1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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Thread: Bike for my GF

  1. #1
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    Bike for my GF

    Hey all

    I am trying to find a bike for my Girl Friend. We are both trying to get into the sport and we are both buying new bikes so the less I spend on hers the more I spend on mine. With that said I want to get her something that won't be a piece of crap and discourage her from riding. She really doesn’t care about much other than she stated she wants disk brakes and she’s picky about colors. She really liked the Windsor 4700 and we even had a guy in the LBS recommend that to us since he had nothing that suited her needs there. I have been looking at a few options, but what would you guys recommend that would be similar to the 4700 for a girl about 5'3 and 120lbs?

    Here are 2 options I was looking at

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/hay1500.htm

    and she suggested this one to me

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-ALUMINUM-MOU...item1e5b3d898d

    keep in mind I don't think she will ever get to extreme with this bike mainly easy trails and definitely no jumping (that I can see).


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Specialized Myka Comp


    try looking at more bikes like that the have geometry designed for women
    His
    2010 FSR XC
    2010 ALLEZ
    Hers
    2012 Myka 29'r
    2009 Cannondale Synapse 5
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  3. #3
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    What about a Scott Contessa?

    They have them at REI and are usually a good deal on closeout; Clicky here

  4. #4
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    I don't have any suggestions on bikes really. The best thing would be for her to ride some and see what feels good to her.

    I will however add that just yesterday I had my wife's bike in the shop where my riding buddy is the Service Manager. He said it's so nice to see a girl riding a nice bike. What he meant is that so many times the guy will spend a large chunk of change on his bike then when his girl wants to ride they get her a cheapie. Probably most think well I'll get a cheap bike and if she likes it we can upgrade. But we all know that she probably won't like riding a cheap bike.

    FWIW, I bet she's like rockin a Santa Cruz Juliana...
    Brandon
    09 Santa Cruz Superlight
    00 Diamondback XR-4
    99 Specialized S-Works

  5. #5
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    I would stay away from that bike on ebay. It's not that ebay is a bad place to buy a bike, because if you know what you're looking for you can find some incredible deals...but I don't like the fact that they advertise it as "List price is $795" which is BS. The components on that bike is what you would typically see on a bike that is around $300 at most.

    Also, these unknown brands tend to have heavy frames which will affect your GF's ride. She will definitely find the weight to be difficult to handle and may cause her to quit the sport.

    Perhaps components aren't important for your GF right now, but what you want to do for her is to get her a bike that is light so that she will have an easier time riding.

    Definitely +1 on the Myka and Contessa. They are great bikes and for twice the money of that ebay bike, they are 100 times better.

    Make sure to buy her a WSD (Women Specific Desgin) bikes for the most comfort. Women tend to have longer legs in relevance to their body compared to men so they will definitely benefit from a WSD bike.

    If your LBS really don't have a bike she wants and you want to do your shopping online, make sure you know what size range she needs.

    How tall is she and what size bike does she need?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggoofy1
    Specialized Myka Comp


    try looking at more bikes like that the have geometry designed for women
    x2 on the Specialized.

    Also, Giant has a nice "For Women" lineup.

    Giant For Women

    I too would also suggest getting her the nicest bike that you can afford regardless of the impact it has on what bike that you will buy for yourself. Having your GF sharing your interest in MTB and continuing to do so because she wasn't discouraged by a lower quality bike is priceless in my opinion.

    I sure wish my GF would express interest in hittin' the trails.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the input guys. Yea I mean I am trying ot go cheap but like you all said it would be more worth it for me to get a bike she feels comfortable with and likes to ride then some crappy bike the rides once, hates, and never rides again. I'm definitly fortunate that she wants to hit the trails with me and my goal is to encourage that. With that said I really need to stay in the $400 range. Because as the wise Beyonce says "If you like it then you should of put a ring on it". Well I do like it and have been saving for that ring for a while. I wish that I could say shed rather have me put that money into a awesome bike, but I know that ring is important as well.

    Okay sorry for the unessacary details of my life. On the topic of WSB, we were tring out the REI Novara Bonita Bikes and we liked those but didn't want ot spend 600. We then went to our LBS whicch I chose because it had great customer reviews. The guy there told me that with other bikes they make a difference but with MT Bikes its not a big deal. He got her on a Trek 4300 . She liked it but there was something wrong and we couldn't order the right one. He said for the money he didnt really have anything great for and he'd much rather have her get a less exspensive bike online or at REI but come to him in the future. This is what started my online search.

