Mountain Biking - His and Hers Mountain bikes
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Howdy! My husband and I have decided to get into biking. For him this is a return and for me it is an intro to mountain biking. We have a nice open field behind our house that should be a good start. Plus we live in Austin, Texas with lots of great places to ride.
Any suggestions on bikes? We are thinking about a Trek 6700 for him and a Trek4900 or 4500 for me. I'm a pretty tall girl at 5'8" so I don't know if I will need a WSD. Any thoughts? Initially we wanted to keep the cost at around $500 a piece.
We have been looking at Specialized and Gary Fisher too.
What else do we need to pick up to get started?
You're not tall my girlfriend is 6'5". Why are you selling yourself short buy getting a lower end bike than Hubbie? The Treks you've picked out are fine but I tend to lean towards Specialized (lifetime frame warranty) In the price range you specified I'd point you at this:
http://www.specialized.com/OA_MEDIA/2003/bikes/rhsteelbl_l.jpg It's a Specialized Rockhopper hardtail. It's got pretty decent specs for the money. Decent drivetrain, a better than average (at this price point) fork that warranty. Here's the nitty gritty:
FRAME A1 Premium Aluminum, double butted front triangle, disc mounts, replaceable derailleur hanger, rack eyelets
FORK Manitou Axel Comp, 80mm travel, coil spring, Fluid Flow damping, steel steerer tube
HEADSET 1 1/8" threadless, black steel cups, loose ball bearings w/ seals
STEM Aluminum, 10 degree rise, TIG welded, black
HANDLEBARS XC mid rise bar, 6061 alloy, 6 degrees upsweep, 9 degrees backsweep, 590mm width
TAPE / GRIPS Specialized MTB grip, black, double density Kraton
FRONT BRAKE Tektro linear pull
REAR BRAKE Tektro linear pull
BRAKE LEVERS Shimano Alivio linear pull shifter/brake combo
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano MC-18 Alivio, 34.9mm clamp, bottom pull
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano M-510 Deore
SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Alivio linear pull shifter/brake combo
CASSETTE Shimano HG-50 LX, 8-speed, 11x30t
CHAIN Shimano IG-31
CRANKSET Specialized Strongarm II, square taper
CHAINRINGS 44Sx32Sx22S, 4 bolt, 104/64mm pattern, steel chainring bolts
BOTTOM BRACKET Truvativ sealed cartridge, 68mm shell, 113mm spindle
PEDALS 1 piece alloy platform pedals, clips and straps, silver
RIMS Alex DM-20, 26", machined sidewalls, black
FRONT HUB 32 hole, loose ball bearings, alloy Q/R
REAR HUB 32 hole, loose ball bearings, alloy Q/R
SPOKES 1.8mm (15g) black stainless, brass nipples, L266/R266mm front, L265/R264mm rear
FRONT TIRE Specialized Roll-X 26 x 2.0", Steel bead
REAR TIRE Specialized Roll-X 26 x 2.0", Steel bead
TUBES Specialized, schraeder valve
SADDLE Specialized Body Geometry technology, steel rails
SEAT POST Alloy, black, 30.9 x 350/400mm
SEAT BINDER Alloy collar with Q/R, 34.9mm clamp I.D., black
NOTES Chain stay/seat stay protector, derailleur protector, reflectors, owners manual
What else do you need? I'd insist on helmets. I'd suggest water bottles & cages (hydration packs can come later once you really get going) multi tools are a must. I use a Topeak McGuyver which is overkill in most situations but I like the idea of having a tool for most any situation that can develop. http://pricepoint.com/media/Topeak_McGuyver.jpg It's availiable at pricepoint.com http://www.pricepoint.com/product475.html. What else <rubs chin> Oh yes a mini pump some patches, tire levers, (makes fixing a flat much easier and doesn't cause more damage like a screwdriver could) perhaps an extra tube or two. One more thing an underseat bag to hold the tools patches and tubes
I'm sure others have more suggestions but these are the most common (stuff that would be bought at time of purchase or very shortly afterwards)
03-01-03, 08:47 AM
I agree with the previous poster---your bike should be at least as nice and light as your partners!
I don't see too much difference between Spcialized and Trek at the $500 price point (Trek also has a lifetime frame warranty). One thing you might consider is checking out some of the "smaller" brands such as Kona or Jamis just to see what you can get for your $$$. Be sure to check out Buck's and Ozone and see what Nelo's is carrying these days (although they are more of a "roadie" shop). When you are ready, you might want to go here:
http://www.austinridgeriders.com/. The "Ride Like a Girl" clinics are a nice, supportive way to get introduced to dirt.
Have fun and happy shopping:)
03-01-03, 09:32 AM
Specialized Hardrock (and the Rockhopper model) is well established as a baseline for serious MTB fun.
A WSD is usually a bit shorter in the top tube, which taller women may not need. Make sure you can ride the bike with flexed elbows and relaxed shoulders. If the bike is too long, you will ride with locked joints, which is very bad. There are lots of good-enough models at this price range, but a good-fitting bike will always ride better than a badly fitting bike.
Think about swapping the male-pattern saddle for a female style one. Terry Liberator is the standard model, but there may be others worth trying.
You need helmet, gloves (to avoid skinning yourself on a fall). Cycling shorts are useful for rides longer than 1hr.
A few things are nice-to-have but not neccessary:
Clipless pedal systems
Fancy cycling jersies
Backpack drinking systems
I have done serious off-road riding without any of these extras.
Most riders have a carry-along kit, the longer the ride, the more extensive the tools and spares. At the min, it should be a pump, spare inner tube and puncture repair kit, and simple first aid stuff for scratches and cuts.
Awww nuts! I knew I forgot about gloves. Specialized also makes a women's saddle that according to my better half is quite nice.
