I need help picking out a bike for my wife. I like road bikes, and right now I am riding an old centurion dave scott until I can afford a new road bike, but my wife is not at all an aggressive or high-mileage rider. In fact, she hasn't even been on a bike for at least 5 years or s), but she wants to get into it.
Her riding style will be pretty casual, just kind of cruising around with the kids around town and on gravel paths. Most of her riding would probably be on pavement and on a Erie Canal gravel path. I don't think she'd be likely to be doing any trail riding.
She is about 5'2" and 115 lbs.
I'm thinking a good fit would be something internally geared, solid, but not overly heavy, able to take fenders, a chain guard and the ability to take a front rack would also be nice. I think she'd probably be more comfortable on 26" wheels, but I'm open to 700c.
Anybody have any recommendations?
One option I've been thinking about is getting a nice cheap vintage frame on ebay or cragslist and then getting it powdercoated and building it up with an internally geared hub. The advantage there, of course, is that she gets it customized to what she really wants, and get's something that nobody else has. But I'm not sure what kind of old frames I should look for, since my interest has always been in road bikes, I don't know what to look for and what to avoid. Also, sizing. I don't know how these old cruisers with no top tube are sized. Would I be better off getting her an old cheap sport/touring frame to build up with moustache handlebars or getting an cruiser?
If I decide to go this route rather than get something new, anybody have any recommendations on some old frames that might work with what I have in mind for her?