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Old 04-14-13, 05:13 PM   #1
Graupel731
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Wife taking a dive... into biking...

Wife is interested in biking and we are looking at an entry-level bike. Something along the lines of a commute/recretational variety. She has ridden these three:

- Giant Cypress W http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...w/11530/55922/

- Jamis Citizen 1 http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...cat_grp=recr_1

- Jamis Commuter http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...cat_grp=strt_1

Any thoughts are suggestions? From the test rides, they all went well but none stuck out specifically.

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-13, 08:43 PM   #2
Jim Kukula
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To my eye, that Jamis Commuter looks the most like a "real" bike. The other two bikes have really high handlebars. Yeah, that is really comfortable, and it does help enhance one's view of traffic and general terrain. But the problem is that you need a somewhat acute angle between leg and torso to enhance leg power. That Jamis Commuter looks like a reasonable compromise - the handlebar is a bit higher than the saddle, but not way up high either. I think the Commuter looks like the best bike for your wife to explore if she really wants to get into biking. If the answer is "No" - well, the other bikes look very nice for a level few miles of biking just to get from point A to point B in a relaxed comfortable way. They'll just be a bit frustrating if she wants to get a bit more power to the pedals.

Jamis and Giant are good brands and really any of those bikes can work, though, so just get out riding and have some fun!
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Old 04-14-13, 09:07 PM   #3
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The Commuter includes a rack and fenders. Not so sure whether the Slidepad brakes are a good idea.
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Old 04-14-13, 09:44 PM   #4
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Tell her to have fun with it.
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Old 04-14-13, 11:25 PM   #5
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Does she really need a step-through frame? Unless she wears a dress while biking, I feel like that frame design is strictly for looks and harkening back to the good ol' days.
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Old 04-15-13, 12:37 PM   #6
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Like Jim, I'd recommend the Jamis Commuter. If your wife sticks with cycling, she'll eventually want a more aggressive position on the bike, not just because it delivers more power but also because it's easier on the back (for most of us). The handlebars could be raised at first, and then lowered if she prefers. A step-through frame is useful if she's going to be biking in dress clothes or if she has problems with her hips, but otherwise, a diamond frame (like the Commuter) is preferable.

The main disadvantage of the Commuter is that it has a 1x7 drivetrain; the range of gears is smaller than on the Jamis Citizen or Giant Cypress. If you can spring a little bit more for the Coda Sport (or the Femme model, with a shorter top tube), she might be happier on hills (unless you live somewhere flat).
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Old 04-16-13, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graupel731 View Post
Wife is interested in biking... Any thoughts are suggestions? From the test rides, they all went well but none stuck out specifically.
That is because they are all the same.

The RANS crank-forward bikes are really nice to ride, I think everyone who has tried mine liked it. They are drastically more comfortable than a normal bike, yet still look (and ride) fairly normal. They several advantages that none of the other comfort bikes have. They aren't cheap, but building a frameset using a donor "normal" bike lowers the price a lot. Building one with a internal-gear-hub would be what I would consider to be the 'utimate' casual-use bike.

Yea you could spend less and get a normal bike--but a bike so uncomfortable to use that you won't use it, is no bargain at any price.
The money you save don't make your butt, hands or neck feel any better.
There is ten million "normal" bikes out there right now, hanging in garage rafters, covered in dust and their tires flat and dry-rotted because they didn't cost much and because bicycling sounded like a nice idea but hurts too much to bother with.
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Old 04-16-13, 02:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by brianogilvie View Post
The main disadvantage of the Commuter is that it has a 1x7 drivetrain;
Oops, I missed that. The lowest gear is 35 inches which is not very low. Fine for small hills but if you're anyplace with challenging terrain, that'll be a problem. On the other hand, front and rear derailleurs are tricky for novices - the need to coordinate shifting two controls. It gets easy quickly enough, but if you don't need it then simpler is always nicer. It just depends where you ride.
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Old 04-17-13, 10:38 AM   #9
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Upfront disclaimer: I am a complete bike newbie, and know next to nothing about specs etc. However, I think my situation is relatively similar to your wife's so I thought I'd throw in my experience. My boyfriend really enjoys cycling, and I recently went around and tried a bunch of bikes in order to join him for casual rides. I was looking for an entry-level bike that was functional, but felt sturdy and comfortable. I haven't consistently ridden bikes since I was in my mid-teens (I'm now 23), and this is my first time riding in city traffic.

I absolutely loved the Breezer step-thru models. I could only find the downtown EX step-thru locally to try, but I ended up ordering a slightly different model. I instantly felt comfortable and confident on the bike. I was looking at some more upright-positioned bikes like the first two links you posted, but I actually felt much more in control on the Breezer (I think because it feels more responsive and not too clunky, but I can still see traffic sufficiently). I have only had the bike in my possession for a day now, but I rode it 12 miles yesterday without any pain or discomfort, so I guess that's good?

The Breezers look pretty similar to the Jamis commuter, but if you can find them locally, it's another option to try out!
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