Hi everyone, I am new to this forum but like the info I have found here. I am posting a new thread because I know very little about bikes. I like things with motors personally. Anyway, my wife has been hinting for along time that she wants a bike, and I am going to get her one. That's my question. She is 5' 3" tall and approximatley 125 pounds. I assume most of her riding will be around town. She says that she wants a heavy-duty mountain bike, but from what little I do know, a hybrid type bike would be the best IMO. One that is a little bit on the aggressive side because she has said that she would like to do some mountain trails(nothing technical). But I believe most riding will be around town pulling the kids in the little pull-cart.
So, what bike would be best for this application?
If I should post in a different category, please let me know.
Thanks in advance
Most hybrid bikes use larger 700c wheels, which dont fit easily into small-sized frames. 5'3" is on the borderline for 700c and your wife may find that a more compact bike is easier to handle. A hardtail MTB, the lightest that you can find, which has a full set of rack and fender mounts, will probably be a good bet. Many MTB designs (like the current Specialized Hardrock) are way overbuilt with massively fat tubes and chuncky components to appeal to teenage boys. Small women simply don't need a bike this strong.
Also, take care that the components are sized for a small person. The cranks should be short (<170mm), the bars should be narrow.
Some manufacturers make Women Specific Designs : WSD which address these issues.
You can adapt an MTB for city riding by fitting some fast slick tyres.
Colnago Master XL, Bianchi Via Nirone 7, Marinoni Fango
My wife 5'4" use her bikes similarly to what your wife plans are. She rides a mountain bike with a women’s frame with 1.9" tires and likes it very much. We went to the LBS and she talked to sales women and test rode a few bikes before she chose.
PS. Your going to have drop the motors and ride with her to make sure using her new investment.
A lower priced mountain bike would work well. Trek, just for one example, offers models for both men and women in a variety of sizes. That means your wife can get a "good fit", which is essential for fully enjoying a bike.
For street use, there are light weight "slick" tires that work very well. Many urban messengers use a MTB with slicks for the combination of dependability and easy rolling.
As a bonus, the high numbers of MTB's sold mean that a MTB with a "street" price of $300 will be will made and reliable. Usually a few things need adjusting and tightening after the first hundred miles or so, and after that, an MTB can go along time with nothing by air in the tires and chain oil.