Bike for Girlfriend..Help Please!!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bike for Girlfriend..Help Please!!

    So for Christmas im looking to buy a XC MB for my girlfriend. She used to ride with me when I first started but as my skills progressed she couldnt ride with me anymore as the bike she has cant even smell single track wether alone ride it.

    She is pretty athletic and not at all afraid to take chances so im pretty confident that with an ok MB that can handle single track, she will go on rides with me (though at a modified pace of course).

    Not to be an ass but im probably going to blow most of my disposable income on me and either upgrading my current bike or buying a new one, so that doesnt leave much for her. Id say about $500.

    She is 5'10 1/2 and id say about 150#. So tall with long legs and arms. In no way fat but built like a good Polish woman should be.

    Im not even sure she really has to have a womans bike, does it really make a difference?

    Any suggestions for a bike in that price range that will at least allow her to come with me on some ST trails.

    Thanks!
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  2. #2
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    my wife rides a 2011 Trek 4series. we picked it up from a LBS. It was a rental bike, but the thing looked brand new. it was about $350, then another $100 for a nice helmet and a few accesories.

  3. #3
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    I went with a GT Avalanche 2.0 women's specific bike for my wife. After installing a slightly different stem on it, it fits her well. I took her mountain biking a few weeks ago. I told her to simply walk the stuff she didn't feel comfortable with but we did session some portions and I showed her how to get her butt out over her rear wheel etc. She actually did really well! (she's 48 by the way and not real fearless in general) She did have her first fall but it was nothing serious. Good luck to you.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    You wouldn't ride a $500 POS, and you addressed that by buying a used bike.

    Do the same here. Supplement it with something inexpensive and pretty if she needs pretty. Cycling related, maybe a brass bell, or some cute socks. (My GF loves her Bad Kitty socks. The cycling project hasn't gone so well, but she wears the socks a lot. )



    Ultimately, there's a limit to how much you can do unless you decide that she's worth compromising your gear budget or she decides it'll make a real difference to her enjoyment if she contributes more.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
    Chubby Chaser
    Reputation: Will Goes Boing's Avatar
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    The advantage that she has is that she's tall, so she has a lot more choices when it comes to bikes not having to be confined to buy women's.

    The one thing you do have to consider is whether she will stick to the sport, or will she stop riding after a short while.

    I see a lot of women (even men) with $2000+ full suspension bikes that are all decked out and you can tell they're new riders. They go for a ride or two and decide they don't like it, now they're stuck with it or have to sell it for a huge loss.

    If you have an REI near you I would try looking there. They have cannondales for around the $500-600 range and lifetime returns. So if she decides she doesn't want to do it you can always return it.

  6. #6
    Beer Me!
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    My advice would be the following:

    1. Get a Hardtail, with your price range a FS would be a waste of $$. A 29er might not be a bad consideration.

    2. Womans specific frames tend to have geometry that lend to longer legs and a shorter torso. As a result every brand name has a different formula for WS (womans specific) so its hit or miss. My wife has a more standard leg to torso ratio, and rides on standard (non WS) frames just fine. With your wifes height and weight, she might be fine on a standard bike. See if you can get an inseam measurement, and consult the forums or your LBS.

    3. Focus on some of the extras. Getting a lady into the sport requires a good couple first experiences. So spend the extra cash on some riding shorts with a chamois, gloves, and a nice helmet, or socks (as previously mentioned). The bike is only part of the total equation to the fun, so focus on trails that are challenging, but not way over her experience level.

  7. #7
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    I've just got a trek Skye SL 16" for my girlfriend and she really loved it. She is 5'5" so it makes a big difference.
    The hydraulic brakes helped on the long descents. You can get the standard one for about $500.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattongb View Post
    She is 5'10 1/2 and id say about 150#. So tall with long legs and arms. In no way fat but built like a good Polish woman should be.

    Im not even sure she really has to have a womans bike, does it really make a difference
    Can she buy dresses off the rack? If so, she would probably benefit from a women's frame. You see, in general, women have a shorter torso in relation to leg length than men. The geometry of a women's frame accounts for this. Personally, I can rarely buy dresses as my torso is too long. I feel more comfortable on men's frames.

    Because I get men's bikes, I do have to make female adjustments such as narrower bars (I have narrower shoulders than men my height), adjusting the reach of the brake levers (I have smaller hands than men my height), and getting a women's saddle (I have "girl parts" <blush>).

  9. #9
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    Women's specific bikes make assumptions. They assume that the woman's legs are long as well as a short torso. The main issue is that this does not apply to all women. She may fit a men's bike. You'll have to have her try both to see which fits best.

    Time to get on my soap box... Some men would be better fit on women's geometry bikes, but the colors of the women's specific frames are usually "girlie" paint schemes. Instead of Men and Women specific frames, they should have A & B in generic colors.
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
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  10. #10
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    What AndrwSwitch said.

