Crankjoy Women’s Mountain Bike Test – Roam Bike Fest 2017

Juliana Furtado

This fall Crankjoy attended the Roam Women’s Bike Fest with a couple of things in mind.  First, connect with a bunch of awesome women in our previous hometown of Sedona for a great time and second TEST out badass women’s bikes and gear.

The idea has been in the back of our minds for a while. After a couple of beers following a Roam Ladies event in Brevard, NC with dynamic duo – Andi Zolton and Ash Bocast everything was clear.  There needed to be an all women’s bike festival and why not conduct a women’s bike test at the same time. The Crankjoy Women’s Bike Test was born!

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women's bike test
Iconic, Chicken Point in Sedona, AZ – a great resting spot while testing the Yeti bikes and gear!

Sedona, AZ as Testing Grounds:

Great idea, most of the best women’s bike manufacturers were going to be there, including Liv, Juliana and Yeti (among others) and there would be plenty of opportunities to test out the bikes on some great trails.  The terrain in Sedona is perfect to test all types of bikes. From the shorter travel XC bikes (like Liv’s Pique and Specialized Camber) to big enduro rides (like Liv’s Hail and Yeti’s SB6) there were lots of amazing bikes to try.  Many of the women at the festival got to demo all the bikes and connect with awesome women.

Trails like Hiline with steep chutes and big rock rolls into powdery right-handed drops as well as Easy Breezy with its fun redrock drop in and gentle rolling in and out of sandy washes made for an amazing test ground.  The variety of bikes and terrain we tested made for some tired legs indeed! The dancing Saturday night didn’t help our recovery either.

So You Want to Buy a New Bike?

We assembled an elite group of 3 testers. Andi Zolton, Sara Stanford and I had a list of specific points to consider while riding each bike.  The idea was to provide a short and concise representation of things that we think are important when dropping some serious dough on a new ride.  We rode and reviewed 10 different bikes from Juliana, Liv, Yeti and Specialized. It’s important to note that the 3 different testers (listed below) all have various riding backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. Keep that in mind while reading their reviews.





 


 

Bikes Tested in Sedona:

Click on each bike for a detailed review!

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Specialized Enduro 29
Specialized Enduro 29 Review

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Juliana Roubion
Juliana Roubion Review

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Specialized Camber
Specialized Camber Review

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Yeti Beti SB5
Yeti Beti SB5 Review 

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Yeti SB 5.5
Yeti SB 5.5 Review

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Specialized Rhyme
Specialized Rhyme Review

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Yeti SB6
Yeti SB6 Review

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Juliana Furtado
Juliana Furtado Review

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2018 Liv Pique Advanced 2
2018 Liv Pique Review

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2018 Liv Hail 2
2018 Liv Hail Review

Let’s face it – these bikes are not cheap, and you have to remember that you get what you pay for! And, after all you are worth it!  In no particular order, we felt that there were a lot of things to mull over when you are just starting to shop for a bike. Important considerations include the cost, color and aesthetics, build kitsbrand, value, resale, cool factor, reliability, crash replacement/warranty among others.  The way the bike handles on the terrain you plan to ride it is of paramount importance.

“When someone asks me what is the best bike or what bike they should buy, my answer is always the same.  THAT DEPENDS!”

Tester, Andi Zolton says when someone asks for her advice on which bike to get she asks them these 4 questions:

1) What is your biggest strength as a rider?

2) What is your biggest weakness?

3) What part of a bike ride puts the biggest grin on your face?

4) What direction do you see your riding going in the long-term?  

Ask yourself these 4 questions and be brutally honest!  Then, get out there and demo the bikes for yourself.  Go to your local bike shop and take each bike out on your local trails.  Write some notes about what you liked or didn’t like. Check out this post on “How to Test a Bike and do it Right.” Think about what is most important to you, performance, dependability, crash replacement cost? :}

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women's bike test
The Crankjoy Women’s Bike Test was very serious business – with Andi Zolton and Tricia Davis.

If you are the type, make yourself a spreadsheet, or just think about how each bike makes you feel deep down inside: are you confident and inspired or does a particular bike make you feel like you are in way over your head.  Whatever it is, embrace your own opinion; after all, you and you alone will be riding and hopefully enjoying this new bike. Never feel like you don’t know enough to really get a good sense of how a bike rides.

Educate yourself about how to set up your suspension and tire pressure for your conditions.

This is not as difficult as you think.  During the Roam Fest, SRAM had a clinic on suspension set up, so look for a clinic near you.  If none are coming soon, ask a knowledgeable friend, hit up the bike shop. Last resort, you can use the Internet and get a ton of information.

Don’t underestimate yourself or become overwhelmed with this crucial empowering knowledge. Once you learn, you’ll be SHOCKED (pun intended) at how differently a bike rides when it is set up the way that YOU like it.

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women's bike test
It’s important to set your bike up properly to get a good feel for the bike- with Sara Stanford and Sarah Rawley from Yeti.

Hit up a Festival or Demo Event:

There are plenty of opportunities around the country to go and mix the business of buying and testing out a new bike with the pleasure of a vacation.  Our favourite is the Roam Bike Fest and you will have 2 opportunities next year for this amazing – Women’s only Festival.  Brevard, NC in May and Sedona, AZ in October 2018.

Other demo events/festivals that we love include The Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, Outerbike,  Ibis Migrations and Chasing Epic Trips where you can get a little more time on demo bikes in amazing locations.

Now get out there and get yours!! Stay tuned for our gear reviews from tested items from Zoic, Club Ride, Bolle, Pearl Izumi, Yeti, Camelbak and others-Coming Soon!

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