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N00b needs advice on new mtb

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edited June 2009 in Women
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  • Chaz.HardingChaz.Harding Posts: 3,228
    To find the best fit, you'll have to try some bikes out. If you get a frame size that ends up being too small, then you can 'make it larger', by having a longer stem, and moving your seat backwards too. However, if you get a large frame, then you can't really do anything to make it smaller.

    So, if I was you, if you are borderline sizes, go for the smaller one. But I can't really recommend one. You fellar should be able to point you in the right direction as far as the kit on the bike is concerned. But you should get one you like the look of - it's an incentive to ride it, if you like it!!!

    Hope you find a good'un!
    Boo-yah mofo
    Sick to the power of rad
    Fix it 'till it's broke
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    I'd veer more towards the Specialized Myka and the Trek 6300, probably on the grounds that the two bikes I own are a Specialized and a Trek! :lol:

    You really need to try them out, but I'd advise against going too small. My first bike was a 14" Trek 4500 WSD - my husband and the bloke in the shop said that the 16" was a better fit, but because I was new to biking I didn't feel comfortable on it, and went for the smaller size. Two years on and it was obvious to me that it was too small, and actually quite tiring.

    Keep an open mind and don't dismiss blokes' bikes, as they can sometimes be a better fit, and you can often get a bargain (although you have to make sure this isn't offset by the cost of replacing the saddle, or getting a softer spring in the forks - some shops will include it in the cost of the bike). I was initially focussed on women's bikes, purely because of my height (5ft 2"), but some bloke's bikes are small enough - I ended up with a bloke's small Specialized Stumpjumper, which is lovely. It's just a matter of trying them out.

    You ideally want a couple of inches of standover on the frame (which is the main sticking point for me on bloke's bikes), and enough movement range in the seatpost that you can have the saddle low enough that you can get your feet down, but high enough for the 'correct' height. This can sometimes be a problem with some of the Specialized models as the frame curves - I had to cut an inch off the seatpost on mine so that I could drop it a little more.
  • AgoogyAgoogy Posts: 66
    I'm looking at getting my new girlfriend a bike, so we can get out there together... my current fave is the Lapierre Tecnic 400L....
    I'm going to have to have just get it and then do the measuring thing and see if its right/change it.... otherwise the surprise will be ruined! :D

    Quite an interesting area, looking at body types, frame geometries etc- interesting as in a ruddy nightmare!
    Lapierre 714 - nicked from Centre Parcs
    2009 Stuntjumper HT Expert Carbon
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    Your feet shouldn't necessarily be able to touch the ground.

    When both my feet are on the ground, my seat pokes into my back just above my tailbone.

    The distance you need to measure is from your seat to the pedals.

    Have someone hold the bike (or put it in a rack) and sit on the seat. With your HEEL on the pedal, your leg should be ALMOST straight, but not quite. This means that when the ball of your foot is on the pedal for actual pedalling, you'll get max power out of your leg.

    I would suggest that if your feet can touch the ground, your seat isn't high enough. This could lead to your tryiing to ride with bent legs. Not only does it look silly, it's a waste of energy and you'll tire faster.
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    www.ditchwitch.me.uk
    www.darksnow.co.uk
    Specialized HardRock Pro Disc 04
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  • SpinningJennySpinningJenny Posts: 889
    Hi ayamami

    I second all the good things the other (more experienced) ladies have written. I know what you mean about worrying if your feet can't touch the ground when your on the seat BUT you will feel more in control if you follow the guidelines above. It does take a bit of getting used to if you change your position, but in my experience, you will feel more in control.

    Just take it slow to start off with.

    As for bike stock - it IS getting a bit low right now. Good luck in finding what works for you. I shall be shopping myself tomorrow as well!
    Ned Flanders: “You were bicycling two abreast?”
    Homer Simpson: “I wish. We were bicycling to a lake.”

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
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  • AgoogyAgoogy Posts: 66
    ayamami wrote:
    That bike looks pretty cool... what made you settle for that one in the end?

