Bicycling Magazine December-January 1997

Bike Shorts

Photo by Anthony Alsberg

The Rodriguez Stellar

Made By Women, For Women

Lucky for the petite cyclist, manufacturers are starting to concentrate on smaller bikes. For those of us who are, er, vertically challenged, it seems something is always getting stretched or pulled a little too much, making the ride an uncomfortable one. For me, the solution is the Rodriguez Stellar, designed by Estelle Gray at R&E Cycles in Seattle. The Stellar is stellar! This handbuilt bike is a delight to ride. With two 26-inch handbuilt wheels, It feels super athletic. (The seat tube measures a full 19 inches, but the bike seems much smaller because of the wheels. Accelerating through corners is easy-fast but safe. The wheels also lower the center of gravity, improving control. The 20.1 -inch sloping top tube improves standover clearance. I also liked the easy-to-reach controls, including bar-end shifters and short-reach Dia-Compe Compact brake levers. In fact, nearly everything is tailored to fit a woman, right down to the narrow handlebar and short, 165-mm crankarms. The triple crank provided a low gear, encouraging me to attack any hill that came my way, rather than practice avoidance. All this-and a reasonable weight of 22.90 pounds-makes the Stellar a special little package. Available in an attractive midnight sky color with white logo for $1,000.

R&E Cycles, 5627 University Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98105; 206/527-4822. -Laurie Halee