This article is from the Bicycles FAQ, by Mike Iglesias with numerous contributions by others.
by Marcy Stuzman, email@example.com
I have compiled a partial list of what bikes I have heard of that are
designed specifically for women or small people. I have only ridden one of
these bikes myself, so I really can't comment on any of them. I would like
any comments from owners about these mailed to me so that they can be
included in the future.
Marinoni manufacturers a small frame, but it is not featured in their
homepage. For a description of this bike, you can visit Wedgewood
Cycles home page which does give a description of this bike.
The Marinoni comes in sizes up to 52 cm and has 26 inch wheels, which
can use slick mountain bike tires.
Bianchi makes a version of their bike called the Eros that comes with
the smaller wheels, but their web page so far is only finished in
Italian, so I couldn't discern much about the bike.
Cannondale manufacturered two bikes last year with the compact frame
(R500 and R800), but for 1997 is offering only the R600 in the compact
Rodrigues is manufacturing a small bike which was featured in the Jan
1997? issue of Bicycling magazine. One nice feature is that this bike
uses Dia Comp's small hands brake levers and bar end shifters, which
may be easier for women with small hands to use than the Ergo or STI
shifters that are popular.
Waterford makes a bike, but I have been unable to find much more
information on this manufacturer.
Performance made a bike in 1994 called the Expresso that used a scaled
down design and 650c tires, but this design has been discontinued.
Rivendell also designs 50 cm bikes the 26" mountain bike sized wheels
and offers shorter top tubes on their bikes if you need it.
Trek offers its 470 roadbike in sizes as as small as 43 cm with 700c
Terry bikes have been discusses extensively earlier in this article
and they don't yet have a home page, so I will just refer you to the
discussions above. (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
It was brought to my attention that Bike Friday, a folding bike with
20" wheels, does come in very small frame sizes for short people. Many
different brands of mountain bikes come in smaller sizes, including
Bontranger, Fat Chance and Ibis, but small mountain bikes are somewhat
easier to find than small road bikes.