A small bicycle for a small rider

One of the joys of my business is when I can help a rider find unique solutions to her problems so she can achieve her cycling goals.

The Goal:
Ride the Seattle to Portland Classic. 200 miles in two days including training seriously for the ride in the months prior to the event.

The Issues:
The rider is a petite woman in – 4′ 11″ with a barefoot inseam of 26″ – in need of a small bicycle. She has arthritis which affects her right thumb in particular. She prefers a flat handlebar. She’s having surgery to repair the thumb, which will only leave her about four months to train for the ride. Her current bike just wasn’t cutting it in terms of comfort or performance.

This is the bike my customer was riding.

This is the bike my customer was riding.

The Challenge:
A bike that won’t aggravate her hand situation, will fit her small stature perfectly and will get her to Portland and back with a smile on her face! Just finishing isn’t enough — I want her to finish and consider it one of the coolest rides she’s done. And the first of many more “bucket” rides to come!

The Solution:
A Coto Doñana Tour, with custom sizing and a very careful choice of components to accommodate her hands. And, oh yes, a custom color as well.

How It Was Accomplished:
The first step was to scale down the smallest Coto Doñana Tour in order to give the rider clearance over the top tube. This was done partly by lowering the top tube where it meets the seat tube and by shortening the fork blades, which lowered the front end of the bike. The customer didn’t need the ability to run fenders on wide tires (which is a feature of the Coto Doñana Tour), so this was an option. With these changes, the stand over height was reduced by about an inch.

The handlebars on her current bike were 5″ above the saddle. This, in combination with a 22.8″ “rider compartment” (the distance from the center of the saddle to the handlebars) was still giving her some issues with too much pressure on her hands. This custom Coto Doñana Tour has a rider compartment of 21.4.” The handlebars are about an inch above the saddle.

The design that would conquer STP.

The design that would conquer STP.

I specced Grip Shift® shifters to relieve the stress on her hands. Since we knew the diameter of the shifters, she was able to verify that the dimension was manageable and comfortable.

The Happy Ending:
A successful STP adventure!

It was my privilege to see the bike and its owner in action on the Terry Sojourn bike tour this September. Like I said, my job is always fun!

What better place for a bike ride than Vermont!

What better place for a bike ride than Vermont!

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Posted in GT's Blog

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