By Brett Aronowitz07/21/2011
Until now, I’ve spent a painstaking amount of energy presenting the facts while remaining as neutral as possible about the bicycle choices available to petite women.
But now it’s time for me to come forward with my endorsement of Rodriguez bicycles.
Because Rodriguez offers a “near stock bike,” which, in addition to fitting you better with four different sizes for those 5’2” and under, more closely approximates the cost of other options which may or may not be available in your local bike shop (as compared to a fully custom bicycle from other builders).
By “near stock” I mean Rodriguez will build a bike to your specifications…from components to color and deliver it to you in roughly a month.
It’s not going to satisfy impulsive buyers, or those waiting until the last minute to purchase a new bike for some special event. Perhaps this is a good thing. You actually get to think about which color you want. You get to consider if you want a bike made with S3 steel, giving you a lighter, stiffer, faster bike, or if you’d prefer a cushier ride, maybe even one with couplers that disassembles into a 26 x 26 suitcase for air and train travel (without incurring those prohibitive bike box fees).
Think about it. If you have long legs and a short torso like me, your bike would naturally look different than if you had short legs and a long torso. That’s the thinking behind Rodriguez Bicycle’s sizing. And, if for some reason, one of their near-stock frames doesn’t fit, they will gladly customize it for you for a small fee.
If you are just hearing about Rodriguez Bicycles for the first time, it’s because they choose not to spend big bucks advertising in glossy magazines. They are a small group of people deeply committed to building, fitting and servicing bicycles in the Seattle University district. They rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals. Here’s a link to their most recent newsletter. You’ll fall in love with them just like I did.
Two years ago, I made the trip from Los Angeles to Seattle for a fitting because I wanted to experience their one-of-a-kind fit bike. It allows the rider to remain seated while the various adjustments are made. Your brain doesn’t have to keep track of all the tiny adjustments and remember which felt good and which didn’t. They literally dial you in with this fit bike. It was a pretty amazing experience for me.
And because the folks at R+E Cycles, (the name of the shop that manufactures Rodriguez bikes) believes in the work I’m doing with Petitebikefit.com, they have given me a loaner bicycle in their smallest size so that petite women in the Los Angeles area will have the opportunity to test ride this bicycle without any pressure to buy. Rodriguez, like Petitebikefit.com believes every woman deserves a bike that fits. Send me an email. Let’s go for a ride.
By Brett Aronowitz08/17/2010
Check out this excerpt from the feature documentary, Victorian Cycles-Wheels of Change, produced and directed by Jim Kellett.
By Brett Aronowitz08/10/2010
With use, the various parts of your bicycle will begin to wear out. As this occurs, you have two options: The first is to replace the part with one of a similar quality, the second is to upgrade.
You will see the Road Snob icon on reviews of the finer option. Like the Thomson seat posts, stems and collars, or the Specialized S-Works shoes, items marked with the Road Snob Icon will reflect a certain quality, cost more — and often come in a fabric bag.