Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a new full suspension mountain bike. I had a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert two years ago. Great bike but I got a size too large for me - Men's medium. The top tube was too long for me. The hydraulic disk brakes were always rubbing. The crank arms felt too long. I am new to full suspension so this issue may have been related to my lack of knowledge at the time in adjusting sag, air pressure, etc. I am 5'6" and weigh 120 lbs. I am anxious to get a bike that fits properly and when I get on it, I feel ready to ride! Agile and quick to react. I ride primarily singletrack - medium difficulty. I want a relatively light bike and is reliable, climbs with no bob. I do both short and long rides. I would like LX-XT components.

I have tried test riding the Kona King Kikapu and Kona Kikapu Deluxe, Rocky Mountain Element 50 (didn't have the 30 available to try), Specialized Stumperjumper FSR (woman-specific medium was not available unfortunately), Giant Trance 3 and Trek Fuel. Testing riding on pavement doesn't give me much insight! One bike shop with the Kona bikes indicated that women tend to like Kona - I was wondering if any women out there have any opinions on Kona? I didn't feel like the Trek suspension was very responsive to someone who is lighter. I'm hoping to stay in the $1400-1700 price range, but would go up a little bit since this is going to be my bike for many years ahead. I am really hoping for some women-specific feedback but also open to guy's responses. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
I am 5'6" and have a 16" 2005 kikapu deluxe that I really love. I tried out a few other bikes and when I got on that one I just knew it was right. I did have some problems with the brakes needing to be adjusted often but eventually that when away. If you are on the lighter side it might be worth looking at the lisa ds, which is the same as a kikapu except with a lighter spring in the fork, women specific saddle and narrower handlebars, other than that it is the same as the unisex one. Also konas tend to be kind of portly, I think the kikapus run from 31-29lbs unless you are going to spring for one of the race bikes so keep that in mind if you are looking for something on the lighter side.
Good luck with your search!
 

·
Don't worry, be happy!
Joined
·
8,141 Posts
couple of thougts...
light, cheap, strong, pick 2. My shopping experience showed me that you don't start getting a light FS until you hit the $2K mark.

WSD... do your homework on what this means, and whether it's right for you. The geometry for wsd is for a certain body type. Are you that kind of type? Will you get a significanlty better fit or will a men's frame work well for you. There are things you can change on a regular frame like a women's saddle etc without going for the wsd geometry.
What I am trying to say, is that if you are the kind of gal that wsd is made for ( long legs, short torso/arms) go for it... it might be the perfect fit, but don't look at wsd just because you are female. You really limit your choices if you only look at wsd.

fwiw, I ride a king kikapu (2001 model), which is more like the the current KING in spec than the current model of the same name) and I love it. Mine is pre-disc, and tricked out with a lot of race components, comes in at about #25.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,837 Posts
MooseLady said:
I didn't feel like the Trek suspension was very responsive to someone who is lighter.
I personally haven't particularly liked any Trek bikes that I've tried myself, but when I read this, the first thing I thought is that I bet they didn't set up the suspension for your body weight.

99% of the time when they "set up" a bike for someone to demo, they adjust the seatpost height, check that the tires aren't flat, and there you go. If you think a bike fits otherwise - with the frame geometry, then have them take the time to set up the suspension for your weight. It takes time, and I can understand that shops don't want to do it every time someone wants to jump on a bike and see if it fits. But you won't have a clue about how the suspension really feels if it's set up for a 200lb guy.
 

·
Bike Matron
Joined
·
245 Posts
I always suggest reading the Titus Web page on women's fit.
http://www.titusti.com/womensfit.html
This is very good general information and discusses women's bike fit issues. Read it first and then the choices out there may make more sense. At 5'6" you are right on the cusp of being able to go either way -- Women's specific or unisex (for lack of a better word).

The Santa Cruz Juliana would be a good possibility for you in your price range, so don't count it out.
http://www.santacruzmtb.com/juliana/ They have an R build that is primarily LX.

