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Thread: For my wife...

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    For my wife...

    I am looking to spend about $700. Comparing the components on the Specialized Myka HT Elite to the Gary Fisher Marlin Disc, it looks to me like the Marlin is a better buy (links below). My question: Is it important for a woman to have a bike designed for a woman or does it matter?

    Any recommendations between/about these two bikes would be greatly appreciated.

    Specialized:
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=33035

    Gary Fisher:
    http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/marlin-disc

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    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    At least consider the Giant Yukon FX. It was the winner in a recent MBA shootout of bikes in that price range (all the others were hardtails).

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...in/1382/29355/

    It's what I want to get my wife when she finally lets me spend some money on her.

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    Thanks dminor. I will check that one out too.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnerges View Post
    I am looking to spend about $700. Comparing the components on the Specialized Myka HT Elite to the Gary Fisher Marlin Disc, it looks to me like the Marlin is a better buy (links below). My question: Is it important for a woman to have a bike designed for a woman or does it matter?

    Any recommendations between/about these two bikes would be greatly appreciated.

    Specialized:
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=33035

    Gary Fisher:
    http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/marlin-disc
    It only matters if it matters. WSD bikes tend to be more important for petite women (5'2") and smaller in my experience. Nevertheless have her ride everything in the shop or in several shops.

    Also be willing to spend a little more to get better, i.e. lighter, components. Women don't have the muscle mass us guys do and a 30lb bike is a significant amount of their body weight. Try riding an 80 lb bike and see how much fun it would be.
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    We are going to go test ride bikes Friday. It'll be fun since we are both newbs.

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    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnerges View Post
    .... My question: Is it important for a woman to have a bike designed for a woman or does it matter?

    ...

    My answer: NO.

    She needs a bike SHE feels comfortable AND confidant on (as much as possible). It might have a slanted top tube, a drop tube, horizontal, etc etc etc

    As for a bike for her to try, try as many different models as you and she can find. You may get a 600$ bike or you may find that you really like that 800$ bike that much more.

    Years ago when I took my wife for her first "real" bike she went in thinking, ok, 600 to 700 tops and we ended paying 1200 even out the door because the bike felt that much better when she rode and she was a true beginner at the time.

    Also, be sure each bike you ride is set up properly so the drivetrans work correctly, tires have enough psi and the saddle and bars are set up correctly. If they are not then a bike that would normally feel great might just feel like craap and the lesser of the two may feel great. Of course you should also be dealing with a decent shop as well who actually listens and recomends and
    does not say, "No no, this is the bike you should have not that one." especially if you say the one YOU want feels better.

    DBD

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    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
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    As cycocommute said, feel free to spend a little more. In my case, my wife went from X-mart crap to a decent hardtail to a Titus Racer-X in just a few years. The path on the roadie side was a $200 used 12-speed to aluminum Lemond with Ultegra and now to full carbon and Dura-Ace. Spend a little more up front and you might delay the inevitable... for a few months.
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    Senior Member Bosock's Avatar
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    I just went through the same ordeal with my wife. Fought with her the longest time to get a decent mountain bike before hurt herself. We had her try out various women model bikes and men modeled bikes to see which she felt the most comfortable on. She liked the specialized rockhopper disc comp alot, however, she chose a Gary Fisher piranha in the end. She said the bike felt good under her, handled and turned very well, and liked the component setup (sram 5s and hydralic disc and Tora 302).

    If i was you, and had 700 to spend, i would look at the piranha over the marlin with disc. If she doesnt like then you lost maybe 5 minutes. But i was shocked how quickly my wife warmed up to that bike. Now she is beaming ear to ear about her new mountain bike. Actually a good feeling for me too. Take a look at the piranha...she seemed to like it alot better than the Marlin she tested.

    Oh yea the piranha come in at $700.
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    Guys,

    Thanks for the insights. One of the places we are going to test ride has a Piranha and a Marlin Disc. I'm not sure what the Specialized dealer has yet but we'll try as many as we can. Kona dealer doesn't have enough of a selection to test ride there.

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    Well, we rode the Marlin Disc, Piranha and Cobia 29er. She liked the Piranha a lot (as did I). We are going to the Specialized store this coming weekend to ride a Rockhopper and a Myka HT(women's).

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    Senior Member Bosock's Avatar
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    Yea that Piranha is a good deal and decent bike. Wife has had it for a week and three mountain bike runs. She says it climbs like a beast but she is still getting used to the additional travel in the front (her last bike at .25 inches of travel). We have been playing with the rebound and will probably take 1-2 more times to get it right. She wanted me to pass on to you that she loves the bike, handles great, climbs better, and even though it is classified as mens bike fits here well. Only problems are that the LBS didnt set it up for her and the seat was to far back the first couple of rides causing a sore rear. When she mentioned it we moved the seat forward with the third ride feeling alot better.

    You will like the specialized. Very good frame and good handling bike. However, to get an equally equiped specialized rock hopper was like 200 bucks more. If your LBS can give you a good deal the rockhopper is definitely worth considering. I have a stumpjumper elite (FS) and love the thing...great bike. Good luck with your purchase and your wife will definitely enjoy more with one of the bikes you mentioned.
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    Another consideration is to look out for last year's model.
    I literally just got my wife 07 Gary Fisher Tessajara Disc GS.

    http://treksandiego.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=2167

    They only had the 13" model but that was the size fit her best.
    She did also try the Trek 4300/4500 and they were too big for her (14" size).

    Specialized is a nice bike also, other than pricing mentioned above.

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    Guys,

    Comparing the Specialized Rockhopper with the Piranha, the only difference in components I see is that the drivetrain on the Rockhopper is Shimano Deore LX and the Piranha is SRAM X5. Is LX worth the $140 difference in the list price? Both list the same fork and brakes as standard equipment.

