Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups




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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    help with a bike purchase

    hello ladies,
    i'm looking for a bike for my girlfriend. she is not a strong rider, has trouble on flat pavement sometimes but i chalk that up to confidence/experience

    anyway, i am looking for a bike for her. we have a really simple, wooded trail out there that is flat and easy to ride. the trail is really simple, so i want to take her here and hope she finds some joy in these rides that could eventually turn into a passion/addiction

    so what bike size/recommendations can you make for her? she is 5'6 and 1/2 (she insists on that half) and honestly i'm looking for probably the most inexpensive hardtail available, short of a big box bike...if the trails don't work out, we can at least use it for neighborhood riding

    Last edited by sinfony78; 01-22-2013 at 12:39 AM.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: likeaboss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I would rent her a small 29er fully as that will likely be the most forgiving to her limited ability. Less abuse physically too.

    likeaboss's Boss

  3. #3
    Team Chilidog! Moderator
    Reputation: Stripes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    I would recommend you take her with you to the bike and have her decide what she likes.

    While she may not know the difference between SRAM and Shimano drivetrains, you want to make it as easy as possible for her.

    29ers may be too unwieldy or they may be perfect. Being 5'5" and riding 26ers, I don't like them. You also have 650B which may be the perfect tweener wheel size.

    Full suspension is good, but if she's having a hard enough time with flat pavement, you probably don't want to take her on a big travel bike, right?

    The important thing is comfort and fit.

    Make it as simple of a choice for her that she can, like you would do with any new rider: male or female.

  4. #4
    Cycle Psycho
    Reputation: Gritter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    If you want to make her enjoy biking, make it romantic. Hide a picnic basket filled with a blanket and some wine and some flowers, and maybe a ukelele. Take it easy and make her comfort and enjoyment your priority.

    Single Speed, shifting will confuse a novice. Good luck.
    '10 SURLY 1x1 (rigid SS)
    '13 SURLY Ogre (rigid SS)
    '13 SURLY Troll (rigid 2x10)

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MtbRN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    You say she is "not a strong rider, has trouble on flat pavement sometimes". If she is that inexperienced, I would suggest riding with her a little more on pavement before challenging someone with limited biking skills/experience with an off-road trail.Unless the trail is a flat, gravel, multi-use type trail.

    Pushing someone into trail riding too early, when they are almost certainly bound to have trouble, risks having them sour on the whole idea permanently.

    When she is ready to ride on trails, I would suggest a demo or rental of a GOOD bike. One that has decent components, shift easily and is comfortable. Again, lousy equipment is likely to turn a newbie off, unless they are very motivated to learn or very resilient.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    we walked the trail yesterday, she can do it, it is flat for the most part. my friend takes his 4 year old on the same trail...and the main problem on pavement is she is using a larger bike hence the confidence issues. one her size where she can put her feet down would help tremendously

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