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Old 03-09-10, 06:23 AM   #1
ontheroadagain
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I seek advice: a decent woman's hybrid for a guy...?

Hi
I am a 5' 10" with a 30" inseam guy who would rather ride a woman's bike.
I got used to them in Amsterdam. I have back issues which makes an 'upright' ride important, and I really like suspension. This is primarily for street use, but the roads here are poor. I once had a Jamis that was stolen, it was little small but a step in the right direction.

Can anyone recommend a bike (and a size, I am thinking at least 19") for me?

I need to buy used and my price range is $200 max.

Thank you very much.
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Old 03-09-10, 07:01 AM   #2
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Perhaps something like Gary Fisher's Simple City stepthrough model? Here's a linky:

http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/si...ity-8-stepthru

It's not classified as a women's bike per se. It does have a stepthrough frame though.
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Old 03-09-10, 10:24 AM   #3
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I just love that Gary Fischer, but it lacks the suspension that I need.
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Old 03-09-10, 10:28 AM   #4
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Women's bike have:
- Shorter, wider saddles
- "Step-through" top tube
- Fru-fru colors

Upright riding position and suspensions are qualities of comfort hybrids, but not specific to women's bikes at all. Trek 7000 series bikes are an example of a comfort hybrid. Regarding fitting, you might need a bike size appropriate for your inseam, with a longer stem to accomodate your torso, or something to that effect. A bike shop should do that for you with a purchase.
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Old 03-09-10, 11:07 AM   #5
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Trinamuouus makes a good point. If you're after the upright position, that's a separate issue from the step-through design. That Simple City bike I pointed you towards can be had in both step-through and non-step-through forms. (And neither form is labeled as women's or men's).

As for suspension, if you want that because of poor roads, you might look at something like a Thudbuster seatpost. You'll be upright on the bike. A normal, rigid seatpost will transmit shock directly into your spine. A suspension seatpost will help a lot to mitigate that shock. Front suspension, otoh, won't do much for you under those same circumstances.

(Here's a link to some info on the Thudbuster: http://www.thudbuster.com/ ).
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Old 03-09-10, 12:26 PM   #6
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Trek 7000 series bikes are rather upright, even the guys version. My girlfriends 7100 (a 2007 model) is colored silver and blue, not a sky blue but a very gender neutral medium blue. I agree, the step-through would be good for someone who doesn't want to throw a leg over a top tube.

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ybrid/7200wsd/

There ya go, super upright seating, and silver/black coloring for a "womens" bike. Although a mens bike may be more comfortable for longer rides, due to geometry differences...I dont think the 7200 "mens" bike would be drastically different, I have seen a few guys with them on the Canal Path and they are rather upright!
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Old 03-09-10, 06:03 PM   #7
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I'm 5'6", and have a 29" inseam. I'm fairly long torso for someone my size. If that 30" is a bike inseam, you're a whole lot more extreme than me. Woman Specific Design in bike-speak means anything from "pink" to "short top tube, long seat tube". Someone built like us doesn't need a short top tube, we need a long one. Most bikes with a step through or U frame sold in the US lean more towards the "pink" end of the spectrum. They tend to have very limited size selection, and kinda craptastic parts. I don't ride a step-through coz I like 'em... I ride 'em because if I don't, about every two months I scare everyone on the street by collapsing in a heap when I try to dismount. Arthritis sucks.

In the Netherlands, they're a lot saner. Some shops sell imported Dutch or German bikes, but a lot of the time, imports won't have front suspension. They also tend to start at about 5x your budget.

If you don't have the same level of joint issues, and it's just you've got a bad back, I'd look for frames with compact geometry. This means the seat tube is shortish, and the top tube is long. There are a lot of compact geometry frames out there, and you're just enough bigger than me that you'd have size selection. In most makes, either I fit on their smallest size, or they don't make a bike small enough.

