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bike suggestion and sizing for wife


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#1 pkupmn98

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 06:05 PM

So I like to mtb, wife, not so much... but I think it's more than likely just a comfort thing, because she is willing to try try try again to go with me, (and now with me and the baby, since I just bought a baby trailer) For one, the mtb she has, is too small for her, and second, she always complains about her "crotch area" hurting after riding. (can you say crotch area on here, lol).... So I've tried buying extra wide gel, super soft saddle, and just this weekend, the kind of "roundish" seat that didn't have the long "point" to it. but even after adjusting seat height, bar height, seat angle, its just too small, knees almost hit bar, awkward to ride small. anywho. so she's about 5'8" or so, and I'm thinking about buying her a new (used) bike. First, how do I measure size of the bikes, about what size should I be looking for, and are there any of the "box store brands" that are better than the rest. (As I don't want to invest mucho dinero just to see if she is willing to ride it or not) Or should I just go the the LBS (momentum or granada) and see what they think, and buck up for a new entry level mtb. (but then, i gotta buy two bikes, because she can't have a nicer bike than me :( late 90's early 00's specialized rockhopper. I guess im ready for an upgrade too! lol thanks for any suggestions you might have.

#2 Deserteagle99uzi

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 05:44 AM

quote:
Originally posted by pkupmn98
So I like to mtb, wife, not so much... but I think it's more than likely just a comfort thing, because she is willing to try try try again to go with me, (and now with me and the baby, since I just bought a baby trailer) For one, the mtb she has, is too small for her, and second, she always complains about her "crotch area" hurting after riding. (can you say crotch area on here, lol).... So I've tried buying extra wide gel, super soft saddle, and just this weekend, the kind of "roundish" seat that didn't have the long "point" to it. but even after adjusting seat height, bar height, seat angle, its just too small, knees almost hit bar, awkward to ride small. anywho. so she's about 5'8" or so, and I'm thinking about buying her a new (used) bike. First, how do I measure size of the bikes, about what size should I be looking for, and are there any of the "box store brands" that are better than the rest. (As I don't want to invest mucho dinero just to see if she is willing to ride it or not) Or should I just go the the LBS (momentum or granada) and see what they think, and buck up for a new entry level mtb. (but then, i gotta buy two bikes, because she can't have a nicer bike than me :( late 90's early 00's specialized rockhopper. I guess im ready for an upgrade too! lol thanks for any suggestions you might have.
I won't get into all technical aspects of this as I'm sure someone more qualified than I will soon. Heres what I do know: 1. Wider "cruiser" or "gel/soft" seats rarely "fix" the "problem" of saddle soreness. Usually overall bike sizing and/or lack of bike shorts (not required) or inexperience is the cause of this. If you are MTBing at all and setting up a MTB style bike than stick to MTB style saddles for the most part. While wider gel seats look alluring to the amateur more often than not they heavily restrict the legs creating chafing of the theighs and severely restricting pedaling motion with the legs. I use WTB's Pure-V and have ridden friends bikes with Speed-V's on them. That might be a good place to start but the design of those 2 saddles is pretty basic MTB, I wouldn't stray too far from that particular design initially. 2. The angle of the seat and how far it is from the handlebars and pedals has a LOT to do with the overall comfort, untill these 2 issues are resolved (which comes with experience and messing with both) there is almost no way to tell if the particular saddle is the cause of the pain. To make this a bit easier consider a 2-bolt design on the seat clamp. They are much easier to adjust and manipulate than a 1-bolt design. 3. Most "women specific" bikes and/or fittings are mostly a sham. While it is very crafty marketing there really isn't a whole heck of a lot that is different between men's and women's bodies in terms of proportions. Women do tend to have slightly shorter limbs but guess what...so do some men. Most bikes are built around geometry that is meant to appeal to a large percentage of the population, this means fitting any/all bodytypes with a couple simple sizing tricks like seatpost height, horizontal seat adjustment and handlebar height. While I'm sure you could find bikes out there that are mass marketed that will be a terrible fit for your wife, the same could easily be said of yourself so please don't fall for buying a "women's mountainbike". 4. Sizing of non-custom bikes DOES matter so before buying something (even used) try to get a short ride on a trail in as well as getting a good luck at your wife on it suited up and in action. I will not take the time to laundry list sizing but if you have absolutely no resources check out sheldonbrown.com for them here: http://www.sheldonbr...ame-sizing.html Most bikes will fit most people but it is with a varying degree of comfort and will vary as riding skill increases and thus the most comfortable fit shifts toward more aggressives stances. At 5'8 I would very roughly guess a 17'' bike would be what to shoot for with anything over 18'' being way too big and under 16'' being way too small. If you are really interested in making this work I would really read the sheldon brown article in it's entirety as well as some of the keith bontrager original info. Some bike shops in the area can fit people fairly well if you aren't interested in doing it however it is an endeavor worth pursuing as it empowers you to adjust the bikes later as suits your riding needs. Off the top of my head I would go to REI, Big shark bicycles and Mesa cycles. I'm sure there are others as good or better not listed here but that is just who I have had success with the few times I've gone. I would really recommend getting her a hard tail, the sizing will be MUCH easier as well as the learning curve. A good Air and oil suspended fork and bulletproof components will beat a full suspension bike for a beginner any day. Did I mention to make sure the fork is oil and air suspended? MTBR.com reviews are your friend as far as bike brands go. If you buy new I wouldn't dip much under $700 for a bike if you expect it to comfortably and reliably do any trails rougher than the Katy trail. If you want recommendations on any component levels or brands etc PM me as I'm sure there are many on this website who wouldn't be interested in my opinion of bare bottom level components.

