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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I read the stickies, but I was still hoping I could get some feedback. I posted in the general bike forum and they suggested I go to the Women's forum (in a nice way).

I recently got back into mountain biking and told myself if I rode for 6 months I could buy myself a new bike. It has now been six months. I am riding on my 14 year old F4 Cannondale with a few minor upgrades. Now I want to go for a full upgrade and get a new bike.

I have been pretty happy with my F4 frame, it is small and easy to maneuver. It does not have a crossbar, but comes down at a V (I don't know the technical term for that, but I see most full suspension bikes with the same thing). My priorities for an upgrade are: good front shocks, shifters, a lightweight frame, and disc brakes.

I rode the Kona bike for women (don't remember the name) and I did not like it. I read that women's frames are made for shorter torsos, but I actually have a longer torso (5'6" with a 30" inseam). The Kona and Cannondale non-female frames I rode felt much better. I love my old Cannondale frame - none of the new ones turn me on - but, the Kona frames at my LBS did nothing for me.

1) I can spend no more than 1K, but prefer to spend around $800 (used is fine)

2) I am not really considering any brands right now.

3) I primarily ride cross country and I love to climb, not as much of a downhill bomber type.

4) I prefer hardtail.

5) I am 32, female, 140, and 5' 6".

6) I will consider buying from any source, although I prefer to at least take it for a test drive.

7) I am up for any alternative suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

Robin
 

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Relax. I'm a pro.
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Have you looked at Garry Fisher's women-specific offerings? My ex-GF, who is a bit shorter than you, bought the Genesisters complete bike that retailed for around $650 about 8 months ago. It fit her better and looked more proportional than any other bike woman-specific bike that she tried.

Good luck.

--Antoine
 

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long torso

Women's bikes don't fit me either... I have a long torso, too. I'm riding a gary fisher paragon. I didn't think I could fit a 29er but they make a 15.5. I love this bike and if you name your bike 'my precious'... enough said:eek:ut: . GF has some hardtails for under 1000... if you buy a 2008 model. Find a lbs that stocks them and take one out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. What is a 29er? Is that the larger wheels?

Sorry, as you can tell, with a 14 year old bike I am way out the loop on the new stuff!
 

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The Martian
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I would vote for you to try Cannondale's and Gary Fisher's offerings in your price range. Both are known to have longer top tubes than average. Don't feel like you have to get a women's specific frame if the unisex frames fit you fine or better, but you might want to ride them as well as the unisex frames just to see.
 

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29er...

robbybird said:
Thanks for the replies. What is a 29er? Is that the larger wheels?

Sorry, as you can tell, with a 14 year old bike I am way out the loop on the new stuff!
welcome to the new loop... check one out before you buy your next bike... 29 inch wheels instead of the 26. People love them or they hate them. They roll over roots, holes, and snow mounds much better... there is a whole forum on here about them. It takes more effort to get up the hills but you will fly down them... besides the big wheels look cool.
 

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gotboostedvr6 said:
Buy from here and take to your LBS to build
you will not be able to beat these prices.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mountain_bikes.htm
I beg to disagree. If OP is a new comer to the sport, she may want to build a relationship with her local LBS if it's any good, and in my eyes, showing up with a bunch of stuff that you order on line isn't real conducive to making good relationships with the shop guys. Also, she stated she'd much rather try the bike first, hard to do with mail order build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I rode a gary fisher tassajara yesterday and it felt perfect! The best one so far. I loved it so much I almost bought it right there.

Today I am going to check out a few of the specialized. The LBS literally around the corner has a few models on sale as they are clearing out inventory. Any thoughts on these two:

Specialized P All Mountain 2007
Specialized FSR XC 2008

Thanks!
Robin
 

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that P bike from specialized is really overbuilt for what it sounds like you're going. the fsr xc is a solid suspension design with more affordable parts on it than a stumpy fsr. both are fine bikes but of the two i'd recommend the fsr, as the P bike is very burly, and probably weighs a ton.
 

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robbybird said:
I rode a gary fisher tassajara yesterday and it felt perfect! The best one so far. I loved it so much I almost bought it right there.
Today I am going to check out a few of the specialized. The LBS literally around the corner has a few models on sale as they are clearing out inventory. Any thoughts on these two:
Specialized P All Mountain 2007
Specialized FSR XC 2008
Ditto on the P bike not being the right bike for you.
I ended up with a Gary Fisher Hi-Fi 29er a month ago and LOVE it. Not making a pitch for 29ers here; rather being a woman with a very long torso, I was amazed that the Gary Fisher fit me perfectly. I had never considered GF seriously (got sucked into the glam of Titus Racer X) but lots of folks are liking their products and I can see why. Also, LX (or whatever Shimano has going now that replaced LX) is a good basic range for components. Gary Fisher uses a lot of their in-house Bontrager components. Wheelsets are important to the way the bike feels -- the lighter wheels, the better. Also, look on line in this forum for feedback on bikes and check on line for the specs on each bike.

I would also be very careful about the fork. Tora and Rebas (RockShox) are both good and will likely show up in your price range. The Dart (RockShox), SunTour and some other low-end forks are heavy and clunky don't really have much going for them.

Also saw a great review for the 2008 $1150 Trek 6 Series 6700 Hardtail
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tassajara still the best

Yeah, the guy at the LBS said the P bike was the wrong one for my riding. The Tassajara still fits me the best of all the bikes I have tried so far. Two FS I was considering was the GF Caliber (on sale for $1150) and the Giant Trance 2 (on sale for $1300), but they still don't feel as perfect as the Tassajara. I am not jumping into anything and will keep looking for a little while.

Thanks!
 

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When you tried bikes besides the Tassajara, did the LBS adjust the saddle height, saddle fore/aft, stem height, stem length, etc.?

If they have not, chances are that some of the other bikes you've tried can probably be set-up to fit you better. If they have, and the Tass still feels noticeably better than the rest, then you may have found a bike great for you.
 
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