    I'm kinda dreading Saturday already, I've called around most of the bike shops in south west london and they're ALL out of in store models of the trek 6300, which in some ways is my first choice. :(

    Mrs Toast: I forgot to ask-- what did you think of the 4500 ? If it were a 16" would you still ride it?
    Agoogy wrote:
    I'm looking at getting my new girlfriend a bike, so we can get out there together... my current fave is the Lapierre Tecnic 400L....
    I'm going to have to have just get it and then do the measuring thing and see if its right/change it.... otherwise the surprise will be ruined! :D

    Quite an interesting area, looking at body types, frame geometries etc- interesting as in a ruddy nightmare!

    dunno really, mix of things - spec is excellent for money, hydro brakes, good fork etc, I have a Lapierre and LOVE it...plus it seemed the really good competition (spesh etc) were all in brown......pink or baby blue... yuk
    Lapierre 714 - nicked from Centre Parcs
    2009 Stuntjumper HT Expert Carbon
  • SpinningJennySpinningJenny Posts: 889
    I'm planning on getting my hands on an 08 spesh tomorrow - a discount and a decent colour (silver or red)!

    Yep - one of the 09 mykas is not only a coppery-brown (which is OK, just) but the grips on the handlebars are - beige. Eugh! :shock:
    Ned Flanders: “You were bicycling two abreast?”
    Homer Simpson: “I wish. We were bicycling to a lake.”

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
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  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    I love pink bikes too :lol: I'm covered in tattoos, so if I can ride a pink bike, anyone can :lol:


    Don't worry about stopping and not being able to put your feet down. You should always have at least one foot on a pedal. You use that to get on and off the seat. Never take both feet off the pedals as you'll lose balance.

    When you stop suddenly, you just put all your weight on the "down" pedal and step off the seat, putting your opposite foot on the ground. My right leg is my dominant leg (for snowboarding, too) so that is the leg I use to get on and off the bike.

    I can't mount a bike from the right, either, I have to stand on the left and swing my right leg over. I tried to do the other way and I can't :lol:

    Mr DW laughs at me when I half to walk around to the left to mount up :lol:






    Can I offer one little word of advice? If you do go out with your b/f, make him take you somewhere FLAT. YOUR idea of flat, not his :lol: Make hiim go at your pace or tell him you'll find someone else to ride with until you're more confident. I've known too many women give up cycling forever because their OHs have pushed them too hard at the start.

    It is absolutely OK to not want to ride the way he does, OK? :)

    One of my dreams is to start a site or group or whatever of women that want to ride they way THEY want to ride, where their not pushed to ride harder/longer/steeper/faster than they want.
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    www.ditchwitch.me.uk
    www.darksnow.co.uk
    Specialized HardRock Pro Disc 04
  • SpinningJennySpinningJenny Posts: 889
    One of my dreams is to start a site or group or whatever of women that want to ride they way THEY want to ride, where their not pushed to ride harder/longer/steeper/faster than they want.

    What a great idea. I'm lucky - my OH is not into this obsession (I mean interest :wink: ) of mine, so I get to ride the way I want, when I want, on what I want :D .

    But I think you are right about people being put off, because they're forced to do things too hard/toofast.

    And I have to mount from the right - but then I'm a leftie :D
    Ned Flanders: “You were bicycling two abreast?”
    Homer Simpson: “I wish. We were bicycling to a lake.”

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
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  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    I can't mount a bike from the right, either, I have to stand on the left and swing my right leg over. I tried to do the other way and I can't :lol:

    Mr DW laughs at me when I half to walk around to the left to mount up :lol:

    I have the same, except I can only mount from the right, swinging my left leg. But I'm right handed. So bizarre!
    Can I offer one little word of advice? If you do go out with your b/f, make him take you somewhere FLAT. YOUR idea of flat, not his :lol: Make hiim go at your pace or tell him you'll find someone else to ride with until you're more confident. I've known too many women give up cycling forever because their OHs have pushed them too hard at the start.

    It is absolutely OK to not want to ride the way he does, OK? :)

    One of my dreams is to start a site or group or whatever of women that want to ride they way THEY want to ride, where their not pushed to ride harder/longer/steeper/faster than they want.

