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Ladies full suss

landrangerlandranger Posts: 220
edited August 2008 in Women
Hi,
My girlfriend wants a full suss bike. She's 5 feet tall so I'm guessing ladies specific.
We do mainly XC but also do Cannock Chase and loved Llandegla so much we're definatley doing more trail centres.

She would be buying through the Cyle to Work Scheme so I reckon we're limited to what we can get. We need some ideas please on the types of bike to try. With an absolute top whack of a grand in mind have do you any suggestions.

The Specialized Myka is all I can come up with I'm afraid. She doesn't want anything too complicated as regards of loads of suspension options, just a general setup and go job!

Any help much appreciated :D
Sink the eight ball. Buy the lady a drink. And nobody knows my name.

Posts

  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    What sort of budget range are you considering? If you do Cannock Chase, she might want to consider asking Swinnertons if she can demo a couple of bikes, like the women's specific Trek Fuels, Giant Anthems/Trance and the Orange Diva (if you're feeling flush). I think you can demo Specialized bikes for a couple of days from the concept store in Birmingham

    It costs a bit demoing bikes (unless you can find free demo days), but given the amount of money you're spending, it's definitely worthwhile. I'd say that your girlfriend is probably limited to women's bikes - I'm 5ft 2, and even small bloke's bikes tend to be too big for me. However, she might drop lucky - if you look at bloke's bikes, look for rear-shocks that aren't placed vertically (as it tends to increase the height of the frame).

    I think quite a few magazines out at the moment have reviews of women-specific bikes, which is a useful starting point for research - bear in mind that they tend to bundle them all together though, regardless of the style of riding they're designed for.
  • landrangerlandranger Posts: 220
    Hi, thanks for the reply.
    I'm after the comfort blanket effect I guess. So that she knows I've done all I can to help her get her dream bike :(

    We'd be spending a maximum of a thousand pounds and looking round we can't see much choice tbh. I think we've got it down to the Myka FSR, Trek 5.5 WSD or the Kona Four Lisa :shock: which looks just awful. Sorry but she wants a nice looking bike :D As you probably experienced, it's very frustrating as all the bikes she's tried so far are just "nooooo way too big"

    I'd completely forgot about the Specialized concept store and will definately look out for the mags. I've been looking but not got anywhere myself. I can't believe choice is so limited for a womans reasonably priced full susser!

    I think it'll be the Myka in the end if i'm honest - if it fits ok.

    Cheers
    Sink the eight ball. Buy the lady a drink. And nobody knows my name.
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    Heh, not a fan of Konas myself, I think they tend to be over-priced for what you get.

    As for Specialized, I'm still a bit cross at them for their marketing of the '08 women's Myka FSRs. Compare the spiel for the FSRxc:
    SLIMMED DOWN SUSPENSION In production for a decade, the FSRxc™ features our time-tested, fully-active FSR suspension in a minimalist package that is fast, light, efficient and easy-to-maintain.

    ...to the blurb for the women's equivalent:

    HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU! Hitting the trails may be just one pastime among the many that you love, but when fire roads and singletrack are calling your name, the Myka™ FSR backs you up with a complete package of trail-tuned efficiency, control and value.

    Fire roads? Fire roads? Why on earth would I want to buy a full suspension...for fire roads? And is it just me, or does the main bulk of the Myka's blurb fail to make any sense whatsoever?

    That said, the Specialized women's bikes tend to be decent value, and they genuinely do make an effort in making women's bikes suitable for women (other than pretty paint jobs) - thinner tubes to make it lighter, softer forks, etc. Trek are also very good in that department. I'd recommend demoing a Trek from Swinnertons, and a Myka from the concept store, and just seeing how she gets on with them.

    You might also want to consider the Scott Contessa FX 15/25 as another option - they're just above £1000, although I've seen the 25 for under £1000 (large frame, alas). I have no idea what kind of reviews they get, but they do have a lovely paint job! :lol:
  • landrangerlandranger Posts: 220
    :lol: Ha! I see what you mean with the FSR blurb :roll:
    Thanks for the pointers, my comfort blanket is well and truely wrapped :P

    Nice blog as well btw. It's certainly spurned the GF on. It just goes to show the world isn't full of hardened speed merchants and we were all new at some point.
    Cheers, might see you on the Chase in future.

    Good luck :mrgreen:
    Sink the eight ball. Buy the lady a drink. And nobody knows my name.
  • Much as the drivel that comes out of marketing departments usually sets my teeth on edge, that Specialized blurb does say "fire roads and singletrack" (my italics), so they're just talking about off road riding in general.

