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Old 07-17-14, 09:41 AM   #1
oliverh72
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Advice on buying a Woman's Hybrid - Spec Ariel, Giant Rove 0, Kona Splice, Trek Neko

Hi all,

My wife and I are looking at getting her a bike so she can accompany me on some rides.

Some info: we live in a very hilly, very hot (in the summer) area of Canada. It is commonly 35+ in the summer (95 F) and my 4.5k ride home from work (3miles) has a 220m climb (720ft or so). The town is situated in a river valley, and we live halfway up the hills on one side of it - so almost any riding we're doing is up/downhill. That being said, her desire is to ride the mostly flat stuff - which is available, but tricky to get to. She would prefer mostly dirt/paved trails with a minimum of full-on road biking. She would consider going on the trail network we have nearby, which is extensive, hilly, and quite tough - but wants to do that when she gets her cardio up to full speed. She is quite fit already, but mostly from yoga, not running/biking. She is 5'4" with a reasonably long 32" inseam and she weighs about 104 lbs. She's pretty small framed.

I have a Giant Roam 2 hybrid which is great and a Giant OCR 1 road bike, which I adore. I'm pretty fit, so can use one or the other to accompany her.

We've narrowed the search down to hybrids. I originally thought a commuter would be best for her - no susp. fork = lighter - but since our trails are not smooth here, it seems best to get something with suspension and lock it out as needed. I was worried about weight, but I'm hoping it won't be an issue. She likes the stability of the wider tires and the wide flat bar.

Here's the catch: our LBSes only have 1 of the above bikes for her to actually try. They have the Specialized Ariel Sport Disc in stock, in her size for $880. We're going there after work today for her to try it. The others I like are the Giant Rove 0 for $950, the Kona Splice DL for $920 and the Trek Neko SL for $920. All but the Trek can ordered from a single LBS. They also offer lifetime maintenance on the bike you've bought from them for free, which is nice. (limited to adjustments and lubes, obviously) I am going to Vancouver next week and the Giant store there has the Rove 0 in her size and preferred colour - she is not accompanying me, so I'd have to just buy it and bring it back (it's a 4 hour drive). The Kona/Trek would have to be ordered and bought sight unseen.

I'm leaning towards the Rove 0 simply because the components are quite a lot better (all Deore vs mixes of alivio/deore/tektro/non-series components) as well as the slightly fatter tires, for not that much extra money. I wish it came with ergo lock-on grips, so I might request that to be thrown in, if possible.

I'm leaning away from the Kona as it is not a woman's-specific frame.

Your thoughts on the above musings? Has anyone tried all three of these bikes? Does anyone know the approximate weight of these bikes in a Small?

Thanks in advance!

Oliver
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Old 07-17-14, 12:20 PM   #2
NormanF
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You and your wife should find a bike that fits.

Bikes have no gender. So if there is a man's bike that she's happy with go for it. The bike shop can swap out parts like bars, grips, the saddle and pedals to make a small person feel at home on the bike.

I don't think a 29er works for her height but a 27.5 is great for smaller riders since you don't have to go to a very small frame size to find a perfect riding bike.
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Old 07-17-14, 01:02 PM   #3
ingenuitor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliverh72 View Post
Hi all,

My wife and I are looking at getting her a bike so she can accompany me on some rides.

Some info: we live in a very hilly, very hot (in the summer) area of Canada. It is commonly 35+ in the summer (95 F) and my 4.5k ride home from work (3miles) has a 220m climb (720ft or so). The town is situated in a river valley, and we live halfway up the hills on one side of it - so almost any riding we're doing is up/downhill. That being said, her desire is to ride the mostly flat stuff - which is available, but tricky to get to. She would prefer mostly dirt/paved trails with a minimum of full-on road biking. She would consider going on the trail network we have nearby, which is extensive, hilly, and quite tough - but wants to do that when she gets her cardio up to full speed. She is quite fit already, but mostly from yoga, not running/biking. She is 5'4" with a reasonably long 32" inseam and she weighs about 104 lbs. She's pretty small framed.

I have a Giant Roam 2 hybrid which is great and a Giant OCR 1 road bike, which I adore. I'm pretty fit, so can use one or the other to accompany her.

We've narrowed the search down to hybrids. I originally thought a commuter would be best for her - no susp. fork = lighter - but since our trails are not smooth here, it seems best to get something with suspension and lock it out as needed. I was worried about weight, but I'm hoping it won't be an issue. She likes the stability of the wider tires and the wide flat bar.

Here's the catch: our LBSes only have 1 of the above bikes for her to actually try. They have the Specialized Ariel Sport Disc in stock, in her size for $880. We're going there after work today for her to try it. The others I like are the Giant Rove 0 for $950, the Kona Splice DL for $920 and the Trek Neko SL for $920. All but the Trek can ordered from a single LBS. They also offer lifetime maintenance on the bike you've bought from them for free, which is nice. (limited to adjustments and lubes, obviously) I am going to Vancouver next week and the Giant store there has the Rove 0 in her size and preferred colour - she is not accompanying me, so I'd have to just buy it and bring it back (it's a 4 hour drive). The Kona/Trek would have to be ordered and bought sight unseen.

I'm leaning towards the Rove 0 simply because the components are quite a lot better (all Deore vs mixes of alivio/deore/tektro/non-series components) as well as the slightly fatter tires, for not that much extra money. I wish it came with ergo lock-on grips, so I might request that to be thrown in, if possible.

I'm leaning away from the Kona as it is not a woman's-specific frame.

Your thoughts on the above musings? Has anyone tried all three of these bikes? Does anyone know the approximate weight of these bikes in a Small?

Thanks in advance!

Oliver
My other part seems to be leaning towards the Neko SL, which she did test ride and fell in love and they are hard to get around here. Seemly sold out for the year and the new models she did not like.

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