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Old 04-26-09, 02:07 AM   #1
atxlatino
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Giant Sedona Comfort bike...110 lb rider on singletrack

I bought my wife this bike last year so she could start riding with me, but only recently have we been able to really start riding together. With the recent change of my work schedule and my new road bike, we've been riding some short rides on the streets, and going on longer and longer rides. She recently mentioned that she would be interested in riding with me offroad and also that she wants me to put my old clipless pedals on her bike so she can see what the big deal is about (yeah!).....so I need to figure this out right and take advantage of the situation.

I have been riding solo for about 15 months now, and I would love to have my wife out on the trails as a partner. If she commits and ends up really liking the rough stuff, I will probably buy her a mountain bike, but I don't want to put the money down and then not have her use the bike.

So my here's my question. Would this bike handle the abuse from a 110 lb body and singletrack riding? We would be riding in mountainous desert terrain in El Paso, TX. I would replace her slicks with some knobbies, and maybe adjust the handlebars, and swap out the seat with a "real" one I have lying around. Ideally, this would be short term (2-3 months) until her legs get used to climbing, and so she can get a taste of singletrack and let me know whether she wants to commit or not. Rides would be short, 5-10 miles, max 15, for now.

This is the bike, just in case:
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Old 04-26-09, 08:31 AM   #2
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Anything's possible. That said, I would recommend sticking light singletrack. The kind that's been mulched. The two issues that I see that you have not mentioned are the fork, which is only passable for gravel roads; and the bottom bracket, which is too low and will scrape chain-ring over every rock and root that you might encounter. (that is unless she has mad bunny-hop skills)

Definitely change out the stem and seat-post.

It'll be fine.

She'll love it and soon be destroying you.
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Old 04-26-09, 10:27 AM   #3
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make sure the rear derailleur is tuned in really well. i've ridden comfort bikes like that and it doesn't take a whole lot to throw the chain around where it shouldnt be
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Old 04-27-09, 07:06 AM   #4
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Keep in mind that the geometry of this style of comfort bike is all wrong for trails. They sit you very upright, and behind the pedals. In short, bad for technical sections because it steers like a Mack truck, and bad for delivering power to the pedals because they are more forward than on a mountain bike. We sell a similar model, the Trek Navigator, at my shop and getting out of the saddle sucks on that bike as you feel forced into the seat by the bike.

But yeah, try her out on simple non technical stuff with the Sedona before you drop the cash on a nice mountain bike that she might never use. Save that cash for your own parts.
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Old 05-05-09, 06:35 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. I hadn't considered the height of the bottom bracket and chain ring...I figure I'll take her through the easier singletracks, with not too much technical stuff. Of course, since it's her first time, I think the most important thing is being able to climb non-stop, eventually. I know my first time it took me a little over an hour to climb 2 miles, 600 ft (lots of breaks). Now that's just a 20 minute warmup. Maybe I'll have to sacrifice my fun and use some fire roads to start.

I think the fork can handle her weight, it barely moves when she rides off a curb, so I'm guessing some light offroad should be ok. We'll see. Hopefully soon.
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Old 05-06-09, 01:54 PM   #6
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I'm a flyweight guy (105 lbs.) and it's difficult for me to break anything on any of my bikes. Never broken a spoke, even on my MTBs (I generally ride cross country, might have more luck breaking things if I was seriously into downhill). Bunny hopped a curb once on my MTB, not knowing my rear tire was flat, and barely even dented the rim. As the others have said, the frame and components of that bike aren't ideal for mountain biking, but at her weight it should handle mild trail riding and minor technical stuff like bunny hops over obstacles just fine. Definitely get her something better if she starts serious riding.

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Old 05-06-09, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atxlatino View Post
If she commits and ends up really liking the rough stuff, I will probably buy her a mountain bike, but I don't want to put the money down and then not have her use the bike.
My only concern would be the bike's geometry and how it affects your statement quoted above. If she's in the wrong position, she may find singletrack too challenging, uncomfortable or even feel unsafe. Bringing her on the trail on the wrong bike could turn her off to it. If you know someone who has a mountain bike that would fit her and they would be okay lending it out for a day, I'd take that route over the comfort bike on the trail. How friendly are you with your LBS? I know I could persuade mine to lend me a bike if necessary.
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