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Old 04-06-04, 08:03 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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My wife (66 yo) has a Specialized Mtn Bike (female variety with the lowered top tube), with grip shifters, several years old, which is quite heavy. It is equipped with 1.25 x 26 slicks, but is still quite slow. She loves riding this bike.

She also has a Cannondale R300. She simply does not feel comfortable on the Cannondale, does not like the high TT, and the STI shifters require a wrist action/motion that tends to aggravate wrist problems that she has. She does not feel very secure on the 700mmx28 or thereabouts tires. The braking is difficult, along with the position, even though we have an adjustable stem which is set high. This bike has less than 300 miles or so on it, and is in new condition.

So, I am thinking of approaching our friendly local LBS, proposing a trade with the R300 to some sort of hybrid/cross, with perhaps 1.25 x's 700 tires, grip shifters, lowered TT and a lighter frame.

However, I have not kept up with the hybrid/cross market, and don't even know if such a combination exists.

Any thoughts? Would compact geometry provide the lowered TT? Or do they offer "female" models? Do hybrids have grip shifters, which she handles well? Is the gearing on the hybrids similar to a mtn bike. She enjoys riding to the top of Vail Pass, but she uses the lowest of low gears on the mtn bike to do it.

Goal - a lighter, easy to handle but very solid feeling bike.

Your reactions and thoughts greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 04-06-04, 08:18 PM   #2
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I actually love my hybrid, with the exception of the suspension fork on the front that sucks way too much energy when climbing a hill. The rapid fire (I think that's what their called) thumb and forefinger shifting, are so easy to shift with and for my money beats a twist grip anyday, it's also much easier to shift with the winter gloves on, and gives a visual indication of which gear I'm in. All around it was a great bike to get a lot of base miles in on before I got my road-bike, and I still ride it when the weather is bad, or with the kids. If she likes her mountain bike, I suspect the hybrid will be right up her alley. Lower rolling resistance on the tires makes a huge difference on those long weekend rides. The biggest difference to me is the upright riding position compared to my touring and road bikes. The hybrid did nothing to prepare my back, shoulders and arms for riding on them. BUT I can see where that position is an advantage for many, especially on the long rec rides, where the scenery overcasts the ride.
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Old 04-07-04, 05:58 AM   #3
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Any thoughts on the TREK 7300 "women's"?
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Old 04-07-04, 04:49 PM   #4
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Take a look at the Specialized Sirrus. Its about $500. 700x28 tires, compact geometry, flat bar with mountain bike shifters and in between road bike and mountain bike gearing.

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Old 04-07-04, 04:54 PM   #5
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Any thoughts on the TREK 7300 "women's"?
I have a TREK 7300 that I ride on the crushed limestone rail trails. I tried it on the road but found it to be way too much effort. So I compromised, as I also don't like the feel of most road bikes (very short female with longer torso than legs), and bought a Jamis Coda Comp. I have done a couple of centuries on it and have been very pleased. http://www.jamisbikes.com/bikes/04_coda_comp.html
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Old 04-07-04, 07:13 PM   #6
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I think that today most of the bigger manufacturers have flat handlebar bikes with 700 x 32c tires and road bike gearing. The one thing that I would be watchful of is handlebar height.

good luck!
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Old 04-07-04, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the input.

Just some thoughts and comments:

1. Nora will never do a Century. About 25 miles is about it, she has no desire to go further,

2. Nora need mtn bike gearing as one of her favorite rides is over Vail Pass, and right now she uses the lowest of the low gears on the mtn bike to do that.

3. She absolutely wants a "step-through" bike as it is a challenge for her to get her foot over the seat, and she needs to be able to stand while straddling the bike prior to take off.

4. She wnat at least 700x38's for stability.

5. Speed is not of too much importance, but a lighter bike would be great.

6. She doesn't ride the "road" but instead mostly bike paths.

7. Nora did not learn to "ride" until she was inher early 60's. Therefore, much of what comes naturally to those of us who rode as kids is still a struggle for her. This includes "starting" and stopping smoothly.

We went to the LBS tonight to look at a Trek 7300 and a similar Cannondale. We will go back for a test ride when it is not raining.

They would only offer her $210.00 for her Cannondale R300, so we said no, we will just buy a new bike and either sell privately or keep the Cannondale. They would put it on the market for $420, or offered to put it on their EBay site starting as $400. I can do the same thing with the EBay, so I declined.

So that is our update.

Also, I bought myself some new SPD Sandals, and had new pedals and matching clips installed on my old shoes and the new Sandals.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 04-08-04 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 04-08-04, 10:37 AM   #8
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What about an Electra Townie 24? The townie has a low step through frame that is a cross between a cruiser and a recumbent. This allows you to sit on the saddle while having your feet flat on the ground. The website is: www.electrabikes.com
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Old 04-08-04, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
2. Nora need mtn bike gearing as one of her favorite rides is over Vail Pass, and right now she uses the lowest of the low gears on the mtn bike to do that.

3. She absolutely wants a "step-through" bike as it is a challenge for her to get her foot over the seat, and she needs to be able to stand while straddling the bike prior to take off.

4. She wnat at least 700x38's for stability.

5. Speed is not of too much importance, but a lighter bike would be great.

6. She doesn't ride the "road" but instead mostly bike paths.

7. Nora did not learn to "ride" until she was inher early 60's. Therefore, much of what comes naturally to those of us who rode as kids is still a struggle for her. This includes "starting" and stopping smoothly.

