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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm bike shopping for my fiance. She was recently diagnosed with RA. So the bumps tend to hurt her more than they should. I'm gonna upgrade her hard tail to a FS and see if that helps smooth out the ride a bit. I'm just looking for suggestions and opinions. I've got around $2000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the links. Her current bike is a women's specific 17" (m). Currently I'm leaning towards the Specialized Rumor, but I'm open to any and all suggestions. I just don't want to over look anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You asked if she needed a women's specific or not? To be honest, I don't know. Her current bike is a WS and seems to fit her fine. I've found a good deal on a Niner, but they don't even offer women specific designs. It's what I ride, and I love my bike. So what exactly is the difference?
 

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Usually women's bikes have geometry designed around a women's body type and also offer smaller sizes and usually lower stand over heights. There also might be specific components like saddles, grips, levers, etc that are more women friendly. And sometimes they are offered in more "feminine" colors, though it seems some companies are moving away from that (Specialized is really liking all black or lime green this year on their WSD's).

I ride both a men's (Epic, full suspension) and women's (Fate, hard tail) mountain bike, and the Fate definitely needed less tweaks to fit me properly (I'm 5'9")
 

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Where are you located? Craigslist often has some good listings, especially since so many people are buying 27.5 bikes and "unloading" their 26" bikes.

I know you said she's experiencing RA now but don't pass up a super nice, lightweight 29" hardtail. If she's not super aggressive, this might be a good route.........

Good luck with your search.
 

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Usually women's bikes have geometry designed around a women's body type and also offer smaller sizes and usually lower stand over heights. There also might be specific components like saddles, grips, levers, etc that are more women friendly. And sometimes they are offered in more "feminine" colors, though it seems some companies are moving away from that (Specialized is really liking all black or lime green this year on their WSD's).
To be more specific, the "female" body that WSD geometry is designed for is: longer legs, shorter torso. Not all women fit this profile, but some do.
 

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Yeah, I'm 5'9" and don't fit women's specific (or the one I tried) and I fit "unisex" just fine. The women's just felt too small in the reach and the handle bars were too narrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, either way she'll have a chance to get fitted and everything before I buy it. I just wanted to hear what you ladies were riding and which bikes or brands you did or didn't like. I appreciate the replies. Keep em coming.
 

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Getting your fiance on fs is a great idea. Staying active with RA is so important. I watched my mother suffer with severe RA before effective treatments were available. Now my best friend has it, but she is doing well with medical management. My own orthopedic problems are due to heredity, osteoarthritis and injuries. I am pending TKA left and repair torn lateral meniscus right. Therefore, though I don't have RA I can attest that I feel AWESOME on a fs 29'er despite my crummy knees. I love the way the bigger wheels roll over even minimally technical terrain. Cush, cush, cush!

At just under 2k retail new, I think the 2014 Giant Trance X 29er 2 is a great deal for a fs bike.

The Giant Trance X 29er has a nice standover height (I don't see it listed on the website but I have the 2013 Trance X 29er 0 and the SO is very comfortable) and comes in xs and small. For reference I am 5'7" and I have the small.

If she likes it, buy it. Then swap out the bars and seatpost for carbon fiber to dampen vibrations.
BARS: go wide. Women do NOT require narrow bars unless they're child-size women. Wider bars (at least 700mm) help reduce tension in the neck and shoulders, and opens up the chest for better breathing. I have 710mm bars, could go wider.
GRIPS: Chubby and soft, e.g. Odi Rogue. Some women like Ergon grips but they don't work for many.
TIRES & RIMS: Tubeless and wide. Yes, this makes a difference. I am lining up for the Ibis wide cf rims.
DISC BRAKES: Definitely.
COMFY SADDLE & PADDED SHORTS: Of course.
LIGHT KNEE & ELBOW PADS: For added security.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RA is definitely a tough disease to deal with. I couldn't imagine having to go through this without the use of modern medicines. I appreciate the link and all the info. Some of that I hadn't even considered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lush 29 - Women's collection - Trek Bicycle

Well after looking around some yesterday, so far the Trek Lush 29 is in the lead. It was lighter, had better components and according to her the best fit and feel of the rest. They offered us a good deal on the price and I was really impressed by the shop and how we were treated. I've never really been a big fan of Trek, but I may need to give them another look? Anyway, does anyone have any experience or opinions on this one. I've found some others online that seemed like good deals but with her condition and without having dealers for the brand locally I'm kinda reluctant to pull the trigger sight unseen.
 

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How about one of the Juliana brand of bikes? The Origin segundo is $2K... I ride one of the older models of Juliana (back when they were the WSD model of the Santa Cruz superlight) and its a wonderfully capable bike.
 

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If she likes how it fits, and the price is right, go for it. Did she do a full demo, just in case? Trying a bike in real life is HUGE. I wouldn't order something without riding it, especially if she has found something she likes in real life.

I've never tried the Lush, but a friend of mine has and like it. She's still shopping around though, but I think it's in the lead for her too.
 

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I just upgraded from hard tail to FS. The Trek Lush and Specialized Rumor were at the top of my list. I was able to demo both bikes on back-to-back days. I ended up going with the Rumor. But in the end, the most important thing is which bike did she feel the most comfortable on.
 

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My wife has a Trek Lush but its a 26er. She switched from a hardtail Trek 29er. She's 5'3" and could never get comfortable with the 29" wheel size. Smaller wheel and squish has given her much more confidence and comfort.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
 

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I am not a Trek fan either, however my friend has the Cali and loves it. Since upgrading from a Wally bike she has lost weight and turned hardcore.

A trusting relationship with your LBS is also important.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A trusting relationship with your LBS is also important.
This is very true. I've kinda been between shops for a while. Some of these guys kill me with their attitudes. It's no secret that almost anything I would buy locally, I can buy online for less. You'd think some of these guys would appreciate their customers a little more. Anyway, we really liked the shop that had the Trek. I'm just about certain that's what she'll end up with. Either way, I found my new service shop.
 

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I recently bought a Giant Anthem X 4 WSD and love it. First FS bike and I think I'll ride it around the neighborhood as a comfort bike, as much as I do on the trails as a mountain bike. It feels incredibly stable, competent, and forgiving. The bike is more competent than me, frankly, and has really helped my confidence. For reference, I am 5'9.75 with about a 34-inch inseam. I have a Large in the women's version and the fit is fantastic for me. I could probably ride a unisex medium, as well, but I prefer the WSD bikes if they are large enough for me and Giant frames tend to feel a bit larger than some of the other brands.
 
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