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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yep, that question again. Here's the scoop. My wife and I road fairly often a few years ago, then she was riding a GT rigid. She had a pretty bad fall and hasn't road much since. Both our bikes where also stolen:( So now we are feeling the itch and really have no clue. Price range that she will allow me to spend on her is around $250-$350. I'm trying to determine if the step up in grades will be worth it in that price range. The bikes she has looked at so far:

Trek 3700 - her favorite just b/c of the appearance - $290
Trek 4300 she likes it also but doesn't like the price $350
I am taking her to look at a 2005 Specialized Hardrock Xc, and Sport tommorow.
I can get the XC for about $240 and the sport for $319.

My main question is assuming fit is fine with all of the above, which bike will offer her the most enjoyment and is it worth it to step up the extra $30-$60 or should we buy the cheaper now, and then really upgrade down the line.
 

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aellis13 said:
Yep, that question again. Here's the scoop. My wife and I road fairly often a few years ago, then she was riding a GT rigid. She had a pretty bad fall and hasn't road much since. Both our bikes where also stolen:( So now we are feeling the itch and really have no clue. Price range that she will allow me to spend on her is around $250-$350. I'm trying to determine if the step up in grades will be worth it in that price range. The bikes she has looked at so far:

Trek 3700 - her favorite just b/c of the appearance - $290
Trek 4300 she likes it also but doesn't like the price $350
I am taking her to look at a 2005 Specialized Hardrock Xc, and Sport tommorow.
I can get the XC for about $240 and the sport for $319.

My main question is assuming fit is fine with all of the above, which bike will offer her the most enjoyment and is it worth it to step up the extra $30-$60 or should we buy the cheaper now, and then really upgrade down the line.
Welcome back to the passion of mountain biking!

I would go with the bike that fits her the best.

If it is at all possible, I would shop this fall for 2004 models going on clearance. You might be surprised at the deals you can get on essentially brand new bikes when the new model year bikes are about to come out.

For example - the Trek 4900's and the Hardrock Comps are both listed around $500 - $550 but have much better components on them - particularly the forks. It might be possible for you to land one of these bikes for a better price. My first bike was a Fisher Kaitai that was one model year out of style - originally retailed for something like $799 but I picked it up for $550 including tax.

As far as "really" upgrading at initial purchase or later, I think most people on this board will tell you that it is almost always more cost efficient (cheaper!) to buy the bike with the better components rather than upgrade those components later. However, for some people it's easier to spend less now and a little at a time later upgrading.

Good luck with your shopping!

Lori
 

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Do not buy any bike with the plans of upgrading. We did this last year with my Brodie. The thought was the Brodie had the better frame and I could always upgrade components and forks when I needed to. Well buying components and forks is so expensive compared to buying them speced on a bike it is not worth upgrading. I was going to be 1200.00 to upgrade my forks and components on my Brodie or 1800 for all the stuff I wanted on a new bike. $600.00 got me the new frame plus a pile of things that would not have been upgraded if I kept teh Brodie and upgraded.

Personaly I like the trek. I found specialized to be more moeny for less bike. i.e. what was 1600 for Specialized was 1400.00 for trek. But bottom line is what of the bikes you listed feels right
 

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aellis13 said:
Yep, that question again. Here's the scoop. My wife and I road fairly often a few years ago, then she was riding a GT rigid. She had a pretty bad fall and hasn't road much since. Both our bikes where also stolen:( So now we are feeling the itch and really have no clue. Price range that she will allow me to spend on her is around $250-$350. I'm trying to determine if the step up in grades will be worth it in that price range. The bikes she has looked at so far:

Trek 3700 - her favorite just b/c of the appearance - $290
Trek 4300 she likes it also but doesn't like the price $350
I am taking her to look at a 2005 Specialized Hardrock Xc, and Sport tommorow.
I can get the XC for about $240 and the sport for $319.

My main question is assuming fit is fine with all of the above, which bike will offer her the most enjoyment and is it worth it to step up the extra $30-$60 or should we buy the cheaper now, and then really upgrade down the line.
If I were you I would find a co-worker or a friend who has a bike that is currently out of use, maybe an old campus bike or something and ask to borrow it for a while. Spend a few dollars to fit the bike if need be and ride it a couple of times. My first mtn bike was a used full rigid Trek 980 that had this fantastic green to purple fade. I paid $150 for it I rode it for 3 months on many different trails (also around campus) until I knew I was absolutely in love with mountain biking. Then I bought (again) a used RM Pipeline for $800 from my LBS. Rode that for a year took it to the local races, kicked ass, got laughed at, bought a used voodoo hardtail with new shock form my LBS for $500. I've been riding now for 6 years and I bought my first brand new never been ridden before Blur (from the same shop!) just last year.

I may be the only one but I think it is stoopid to spend hundreds of dollars on something that might end up being disposable. Your going to spend $300 what if she only rides it once or twice? That would be $150/per ride! I have a friend that bought a new bike $1200, car rack, $400, gear $300, rode twice; 2 years later still has everything. Thats $850 per ride!!

I think if you like something you like it, if you don't you don't and I think it is better to find that out before before spending the cash. That way if she does end up loving it (again?) then she has a bike to ride while she saves for the sweet ride.

-mabel
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks

I have been actively looking for a better used model or even something along the same line just to get her started again. I actually just bought my bike that way yesterday (GF Tassajara for $200). I know she will enjoy riding since we used to ride a lot but I doubt she will ever want to get competitive or even ride extremely hard. What I am gathering is that I should just pick up which ever of the above bikes fits her the best and that she likes the cosmetics on (if I can't find something used), and then just sell that bike off if she really does get the bug.

Is there anything else that I should be looking at to help her enjoyment (specific seats etc) I don't mind spending the $ for her if it will make a difference but don't want to throw $ at bells and whistles that she won't even notice the difference in.
 

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aellis13 said:
Trek 3700 - her favorite just b/c of the appearance - $290
That one. Because it's her favorite (assuming it fits her properly). Woman are finicky. If she likes it, she'll ride it. If she doesn't (no matter how better a bike it actually is) she won't. So what good is that?

I try to tell my wife I can change this, or change that on her bike, and why it'd be better. But she doesn't want to hear it. She's happy with the way it is.
Whatever makes her happy and will get her to ride works for me.
 

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aellis13 said:
Is there anything else that I should be looking at to help her enjoyment (specific seats etc) I don't mind spending the $ for her if it will make a difference but don't want to throw $ at bells and whistles that she won't even notice the difference in.
saddles and padded shorts are VERY important. if she likes the stock saddle that is great, but if not there are women specific saddles out there. as for shorts, you can go with tight fitting lycra or the baggy style with an inner lycra short. personally, i wear the baggies 'cause i dont like showing everything i have or dont have! ;)

other items to get:helmet, gloves, jerseys that wick moisture away, and either water bottles or a hydration pack. i also like having a cyclocomputer so i know how far i have ridden.

have fun!

Rita
 

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I agree with Rita's recommendation about the saddle. I have been riding with a Serfas Women's Dual Density (about $30) for a few years and love it! With other saddles, my inner thighs got really sore, but this one makes a world of difference. She might really like it.

Have fun riding!
Beth
 
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