Looking to buy a Kona mtb for my girlfriend. 5′ 5″ puts her firmly between recommended frame sizes. Small is 14.5″ , medium is 16.5″. Any recommendations from someone of a similar size as to which would be best? She’s new to mountain biking and will be using it for commuting as well as occasional trail riding.
Is there any way you can get to a shop that has these two sizes in stock to test? That would be the best solution.
Even if you find another woman who is the same height and owns the same bike, that’s not to say her legs and arms are the same length as your girlfriend. Everyone is different in terms of what feels comfortable too. That is, some people like a bigger bike, while others feel more comfortable on a smaller one.
Typically if you are “in-between” sizes, you go with the smaller of the two. The smaller bike is easier to toss around. I am 5’9″ and ride a small (I have short legs & longer torso) so the published recommended sizes are not perfect.
However, the absolute best option is for her to test ride both sizes if at all possible.