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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing some searching for a new bike for my wife who has a birthday coming up in a couple months. She is 5'11", so I think she would fit a men's 17 or 18" frame pretty good. Right now she rides an early 90's steel Raleigh rigid bike thats 17". I think she'd like something a little tougher than just any XC bike, something a little more all mountain.

Anyway, I ride a FS and thought it would be cool for her to be able to do the same. However, she'll never ride anything really hardcore or use one to its max, so I've been mainly looking at HT.

FS: IH warrior trail from rscycle. Pro: FS. Beefier than an XC bike. Cons: its heavy and she couldn't try it out before buying.

HT: Trek 4300 disc, Kona Blast, Giant Yukon. Pro: All at lbs, light weight, try out first. Cons: more XC oriented

All these bikes are around the $500 mark which is where I'm at.
What do you think? Anything else worth checking out?

Thanks a lot for your help!
 

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I think a lot of people (women also) will tell you to go with the HT. You did mention she's been riding one already... I'd tend to disagree, probably due to personal experience. I'd say go with the FS, or if you can spend a bit more, maybe even look at a 29er HT (bigger tires should provide more cush) if you're set on a HT.

I started out biking with a really nice FS bike. Luckily I loved it :) Just having the FS made me feel a little more confident, and it was also a LOT more comfortable and easier on the body. She can grow into the bike slowly if she's not up to the challenges right away (as I was not).

Obviously the biggest drawback for your choices will be the extra weight of the FS bike. You could also try looking at craigslist or even the MTBR classifieds to see if anyone is selling a nicer FS that might fit your price range!

If your LBS sells Trek, definitely see if you can look for the Gary Fisher line of 29ers. They're HT's. Might be a little more expensive, though, but worth a shot. However, probably also more XC oriented.
 

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At 5'11" she is probably no feather weight lady & a few extra pounds of a bike won't make as much difference as on a 5'1" woman. Therefore, I say she needs to ride a few FS & HT bikes to see if she likes the softer feel of the FS or quick response of the HT.
 

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Hold up.

What is the $ of your bike? Consider spending more, to get the bike in a ridable weight range. If you are only looking to spend %500, get a HT.

Get her a spendy bike, and she will ride it more to justify the cost. (hopefully)

My wife only has about 1500mi on her 98 F900, but She loves that it is only 24lb, with the King wheels. I am not saying go that far, but she will be able to feel the weight diff, no matter how often she rides.
 

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Check out the KHS 004. It's new this year, has a horst link FS design and starts at $709 (a little more than you wanted, but still in the range). It's a sweet frame for the money. The components are entry level, but the frame is definitely worth upgrading over time. It's the same frame they use on their higher end bikes.

http://www.khsbicycles.com/03_xc_004_07.htm

Based only on her height, she would probably need a M or L.
 

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Do you want to stay married?

I do not know how to say this. Can you afford to go a couple steps above entry level? How often she rides now should not be considered. If you can swing it, do it. If you ride a nice bike, this is even more important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all your advice and help. I checked out the other suggested bikes, some were nice, but most cost too much. It seems like every "what bike should I buy?" question has someone telling them to spend more money then you'll get a nice bike. IMO a $500 bike is a nice bike FOR ME.

Anyway, I went with the IH Warrior Trail 17" Gold/matte black from rscycle. Mainly because the FS. If its anything like the $550 IH Yakuza Aniki I've been riding then it will be a fantastic bike for her.

I just wonder how long I can hide the thing till its her birthday (or close enough) and not spill the beans.
 
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