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Old 12-10-08, 10:14 PM   #1
ponchotempest
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So what do the women ride.

So I'm looking for an entry level bike for my gf, and she seems most interested in a women's specific, full suspension XC bike. She hates borrowing my 19" hardtail, but she loved the $3000 dollar women's Specialized demo bike we tried out recently. I guess I'm sorta looking for something in between.

So what do the women of this forum ride?
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Old 12-10-08, 10:28 PM   #2
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My wife, 62, rides a Shogun, womens specific, 27" road bike. I'm trying to get her on a comfort bike, as it suits her style of riding a lot better than what she used to do 20-30 years ago. LOL
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Old 12-10-08, 11:05 PM   #3
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Colorado Cyclist sells the Santa Cruz Juliana for $1499. It's dual suspension, XT/LX mix, Avid brakes, Tora fork, etc. It's basically a womens specific version of their very successful Superlight. I'm not sure it's 'entry level' but it's a real bargain. The frameset alone is probably worth $1000. Check it out: http://www.coloradocyclist.com/product/item/SNAAKRGX
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Old 12-10-08, 11:20 PM   #4
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Don't limit yourself to a women's specific. Try out some "men's" bikes too. One of them might surprise you. I ride a Yeti AS-R, which is a unisex bike, and it fits me better than any of the women's bikes I played with.

What Specialized was it? I'm going to assume that when you said "demo" you didn't actually mean the Demo, since that's not a women's specific and as far from an XC bike as you can get. If it was the Safire, there's a $2500 model available. If it was the Era, you can always see if you can find a 2008 Epic or Era on clearance.
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Old 12-10-08, 11:23 PM   #5
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that does look like a real bargain. my woman rides a stumpy ht we got on ebay.
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Old 12-10-08, 11:31 PM   #6
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My wife rides a Titus Racer-X. She loves that thing. Light, durable, fast. Actually, that describes my wife and her bike - LOL. Most of the women I know start off on a hardtail and end up buying a Santa Cruz Blur the following season. Seriously, at least 6 female riders I know have done this. Another one got a VP Free, and another picked up a Specialized Demo 9.

Honestly, if she wants the full suspension bike, just get it [I'm assuming she's paying]. If you can, buy used. Also, don't skimp on the components too much. Women [typically] don't have as much strength as guys. Getting a lighter bike with better parts helps even the playing field a bit. That's why I loaded up my wife's bike with light wheels, stem, bar, crank, etc. She's 125 lbs and doesn't huck, so it's all good. I always cringe when I see guys on 24.1 lbs race bikes out with their ladies, and they're on 35 lbs X-mart crap. Cringe...
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Old 12-11-08, 05:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyr11
Don't limit yourself to a women's specific. Try out some "men's" bikes too. One of them might surprise you. I ride a Yeti AS-R, which is a unisex bike, and it fits me better than any of the women's bikes I played with.

What Specialized was it? I'm going to assume that when you said "demo" you didn't actually mean the Demo, since that's not a women's specific and as far from an XC bike as you can get. If it was the Safire, there's a $2500 model available. If it was the Era, you can always see if you can find a 2008 Epic or Era on clearance.
Do the women's models have a more relaxed geometry? I think that would be best. Yeah, not the Demo, but a demonstration (I had no idea a Demo existed, I think it was an Epic or FSR, lotsa carbon).

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Honestly, if she wants the full suspension bike, just get it [I'm assuming she's paying].
Nope, its a gift; and frankly, I'm not sure she'll even ride it. As such, a good quality entry level bike would be the best fit, but full suspension would be cool.
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Old 12-12-08, 10:27 PM   #8
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Women's specific geometry can vary a lot, depending on the company, but in general they will have shorter reaches in a given size since women tend to have longer legs for their height than men. The bikes will also be available in smaller sizes.

Whether this is beneficial to your girlfriend depends on her own, personal geometry
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Old 12-13-08, 12:44 PM   #9
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My wife recently got into riding and I got her first bike as her christmas present. She tried out quite a few bikes, but said she instantly knew when she found the one. She ended up getting a GF Wahoo. Not super expensive, but a great first bike. Not a WSD either, we just ended up cutting the bars and it fits great.
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Old 12-13-08, 06:25 PM   #10
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Some may disagree, but I personally think people get too caught up in geometry and forget to ride what feels good. I find it hard to believe that any woman would have trouble findind a mens bike that feels right for them. As long as the frame is the correct size, enough adjustment can usually be made with seatpost, stem and bars IMO.
My wife rides a Gary Fisher HT that seems to fit her great.
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Old 12-13-08, 07:37 PM   #11
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my wife rides a scott contesa ht, that i got new for $700 its a really nice bike and she likes it alot.
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Old 12-13-08, 08:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponchotempest View Post
Do the women's models have a more relaxed geometry? I think that would be best.
Not necessarily. Something like the Specialized Era will be very aggressive, while a Transition Syren will be far more slack. It depends more on the intended purpose of the bike than whether it's a "women's" or "men's" bike. In general, on a women's and men's bike with the same ST size, the women's TT will be shorter to account for women's longer legs, shorter torso proportions. There will often be a women's specific saddle (easy swap), and a couple other geometry tweaks here and there. Women's freeride/DH bikes are sometimes lighter since they don't need to be built up quite as much since women usually weigh less than men, and occasionally you see them with shorter standover and stays so they're easier to flick for women with less muscle mass than men, but I don't think that's an issue in an XC bike. Some women will be happier on a women's bike, while others will be fine on a men's.
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Old 12-14-08, 01:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_S View Post
Women's specific geometry can vary a lot, depending on the company, but in general they will have shorter reaches in a given size since women tend to have longer legs for their height than men. The bikes will also be available in smaller sizes.

Whether this is beneficial to your girlfriend depends on her own, personal geometry
True, I'm nervous about buying one without her trying it.

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Originally Posted by Yotsko View Post
My wife recently got into riding and I got her first bike as her christmas present. She tried out quite a few bikes, but said she instantly knew when she found the one. She ended up getting a GF Wahoo. Not super expensive, but a great first bike. Not a WSD either, we just ended up cutting the bars and it fits great.
GF do have some pretty reasonable options.

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Originally Posted by tilumisteel View Post
Some may disagree, but I personally think people get too caught up in geometry and forget to ride what feels good. I find it hard to believe that any woman would have trouble findind a mens bike that feels right for them. As long as the frame is the correct size, enough adjustment can usually be made with seatpost, stem and bars IMO.
My wife rides a Gary Fisher HT that seems to fit her great.
I do think this whole WSD idea is maybe more about marketing (and paint schemes) than fit. I think that women not involved in the sport would rather ride a "women's" bike than a "men's" bike; which is totally understandable.

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Originally Posted by sinjun View Post
my wife rides a scott contesa ht, that i got new for $700 its a really nice bike and she likes it alot.
Those also look like a great value. Which model, the 55?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyr11 View Post
Not necessarily. Something like the Specialized Era will be very aggressive, while a Transition Syren will be far more slack. It depends more on the intended purpose of the bike than whether it's a "women's" or "men's" bike. In general, on a women's and men's bike with the same ST size, the women's TT will be shorter to account for women's longer legs, shorter torso proportions. There will often be a women's specific saddle (easy swap), and a couple other geometry tweaks here and there. Women's freeride/DH bikes are sometimes lighter since they don't need to be built up quite as much since women usually weigh less than men, and occasionally you see them with shorter standover and stays so they're easier to flick for women with less muscle mass than men, but I don't think that's an issue in an XC bike. Some women will be happier on a women's bike, while others will be fine on a men's.
I guess it would be best to try out in person.
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