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Seeking advice on obtaining a mountain bike (cross country)

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I had a Voodoo also. Not sure if the rims are tubeless ready. I changed out my wheelset for a tubeless ready wheelset. That wheelset eventually went on my 2003 Titus.

A few years ago I had my fit changed on my Titus. I think the fitter tried to make the fit more "modern". The bike rode well on the street but the handling was terrible off road. I could not handle the front end on trails that it had previously handled well. I'm not sure if it was me, not understanding body position, etc. but I quickly gave up on the Titus and bought a Giant Liv Pique which I really love.

I've been riding bikes for around 40 years and never had a bike that just fit my small size so well. The only adjustment was a smaller stem. No cutting down of handlebars, no switching out components to make them fit. Oh, I did switch out the saddle to my smaller Specialized saddle which I don't think is produced any more. Fortunately, I have a spare. I especially love the 1x crank set, disk brakes and dropper seat post. Also, the tubeless tires allow me to run less pressure giving me a smoother ride.
 
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Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
What size Giant Liv Pique did you get?
I bought at the end of the season. Around mid Oct. 2017. Mine is an XS, Pique Advanced 2. Sounds crazy but the smaller diameter of the handlebars works so well with my small hands and I think that's what impressed me the most. I met a woman my size last weekend who has a Liv Avail. She said the same thing, the Avail felt like it was made for her. I was so impressed with the Pique I bought a 2018 Avail. Love it more than my custom Serotta which was entirely built for me.

The shop I worked with had other models in the shop but the fitter steered me towards the Pique. The geometry just works so well for me, I think that's why he chose it.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
I bought at the end of the season. Around mid Oct. 2017. Mine is an XS, Pique Advanced 2. Sounds crazy but the smaller diameter of the handlebars works so well with my small hands and I think that's what impressed me the most. I met a woman my size last weekend who has a Liv Avail. She said the same thing, the Avail felt like it was made for her. I was so impressed with the Pique I bought a 2018 Avail. Love it more than my custom Serotta which was entirely built for me.

The shop I worked with had other models in the shop but the fitter steered me towards the Pique. The geometry just works so well for me, I think that's why he chose it.
Wait. You have two mountain bikes. Maybe you need to sell me one of them ! I love my road bike 44' specialized ruby carbon fiber.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I bought at the end of the season. Around mid Oct. 2017. Mine is an XS, Pique Advanced 2. Sounds crazy but the smaller diameter of the handlebars works so well with my small hands and I think that's what impressed me the most. I met a woman my size last weekend who has a Liv Avail. She said the same thing, the Avail felt like it was made for her. I was so impressed with the Pique I bought a 2018 Avail. Love it more than my custom Serotta which was entirely built for me.

The shop I worked with had other models in the shop but the fitter steered me towards the Pique. The geometry just works so well for me, I think that's why he chose it.
Also, Liv now makes a 29er in an XS. I've read on other websites that
Wait. You have two mountain bikes. Maybe you need to sell me one of them ! I love my road bike 44' specialized ruby carbon fiber.
Glad you still love your Ruby. I remember helping you buy it.
Sorry, last year I donated the Titus to an organization that refurbishes old bikes and donates them to kids.
My recommendation is to buy new because frame geometry has changed so much. When I bought my bike I was told that older Mtn bikes designs were based on road bike design. As time went on they realized that type of design did not work well with the intended use so the geometry morphed into todays design. On an older bike it will be harder and more costly to upgrade to modern components.
My advice is to work with your shop, and bike fitter, demo what they have, if anything, and work with the fitter for the best bike for you.
Also, Liv makes 29er's in XS. They came out after I bought my 27.5. I'm happy with my wheel size but I've read many woman are thrilled with their 29er's.
Lots to think about, good luck.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
Also, Liv now makes a 29er in an XS. I've read on other websites that

