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Old 10-02-12, 10:29 PM   #1
joeg26er
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Neighborhood Bike for Mom

Hi all-

Mom's coming back to town in 2 weeks and I want to get her a bike to ride from the condo to the grocery store. Don't tell her I told you but she's over 50...so I'm asking you folks in this section for ideas. She likes the kind of vintage schwinn look ya know.

I've researched a few stores in town and online and found that Bikesdirect seems to have the best prices on relatively lower cost city bikes with racks. Rep seems mixed online but most of the mixed reviews were from years and years ago? Near perfect google rating. I looked at giantnerd and roadbikeoutlet, nashbar etc too.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/city_bikes.htm

I've looked at city bikes from Public, Linus and some other ones I can't remember offhand but those seem to be quite a bit more money than what looks like exactly the same bikes from Bikesdirect.

The Kensington 8 seems to be the best deal - mom could use the extra gears. Thoughts? Am I overlooking anything?
Here's the Kensington - I'm thinking the ocean color is nice. She like blue http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ensington8.htm

forgive the rambling nature, it's late and just trying to get thoughts out for consideration
Thanks for the help
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Old 10-03-12, 07:51 AM   #2
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Excellent Choice

Assuming you're okay with doing the final assembly and adjustment, and that you check the bearing surfaces for proper grease, etc., this would be an excellent choice.

I just recommended the same bike to our church administrator, who asked if I could recommend a bike for casual neighborhood and paved trail riding. I sent her this link, and she replied that it cost too much for her.

You're a good son. Get the right size and put your order in today. It'll be here right after the weekend. Good luck. Phil
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Old 10-03-12, 07:56 AM   #3
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Let mom choose the bike. Then it will really be hers. Go to a good local bike shop.
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Old 10-03-12, 09:38 AM   #4
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Would agree about Mum choosing the bike but for town and casual use- I can recommend the nexus gearing.
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Old 10-03-12, 09:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Let mom choose the bike. Then it will really be hers. Go to a good local bike shop.
+1

there is no way to fit a bike online -- unless you are fortunate to be able to ride one first...

Bikes are subjective entities... Sure, the level of components (Sora, vs Tiagra, vs Ultrega, etc...) make a difference. But, if the bike doesn't FEEL right, none of that makes a difference. The LBS will be able to let mom ride a number of bikes -- all of which will be good bikes for her. But mom will get to choose the one that feels right to her... Then the LBS will be able to fine tune the bike to her, add accessories as needed (racks, trunks, paniers, fenders, lights, etc...), and make adjustments as necessary. And, following that, they can support the whole thing...

Also, and others may disagree, but how the bike fits is more important to the 50+ crowd. I think the 20 - 30 somethings tend to have more reserve flexibility and strength that may be lacking in the 50+ crowd (particularly the out-of-shape ones).

But, in any case: Good on you for taking care of the mom who changed your stinky diapers!
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Old 10-03-12, 09:58 AM   #6
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Personally I think she needs a nice, lightly used Specialized Allez Double in 58cm. The fact I have one for sale has no bearing on the subject. Yeah, let her pick it out.
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Old 10-03-12, 10:30 AM   #7
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Let mom choose the bike. Then it will really be hers. Go to a good local bike shop.
Of course this ^ is the right answer under normal circumstances, but I read something different in the OP's first post. Mom doesn't live in his town, and visits infrequently. He'd like to surprise her with a bike to ride (which infers to me that she's a bike riding type of Mom). He already knows her style somewhat, because of this. He also may know her approximate size. So...

I just don't think that the bike shop choosing/fitting route is how he intended to go - but purposefully, not through neglect.

Maybe I'm wrong here - I just think totally surprising her would be fun! Maybe buying the bike at a shop, with the understanding that one could exchange it if it's not right? But maintain the surprise aspect?
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Old 10-03-12, 11:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
... Maybe I'm wrong here - I just think totally surprising her would be fun! Maybe buying the bike at a shop, with the understanding that one could exchange it if it's not right? But maintain the surprise aspect?
Good idea... B U T T ! ! !

Having spent some time on the hybrid forum (and this one) I can't count the number of riders who do not care for their bike but keep riding it because it was a gift and they don't want to insult the donor (usually the wife)...

Surprisingly, I haven't heard too many wives complaining about the bikes their husbands bought for them...
... Why is that?
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Old 10-03-12, 11:59 AM   #9
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The Kensington 8 doesn't seem to be a bad deal at all. While size is important, the web site's sizing chart should be adequate to help you pick the right size. For short trips around town, on a bike of this style, percise sizing isn't as critical as it is for someone spending hours at a time on the bike. It's a nice idea - surprising her.
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Old 10-03-12, 12:38 PM   #10
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In all honesty, I don't think fit is all that important in a neighborhood cruiser. The OP knows mom's height, I would think. A good shop should be able to get him close enough that she shouldn't have any problems.
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Old 10-03-12, 12:50 PM   #11
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Target and/or Walmart sell a nice "Schwinn" fashioned after the 60s-70s style but with some modern tweaks, like 7 speed Gripshift, v-brakes and 700c wheels. I bought one for my wife on CL for $100 (they are less than $200 new), she really likes it. Perfect bike for neighborhood cruising:

(the detachable basket is removed in this shot)



http://www.target.com/p/schwinn-wome...l/-/A-12309547

Last edited by RB1-luvr; 10-03-12 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 10-03-12, 01:27 PM   #12
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In all honesty, I don't think fit is all that important in a neighborhood cruiser. The OP knows mom's height, I would think. A good shop should be able to get him close enough that she shouldn't have any problems.
Actually, I tend to think the opposite: The geometry of most road bikes are pretty similar -- the major differences are in the size of the frame...

But, hybrids go all over the map with different fits, stances and options (like suspension forks and saddles).

But, on the opposite side: It's usually easier (i.e., more possible) to modify the fit and geometry of a hybrid to fit the rider... For instance, switching the handle bars and going to a pillowy saddle can make huge differences in feel and fit. And then we start talking about tires...

That's maybe another reason for buying from a LBS... They are far more likely to be able to get the bike to fit than the good 'ol boys at Wally's Mart.
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Old 10-09-12, 11:48 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies- Mom's delayed her return so I've got a bit more time

soap box warning:
on a side note - She does not like walmart due to their business practices and how they treat their employees...also the schwinn has lower quality rack. The fenders are pretty cheap and not color matched. I'm pretty sure she would like the style of the Kensington 8 a bit more = plus the windsor has 8 speeds...higher quality rack AND a front rack...also color matched.

Is there anything by giant, specialized, trek etc that compares? (shhh...I'm at work now and don't want to be calling bike shops ya know...)
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/city_bikes.htm or ? Seems to be about half price vs other nexus shimano 8 speed city bikes?

PS - she constantly reminds me of who changed my diapers LOL
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