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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love my 2012 Giant Anthem Liv xw 29er, but it likely needs replacing in the near future. I am looking for another women's specific 29er if it still exists, preferably under $5,000. What do you recommend? Would I notice a big difference if I did switch to 27.5? I just love the height I get from the 29er.
 

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What do you like about women specific? How tall are you? What kind of riding? Cross country, or do you want longer travel?

You have a lot of options at the price point. I know Pivots make some good women's bikes but I think only in S, XS. Santa Cruz/ Juliana are good. I have a Scott Spark I really like but it's not women's specific (I'm 5'9"). The Spark comes in both 29" and 27.5", or there is the Genius with longer travel.

The womens bikes don't always come with as high end of components and at that price, you'll be able to get components closer to the top.
 

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The Specialized Fate is an awesome women's specific bike choice, and actually comes with higher end parts for less money when compared to the unisex Stumpjumper. You can definitely get quality for under $5000, too! I have a '13 S-Works Fate, and love love love it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK. I am now between the Trek Lush and the Specialized Rumor. I don't know if the Fate comes in 29. I have spoken to 2 dealers. Both bikes have great components and are a great price. The MSRP on the Lush is $1,000 less than the Rumor. Since both are within my budget, I want to make sure I make the right choice. Are the Formula F1 brakes really amazing? Has anyone had a good/bad experience with components on either bike? I tend to beat up my equipment pretty good so longevity is key. If the Specialized bike is that much lighter, stronger, and better than the Trek, then I'd be happy to spend the money. But the Trek bike (emerald green) is also a prettier color than the Specialized (grey). Less $ and prettier. I guess all bikes turn brown after the first couple of rides anyways! I will test ride both models soon, I checked with LBS's to find out if they would be doing demo days.

The other option is to keep my Anthem going and get a carbon HT.

I am 5'5, but I have a short torso and long inseam, so I have to get a bike with a shorter top tube and put a longer seatpost on, so in general a 15" WS bike fits me well. I like having shorter crank arms because I get annoyed by having my feet knocked out of my pedals by rocks. I have tried longer crank arms, but this setup seems better for the way I ride.
 

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The Fate is only a 29er... I own one, trust me. I'm pretty sure it's actually still the world's only 29er carbon hard tail for women. But sounds like you want a squishy bike, so a hard tail would be out either way.
 

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I have both the carbon Fate and the Rumor. Bought the Fate at the end of season a couple of years ago and got a good deal on it - was my first 29er.

Decided I wanted suspension and the Rumor came out so I bought it. I ride the Rumor all the time now. I am 5'2" didn't have much choice for 29er suspension bikes. I rode the Lush 29er - thought the suspension seemed more plush on it than the Rumor but the Rumor was a better fit and was 2X10.

When I first got the Rumor I hated the Formula brakes. I could never judge when they were going to engage. The pads wore out and I replaced them with the regular pads instead of the organic pads that came on the bike and they work great now - really like them.

I put a carbon wheel set on the Rumor and hope to put on a carbon handlebar soon. but would eventually like a carbon suspension 29er.

Did you decide yet?
 

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Are the Formula F1 brakes really amazing?
I have them. I'm not crazy about them. I think once I "brake them in" and change the pads they will be much, much better (pun intended). They work and work well. I'm just being picky and coming from Shimano brakes it has been an adjustment.

My main complaint is probably their biggest selling point. They have crazy stopping power, but have little modulation. They feel very on/off. Which for some is amazing (and I am getting used to it with time), but is nothing like my old shimano brakes. They are loud...doesn't bother me much, but for some it would be a deal breaker. They are also, according to my LBS, very difficult to work on. If you like to bleed your own brakes, that might be something to consider.

In short, they work well at what they do and have great stopping power. But they do feel different from shimano and avid. A test ride is the only way to be sure. Ride with them and see! Those who love them, really, really love them. So, on a positive note, if you don't like them there are plenty out there who do. They are easy to sell and, once sold, you have the money to get a different brake set.
 
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