Hey, short riders! Have you been wishing that a fellow short rider would make a list of recent bikes they’ve personally found to fit them pretty well? If so, then your wish has finally been granted. Motorcycle journalist Dina Dervisevic is 1.58 meters tall—or about 5’1”, give or take. Over the past few years, she’s been taking notes on everything she’s sat on or ridden, and she’s now compiled them into one handy report to help us fellow short riders out.
As you probably know all too well, seat height is far from the only variable that affects our experiences of different bikes. Seat width and shape are also factors, since a seat that’s narrow in the front makes it easier to reach the ground.
A rider’s personal measurements can also make a difference. For example, some people have long legs paired with short torsos, while others have short legs paired with long torsos. Thus, your overall height is less important in this exercise than how that height is distributed. Likewise, if you’re short but have long arms, your options on comfortable reaches to the bars may be different than someone with T-rex arms (like, for example, the person who is writing this article).
If you’re a tall rider and you’re still reading this, these factors may all be things you don’t even think about. That’s OK; I’m glad you can just hop on most bikes without even having to worry about this stuff. However, consideration of all these factors is also why something like Dervisevic’s report is an extremely useful resource for short riders. Quite simply, those extremely crucial details may be overlooked by taller riders.
Dervisevic has been taking notes on bikes she’s tested for the last few years, going all the way back to 2016. Out of over 100 bikes tried, she found a total of 27 that she felt fit her comfortably. Additionally, since many people commute on bikes, she also took clutch lever handling into consideration, noting which clutches had lighter or heavier pulls. Finally, in addition to noting that all these bikes made it easy for her to touch the ground, Dervisevic also specified how much of her feet were touching (toes, ball of foot, complete foot).
It’s a wealth of useful information on recent models for short riders, and if that’s you, you should definitely check out the link in our Sources. Pass it on to the short riders you know, too. The report is in German, but through the magic of Google Translate, the details about each bike are definitely clear enough to help you out.