Which Bike Should I Get?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which Bike Should I Get?

    We are in the midst of a deep freeze here and I am dreaming of summer time and a new bike! I will be getting a new bike at some point this summer and I thought I knew what I wanted, but now I am no longer sure. No, I have not tried any of these bikes, and yes, I will do my absolute best to demo as many bikes as possible before I buy. Help me do some dreaming here and now though!

    I am 5'2", 140 lbs, and 42 years old. I currently ride a 2015 Liv Lust and love it, but find it a little under powered sometimes.

    We mostly ride XC in the mountains. Lots of long uphills, tight single track, and some pretty steep/gnarly descents. Lots of roots and rocks. We ride the blues and blacks in our area, but after riding in Whistler, I would call the blacks here where we ride, blues. I do bunny hop here and there and don't mind small drops, but can't see myself ever wanting to spend more time in the air. I'm also not a speed demon. I do love fast and flowy, but also slow and technical. Definitely not fast and technical together! I really do enjoy the long grueling climbs to get to the fun downhills. We do not enjoy park riding with super long, sustained downhills at all. Even so, I would still consider myself to be a fairly aggressive rider. Definitely not timid. I do prefer to use technique rather than bashing through tough spots though.

    I have never ridden any other mountain bike so don't really have anything to directly compare my bike to (not too many people with XS or S bikes around here). I feel like my bike climbs ok, but it is in the downhills that I feel like I could use more suspension, especially in the front. I have never actually bottomed out the suspension on my bike though.

    I was totally convinced that the new Liv Intrigue Advanced 1 was going to be the perfect bike for me but then I realized that my Lust only has 100 mm of travel front and back. The Intrigue Advanced has 150/140. Is that going to be too much? Too big a difference? Would the Pique SX 2 with 140/120 be better? Or what about the Pique Advanced with 130/120? Would that be enough of an upgrade or will I wish I went for more?

    My husband tried the full carbon Trance Advanced this summer and hated it. He hated how light the bike felt compared to his aluminum one and thinks that I will feel the same. Has anyone gone from aluminum to full carbon and regretted it? How did the change feel?

    I also feel like my size S bike is maybe a bit too big for me and I can feel it in my back and shoulders. It requires me to ride in a more hunched over position rather than a straight, shoulders rolled back and down position. According to the size chart, I would be right smack dab in the middle of the recommended height for an XS. I am unhappy with the thought of the 75 mm dropper that comes on the XS bikes though. Also, none of the bike shops around here stock the XS bikes, demos usually don't have them either, and I would likely have to order it without trying that size. What should I do?

    Any other bikes that I should consider as well?

  2. #2
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    Well, I'm on my second Intrigue. Went from Alu to Carbon in the upgrade.(Advanced 1) I haven't ridden with less than 140mm in.... well, at least the last 10 years. I like the plushness and the way the bike eats up anything. I would rather have too much travel for some situations than not enough. You sound like my kind of rider. I like tech but I don't like speed or big air. More travel on roots and rocks is awesome. You should ride carbon. For one, the bike will be lighter. Carbon feels different. Smoother with more damping in the whole ride.

    If you are 5'2 on a Liv, that's too big for you. It fits the 5'4-5-5' perfectly. As for the dropper, most shops can switch it out for more but the frame is an issue there. If you aren't jumping, the stock is plenty.

    Most of my rides consists of significant climbing on singletrack, and then descending. I've had no issues with the geometry or travel for climbing. The changes they made in the frame since the first Intrigue have improved it. Me, 5-4.5"., #124, 59.

    Your hub must be an anomaly. I have never heard of anyone disliking the carbon Trance. My hub is on his second one.

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
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    Awesome! Thanks Formica! I knew that you had the bike and loved it, I just wasn't sure what kind of riding you liked best. The climbing was what I was wondering about.

  4. #4
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    I'll throw in a quick plug for Juliana bikes as well. I'm doing some research looking for a bike for my wife (why I was reading this thread in the first place), and I will definitely look at the Liv and Giant offerings as well.

    However, while I hesitate to contradict Formica, I will say that I wouldn't go to a 150mm travel bike unless you can really use that much travel. I have a Santa Cruz Hightower (130mm rear travel) and while I really enjoy it on our more technical trails, it isn't as much fun as my XC / 110mm bike on fast, flowy XC trails. Granted - my bikes are 29ers and the 27.5" bikes will always be quicker handling - but there is a trade-off as you start increasing travel.

