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  1. #1
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    Bike for wife.... FS 26 or pay-up and go 650?

    Wife is not a big biker but has ridden ms150 with me years ago, has a Ti road bike and an ancient steel frame mtn bike helped her pick out in early 90's. I recently built (for self imposed budget reasons) a 26r Trancex and love it. I got my oldest daughter a Kona 4 used on ebay, and thinking for christmas maybe I'd get wife a new bike.

    Since she's beginner on skills and may not really take to it, maybe go cheap on a <1k FS 26r. but part of me - well i see all the 29s and now 650s at the trail head and stuff, makes me wonder if I should invest in that "old school" 26 at all, even for her.

    I would go HT but we have in our area (Houston / Austin / Dallas) really rooted up trails that are quite rough riding, so I have found my FS bike to be a godsend and not wanting to hear wife complain.

    She's pretty hip in reasonable shape and snowboards and stuff, so I was hoping this would be something we could all do, I don't think I'm being overly optimistic.

    Advice?

  2. #2
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    Personally I'd go with the 27.5 bike if you can find one that fits in your budget. I think looking into the future, you'll see alot more upgrades for this wheel size than you will with 26ers, or even 29ers.

  3. #3
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    Get her a 29er hard tail. best bang for the buck . very capable bikes.


    Airborne Bicycles. Goblin Evolution



  4. #4
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    Go 650b as it will probably be the bike most manufacturers will go with for All Mountain and DH in the future. The wheels are 25% stronger than 29ers if you compare like for like so it will take more punishment or in my case bad riding..lol...

  5. #5
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    Thanks for advice. Holy cow looked at pinkbike and CL and found so many good 26FS bikes it boggled my mind. But like y'all say it is a out-going platform to build upon, long term not a great idea.

    The HT maybe an option but some of the more local trails here even though mostly flat are literally lined with huge roots every 12' or so and a FS sure is sweet for that sort of thing. THis happens to be a short hill section but you get the idea as the rest of the trail is very similar.

    Bike for wife.... FS 26 or pay-up and go 650?-935611_10201143885903589_181692264_n.jpg

    I have an Airborne Ti road bike, love it...but I think it was the prior version of the company that made it, but same value concept. Good idea. Personally I have not ridden either 650b or 29 yet. I may try to get some seat time on a buddy's bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Get her a 29er hard tail. best bang for the buck . very capable bikes.
    He said Full suspension!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by morepower View Post
    Go 650b as it will probably be the bike most manufacturers will go with for All Mountain and DH in the future. The wheels are 25% stronger than 29ers if you compare like for like so it will take more punishment or in my case bad riding..lol...
    Pay attention:
    Woman who is not a big biker
    Beginner skills
    Houston/Austin Texas.

    All Mountain and downhill do not need to be part of this conversation!!!

  8. #8
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    For smaller dudes and most women I think 26ers still make the most sense! (and will never be a bad choice for anyone, as they are proven over many years).

    And even if the industry is moving away from them, 26er tires and tubes and wheels will remain available for years to come.

    If you can get a lot better deal on a 26er, and you aren't even sure how much she will use, then I wouldn't hesitate to grab her that 26er.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    Personally I'd go with the 27.5 bike if you can find one that fits in your budget. I think looking into the future, you'll see alot more upgrades for this wheel size than you will with 26ers, or even 29ers.
    Wheel size specific upgrades? Other than tires, do tell more.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkdaddy View Post
    I would go HT but we have in our area (Houston / Austin / Dallas) really rooted up trails that are quite rough riding, so I have found my FS bike to be a godsend and not wanting to hear wife complain.
    You sound like a smart man.

    I think smilinsteve is on it -- you can probably find some great deals on 26'er FS's right now, especially used.

    How tall is she? My wife is 5'2" and had a hard time finding something she liked when we were looking a few years back (OK...it was actually 2008). Even after trying some "women-specific" geometries like the SC Julie, she settled on a small giant reign. The curved top tube, plus low BB height made her feel a lot more confident with standover and stability. It's light and burley, too -- she rode the spit out of it right up to the point when she blew up her acl at Whistler....