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    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    So your looking at an 07 Rockhopper Pro disc? and an 08 Pirahna? I don't see LX on any of the 08 Rockhoppers. I was just trying to compare the two bikes your looking at.

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    born2bahick, Actually you are right, they aren't LX. I was looking at the Rockhopper Comp Disc and trying to figure out the difference in price. Do you have any ideas why its so much more than the Piranha other than brand?

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    so whats the deal with the slanted top tubes anyways on women's bikes? is it a holdover from ye olden times when a lass might wear a skirt while biking or something? with my modern train of thought I can't see any real reason for this, if anything a guy would be more concerned about a tube "interfering" with the region between the legs

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    26r grudgemonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nooooob View Post
    so whats the deal with the slanted top tubes anyways on women's bikes? is it a holdover from ye olden times when a lass might wear a skirt while biking or something? with my modern train of thought I can't see any real reason for this, if anything a guy would be more concerned about a tube "interfering" with the region between the legs
    Many bikes are being built with slanted/ non-traditional top tubes now a days. BTW, I love ye olden times.

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    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nooooob View Post
    so whats the deal with the slanted top tubes anyways on women's bikes?
    Most of it has to do with shorter inseams, on average) for the height of the rider and the 'confidence factor' that a lower standover height imparts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnerges View Post
    born2bahick, Actually you are right, they aren't LX. I was looking at the Rockhopper Comp Disc and trying to figure out the difference in price. Do you have any ideas why its so much more than the Piranha other than brand?
    Does anyone have any ideas about the quote? I am trying to decide if there is a real reason to go with the Rockhopper Comp Disc over the Piranha. Thanks.

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    Senior Member Bosock's Avatar
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    I could not find figure out why the rock hopper was so much more than the piranha when i was lookin for my wife a bike either...we went with the piranha. Also, the shock is similiar but the rockhopper has mechanical disc where the piranha has hydralic brakes (hydralics more expensive). The Deore shifters are below the LX modeled ones and are basically on par or of the same level as the SRAM 5s. The specialized frame is nice and it is a good ride, however, so is the Fisher. We researched and was unable to come up with a good justification, LBS that sold the specialized couldnt provide any real reason for it, they just said that this is the price given by Specialized and we cannot undercut it....so we told him we were off to get the piranha.

    After researching myself, i wouldnt waste to much time trying to find rhyme or reason for trying to justify what Specialized should make apparent. My wife chose the piranha and definitely does not regret the decision...she loves the bike. Bottomline, both bikes have good frames and produces a good ride...one is better equipped and cheaper...the capitalist system at its finest.
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    Thanks Bosock. I am new to all this and just wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking something that made a clear difference in quality/price.

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    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bnerges View Post
    born2bahick, Actually you are right, they aren't LX. I was looking at the Rockhopper Comp Disc and trying to figure out the difference in price. Do you have any ideas why its so much more than the Piranha other than brand?
    It's probably the M4 Alloy in the Specialized frame that is creating most of the difference. It's really quite different than a the standard 6061 alloy used in the GF. Don't know that it equates to a noticeable difference to your wife though. I'll repeat what has already been said. go with the one she says fits and feels the best.

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    rider of the east sherpaPeak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by born2bahick View Post
    It's probably the M4 Alloy in the Specialized frame that is creating most of the difference. It's really quite different than a the standard 6061 alloy used in the GF. Don't know that it equates to a noticeable difference to your wife though. I'll repeat what has already been said. go with the one she says fits and feels the best.
    I think M4 is Specialized's way of spelling - 6061 or 6000 series aluminum.

    I disagree with the statement that the Rockhopper and GF Genesis geometry bikes ride the same way (or feels the same way). They may be equally comfortable, but they have pretty different riding/body position characteristics.

    I can see a female liking the GF better. To start with, the tubing on the GF bikes are much more aesthetically pleasing than the tubing on Rockhopper (squarish and oversized). also, the color scheme and overall design of the Piranha is much more subdued than the rockhopper.

    Don't get me wrong. I really like Rockhoppers and think that they are one of the best bikes at that price point (or entry level XC/trail). But, it has its limitations.
    "....You are never lost, if you dont care where you are...."

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    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaPeak View Post
    I think M4 is Specialized's way of spelling - 6061 or 6000 series aluminum.
    Ding! For the record, I found this quote:

    "The alloy used for the M4 frame is a perfect example of how far the aluminum technology has gone lately. It contains silicon and magnesium as main components apart from aluminum, and there are also little percentages of Cu, Mn and Zn. All this means a 6000-series alloy that is very resistant to high temperatures the way few millimeters far from the welds the tube reaches its highest mechanical alloys. After a complete cycle of heat treatments, the result is a extremely resistant matter, so it is possible to lighten the tubes although they have to suffer welding processes to be a part of a frame."

    — David Díaz Blanco, from totalbike.com

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    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    Ding! For the record, I found this quote:

    "The alloy used for the M4 frame is a perfect example of how far the aluminum technology has gone lately. It contains silicon and magnesium as main components apart from aluminum, and there are also little percentages of Cu, Mn and Zn. All this means a 6000-series alloy that is very resistant to high temperatures the way few millimeters far from the welds the tube reaches its highest mechanical alloys. After a complete cycle of heat treatments, the result is a extremely resistant matter, so it is possible to lighten the tubes although they have to suffer welding processes to be a part of a frame."

    — David Díaz Blanco, from totalbike.com
    I stand corrected!
    That article is really a pretty interesting read, The use of ceramics in their metal matrix compound frames
    was a bold idea. Too bad it didn't work! KInda like the Trek ZR 9000 frames that seem to be a little too hard.
    Last edited by born2bahick; 07-14-08 at 06:43 AM.

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