    I really like those Giant bikes I found the Rincon W for 450. Any other suggestions. I was really hoping to find an 09 on sale but I'm not having luck. Women Specific Bikes are so hard to come by! Are you guys postivie they will be much better for her than jsut a standard fram bike?

    Thanks and sorry for all the stupid questions. I'm sure there are a few of you who will pound your heads against an adjacent wall after reading.

    Matt

  8. #8
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    Forgot to answer the size question. When we went to the local bike shop they mesaured her and she fit well on a trek 4300 that was a 15". She is 5'3" and I think she has a 26" inseem.

  9. #9
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    I'd do a search for some other bike shops...

    I got my GF the Specialized Myka Sport and she LOVES it. I picked up an '09 cause she loved the pink butterflies.

    Like any other advice though... Pick out a bike that is comfortable for her, and fits her geometry. Test ride it before buying!

  10. #10
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    No specific bike advice, just some general stuff.

    Make sure she LOVES her bike - not just likes it or tolerates it. Make sure she isn't "settling" for a bike because it's in the right price range. If she doesn't have happy feelings about the bike to start it's pretty much a lost cause.

    And the lighter you can make it, the more fun she'll have riding.

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  15. #15
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    I'll add that my wife rides a 97 Diamondback Zetec 2.1. It's a small frame and not woman specific. It's almost completely XTR. Now that we have kids she rides it less but I still keep it tuned up for her so it always works perfectly when we go for a ride.

    My point is she used to hang with us guys when she rode a lot and being on a non-woman specific frame didn't slow her down. So unless she really wants one because it is woman speciifc I wouldn't let that disuede you from testing smaller frame non-gender specific bikes that might be able to be purchased for less $.
    Brandon
    09 Santa Cruz Superlight
    00 Diamondback XR-4
    99 Specialized S-Works

  16. #16
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    We can get the Novara Bonita at REI for 20% off making it about 480.
    http://www.rei.com/product/788087

    To me that seems like a better deal then any of the links posted so far.

    Other than that I still am tempted to get her one of bikesdirect. It seems like they are a much better deal for the money and my roomate is an excellent bike mechanic (former pro rider in austrailia) so I;m not wored about the issue of putting it together and tunning it.

  17. #17
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    Unfortunately, I know nothing about Novara and bikesdirect bikes.

    I do know that Scott bikes are highly reputed and they are also somehow related to Cannondale...I think I heard somewhere that the Son of Cannondale owner started Scott, or something like that (correct me if I'm wrong).

    At this price range, everything you buy will be from China or Taiwan, which isn't a bad thing because they are the world's biggest manufacturers of bicycles and the stuff they send over here are usually way above minimal standards...but even with that, I believe that Scott bikes uses frames that are way ahead in technology than some of the cheaper brands (thus the higher prices).

    The differences maybe in the frame's strength or stiffness or geometry or material quality.

    Anyways...like I said, I don't know anything about Novara or bikesdirect so I can't really recommend them.

    But I will highly recommend Scott bikes.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by motomatt77
    We can get the Novara Bonita at REI for 20% off making it about 480.
    http://www.rei.com/product/788087

    To me that seems like a better deal then any of the links posted so far.

    Other than that I still am tempted to get her one of bikesdirect. It seems like they are a much better deal for the money and my roomate is an excellent bike mechanic (former pro rider in austrailia) so I;m not wored about the issue of putting it together and tunning it.
    My wife has a Bonita. We bought it back before I was in to mountain biking and had any sort of clue about it.

    The bike is a tank. The fork is HEAVY. It's like they made it out of lead. It's also squishy and it sucks. The brakes are fine for her use, which is very, very infrequent mountain biking. The wheels were extremely heavy as was the cassette, etc, etc.

    Also, I owned another Novara bike for a bit. It was my first mountain bike as I got in to the sport - it was the Ponderosa hard tail. It was OK. The XT rear derailleur and BB5 brakes were its best parts. It was also heavy though.

    Oh and pics of your gf?
    :wq

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