Glad you still love your Ruby. I remember helping you buy it.
Sorry, last year I donated the Titus to an organization that refurbishes old bikes and donates them to kids.
My recommendation is to buy new because frame geometry has changed so much. When I bought my bike I was told that older Mtn bikes designs were based on road bike design. As time went on they realized that type of design did not work well with the intended use so the geometry morphed into todays design. On an older bike it will be harder and more costly to upgrade to modern components.
My advice is to work with your shop, and bike fitter, demo what they have, if anything, and work with the fitter for the best bike for you.
Also, Liv makes 29er's in XS. They came out after I bought my 27.5. I'm happy with my wheel size but I've read many woman are thrilled with their 29er's.
Lots to think about, good luck.
Yeah thanks... I go to the Spokesman in Santa Cruz. Wade is the owner/bike fitter so will talk to him. Yes thanks for the Ruby recommendation as really love it. It was in my price range (2k ish) and I'm happy with it. Very smooth ride compared to my old mountain bike. The Voodoo Wanka was a pretty expensive bike back then as Santa Cruz Juliana was in the same price range, maybe a few hundred dollars more but not much. I demoed one at Wilder Ranch but like the Voodoo better and everything was customized so it's a great fit. But sadly, it's old school now with old Rock Shox but good components as I think I upgraded at the time. I was looking on line at some Trek Fuel I think but 29 er not recommended for extra small sizes. We're around the same size (possibly similar age) so may pm you in the future. I'll see what Wade has. I know stock is low in my area but I'm not in a huge hurry.
 

SarahXC

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
As a not even too short rider (5’5”) I would definitely look at test riding both 29er and 27.5. My personal experience was the 29er bikes can feel really “tall” in the front end esp in small sizes if you get much travel on the fork. I’ve been struggling to find a “new geometry” bike I really love. I feel like such an outlier since everyone seems to jump on them and instantly be thrilled. Lol
 

SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
As a not even too short rider (5’5”) I would definitely look at test riding both 29er and 27.5. My personal experience was the 29er bikes can feel really “tall” in the front end esp in small sizes if you get much travel on the fork. I’ve been struggling to find a “new geometry” bike I really love. I feel like such an outlier since everyone seems to jump on them and instantly be thrilled. Lol
I'm tall-ish and ride a 29er but I know what you mean about new geometry. I feel like even "trail" bikes now (as opposed to even just 2016 or 2017) have very slack geometry. And a slacker bike won't climb as well no matter the suspension set-up. (I can adjust the geometry of my current bike, and in its steepest setting, it is slacker than the slackest setting on the 2017 version of the same exact bike).

I've adjusted to the new bike, mostly by getting used to having to move my body more forward on climbs, but the overall climbing performance still isn't as good. I love ripping downhill as much as the next person, but the trails here are very steep and the slightly-improved downhill performance is not, imho, a worthwhile trade-off for poor climbing ability.

If I'm ever lucky enough to be able to buy a new bike, I'd look at cross-country bikes just for the climbing-focused geometry.
 

Soujan

Angel Diva
I have a Lynskey 27.5 hardtail. It's custom fraken-bike that I put together. I love it. I don't need anything more than a hardtail for where I ride. I hope to get a trail bike next. I'm looking at Canyon bikes since they make an XS 27.5 trail bike.
 

geargrrl

Angel Diva
There are a lot of nice XS bikes now. Many of the companies have finally gotten on board. My 5'1 friends, and I have several, have ridden Pivots, Liv, Transition for starters.
 

Soujan

Angel Diva
I've tried Liv and they don't fit me. I'm weirdly in-between sizes with their bikes.
 

SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I have a modern-geometry full-suspension bike that fits me perfectly. Yesterday I was almost home and was bonking after a long ride-hike-ride and I crashed my modern-geometry full-suspension bike and fell smack in the middle of a huge thorn bush.

My modern-geometry full-suspension bike weighs thirty pounds and it landed on top of me. Also, did you know that when you're in a thorn bush, every movement you make pushes you into the thorns more? That's a true fact.

On the way home after the thorn-bush rodeo, I ran into my neighbor on his 1992 Gary Fisher hard-tail and he was having a great time and it didn't look like he'd fallen into any thorn bushes at all.

:smile:
 
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santacruz skier

Angel Diva
BF has 90’s Gary fisher. Sweet bike! Shop in Tahoe said i need a tune up but nice bike my trusty old Voodoo
 

SarahXC

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Oh! The number of thorn bushes and other slow speed climbing topple overs. The uphill turn timing on the new bikes! You would think I could get adapted to it 4-5 days a week over the 3-4 years I’ve tried the new geometry. I jump on my older bikes and I can put the bike anywhere I want.
 

SarahXC

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
1CADAF93-5B61-4618-954D-36B713869F63.jpeg
The frakenbike 26” had its maiden voyage today after the parts bin rebuild. And well… I must admit my memories of this bike are better than the actual performance. Could be fun as a gravel grinder but not so fun on the steeps—either up or down I rode today on my usual weekday loop. I missed my 29er wheels, 120mm of fork travel and running low pressure in tubeless tires!
 

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