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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Smile Entry level bike advice for a 50 year old female

    I'm asking this on behalf of my aunt.

    I think she has a budget of up to 700USD, but from what I can tell, it would be mostly be on the pavement/parks for leisure riding. I thought of hybrid bikes, but she doesn't like thin tires (psychological?). An entry level MTB with slicks would more than suffice.

    My thoughts:
    • She's about 5 foot tall, so I guess the frame should be around 14 or 15", and maybe women's specific design for lower standover.
    • However, I'm clueless as to which brands are most bang for buck at the entry level, and the needs of an older rider.
    • Also, I have a feeling that the bike may end up in storage after the novelty wears off, so I would like to spend as little as possible. After all, a decent entry level bike will last ages for leisure riding.


    Thank you for reading
    New rider, MTBing is fun!

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Just go to some shops in your area carrying mountain bikes and cruisers with her, have her ride a lot of bikes, and then she should buy her favorite.

    Fuji and Giant may have slightly better bang for the buck, but not enough to be better than getting a little off on a different brand.

    Honestly, even one of the much-maligned department store bikes might cover it if she's only riding pavement in parks. Just make sure to buy one with real brakes (forged arms, not stamped sheet metal) and go over the assembly yourself to make sure it's assembled right. My roommate has a Schwinn something-or-other that cost $150 and has a one-piece crank and the gigantic bottom bracket that goes with it - these are basically disposable bikes, but if it's destined to be garage art most of the time anyway, and won't ever be ridden in the rain, it's enough.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
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    If it's going to be on paved there's no need for MTB, you can get Electra or some Giant crusier. My wife saw one and we went to check it out they are cool, fat tires an all. I wanted to get the Ellsworth the ride but she want's the blue electra, we are still negociating. They not expensive around $300-450, and you can put racks and basket. There's no worries about stand over she can be flat footed and extend her leg all the way while pedaling.

  4. #4
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    Not sure of the other marques, but I am aware that Specialized do women's specific 29ers (lower stand over height, less distance between seat and bars, etc). In New Zealand it is the Myka. There are a range, starting from very entry level to others with minor improvements (mainly brakes and forks). Might be worth a look.

    Reason for 29er being closer to hybrid, but with the bigger volume tyres.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    If it's going to be on paved there's no need for MTB, you can get Electra or some Giant crusier. My wife saw one and we went to check it out they are cool, fat tires an all. I wanted to get the Ellsworth the ride but she want's the blue electra, we are still negociating. They not expensive around $300-450, and you can put racks and basket. There's no worries about stand over she can be flat footed and extend her leg all the way while pedaling.
    Agree with this advice... never understood why people want mtn bikes for riding around on paved streets and bike paths. So many other better bikes out there for that purpose, much more comfortable.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colo Springs E View Post
    Agree with this advice... never understood why people want mtn bikes for riding around on paved streets and bike paths. So many other better bikes out there for that purpose, much more comfortable.
    I started this thread after getting a call from my cousin telling me they were at a bike shop and his mum was eying a ~$700 bike, and I was like . Hopefully I can convince her to get a "city bike" instead. But who knows, maybe she wants me to bring her mountain biking?
    New rider, MTBing is fun!

  7. #7
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    +1

    I just started mtb and so far I've only been on paved and gravel only because I can't really go to any decent trail after work. I will probably wake up early this coming weekend before wife and kids ti hit the real trail. Basically, that's the only reason I'm on paved and gravel.

    If I'm only going to be on paved road, I would just get any bike that looks ok and cheap. Maybe even folding bike since they are easy to put in your car/suv/van/whatever. Also, I would think that fat off road mtb tire only going to be slower, more to keeps speed etc on paved road.

  8. #8
    psycho cyclo addict
    Reputation: edubfromktown's Avatar
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    GT has some nice ladies 26" MTB's that would be more like $500-600... Sounds as though a small might be the way to go (though possibly XS, depending on her inseam). Here's a link to one that is on sale...

    2011 GT Avalanche 2.0 Disc GTw Ladies Mountain Bike -- U.S. Exclusive - Women's Mountain Bikes

    My GF rides one and is quite happy with it.

  9. #9
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    I got my wife the GT Traffic 3.0. Rigid 700c/29er flat bar, available in a women's frame. She loves it.

  10. #10
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    Go to a good bike shop and be fitted for a bike that fits her. There are many different bike styles, sizes, etc. You will have to find what fits her.

  11. #11
    Probably drunk right now
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    Lot's of good advice

    There's quite a lot of good advice in the previous posts. I'd also suggest asking this question in the Women's Forum.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC View Post
    There's quite a lot of good advice in the previous posts. I'd also suggest asking this question in the Women's Forum.
    It's okay, she just got herself an entry level trek for a few hundred bucks.
    New rider, MTBing is fun!

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