#3 sniker

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:39 AM

Sorry about my non technical reply. But since I have the proper parts I'll comment. I like my terry butterfly for my mountain bike. You can get used ones off of e-bay generally. If we are ever around each other she can take a turn on one of my bikes or borrow a seat. Check to make sure the nose of the seat isn't pointed up and that it is level. Get her a bike that fits. It doesn't have to be high dollar. Get her something that she likes. Desert eagle mentioned women specific being a sham? Does it matter if she likes it and rides it and is comfortable? No. Girls buy bikes because of the way they look. Yup, it is true. At least for this girl. Yes I ride a pink bike, yes I am jealous of my husbands red mammasita. There I said it. All of my bikes would be green. If she likes a women specific bike, buy it for her. If she likes a non women spec bike buy it for her. She will be much happier if it fits her. Just head to a LBS and let her go crazy, or not too crazy. Just my female two cents. Steph

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#4 sniker

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:57 AM

OK, looks first and then quality. Just had to clarify. of course, we are all different with differing opinions. I could go on and on and on and....

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#5 TenBeers

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 02:03 PM

Posted Image

I'm sure this applies to bikes as well. Everyone knows that blue ones are higher quality, but red ones look better and are faster.

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#6 Deserteagle99uzi

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:48 PM

quote:
Originally posted by sniker
Sorry about my non technical reply. But since I have the proper parts I'll comment. I like my terry butterfly for my mountain bike. You can get used ones off of e-bay generally. If we are ever around each other she can take a turn on one of my bikes or borrow a seat. Check to make sure the nose of the seat isn't pointed up and that it is level. Get her a bike that fits. It doesn't have to be high dollar. Get her something that she likes. Desert eagle mentioned women specific being a sham? Does it matter if she likes it and rides it and is comfortable? No. Girls buy bikes because of the way they look. Yup, it is true. At least for this girl. Yes I ride a pink bike, yes I am jealous of my husbands red mammasita. There I said it. All of my bikes would be green. If she likes a women specific bike, buy it for her. If she likes a non women spec bike buy it for her. She will be much happier if it fits her. Just head to a LBS and let her go crazy, or not too crazy. Just my female two cents. Steph
I should have been more clear. When I said women specific I meant that there are percievable differences in geometry and fit size for women's bodies vs. men's bodies. Most big time frame retailers have been on a mission to "educate" the public of the physiological "differences" when in fact they are minor at best. As for aesthetics go nuts. I would just think twice before being talked into spending extra money on a bike that is somehow sized for women. Most manufacturer's featuring these lines markup simply b/c it is a specialty bike. As I mentioned earlier at 5'8 you should have no problem finding a bike that fits for your wife. Color scheme and saddle type and the look of the bike will almost never have that big of an impact on the craftsmanship so get w/e she likes obviously. I just wouldn't pay a markup for "optimized geometry" on the grounds that it will automatically fit better. The way a saddle fits and the way a frame fits are fairly unrelated and you can always buy a new saddle, usually can't buy a new frame.

#7 jeriCurl

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 09:00 AM

A little psychological advice. Don't buy a new bike for yourself, no matter how much it hurts you. Focus on her, take her to a LBS and let her pick whatever bike makes her happy. This will make her feel special and will increase your odds of getting her into the sport. Once she gets hooked then she'll completely understand your need to upgrade your bike and you'll be free to buy the bike you really want. If you just have to buy a new bike for yourself at the same time you buy her a bike, it had better be either the same bike (cause you're a dopy romantic) or a cheaper bike. Just saying, women notice these types of things and will be silently psychologically analyzing the whole purchase decision process you make, if you can show a little patience you'll be getting bonus points in your marriage, your chances of getting a riding partner increase, and you will still eventually get the bike you really want. Win, win, win! That's my 2 cents of advice, good luck!

#8 sniker

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:57 AM

Wow! Looks like someone went to.. Oh wait. Wrong commercial. Looks like you read the manual that we all come with Jared! Excellent advice.

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#9 yurmom

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 11:07 AM

quote:
Originally posted by sniker
Wow! Looks like someone went to.. Oh wait. Wrong commercial. Looks like you read the manual that we all come with Jared! Excellent advice.
Where do I get one of these "Woman" manuals?
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#10 sniker

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 01:58 PM

Huh? You didn't get yours? I'll let you borrow Bryans, it's pretty worn out but still useful.

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#11 95vtr250

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 02:05 PM

Good advice, Jared!

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#12 smcr

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 06:43 PM

I'm 5'8 and ride a 19" but with a shorter stem to accommodate my longer legs/ridiculously short body. She needs to throw a leg over some bikes. jeriCurl advice. It's the way to go. I actually find a little narrower but not too narrow saddle more comfortable than the wider version. That's me, though. She may like something else entirely. The right pair of bike shorts do help. Starting out with short rides and working up to longer also can make a difference.

#13 pkupmn98

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 10:04 AM

Thanks for all the advice! P.S. Please forward me a copy of the manual as well, I'll be glad to pay shipping!




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