Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: St. Paul, MN
Bikes: Cannondale CAAD9, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Nashbar X-frame bike.
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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.
Good night...and good luck