Mountain Bike for my Wife that is dropper compatible under 1k- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mountain Bike for my Wife that is dropper compatible under 1k

    Hey guys,

    I'm looking for a bike under 1000 (1200 at most) that is dropper post ready and would be a good starter bike for my wife. I want to get her into riding light trails and or paved paths first so I can get her comfortable. The reason I am looking for something dropper ready is so that we can build upon this bike for a bit before we possibly get her something Full-suspension wise.

    Would any of y'all have any recommendations? So far I have looked at Giant Fathom, Scott Scale 970, Marin Nail Trail and have looked at some Cannondale offerings but I am not sure what is and isn't dropper ready for the most part. She is 5'7 so most likely will stick with a medium and no bigger, maybe a mens small would suffice.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    jcd's best friend
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    You can install a dropper post on just about any bike. If the bike comes with a standard post and doesn't accommodate internal cable routing, you can buy an externally routed dropper post and install it yourself. I've never been a fan of OEM dropper posts. I don't like the levers and most of the time, they are only 120mm travel. On my Timberjack, I swapped my 120mm dropper for a 170mm. A lot of bikes around $1k typically come with an OEM dropper post.

    If you want to install a dropper post, you will need to get the internal measurement of the seat tube. You can measure it yourself with calipers or check the manufacturer's website to see if they posted it there.

    If you are interested in a dropper post, check out PNW Components. I always rock PNW dropper posts and Loam Levers.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

  3. #3
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    Gotcha,

    Yea I'm not sure if I need it to come with a dropper, just for the internal routing I suppose. Getting her to commit to me spending 1k on the bike is also the hard part. I could get something for 550 like a Giant Talon 3 but I just figured I'd get something a little more expensive and build it up later.

  4. #4
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    I would get the $550 bike and put a cheap (but good, like a PNW - the COAST SUSPENSION DROPPER POST - even has some suspension built in) dropper and a comfy saddle on it.

    Then, if she likes it you can look into more capable bikes. Not much sense in buying a really nice hard tail, as she might want to end up with a FS anyway.

    These things evolve! My wife started at 58, wasn't sure she'd like it and she's on a really nice FS now.

  5. #5
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    Don't take this wrong. She's the one who should decide which bike she wants . She's the one who's going to ride it , it needs to fit her. She may not know anything about bikes ,doesn't matter much. You can give her your opinion, and hopefully she will listen . If it will take a dropper ,great ,if not her loss. My girl friend had never heard of droppers ,she rode my bike with one . When she bought her bike ,that was one of the things she wanted most. Take her to some shops ,she should test ride whatever catches her eye . After that suggest another bike that you think might fit the riding she might do better. Keep it to 2 or 3 bikes ,don't want info overload.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    Don't take this wrong. She's the one who should decide which bike she wants . She's the one who's going to ride it , it needs to fit her. She may not know anything about bikes ,doesn't matter much. You can give her your opinion, and hopefully she will listen . If it will take a dropper ,great ,if not her loss. My girl friend had never heard of droppers ,she rode my bike with one . When she bought her bike ,that was one of the things she wanted most. Take her to some shops ,she should test ride whatever catches her eye . After that suggest another bike that you think might fit the riding she might do better. Keep it to 2 or 3 bikes ,don't want info overload.
    thanks for the tips! Yea this bike will ultimately be hers. I even thought about a Giant Talon 3 as a starter bike and like others have suggested, just using a external routed dropper on it. I want her to enjoy the bike and she can get scared sometimes of going too fast and I never could get her to give snowboarding a chance. She does know how to ride just not that confident. I'm hoping I can get her to ride with me, at least on paved trails and then some green trails going forward.

    Thanks guys!

  7. #7
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    The only tip I'd offer is that you don't need to get a female-specific bike. If one happens to be available - and your wife likes it - great, but a "male" frame is perfectly fine if it fits.

  8. #8
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    Fezzari Wasatch Peak has routing for an internal dropper and is priced at $1k. Norco Fluid HT3 is $1149 but does come with a dropper installed.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVfoto View Post
    Hey guys,

    I'm looking for a bike under 1000 (1200 at most) that is dropper post ready and would be a good starter bike for my wife. I want to get her into riding light trails and or paved paths first so I can get her comfortable. The reason I am looking for something dropper ready is so that we can build upon this bike for a bit before we possibly get her something Full-suspension wise.

