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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Okay I've decided that I want to get a new bike. Right now I'm riding a "Schwinn Le Tour III" - since I decided to get serious about touring, I decided that this bike is not the bike for me. It works well for commuting, but it's heavy and I'm tiny so I can't imagine how I'd be able to move the damn thing once it's loaded!

    Anyway, I'm having a really hard time figuring out what type of bike to get.

    I'm going to use my bike for commuting, touring, and training for touring. I like the drop handle bars (not the straight ones that are on mnt bikes).

    So does this mean I want to get a road bike or a commuter bike? Or a bike that is specifically made for touring (which from what I've noticed that mostly have the straight handle bars)?

    And since I'm 5'1'', I think I'll definately want to get a women's specific bike, which seems like it's adding to my frustration because there isn't much of a selection for women's specific bikes.

    So if you could please help me by telling me what TYPE of bike would work best for me, that would be great.

    And also if you wanted to reccomend any specific bikes I wouldn't mind at all - I'm not going to spend over $700.
    (months ago when I talked to my mechanic, he reccomended this bike: women's fuji bike but at that time I really wasnt positive if I was going to get into touring or not; since then I've decided that I'm serious about touring, so would this bike work for me as far as touring goes? )

    thank you so much.

  2. #2
    Have you seen this one:

    I hope that link works. Anyway, it's the Fuji Touring. It's a solid touring bike within your budget. It's not under $700, but I figured if you were considering that other Fuji bike, you could go for a bike of the same price.

    Be sure that whatever bike you choose, it is sturdy enough for touring. I don't think some road bikes are set up for the heavier loads of touring, so you want to make sure the frame overall is solid enough to handle the heavier loads, do make sure the bike has the eyelets so you can insert the rear racks (and possibly front rack too if you decide you want to go with front and rear racks), and a longer wheelbase. There's nothing worse than a bike with a short wheelbase that you keep hitting your panniers with your ankles with because the wheelbase is too short! Also consider rims that are heavier and are a bit thicker so they can handle the heavier loads too.

    I believe REI has a bike for touring that is under $700, but don't quote me. I think it was called the Novara Rondanee or something like that.

    I've toured with a bike with drop handlebars and straight handlebars, and I've had more wrist and hand pain with the straight handlebars. Definitely, going with a bike that has the road bike handlebars would be the best way to go!

    I don't think it's necessary to go with a bike that's made for touring. If you go back to your LBS (and try at least a couple of others), and tell them you want a bike with a longer wheelbase and all the stuff I told you about, they should be able to show you a few of the bikes they have in their selection. You actually may need to pay more for some of the bikes that are touring specific, but the touring specific bikes will ensure that you will be absolutely properly equipped with the proper equipment on your touring bike.

    By the way, I'm 5' 1/2", and I've never had a WSD before. All my bikes have been men's bikes. So don't be afraid to look beyond WSD. Look for the bike that feels good, you can handle well, and keeps you comfortable.

    Good luck and report back!


  3. #3
    NEVER WALK A HILL cycleprincess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Volpe Specialized Dolce Vita Multi Sport
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    I ride a Bianchi Volpe and I really love it. It is a touring bike I've been told, but according to the website it's a cyclo/cross, whatever that means. I picked up the 03 model last year for around $700. It's got the drop handle bars and the shifting is really nice, she has a tripple chain ring which I think is necessary especially when you are just starting cycling. I can't comment on the size of the frame, mine is a bit large...but then again I am nearly 5'8. I actually had to have the stem swapped out on my bike because the one it came with was a good two inches too long. Good luck with your search, and give the Volpe a look, she might fit your bill! And this years color is a really pretty blue. Mine is of the reasons I bought it! (I'm such a girl)
    Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

    T. S. Elliot

  4. #4
    I am 5'3 and ride a road bike to work... I LOVE IT.. its light.. easy to ride and makes a comute a breaze!!!

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