  11. #11
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    BTW, I'm already into 26r world as I built a few years ago a Trance X up from frame starting as a budget build but then the budget went out the window to some extent and ended up spending about $1800 which is chump change compared to many folks here, but it is significant to me. Its sweet bike, love the minute fork and the rear suspension works really well (thanks to researching bike on MTBR)....but having some remorse now over the other wheel sizes. So rather than double down, wondering what to do. Yea, if I could score one for well less than a grand which after viewing ads on various sites, seems doable...maybe that would be OK. I figured the bigger wheels would give her a little easier time pedaling and faster learning curve though... I think she will be reasonably good rider after adjusting to the newer bikes (her old MTB is early 90's with RS Indy fork, canti's, thumbies) if we can get the family out enough. Older daughter 12 yo I just got her a 26 Kona 4 off ebay, and younger has a Marin HT 24"... But yea, Houston is NOT like Colorado or UT or etc etc. Its what we have and can be fun, but not awesome. Austin is pretty close however....thats good!

  12. #12
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    Geephroh - She's 5.7 and about 160...but her weight is fine with me really, you won't catch me saying anything...just bike riding may help with the workout

    She is short on torso all legs but fits on Medium. I sort of got overboard on ebay and bought a 14" Kona 4 " travel bike for daughter but told her "its for you too" but alas its too small. She saw through my ruse. I may have her ride my dad (who's 80!) and recently got a decent older FS bike, its a Cannondale Jekyl XT mostly and needs a shock rebuild but can adsorb bumps. See if she likes it enough to spendy on a 27.

    I used a technique that worked on road bikes which was buying her a nicer bike than mine (ebay!) so she has a Ultrega Ti Airborne road bike just so THAT would not be an excuse. Just that about 4 months ago she was getting back on it and it had been so long she had forgotten how the shifters worked, rode and had fun, but then was going from pavement up on grass for some reason and fell braking her arm....so shes not going to be wild and crazy on these things for a while although shes healed up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkdaddy View Post
    Holy cow looked at pinkbike and CL and found so many good 26FS bikes it boggled my mind.
    you said it, man!! I just helped a buddy pick out his first serious bike. For just under $2k out the door, he got a carbon mojo with i9 wheels, dropper post, almost new suspension, all in killer condition, etc...pretty nuts how nice it is. He doesn't even fully understand what he has, and the rest of us are shocked and drooling!

    Regardless how you feel about the 26 vs 650 vs 29er sizes, a bike with top of the line stuff will ride 100x better than one with low or mid-grade kit no matter what.

  14. #14
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    dk, don't forget to ask in the Women's Forum. Most of the posters in that forum are, you know, women who ride (all size bikes, all types of bikes, all types of riding). They might have some specific model recommendations based on your wife's height, etc.

    I wouldn't worry about wheel size for the future. 26 is here to stay, but production is reduced. Should be plenty of rims and tires for years (decades?) to come.

    And I am not one that has been led (away) to larger wheels. Years ago, I rented a nice Specialized 29er HT. It may have rolled over rocks a little easier. It may have been a little harder to turn. But nothing was that profound for me to change wheel size. But I will rent a 650 just to see what is about.

  15. #15
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    Try and get your hands on closeout 2013 Trek Fuel EX's. They're fantastic bikes and at prices you can't really argue with if you can find them right now. Maybe even consider the Lush's if they're there.
    Trek Fuel EX 9 (2012)
    Trek Superfly AL Elite (2013)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Pay attention:
    Woman who is not a big biker
    Beginner skills
    Houston/Austin Texas.

