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Help Choosing Right Mountain Bike


Could someone please help me figure out which bike I should get?  Buying a mountain bike online is really really hard, but I want to get my son out riding and get myself into better shape so it's the situation I'm in.  Any help is really appreciated.

I am definitely on a budget, so money is an issue, that said, I hope to have this bike for years, so $50-100 isn't the entire deciding factor.  I am a short woman- 5' and my legs are definitely the reason- my torso is average.  I know that matters, but I don't really know how.  I'm assuming I need the xs.

Also, since I'm quite out of shape, I need a bike that will help me climb as much as possible.  Looking at the specs is like reading Latin or calculus to me.  I'm looking for a bike who's main difference is that it will help me climb, I'm not going off any features or jumps, or riding very technical stuff.  I'm comparing the Ghost ($850), the Cannondale Tango 3 ($780) and the Cannondale Tango 4 ($650).  Here's a link with the bike statistics.

Thanks, any help is appreciated.


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Hi @julieb!

I love this idea of you getting outside with your son in this activity! I see that you’ve already done some research and landed on some pretty cool bikes!

I think the Cannondale Tango 4 is a great option! It can be easy to get bogged down with gear ratios and technical specs! I’ll keep it simple...this bike looks great, will be comfortable, and is at a great price point!

I know you spoke about climbing. This will take getting used to using your gears. My first time riding a mountain bike, I spent as much time walking the bike as riding it!  That might happen sometimes, but it’s alright! I’d practice with your bike somewhere flat first. Choose a location where you feel comfortable and see how adjusting the gears makes a difference for you. 

Selecting a bike online can seem daunting but we are definitely here to help! I’m not sure if you were aware but we are offering virtual outfitting appointments in addition to conversations with experts here! I think this is a service that you might benefit from taking advantage of! So far our customers have been loving it and found it is helpful in making their purchase more confidently!

Please don’t hesitate to keep this conversation going. I’ll be interested to see what some of our other users might suggest!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.