    Would any of y'all have any recommendations? So far I have looked at Giant Fathom, Scott Scale 970, Marin Nail Trail and have looked at some Cannondale offerings but I am not sure what is and isn't dropper ready for the most part. She is 5'7 so most likely will stick with a medium and no bigger, maybe a mens small would suffice.

    Thanks!

    As MSU has said, it's cheap and fairly easy to install a dropper post (if you don't want to try installing it, when the bike shops open they usually do it for around $20). So don't just look for cheaper bikes that have one, a dropper is an easy and cheap upgrade later.

  10. #10
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    Just because you brought up the Talon OP, you can run an internal dropper on the Talon frame.

    Feed the cable into the frame with the front derailleur, but then pass it into the seat tube going over the bottom bracket.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal_In_AZ View Post
    Just because you brought up the Talon OP, you can run an internal dropper on the Talon frame.

    Feed the cable into the frame with the front derailleur, but then pass it into the seat tube going over the bottom bracket.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks for that bit of info.

    So she found a bike she likes and it's solid. She is a very novice biker but I think this was a good purchase for her: https://www.liv-cycling.com/us/tempt-2

    I believe this bike is similar to the Talon but the females version of it. It has internal routing for the front derailleur so I think if I went to a 1x12 setup on it I might be able to use the front D internal for an internal dropper no?

    Front fork is meh and I think I'll upgrade that to a Recon or maybe a Reba which might be a little overkill. Brakes are also not good and will plan to get some Sram Levels or Hope brakes for this thing. Maybe a Sram SX drivetrain and that should do it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVfoto View Post
    Thanks for that bit of info.

    So she found a bike she likes and it's solid. She is a very novice biker but I think this was a good purchase for her: https://www.liv-cycling.com/us/tempt-2

    I believe this bike is similar to the Talon but the females version of it. It has internal routing for the front derailleur so I think if I went to a 1x12 setup on it I might be able to use the front D internal for an internal dropper no?

    Front fork is meh and I think I'll upgrade that to a Recon or maybe a Reba which might be a little overkill. Brakes are also not good and will plan to get some Sram Levels or Hope brakes for this thing. Maybe a Sram SX drivetrain and that should do it.
    Itís the same bike as the Talon with just a few different sizing things. My wife also has one.

    -You can run the dropper with the 2X without an issue. Just need to feed the cable through the plastic cap on the frame.
    -Also you can not go to 1x12 on that hub. I set mine up 1x10 and itís been good.
    -The fork will work fine for city, bike paths, and most green trails. The Reba and Recon I donít believe come in straight steerer tubes. They only come tapered, the Tempt needs a straight steerer.
    -The brakes are fine. You need to get them bedded. Iím on my Tektros still and they have never failed to stop me on downhills.

    Itís her bike. Let her ride it as is for a while. If she gets to the point where she wants to ride harder trails, then upgrade as needed.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal_In_AZ View Post
    Itís the same bike as the Talon with just a few different sizing things. My wife also has one.

    -You can run the dropper with the 2X without an issue. Just need to feed the cable through the plastic cap on the frame.
    -Also you can not go to 1x12 on that hub. I set mine up 1x10 and itís been good.
    -The fork will work fine for city, bike paths, and most green trails. The Reba and Recon I donít believe come in straight steerer tubes. They only come tapered, the Tempt needs a straight steerer.
    -The brakes are fine. You need to get them bedded. Iím on my Tektros still and they have never failed to stop me on downhills.

    Itís her bike. Let her ride it as is for a while. If she gets to the point where she wants to ride harder trails, then upgrade as needed.
    So I can do 1x10 then? Thanks for the information! Yea, you are right, maybe just upgrade small things and if she outgrows the components we will go to a better bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVfoto View Post
    So I can do 1x10 then? Thanks for the information! Yea, you are right, maybe just upgrade small things and if she outgrows the components we will go to a better bike.
    I would just leave the drivetrain as is. If she is starting out, there is no need to swap it to 1x10 until she is ready for that to happen. She might like it as a 2x10.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    You can install a dropper post on just about any bike. If the bike comes with a standard post and doesn't accommodate internal cable routing, you can buy an externally routed dropper post and install it yourself. I've never been a fan of OEM dropper posts. I don't like the levers and most of the time, they are only 120mm travel. On my Timberjack, I swapped my 120mm dropper for a 170mm. A lot of bikes around $1k typically come with an OEM dropper post.