    Too true, although I think this is a problem not just for women, but for people getting into mountain bike in general. People who have always biked and have a lot of experience often can't see how something they ride over without a second thought could cause a less experienced rider to stumble.

    It makes me cross when I see people mocking others because they admit that they had trouble on trail X, or moaning because they've taken a less experienced rider out and they weren't automatically awesome.
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    SpinningJenny: it's what I want ditchwitch.me.uk to be eventually, but I need a forum and whatnot. It will be a place where women can go and organize rides etc in a non threatening, testosterone free environment, so that no woman will ever have to start riding by herself if she doesn't want to. Aaaaaahhh, one day!


    Ayamami: Bless him! :lol: They get all excited and take you to their favourite place, completely forgetting that it will be terrifying/excruciating for a beginner :lol:

    Just make sure he understands that, if he wants you to continue, he has to go at your pace (or not ride with you!) :lol:
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    www.ditchwitch.me.uk
    www.darksnow.co.uk
    Specialized HardRock Pro Disc 04
  • genspaingenspain Posts: 43
    I'm kinda dreading Saturday already, I've called around most of the bike shops in south west london and they're ALL out of in store models of the trek 6300, which in some ways is my first choice. :(

    Hi ayamami

    I'm also 5.1" and found it quite a task to find the right size bike. If you are still interested in the Trek 6300 and would like to try it you can always contact trek themselves and ask to demo one? this is what i did they just send it to your nearest dealer store and you get to play with it for the weekend. The web site is http://www.trekbikes.com/uk/en/

    I ended up geting a Trek fuel ex 8 full suspension and i love it, it's amazing.

    good luck and enjoy :lol:
    Cheeky, Cheeky
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  • SpinningJennySpinningJenny Posts: 889
    Glad you got a bike in the end! Brilliant news!
    Ned Flanders: “You were bicycling two abreast?”
    Homer Simpson: “I wish. We were bicycling to a lake.”

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    Another new bike! YAY!
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    www.ditchwitch.me.uk
    www.darksnow.co.uk
    Specialized HardRock Pro Disc 04
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    ayamami wrote:
    I went to my local bike store-- it was one of the dealers from the trek site. They said that trek's out of the 14 inch 6300, so I went in there today to try the 16 inch. My BF and the guy in the store both told me it was just a bit too big for me. They sat me on a 3600 trek in a 13 inch and it was a good size, had to put the seat up a bit on it, so they're asuming the 14 would be perfect, so we went ahead and ordered the trek 4500 in a 14. Arrives next saturday :).

    \o/
  • Ditch WitchDitch Witch Posts: 837
    I love that :lol:


    \o/


    :lol:
    I ride like a girl
    Start: 16.5.x Now: 14.10.8 Goal: 11.7.x
    www.ditchwitch.me.uk
    www.darksnow.co.uk
    Specialized HardRock Pro Disc 04
  • SpinningJennySpinningJenny Posts: 889
    I love that \o/ too!
    Ned Flanders: “You were bicycling two abreast?”
    Homer Simpson: “I wish. We were bicycling to a lake.”

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
  • genspaingenspain Posts: 43
    They sat me on a 3600 trek in a 13 inch and it was a good size, had to put the seat up a bit on it, so they're asuming the 14 would be perfect, so we went ahead and ordered the trek 4500 in a 14. Arrives next saturday :).

    Hi ayamami

    Did you get your bike yesterday and have you ridden it yet? how excited were you when you went to pick it up? i hope it's what you were looking for! it's a great day today to go for a ride, so don't waist time have fun :wink:

    Mrs Toast
    \o/
    what does this means? Sorry i'm new and slowly getting the hang of things.
    thanks :lol:
    Cheeky, Cheeky
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    genspain wrote:

    Mrs Toast
    \o/
    what does this means? Sorry i'm new and slowly getting the hang of things.
    thanks :lol:

    It's a person cheering - the \ / are their arms, and the o their head. \o/ Basically, it means, 'YAY!' :lol:
  • \o/
    :D
    Ned Flanders: “You were bicycling two abreast?”
    Homer Simpson: “I wish. We were bicycling to a lake.”

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
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  • ByronwwwByronwww Posts: 15
    lol at your crash :D
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