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Womens Bikes for under £400 ?

SchellpelSchellpel Posts: 119
edited September 2012 in Women
My Girlfriend has decided that she wants to come over to the dark side and Join me out on the hills.

To begin with I imagine that we will mostly be on the smoother trails and bike paths, so I am looking for a entry level mountain bike for her. We have about £300-400 to spend on the bike and gear. Also to muddy the waters a little I have a set of RochShox Duke Air forks 80mm (1/1-8 steerer) , a set of disk wheels (9 speed hub though) and a front Magura Julie hydraulic disk brake that can be liberated from my spare bike. All are in good condition.

So with that in mind what would you recommend in that price range ? closer to £300 would be better.

So far I have looked at the Women's specific offerings from Specialized , DiamondBack and Giant.


  • estampidaestampida Posts: 1,008
    what height is she?

    my missus is quite small and you need to see if its a 13" or 15" frame as the 13" look like trials bikes and some 15" are better shaped than others

    but get a frame, as 2012 stock is about to be replaced, and pick up the odds n' sods to make a whole bike

    could run it single speed until she decides if she wants 27 gears and all those shifters on the bar
  • You could get her a basic specialized Myka.The frames on these are really good but the components are not brilliant, but if you have all those bits to add on then that is not so much of an issue. I have tried one and I can vouch for the frame. Make sure its the right size for her though.

    Also on one do some nice hardtail frames quite cheap and go down to a size 14. You would have to ask them if you could run a 80mm fork with them though.

    A lot of people say the Decathalon rock riders are good and I think they do one for about £300. But I've not tried one.
  • Thank's for the replies

    She is 5.5 so I was thinking 15-16in frame but we are going to the LBS to try out the Myka and see how the sizing on that is.

    I did think of getting a frame but the bits on my hack bike (a 1992 Kona Kiluea) are a bit eclectic , suntour thumb shifters , square taper cranks ect, 8 speed gears, but maybe with a frame or second hand frame it can be done cheap. The disk wheels are Mavic 117's on deore disk hubs and came of my old FSR and kept as spare, I suppose a crankset, cassette, and shifts could be sourced fairly cheaply. I will have a look into it.

    The Myka did grab my eye as the one to get and be able to upgrade in the future.

    The Decathlon looks nice

    We would have to sure about the sizing though
  • Just did some quick research

    An on one frame with Cassette, chain set, chain, shifters, front rear mech comes to around £300. So a much better bike but still leaves stem, handlebar grips ect to buy.

    A full bike with the bits added on (I think the Myka is 9 speed? ) would be cheaper and if the frame is good bits can be replaced when needed. No if they just made it in pink , she says any color so long as it is pink :roll: :roll:
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Which on one frame? The steel ones are rather heavy.
  • I was looking at this one

    A rummage in the garage has produced a set of Deore 9 speed rapidfire shifters some seat posts, womens seat and handle bars. I am trying to work out if the XT rear mech on my hack bike can work with 9 speed so it looks like I would need

    Crankset + bottom bracket
    9 Speed cassette
    Front derailleur
    Inner tubes

    Going to give them a call tomorrow for info.

    She has a go on a specialized Myka today and she seemed most comfortable on the women's 17in frame, the 15in looked a bit cramped. The spec is not brilliant for the £350 asking price, but I do have that wheel set, forks and brake to use.

    I am having a look in the classifieds at the second hand stuff but no one seems able to post stuff especially on ebay which really limits the second hand market, I have done it getting a box from LBS and using the same courier as them in the past when selling a bike.
  • I had a good look at the kit on the hack bike today.

    The rear mech is XT M750 so its 9 speed, the fork is functionally ok some paint missing and a bit of corrosion on the stantions, LX v Brake on the rear is ok and the seat post would fit the on one frame :D

    So looking on CR

    SRAM PG950 9 Speed MTB Cassette £19.99
    Shimano Deore M590 Triple Chainset £54.99
    SRAM PC951 9 Speed Chain £12.99
    Shimano LX M570 Front Mech £11.99
    Appropriate stem £20
    One Inbred Frame £140

    Total is £259.96

    This seem much better bang for buck to me, ok the fork looks tatty but I don't think she would care.

    So this might have turned into a "which cheap women's frame thread instead" :lol::lol:
  • I got a nice stem for on one for £9.99, and its fine.
  • Thank's

    Of course I just realized that I would need a disk for the rear, but £30 or so off CR is not bad.