If at all possible, find a bike shop that does a rental/demo for bikes you are interested in; the rental cost is then taken out cost of the bike purchase. Do this is possible even if you have to drive to a larger city. It is SO hard to get a feel for a bike riding around in a parking lot, and 15 or 30 minutes on a trail will let you know right away what is going on.

Also, Trance has a women's line on several bikes: Trance W and Anthem W
http://www.giantforwomen.com/index.php?section=BIKE FINDER

Also, if possible, Titus Racer X is a WONDERFUL bike, even if you get one used. I bought a used frame and built it up with parts from my amazing hardtail (a Santa Cruz Juliana "Cushtail"). Had to go full suspension to save my lower back and body in general. It is a wonderful bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Range of weight for XC FS 4" travel bikes

I know that many factors affect the overall weight of a FS mountain bike, but could someone give me an idea of the range of weights roughly for FS mountain bikes with 4" travel and maybe by category (i.e. XC race bike 24-27 lbs, XC recreational high end 26-30, XC recreational standard 29-34 lbs)?
 

·
Bored Carp
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Might be more $ than you want to spend, but...

you might want to check out the Orbea Oiz:

http://www.orbea-usa.com/fly.aspx?mId=m23&layout=viewproduct&taxId=236

Orbea has been making great small mountain bikes for years (it isn't just a women's program). The Oiz is definitely an FS racing bike. It is designed to be light and responsive. Melanie McQuaid races on them this year, and I know that Luna is racing the Orbea carbon hardtail, but not sure if they also have Oiz bikes.

http://www.racergirl.com/index.php?...=com_gallery&Itemid=28&include=view_photo.php

For fit - I am 5'5-6" tall, and don't have a particularly short torso. I personally have a small Orbea Scape that has become my favorite XC bike - I ride it up in Deer Valley at least 3 times a week. The bike is light (22lbs) and very agile.

Anyway, I think an Orbea dealer could spec it with what ever package you need, parts-wise if you didn't want the high-end parts kit they offer.

Cheers,
C

Side note: I have been thinking quite a bit lately about FS bikes. The standard starting point for travel is getting bigger and bigger each season. I find it interesting that so many people have a first bike with 5" of travel now...
 

·
Time is not a road.
Joined
·
4,150 Posts
Get a short stem (50-70mm), some 170mm cranks and get the brakes adjusted on the Specialized. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Take a look at the TT length of your current bike compared to some other designs. You'll be able to get yourself a close fit I suspect. Also, do you have a layback post or an inline post? How's your saddle position? There's more to it than just TT.
 

·
Time is not a road.
Joined
·
4,150 Posts
stripes said:
Why ride a bike too big for you? I think she's doing the right thing. I've seen waaaaay too many people, PARTICULARLY women put on a too big frame and told to just run a shorter stem without thinking of standover height or how it will affect the steering. :nono:
She's 5'6" on a med frame. She didn't complain of standover height, just TT length. I don't recommend just a shorter stem. There are a number of fit issues that need to be looked at, too. It's just that she's got a lot invested in this bike already.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
I am 5'9", female, and 135 lbs, and I have a 19" 2004 Rocky Mountain Element 50, I think the geometry is still the same (and the 50's and 30's have the same geometry). I found it to be a good fit for me. Several friends said the Elements have a shorter TT than comparably sized bikes, and several guys said they didn't buy one only because they felt cramped. Sounded like a ringing endorsement to me. :)

One of the things that was very helpful to me when test riding in a parking lot, was to go to a place where I could see my reflection in a store window, stop and lean against a post, and look at my riding position. It was easy to see that I was at a better angle on the Rocky than the other bikes you mentioned (though I didn't try a Kona).

Also I got nothing but stellar feedback on Rocky as a company, they pick their components carefully, warranty their frames for life, and are built in Canada. I'm very happy with my choice!

I think your weight ranges are pretty close, I think my Element 50 weighs in about 28lbs with a comparatively heavy stock Duke SL fork.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top