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Old 10-30-12, 01:07 AM   #1
treadtread
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Bike suggestions - for the wife

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?
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Old 10-30-12, 09:14 AM   #2
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My wife bought an Opus Nuovella this past summer.

http://opusbike.com/en/bikes/urban/urbanista/nuovella

... not sure it's available where you are, but Opus has some very nice looking, reasonably light, and nice riding bikes.
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Old 10-30-12, 09:23 AM   #3
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I'm looking for one for my wife as well... DON'T rule out the 700c wheels yet. My wife is barely over 5' tall, and we've found a couple of little ones that fit her.

Where are you planning on riding? If it's not bumpy, forget looking at anything with a suspension fork. It's just extra pounds that she'll have to lug around, AND the non-suspension fork will drop the front end a couple inches.

Specifically, look at the road-hybrids.

This is also a great time to look for the closeout 2012 models. We've found some amazing deals.
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Old 10-30-12, 09:40 AM   #4
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Yes, not looking at front suspension. What 700c bikes did you try? That Opus looks nice.
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Old 10-30-12, 09:43 AM   #5
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We're in the same price range that you are looking at. This is the one that we are most likely getting:

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/colle...7_1_fx_stagger
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Old 10-30-12, 09:51 AM   #6
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Here's another that we considered:

http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/stra.../cortina-dama/
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Old 10-30-12, 09:52 AM   #7
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I would agree to not rule out 700c wheels. My wife is 5'1 (and a half if you ask her) and her old bike was 26 inch wheels. When she first rode the 700c wheels she felt a difference right away and even more after riding for awhile. She beleives the 700c wheels are more efficent and she is able to keep up better with less energy expended.
Her road bike is a Specialized Dolce and her hybrid is a Trek Skye.
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Old 10-30-12, 10:22 AM   #8
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that trek is the one my wife is getting and she is 5'3". she loved it on the test ride around the parking area.
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Old 10-30-12, 10:47 AM   #9
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Also, don't rule out trike/recumbents for comfort and ease. If you're mostly riding on MUPs, that might be the ideal compromise. Also, there are some delta trikes that can be easily convert to tandem in a matter of minutes.
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Old 10-30-12, 11:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Also, don't rule out trike/recumbents for comfort and ease. If you're mostly riding on MUPs, that might be the ideal compromise. Also, there are some delta trikes that can be easily convert to tandem in a matter of minutes.
If only these were more affordable.
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Old 10-30-12, 11:56 AM   #11
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yea, the 700c wheel size won't change the actual frame size, do to geometry changes.
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Old 10-30-12, 12:10 PM   #12
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Or folding bikes.. Brompton like most is 1 size.

Only Bike Friday has Sizes.. made in Oregon.
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Old 10-30-12, 12:23 PM   #13
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A lot of good suggestions in this thread, thanks! I won't rule out the 700c then - which is nice because that opens up a lot more options.
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Old 10-30-12, 05:14 PM   #14
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Replying to myself - just noticed another bike mentioned in a separate thread that may be relevant here - Public C7.
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Old 10-31-12, 03:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by caleb oliver View Post
yea, the 700c wheel size won't change the actual frame size, do to geometry changes.
700c does change the geometry for smaller riders. The standover height is unaffected but issue of toe-clip overlap with the front wheel means that the top tube has to be extended or the headtube slackened to make space for larger wheels. At the rear, the larger wheel requires a longer chainstay. The result is a bike with a proportionally very long wheelbase which handles poorly compared to the medium sized version of the same model. If you shrink the frame size, you should shrink all the components proportionally, inc wheels.

5'4" is close to the boundary for 700c but could use either. Riders any smaller would be well advised to stick to 26" is decent models can be found.

The problem is finding a good, lightweight hybrid in 26". The marketing men assume that 26"= rugged=heavy so overbuild the bike. Terry Precision do a hybrid/everyday useful bike using 26" MTB size.
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Old 10-31-12, 03:27 PM   #16
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My wife's two favorite bikes are a Raleigh Colt and a Raleigh Twenty folder. The Raleigh Colt is a 17" frame with narrow 26" wheels, the Twenty has BMX sized wheels. The modern equivalent is the Bobbin Shopper. She has had a couple of 700c wheeled bikes in the past but did not like the derailuer gearing set up. She is much happier with the IGH. Eventually I plan to build her up a bike with 650b wheels, probably a Soma Mixte.

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