You're not gonna have much luck used, unless you can make the compact frame thing work.
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Old 03-10-10, 11:58 AM   #8
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Have you taken a look at the Performance Sirrus Line?
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Old 03-14-10, 12:04 AM   #9
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Thank you folks, great stuff here.
Both those bikes (Simplecity and 7200) look fantastic to me. They are both also way out of my price range.
I do want both step-through and sit upright.
Funky girlie colors, however, are not my thing (no offense, ladies!).

And a trip to a big bike shop confirmed what you say here; that in this country, what i want is hard to find. The claim is that large women buy mens bikes (!), and the geometry is not right for a guy on a girls bike. I do find it a bit hard to believe that there are not 19" womens hybrids that would fit me though...

I do not mind the look of the step-throughs at all; just looks like good science to me. Why are they so insistent on putting a bar right where the most vital parts of a guy could collide? That is just dumb.
Yea, back issues bad enough where throwing my leg over is affected...
And front suspension does help in my situation.

I also want fenders, a rack, a kickstand, lights; lets face it, I really want a Dutch bike. They are superior, from what I can tell... but very spendy.
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Old 03-14-10, 07:28 AM   #10
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On the geometry thing, they're right, and they're telling you the same thing I did :-/. Sorry dude, but it's true. Ticks me off, since pretty much every person I know who needs a short top tube is taller than you and male, and WSD bikes don't come large enough for them.

The cheapest bike I'm aware of that offers Dutch style features and a step through frame is Breezer. They do not offer a suspension fork on most of their models, but their Uptown 3 should be vaguely in your price range. The guy who designs Breezers is Joe Breeze, who is one of the founding fathers of mountain biking. He flat out refuses to spec suspension forks for looks, and cheap suspension forks are for looks. I don't know what current MSRP is on the Breezers, and depending on where you are, it can be really hard to find a dealer.

Actual Dutch and German imports mostly start at $1000 or so.

The thing that makes it really tough used is the suspension fork. If you could face a regular steel fork, old Raleigh 3 speeds are basically Dutch bikes, and in a lot of areas, you can find one for under $100. One of my friends rides one that she trash-picked (bike friendly town, full of dumb college students... you can find amazing stuff out as trash on move out day).
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Old 03-14-10, 08:04 AM   #11
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How about a Mixte bike? Though I'm not sure where to find one. Maybe you could find a used one.
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Old 03-14-10, 08:37 PM   #12
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This is all good food for thought.
I am going to keep looking, and maybe give up on the fork suspension, to eventually get a thudbuster; this might make my search a little easier.

Those old Raleighs do look cool, but everyone I have ever been on was just too small. Maybe I will just have to save for longer, and up the ante...
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Old 03-15-10, 01:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroadagain View Post
This is all good food for thought.
I am going to keep looking, and maybe give up on the fork suspension, to eventually get a thudbuster; this might make my search a little easier.

Those old Raleighs do look cool, but everyone I have ever been on was just too small. Maybe I will just have to save for longer, and up the ante...
I forgot about the suspension fork when I suggested the mixte. Good luck!
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Old 03-16-10, 06:22 PM   #14
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I just bought a Trek Pure (a little over your price range--it was 439), but man it is the most comfortable bike I've ever owned. I sit straight upright, get good leverage on the pedals (because they are set forward about eight inches) and get absolutely no pain in the hands or forearms. The only negative is that I'll never keep up with road bikes, but I don't care. I got over my Breaking Away phase years ago.
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Old 03-16-10, 06:23 PM   #15
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Oh, and don't think of them as women's bikes. They generally call them lowsteps now, and they are great. I rode my daughter's today for fun (while my wife tried my Pure) and it was a fun bike.

Some of the "ladies" bikes come in decent guy colors.
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Old 03-27-10, 08:41 AM   #16
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I've ridden the Trek Pure and loved it. I ended up with a Giant Suede which has a very similar feel to the Pure. Very upright ride, suspension in seat and front. I ride through gravel and dirt to get to the pavement. I would recommend looking at the blog Bikes for the Rest of Us because he shows various models/brands that have the more upright ride and step through frames.
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