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  1. #1
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    Better woman's ride- SC superlight 29 or Blur TR

    Hi Ladies,

    Posting the cliche question trying to find the right bike for my 5'6 (31" inseam) intermediate girlfriend. We are definitely going Santa Cruz, and trying to decide which option is more confidence inspiring/fun to ride?

    Superlight 29- 29" for rollover confidence and probably overall speed, but single pivot and less aggressive geometry.

    Blur TR- 26" wheels, bit slower overall, but more nimble, VPP and more aggressive geometry will be confidence inspiring on the descents.

    Standover on both are fine (medium) and weight is .3lb different, can't decide which will be better for her

    Any advice?

    Here are geo charts too in case its helpful:

    TR SL29
    Top Tube 23 23
    Seat Tube 17 17.5
    Seat Tube 72.5 73.5
    Head Tube 4.3 3.9
    Head Tube 68 71
    BB 13.1 13.1
    Wheel Base 43.4 43.6
    Chain stay 16.9 17.5
    Stand over 28.3 27.5

    Reach 15.9 n/a
    Stack 22.6 n/a

  2. #2
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    I can't say I have direct experience with the two models you're considering, but for what it's worth I've owned both the Superlight and the Blur XC in 26". They're both great bikes for an intermediate rider. I really liked the Superlight's ride better, and would love to test ride a 29er version. The Blur XC is definitely a more race-oriented bike and not as much fun on descents or technical terrain, but the TR is more AM oriented and always gets rave reviews.

    I'm 5'7" and the medium SC frames fit me fine. You might need to tweak the fit for her with stem/bars/seatpost/saddle.

    As always, if you can get a demo bike in the right size, a test ride is always better than just buying a bike and hoping it will work. Especially with SC prices, you could make an expensive mistake! Make sure the shop sets her up with proper geometry and go for a real ride on a trail you ride regularly if you can. There's a lot of difference between a 29er and 26er in the way they ride and feel. Some 29er's are very nimble, some 26er's are too twitchy, etc etc. You don't know until you try, and if you don't enjoy how a bike rides you are less likely to go out and ride.

    That being said, why limit yourselves to a Santa Cruz? There are plenty of good bikes out there with lower price tags that ride great. Take some time to try a few others and you might find one you like better. I thought I was going to end up on a Tallboy and then rode a RIP Niner and fell in love. It was like the bike was made for me. I spent a lot less and got a bike that is a blast to ride, and has helped me ride better. Even if it isn't a SC.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  3. #3
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    Hi MTBRN,

    Thanks for the input! I wish we could get out on a demo, but it just isn't going to happen soon and she needs a new ride. She's currently bikeless, or riding one of mine with a shorter stem.

    The bike fit will definitely be set to her, mainly can't decide which is a more confidence inspiring- the 29" wheels or the slacker 26".

    Can I ask how tall you are, and what made you decide to go 29"?

  4. #4
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    I am going to go out on a limb and say the more confidence inspiring slacker angle for the descents. Although it depends - is she a confident descender? Does she crave speed or is she a tad nervous? If she is confident on the descents already then maybe this doesn't matter. I am currently in the market for a new bike but my confidence has improved leaps and bounds with some time on my Rocky Slayer, which has an all mountain geometry. That said, I am struggling on the climbs and want something that will help me in that department now that I am confident on the descents...hopefully this helps. I would pose this question to your girlfriend and see what she says.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnmark View Post
    I wish we could get out on a demo, but it just isn't going to happen soon and she needs a new ride. She's currently bikeless, or riding one of mine with a shorter stem.
    Seriously? You are in CA and there is no shop that can provide a demo on a Santa Cruz? There are at least two shops here in CO that I know just off the top of my head that have SC demos! Maybe you should consider a quick weekend getaway to Colorado
    GBS Demo Fleet | Golden Bike Shop
    & Colorado Cyclist in Colorado Springs

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnmark View Post
    The bike fit will definitely be set to her, mainly can't decide which is a more confidence inspiring- the 29" wheels or the slacker 26".

    Can I ask how tall you are, and what made you decide to go 29"?
    I'm 5'7" and I went to 29" wheels to keep up with my boyfriend (he was an early adopter). It took a while to find a 29er that rode as well as my 26er. I would say my Niner is VERY confidence inspiring- we regularly ride at Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, which is pretty technical. I get off the bike a lot less now. Again, I think the key will be a test ride, if you can manage it. But any bike is an upgrade from no bike at all
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  6. #6
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    It really depends on which bike fits her. I demo'd three bikes yesterday at Santa Cruz mtn bike festival- superlight 29, blur xc 26, and a Niner jet 9 rdo. The superlight fit me the best. Niner geometry just wasn't a good fit for me. I already have a 26" so I wasn't really impressed with the blur because in my head I want a 29". For me, it's the Santa Cruz superlight 29-small-I'm 5'3".. 29er all the way!
    Let her ride a few bikes at a local bike shop, there has to be one near you, and have it fitted to her. She won't like riding for much longer if her bike doesn't fit her.
    Good luck!

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