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New GT for my daughter, she doesn't like it.

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New GT for my daughter, she doesn't like it.

Old 05-13-19, 02:00 PM
  #1  
riverdrifter
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New GT for my daughter, she doesn't like it.






My 17 year old daughter wants a bike to take to college next year. She hasn't ridden since she was 14. I tried to talk her into a hybrid, but she insisted on a mountain bike. I bought this one for her last week, a GT Laguna Pro, womens specific, size small. She loved it at first, until she road my wife's Raleigh hybrid. Now she thinks it's too heavy and slow (it is).

Do you all think it would make a noticeable difference if I put skinnier, street tires on it?

I'm not really sure what bike it is, maybe a special run for Dick's Sporting Goods. It's $399 on their site, but not shown on the GT website. The only Laguna they show (non Pro) is a step-through. This one is equipped like the Aggressor Pro, so maybe just a womens colorway version of that bike?

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Old 05-13-19, 02:14 PM
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indyfabz
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Probably.

When I wanted a bike to get to, from and around campus I bought one with the money I earned from my summer job. Sure beat walking 10 miles each way up hill barefoot in the snow to Florida State's main campus.
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Old 05-13-19, 02:27 PM
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fietsbob 
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How about a folding bike ? she can stow it in her dorm room and not br vandalized or stolen

like so many are on college campuses.. still needs a VERY good lock too ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-13-19 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 05-13-19, 02:41 PM
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For campus bikes, think Craigslist and $50. They get left outside, and anything better gets stolen or parts stolen from it.
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Old 05-13-19, 03:05 PM
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Don’t know what you want to spend, but a solid fork and some lighter tires would probably help. $200ish dollars.
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Old 05-13-19, 05:16 PM
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Build her a beater. That's what I did for my daughter. Ugly on the outside but a good rider on the inside. College bikes will just get beat up and/or stolen. If my daughter's gets stolen, I'm not going to lose sleep over it.
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Old 05-13-19, 05:28 PM
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You committed the primary mistake. When buying a bike for another person, Don't. Most folks like to make their own decisions.

Oh yeah, college bike = expect it to get stolen quickly if it has disc brakes, nice paint, fat tires.
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Old 05-13-19, 05:56 PM
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Lock the fork out and chuck on some city slicks. Will ride like a completely different bike. I did it on my 29er before i bought my CX
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Old 05-13-19, 07:58 PM
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Bikes generally will get stolen because people allow them to get stolen either through poor locking practices, poor locks or thinking they are safe. Bikes don't have to automatically get stolen if you invest in a good lock system and lock your bike up properly it is not as likely to get stolen. However beware not all locks are created equal, you can ***getabout companies that hide low quality behind thick locks and stereotypes or the fact their lock could pull an old Soviet tank or symbols from testing agencies they passed because they built their lock to pass that test and nothing more.

ABUS makes great locks and a big part of that is because they own their own factories and equipment but also because they use virgin steel that is specially heat treated and tempered to be strong and sturdy and handle different attacks. They aren't building locks to pass tests they are building locks to prevent theft and pass their own very high quality standards which also happen to pass and exceed the tests. Obviously yes given enough time or fancy equipment you can get through any lock at some point but the decent ABUS locks level 10 and above will be hard enough to get through that a thief will likely give up or not try in the first place.

Most of the bike theft stories I here at least once a week involve someone cutting a cheap lock, the bike not even being locked or "it was in a secure place in my building where you need retinal scanners, a special card and a 50 digit code but they just took it" or they left it outside a subway station all day or left it outside all night. Rarely do I hear it was locked up with a high quality lock, done properly and not left overnight and it still got stolen. Usually the folks with good locks and locking practices don't often if at all get bikes stolen. It is when we are careless that it happens.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:25 PM
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Thanks everyone for the input! I want to make clear, this GT was the bike she wanted, I was just the guy paying for it, it was her choice. After taking a longer ride this weekend though, she decided she likes my wife's hybrid more, and my wife isn't interested in a trade.

