"with surprising well functioning Manitou Fork and Fox Float" My favourite line in this entire question. So you're significant other is riding what's at least a decade and a half old XC bike. I take the "surprising well functioning" comment to mean you have no idea when the last time the suspension was opened up? Almost any bike besides the one she is on would be better for her. My advice: If you live near Whistler; head up there for a day or two/weekend. Book her a lesson/guide, rental bike, lift ticket package. Communicate to her (I have no idea how to do this part) that this is the plan and explain that there are competent instructors and trails for beginners.
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