's work and it meets your needs / standards?

One thing to consider: Is this a builder who talks with the customer about their needs, riding style, physiology, etc.. and uses that as a geometry guide (ala C Strong), or just one who says, "give me the measurements and I'll build the bike"? There's a BIG difference between those two...
 

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World's 1st Anal-rapist
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Andrea138 said:
Her build/proportion will determine if she needs the "women's" geometry or not. Best thing is to let her ride a variety of bikes & decide what is most comfortable/best fit.
+1

My wife was totally ready to go "WSD" on something, then figured out that she didn't fit them. BTW, she is also 5'5".
 

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Magsdad said:
+1

My wife was totally ready to go "WSD" on something, then figured out that she didn't fit them. BTW, she is also 5'5".
+2 I'm 4'11" (and a girl) and neither of my main bikes (road and mountain) are WSD.
 

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Magsdad said:
+1

My wife was totally ready to go "WSD" on something, then figured out that she didn't fit them. BTW, she is also 5'5".
+3
My wife fits fine on most small framed road bikes. She's 5' 4"
 

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Andrea138 said:
Her build/proportion will determine if she needs the "women's" geometry or not. Best thing is to let her ride a variety of bikes & decide what is most comfortable/best fit.
+4. Take her shopping, offer your opinion, but let her ride some bikes and pick it out. She'll be more attached to it if she chooses it anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
karatemom said:
+4. Take her shopping, offer your opinion, but let her ride some bikes and pick it out. She'll be more attached to it if she chooses it anyway.
That's what I was thinking but there are no local shops with any kind of selection to choose from.

She is 5'5" and has an inseam of 31.5" (book/wall method).

She should be able to fit non-woman specific bikes, right? Maybe a ~53 top tube?
 

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haole from the mainland
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tyro said:
That's what I was thinking but there are no local shops with any kind of selection to choose from.

She is 5'5" and has an inseam of 31.5" (book/wall method).

She should be able to fit non-woman specific bikes, right? Maybe a ~53 top tube?
For reference (and not saying your wife will fit the same), but I'm 5'4.5" with a 31" inseam and longish arms. 52cm TT with an 80mm stem. So I'd say stick to 51-52cmTT with a bit longer stem. A 53cm TT could be a touch long; OTOH, the head tube will be a bit taller, which might make up for the reach difference.
 

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tyro said:
That's what I was thinking but there are no local shops with any kind of selection to choose from.

She is 5'5" and has an inseam of 31.5" (book/wall method).

She should be able to fit non-woman specific bikes, right? Maybe a ~53 top tube?
Well, probably.I never ride women specific bikes either--I test rode a few and I just didn't like them as much. I felt like the handlebars were too close. For the record I'm 5'7" with a 34inch inseam, and my bike is a 53cm.
 

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Wsd

I'm a 5'5" woman, with freakishly long arms. I rode a ton of MSD bikes out there when looking for my first serious road bike. Once I sat on a WSD bike I was sold. There was just something about the frame that felt more 'right' than the men's frame (in the same price range). As they say, FIT, is so highly personal that I would say only your wife can determine what works for her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jorgy said:
For reference (and not saying your wife will fit the same), but I'm 5'4.5" with a 31" inseam and longish arms. 52cm TT with an 80mm stem. So I'd say stick to 51-52cmTT with a bit longer stem. A 53cm TT could be a touch long; OTOH, the head tube will be a bit taller, which might make up for the reach difference.
Ok, thanks. I'll look towards a 52. I want her to be comfortable.
 

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Since you are thinking custom I will comment only on components--particularly the saddle. My wife and several of the women that I ride with have had major stock saddle issues. It was like an epidemic. One bought the Selle Italia gel flow-ladies ( I think) and the rest quickly switched as well.
 
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