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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it happened. Girlfriend wants a mountain bike. Can't believe my luck. I need y'all's help. I know this probably doesnt belong in the 29er section but I trust you guys.

I need feedback from those guys who ride with ladies, have introduced ladies to the sport, or work with ladies who ride. I have questions!

1) which wheel size? I'd love to see her on a 29er, but she's afraid that the bigger bikes will be "too much bike" for her. She's 5'8".
2) Is a women's specific frame necessary? I'm under the assumption that Womens bikes are overpriced, less stiff, less strong, and weaker spec'd since manufacturers dont think women will be as hard on their equipment.
3) Any suggestions of a great starter bike for girls is welcome. Budget is about 700. Would love to see Hydro brakes, and not a suntour fork, but at that price, I know pickings are slim for non SR fitted bikes.

Thanks guys and gals.
 

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So it happened. Girlfriend wants a mountain bike. Can't believe my luck. I need y'all's help. I know this probably doesnt belong in the 29er section but I trust you guys.

I need feedback from those guys who ride with ladies, have introduced ladies to the sport, or work with ladies who ride. I have questions!

1) which wheel size? I'd love to see her on a 29er, but she's afraid that the bigger bikes will be "too much bike" for her. She's 5'8".
2) Is a women's specific frame necessary? I'm under the assumption that Womens bikes are overpriced, less stiff, less strong, and weaker spec'd since manufacturers dont think women will be as hard on their equipment.
3) Any suggestions of a great starter bike for girls is welcome. Budget is about 700. Would love to see Hydro brakes, and not a suntour fork, but at that price, I know pickings are slim for non SR fitted bikes.

Thanks guys and gals.
I wouldn't analyze everything that much if I were in your shoes. I understand that you want the best for your gf but there is no need to do all that research. Just take her to your LBS, have her test ride a few bikes and she will be the one to tell you what feels best for her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wouldn't analyze everything that much if I were in your shoes. I understand that you want the best for your gf but there is no need to do all that research. Just take her to your LBS, have her test ride a few bikes and she will be the one to tell you what feels best for her.
I'd rather instill my hard earned knowledge into the buying process for her. Sure, anyone can go to a LBS and find a bike that they like, but I wished I'd had someone who knew what they were looking for when I was buying my first bike. Thats why shes leaving it up to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
with all that " hard earned knowledge..." why the query?
I can't possibly be aware of all the options and deals that are currently out there. It helps to put the word out. I see you ride a Marin trail. 2013's can be had for a steal on Ebay right now. Any complaints? How do you like it?
 

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She could probably ride the Marin Bobcat Trail 29 in a 15. Get some SLX brakes from the Ribble/Jenson price match for 111.36.
Throw on some Nobby Nic Performance tires and Wellgo B143 pedals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
She could probably ride the Marin Bobcat Trail 29 in a 15. Get some SLX brakes from the Ribble/Jenson price match for 111.36.
Throw on some Nobby Nic Performance tires and Wellgo B143 pedals.
That small? I was thinking 17". Her hybrid is a 17.5". Thanks for the response.
 

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Crash Dummy In Training
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Take her to some LBS and have her fitted and have her test ride a few different bikes.
When you get to a point where you two are ready to make a choice between a couple bikes bring the info here and see what people recommend.
At this point you have not said what type of riding you want the bike for ?
I've seen girls riding men's bikes that are pretty good riders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Take her to some LBS and have her fitted and have her test ride a few different bikes.
When you get to a point where you two are ready to make a choice between a couple bikes bring the info here and see what people recommend.
At this point you have not said what type of riding you want the bike for ?
I've seen girls riding men's bikes that are pretty good riders.
It'll be typical XC beginner riding for quite some time. She's a timid rider at the moment. We may go to LBS.
 

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so far, so good...only a couple hundred miles as I bought in in mid-November last year. Yes, there are some good deals on '13 Marin bikes...I feel Marin builds a quality product and my LBS is a block away. Good luck in your search :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
so far, so good...only a couple hundred miles as I bought in in mid-November last year. Yes, there are some good deals on '13 Marin bikes...I feel Marin builds a quality product and my LBS is a block away. Good luck in your search :thumbsup:
Thanks buddy. Nice lookin bike for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I know a lot of folks ride airborne here. Anyone have experience with the Guardian? Price is awesome. What do they charge for shipping?
 

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Dont get her one, she will be crying that the hill is to steep, she will fall, you will have to help with everything, when you go riding with your friends she will want to come along, then wait 10000 hours for her, plus you will be buying her stuff when you cant update your bike....I can go on, your choice :) just trying to help.
 

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Cactus Cuddler
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5'8" is out of the range where women's specific bikes are required, but if you're prepared for taking her along and just idling around waiting (not that bad really), just get her something that works. A 19" ETT might even work well enough, but stepover height is a MUCH bigger consideration for inexperienced riders when it comes to confidence, in all honesty I haven't had great experiences taking chicks riding myself, so at least get something properly fitted from an LBS so that's not making the experience any worse.
 

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Do yourself a hugh favor, find a girl that rides and have her go with your significant other to look for bikes! Next do not ride with the SO until she has ridden say 10 to 20 times with other riders.
Truth, you never want to be responsible for bruises and welts on your gf...
 

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So it happened. Girlfriend wants a mountain bike. Can't believe my luck.
Hell yeah!

I need feedback from those guys who ride with ladies, have introduced ladies to the sport, or work with ladies who ride. I have questions!
I can relate; I've got this.

1) which wheel size? I'd love to see her on a 29er, but she's afraid that the bigger bikes will be "too much bike" for her. She's 5'8".
29er, hands down. It's not too much bike at all - that's what frame sizes are for. Not only will it likely be "cooler" to her riding one, but she will be able to follow and keep up with you better, both and on and off road (if you're riding a 29er also, which I'm assuming you are). We've ridden on trails together where a 26" could work for someone with more experience than her, but the big 29" tires definitely help her get over stuff with a lot less technical effort.

2) Is a women's specific frame necessary? I'm under the assumption that Womens bikes are overpriced, less stiff, less strong, and weaker spec'd since manufacturers dont think women will be as hard on their equipment.
Hell no! They're extremely ugly (my fiancé made that very clear to me) and the only thing necessary is the frame size. She's 5'10" riding a 17" frame and I'm 6'1" riding a 19" frame. Besides that, I guess color is a contributing factor (they're girls, right?). Color can be how you compare similarly priced/spec'd bikes from different brands. Show her a few from the brands you like let her pick her favorite color scheme.

3) Any suggestions of a great starter bike for girls is welcome. Budget is about 700. Would love to see Hydro brakes, and not a suntour fork, but at that price, I know pickings are slim for non SR fitted bikes.


She has the Marlin (blue) and I have the Mamba. Hers does have a Suntour fork but in my opinion the fork is more than worthy of being on her first "real" bike for her beginner to intimidate riding.

She hasn't left it entirely stock either, lol:
 

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Take her to an LBS and have her test ride several bikes. No need for WSD - avoid if you can actually, because resale is generally harder.

See if there's a women's mountain bike group in your area, and if so, have her ride with them if they have a beginner option. Women tend to learn best from other women, at least in most cases I've seen.
 
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