I'm planning to take my wife bike shopping - she seems interested. She's on the short side - about 5'4", so I think 26 inch wheels would probably be a better idea. Am I right in thinking so? She wants a step-through, light bicycle - upto $500 or so. What options do I have? I liked the look of the Giant Via W series - but those are 700 wheels, and the bikes are heavy - according to the internet, almost 30 pounds.
I know the best option is to take her to lots of shops and let her try out a lot of bikes, but if I take her to too many shops she may lose interest - so I'd rather take her to a few shops with bikes that fit the above description, and see how it goes from there. If she likes one, good - if she doesn't, but seems interested enough to continue, we'll visit more shops.
Most of her riding will be on MUPs.
The Trek Verves and Shifts in that price range go right down to Tourney - dunno why - in that price range, my Specialized Sirrus cost $450 and it has Altus at least.
The Giant Simple 7 W looks interesting (though it falls in the cruiser category - but I'm not sure that is a bad idea. Should be really comfortable I guess).
How is the Kona Africa Bike 3?
Specialized Vita Step-through - same components as my bike, so I know it will be good enough - but the tires are 700x32
Any other suggestions?