View Full Version : Chick mountain bikes?
05-07-2012, 10:31 AM
So my epic GF bought me a Kona tanuki deluxe off chainlove about 5 months ago. She knew I loved my 1998 Kona Caldera, and the tanuki was an awesome deal.
Now I want to get her a bike. Chainlove has shit the bed with all the pizza cutter tires and bar tape these days, so it looks like I am gonna have to spend a bit more than I would like.
She is a MTB noob, so it will be super mellow single track/dirt roads with her. 29" hardtail or 26" f/s? She wants a Kona like mine, but I know brand loyalty seems kinda dumb since there are so many good bikes out there.
Does she HAVE to be on a girl bike? She is 5'7" 120#, but has long legs. Why can't she ride a dudes bike?
I am just getting back into riding myself this year, and am still way out of the loop on alot of stuff. I have never ridden a 29er myself, so have no reason to steer her in that direction other than, "everyone's doing it".
05-07-2012, 10:38 AM
My wife rides a mens bike Yeti ASR5 but I am pretty sure Yeti does not make a womens specific bike. She loves it and I don't think I could convince her to ride anything else. She is about 5'6" pretty average build but pretty strong.
05-07-2012, 10:56 AM
Doesn't "have" to be on a womens bike, but many are designed around women's body types... and I believe its specifically that "long legs" type of frame. To get her a frame that is adequately tall, it may be too long in a guys frame. But, you never know until she's sitting on it.
05-07-2012, 11:04 AM
it may be too long... but, you never know until she's sitting on it.
childish I know...
05-07-2012, 03:19 PM
Doesn't "have" to be on a womens bike, but many are designed around women's body types... and I believe its specifically that "long legs" type of frame.
Exactly. Since women's usually have longer legs and a shorter torso, the geometry is a little different. Although, both my bikes are men's bikes and I like them both...a lot. Like people have said, she really has to sit on it to make sure it fits.
05-07-2012, 03:56 PM
My girl prefered a men's bike after she test rode about 20 different bikes. That being said, trek had a really nice women's full suspension that was the runner up. I can't remember the exact model name, but it was white and light blue and spec'ed alright for an entry price.
Edit: Trek Lush was the one she liked, more spendy than I thought but there were some good deals.
05-07-2012, 04:01 PM
I just picked up a near pristine 2010 medium sized Specialized Myka for my GF for $1100 off of PB. She had a pretty bad crash in JHWY in January and won't be able to go DH riding this summer, due to risk of re-injuring her knee if she bails at higher speed. The bike is light, has decent components and offers lockout on the suspension.
As it's her first XC bike, I think it was a slamming deal and will more than do the trick. Might be something for your lady as well from the sounds of it.
05-07-2012, 04:36 PM
Like stated above, it really depends on her body type. My fiance has the ideal "women's specific" body, which is basically long thighs and short arms and torso. She's currently riding a Specialized Safire and absolutely loves it.
05-07-2012, 04:45 PM
There is a fair chance that my wife would be willing to sell her (medium) Safire Expert if you're interested. If something new is what you're after you should come see me at my shop. Come visit NYC for the day and try some stuff out.
05-07-2012, 07:00 PM
x2 on the Myka, Miss Spank has throughly enjoyed hers and she's a newb.
05-07-2012, 07:25 PM
5'7" might be borderline short to really enjoy riding a 29er, from what I understand.
05-07-2012, 10:47 PM
I don't necessarily think that 5'7" is too short to ride a 29er, but I do think that a 29er has potential to be too much for her to handle.
1 - you're on a budget. For the same price, you can typically get a lighter 26" bike - all other components being equal, a 29 wheel/tire has more material.
2 - you say she's 5'7", and 120 lbs, and a new rider. the additional weight and steering effort a 29 requires could demand more effort than 26" wheels could. Geometry/build kit will make a difference, sure, but so would wheel size.
3 - mens bikes typically have longer top tubes than ladies bikes do - as mentioned above, they're often designed around a woman having longer legs, and a shorter torso & arms than a similar-height man. The additional reach required could be a detriment, that can be even further accentuated with a bike from a company that typically has a little bit longer top tubes than average (Salsa, Yeti, Trek's Fisher Collection, etc).
Unless you're looking to surprise her with a new bike, you're a lot better off having her ride a few bikes before deciding on one.
Even better - tell her you have a budget in mind of $xxxx. Have her go to a few shops without you, and tell them that that's the budget she has to work with, then let the shops point her in the best direction for what she's looking for - often we see couples where the guy sure seems to know what the girl 'wants,' when in reality, it's what *he wants* her to be on. If you do go with her, don't answer any questions the salesman may ask her (seriously, bite your tongue.) - let her take the lead.
Only other piece of advice I can offer is something we often see when a guy who is an avid rider (and this happens more for us with mountain bikes than road) has a wife/lady friend who is new to it, so he says he's just looking for something cheap ($500) since she's just getting started (but he has 3 bikes with XT/XO/XX/XTR parts). You couldn't buy the brakes on one of his bikes for the budget he has in mind for a complete bike for her. He shouldn't be too surprised when she doesn't care for riding when she's on a 35lbs hard tail that has crappy parts on it - you can't blame her; he probably wouldn't like riding that either. If it's good enough for you, it's good enough for her. If she doesn't like it, sell it for a few hundred less than you paid for it - the same loss you'd take on a cheap bike that she didn't like either.
