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Starter bike for girlfriend


chris_w_65
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My girlfriend wants to start MTB, she doesn't want to spend much (and she doesn't have much) on an entry level MTB. I have pretty much talked her into spending the R1800.00 on an Avalanche ATX250 (she was thinking more like R700.00 for a Makro bike).

How bad is this bike? Will it do the job?

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From what I've heard is that many a Hubber has started on the humble Avalanche. I too would have started on one of those if the damn salesman at SW actually attempted to sell me one.

 

Ended up buying a GIANT Rock for double the price.

 

Can say that if your not spending R7K on a bike now, then get the Avalanche. Actually I'm seriously considering getting the ATX for my wife end of the year.

 

 

http://dragonsza.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-avalanche-atx-250-ladies-under-r2k.html

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Should I get her a ladies one? I was just going to get the normal one. It's not like she is going to ride the thing in a dress.

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oh my word, I started on an Avalanche Sirocco.

 

I loved that bike, but just looking at that link it appears i am a fully fledged bikesnob.

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oh my word, I started on an Avalanche Sirocco.

 

I loved that bike, but just looking at that link it appears i am a fully fledged bikesnob.

 

It's weird, but I also had gotten completely oblivious to the prices of entry-level bikes, having been riding mid to high-end bikes since probably 15 years ago. Quite sobering that one can only get Shimano Tourney type stuff for that price these days...

 

That being said: Chris, I would (and I think a few would agree with me) recommend that you rather look at something 2nd-hand from the bikes on offer by people on this site. The ATX isn't really something your girlfriend would really enjoy going offroad on, she'd have to stick to the road (and correspondingly put slicks on it) to enjoy the ride and have the bike last beyond the first few months. A friend of mine also wanted to start cycling a couple of years ago - on the road - and bought a used "proper" entry-level bike (Sora, STI shifters, clipless pedals, good seat, etc) for around R2.5k back then. She actually sold it again on here (never really rode it to be honest) for R2k a while back.

 

In all honesty and with your (and her) best interests at heart, I'd recommend upping the budget to R2000-R2500 and finding something like these two options:

 

https://community.bikehub.co.za/topic/55643-bargain-entry-level-mtb-giant-iguana/page__p__853064__hl__entry+level__fromsearch__1#entry853064

 

https://community.bikehub.co.za/topic/47390-entry-level-merida/page__p__751747__hl__entry+level__fromsearch__1#entry751747

 

Both old posts, but they serve to illustrate the point.

 

If you buy 2nd-hand and she ends up not liking the sport, you'll be able to sell it without losing too much. Also, don't get a ladies' bike (meaning with the funny top tube), go for a standard one.

 

Hope that helps!

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It's weird, but I also had gotten completely oblivious to the prices of entry-level bikes, having been riding mid to high-end bikes since probably 15 years ago. Quite sobering that one can only get Shimano Tourney type stuff for that price these days...

 

That being said: Chris, I would (and I think a few would agree with me) recommend that you rather look at something 2nd-hand from the bikes on offer by people on this site. The ATX isn't really something your girlfriend would really enjoy going offroad on, she'd have to stick to the road (and correspondingly put slicks on it) to enjoy the ride and have the bike last beyond the first few months. A friend of mine also wanted to start cycling a couple of years ago - on the road - and bought a used "proper" entry-level bike (Sora, STI shifters, clipless pedals, good seat, etc) for around R2.5k back then. She actually sold it again on here (never really rode it to be honest) for R2k a while back.

 

In all honesty and with your (and her) best interests at heart, I'd recommend upping the budget to R2000-R2500 and finding something like these two options:

 

https://community.bikehub.co.za/topic/55643-bargain-entry-level-mtb-giant-iguana/page__p__853064__hl__entry+level__fromsearch__1#entry853064

 

https://community.bikehub.co.za/topic/47390-entry-level-merida/page__p__751747__hl__entry+level__fromsearch__1#entry751747

 

Both old posts, but they serve to illustrate the point.

 

If you buy 2nd-hand and she ends up not liking the sport, you'll be able to sell it without losing too much. Also, don't get a ladies' bike (meaning with the funny top tube), go for a standard one.

 

Hope that helps!

 

I have been looking for used bikes, they are either the wrong size, way too high spec (price), in the Cape or over priced. A lot of the bikes I see advertised on the net I can find new for about the same price so the owners are nuts.

 

She is 167cm tall with a 78cm inseam. I am not too sure if she is a small or medium. I checked a sizing chart and it says she needs 17". What do you guys think?

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She'll definitely need a small (I ride a medium at 1.83m).

 

As far as price is concerned, I think you'll find that on for example Gumtree, sellers will take fat chances because their audience is fairly uneducated compared to here on thehub. Bargains are definitely to be had here on thehub from time to time, and the real benefit is that overpriced bikes simple won't sell on here (plenty of snide remarks by hubbers who have a feeling for the market take care of that! :) )

 

You might have to be patient for a small bike, have you placed an ad in the "Wanted" section?

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Should I get her a ladies one? I was just going to get the normal one. It's not like she is going to ride the thing in a dress.

 

Yes!

 

The ladies bikes are normally a better fit as they are designed for a lady for example: In a men's I'm between a medium and small, but a ladies medium fits me perfectly. Plus the bike will come with a ladies saddle so you won't have to buy that seperately.

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Ah, my starter bike. I started riding again a few years back on a 'goose from sportsmans warehouse; riding her 'stukkend' with my north star tekkies, ray-ban sunglasses and a cap on my head to keep the sun out of my face. Good times :) Went to a fancy bicycle shop one day to look for perma tubes (spelling?) to stop all the punctures I was getting. That's when I picked up an expensive mtb and almost threw it through the ceiling! Was surprised to find out that you can pump your fork with a special pump and that the wheels were tubeless!! My bank accounts' been in ICU ever since...So make sure she's informed enough of what could happen when she gets hooked.

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Yes!

 

The ladies bikes are normally a better fit as they are designed for a lady for example: In a men's I'm between a medium and small, but a ladies medium fits me perfectly. Plus the bike will come with a ladies saddle so you won't have to buy that seperately.

 

Ladies-specific bikes are good (so I agree with you), but he was referring to this:

http://dragonsza.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-avalanche-atx-250-ladies-under-r2k.html

 

(Modified top-tube to enable riding with a dress)...

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If you can, get a friend's wife's bike first - if you're lucky enough to have one (a friend's wife's bike).

 

My wife borrowed a Merida Juliet - 14Kg c/w hyd. disc brake, Alivio components, Hayes Stroker brakes and everything else that is woman specific.

She hated the ride - I won't tell you what happened (that stays between us), but she said she doesn't want ride the bike again (it's too heavy). And that was on the tar roads in our complex.

 

As my '96 and this Juliet were the same size, I dropped the seat, put the platfoms that came with the bike and got her to ride my bike - even though it was too big but she immediately noticed the difference in weight, although still heavy.

 

So, my theory will be to get as light a bike as possible, preferably with V-brakes (to save on the weight). Once she start picking up confidence and can handle a 12+ Kg bike, then we can start looking at a long-term bike, probably a dual-sus and probably one that looks nice too. Otherwise it will have to be a tandem and we all know where that leads to.

 

 

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