I thought 600 pixels wide would make it hard for people to notice that! For a 2008 model, it works pretty well - better than its rider, anyway.
P.S. What should I get? I'm thinking 27.5, full suspension... What else?
So... Coach LD votes for keeping my current bike.
Well, I guess I was N+1 this year.
I'm guessing a 2x10 27.5 would be nice.
Other options might be 1x11, and 27.5x3.0 semi-fat hardtial. Both simpler but less versatile.
Semi-fat? That sounds slow for my main bike.
Go 29er. I think 2x10 would be good for the majority of AR biking you would do. If you were worried about weight (because AR directors like to make us hike a bike) you could go carbon HT. If not I would go FS.
I'm a little worried about 29ers as a smaller person. Mrs. Gally got a 29er this year and switched to a 27.5. I remember that Leanimal (a tall, strong rider) found it hard to get used to her 29er and used to revert to her old 26er once in awhile, saying that it felt more nimble and she had to overcome less inertia to get it rolling.
On the other hand, Dee seems to love her 29er and I've seen teammates on 29ers roll ahead of me with less effort, not to mention that I had to carry extra tubes just for me.
Emily Batty is much smaller than you and she seems to do ok..... :) And also in case you hadn't noticed....I am no giant. Hehe. I would say try one out via a rental or demo day as I think you would really be able to balance the pros vs cons.
It will be less nimble on things like tight turns, but it is something you get used to. The inertia issue is less likely with a lighter bike. And once you get them rolling they do like to roll. Maybe we should plan a ride together and you could test drive mine.
I don't really have any other experience to compare to, but I've been happy with my hardtail 29er. (And it's about as small as they go - 14.5" frame.) It does go downhill faster than bikes with smaller wheels - I've been able to catch or pass better riders with even just a slight downhill slope on the road - and I think the bigger wheels go over bumps better. I haven't ridden other bikes enough to speak to inertia or nimbleness, though I can certainly believe that momentum on downhills translates to inertia on uphills - but I've still also found that I can pick up speed on a long steady not-too-steep uphill. And tight turns are tricky, though at least some of that may be lack of skill and an unwillingness to carry speed through a turn. I also have fairly wide handlebars, which doesn't help with trees.
When I got my bike, they said that the frame geometry issues had been worked out for smaller riders, though I have also noticed that Trek is no longer making small frame 29ers - they've gone to 27.5 for the smallest frame sizes and 29 for the rest. Not sure if that says something or not. The guy I ride with (who is also fairly small) switched from 26 to 27.5 a year or two ago and seems to really like it. (Hardtail in both cases.) He's an n+1 bikes guy and did a bunch of research, though I'm not sure how much he's actually ridden 29ers.
Thanks! When 29ers first came out, our bike mechanic told me that small pro women were riding customized-to-them 29ers with different geometry from what I could get on a consumer level bike. Also, they have more powerful engines. He didn't recommend 29ers for most women of average height although it is clearly working for you, Arthurd. That was a few years ago - I wonder if he would say the same thing now.
I've only ridden a 27.5 (rental), not a 29er yet, so it's definitely something to try. The last time I shopped, I couldn't find a wide variety of bikes to test ride on trails, and I also found that a lot of bikes were sold out for the year early in the season. I'll have to look for demo days in our area and maybe arrange a swap with BiT and others!
I liked the 27.5 full suspension 2x10 Dee rented for me in Sedona (Corrected, thanks Bash) . I forget what you rode there.
That's where I rode my 27.5 too. Sedona, that is.
"Unless you’re into one of those niches (referring to 27.5"), which generally involve riding down technical trails as fast as possible, a 29er mountain bike is almost certainly the way to go if you’re buying a new bike.
For general mountain biking and especially for cross-country and endurance racing, they’ve proven themselves superior in both speed and user-friendliness."
Should we be concerned the amount of thought you seem to have put into women's bikes, BiT?
I, for one, am grateful! Mrs. Gally, if you're out there, why did you trade in your 29er?
if I can run 26" tubes in a 29er for emergency use (and then am too lazy to replace it so it's been a while), no need for extra tubes in a 27.5/29 mix team.
Other than WT where I missed my retired full suspension, I am half tempted to go rigid next for all the road riding in the last batch of ARs I did. Put on some silkychrome slicks and have it as close to cx as you get and pass inspection. vroom vroom
If you're supposed to replace bikes from 2008, I'm in trouble because the bikes I use the most are close to that age.
But Bash should go first. I would be biased towards 27.5 full suspension.
I am probably the least experienced mountain biker here, as well as the shortest one weighing on this debate, but my Trek 29er always amazes me at what it can let me do on the trails.
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