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Old 03-18-12, 03:29 PM   #1
konageezer
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Please recommend a bike for my heavier 50+ lady friend

My lady friend hasn't ridden a bike since she crashed her last one as a teenager (so there is a fear issue in play). She is 50 +, and around 180 lbs. Thanks to my influence, she is hesitantly interested in getting into cycling. The important things for her are comfort and security, at least to start with. She would need something suitable for her heavier size. Also something "cute" would be good. I don't think we want to spend more than a grand. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 03-18-12, 03:31 PM   #2
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Not being familiar with women's bikes, I don't think I can offer any suggestions, other than to say you might also post a query in the Clydesdale/Athena forum.
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Old 03-18-12, 03:43 PM   #3
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Who will she want to ride with and what kind of bikes do they ride? If everyone is on road bikes then getting a cruiser would be frustrating for her. How tall is she? Is she flexible? What kind of rides will she want to work up to?
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Old 03-18-12, 03:53 PM   #4
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180 isn't heavy enough to stress any well made bike. I ride a Bianchi road bike and was edging up close to 300 pounds at one point.

Biggest issue is her concern and fear of doing something she hasn't done in decades. I would expect dropped bars would give her the willies if it's been that long. I'd say a hybrid/comfort bike or an older non-suspended mountain bike would be a good choice. She may be more comfortable on something that has a dropped top tube to make getting on an off the bike easier for her. I personally see little need for such a design, but some people do prefer them.

Definitely need more info on what she likes and what she is capable of to really make a good recommendation.
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Old 03-18-12, 03:58 PM   #5
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Sounds like she may want to start with something like an Electra Townie 3i or 8i.
--> http://www.electrabike.com/Bikes/tow...i-bikes-ladies
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Old 03-18-12, 04:08 PM   #6
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I'd go hybrid, and then, the biggest challenge, will be a seat she can ride for more than 15 minutes. Is she a tall or small 180?
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Old 03-18-12, 04:15 PM   #7
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Agree that 180 will not stress any of the bikes around---EXCEPT-- Look at the wheels for strength.

Choice of bike is down to her so take her to your LBS and see what she fancies. Problem on that first bike is will she stick to cycling. Buy good? or buy cheap? Style of bike will not be a problem providing she rides it. Competence and confidence may take a while to acquire and that is when you will know if she is coming into cycling. Any chance of "Borrowing" a bike for a few rides to see if she really wants one?
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Old 03-18-12, 04:19 PM   #8
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Sounds like she may want to start with something like an Electra Townie 3i or 8i.
A crank forward design like this does seem like it would be great for someone who needs to build up confidence on a bike. Since you're able to quickly put both feet down without getting out of the saddle, much of the worry about falling is removed. I know there are several different bikes of this same type available from various makes.
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Old 03-18-12, 04:55 PM   #9
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Electra Townie.

Much to the dismay of my family, I rode my wife's Townie up to meet them at a restaurant today. By golly, they're cute. Get the powder blue one.
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Old 03-18-12, 05:08 PM   #10
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I concur with those who say 180 lbs shouldn't be a problems for any reputable bike. Find a good bike shop* that will let her test a few different kinds of bikes. She'll have a better idea of what's available, and be able to make a choice that she thinks might be suitable. I think you can get a very decent starter bike for well under $1000, but be prepared to upgrade if she catches the cycling fever.

*How do you tell if it's a good bike shop? Well, that can get complicated, but I would recommend looking for the place that seems willing to take the time to LISTEN first and recommend second. Keep in mind that spring is a very busy season for most shops and time is in short supply. So, consider going during off peak hours (i.e., during week days and the hours when most folks are at work.) Good luck. I hope she does catch the cycling fever, it's a great way to stay in shape and have a blast while doing so.
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Old 03-18-12, 06:21 PM   #11
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Greenspeed Anura. It's a tricycle with a seat like a lawn chair so the comfort and security issues are settled. It's also cute - it's named after a frog for crying out loud. It's also going to blow the hell out of her budget.
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Old 03-19-12, 06:50 AM   #12
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I second the thought of a trike, but I would recommend a Terra Trike Rover. 14" tall seat height makes it easy to get in and out of, steel frame makes it tough, internally geared rear wheel with no front derailleur makes it simple, and being a trike makes it fun. About $900 brand new from the dealer is a good price, and anyone can ride it and enjoy the ride.

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Old 03-19-12, 07:05 AM   #13
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I second the thought of a trike, but I would recommend a Terra Trike Rover. 14" tall seat height makes it easy to get in and out of, steel frame makes it tough, internally geared rear wheel with no front derailleur makes it simple, and being a trike makes it fun. About $900 brand new from the dealer is a good price, and anyone can ride it and enjoy the ride.
I'm changing my vote.
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Old 03-20-12, 05:26 AM   #14
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Well, if she's hesitant, I'd stay away from Target, Walmart etc. and take her to your local bike shop. They should be able to point her in the right direction in terms of what style bike she'll feel most comfortable on and size her up for something that will be enjoyable to ride.

I just in back into cycling after a 45 year break and picked up a leftover 2011 Raleigh Venture 3.0 Comfort bike for WELL under your budget. You might eve consider a decent used or leftover bike from your LBS as well.
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Old 03-20-12, 07:39 AM   #15
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Electra Townie vote. I know several people who were intimidated by riding that got one of these and really enjoy it.
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Old 03-20-12, 10:27 AM   #16
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Any bike she likes that fits.
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Old 03-20-12, 10:50 AM   #17
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Take her to Key West for the weekend and rent a bike. No, wait, that's what I'm doing week after next!!
Take her to as friendly a family style bike shop you can find - let her test sit and ride several. I'm thinking hybrid or old style city bike with internal hub would probably draw her interest. But then, I've been wrong before and she might go for the road bike!!
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