Anyway, I just found out that her college has a bike rental program. $40 a semester and you get a rental bike, and they do the maintenance for you. I'll call tomorrow and get the details. Now I just gotta figure out a plan for this GT.

Maybe I'll strip off the decals and ride it myself. Actually I think the decals are all painted on the frame.

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Old 05-14-19, 05:15 AM
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indyfabz
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Originally Posted by riverdrifter View Post
Maybe I'll strip off the decals and ride it myself. Actually I think the decals are all painted on the frame.
No need to do that. There is already a thread explaining that it's perfectly ok for a man to ride a WSD bike.
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Old 05-14-19, 05:30 AM
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Good that they have a rental program, at my daughters college all the bikes I see are basically beaters so I wouldn't spend much money on any bike that is going to sit out in the elements, get knocked around in the racks, and basically be a short point A to point B type of ride. My D has a nice Trek mountain bike that sits in our garage and now she rides a nice specialized road bike that is on loan to her from her sorority as she's on their bike team. I don't know that she will ever go back to riding her MT bike now. She uses the bus system as her primary means to get around campus.

When we did our college tours we paid attention to how students were getting around and asked a few. With the exception of Purdue and Michigan State, most other schools we toured the students all pretty much said it wasn't worth bringing a bike that walking or the bus was the best way. Purdue was the one school that had lot's of kids zipping around on either bikes or skateboards. My D is down at IU and the majority of the bike riders we see are the ones training for Little 500.

I wouldn't have any problem riding that bike myself as is. Who cares what others think about your ride as long as you enjoy it.
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Old 05-14-19, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jimincalif View Post
For campus bikes, think Craigslist and $50. They get left outside, and anything better gets stolen or parts stolen from it.
Sounds about how it was at my college way back in the early '90s (except no Craigslist). Thankfully, my small dorm had a basement with a whole lot of bike hooks we could hang our bikes from and keep them out of the elements. Really awesome.
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Old 05-14-19, 06:54 AM
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Girls bikes are less stealable, the more girly the better, and never use a cable lock.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:50 AM
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good luck w/ your & her quest. mine is graduating this weekend & never wanted her bike at school. too hilly & too wintry (VT) plus they had shuttle buses & roommates w cars ... I'm proud of your daughter for wanting a bike at school & I don't even know her!
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Old 05-14-19, 08:06 AM
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Nice enough bike. Switching to street tires will make a massive difference.

But as others have said, bringing a shiny new bike to a college campus is a perfect recipe for getting a bike stolen. Pull a beater out of a dumpster and change the tires and cables and give her that.

As for your plan to ride it yourself, are you a particularly short person? Because you will likely not be comfortable on a 'Women's Small' size bike if you are an average height (or above) male.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:34 AM
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As for switching to street tires it will make a noticeable difference, but make sure of the width of the tire. Some MTB rims are made for wider tires and installing a tire narrower than the rims can make for a squeamish /unsafe ride.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:51 AM
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They're almost certainly 17mm, and even if 19mm they'll be fine with a 1.5in tyre.

I wouldn't go down that route though. I first used 2.35in slicks on a basic MTB and love them, so there's no need to go crazy skinny when you're not trying to hit high speeds.
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Old 05-14-19, 08:55 AM
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Let me make one observation. Does the GT fit her properly? Based on the image, the seat height is too low compared to the handlebar height. This tells me this bike maybe too big for her. I think the handlebar should be same height as the seat. If the bar is too high and bike too big, then the rider will feel like too stretched out with hand too high...may feel difficult to peddle efficiently.

A small MTB made in the 90s (rigid fork, 26" tires) would be worth considering. Imo, these 26'ers are much better than modern hybrids with 700c wheels.

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Old 05-14-19, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
Nice enough bike. Switching to street tires will make a massive difference.

