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Old 06-15-12, 08:56 AM   #1
SkippyX
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Kyoso?

I'm shopping around for a bike for my wife. She hasn't ridden since she was a kid.

We don't have a tub of money to throw around so I was shopping craigslist looking for something that would be both practical and comfortable for her to ride.

Some info on her - she's 47 and (like me) looking to ride to lose weight. Her doc has told her "you'd better start exercising.....seriously....I'm not kidding....", so I'm trying to ease her into bicycling. I was thinking that we could start out w/ short neighborhood rides, hitting garage sales, stopping for yuppie hot chocolate (lattes & such) at the coffeehouses along the way.

Basically I'm trying to introduce her to bicycling as something that's fun rather than something she does (and hates) to keep her blood pressure in check.

She's told me that she'll trust me on the bike, but every time we're in a bike store she seems to lean towards fixie/three speed cruisers. It seems to me that would be a remarkably bad choice. I think she'd tire of riding one of those quickly, but I've never ridden a cruiser so I don't know.

I did find something today that looks like an interesting bike. It's a Euro-city bike looking thing, made by Kyoso. I've never heard of Kyoso before. However, it looks like a great compromise between hybrid and cruiser. Here's the ad:

http://houston.craigslist.org/bid/3065670819.html

I'd sure appreciate some input from guys who have tried to accomplish the same sort of thing for their wives, or women who have faced some of the same issues my wife is facing.

Am I all the way off the reservation here?
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Old 06-15-12, 09:12 AM   #2
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If you want this to be "something that's fun rather than something she does (and hates)", guess what? She also needs to make her own choices when it comes to the bike. Let her perception and intuition make the choices, not you and certainly not with your influence. Let her test the bikes and have her decide on her comfort level. If she makes a mistake, it will be her own and not because you made it happen.

She is already being forced to exercise, so do not force her to buy anything she believes, she would not like. If you really beleive she is making a mistake by her choices, have her do more research. If there is a bike rental somewhere, have her try it out first. From there, she can make an educated choice versus a perceptual choice.
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Old 06-15-12, 09:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
If you want this to be "something that's fun rather than something she does (and hates)", guess what? She also needs to make her own choices when it comes to the bike. Let her perception and intuition make the choices, not you and certainly not with your influence. Let her test the bikes and have her decide on her comfort level. If she makes a mistake, it will be her own and not because you made it happen.

She is already being forced to exercise, so do not force her to buy anything she believes, she would not like. If you really beleive she is making a mistake by her choices, have her do more research. If there is a bike rental somewhere, have her try it out first. From there, she can make an educated choice versus a perceptual choice.
That makes alot of sense.
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Old 06-15-12, 03:29 PM   #4
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Having a bike you love is way more important than having The Best Possible Bike. I didn't know anything about bikes when I started, and my first bike was a terrible choice (heavy, didn't fit properly) but I LOVED it. I rode it every day, I got better, and eventually set my sights on N+1. When I first started looking at bikes - before I had done any research - I wanted a cruiser. They looked cool, but in the end I wasn't sure so I figured a cheaper vintage bike was a better bet than an expensive new one.

She needs to love her bike, everything else is secondary. Try and point her in the right direction, but if she wants a 3-speed beast, then that's the best bike for her. And honestly, a 3-speed cruiser isn't the end of the world. It might even be better for getting in shape, mashing that thing up hills.
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Old 06-16-12, 07:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
If you want this to be "something that's fun rather than something she does (and hates)", guess what? She also needs to make her own choices when it comes to the bike. Let her perception and intuition make the choices, not you and certainly not with your influence. Let her test the bikes and have her decide on her comfort level. If she makes a mistake, it will be her own and not because you made it happen.

She is already being forced to exercise, so do not force her to buy anything she believes, she would not like. If you really beleive she is making a mistake by her choices, have her do more research. If there is a bike rental somewhere, have her try it out first. From there, she can make an educated choice versus a perceptual choice.
+1

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Originally Posted by SkippyX View Post
I'm shopping around for a bike for my wife. She hasn't ridden since she was a kid.

We don't have a tub of money to throw around so I was shopping craigslist looking for something that would be both practical and comfortable for her to ride.

Some info on her - she's 47 and (like me) looking to ride to lose weight. Her doc has told her "you'd better start exercising.....seriously....I'm not kidding....", so I'm trying to ease her into bicycling. I was thinking that we could start out w/ short neighborhood rides, hitting garage sales, stopping for yuppie hot chocolate (lattes & such) at the coffeehouses along the way.
You say you don't have a lot of money to spend on the bike. How much is your health worth?


Stopping for hot chocolate and lattes will not help with the weight loss plan -- unless you ride LOTS of miles.


