Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Jersey - outside the bibs.
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The Electra line of bikes may actually suit your needs. Several of the bikes us a Shimano Nexus 7 or 8 speed internal hub. That means, unlike your mountain bike, with probably three front chain rings and 9 cogs in back, a total of 27 gears (that get out of adjustment), you have a very straightforward selection of gears. Try one of the Electras (making sure it is the Shimano Nexus internal shifting hub), and see what you think. Trek also has a line of bikes that uses the Nexus shifter. If your husband bought you a Mercedes coupe for your last birthday, you may want a bike with a Rohloff internal hub. They are quite pricey, but have up to 14 internal gears and are quite easy to use.
The Electra or the Trek may or may not fit you. If you get a more traditional road bike, you will want to make sure that the frame is a woman specific design (WSD). Women have longer inseam to torso lengths as compared to men (generally), and other women-specific fit issues. Saddles on these bikes are tailored to a woman's anatomy. Trek, Specialized and other major brands have WSD bikes.