THis is a challenge!
A mate has given up international running and wants to keep fit on a bike to prevent ongoing injury getting worse. She presently rides a 100euro pile of poo and is looking for something new. I am thinking she is best with a 80-100 mm hardtail as anything more is not justified and she still wants to cross moors on it, meaning a cyclecross is a no go really. General riding though is double track, forest paths, roads and old railway lines.
She is about 5'3" but I know she will HATE anything pink or with flowers on it, so I am looking at understated womans bike or a very small mens. I have tried to convince her £1000 would be a good price mark, but that is never going to happen (doesnt do spending money) so I think I can probably push her to the £600 level.
Any suggestions? I am thinking Specialized Rockhopper (bit expensive, but much better than hardrock), Genesis core (if they do small enough)or Boardman comp, maybe Scott aspect (though personally not a fan). She wont wait for the delivery time on a canyon. It needs to be a full bike, ready to go.
Tomorrows shopping trip could be interesting: 5'9" woman who rides a £3000+ Nicolai trying to convince a small woman who wont want a womans bike to spend more than £500!