    All Mountain and downhill do not need to be part of this conversation!!!
    I was paying attention.... Hence the reference to bad riding... beginners can put more pressure on the bike and wheels than an experienced rider due to lack of technique. Irony of things like this are the same in racing... Novices and club racers have cheaper brakes yet use them more.... as faster riders scrub off less speed and carry more speed... Technique... As it was posted up in the all mountain section I would guess she would be going out with her husband and will be riding the same routes at some point... As he rides all mountain I would guess she will too when she gets better.. 29ers also tend to suit taller riders so I assume a 29er would be a little big. 26 inch wheels would be stronger than 650b by about 20% but as you say she is a beginner and DH will not be where she rides and I still say a 650b is the best option as it will be the future next to 29ers probably but sadly 26 inch will be history and as I said they will transfere over into all mountain and DH with no reason to keep producing new 26 inch wheeled bikes in the near future...

    I ride a 26 and love it but I know if I upgrade bikes in a year or so I will have to go 650b.

  17. #17
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    By the time 26 inch tires and wheels start getting scarce, she will have either upgraded the bike or quit altogether. It really isn't anything to worry about. Stick with 26 and save some money.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirkdaddy View Post
    I may have her ride my dad (who's 80!)
    Good for him! I'd find it a little awkward, but to each his own.

    But seriously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a full sus 26er. If you can find a good used bike for a reasonable price and she likes it then who cares about the wheelsize. In fact, you may be able to fit 650b in there anyway, check out the list of compatible 26ers. Wheel envy is just another thing to be jealous about and it's your jealousy not hers as far as we know. Also, rims and tires should be available for a while as well. I don't think, like some believe, that the 26 would or could simply disappear.

    Eurospek, I think HurricaneJeff is probably talking about geometry and increased stay and a-c lengths to accomodate the larger wheel with longer travel. It took a few years for 29er geo to get figured out. I would say that it will take less time since the industry has all the data from the 26 and 29 wheel sizes to be able to dial in the geo on paper or on the computer. Riding it will solve any of the other potential issues.

    Oh yeah, he did post in the All Mountain forum, so I think including all mountain rides should be included.
    No fuss with the MUSS

  19. #19
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    26er simply for the sake of having compatibility accross bikes. If one person's bike is down, you can simply swap parts over to keep it going.

  20. #20
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    i'm with Thor29 and justin_amador...

  21. #21
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    Guys appreciate input.

    I found a good deal on a decent spec new Marin Rift Zone 29r FS that looks like it would fill the bill, and has a bit of a dipped top tube that would be handy for her adapting to new height of FS bike and all that. She is used to riding mens btw.

    I meant to say riding my dad's BIKE LOL. I know 27r are coming on strong, but looking for deal and folks are so over the moon about how easily they roll, etc figure that would give her a bit of a leg up to make her riding more enjoyable (easier) and smooth with the 100mm travel. Like the through axles and 6-7" mix of brakes on the xc6. Not a bling bike but looks pretty good. I have and love my trance, but this is pretty affordable less than $1500 new.

    Still looking. Gotta love "bike budget creep" as you keep going up...sort of like when I bought a car...

  22. #22
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    I usually don't make mom and pop jokes, but I couldn't resist, sorry.
    If you're not sure, keep looking 'cause now is the time for deals, especially on the 26er stuff. There's no reason to settle, and as I mentioned, try to include your wife in the search. This is an activity you can do together and including her in the search should hopefully increase her interest level.
    No fuss with the MUSS

  23. #23
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    No worries DBHammer, my buddy's minds are in the gutter most of the time anyway.

    You are probably right about the deals and involving her. She did give me thumbs up recently to getting her a new bike. So I have been looking pretty seriously.

  24. #24
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    Stop buying bikes with wheel sizes other than 26". Manufacturers might actually get the idea that we like those sizes and stop making 26".

  25. #25
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    Well that Ebay deal on the Marin Rift Zone 29r done got to me. $1250 delivered new for the XC6 which has decent suspension bits and X7 sram. I had seen used bikes asking price for as much as it was. I measured her old bike effective top tube to the Marin's and it was very close, figure if we can't get her to dig it, I can sell the dang thing for as much as I have into it. The new 4 link looks like the real deal and even has enduro bearings stock with lifetime guarantee. See how she likes it....

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