Ok - I've searched the threads but can't find exactly the answer I need, so I'll start this thread.
My girlfriend - 5'0" - wants to move up to a lighter bike. She doesn't want a road bike, just a good light hybrid with thinner tires so she can keep up with me better and also climb hills easier. We looked at the 2005 Trek 7300FX, which seems to be a pretty nice bike for the price and it's aluminum, so it's much lighter than her current bike. Also has a triple on the front, which she needs. Now, this bike is only made as a men's bike, but the bar is angled pretty low - almost like a woman's. The problem is the smallest size they make is a 15 inch and, when she's standing the bar is just a little too high for her to feel comfortable. A 14 inch in this model would be perfect, but as I said, it's unavailable.
The only other models that they have in women's frames are those "City & Bike path" models (like the Navigators) that are really just too heavy. There doesn't seem to be a huge market for good, economical and light hybrid frames for her size.
So, what's a good hybrid womens' model for her that's 1) light (aluminum) 2) inexpensive and 3) in her size?