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  1. #1
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    Bike suggestions for my Wife

    My wife surprised the $%## out of me the other day and said she wanted to try riding with me at Northstar (ski/bike resort) next season as well as ride some trails. I would like to get her one bike that could handle these types of riding. I dont think she would be riding any black diamond trails so i thought an all mountain bike might work but would like some feedback from my MTBR friends. Looking at spending $2000 and liked the Giant Reign 2 or the Trance. Not really into brands so anything is possible. PS she is 5"4" and is about 135lbs. Thanks all!

  2. #2
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    Reign 2 would be just fine - just do not forget to swap the big ring to BBG, or turbocharger..

  3. #3
    usually cranky
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    id try and rent her some bikes to see if she is into it before throwing down $2000. cuz if she gives it up then you have a xs $2000 bike to sell and that wont be the easiest task.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    id try and rent her some bikes to see if she is into it before throwing down $2000. cuz if she gives it up then you have a xs $2000 bike to sell and that wont be the easiest task.
    Yeah, she and I both feel that way about it. She wants to wait until this summer to see if she is into it or not but i wanted to get some ideas as to what would be good for her so that i may start to get her on different bikes to see what she likes. We most likely will be getting her a bike after she gets a feel for trail riding but wanted the bike we buy to make a decent transition to some DH runs at N* as well. She says that she doesn't care what bike she gets but obviously i want her to get a nice one as we all know it makes a difference. Will probably be looking used since we should be able to snag a nice bike in smaller sizes. Will geometry be much of a problem on non women specific rigs? Thanks!

  5. #5
    usually cranky
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    oh i see, yeah that makes perfect sense. i dont think there is any womens specific bikes for the kind of use you are looking for. id look for a xs reign or something similar. at her size she doesnt need anything over 160mm for even the gnarliest terrain.

  6. #6
    think
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    My wife is the same size as yours (ok, she's 5 foot 4 1/2 inches....can't forget the 1/2" that's important) and she got out and rode some lift access for the first time this year. A few things I can tell you from watching her learn how to mountain bike first hand...

    Find a bike that SHE is comfortable with. What you think is irrelevent. My wife sold (and nearly threw into the woods in disgust) a 25 pound full suspension xc bike, marched down to the LBS and got herself a single speed rigid 29er and rode it for a full season. Everyone told her she was crazy...she had a blast and improved tremendously as a rider that season.

    Women specific design isn't always important. Body proportion and the geometry of the individual frame will dictate what size she rides.

    Consider 29 inch wheels, even for a bike that is going to see some lift access. My wife rides her Niner RIP9 when she rides in the bike park. It's 27 pounds and will stand up to anything she can do to it. She and most of the women who ride it absolutely love the thing. It's stable, confident feeling, and not too steep angled (especially with the new 140mm forks that are out). Lots of stability and big contact patch is very reassuring. It will pretty much drive over a Trance or equivalent.

    Make sure she has comfortable gear.

    Keep the bike light. (Most) women have less brute strength to yank the bike around with and make less raw torque. They also have less body weight to throw so stuff like manuals, etc, requires big commitment. The flip side of this is they don't tend to hit things as hard and as I said have less body weight, so parts that would be practically XC parts on a guy's bike are pretty much full on DH use parts on a woman's bike.

    Whatever she settles on, make sure it has good brakes and that all the controls are adjusted correctly. Short fingers, etc.

    Flat pedals. My wife is perfectly capable of using clipless. She ran it on her mountain bikes for a few years and still uses it on her road bike. One day she just declared she was done using it on the trail, got herself a nice (that's important, spend the money on GOOD pedals and shoes) set of flats and that was that. It has only helped her riding. You'd be amazed how many women I see who aren't clipped in all the time for xc riding because they're nervous about clipless, but they still run it because "everyone" says they should. If you're not clipped in they are 100x worse than just running flats and good shoes....not only do you not have the benefit of actually being attached but you're trying to perch a plastic shoe on a metal lollipop.

    Or just do up a 30 pound Banshee Rune like Err did stick her on top of it and kick her down the mountain.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad news
    Women specific design isn't always important. Body proportion and the geometry of the individual frame will dictate what size she rides.
    Pretty much all of that can be achieved by setting up stem, bars, seatpost - usually with less setback, shorter cranks etc.

    The most important part from what I have noticed - proper female specific saddle. Not sure how it realtes to DH applciations though - with all the getting behind stuff.

    Agree on flat pedals (just with proper shinguards includeed) - disagree on 29r. Its big. No way around it. For stability - slacker HA does the trick.

  8. #8
    think
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Agree on flat pedals (just with proper shinguards includeed) - disagree on 29r. Its big. No way around it. For stability - slacker HA does the trick.
    Slacker head angle makes a bike more stable, but it's a different type of stable.

    I don't own and don't really intend to own a 29er. I have ridden plenty of them and for me they are not ideal. However, my wife is only one of a number of female riders I have seen who have been won over by them and really like them. Some of the new all mountain styled bikes are worth considering.

    I want to point out, I only said that with the assumption that she needed a bike she was going to trail ride a lot, and ride lift access or shuttle a little. If that is the case, you bias towards the trail riding. If she is looking for something to ride lift access a lot and trial ride a little or not at all you'd obviously have to go the other direction, perhaps a mini-dh type rig built up with the goal of light weight.

  9. #9
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    Agreed that a Reign, if it fits her, would be a great bike. I'm 220, 6'3" and I work the crap out of my bike, and it's in pristine condition. Amazing bike for the money. Hopefully it works for her, because there aren't many bikes at that performance level for that price
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  10. #10
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    For used take a look at the Cannondale Prophet, they go cheap on Ebay and with there adjustable head tube angle makes them a great one bike option.

    Mine did double duty for a full season at the bike parks when I was getting into that type of ridding before I bought a big travel bike.

    My girl friend loves hers for everyday use, and the combo of the 160mm fork, FR setting, and some fatter tires make it a sweet little bike for park ridding (low and slack).

    We looked at getting her a bigger bike for the parks but everything with the geo she wanted was 10+ pounds heavier and at 120lbs was a pain for her to toss around.

    Sorry have to show pictures of her whenever possible



    Quote Originally Posted by meSSican
    Yeah, she and I both feel that way about it. She wants to wait until this summer to see if she is into it or not but i wanted to get some ideas as to what would be good for her so that i may start to get her on different bikes to see what she likes. We most likely will be getting her a bike after she gets a feel for trail riding but wanted the bike we buy to make a decent transition to some DH runs at N* as well. She says that she doesn't care what bike she gets but obviously i want her to get a nice one as we all know it makes a difference. Will probably be looking used since we should be able to snag a nice bike in smaller sizes. Will geometry be much of a problem on non women specific rigs? Thanks!

  11. #11
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    That Prophet is a sick looking bike for sure! I think it may be more than my wife is ready for just yet. I am taking her on her first ride this weekend and going to rent a Specialized Stumpjumper or similar bike to start things off. Bummer is that there are limited rental models available since most of the shops around here rent only one or two different models. It will be a start to the search and mainly for her to get a feel for a suspended bike.

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