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  1. #1
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    Klutzy girl needs bike advice

    How Klutzy am I? VERY KLUTZY! I am looking for a bike (>$450) that I can use confidently and safely so I would take it out more than 4x/yr. I like the idea of the pedal forward design with a low bar allowing me to flat foot at stops but the bikes I've seen are so bulky. The tires are wide and the frames so heavy I feel like I'm riding a big tricycle! First, do you have any suggestions for bikes with the pedal forward design and low bar? Second, any suggestions for making the bike a bit sleeker like getting narrower tires? Lastly, I prefer 8 or less gears (too distracting!) but wonder do these bikes cover the same range as say a 21 gear bike, just skipping the in-between gears or do they just offer the lower range of gears? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    The Elektra brand has the bike you're looking for.
    Available in single, 3, 5, 7 and more speeds. Georgeous colors to boot and rides quite nice.
    The ones with internal gears, like the Shimano Nexus are a no-fuss machine. Agreed you'll not have the huge gear selection of a 21+ speed bike, but unless you live in very hilly terrain, this should do you just fine!
    Ask the shop to swap out the tires for skinnier ones . . . before you pay for the bike.
    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
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    ive checked out the giant suede and the electra and they seem so big!

  4. #4
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Electra now makes a Townie with 700cc wheels and an 8 speed internal hub. Sure it's long, but I don't think you'll be able to get 700cc wheels, fewer gears, and a crank forward design all in one bike anyplace else.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Woodlark's Avatar
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    The Rans Fusion can be had with narrower tires (mine has Panaracer T-servs) and meets all of your criteria except for fewer gears (it has 27).
    Earth is the insane asylum of the universe.

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    One Giant bike that caught my eye was the Expression N1, a 7speed hub geared bike with an open womens style frame but fairly lightweight and efficient. You may get more milleage out of one than a heavier, bulkier pdeal-forward style machine.
    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-GB/...men/536/28884/

  7. #7
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    Trek makes a pedal forward bike - "Pure" with step through models. I have only seen them in a brochure so can't tell you about heaviness or bulkiness. They are available under $450 and some have 7 gears. Also if you go to the coasting website, they show the 3 bikes with internal hubs for relaxed riding.
    Last edited by Rosie8; 04-19-07 at 03:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    The Trek Pure, formally Sole Ride, are a bit on the bulky size, but not nearly as heavy as you'd suspect. The 700c Electras are about the only ones that fit your criteria.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  9. #9
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Well, you've got a decent sized list of bikes to try out, now.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  10. #10
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    The Electra Townie 3 Speed 700c with an internal Nexus hub and 700C tires is a perfect fit.

  11. #11
    tcs
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    Electra Amsterdam Sport. Like any crank forward it's long, but pretty svelt otherwise. Three speeds, 700C wheels.

    HTH,
    TCS

  12. #12
    Senior Member Buglady's Avatar
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    Hi, fellow klutz! I just wanted to reassure you that you will will get better at riding and more confident with practice, no matter what bike you choose. I am a complete and total klutz - not a day goes by that I don't say "hey, I don't remember getting that bruise!" - but I am totally fine on my bike, which is a pretty standard hybrid (Norco Pinnacle, and I paid $280 Cdn).

    Have fun!

  13. #13
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    THANKS!!! I am sticking w/ my Trek Hybrid for now but still searching for another bike, I've given up on the pedal forward design but it HAS to have a low crossbar.

  14. #14
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    Just test rode 2 cruisers: Giant Simple 7 & Trek Calypso (both with 7 gears). Totally cute bikes, fun to ride, built low to the ground so you can put your toes down when stopped. Also rode the Trek Pure Lowstep & Giant Suede with cranks forward. Liked all, ended up with the Suede. Although the Pure & Suede look bulky, they are really lightweight. I could fit the Suede in my car with the seats flipped down. Didn't even have to remove the front wheel which is a quick release.

  15. #15
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    Rosie, just wondering what made you prefer the Giant Suede over the Trek Pure.

  16. #16
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    bulky frames

    All the bikes I've looked at have really thick frames. Is this just the modern way bikes are made? The only bikes I've seen that have more slender frames, low crossbars are the Schwinn's from the 70's! I am mainly concerned about upright seating, low crossbar and being able to touch the ground, I don't know anything about the mechanics or technology of old vs new, so I would appreciate any advice in this area. I'm going to a bike auction on Saturday to see what might be available.
    schwinn.jpg

  17. #17
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    BadBeat, I ended up with the Suede (7 speed) partly because of the bike shop, partly because of budget, and a lot because I happened to like the looks of the Suede more. The Trek Pure Sport was a gorgeous bike but above my budget limit and the shop only sold the 21 speed for $429. Both bikes felt remarkably comfortable and easy to pedal and handle. I think if a 7 speed Pure would have been available in a different color I might have had a much harder time deciding. The bike I rode was a charcoal metallic that matched the blacktop too well in my area. The shop I bought from offered to order whatever model I wanted whereas the other shops never made such an offer even when I inquired about different models. I am riding mainly for fitness and fun so thought 7 speeds would be fine.

    Have been riding daily for 30 - 70 min. and loving it so far. I feel like a kid again pedaling around the neighborhood taking in the sights & sun. Have no complaints except for a sore right wrist. Not sure if it's from shifting the twist shift or the angle of the handlebars. My LBS offered to order slightly more angled handlebars for me to try - no charge.

  18. #18
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    chella448, how'd you do at the auction? You might try looking at mixtes on Craiglist for your area--they are not common, but possibly might be just what you want. They come in both drop handlebars, and a more upright version.



    Good luck!

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  19. #19
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    That is just what im looking for but i need to try it out and im not sure where to look. I didn't find anything at the bike auction but im going to look at a big used bike store in madison wi in a few weeks for one of these older treks. i think the mechanics would be a more modern than the mixtes and will probably be lighter? who knows!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    The Trek there is essentially a mixte design, but without the twin toptubes that make a classic mixte. True, mixtes usually come with friction shifters, but those friction shifters are almost indestructible. The modern bike might be a bit lighter, but not necessarily.

    You will have to keep us updated!

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  21. #21
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by chella448
    All the bikes I've looked at have really thick frames. Is this just the modern way bikes are made? The only bikes I've seen that have more slender frames, low crossbars are the Schwinn's from the 70's!
    New aluminum bikes tend to have big tubes, for strength I guess, but actually my new steel bike still has substantially bigger diameter tubes than my wife's 1980s Schwinn, so maybe there is just some new 'that's the way we do things now' to that as well. An acquaintance just bought a bike with an old (svelte) steel frame that was renovated w/ current components, I haven't asked him how that came about, if somebody around here is actually doing that as a business, or if he just bought it from someone who was moving. Could be something to look into, but it sounds like you've been searching high and low already...

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