Buying a bike for the Girlfriend – Worth it or not?
I am in a not-dissimilar position. MrsDummy is not a great enthusiast for sport generally, and while she likes the idea of riding a bike she finds the effort and concentration a bit much. Buying anything new and nice is likely to be a waste, and buying anything rubbish is always a waste.
In all seriousness, get a modestly priced tandem. It takes the pressure of steering, braking, road sense away, allows her to put in as much or as little real effort as she likes, and means you can bring her back from 30 miles out if her legs stop working.
🙂Posted 8 years agoTeetosugarsSubscriber
I’m thinking the same..
If I buy a cheap bike then it won’t be a pleasent experience, but then If I buy something expensive and it doesn’t get used…
I’m thinking I may just get her this: http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/?fn=product&productId=1718&categoryId=129 and see how she gets on with it..Posted 8 years agoscu98rkrMember
Maybe the Singletrack world collective should organise a couple of “partner” bikes ?
Basically we all chip in and buy say one 15″ and one 19″ bike. We then swap them between us and when are partners think they might get into cycling and then proceed to get bored of it. 🙂
Alternatively I dont know where you live but could you not hire one ?
Swinnertons at chase trails hire them £20 for 3 hours and you dont have to ride follow the dog you go just do the family bike routes. Im sure other trail/forest centres must do similar ie sherwood pines/look out braknell/bedgebury.
You’d be able to go 4-5 time before it came close to the price of even a cheap bike.Posted 8 years ago
Not sure what a tandem would look like with a 6’7″ bloke on the front and a 5’5″ woman on the back! I think custom would be the only way to do it and boy would it be ugly and expensive!
Money isn’t an issue with the purchase (within reason) but i don’t want to simply waste money on something that won’t be used. The decathlon bikes are not too bad for the money. But then £360 for the spesh is hardly the end of the world is it.
In an ideal world i’d like to be able to go over to the park for a couple of little tester rides on her existing bike but it’s just toooo horrible.Posted 8 years agoV8_shin_printMember
I’ve just been through this with Mrs V8_shin_print, I have upgraded her Raleigh Lizard to a GT Avalanche 1.0 (15.5″) which i got from a mate of a mate for £250. It took me an hour of fiddling to get the brakes and gears right, but as far as she is concerned it is a ‘new’ bike with disc brakes and suspension. To me it is heavy but compared to the raleigh it’s a feather! It’s all relative, if she takes to it then we will look at upgrading parts or maybe the whole bike, but it is easily good enough for her to work out if she will get in to biking and will do for a year as she builds skills.Posted 8 years ago
Keep watching the classifieds and something will come up, even if it takes a week or two. You will know yourself if she is the type of girl who is going to want to follow you down drops or if she only wants to pottle around the park…TreksterSubscriber
Damned if you do damned if you dont
Buy the best you can afford.
The rewards could be great or end in 😥
Make time and be sympathetic. Encourage some of her mates :Dto join in.
Dont be daft and try taking her on silly trails/routes. Getting out for a 1/2hr easy ride to start with(as per a jogging prog)and ease up the miles/time as and when. Just don`t force the issue. Until she is confident, built up the sore/sit points and competent on the easy stuff then venture onto more exciting terrain.
That Commencal seems to be sold out. Why not get Merlins own bike brand? Or try Edinburgh bike shop for their own brand, they get good reviewsPosted 8 years agogrummMember
I got my gf a 14″ Schwinn Mesa GS off ebay for about £180. It’s got Deore gears and a slightly crap Rockshox J1 fork – I’ve now put a BB7 on the front. She is very happy with it – rides it to work on slicks and comes on easy mtb trails like the North Face in Grizedale with me sometimes.Posted 8 years agoJ0NMember
Took my GF to halfords and got a Carrera for £200. all reasonable kit with cable disc and (heavy) sus fork. She loves it. Primarily for commuting but does do the odd bit of off road with me. Anyway, good bike at good price and half way house for you between the spesh and decathlon.Posted 8 years agoseth-enslow666Member
How many blokes on here have tried to get a bird biking? In theory it all sounds good. But reality is that if someone is not that way inclined, they wont be bothered if they have an 09 carbon Trek to ride!
I hate playing squash and find it a pointless and boring thing to do. If my GF bought me the best squash racquet money could buy then it would not make me want to hit a ball against a wall for an hour. Even if she totally loved playing it. So in theory a racquet at a tenner would be just as good!
