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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-30-08, 08:41 PM   #1
Tacfarinas
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what bike should I get my wife

I got my wife a Fuji Roubaix for our wedding anniversary; she has loved half of it (the legs part) but not the bent over part; she looks and feels like she's holding herself up with her arms. We've fooled with it a bit, getting a taller stem, and sticking on slightly fatter tires. But no dice: it simply doesn't call to her to come riding the way her hybrid does.

So meanwhile I'm loving both my Bianchi Eros and my restored 70's Motobecane touring. And it's particularly the latter that suggests what I think she would like: steel, lots of clearances for wider tires (at least to start with), and relaxed geometry. If there was a Rivendell dealer near us I'd head there; they're a little out of our price range, but I think their philosophy is just right for her: nice solid feeling of efficient riding, without any particular need to race or accelerate.

So my question is, does anyone have other suggestions? We're going to look at Surlys (Surlies?). But that's the limit of my thinking at this point. I'd actually like to build up a frame, with campy components, but it's important for her to be able to do some testriding.

She's 6', btw, and I think about 160. She was told that at her height "female specific" was not an issue, but I wonder. She's got long legs and rather a shortish torso; could that be a factor?
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Old 05-30-08, 09:20 PM   #2
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Salsa Casseroll. They're gorgeous, steel, and I know 700x37 Contiental Contacts fit on 'em (riding buddy has one with those tires on it). If my wife ever gets into cycling, I'd order up a "Casseroll single speed complete", the customize it with a Shimano Nexus or SRAM I-Motion internally geared hub and a albatross style handlebar. Stylish like whoa, versatile as heck, and man are they gorgeous. Check 'em out. You could definitely also build up a frame.

The Surly Cross-Check and Long Haul Truckers are also amazingly versatile. The grey Surly C-C is also quite stunning looks-wise.
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Old 05-30-08, 09:52 PM   #3
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If her arms are getting most of the workout, it sounds like the seat is too far back and maybe to high. I had the same issue on my CAAD9 and I had to replace the seat post to go with one that did not have a setback on it. I was looking at replacing my stem with a 90mm from the 100mm, but once I got the new post it seemed to have relieved a lot of that issue. Have you gotten her professionally fitted?
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Old 05-31-08, 12:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tacfarinas View Post
I got my wife a Fuji Roubaix for our wedding anniversary; she has loved half of it (the legs part) but not the bent over part; she looks and feels like she's holding herself up with her arms. We've fooled with it a bit, getting a taller stem, and sticking on slightly fatter tires. But no dice: it simply doesn't call to her to come riding the way her hybrid does.

So meanwhile I'm loving both my Bianchi Eros and my restored 70's Motobecane touring. And it's particularly the latter that suggests what I think she would like: steel, lots of clearances for wider tires (at least to start with), and relaxed geometry. If there was a Rivendell dealer near us I'd head there; they're a little out of our price range, but I think their philosophy is just right for her: nice solid feeling of efficient riding, without any particular need to race or accelerate.

So my question is, does anyone have other suggestions? We're going to look at Surlys (Surlies?). But that's the limit of my thinking at this point. I'd actually like to build up a frame, with campy components, but it's important for her to be able to do some testriding.

She's 6', btw, and I think about 160. She was told that at her height "female specific" was not an issue, but I wonder. She's got long legs and rather a shortish torso; could that be a factor?
I think that is because most manufacturers do not make a female specific bike for that tall of a woman.

Why not invest in a Surly or Soma frame and just swap the parts over from the Fuji? That would be the most economical thing to do. You can still sell the Fuji frame on ebay. Someone will buy it, trust me.

But if she wants a new bike and is willing to pay more, there a lot of great options. It might even be worth her while to go custom steel if she is having fit issues.
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Old 05-31-08, 05:26 AM   #5
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WSD ain't a magic bullet. Have her spend time at the LBS riding bikes and getting fitted by someone who's got the skills. At 6' and 160 pounds, she's got a lot of options.
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Old 05-31-08, 07:39 AM   #6
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She's 6', btw, and I think about 160. She was told that at her height "female specific" was not an issue, but I wonder. She's got long legs and rather a shortish torso; could that be a factor?
WSD is for long legs and short torso. It may well suit her, but no manufacturer makes bikes that way for people 6' tall. If they did, I'd beg my dad to test ride one, since that's his build as well.

Surly seems to focus on longer torso designs. Soma might have designs with shorter top tubes, so they might be worth a look. IIRC they're also looking at doing a run of mixte frames. If the effective top tube on those would suit her, it might be just what the doctor ordered.
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