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  1. #1
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    New racebike for my fiance

    I am interested in getting a new XC race bike for my fiance. She is a smaller girl at about 5' 2". She is currently racing on a Diamondback Axis hard tail that is a little too big for her. Anyhow, she is pushing the limits of this bike now and I'd like to get her something new for a wedding present.

    Our team is sponsored by Specialized and we get a pretty decent discount on their bikes. She likes the hardtail, but also gets tossed around a lot on our local trails... so maybe a FS wouldn't be a bad idea.

    What are some suggestions for XC race bikes/frames that suite smaller lightweight riders?

    I'm considering a Stumpjumper Marathon Carbon hardtail, building her an S-works aluminum hardtail frame up, or an Epic Marathon.

    I'm also open to other brand suggestions... (but not Giant ) They just have to me really compelling since our discount is so good.

  2. #2
    CB2
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    I remember reading an article about the Luna Chix team last year. What I recall the jist of it was the smaller size woman can much easier get away with riding a light hardtail than a heavier rider.
    So maybe that carbon hardtail is the ticket.

  3. #3
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    A lot of women tend to perfer hardtails. Look at what pro women ride vs pro men, seems to be more hardtails IMO. Also one local girl made the switch from HT to FS a couple of years back, hated it, too much weight for her 120lbs. She traded it back for another HT frame (RM Vertex TeamSC) and was much happier.

    Why not have your wife test ride one of each and let her decide which she perfers?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kris

    Why not have your wife test ride one of each and let her decide which she perfers?

    Sadly, in our area, no shop is gonna carry a small size bike in stock. At least not the higher end bikes. Best she can hope for is test riding some mediums to get a feel for the weight and suspension of the FS bikes.

    Her lightweight is the only thing that makes me leary of going FS for her... those extra pounds are much harder for her to push than they are for a larger rider. Hmmmm decisions decisions

  5. #5
    brg
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    Quote Originally Posted by briscoelab
    Her lightweight is the only thing that makes me leary of going FS for her... those extra pounds are much harder for her to push than they are for a larger rider. Hmmmm decisions decisions
    I'd say go for the lightweight hardtail. i rode a hardtail for 3 years and everyone was telling me how much faster i'd be with FS. So 2 years ago i went custom (i'm 4'10" 105lbs) and got a Seven Duo with every bling/bling part you could imagine - it weighed in @ ~23.5lbs depending on what tires and pedals i was running.

    everyone sai - "that's so light!" - but it is still 22% of my bodywieght - that's like a 150lbs person riding a 33lb bike. i have to work so hard pushing that weight up a hill.

    so I ended up with a superlight weight rigid ti SS bike that weighs in @ 17.5lbs. i took lessons from Lee McCormack (mastering mtn bike skills author) and I can ride anything that i can on my FS.

    And shockingly to me - i've timed myself on a 1 mile moderately technical descent(6 switchbacks an a couple of rock gardens) over the years. My PR on that descent was 5:52 on the FS - just last week I squashed my PR on my rigid by a whopping 21 seconds.

    Here's a couple of pics of me on my rigid at the local rock garden.




    I rode the snot out of FS and like it for longer backcountry rideslonger then 30miles and have more then 5k elevation gain - but my main ride is the rigid SS.

    good luck!

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