Is my bike too big and whose fault is it?
August 28, 2011 8:06 AM Subscribe
I just bought a bike yesterday and although I thought it fit okay at the store and riding it around a half-block, after I rode it home for two miles, I found it a bit uncomfortable. So I'm trying to figure out if the bike is indeed too big for me, and what I can do about it since the store's policy is that all bike sales are final.
posted by quirks to sports, hobbies, & recreation (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
After riding my new bike home yesterday, I suspected it might have been the wrong size for me but didn't have time to read up on it until this morning, and now I'm worried that I've made a $300+ mistake.
I'm a 24 year old woman and hadn't ridden a bike since I was 10. I went to a bike store yesterday, after failing to find something I liked on craigslist for a few weeks, and bought a steel women's Raleigh Venture (I think the color is Dark Purple? Assuming it's a 2010 or 2011 model but not sure which) in a 19" frame.
I gave the sales person my price range (<$400), and tried to make it very clear that I knew nothing about bikes and also that I was looking for something small and light. This Raleigh Venture was the most comfortable of the ones I tried. I really liked that it had a step through frame, and in general it just seemed a lot more comfortable than the others. I still felt like it was a bit tall and heavy and I tried to ask about frame size because I'd read that I needed a 16" frame, but he said that the numbers didn't matter and it was more how it fit, and from the short trial ride I was able to give it before buying it, it seemed fine and he thought it looked fine on me.
I also asked if they had anything similar in an aluminum frame and he offered a different model and brand, and I'd tried one of the brand and didn't like it as much so I wasn't interested. But looking at their website, I found that the bike I bought exists in an aluminum version; they just didn't have it stocked in store at the time.
He also at no point told me that all bike sales are final.
So on the one hand, I understand that it's my fault. I thought the bike felt good. I bought it. And then it wasn't until I was riding it home that I realized that I was sitting too far forward on the seat and putting pressure on my crotch instead of on my backside. When I tried to sit further back I felt like my arms were a little too extended. Could this just be a matter of technique? It's been years since I've ridden a bike so that's a valid concern.
On the other hand, based on what I've read online, it's a bit weird to even suggest a 19inch frame for a 5'3" woman. I also wish I'd known about the aluminum option, because I really wanted a bike that I can carry up stairs a bit more reasonably. I can manage with this one, but I would have been happier with a lighter bike.
Do I have any ground to stand on in terms of trying to return the bike, even though sales are final? Should I just forget about that and try to sell my bike on craigslist and then buy a 16" aluminum bike instead? Is a 19" frame really that ridiculous for someone my height?