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Hi,

I'm looking for an entry-level mountain bike for my 16 year-old daughter. I have looked at the Trek 3700 and the Diamondback Sorrento. These are comparably priced (in my area, at least) and appear to be similarly equipped, but I'm no expert. I would appreciate if anyone has an opinion to help choose between these two or I'd also like to hear of other/better alternatives. If it helps, my daughter is 5'1", slender, and unlikely to put many demands on the bike.

Thanks for any advice you might offer.
Keith.
 

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Yasco
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Probably 13" Ibex Alpine 450 will work fine. Since you mentioned mountain biking (and not visits to coffee shop), I would not recommend Alpine 350 or cheap Trek/Specialized bikes, due to components, weight and geometry.
The WSD bikes usually have little shorter stem (which is easy to replace) and narrower handlebar. But, most girls ride "unisex" models just fine. If she gets really good on trails, next step would be Santa Cruz Juliana :)
 

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At the entry point level fit is more important than whether it has a slightly better fork etc. I would shy away from buying off the web and let her ride a bunch of bikes that fit your basic spec and price range. If your daughter is longer in the leg and shorter in the torso you might want to check out the Women's specific models. Fisher has the Genisisters series which is just a way to market a series that has a shorter effective top tube length and shorter stem. You might compare the top tube lengths on other brands as a lot of gals ride "Mens'" versions as long as they fit. I would look at Specialized, Trek/Fisher, Giant, Kona, Jamis to name a few. All have good quality bikes at the entry point. Whatever you do make sure she is involved or she may not ride it for one reason or another. Both my girls were insistent on the color and look. That was a big deal for them. My boy would ride practically anything. Good luck with the search.
 
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