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Old 03-03-11, 01:33 PM   #1
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Looking for some recommendations...

Ok, so I've started cycling again, and my girlfriend has noticed that I've been enjoying myself and spending more time on my bike and decided to join me... Now the problem arises that we need to get her a bike and here's where I need advice...

I'd like to get her something reliable (more-so than a wal*mart special), but I'm unsure whether it's something she's actually going to enjoy, so I don't want to fork over a ton of money for a bike that may or may-not be ridden regularly. She previously had an older Cruiser that her dad gave her when she went off to college that rarely got ridden and was stolen from our back yard over Christmas while we were out of town.

So I guess what I'm looking for is a recommendation on types of bikes I should be looking at more than specific models (though that is fine as well... we have shops which carry most every major manufacturer in town). So far she's uncertain what she wants, but has said she isn't interested in another heavy dinosaur like her previous cruiser. I would like to get her something other than a single-speed and fixed-gears are right out, but other than that I'm open to any suggestions.

My bike is a road bike, and she has said the drop-bars look less than comfy, but she hasn't tried them, so who knows if that would be a turn-off? So, what I'm looking for would be something:
  • Which has at least a rear derailleur (we would be riding rail trails with gradual hills, and grinding up them on SS would be no-fun for her).
  • Can accommodate some sort of street-friendly tire.
  • Which weighs less than an old Huffy beach cruiser.
  • That would be suitable for 5-10mi. rides about town on rail-trails and streets.
  • That doesn't make her hate cycling.

I'm leaning towards a hybrid, or a hardtail MTB with street tires, but what do you guys think? What sorts of bikes do your "fairer-sexed" significant others ride?
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Old 03-03-11, 03:19 PM   #2
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Sounds like you're looking for a hybrid or a flat bar road bike.
Any bike shop will have both types of bike for her to look at and test ride.
Tires can easily be swapped when you purchase the bike.

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. - Psalm 103:8
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Old 03-04-11, 12:11 AM   #3
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Don't write off drop bars completely just because of how they look. The primary reason most people are uncomfortable on drops is because the bars are simply too low for recreational use. I run my drops almost level with the saddle, and use wide bars with a shallow drop and a reasonable flare. For a long time mountain biker with a history of wrist issues, I'd have to say this is the most comfortable setup I've ever ridden. Flat bars make my hands go numb after a while.

My GF rides a Specialized Myka HT with a well swept flat bar with Ergon grips and bar ends. She likes it for her commute, but has hand numbness issues on longer rides too.

Something like a Specialized Crosstrail or a Giant Roam might be just the ticket. Either can be found at a ~$500ish price point. I haven't looked in a while, but check out Marin Bikes as well... they used to have some decent, low priced hybrid/casual-mountain-bike type offerings.

Most important is to find a shop or two that will let you spend some serious time trying on bikes and getting a good fit done without a 'hard sell'.
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Old 03-07-11, 02:30 PM   #4
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I pretty much had to force my husband to ride with me. Since I didn't know how well he would like it or if he would ride more than a couple times, we weren't going to put much money into a bike for him, but I wanted something that was going to be an easy ride with very little issues that wouldn't make him dislike bikes all together. Having a junk walmart bike that won't shift properly can really frustrate somone to the point of not wanting to ride anymore.
I ended up finding him a used mid 90s specialized crossroads hybrid for $25 at the thrift store. I tuned it up for him and he fell in love. He rode the crap out of that thing! Just this month we upgraded his bike and also got him his first road bike.

Soooo my advice....go used, craigslist, classifieds, pawn shops...go cheap on a GOOD bike. There are plenty of them out there. If she loves riding you can always upgrade later. If she hates it you can sell the bike for about as much as you have in it.

Hybrid would be a good option, it's lighter than a MTB, but feels a little more sturdy than a road bike to a new rider, IMO.
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Old 03-08-11, 05:08 AM   #5
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I have always like the Giant brand bikes. You get a lot for the money. Look at the Giant Cypress.

Last edited by Esteban32696; 03-09-11 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 03-08-11, 06:11 AM   #6
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My wife has a Specialized Expedition. It's too laid back and comfort-bikey for me, but hey, she likes it, it's comfortable and versatile, and she rides it a lot instead of parking it. I'd prefer something more aggressive, but that's why I have my own bike. A Crosstrail would be another good idea as someone mentioned. One thing I've found is that guys are a lot more likely to tolerate discomfort on a bike. If it ain't reasonably comfortable, she ain't riding I'd make sure she gets some test time on a variety of different bikes to see what she likes. Don't limit yourself to one manufacturer.

Last edited by syncro87; 03-08-11 at 06:19 AM.
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