    One potential snag on the on one is the sizing. If i take the Myka 17in as a guide the top tube length is 575mm seat tube is 432mm. The 14in is to small and the 16in to big. I think I might go on the hunt of a second hand Myka frame.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Assuming all the parts will fit ;-)

    I'd get a complete bike for £300, and swap parts that will fit onto it. This way you'll always have something that works.
  • As its the end of the season if you want a Myka, conatact all the specialized stores near you and ask for a deal on a basic one. You'd get one cheap at this time of year.
    Also dont forget Ebay.
    At 5'5 I think she will probably need the 17 Myka as Im 5'3 and on the 15 i had to have the seat right up,for proper leg extention.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Depends on the length of your legs lol. I often struggle with sizing, as I am 6ft but have shortish arms and 35 inside leg.
  • I have found the Myka HT for £295 in the right size, loads on flebay but nearest is £150 miles away and they are all collection only :D

    Going to have a look at the Diamondback offerings tomorrow
  • Tried to look at Bikes at my other LBS's today but they all came up a bit short on stock and choice.

    Did find one bike and that was this

    Much better spec than the Myka the fork was ok to. However the comedy was she could only stand on it and try and ride down the isles in Halfords. When I asked if she could ride it outside they said "if it is ridden outside it's not new anymore and we can't sell it" I suddenly remembered why I don't like Halfords :shock:

    No where on Diamondbacks dealer list seems to sell Diamond back in my area :roll: :roll:

    We did find a pink helmet, I still have some way to go convincing Her that the baggy shorts are ok. As usual it seems that its any color as long as its black or grey even with women's kit.
  • Ok it has come down to the choice between the Carrera Vengeance and the Specialized Myka HT



    The practical differences are,

    XCT instead of XCR for on the Vengeance, XCT has no rebound control a play in the shop confirms this.
    Vengeance has separate shifter/break units instead of the integrated one on the myka
    Vengeance has mechanical disk's.
    Slightly better components on the Vengeance alloy instead of steel bars ect...

    The Myka is £35 cheaper to buy.

    :?: :?: :?:
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Unless you plan to replace the fork, get the Vengeance. The XCT fork will ruin any offroad experience.

    Bar the frame, the Myka is pretty poor.
  • I thought you were replacing the fork anyway?
  • Not sure about the non-hydraulic disc brakes :?

    Whilst I've never actually tried them, I understand they can be a bit vicious
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    My son has mechanical discs on his bike - they are fine. They are actually less maintenance and hassle than Hydraulic discs, just less stopping power.

    I would get the Carrera personally - the spec of the components is generally better than the Myka and the rebound wont do anything worth having on those forks anyway...

    The Myka (& Hardrock) was a great bike a few years ago until they put the price up massively then took all the reasonable components off and replaced them with utter rubbish components.

    If you are clever, you can save a bit more on the Carrera too. Join British Cycling for £24, use the TForL12 code to get 50% off and pay by direct debit to get another 10% off. Makes it £10.80 for the year and gives 10% off at Halfords - total of £297 for the Carrera then. If you use Quidco, you can get £10 cashback on the British Cycling too (I think) making it 80p for the year!
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    I should add that I say this as someone who liked Specialized bikes a couple of years ago (before they got silly) and recently bought a second hand 2010 Myka for my daughter for £160, then fitted a pair of Tora forks that came off my bike when I upgraded and the result is a really nice light bike with reasonable spec components. There are good deals to be had, but everyone else is looking for them too!
  • I thought you were replacing the fork anyway?

    That's true but I took off the V brake post's off 10 years ago and am not sure where they are, and as the brake/shifter units are combined on specialized I can't just add my disc brake, make it harder to put them on the myka. Straight swap on the Vengeance. Also some one has expressed an interest in buying my hack bike.

    You seem get a much better spec on the Carrera, that's mostly because it's on sale from £450.

    Yep loads of Mykas second hand on Ebay, nearly all collection only and the bikes that can be posted are going for silly money because you don't have to collect them :roll: :roll:

    No one seems to have heard of this company

    It's almost certainly going to be the Carrera despite my reservations about Halfords.
  • Well my Girl Friend now has her bike, I got her the Vengeance mainly due to it being better value for money. I have put a set of Specialized Fast Trak Pro tires that I had spare as the Kenda's it came with where heavier and to Knobbly for the sort of riding we are going to be doing in the near future. I will probably go the whole hog and do a No Flats conversion as the Specy tires are tubeless , I stopped using inner-tubes long ago, what is a puncture again ?

    My girl friend likes it and has been riding up down the street like a little girl :lol::lol: we are off for a proper ride tomorrow to learn how to use all those gears :roll:

    As for my impressions, the fork is better than I thought it would be and the quality of all the bits and peices is fair. Handle bars have no center mark on them so getting them centered required a ruler :oops: The brakes work, and so do the gears.

    The only real strangeness is the lack of QR seat post. The last time I bought a bike without one was 1992 and that was to save wieght :D
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