    If you want to install a dropper post, you will need to get the internal measurement of the seat tube. You can measure it yourself with calipers or check the manufacturer's website to see if they posted it there.

    If you are interested in a dropper post, check out PNW Components. I always rock PNW dropper posts and Loam Levers.
    Which Timberjack do you have, and how do you like it?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    I would just leave the drivetrain as is. If she is starting out, there is no need to swap it to 1x10 until she is ready for that to happen. She might like it as a 2x10.
    Agreed. If she gets to the point where she actively needs the dropper, and wants to consider 1X - great, but it's too early to consider these updates.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirit4earth View Post
    Which Timberjack do you have, and how do you like it?
    I have a 2019 SLX 27.5+ model. I swapped the stock WTB 2.8" tires for Teravail Coronado 3" tires and love it. The bike will run over anything on the trail. I also have a 29er set that I use as well. I currently have 2.4" Maxxis Minion tires on it but I'm going to replace them with 2.2" Teravail Sparwood tires for gravel cycling. The TJ is a very versatile bike. I want the 29er wheels for adventure/gravel riding while using my Teravail Coronado 3" tires for all the fun pedaling. I do ride my hardtail 2-3 days a week and mix things up with an all gravel ride or just straight up bike park.

    The TJ can take either wheel set which is awesome! I also love the adjustable chainstay too. I normally leave my chainstay in the 420mm position because that's what I'm used to riding. I might extend it to 430mm for gravel pounding and see how that feels. Salsa has so many accessories for the TJ. You can kit this bike out for just about anything you want to do. Overall I love the TJ and highly recommend it to anyone who wants a versatile hardtail.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

  18. #18
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    believe me, from experience, let her figure it out on her own. I am in the same process with my wife, and the only requirement she wants, no matter what, is a soft seat. She is never going to see the bike like I do, so I am not hitting her with a bunch of tech stuff.

    If I start talking tech stuff, she zones out.

    I would suggest to spend more energy on getting her used to riding off camber, riding fast, bike handling skills etc. We go to the skatepark sometimes, and we work on some of the smaller features and bowls to get her used to that stuff. There are real easy beginner trails near the park, so we pop on those sometimes as well.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8edgMTBMXer View Post
    believe me, from experience, let her figure it out on her own. I am in the same process with my wife, and the only requirement she wants, no matter what, is a soft seat. She is never going to see the bike like I do, so I am not hitting her with a bunch of tech stuff.

    If I start talking tech stuff, she zones out.

    I would suggest to spend more energy on getting her used to riding off camber, riding fast, bike handling skills etc. We go to the skatepark sometimes, and we work on some of the smaller features and bowls to get her used to that stuff. There are real easy beginner trails near the park, so we pop on those sometimes as well.
    Well I have never had my wife ride a bike before and she is straight newbie. I mean she had a hard time getting it started because the seat post bottoms out and it keeps poking her. I'm trying to have patience to help her so I do plan to watch some videos on balance and starting from a stop. Once she is riding it is fine. She is 5'7 and the medium Tempt is the right size. I also need to get her to learn how to ride out of the saddle. She can get scared quite easily so I am worried I pushed her into something too fast. Riding for me is second nature and I can manual down a hill or wheelie up one. I think I have the thoughts in my head that she should understand how to do this but I'm probably overplaying it.

    Thanks for all the information! I do think a dropper post might help but I'll leave the rest of the bike alone until she can get past her fears.

  20. #20
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    If you want to use a dropper post, make sure you don't buy a bike with a 27.2 mm seatpost. There's not many available, & they're a bit fragile, due to the small size. Don't ask me how I know

  21. #21
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    Don't get hung up on internal routing. It's really not necessary or superior in any functional way, and is way more of a PIA to work on.
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