My girlfriend wants to buy a used road bike as well. She is pretty small 5'2'' with shorter legs so it has been tricky finding anything that would fit her.
She suggested that we should look at something with a lower top tube. Ie something like this:
(Not sure why but the images don't appear to be working. Here is a link: http://massachusetts.inetgiant.com/Boston/AdDetails/COUGAR-10-speed-women-s-road-bike-NH-MA-border/8075274)
I don't know why but this does not seem like a serious bike to me. We want to do some faster riding but I don't know how to justify why this isn't a "fast bike". (Or is it a fast bike?)
I know some benefits of having a regular top tube are:
- the bike has less flex and will lose less power on each pedal stroke. (Is this significant?)
- The geometry is right for the person riding the bike. If you buy a bike with a lower down tube you are not really solving the problem. With a solution like this you will not be able to get your handle bars at the right height (ie: at the same height or lower than your seat post).
Question: Will a bike with a regular top tube be faster than a bike with a lower slanted top tube? Why?