But as others have said, bringing a shiny new bike to a college campus is a perfect recipe for getting a bike stolen. Pull a beater out of a dumpster and change the tires and cables and give her that.

As for your plan to ride it yourself, are you a particularly short person? Because you will likely not be comfortable on a 'Women's Small' size bike if you are an average height (or above) male.
The sizing seems strange. I'm 5'8" with a 30" inseam. In the last photo I posted you can see the saddle raised all the way. As for reach, the bike feels great like that to me, but when I sit down, I want the saddle a bit higher for pedaling. I'd be comfortable riding it on trails. With the saddle at it's lowest position, it's 31" to the ground. The standover directly in front of the saddle is 27".

It probably is too big for my daughter. I guess it just comes down to geometry. My daughter is very comfortable in an upright riding position on my wife's size medium step-through hybrid. That bike has a recommended rider height of 5'5" - 5'7". The GT has a recommended height of 5'3" - 5'6". My daughter is 5'3".

My last mountain bike was an 18" 1999 Trek 6500 and I was very comfortable on it.

Last edited by riverdrifter; 05-14-19 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:23 AM
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Sounds to me like it is too small for you. 'Women's S' is probably close to ~14" or so, if you want to assign it a number. So likely 2 sizes smaller than that bike you used to have that fit well.

I could be wrong - everyone is different and every manufacturer sizes their bikes differently. But in general it is probably too small.
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Old 05-15-19, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by riverdrifter View Post
Anyway, I just found out that her college has a bike rental program. $40 a semester and you get a rental bike, and they do the maintenance for you. I'll call tomorrow and get the details.
This does sound like a potentially good idea - however, it would be worth checking the fine print. Particularly what you are on the hook for if the rental gets stolen, and compare that to the beater (or sequence thereof) idea.

I found a bike useful on campus but not always worth the bother vs walking to get to class, however a big win was being able to get to nearby places off campus like a grocery store with non-captive-market pricing or the mall that was a long wait for the shuttle bus or a long walk.

Will also add that I was on foot only freshman year, the bike was a big-box BSO rigid mountain thing purchased the 2nd spring that served well during the remainder of classes, 2 years storage during initial drive-to jobs and then 2-3 years of commuting use when I lived nearby and worked in a research lab on campus.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:07 AM
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Craigslist is pretty much a black hole in the rural area where I live, and this is definitely not a hot bike market. I listed the GT, with a nice ad and lots of great photos, for $275, the best price online right now is $399. I also put it on Facebook Marketplace, and local Buy, Sell, Trade, and I have not got a single inquiry on any of them.
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Old 06-08-19, 07:47 AM
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So, this bike has been listed for sale for 1 month now. I've had only 2 inquiries, both from cities over an hour away from me, but no one has come to look at it. Seems I may be stuck with it.

It does ride nice on the short around town trips I've taken. I've never had a bike with disk brakes, and these are shockingly precise and effective. The geometry is kind of weird, I guess like most modern MTBs. Slack headtube angle, sloping top tube, high bars. The ride is cushy for sure.

I still think something is weird with the sizing. It "feels bigger" than my wife's size medium Raleigh Hybrid, and bigger than my 51cm road bike; but it claims to be a womens size small (15") frame. It is a Dick's Sporting Goods exclusive and only comes in 2 sizes 15" and 17". With the seatpost to the max insert line and the bars adjusted just a touch forward, it fits me fine at 5'8".

I guess it's my grocery-getter now.
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Old 06-08-19, 08:52 AM
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https://www.gtbicycles.com/zaf_en/aggressor-sport-1870

I just did some more looking on the GT website, and there is this similar bike, same colorway even. It doesn't say anything about it being a womens specific design, and they call it the Aggressor Sport. There's a few spec differences, mine is an 8 speed cassette not 7, and my fork is the XCT not the M330.

Last edited by riverdrifter; 06-08-19 at 01:19 PM.
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