05-08-2012, 12:09 AM
built up a specialized enduro carbon. she has been riding about one year now. a week ago she rode the whole enchilada hazard down. i couldn't believe the stuff she was rolling. downside she hates climbing, but whatever.
upshot: you want your girl to enjoy riding with you... get her a sick bike that will build her confidence.
Got my wife a ladys Trek Mamba. I'm pretty sure the only difference with the WSD (ladies) bikes are the stem (short), bar (wide & more sweep) and seat (womens). The frame's the same.
Anyway, she's 5' 2" and loves her 29er HT. It was $900 new.
I've been seeing lots of great deals on used women's bikes this spring.
05-08-2012, 09:52 AM
If she is 5'7 then she isn't the type that really needs a female specific bike for fit reasons. The females I've seen that really benefit from a chick bike are pretty small. I'm 5'8 and though I do have 1 female specific bike (Transition Syren) it is a freeride bike and very unlike most chick bikes out there. I personally would not consider a 29er (not the style of riding I enjoy), but also would not steer a female new to the sport into it.
If you're looking at WSD bikes where the only differences are the stem, bar, and saddle then there really is no reason to consider it unless it is a smoking deal. Those are all parts that can be changed out easily. You can make a regular bike fit a 5'7 women without a problem. Plus I always want a shorter stem then what is spec'ed with a new bike and the saddle is such a personal preference there is little chance the stock saddle will be the answer.
Also, not sure what type of rider your girl will be, but for me plushness and a slacker geo give me all the confidence I need to ride what I want. When I get on an XC bike I feel totally off. It doesn't matter how light it is - the steep head tube angle, flexy smaller forks, and feeling like I'm ready to fall over the front of the bike make me pucker up. Now that I have a Fox Talus 36 I also am finding I don't want to adjust it down unless it is a really steep tech section I feel like going after. I like sitting up to climb on my mt bike so I can look around and enjoy the ride.
I may have an intense 6.6 in a medium for sale if you want to go that type of route.
05-08-2012, 03:54 PM
Guess I am looking for something with a good frame that I can continually upgrade the components on. Definitely fs since I think rattling her to death on the roots and rocks around here would turn her off to riding a bit. Honestly i have yet to ride any smooth singletrack in NJ. Less riders + less use/maintinence + naturally rocky soil = hellish trails. We will be moving back out west in 2 years and i want her to have a solid platform of a bike to keep upgrading if she likes riding enough.
05-08-2012, 04:02 PM
Instead of choosing one for her, why not make a date out of it and go shopping for it together. Once she test riders enough, she'll get a good idea of what'll make her happy.
05-08-2012, 04:26 PM
I'm in the market as well. We have been looking but the market in girls bikes is thin to say the least. This IMO makes me think a big part womens mtb lines is more of a marketing scheme than anything else. Most baller girls ride reg rigs and seem to easily adjust the bikes to suit them. Looked at an SC Juliana and the thing looked like a kids bike with a 10 year old design. Wife sat on it and said WTF....( prolly says that about me as well)..Bwaaaa. She has a mens small DH rig and is pretty agressive (rides all but the big drops at Highland Bike Park) so we are planning on finding an XC frame she likes and build it up accordingly.
05-08-2012, 04:29 PM
^^^^^LaBelle makes lots of sense to me as well.^^^^^^
05-10-2012, 07:50 PM
I'm in a similar situation as well right now but I too am a noob to the "good" bike scene. Why wouldn't a gal that's 5'3" want a 29er, seems like just more stability but I assume the downside is its a little tougher to maneuver, more energy to move it up hill?. For x-c riding like in Missoula, it seems to be rad for me(5'9"). Anyway, great thoughts in here, seems like the best advice is don't skimp on HER bike if you aren't gonna skimp on yours. That's why I started loving it so much, cause I got on my buddy's rad-ass bike and it changed my perspective from getting jarred and scared to feeling like I might be able to hang with the fellas. She will thank you...
05-11-2012, 05:01 AM
Like people have said, she really has to sit on it to make sure it fits.
Sig worthy and quite possible post of the year.
Back to the OP? If you get the chance have her ride a 650b bike and a 26" back to back and take a look at a Fat bikes too.
05-11-2012, 08:33 AM
Honestly i have yet to ride any smooth singletrack in NJ. Less riders + less use/maintinence + naturally rocky soil = hellish trails.
Not really sure where you are in NJ, but I'd give the deer park section of Allamuchy a shot when you do get her out there. There are also some smooth sections out at lewis morris. I also think theres a deal on a used specialized on here thats a bit old, but the fsr design is going to make for a pretty good bike.
This one is also in NJ, but it might be a bit big for her
But as mentioned earlier, she really has to sit on it to make sure it fits.
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