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Thread: HT for wife

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    HT for wife

    I'm looking for some suggestions on a good HT (preferably frame only) for my wife. She's an accomplished road rider and has a mild interest in easy to somewhat intermediate trails and we also need something for her to ride when we do rail trails with the kids. Our 4y/o will be on the trails in the (near?) future and she'll want to join.

    Her technical skills are pretty beginner, but it's also a confidence issue so I'm thinking something that's a bit more modern and confidence inspiring that the typical cheap xc geometry 29er hardtail. Her only other experience was on a borrowed Superfly six or seven years ago. She enjoyed the smoother stuff, but anything steeper/rocky terrified her.

    Nukeproof scout 29 seemed like the general direction I'm thinking, but I'm open to a course correction or other ideas. Haven't set a budget per se, mostly feeling out what direction to go in.

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    I suggest posting this in the women's forum. You will get solid advice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiotae View Post
    Her technical skills are pretty beginner, but it's also a confidence issue so I'm thinking something that's a bit more modern and confidence inspiring that the typical cheap xc geometry 29er hardtail.
    That's what I thought when my wife was shopping to upgrade from her cheap beginner hardtail (which she hated) to a full suspension. I figured something with a bit slacker HTA than her hardtail (68į) would help her feel more confident. We went to a Liv demo and she really liked the Liv Pique but the geo was a bit dated. I figured once she tries something like a 5010 she'll see how much more confident she is on a slacker trail bike. Nah, we tried a few bikes and she bought the Pique. She loves that thing. Confidence inspiring isn't always what expect it to be. Let her decide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    That's what I thought when my wife was shopping to upgrade from her cheap beginner hardtail (which she hated) to a full suspension. I figured something with a bit slacker HTA than her hardtail (68į) would help her feel more confident. We went to a Liv demo and she really liked the Liv Pique but the geo was a bit dated. I figured once she tries something like a 5010 she'll see how much more confident she is on a slacker trail bike. Nah, we tried a few bikes and she bought the Pique. She loves that thing. Confidence inspiring isn't always what expect it to be. Let her decide.
    Thanks for the input. What she's decided is that she'd like me to figure it based on the criteria she's given me. Can ride it with the kids on gravel paths, won't try to kill her on the occasional rocky section she has to ride to enjoy the other 90% of the trail. No interest in full suspension, high speeds or ever progressing past blue trails.

    Demo is possible for us given location/time.

    So, frame suggestions? A little more research has me looking at a SC Chameleon, Kona Honzo.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiotae View Post
    Nukeproof scout 29
    Quote Originally Posted by kiotae View Post
    SC Chameleon, Kona Honzo.
    All good bikes. You sure she wants or likes 29ers? My wife hates 'em, won't go anywhere near one because they feel too big for her, even when the frame is sized right. My wife also never thought she'd want to ride anything gnarly...she just wanted to ride. I think she half expected mtb to be only slightly more interesting than riding on paved paths and she learned she loved it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    All good bikes. You sure she wants or likes 29ers? My wife hates 'em, won't go anywhere near one because they feel too big for her, even when the frame is sized right. My wife also never thought she'd want to ride anything gnarly...she just wanted to ride. I think she half expected mtb to be only slightly more interesting than riding on paved paths and she learned she loved it.
    It's all she's ridden and liked how easily they rolled over small obstacles. She's also 5'8" so that helps her cause. Considering a lot of use will be gravel roads, pavement and cinder paths, 29 seemed like the logical choice.

    Just asked her again, she's sure on 29. I'm leaning away from the nukeproof now, it might be too slack/aggro.

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    Most women riders aren't nearly as active or likely to stand as often on their bikes as men. You should put her on a very efficient full sus bike imo or she'll find it to be very uncomfortable. Make sure it's efficient. Fast rolling tires, good fit, light, etc...

    The fact that your wife is an accomplished road rider means the minor efficiency gain using a HT is pretty inconsequential.

    As far as the women's forum, well it's for women and they are pretty opinionated over there. Frankly the advice I received from other men working with their wives was valuable, the input from the women over there was often just nasty and lacking in experience and knowhow. There were a few exceptions but they were drowned out by others.

    I managed to introduce and foster a deep passion for mountain biking in my completely nonathletic wife. Make it comfortable, make her feel like she is progressing, never roll your eyes or look annoyed at her performance, and keep the trails pretty tame until she is darn good and ready. My wife trusts me completely and will just follow me wherever I go, knowing I'd never endanger her. The result is that when she rides with other females she is fairly advanced for her 6 months of experience. My wife complains that when riding with females they often don't try the obstacles and they just get off and walk, and then she falls in to that trap of thinking she can't do it as well.

    Now my 6 year old girl is right behind her and she is bike crazy too! Total and complete success. Family bike trips to follow.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Most women riders aren't nearly as active or likely to stand as often on their bikes as men. You should put her on a very efficient full sus bike imo or she'll find it to be very uncomfortable. Make sure it's efficient. Fast rolling tires, good fit, light, etc...

