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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 12-26-08, 02:17 PM   #1
dlester
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Comfort Bike for Athena

My wife is expressing an interest in starting to ride with my son and I, which is probably one of the best things I could hear. She doesn't want a 'fancy' bike. She just wants something comfortable.

I have been looking around, and a seemingly good candidate is the Trek Lime. The automatic transmission, coaster brakes, high handlebars, and wide seat just looks like something that would work well for her to start out on. My favorite LBS even has one on the floor and I am sure they would make me an end of year deal on it.

Does anyone have any experience with this particular bike? Is there something else that people here have used for a similar purpose that I maybe should also look at? I am trying to focus on making sure she is as comfortable as possible and enjoys the outings.
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Old 12-26-08, 02:40 PM   #2
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I have no experience with that bicycle or any automatic transmission bicycle. But that will not stop me from commenting.....

I don't know if it's a good idea. How old is your son? How long and difficult are your rides? Think about how many gears you and your son use on a typical ride. If you only use one or two, then yes, she may be able to comfortably ride the Lime and stay with you. But as you all progress, you can be assured the three speeds of the Lime will not be enough.

Instead why not get her a comparably priced manual transmission bike. Put it in a good gear for her and then teach her to change gears. When she gets the hang of changing it will be a lot more fun as she "races" you up and down the street. And later as things progress she will be able to keep up and maybe even lead on longer more difficult rides. Without having to invest in another bicycle.
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Old 12-26-08, 03:04 PM   #3
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My wife wanted a Lime, but is now really happy with her Jamis Aragon and she wants to shift to the gear she like. Much better choice for her.
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Old 12-26-08, 03:10 PM   #4
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Bicycling Mag used a Trek Lime as one of their bike town bikes, everyone loved it. But test rides are where its at, find a good shop and see what they have.
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Old 12-26-08, 03:56 PM   #5
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Looks very cool but I would not want to ride one furher than 5 miles. Not the type of bike for a real cyclist. If she thinks she'd like to progress to rides of 20 miles or more, I'd look for a different bike.

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Old 12-26-08, 04:20 PM   #6
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Our son is 7 years old. He is just starting to ride on his own. Last year when I would ride with him we would use one of those trail-a-bike devices, so I was doing most of the work. She would only be riding in the park along a dedicated, paved trail. Under the most ideal of circumstances I could not imagine her being ready for a higher performing bike for at least two years.

I don't know if those answers influence anyone's feedback or not.
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Old 12-26-08, 05:23 PM   #7
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That info definitely influence's my answer.

For riding with a 7 year old in the park i can't imagine the need for more than 3 gears. If you've got it to spend, go for it. But.... a good LBS will let her take it for a test ride, definitely do that. Ride with her if you can and make sure she uses the way she would have on your trail. If she likes it, wrap it up.

Be like "The Beaner", do whatever it takes to get her riding.
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Old 12-26-08, 07:03 PM   #8
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That bike would be nice for the paved path, if you are talking about the one that runs by the ice rink. I've ran on that path as it goes along the river. Now, if she wants to right to Waterville, not such a great bike. I wouldn't bet on her taking two years to wanting to get a higher performance bike, if she gets bit by the biking bug. Maybe if luck works out right you could get her an entry level bike and when she is ready for that high performance bike, her bike will fit the youngin and all three of you would have a bike to ride anywhere.
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Old 12-26-08, 09:47 PM   #9
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Not the type of bike for a real cyclist.
Please define.
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Old 12-27-08, 02:37 PM   #10
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Hi dlester. I can't speak for the bike, but I can tell you my personal experience. My first bike was a comfort bike. I hated it--6 gears but it weighed about 30lbs and I could hardly get it up the tiniest hill (especially in the beginning). Then we bought a pair of MTBs. Again, very cumbersome on the road, a lot of fun on the trails, but I still was not completely happy with it.

3rd bike was a Giant FCR 3. Not expensive but a hybrid that was lighter, yet stable, etc. I just LOVE it. I felt like a kid again! We bought it in February last year and by March I was able to start riding it to work. Since then we've bought several more bikes and I love them all now, but admittedly I would not have felt comfortable on a road bike to start with.

Like someone else said, whatever it takes to get her cycling. But I know from personal experience that you can go broke trying to find out what that is!
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Old 12-27-08, 04:05 PM   #11
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If comfort is paramount, and your cruising the park, I would consider an Electra Townie. Its comfy, shell be able to flatfoot the bike while on the seat, it comes in a variety of colors and drivetrain styles, wheel sizes (26in and 700c) and lots of accessories to customize.

My wife has one and I will get on it and cruise the neighborhood on it. Its a 21spd, suspension fork, 26in wheels with 26x2.0 smooth tires on it and grip shift witch is a lot easier for her to use than trigger style shifters.

Just something to consider!!!!


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Old 12-27-08, 04:41 PM   #12
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I ride a KHS Town & Country 100 comfort bike and I love love love her!!

Yes, it's heavier than a road bike, yes it's not built for single track, but I have spent many hours on my bike as a Proud Athena. Commuting, doing errands, slapping on REI shopping panniers and lugging home a week's worth of groceries, riding nearly 50km on several occasions this year.

Don't let the words "comfort bike" limit you. I can toodle around my neighbourhood bike path but I can also ride all day long and the only discomfort I feel is -- well, actually not much. I'm much stronger than I was 3 seasons ago and I've played with the seat height, seat angle, handlebar height handlebar angle that I have the set up just right.


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Old 12-28-08, 07:23 AM   #13
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I wouldn't go for a Trek Lime, but that's because it wouldn't fit me well. If it fits her well, and is geared appropriately so she can spin and not hurt her knees, the Lime would be a good bike. (instead, I ride a Breezer that fits me well, with a step though frame so I can ride even on days when my hip is giving me a lot of pain)

I would take her to a bike shop or two and let her look and shop on her own. Encourage her to try lots of bikes (at least 2-3 per trip). Then afterwards listen to her so you understand what she likes and doesn't like. Encourage her to try bikes that seem "weird" to her, and encourage her to learn how gearing works... Sheldon Brown's gearing pages were a huge help to me early on. She may be happiest on something completely different from what you expect... and from what she expects.
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Old 12-28-08, 07:27 AM   #14
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giant cypress is a nice bike and should be comfortable on moderately long rides.
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Old 12-28-08, 11:03 AM   #15
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giant cypress is a nice bike and should be comfortable on moderately long rides.
My DD loves her giant cypress. It has shocks on the fork, a comfort seat and is easy to step through. She's ridden it on rides over 30 miles with no complaints. The only change she made was to trade out the saddle. And on shifting - as there's no 'clutch' on a bike the shifting is very easy to learn.
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