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Buying the Bike I Deserve: A Beginner's View

We recently spoke with Shane's girlfriend, Rania, and asked her about her experience buying a mountain bike when she was new to the sport.

About 3 years ago, at the excited suggestion of my mountain biking savant boyfriend, Shane, I went mountain biking for the first time on a trail in Ringwood, NJ. My being a noob, I didn’t have a bike of my own, so his sister let me borrow her Specialized bike. That was a rough ride, to say the least, but it certainly brought the sport onto my radar where it once was not. I was intrigued!

Since then, Shane and I and different combinations of our friends have gone off-road a bunch, and I’ve borrowed different bikes each time. It was getting slightly easier each time we hit a trail – I was becoming aware of what angles to hit certain obstacles and how to gauge what gear to be in (complete novice over here, remember), and my intrigue grew.

I had always thrown around the idea of getting a bike, mainly for leisurely rides on a boardwalk or around my neighborhood, I’d imagined. But it wasn’t long after that first tumultuous-yet-invigorating ride that I was starting to zero in on the notion of buying a mountain bike.

They’re quite a chunk of change, that’s well known. And I was still a beginner, so I pushed the prospect out of my mind. Then something akin to serendipity happened: Despite an ongoing supply shortage due to the pandemic, the locally-owned Tenafly ProShop had a 2021 Yeti SB140 T2 SLX to demo! With a small frame! I’d heard Shane’s brother-in-law, Kevin, another mountain biking connoisseur, sing this bike’s praises, so I couldn’t pass up the chance and took the bike out a few times this past weekend.

Now I don’t know any technical terminology, as we’ve established, but that bike is AWESOME. My main – and only – issue was not jumping to buy it right away. I wanted to be methodical and level-headed! This kind of purchase is a big deal! But after combing through my memories of the varying bikes I borrowed over the years, they all seemed to pale in comparison to this one: The SB140 bike seemed to be an extension of me, responsive and even anticipatory to any “bumps” along the way. I felt like, hey, I’m getting alright at this! But it was the magic of the Yeti: it both supported me during the more difficult portions of those rides while still allowing me the joy that comes with overcoming the struggle of a janky rock garden or a slick trail.

It’s both a bike that fits my current skillset and pushes me to expand on it. It accommodated my shorter stature, and the head and seat angling let me feel sturdy and in control. At about 28lbs, the SB140 helped me feel steady without being weighed down.

The SB140 checked off all the boxes for me! And so I pulled the trigger and snatched the bike up just a few days ago. It’s already been enjoyed a couple of times since, and any time I’m not on it I’m counting down the hours till I am again. And that seems like a great, worthy purchase to me.

To say the least, the SB140 checked off all the boxes. It was incredible to be on a bike that FIT. And one that has such grand capabilities. Sure, mountain biking is a hobby I stumbled onto, figuratively and literally. And don’t get me wrong, it still strikes some fear to hit a trail. But with examples set by Shane and Kevin and with guidance from the very skilled and knowledgeable crew at Tenafly ProShop – and not to mention with this RAD NEW BIKE - I’m psyched to reach and exceed my cycling potential; I’m ready to join the leagues of bikers before me that fell head over heels – also literally and figuratively – for this sport.


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