    The fact that your wife is an accomplished road rider means the minor efficiency gain using a HT is pretty inconsequential.

    As far as the women's forum, well it's for women and they are pretty opinionated over there. Frankly the advice I received from other men working with their wives was valuable, the input from the women over there was often just nasty and lacking in experience and knowhow. There were a few exceptions but they were drowned out by others.

    I managed to introduce and foster a deep passion for mountain biking in my completely nonathletic wife. Make it comfortable, make her feel like she is progressing, never roll your eyes or look annoyed at her performance, and keep the trails pretty tame until she is darn good and ready. My wife trusts me completely and will just follow me wherever I go, knowing I'd never endanger her. The result is that when she rides with other females she is fairly advanced for her 6 months of experience. My wife complains that when riding with females they often don't try the obstacles and they just get off and walk, and then she falls in to that trap of thinking she can't do it as well.

    Now my 6 year old girl is right behind her and she is bike crazy too! Total and complete success. Family bike trips to follow.

    Good luck!
    This is good advice.

    But if she's just not interested and absolutely insists on a HT, there are plenty of good options. How tall is she? 27.5 or 29"?

    Take a look at the Transition Throttle (27.5) or Vanquish (29). Definitely not XC racer style geo there. https://www.transitionbikes.com/Bike...leFrameset.cfm

    One bit of advice, since she's an accomplished road rider. Don't cheap out on this one. If you want to get her into riding, take the plunge and get something she'll enjoy and that will encourage her to push when she gets into the rocky sections, won't kill her... and may even make her want to push it a bit, maybe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    This is good advice.

    But if she's just not interested and absolutely insists on a HT, there are plenty of good options. How tall is she? 27.5 or 29"?

    Take a look at the Transition Throttle (27.5) or Vanquish (29). Definitely not XC racer style geo there. https://www.transitionbikes.com/Bike...leFrameset.cfm

    One bit of advice, since she's an accomplished road rider. Don't cheap out on this one. If you want to get her into riding, take the plunge and get something she'll enjoy and that will encourage her to push when she gets into the rocky sections, won't kill her... and may even make her want to push it a bit, maybe.
    She's 5'8". She insists on a HT. Some of that is budget, but its mostly because outside of the couple sections that scared the crap out of her, she had a blast riding a HT. A FS would of done nothing in those cases, but a dropper and non xc geo would have. She feels like a FS bike would be wasted on 95% of her usage, a reasonable take imho.

    We won't cheap out. The plan is to get her a nice enough HT frame and go 1x, either XT or eagle gx and have the rest of the parts be what one would expect on a factory build at that price point except for wheels/fork, which I'll go nicer on.

    If she really gets into it, we'll re-visit the idea of a FS frame. Right now, I want to focus on what she wants to use the bike for, not what I hope she does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiotae View Post
    ...Right now, I want to focus on what she wants to use the bike for, not what I hope she does.
    Wise.
    Do the math.

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    5'8' means she can likely use a 17.5 carbon Stache 'frame only' on sale for 999 with likely a bit more off if you negotiate with a manager and offer cash with 60% no refund down to order.
    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...Code=black_red

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    You might consider a Calibre Bossnut. Its a FS which will benefit her confidence wise and allow her to ride stuff she'd feel sketched about otherwise. Its like 1300$ USD and for 50$ its shipped to the states in 5 days. I bought their DJ bike and its nothing short of awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    5'8' means she can likely use a 17.5 carbon Stache 'frame only' on sale for 999 with likely a bit more off if you negotiate with a manager and offer cash with 60% no refund down to order.
    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...Code=black_red
    I hadn't considered 29+, I'll pitch it to her and see what she thinks.

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    I was going to recommend a Stache as well but I might sound like a broken record. It is a truly amazing bike. If you think that a 29er has good rollover you haven't seen nothing yet. The 3" tires offer incredible cushion and plushness but the XR2s roll very well. The geometry is so dialed in that it is a stable, yet it as nimble as a ballerina. It can turn sharper than Barry Sanders but plow through chunk better Earl Campbell.
    Change begins by doing something different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiotae View Post
    She's 5'8". She insists on a HT. Some of that is budget, but its mostly because outside of the couple sections that scared the crap out of her, she had a blast riding a HT. A FS would of done nothing in those cases, but a dropper and non xc geo would have. She feels like a FS bike would be wasted on 95% of her usage, a reasonable take imho.

    We won't cheap out. The plan is to get her a nice enough HT frame and go 1x, either XT or eagle gx and have the rest of the parts be what one would expect on a factory build at that price point except for wheels/fork, which I'll go nicer on.

    If she really gets into it, we'll re-visit the idea of a FS frame. Right now, I want to focus on what she wants to use the bike for, not what I hope she does.
    5'8", I'd be looking for a 29er for her. Not sure I'd go with a 29+, though. And that's coming from someone who loves his fat bike!

