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Advice for a new bike? Specifics inside!

ShutUpLegs2012-08-14 02:23:25 +0000 #1
I know there are a few of these threads on here, and I've gone through them, but here's specifically what I'm looking for and I'm hoping all you knowledgeable friendly people can help me!

Size: XS, or petite (I'm 5'1")

Hardtail (I've ridden & raced FS, and don't care for the "cushy" feel)

Disc Brakes (stopping power!)

26er (I haven't ridden a 29er..can be convinced if that's what's good)

~$900-1000 (max 1000)

I ride cross-country on singletrack trails that have some gnarly rooty fun downhills and also steep, long the lighter the better, I think.

I have gone through a few manufacturer's websites, but it's frustrating to find a bike that might be within price range and specs that are nice and then notice they don't have XS geometry available, or some other spec I'm looking for. I am not bent on any particular brand, but I would like to find one that is available (or can be ordered) from an LBS (don't want to purchase online!).

Thoughts? Ideas? Advice?

Thank you in advance!!

Irulan2012-08-14 02:25:31 +0000 #2
A good place to start is at your LBS. if you aren't stuck on a certain brand, you might as well look around. Giant has an excellent reputation for very good value (bang for the buck). Specialized makes great bikes also, as does Trek. Fit is going to be super important for you, so keep your BS meter tuned when talking to shop peeps. Try as many as you can. If the size isn't right, don't let them try to make the wrong frame work work for you.
brigada2012-08-14 02:43:19 +0000 #3
+1 for Giant and Specialized, I would also like to suggest Cannondale if you are looking for a lady-specific frame.

Giant has been manufacturing excellent female specific frames for a long time, same as the other two. I'm sure there are other manufacturers as well, but I would start looking here. I think Cannondale (not sure about others) offers petite-sized frames for 29ers as well, but you should definitely give them a test ride before purchasing as they are not for everyone.

Here's another tip - try looking at last year's models (2009/2010, even) as well, you might get a nice discount without any sacrifice in quality
indysteel2012-08-14 02:40:20 +0000 #4
Jamis comes to mind. The Durango specifically. I would try to stretch your budget a bit to get the Race model. Otherwise you're looking at a heavier, less quality, fork.
zoom-zoom2012-08-14 04:04:13 +0000 #5

Originally Posted by brigada

I think Cannondale (not sure about others) offers petite-sized frames for 29ers as well, but you should definitely give them a test ride before purchasing as they are not for everyone.

Nope. I've been looking at Cannondale 29ers and the smallest they go is Small, and no WSD 29ers at all (perhaps this will change for 2013). My LBS buddy said that even the Small runs a little big...I read a few reviews that suggested the Cdale 29ers don't have a lot of standover clearance for their size. I am hoping to try one in the next few months, but I'm not holding my breath.
ShutUpLegs2012-08-14 04:18:28 +0000 #6
Thanks so much for the help so far!! You gals are great. The Jamis bikes look nice - I'm looking at the Race & Comp. Both are around 30 lbs (Comp is listed as 31).

I also noticed the Fuji Addy 1.0 & 2.0. Anyone have any experience with these? Weight is also listed around 30 lbs. I have a couple LBSs who carry Fuji & Jamis. Plan on stopping by there tonight.

Speaking of the fork, I bet there's a lot to be said there. RockShox vs. RST vs. SunTour - I currently have a SunTour on my heavy 12-year-old Haro. It's held out, but I'm thinking it contributes quite a bit to the heavy weight of the bike. Any word on a type/brand of fork to avoid? I'm thinking minimum 100mm yes?
ShutUpLegs2012-08-14 04:46:58 +0000 #7
Regarding Giant, all I'm finding are Lifestyle/Recreation bikes, full-suspension, or hardtail 29ers! Any hardtail 26ers? Am I missing something?
TigerMom2012-08-14 05:01:48 +0000 #8
Specialized makes women's MTB pretty small. You might want to look at the Mykta and the Jett in your price range. They do come in 26er and 29ers. I'm waiting for October when my LBS will have their sale to try to get rid of their 2012 and promote their 2013 bikes.


2012 Specialized Amira Elite, upgraded carbon handle bars, Jett saddle 143mm switched to 145mm 2012 Selle Italia Max SLR Gel Flow saddle

2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle



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