My wife and I want to get into one of the AR races, but currently we don't have bikes. My question is this: do most women use bikes made for women or does it really matter? It looks as if there's a larger variety of men's bikes available on bikesdirect and craigslist. Thanks for the help.
Many women are riding men's bikes though there is large portion of regular riders who get women specific bikes. Many are riding hard tails though comfort level really increases with full suspension bikes. Orange Cycle is one of our sponsors and have great staff and large selection of bikes and could provide lots of insight. Feel free to come to one of our events and visit with the many racers to get a better feel or volunteer, earn race credits and experience the action first hand.
Call around to find a bike shop that will let you demo a bike. For example, Just Ride Bicycles in Lithia will let you demo a bike out on the trails for $40 a day. Several good trails maintained by SWAMP are within 30 minutes of the shop. If your wife is like me and not very tall she might not like the women's specific bikes especially the 29'ers. The top cross bar is just to high. Full suspension is great but not a must for easy and many moderate trails. I would focus on a good front shock and hydraulic brakes so you don't kill your shoulders and hands. And for the rear, I know it doesn't feel right when your walking around but once your on your bike it's the best, get a good pair of padded bike shorts to go under your regular shorts. Cheers!
PANGEA ADVENTURE RACING
Pangea Adventure Racing is the #1 producer of adventure races in Florida. We’re not just about high quality races, we’re about adventure—like navigating historic coastal waterways to cycling through the mud to ziplining across the treetops in the moonlight. We offer an easy crossover for mountain bikers, cyclists, runners, hikers, triathletes, water sport enthusiasts and even gym-goers looking for a little outdoor adventure.
Special thanks to TravelCountry.com for their continued support. They stock all the popular adventure racing brands including The North Face and Vibram Fivefingers.