If you must then I would but that bike from Merlin, as it looks ok for the money. It will be less money to lose when it ends up in the local papers classifieds!Posted 8 years agoscotiaMember
i’d recommend the tryout from shops. We did that (ok its not mtb, but road as i can no longer mtb due to knees) and she got a good idea of what it was like. Then i bought her a good trek and she loves it, even looking to spec things and change components!
dont do the typical buying a cheapo – she wont like it and wont do it. The number of guys i see with a 6k road bike and their gf with a 2 dollar ‘skip find’ suprises me..Posted 8 years agoBigDummySubscriber
I hired the sort of tandem I was thinking of a couple of years ago. It was a Trek, built around an 18inch front and 14inch rear end I think. It was specced with the sort of stuff you’d get on a £300-£400 bike and was of course very heavy, but perfectly solid feeling. For local parks and country lanes sort of thing it was absolutely spot-on. 🙂Posted 8 years ago
I’m swaying towards the Spesh but i’m off to Halfords at lunchtime so will look at their offerings as well as popping into Two Wheels to see what they have on the way back.
I’m midlands based so could go to the Chase and hire a bike but are there any female specific bikes available? Plus as she hasn’t ridden for years and it was an effort turning around on the driveway yesterday so i wouldn’t take her anywhere remotely offroad until she finds her cycling legs again.Posted 8 years ago
My girlfriend has suggested she wouldn’t mind trying basic riding with me but currently only has a very old Apollo bike which is horrible and weighs over 35lbs for a small rigid bike which i don’t think is safe as the whole brake setup moves with the wheel when the brakes are applied. I can’t upgrade the brakes to even vbrakes as there are no bosses on the fork and i’m not happy with her using the bike in its present condition.
Much as i’d like her to enjoy riding i have very little faith in her actually doing it more than a couple of times before quitting (she’ll say it hurts her knees, bum etc…) based on her previous attempts at anything fitness related.
I’d be happy to buy her a new bike but can’t decide whether to get a reasonable starter bike like the Spesh Myka Sport disc at £360 or to dip a toe in the market with a cheapy rigid bike from Decathlon for around the £120 mark. I guess i’d be able to recoup more money by selling the spesh should it end up festering in the shed but then i also feel i’d be buying it more because i think it’s a nicer bike when i don’t think she’ll even notice much difference and it’ll only ever get ridden in local parks and country lanes.
So what do we think is the best option? Oh, and Ebay doesn’t offer a lot in 15″ womens bikes and i don’t like buying bikes off Ebay anyway. Cheers.Posted 8 years agokpt1972Member
Deja vu! mrs kpt is pushing for a new full susser now.I got her a mongoose rockadile just to try her hand and shes got the bug now.It didnt help her having a spin on a relatives giant vt1 as nant yr arian on sunday,she came back claiming she could be twice as quick with a bike like that so she hasnt stopped scouring the classifieds since for a vt1Posted 8 years agoantigeeMember
at 5ft 5 womens specific trek or specialized would make sense – it really does seem to make a big difference to comfort and actually using it before mrs antigee got a womens specific trek all i got was moans about back ache – now rides most weekends and commutes some daysPosted 8 years agoSirJonLordofBikeMember
Well I once bought a £200 Giant for a GF, she liked/loved it, I got her £2k (rrp) titanium hardtail as a suprise she never bonded with it and it got sold for a painfully small sum, the lesson – let them choose it but “help” them make the right choice! my recomendation is a niceish cannondale hardtail with soft cushioned grips & a comfy saddle for their extra tender you know whatsPosted 8 years agotwiglet_monsterMember
Original question “Buying a bike for the girlfriend – worth it or not?”.
Based on your description – No, its not worth it.
Too right about her current Apollo bike. She’s likely to get out of her depth on even a modest downhill (and its SO easy to get carried away with biking 🙂 )
Hire a bike and see if she likes it. She won’t feel committed and neither will you. Buying something does funny stuff to our expectations. You want to prove you spent wisely, right? That can easily get in the way of enjoying the ride, for her and for you.
Think of it as hiring a pedalo for the day. It’s having fun together outdoors (stop sniggering at the back). Forget the male I’m-only-having-fun-if-I-go-fast mentality and relax…
The Chase has fireroads right? Forget that FtD is there and have a pootle. You can always do more, but once you’ve scared her off that’s it.
