WTB… or borrow! Mountain Bike for N00b

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caitlin
Participant
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Hi!

I don’t know much about mountain biking, except that I feel like I am missing out on something FUN. When 2010 came, I looked at my several bikes and thought, I do not need a new bike this year. Hooray!

But now I am not sure…

Anyone out there have a mountain bike they could lend me for a while or that they just want to rid themselves of? I ride a 50-52cm frame but I understand mountain bikes work differently… I’m maybe 5’5″ if that helps, and I don’t know my inseam offhand.

I totally plan on finally going to the ‘I have never mountain biked before’ style ride at bikefest this year… and if i don’t have a mountain bike by then I will still show up with my cyclocross frame. But, consider this my official alert that I am looking for a mountain bike. I have actually bought my other bikes from Bike Pgh members! (and i love them)

thanks!


caitlin
Participant
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really? nobody out there today?


dwillen
Participant
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I’m happy to loan mine out, but I suspect it is much larger than what you need.


salty
Participant
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Let me check and PM you, my wife has a Cannondale M300 (I think) that she doesn’t really ride anymore. Hopefully it’s about the right size – she’s a bit taller but I think the bike is too small for her.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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Hey, email me at chris at jbv coaching dot com. I am your height and have a bike I’d let you borrow.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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My wife recently acquired a Specialized mountain bike, and in the little I’ve ridden it, it seems to be fine. Thing is, while she doesn’t ride it all that much, I’d like to get her to ride it. About the only cycling experience she’s ever had is as a teen on a never-fit-right single-speed hand-me-down, and so, from my perspective, it’s no wonder she doesn’t have the cycling “bug” that I have.

What I’d like to see happen is for someone to fit it to her properly, and I know that I am not the person to do that.

Whatever you learn, please share. Thanks!


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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Try this.

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=1163166#1163166

Specfically post number fourty six. I’d go for the lower end so she can get her feet on the ground comfortably.

For saddle fore aft do this. Put her feet at three and nine o’clock. From the foot that is forward drop a plum line from the knee cap. It should land right at the end of the crank.

That gets the important stuff. Next up is bar height and stem length but those are partly a feel issue and the guidelines are less clear there.


salty
Participant
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sorry, i lied about the cannondale – not for sale…


caitlin
Participant
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So I have enjoyed borrowing a mountain bike from Mayhew! and if anyone wants to sell theirs now that it’s almost fall… I am still here, possibly looking to buy!


caitlin
Participant
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“possibly” hahaha. what i really mean is, sell me your mountain bike that fits a 5’5″ person.


mntbiker25
Participant
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I’ve got a deal for you. 1997 Specialized Rock Hopper. CroMo frame. XT everything except crank. Rockshox Judy fork. Time ATAC pedals (optional) SRAM gripshift. 18″ frame. $300. It should fit you.


caitlin
Participant
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I actually think that one might be too big!


caitlin
Participant
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i have been informed by others that i am probably a 16″ Also since I havent actually read how to size a mountain bike, what part of the bike is the part that measures 16inches? This is where I am totally open to knowing very little about mountain biking, as stated previously.


caitlin
Participant
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i should also note that in real life i may not actually be 5’5″… I don’t remember what the doctors tell me when I step up to the scale and measurement device. I’m probably more like 5’4″.


mntbiker25
Participant
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My friend is 5″5″/5’6″ and it seems to fit him well. I’ll be headed home from the airport area to the east end if you want to check it out.


Tabby
Participant
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if you are not 5’5″ in real life, where are you 5’5″? on the internet in general or maybe just this board? interesting idea, but may lead to confusion.


caitlin
Participant
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well, my driver’s liscence height hasn’t been changed since i was 17, and on there i am shorter. so in driver’s liscence life, I guess I am 5’2″.

On the internet, clearly I am HUGE ;)


Tabby
Participant
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my driver’s lisence was like that too! I did ask them to change it during one renewal though so now it’s right.


Mick
Participant
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@tabby if you are not 5’5″ in real life, where are you 5’5″?

Obviously you do not understand numbers.

I’m 5’10” but there are plenty of guys my height who are 6 feet.

In my 20’s I dated a woman who was 3 years older than me – she’s two years younger than me, now.

Stuff happens, I guess.


bikefind
Participant
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My weight is perfect for my height, which varies.

-Sylvia, I think.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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It measures from the center of the bottom bracket [eg the center of the bolt that holds the crank on] to the center of the top tube or the top of the collar [eg the band that tightens around the seat post] Even measurements are to the center of the tub, odd to the top of the collar. So 16 and 17 are the same thing.

That said, the length of that tube really doesn’t matter. You can adjust your seat post way more than that. What matters more is the length of the virtual top tube eg from the center of the stem to the center of the seatpost in a level line. There’s less adjustment available there.

For instance, the bike I loaned you has a stupid long top tube. So I went down a size and just used a really long seat post to make it work.

16″ is about what you’re looking for, or is at least a good starting point.

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