Let us know what bike SHE picks out.
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Last edited by RonH; 06-16-12 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 06-16-12, 02:58 PM   #6
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Mission accomplished - and at the second bike shop of the day! (Truth be told, I've bought a couple of bikes from that LBS in the past, so he was high on the list of "must shop at" places)

At the first shop we stopped at the owner was kind enough to let us ride the prospects around the neighborhood for a bit to get a feel for the bikes. My wife tried out a single speed full on beach cruiser and didn't like it. She liked the upright position, but didn't like the handlebars or the lack of gearing - although she didn't know she didn't like the lack of gearing until she tried the next bike.

The next bike was a Townie:



She liked the Townie MUCH better than the first bike.

Next up I asked her to try a hybrid - just to get a feel for it. She didn't care for the hybrid too much.

After trying all three she liked the Townie the best. The Townie was available as both a three speed IGH and a 7 speed derailleur setup. I said "OK, let's stop at one more shop and have a look there. They might have something else you like, or they might have a better deal."

We went to the LBS I've bought at before and looked around a bit. She landed on one of these:



She went out for a little test spin on it and I noticed the seat post looked a bit short, so I asked her to hang on a bit. We adjusted it to the right height and sent her off on a ride. When she came back she said "This is the bike!" She loved the geometry. She loved the feel of it. Loved the riding position. All she needs is a basket on the front and it could be 1960 all over again. A steel three speed IGH Schwinn. We didn't have the dough to buy it outright, but the shop does layaway, so we put 50% down on it and will be getting it out next payday.

She was wiping fingerprints off it as I was paying for it.

SOLD!!!!

Here's a link to the Schwinn page for the bike: http://www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/ur...96#/highlights

She's already talking about getting a bike rack for the car to start doing out of town trips - driving to another town off in some pretty country and taking spins. She's as excited about it as I am.

Now I've got to find me an old Raleigh 3 speed so we can be rockin' similar rides when we're out & about.
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Old 06-16-12, 07:46 PM   #7
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Outstanding!! Most of the battle is now won. Now it's your job to help keep her interested. I'm still working on getting my wife on her bike a little more.
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Old 06-16-12, 07:59 PM   #8
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Interesting coincidence. I saw a Schwinn Coffee (the boy version the Cream) and was impressed. It's a good looking bike. The Townies look like they'd uncomfortable after a few miles, but the Schwinns have reasonable ergonomics. Wouldn't mind having one as a grab-n-go bike. A rear rack is good. Much you can do with a 3 speed.

The bike you will ride is always better than the bike you won't.
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Old 06-17-12, 12:16 AM   #9
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Outstanding!! Most of the battle is now won. Now it's your job to help keep her interested. I'm still working on getting my wife on her bike a little more.
I sure hope she gets into it. It'd be a darned shame if it becomes a clothes hanger. I'll do my dead level best to try to keep her interested in riding. It's really important, ya know? She has to worry about high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. It's about much more than weight.

Plus, I really, really want her to be my ridin' buddy. I figure anything a couple can do together and find enjoyment in together will only strengthen the relationship. I'd like us to have many, many more years of having fun together.

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Interesting coincidence. I saw a Schwinn Coffee (the boy version the Cream) and was impressed. It's a good looking bike. The Townies look like they'd uncomfortable after a few miles, but the Schwinns have reasonable ergonomics. Wouldn't mind having one as a grab-n-go bike. A rear rack is good. Much you can do with a 3 speed.

The bike you will ride is always better than the bike you won't.
The Schwinn she landed on really surprised me. I didn't know that anyone still made such a bike. It's very retro. I was also impressed that it's made of steel. I know it's not a particularly great grade steel, but still.....

I was also happy to see a pre-installed rear rack and fenders.

I like the bike quite a bit. Of course, my opinion of it is irrelevant. I'm simply glad she didn't get the single speed beach cruiser.

When she was testing out the Townie the LBS owner had me riding one as well. I couldn't stand the "pedal forward" design of the chassis - it just felt weird to me. I do have to say, though, that the IGH really surprised me. The only types of bikes I have ridden were single speeds (a Schwinn Stingray knockoff when I was a young kid), the ten speed I had as an older kid & teen, and the hybrid I now own. I've never tried out an IGH. I was thinking "three speeds, meh, what good is that?" What I didn't realize was the difference between those gears.

I don't really know the right terminology to describe it, but it felt like it had the same range as my 21 speed - if I keep the front derailleur on the big chain ring and only shifted the rear derailleur. Yes, you don't get that incrementally tougher pedal stroke, but you get a bigger "jump" between gears.

I'm really interested in doing a resto of an old IGH bike - a Raleigh or some such. I was thinking about using an eight speed IGH.

I need to learn ALOT more about gearing.
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Old 06-17-12, 12:14 PM   #10
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Keep in mind that exercise is good for you, but is not the solution to losing weight. A healthy diet, smaller portions, less snacking etc are key.
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