We went to the LBS tonight to look at a Trek 7300 and a similar Cannondale. We will go back for a test ride when it is not raining.

They would only offer her $210.00 for her Cannondale R300, so we said no, we will just buy a new bike and either sell privately or keep the Cannondale. They would put it on the market for $420, or offered to put it on their EBay site starting as $400. I can do the same thing with the EBay, so I declined.

So that is our update.

Also, I bought myself some new SPD Sandals, and had new pedals and matching clips installed on my old shoes and the new Sandals.
Re: 2: A common hybrid is usually geared higher than an mtb, but it still might do the trick. One reason Nora is using the lowest gear might be because of the smaller wheel diameter and higher rolling resistance of mtbs. She might actually be able to climb Vail Pass in the lower gears of a hybrid, given that she'll have more "going for her" with a lighter bike with less resistance. Before we got our tandem, my wife and I used to do errands, etc. with me on my hybrid and her on my old Trek 850 MTB. She could never keep up with me. We found a mid-'90s Trek 720 hybrid at a garage sale, bought it, and sold the 850. With the 720, even though it's geared higher, she could ride the higher gear ratios with more ease (and faster) than with the 850.

Re: 3 and 7: These kinda go together. I have a friend who, for neurological reasons, has trouble starting and stopping. She finds a step-thru frame more "comforting", less daunting to handle.

Re: 4 and 6: I'm running 700x38 "street tread" (not slick, but definitely not knobby) tires on my hybrid, and I find them perfectly suitable for "rail trail" type trails. I would think even a person less at ease on a bike would do just as well.

Re: 5: A lighter bike isn't just faster, it's easier to ride, esp. up hills. This ties back to point 2.

Good move on selling the R300 privately. I had no idea LBS's "keystone" (100% markup) used bikes. Yoiks! While you're at it, keep your eyes peeled for a private-sale used hybrid. Denver's a pretty big town; watch the garage sales, bulletin boards at stores, local papers, local opportunities on eBay, etc. I've found some sweet deals at police auctions and resale shop (St. Vincent, etc.) bike sale events.
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Old 04-08-04, 11:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by demoncyclist
What about an Electra Townie 24? The townie has a low step through frame that is a cross between a cruiser and a recumbent. This allows you to sit on the saddle while having your feet flat on the ground. The website is: www.electrabikes.com
This URL auto-forwards to some page utterly unrelated to bicycles, which, when closed, opens a slew of pop-ups.
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Old 04-08-04, 11:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue
Re: 2: A common hybrid is usually geared higher than an mtb, but it still might do the trick. One reason Nora is using the lowest gear might be because of the smaller wheel diameter and higher rolling resistance of mtbs. She might actually be able to climb Vail Pass in the lower gears of a hybrid, given that she'll have more "going for her" with a lighter bike with less resistance. Before we got our tandem, my wife and I used to do errands, etc. with me on my hybrid and her on my old Trek 850 MTB. She could never keep up with me. We found a mid-'90s Trek 720 hybrid at a garage sale, bought it, and sold the 850. With the 720, even though it's geared higher, she could ride the higher gear ratios with more ease (and faster) than with the 850.

Re: 3 and 7: These kinda go together. I have a friend who, for neurological reasons, has trouble starting and stopping. She finds a step-thru frame more "comforting", less daunting to handle.

Re: 4 and 6: I'm running 700x38 "street tread" (not slick, but definitely not knobby) tires on my hybrid, and I find them perfectly suitable for "rail trail" type trails. I would think even a person less at ease on a bike would do just as well.

Re: 5: A lighter bike isn't just faster, it's easier to ride, esp. up hills. This ties back to point 2.

Good move on selling the R300 privately. I had no idea LBS's "keystone" (100% markup) used bikes. Yoiks! While you're at it, keep your eyes peeled for a private-sale used hybrid. Denver's a pretty big town; watch the garage sales, bulletin boards at stores, local papers, local opportunities on eBay, etc. I've found some sweet deals at police auctions and resale shop (St. Vincent, etc.) bike sale events.
Thanks for all your excellent and well-thought input.

Right now, price is not the concern. Fit and appropriateness is.

The LBS we use is excellent. For example, he took 45 minutes last night to be sure my new sandal SPD's were correctly adjusted, and while he did that, we refit my bars and stem height. He simply cares a lot that bikes fit correctly.

So, we want to trade through him as much as possible.
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Old 04-08-04, 08:30 PM   #12
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Sorry! I added an extra S: www.electrabike.com
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Old 04-08-04, 10:05 PM   #13
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Bianchi Boardwalk has a step through and is a sweet rig. 48/38/28 front crank and an 11-32 cassette. The Kona Dew has a 44/34/24 crank with 11-34 cassette. It's also a sweet bike, but what you want as an asset I used to rule it out, the gearing. They both have 700X32 tires, but worth a look.
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Old 04-18-04, 03:56 PM   #14
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Well, we bought the Trek 7300.

Mounted the computer, front bag, wedge, bell and cage from the Cannondale.

Anyone want a sweet Cannondale R300, fits my wife about 5'6", special low geared rear cassette for mountain climbing, mint, great tires with tire liners for goatheads, about 600 miles total? Sora 24 speed. Cheap. PM me.
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