I need help buying a bike

United States
August 9, 2009 1:37pm CST
I have a bike that doesn't quite fit me. It recently almost paralyzed me for a couple days because it puts too much strain on my body. It's like the seat isn't high enough but I have it as high as it will go. It's a Mongoose Woodland 26" Ladies Bike. When I am coasting both of my knees are bent considerably which I don't think is the way it's supposed to be. I have a small torso and long legs (3 feet long) and I am 5'9". I'd appreciate any help you can give me.
2 responses
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
9 Aug 09
Short torso, long legs, 5'9": This isn't intended as an insult in any way but sounds like you should try riding a bike designed for men. What part of your body is getting strained? If it's your lower back you might be bent over too far forward as well. If all you need is for the seat to be up higher you should be able to get a longer seat post at any good bicycle shop. I would recommend going to a reputable bike shop and having them give you some custom advise on properly sizing a bike for you. I'm not sure your posts give me enough info to give you a solid answer myself. Incidentally I've built and maintained our family's fleet of bikes out of junk. We all have bikes that are comfortable and we are all tall.
• United States
10 Aug 09
It's funny you should mention riding a men's bike because when I was in high school I only rode my dad's bike and I had no problem. My back problem was my lower back. Maybe I lean over too far because I have a short torso. My bike is longer in length than my boyfriends bike, but a shorter seat. You're probably right I should have stuck with men's bikes.
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
10 Aug 09
My wife is 5'8" and rides a mans bike. She has a longer torso though. Because she has osteoarthritis in here upper back she prefers a more upright riding position to avoid putting too much weight on her arms. Leaning too hard on her arms bothers her upper back. A big soft ladies saddle helps her as well and the big fat tires softens the ride. I have a bulged disc in my lower back but riding my bike actually makes it feel better. I'm 6'5" and have a tall framed bike. I'm a little long in the waist and my bike fits me nearly perfect. Something about the rhythmic balanced action of peddling has something to do with my pain relief. I'm not the first person to experience this improvement. I've read a great number of similar cases on cycling forums I sometimes frequent. Hope you find a bike that suits you well. It may turn out to be quite therapeutic.
@Philbo (579)
• Canada
11 Aug 09
A little something I forgot to add. What is your bike frame made of? If it's aluminum that is part of your problem. Aluminum bike frames have got to have the worst vibration absorption of any frame material. If you're prone to aches and pains you will feel worse on an aluminum bike than on a steel frame. Carbon fibre is even better for that but they ain't cheap.
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
9 Aug 09
Go to a bike shop and see if they can adjust it for you. They may be able to (for a fee) or they may make some recommendations what you need to do. Going so someone who knows what they are doing is the best way.
• United States
10 Aug 09
I agree, I might try you advice first.