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Old 07-22-06, 08:26 PM   #1
Mr. DNA
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Comfort or Hybrid?

My wife is wanting to get back into biking (hasn't done it since she is a teenager) but is having a hard time finding a bike that is comfortable. After test riding several, she was OK but not excited about getting a hybrid bike. She thought it was more comfortable than her old mountain bike, but still feels quite awkward and unnatural on it. So I got her to try a comfort bike and she completely fell in love with it.
My concern is that the comfort bike will suit her needs now, but not for very long.
Right now she just wants it for tooling around town with the kids etc. Light recreational use. However, she is a distance runner and I just know that once she starts getting more comfortable on her bike she's going to want to use cycling as cross training. In other words, I think that within 6 months she's going to be wanting to do relatively aggressive 30 - 50 km training rides and I don't think a comfort bike will be adequate for that.
So what do we do? Buy a comfort bike that she loves now and hope that it will still be appropriate once she starts getting into more serious riding? Or do we buy a hybrid bike that she finds a bit awkward and uncomfortable now and hope that with steady use she starts to feel better on it.
For the record, the bikes she tried out were the Giant Cypress (comfort), the Miele Toscana 2000 (comfort), the De Vinci St Tropez (hybrid) and a Gary Fischer bike (can't remember the model but it was a hybrid as well).
Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old 07-22-06, 08:36 PM   #2
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My suggestion would be to start out with what she likes to ride. If she does not like ridng the bike it may end up sitting unused. Hybrids and comfort bikes are great for getting back into cycling and finding out how you want to progress. A good brand name bike wil not depreciate as much as an xmart bike, so if you upgrade later you could sell the comfort bike.

I have rode my Cypress over 30 miles many times.
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Old 07-22-06, 08:46 PM   #3
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I bought my wife a Giant Suede a few months ago and she's done a couple of charity rides of 25 miles on it. It's kind of granny looking, but it's comfortable for her and she rides it. It's all I can ask.....for now
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Old 07-23-06, 12:46 AM   #4
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A "comfort" bike, or "hybrid", is generally not THAT expensive. One can be purchased from a bike store and made by a reputable manufacturer for less than $300. Maybe even close to $200.

If that's what she can ride right now, go for it. As her distance increases she'll figure out that it won't work for "real" cycling. But then again, maybe even though she's a distance runner she'll never be more than a light recreational cyclist.

However, even if she does decide on something other than a comfort bike in the future, you can still keep the hybrid. After all, there will be some warm feelings for it, and it won't be bad for occassional short and casual jaunts.
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Old 07-23-06, 06:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edp773
My suggestion would be to start out with what she likes to ride. If she does not like ridng the bike it may end up sitting unused...
+1 for this good advice - I'd also get your wife to try an Electra Townie. They're competative with the other comfort bikes you're looking at and have some compelling geometry advantages.
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Old 07-23-06, 07:37 AM   #6
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If you are right and she REALLY wants to train ... she'll want a road bike and even the hybrid wouldn't do.

Get what she likes now.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-23-06, 10:04 AM   #7
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Thanks for your suggestions. we'll take your advice and get what she enjoys the most. Good points all. if she get more hardcore we'll worry about that then.
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Old 07-23-06, 11:48 AM   #8
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I'll throw in one more plug for the Electra Townie - they hold resale value better than the other bikes you're looking at. If your wife outgrows her Townie, put it on e-Bay and you'll lose very little from the price of a new one. I bought a 21 speed, rode it for six months, and sold it for $70 less than I paid for it after tax!
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