03-01-03, 03:47 PM
Not being a woman, I couldn't confirm this, but there are supposed to be small changes in the geometry of the bike, and as Raiyn said, the saddle, on women specific bikes that make them more comfortable. It would probably be a good idea to compare one of each in the same size frame to figure out which is most comfortable. If you go with the men's frame, try out the women's saddles as well. Also, unless you don't plan on riding nearly as much as your husband, you should consider getting the same level of bike as him.
Originally posted by Raiyn
Awww nuts! I knew I forgot about gloves.
While we're on the subject of appparel, let's not forget about eye protection. You don't have to go out and spend a couple of hundred dollars on Oakleys but a set of cheap sport wraps/sunglasses with shatterproof lenses is a good idea when you're mountain biking.
03-01-03, 06:46 PM
From what I've been looking at, the Specialized that Raiyn mentioned seems to be the best. I didn's check the price, but if its in your range it would be a good bet. Also, Giant usually gives you a lot for your money. The Iguana seems to be in your price range. I've said it tons of times, but if you can spring for $700 apiece, the Giant Rainier (I'm familiar with last year's model) seems like a great value. Good luck in your search!
WoW! Yall are great! I'm glad that I found this forum. We actually headed to Freewheeling Bicycles and Ozone today. We had already been to Bicycle Sport Shop
I think that it is all going to boil down to how the bike feels, since the ones that I am looking at have pretty comparable components and prices. I'll keep yall posted on what we pick.
poptart- Are you from Austin?
Thanks for all the advice :D
03-02-03, 01:47 PM
Funny...I didn't know there was a difference any more...good to hear about the saddle because my gf hates hers...looks like I have a gift to buy :)
03-03-03, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by tanqy
poptart- Are you from Austin?
I went to school in Austin and lived there for ~16 years. It finally just got too big for me :(
Good mtb trails in the city though, tons of people to ride with, and awesome tex-mex for after the ride :)
Change of plans! We tested some bikes today out at Walnut Creek and we know want full-suspension bikes. The one we tested was the Rockhopper FSR Comp.
As a proud owner of a Rockhopper FSR Comp I can tell you it's a great bike, but, it's not something to start out with. If you're just starting out getting a full suspension bike is a HUGE mistake. Get a good hardtail, learn proper technique to build skill and then get the FSR's. If you start out on a dual suspension bike you're going to develop a lot of bad habits and no real riding skill. That plus the added maintainance required is typically beyond what a novice can handle. More complicated = more to go wrong on the trail.
Here's a similar discussion which will shed more light and support to the point I'm trying to make. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?s=&postid=187589#post187589
Raiyn- Thanks for the advice! Just curious about what you mean by "to pick better lines through obstacles" Why does the hardtail make you do this and the full suspension doesn't?
I'm not too worried about the maintainance, between my hubby, the library, some friends and myself we should be able to figure it out. :D
My mind is wondering if the hardtail would be better, however my body is saying full suspension all the way. :o
Originally posted by tanqy
Just curious about what you mean by "to pick better lines through obstacles" Why does the hardtail make you do this and the full suspension doesn't?
A line is a possible riding path through a series of obstacles. The hardtail forces a rider to seek out a smoother line because he/she does not have the benefit of rear suspension to maintain as much speed over a rougher path as they would with a full-suspension rig. For those of us who grew up mountain biking with no suspension at all, reading the trail and picking a clean line has become second nature and is key to good riding skill. The most extreme example I've seen of someone picking good lines is the guy on the mountain unicycle I saw one day. He put my riding buddy and I to shame as we were trying to clear the same trails with our full suspension bikes which he simply sailed through.
Well you didn't give any info in the profile section so I don't have a good idea of whom I'm dealing with here. All I know is your female and married not a lot to go on here. I just upgraded to the Rockhopper FSR Comp after riding my older bike (hardtail) on trails for about 3 years. Before that when I was growing up I rode my 10 speed (It had 26 x 1.125 tires - fairly fat for that kind of bike) around in the woods on deer trails. Believe me I'm not advocating riding around the woods on a road bike but it definately taught me a thing or two about picking lines. People who start out on full suspension bikes tend to get cocky and try things that are WAY over their heads. Also on a hardtail you will learn to develop flow and the ability to read the trail condidtions instead of just bombing around willie nillie then wondering why that root pitched you off. Basically it makes you more attentive to what you're doing so that you can become smoother and less gets damaged. (meaning you, the bike, and the trail)
I just wanted to give yall an update, since you took so much time to help me out :D My husband and I ended up buying and a Rockhopper FSR Comp and a Stumpjumper FSR.
I know that yall advised against buying a full-suspension, but in the end it is what we felt most comfortable with. Not to worry about me going all crazy and getting cocky. I'm taking things nice and easy.
We got the basics, shoes(clipless) and helmets and are going back on Friday with our birthday money to get the rest of the gear....shorts, camelbacks, gloves, tools, pumps, etc....
I'm headed off to a maintenance class tonight.
Thanks for all of your help! See yall on the trails :)
04-02-03, 10:13 AM
I would suggest not using clipless initially. It's a whole lot of stimuli for your brain to digest. Get some platform (regular) pedals and do a couple of rides with those. It's a new bike, get comfortable on it before switching to clipless.
BTW, first time out with clipless, you usually take 3 falls until you remember/learn how to unclip. Practice in a grassy field before you hit some trails!
Congrats, good luck, & post some pictures if/when you can!
Ooops! I'm doing this all wrong! :p
I've already gone for two rides with the clipless :o
I got talked into it at the bike shop and they set me up on a trainer to try it out. They are on the setting for the easiest escape possible though, so no falls so far.
I'll take the digital camera out this weekend and take some pics.
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