Chairman of the Bored
Join Date: May 2004
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Bikes: 2004 Raleigh Talus, 2001 Motobecane Vent Noir (Custom build for heavy riders)
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I found on my bike, which has lower-end (not bottom, but still low end) shimano is that the chainrings cover a rather wide range as far as teeth and diameter is concerned. This leads to me never using the largest chainring due to it being hard on my kness, and never use the small chainring since it's just too low of a gear to be of any use to me at all.
I just use my rear derailer only. I'm half tempted to gut the front derailer altogether and go to a single chainring crankset. My rear cassette is rather widely spaced in gearing as well, going from 14t to 34t in 7 sprockets (shimano mega-range), so it should be good for about anything I encounter.
Who knows, maybe you can find a shimano mega-range cassette for like $10. Decent purchase if I'm the only one to say so. i usually use the second to fourth sprockets in that cassette (starting from the mega-range sprocket as first). Second is good for hills, third is good for distances, and well...fourth....that's just becasue sometimes you wanna go fast
I got off topic---yeah go for teaching her to use the rear shifter first
As far as a seat. I like the Serfas Rx. Ther is a women's version availible too that might be worth a looking into.