    Besides, I can think of at least one fire road round here where suspension isn't essential, but if you want to go flat out it's very nice to have.
    John Stevenson
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    Much as the drivel that comes out of marketing departments usually sets my teeth on edge, that Specialized blurb does say "fire roads and singletrack" (my italics), so they're just talking about off road riding in general.

    Besides, I can think of at least one fire road round here where suspension isn't essential, but if you want to go flat out it's very nice to have.

    Heh, I just don't understand why it's so different for the women's and the bloke's, when it's essentially the same bike.
    landranger wrote:
    Nice blog as well btw. It's certainly spurned the GF on. It just goes to show the world isn't full of hardened speed merchants and we were all new at some point.
    Cheers, might see you on the Chase in future.

    Heh heh, cheers! Indeed, I've only been biking for about a year, and I can't believe how much I've improved - I still giggle every time I go around the one berm, because I remember that, less than a year ago, Mr Toast had to stand in the middle of it and rotate me around like a bizarre carousel. If I can do it, anyone can! :lol:

    If you see me over the Chase, say hello! I can normally be found clapped out at the top of hills!
  • Don't limit it to women's specific designs - it's mainly reach that's important. If a bike has enough top tube clearance & is the right reach to the bars it fits. Some small mens bikes may well do the job, which gives you a bit more choice. Make sure you have a quick test ride on whatever bikes you like the look of - that's the only way to be sure.
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    Don't limit it to women's specific designs - it's mainly reach that's important. If a bike has enough top tube clearance & is the right reach to the bars it fits. Some small mens bikes may well do the job, which gives you a bit more choice. Make sure you have a quick test ride on whatever bikes you like the look of - that's the only way to be sure.

    I agree with this. I'm a petite 5ft 4 and i've got a 17" frame (mens) Santa Cruz superlight which is perfect for me. It's exactly the right size for me and hasn't let me down yet!! I also like the look of it - I personally don't go much on all the flowery saddle tosh you get with ladies bikes... My bike looks perfect in it's natural state - slightly battered and covered in mud :lol:
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    sarah75 wrote:
    Don't limit it to women's specific designs - it's mainly reach that's important. If a bike has enough top tube clearance & is the right reach to the bars it fits. Some small mens bikes may well do the job, which gives you a bit more choice. Make sure you have a quick test ride on whatever bikes you like the look of - that's the only way to be sure.

    I agree with this. I'm a petite 5ft 4 and i've got a 17" frame (mens) Santa Cruz superlight which is perfect for me. It's exactly the right size for me and hasn't let me down yet!! I also like the look of it - I personally don't go much on all the flowery saddle tosh you get with ladies bikes... My bike looks perfect in it's natural state - slightly battered and covered in mud :lol:

    Hmmm, thought I replied to this, must have closed the window before I submitted (either that, or there's a random post about women's bikes in another thread...)

    I'd agree that it's just a matter of trying stuff out - when hiring bikes out, I've found that 16" men's Treks and Konas are too long for me, and a small Meta is also too big. :cry:

    Although it's nice to keep your options open, I do think that, at 5ft, the original poster's girlfriend will have even a tougher time of finding a small enough bloke's bike. It's the same at both ends of the scale - my husband is 6ft 7, and also has his choice restricted as quite a few companies don't produce big enough frames.
  • 16" isn't that small - some makes will have 13 or 14" men's bikes. It might be that a women's specific is all that fits, but it's worth trying out everything. Maybe I meant XS not small - I was thinking of whatever is the smallest size a model goes to in men's.

    e.g. Orange listed a 14" mens frame as well as a 14" women's frame. The womens version would have been really small, the men's is like 1 size up from that.
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    I wonder, is there a list anywhere of makes/models of guy's bikes that are available in 14"/15"/XS? Might be worth compiling one and getting it stickied.
  • I guess someone will have to search the websites - I know Specialized do 13" in hardtails as we have a couple of rockhoppers, but I'm not sure about full sus.
    Them & Trek always used to do a wide range of sizes as well as womens specific. I think Giant go quite small also, although that doesn't seem right(!?) Just for reference, the 13" Rockhoppers fit from about 12 year old lads & women about 5'5"ish.
    If I'm bored/have time on my hands I might se what I can find out. Only problem is that you never know if next year manufacturers will change their sizing method/range of sizes.
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