Good luck and enjoy 🙂
Oh and one more question – Do you actually want her to come biking regularly with you? For many of us MTB time is self-indulgent c*cking about time with our male mates. I’d recommend being honest with yourself, and her as it’ll save a lot of trouble if she does *gasp* actually like biking…
p.s. all IMHO – you may think quite differently and that’s fine :).Posted 8 years ago
p.p.s If I come across at all patronising I don’t mean to – honest advice intended only 🙂acjimMember
To start my (then) girlfriend (now wife) off with biking I bought her a 299 merlin special – it was light and had a ladies saddle. It took her a couple of rides but she quickly got into it. That bike was then nicked – replaced with a rock lobster 853 and then a fs Azonic. By this time she was well hooked and lusted after a SantaCruz SL – which I bought for her when a decent 2nd hand one came up. So it is possible! I know though that she is quite tough and doesn’t mind the odd bruise / crash – other friends have tried to get their better half’s into riding and found quite the opposite (1st scratch and the bike goes on ebay)
IMO don’t try the “it’s my jump bike and your xc bike” game – it’ll be too heavy and will handle like a pig on the flat stuffPosted 8 years agoDitch WitchMember
As a female rider, yes please, do buy or rent her a bike BUT:
Do NOT take her out on a route that YOU think is easy just because you don’t suffer on it.
Take her somewhere pan flat and only for an hour, then gradually build up from there. The chances are good that she’s going to need support, encouragement and patience.
I read on another forum how a guy took his g/f to Coed-y-Brenin for her first ride out, then was annoyed that she couldn’t climb the hills.
If you’re not prepared to take it slowly, easily and carefully for the first few months OR not prepared to help her find a bunch like minded women to ride with, then don’t bother. You’ll ruin cycling for her forever.Posted 8 years agomomoSubscriber
Mrs momo has a cheapo supermarket special bike from before we met, a few eeks ago she decided that she wanted to try riding together, so we went out for a shortish local ride, fairly flat (we do live in lincoln after all) and mainly based around cycle paths and quiet roads. She didn’t get on very well because she found the saddle to be VERY uncomfortable, so during the week we went out and bought a new saddle, tried again at the weekend and she really enjoyed it this time. Going to take her over to sherwood pines shortly and see how she gets on there.
If she still enjoys it when there are a few hills to contend with then I’ll be buying her something like the specialised for her birthday in July.Posted 8 years ago
Knowing my girlfriend as i do, i reckon she’ll only ever do local park and country road lanes at best (maybe the occasional towpath) and would have no interest in what we would generally call ‘proper’ mountainbiking so i realise rides with her will just be a bit of time spent together in the sunshine at a more than relaxed pace and no doubt stopping for tea every 500 yards. I have no intention of pushing her too far at all.
If i’m brutally honest i quite like the time alone (or with riding buddies) away from her so i don’t know how i’d feel if she actually got really into it (although it would be pretty cool i guess).
I’ve just got back from Decathlon and Halfords and there was nothing inspiring in either. LBS had a nice GT but at £460 the budget is starting to creep up from the Spesh at £360 (which seems the best value out there at the moment).
If i buy the spesh then i reckon i could get back a good chunk of the original cost if i sold it again in the classifieds/ebay within the first year?Posted 8 years agoSilentSparkyMember
IMO don’t try the “it’s my jump bike and your xc bike” game – it’ll be too heavy and will handle like a pig on the flat stuff
Not wanting an argument or anything, but out of interest why?
I’ve ridden a few xc miles on the Merlin dual and found it fine, although a little small for an all dayer as I’m 6ft and its a 15″ frame. Lighter than my PA and Lava Dome I used to have. This maybe as its built more as a small xc bike than a dj bike though?Posted 8 years agocinnamon_girlSubscriber
I don’t wish to sound patronising but is it surprising that girls don’t want to ride bikes when they’re presented with something that weighs a ton? Girls generally do weigh less than men, some don’t have the strength that men do. Would you want to ride around on some downhill beast on towpaths cos that’s how it could feel to a girl?
At 5’5″ (same as me) you don’t have to keep to women-specific. Have a look on the Classifieds for a used frame. I have found that a 15″ Rock Lobster and a 14″ Inbred fit me perfectly. As suggested, post a ‘Wanted’ ad. When I sold my Lobster last year, there was an awful lot of interest on here.
Also don’t forget that forks and wheelset can make a huge difference, again go the second-hand route.
If it doesn’t work (almost sounds as though you don’t want it to :wink:) you will be able to sell on again. May be she would feel more comfortable riding with other girls?Posted 8 years agoaPMember
My other half buys her own bikes, usually with some discussion beforehand over frame/ forks/ components.Posted 8 years ago
On the whole she ends up buying what she wants to buy and is usually pretty happy with it, there were tears when she noticed that she only had a Centaur and not a Record front derraileur on her no.1 road bike.
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