    Get her a frame that will accept WT tires; that is, up to 2.6". Maybe 2.8, though that's getting into + territory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiotae View Post
    I hadn't considered 29+, I'll pitch it to her and see what she thinks.
    It can take 2.6 like Bontrager XR2 Teams on 40mm inner rim wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    5'8", I'd be looking for a 29er for her. Not sure I'd go with a 29+, though. And that's coming from someone who loves his fat bike!

    Get her a frame that will accept WT tires; that is, up to 2.6". Maybe 2.8, though that's getting into + territory.
    For sure, I'm thinking a 2.6 or 2.8 would be great for her on the trails. A 3.0 might get excessive though. She's in good shape, but dragging a 1200g tire around might get old, she's only 110lbs.

    Looks like there are some nice slickish tires that would work well for mixed use.

    How is the bb height on these bikes? The technical part of our terrain is roots/rocks, so pedal strikes will end her fun real quick. I plan on 170 or 165 cranks for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiotae View Post
    For sure, I'm thinking a 2.6 or 2.8 would be great for her on the trails. A 3.0 might get excessive though. She's in good shape, but dragging a 1200g tire around might get old, she's only 110lbs.

    Looks like there are some nice slickish tires that would work well for mixed use.

    How is the bb height on these bikes? The technical part of our terrain is roots/rocks, so pedal strikes will end her fun real quick. I plan on 170 or 165 cranks for sure.
    The 29x3.0 XR2s that come on the Stache weigh only 850 grams. They are extremely durable and long lasting.
    The BB height is 322 mm. I run 165 cranks on mine and love it.
    Change begins by doing something different.

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    I third the Stache. You can run any tire size up to 3.0 and it really does handle the trail well. If you go with aluminum, the larger tires will add some cush. Itís a very versatile bike and tons of fun to ride. The geo is dialed and climbs and descends well.

    Tire wise, the XR2 in 3.o is light enough and very durable. You can also get it in a smaller diameter if thatís what you want.

    If she decides MTB is not for her, the resale is good as well. If she really likes it, she can upgrade to a carbon frame and move parts over.

    Kind of a win - win.

    Good luck to her!!
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    you're lucky enough.

  20. #20
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    My buddy's girlfriend is 5'3" and they're building her a Karate Monkey. I'm building 27.5 wheels for it and they're using 2.8" tires.
    Bike's gonna be cool.
    I like turtles

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    There's a Stache frame on ebay right now in her size that's real tempting.

    I'd thought about a Karate Monkey (I owned one years ago) or a Krampus for her as well, but the price on those is real close to what I can get a Stache for.

  22. #22
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    The Surlys are real nice now with the updated dropouts and thru axles.
    I like turtles

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    I have a set of e13 trs wheels that would let us put some budget toward other aspects if they worked. Is there much consensus how big a tire that can go on an i30 rim? Would be really nice to put them to use.

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    I think you can go pretty easily to 2.6 on the 30id rims.

    I've got the same rims (trs+) with 2.3s and they're pretty good that "narrow", too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    I think you can go pretty easily to 2.6 on the 30id rims.

    I've got the same rims (trs+) with 2.3s and they're pretty good that "narrow", too.
    I am building a wheelset with 30mm rims and this is exactly the tire size range I plan to use for this bike. Look at mfr recommendations for rim width/tire size combos and you will see similar recommendations.

    My wife's older 26er also has 30mm rims and 2.3 tires. The bike is supposed to be pretty light, but there is a little bit of room in there to go bigger if she ever wanted. Not that there would be many options for a 26er these days.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

  26. #26
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    Never going back to an HT but the new Honzo is fn gorgeous.

    Canfield EPO is also I cool bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiotae View Post
    I'd thought about a Karate Monkey (I owned one years ago) or a Krampus for her as well, but the price on those is real close to what I can get a Stache for.
    I absolutely love my Karate Monkey. If I was tall enough to ride a medium, I'd definitely give the Krampus a try, too.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I absolutely love my Karate Monkey. If I was tall enough to ride a medium, I'd definitely give the Krampus a try, too.
    They make a small Krampus.
    I like turtles

  29. #29
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    Well? What did you decide?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiotae View Post
    Hardtail for wife
    I'd say yeah, if you can get the right bike it sound like a good swap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
    Well? What did you decide?
    99% sure we're going with a Stache. She rode one yesterday and really liked it. From Trek's site, the 17.5 and 18.5 are basically the same geometry, just a slightly higher stand over on the 18.5. She was able to stand over a 19.5 fine, so either the 17.5 or 18.5 should work fine for her.

    I'd still consider a Krampus, but a frame up build will cost more than a Stache, with no real advantage. A used, new revision Krampus seems to scarce right now as well.

    Now we just need to find the right one. She digs the blue from '16, but those didn't come with suspension forks or droppers which we'll definitely want at some point. I'm not overly concerned about the drivetrain upgrade between the 5 and 7, since swapping in slx or xt parts at those points isn't expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I'd say yeah, if you can get the right bike it sound like a good swap.
    Ha! Unfortunately the bike is for her.

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