    $500 doesn't buy a lot of new bike (respectfully, to those with lower end bikes), but if you kick down a few hundred more you could get a used bike with a world-class frame and pretty decent components. You/she wouldn't need to upgrade so quickly, and the increased performance will add to the riding pleasure (for both of you).

    Going used, you can better nab a full squish without cost prohibition. While my wife was overseas, I put together an incredible hardtail for her; a huge upgrade from her former HT. As I wrapped up the proj I saw a super deal on a Turner Flux, so I grabbed it. You know where this is going. She took to the Turner and has loved it so much that the epic build on the hardtail is now migrating to the FS. She's not an advanced rider, btw. I think getting a HT to save money could be short-changing your lady's experience, but it largely depends what and how she rides.

    If dough is an issue, ask her to throw some into the pot. At the low end, cost difference can make a big difference--unlike the high end. And for sure don't even mention your own bike purchases if you're scrapping to get hers...

    Mike

  11. #11
    Knowledge over Swag
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    My girlfriend has no problem riding, but after about 45min-1hr gets bad pains in her tailbone. Just put a new seat on it and moved it forward for less pressure, but has anyone had the same experience at all? Solutions?

  12. #12
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    A similiar pair of threads over on the general disc. forum may be of some use:

    /general-discussion/new-bike-wife-743760.html
    /general-discussion/bike-wife-continued-744029.html

    (too new to post links, sorry!)

    Seem to be a lot of happy campers with the Myka, and can be had for $500 - if she digs riding, you can upgrade components down the road.

    Outside of the geometries etc, there's something to be said for the pure psychological aspect of getting a bike that was designed "for her" (for good or bad, my wife loves her bike specifically because there is pink crap on it).

  13. #13
    Bicycle Radical
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    I bought my wife a Kona Lana'i for my wife this summer and she is enjoying it so far. She isn't as experienced a rider as I am however she finds the bike very comfortable and she has ridden upwards of 20 miles at a time.

    It is worth a look I'd say...

  14. #14
    I got nothin'
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    Since you are asking for advice here, I would say spend more on here that $500 and less on your rig. you can make upgrades later. If you get here a cheap bike it's much more likely that she won't enjoy the ride. Think about if you had to ride a $500 bike while trying to keep up with a more fit partner on a sweet light XC/AM machine. I think if you buy her a decent 29er hardtail (think about $1,200 or so) then she might be more likely to stick with it and enjoy herself, and that is the point right? And as others have said, comfortable clothing is essential along with shoes. Invest in your relationship and be a good partner.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  15. #15
    Chubby Chaser
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    I respectfully disagree to those who says you can't buy a lot of bike for $500. I think at that price point you can get an entry level bike that is more than what most recreational riders will need.

    My friend recently bought a new bike, a fairly nice cannondale that he spent $1000 on. He brought his friend who had a 15 yr old Huffy that he bought off craigslist for $40 with rigid forks and gears that doesn't really work.

    Both being new riders, the guy on the crappy huffy outrode my friend on the cannondale on some really steep climbs. IMO a nice bike is a novelty... nobody needs it, and at a beginner's skill level it won't make you a better rider.

    As I said the biggest concern is whether she will stick with riding, or will the bike be collecting dust in the garage after a couple of rides. Trek's wahoo and cannondale sl6 (or 7) are around the $500 price range, and they're pretty decent bikes IMO.

  16. #16
    T.W.O.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Goes Boing View Post
    I respectfully disagree to those who says you can't buy a lot of bike for $500. I think at that price point you can get an entry level bike that is more than what most recreational riders will need.

    My friend recently bought a new bike, a fairly nice cannondale that he spent $1000 on. He brought his friend who had a 15 yr old Huffy that he bought off craigslist for $40 with rigid forks and gears that doesn't really work.

    Both being new riders, the guy on the crappy huffy outrode my friend on the cannondale on some really steep climbs. IMO a nice bike is a novelty... nobody needs it, and at a beginner's skill level it won't make you a better rider.

    As I said the biggest concern is whether she will stick with riding, or will the bike be collecting dust in the garage after a couple of rides. Trek's wahoo and cannondale sl6 (or 7) are around the $500 price range, and they're pretty decent bikes IMO.
    Then I respectfully disagree. One thing has nothing to do with another if it is we are all should be riding Huffies.

    A guy who spends more on a bike and a better rider has no relation. There's no rule when buying a bike. If you can spend 2-3K on the first bike great, why not?

    OP, If you can spend a couple hundreds more you can get a good decent used bike I helped many friends in to a good FS for $600-800. It would be easier on your wife over more tech terrains. Sure it adds more weight but it offers more control and comfort as well. It helps shorten the time to built skills/confident as there's more traction available for her than the HT.

    My wife cruises at higher speed and maintain more speed in and out of the tech sections and corners on her FS than HT.

  17. #17
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    I agree with mimi1885, big chunk of the bike pricing is PR and marketing.
    It's important is to feel comfortable and confident on your setup.

  18. #18
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    Just bought my wife a Speci Hardrock new for like $399, and she loves the bike!

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