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.