NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Well, yes you are doing this right. Second, for your budget you are not going to find too much and less of decent quality. Thirdly, WSD or Women Specific Designs usually start about the "entry Race" level quality bikes which puts you in the $500 range.
You CAN however find a lot of good deals on closeouts on smaller sizes. To determine what your wife needs, you really need to visit a reputable shop and get fitted. This can be as basic as throwing a leg over a couple bikes and going for short test rides or as detailed as have a "Fit Kit" where all your measurements (inseam, arm length, torsoe length) are recorded and input to determine your recommended bike size.
With your budget, you'll probably go the "throw a leg over" routine.
I recommend two things. 1) Consider increasing your budget to $300. This is the "entry level" at most bike shops. You'll get a much better quality bike, assembled by qualified mechanics, and you'll get a bike that's available in several sizes to fit your wife better.
2) Consider used bikes. You can find decent $300 and $500 bikes used for $150 to $250.
"X" Mart bikes are usually VERY heavy. Made with cheap grade steel. Are adorned with inferior suspension that works poorly. And most importantly usually only come in 1 size!
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger