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Setting up MTB for Girlfriend

SibelcoMickSibelcoMick Posts: 6
edited June 2011 in MTB beginners
My girlfriend sits very upright on her MTB. This means that she arches her back to reach the handlebars which results in back pain and the front end lifting up (no weight on the bars) when she goes up steep stuff.

I have tried adjusting the bike, shorter stem, lowered bars, new bike but nothing seems to help. It looks to me like she just does not flex at the hip and lean forward into the correct position.

Any ideas? Anything else I can adjust or does she just need to flex at the hip more?


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    A shorter stem will make this worse - she needs a longer stem.

    But it sounds like the bike is simply too small.
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,767
    To answer, this cmore clearly i think we need to see the bike and her postion on it. But it does sound like sonic says titchy bike.
  • I will try and get a photo.

    Its a Medium Giant Talon. How can I tell if its the right size?

    Standover is ok but I guess we are talking about length more than height?

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Yes, length is more important than standover for many riders. If you are too hunched up it is simply too short.
  • She is 5 foot 8 and the Bike is a Medium Giant which I would guess is about 19"
  • Whats a quick way to confirm its too short?

    New stem or new bike?

    Seat moved back help?
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Post a pic of her on the bike.
    And copy to Crudcatcher as well so we can make rude comments.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • mac_manmac_man Posts: 916
    She is 5 foot 8 and the Bike is a Medium Giant which I would guess is about 19"

    A medium would seem about right for her height. However... it's surprising how much small changes can make a difference. I swapped out the forks on my rockhopper. These now have less travel and the stem is now straight on top of the headset. The whole front end now sits lower and I now get a 'pinched' feeling between my shoulders on anything over 1hr ride. Am guessing it's because i'm now straining slightly when I look up from my now lower position on the front of the bike.

    Could maybe look at bar height and saddle height/reach as well...

    In fact, check all contact points - like angle of brakes and such. If the brakes are more horizontal this might create a more upright stance, for example.
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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Is the saddle very slightly nose down as it should be? If its dead level or nose up slightly many women will want to sit more upright to gain some 'breathing space'.

    With SS though you need to 'pull' her forward using the bars, if she can't reach them she'll lean forward until she can, its distance from Saddle to grips that is key, so stem/bars/frame and saddle all play a part.

  • Thanks, I will have a look at seat angle.

    Stem is only 90mm, I have a 110 on mine so think I will try swapping and see what does that. Brakes levers are too high, I have moved them once but will check.

    Its really hard because If it was my bike I would know it feels wrong and tweak stuff but as she is a newcomer its frustrating. Bike was sized up in a shop so I hope it is the right size.


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