All Mountain Bikes for My GF

9 04 2010

Kona Coilair = $1750cdn for 2009 stock

I got Sharon out on Kurt’s Santa Cruz Nomad.  The good news is she liked it a lot and is stoked to try some dirt trails.  The bad news is Kurt won’t let her keep his Nomad permanently!…=-)

Santa Cruz Heckler = $2000USD

So we are looking at a few long travel all mountain full suspension bikes for her.  I’m not sure if she’ll even be able to swing one this year, but we might as well do our homework now and figure out how much $$$ we are talking about so we know how much saving has to happen.

Santa Cruz Nomad = $3000USD

I’m of the mind that upgrading suspension on a MTB is so damn expensive that you’re way better off to wait and buy the bike you want/need than to think you are saving $$$ buying a lower quality bike and upgrading when you wear stuff out/have more $$$.

I’ve added links on each image to the manufacturer’s website – so click ‘em if you want more info.

Giant Reigh 2 = $2,300CDN

Our next move will be to get out to Bow Cycle for some test rides on as many 6″ travel bikes as we can.  Looking at bike specs online is useful for narrowing down choices, but ultimately you gotta push the pedals to know what’s what!

Personally I’ve had such good luck with Santa Cruz bikes that I’ll be pushing for one of them unless Sharon falls in love with a bike she test rides and/or we find a sweet deal on  a used bike along the way.  The Santa Cruz Heckler is a very nice rig at $2K and unless we luck out on a used bike I don’t think a sub-$2K bike is in the cards if we want 6″ of travel and quality suspension.

If you have any suggestions for suitable bikes for Sharon or maybe you’ve got a lightly used long travel MTB  in a smaller size you want to get rid of – please leave a comment…=-)


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6 responses

10 04 2010
Dustin

6″ is a lot bike for somebody who has never owned a real mountain bike. If she won’t be doing many shuttle runs or days at COP, she would probably benefit from the lighter weight of a 5″ trail bike. Don’t kid yourself – 5″ is still a lot of travel for most people, especially beginners. If most of her riding is going to be self-propelled on singletrack and dirt roads, something along the lines of the Giant Trance, Norco Fluid or Santa Cruz Blur would make longer days in the saddle much more pleasurable, especially the climbs. I have friends who do everything from cross-country sprints, all day singletrack epics to the odd downhill race on nothing but 4″ travel Giant Trances from a few years ago.

10 04 2010
thelazyrando

@ Dustin – good point…my only concern is that if she is going to ride with Kurt and I it would make sense to get her a bike with similar capabilities.

If we look at a SC Blur LT and a SC Nomad the weight difference is under 2lbs.

While you can ride a HT with guys with FS bikes it’s not going to be as much fun or feel as confidence inspiring unless you are an expert rider – particularly going down.

Additionally we are going to be spending a lot of time on the BC west coast riding and from what I can tell a 6″ bike is nearly an XC ride out there!

BTW – I gave Dwayne two sets of switch bindings for you.

10 04 2010
thelazyrando

One thing that would make a 6″ bike much more user friendly is an adjustable travel fork [ie. Fox Talas]. If I was building my Nomad all over again I’d go that route so I could drop the front end on long sustained climbs.

11 04 2010
Dustin

Adjustable travel definitely makes a bike more versatile. I run a Fox 36 Talas (4″-5″-6″) on a 5.5″ Turner Spot and find the adjustable fork perfect for my riding (see links below). 4″ for climbing, 5″ for most trail riding and 6″ for more demanding downhills.

http://www.nsmb.com/3545-riding-yukon-style
http://www.nsmb.com/3563-riding-yukon-style-part-ii
http://www.nsmb.com/3613-yukon-part-iii

And thanks for the bindings!

12 04 2010
Andy Kennedy

I’ve got a 2009 Reign 2. It’s an awesome all rounder, I highly recommend it. I mostly use it at a lift assisted downhill park, but it also is great for xc. The only thing I changed was the fork. The Marzzochi bomber on the 2009 models sucks, so make sure if she gets one she goes with a 2010 so she can get the fox fork. 6′ of travel is really nice when the terrain gets hairy, and I think it climbs fairly well for what it is.

20 05 2010
Sharon’s SC Nomad « The Lazy Randonneur

[...] I posted a while back that Sharon was keen on getting an all mountain bike.  She tried Kurt’s Santa Cruz Nomad and liked it a lot, but the $3k+ price tag was a problem.  So I did some hunting for cheaper options and came up with two possibilities: [...]

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