    Take a look at the Juliana Furtado - it is basically the Juliana equivalent of my Hightower, so it has 130mm of travel. I think it hits a good sweet spot between XC and all mountain. The Juliana's aren't cheap, but they come with a lifetime warranty on the frame. The Furtado does come in 27.5 and 27.5+ options - I'd personally recommend sticking with the non '+' bike.

    Anyway - good luck with shopping. I'll be curious to see what you end up getting.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyWheel73 View Post
    Take a look at the Juliana Furtado - it is basically the Juliana equivalent of my Hightower,
    Just as a note...the Furtado is the Santa Cruz 5010 in Juliana colors.

    My wife has the Furtado and loves it.
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  6. #6
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    Squeaky and Cleared - How tall are your wives? I will look at the Juliana's as well, maybe I will be surprised by them. My concern is that with me being so short, a bike made from the ground up with geometry specific for women would be best for me. Plus, I love the Liv bike that I have.

    Squeaky - I was worried about the Intrigue having too much suspension as well which is why I was thinking maybe the Pique SX. Then I watched the Bible of Bike Tests from last year and I'm back to thinking that more travel would be better for my kind of riding.

    https://www.bikemag.com/gear/mountai...iv-pique-sx-1/

  7. #7
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    My wife is 5'5" 120 lbs and rides a small frame.

    For you at 5'2", Santa Cruz (Juliana) shows your size on a small frame (5'1" - 5"5"), but seeing that you are close to the cusp, you might want to demo both an X-Small and a Small frame to see which might be better for you should choose to consider one of these.

    https://www.julianabicycles.com/en-US

    Which Bike Should I Get?-20180209_171536-i.jpg
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mLeier View Post
    Squeaky and Cleared - How tall are your wives? I will look at the Juliana's as well, maybe I will be surprised by them. My concern is that with me being so short, a bike made from the ground up with geometry specific for women would be best for me. Plus, I love the Liv bike that I have.

    Squeaky - I was worried about the Intrigue having too much suspension as well which is why I was thinking maybe the Pique SX. Then I watched the Bible of Bike Tests from last year and I'm back to thinking that more travel would be better for my kind of riding.

    https://www.bikemag.com/gear/mountai...iv-pique-sx-1/
    My wife is very similar to Cleared's - 5'5 and 120 pounds. She's on a small 2011 Santa Cruz Blur TRc (not women-specific). Interestingly, she has proportionally long arms, so she actually finds the cockpit to be a little small for her - if we bought another bike she would probably size up.

    Bikes are so much better now than 5 years ago - where a 150mm travel bike once was appropriate only for shuttling/enduro, nowadays they are legitimate one-quiver bikes. I seriously doubt you can go wrong with any of the bikes mentioned here - it's just a matter of what is best for you.

    BTW - I totally agree with Formica on the carbon frames. If it is in your price range, go for it. I can't say that I notice any difference between carbon and aluminum - and that goes for the frame and the wheels. Carbon is generally lighter, and manufacturers can do a little more with the construction to design in stiffness or flex where desired (or so I hear...). I wouldn't say that I would never buy an aluminum bike again, but I would certainly not steer clear of carbon fiber ones.

  9. #9
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    My wide is 5'1", we just went through this exercise. It ain't easy. You'll definitely need a XS size bike, and be careful because they are not all created equal. Many S and XS still have a high standover or long seat tube, meaning that a shorter person may still not be able to touch the ground with her feet, even with the dropper all the way down.

    Head angle is crucial for the downs, more than suspension travel for the type of riding you describe. I would look for something between 66 and 67.5 degrees. As for travel, 130-140 seems like your sweet spot.

    The Liv and Juliana lineups are probably the best choice. For what you are looking for, I would say the best choices

    #1: Juliana Furtado (130/130), nice slack head angle (66.5)

    #2: Liv will be a tough choice between the Intrigue Adv (140/150 with 66.5 HA) or the
    Pique Adv (120/130 but 69.4 head angle which is pretty steep for the downs)

    Pivot bikes also have nice models in XS. The Mach 4 or Mach 5.5 and the Trail 429 are worthy choices.

    Good luck!

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