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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having trouble helping my wife choose a quality all-around bike. Some trail use, but mostly street, some road, and casual riding on rail trails. She does not want a cruiser or anything like that. I am very unfamiliar with hybrids. She seems to prefer a more upright posture, so I feel like a cross bike might be too much.

There are very few women working at the bike shops around us and listening to men tell my wife what she needs isn't making me too comfortable.

Thank you!
 

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Dirt Diva Little h
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Performance Hybrid

Now by trials do you mean singletrack? If just flat dirt go with a performance hybrid. Will roll fast but still handle gravel path and rail to trails Trek WSD FX 7.3 or 7.5 are great bikes.
 

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I would choose a nice lightweight hardtail mountain bike with quality components. You can then set it up with 2.5" riser bars and some spacers to get the bars up where she's comfortable. I would run semi-slick tires (something between 1.5" and 1.8") on it and it should be rideable on some dirt trails as well as the pavement. Then if she decides she's really into off-road riding, you could change the tires to something more aggressive. Or if it looks like she'll be sticking to the pavement, you could change to skinny slicks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!
jckid, the hardtail was what I was thinking, also. I have a GT Zaskar not being used, but it is 17 inch and I doubt I can get it to fit her (5' 3") even with riser bar, spacers, and different stem. Is it worth trying or will the geometry be totally messed up?
 

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I'd suggest something smaller. My wife is about the same height and rides a 15"-16", depending on the brand. If my memory is correct, older GTs have a longer top-tube than others.
Don't get her position too upright, which will force her to "sit" more on the saddle instead of distributing the load between saddle, bars, and pedals.
J
 

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j-rocket said:
I'd suggest something smaller. My wife is about the same height and rides a 15"-16", depending on the brand. If my memory is correct, older GTs have a longer top-tube than others.
J
Actually, older GT's had shorter top tubes than most other brands. I owned one. I rode it for years and really liked the shorter top tube length, so when I finally updated to a newer bike I found that the same size in other brands had a top tube that felt too long for me.
 

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Oops- my mistake

Sorry jckid- for some reason I mistook your gender. My bad.

I have no advice to give in this situation. I know what works for me, but I'm not a beginning cyclist and I don't pay attention to what is out there for entry level riders.

There are plenty of ladies who post here who do work with beginners, though. I am surprised they have not chimed in.
 

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I started out on a women's specific Specialized Hardrock. The women's specific worked for me because I'm very small (4"11) and the geometry fit better.

Having the hardtail was great for all around. I used it for paved trails around the city and riding around some beginner single track and fire roads. I've since upgraded to a FSR (but regret selling that bike, would've been nice to have for those "easier" trails with friends)

My best advice would be for her to try riding different models of bikes so she can decide what works best for her. Explain the difference to her about the components (i.e. disc brakes, V-brakes) then ride them to actually feel the difference. When her eyes start to glaze over you've explained too much :)

I hated mountain biking before this bike, previous bikes I rode were heavy, cheaper bikes and getting a bike that was comfortable meant all the difference.

I think as a beginner I wanted to have a more upright position because it didn't feel like you were going to go over the handle bars. But once I learned the basics of bike positioning (neutral position) I wanted to have a shorter closer cockpit.

We just had friends buy the newer replacement of the WSD Hardrock ( the Myka ?) and she loves it. Price was about $800 CAD.
Good luck! Happy riding!
 
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