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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 09-20-06, 08:30 PM   #1
Brian Sorrell
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My wife needs her first touring bike -- suggestions?

We started touring this year and we're getting committed to doing more and more. I finally upgraded to a Fuji Touring, which is working out quite well, and I'm trying to find a similar mid-range machine that will suit my wife. Now, she's moving from an Electra Townie to this -- yes, she's been doing day trips on a Townie -- so her biggest concerns are:

1) Comfort
2) Versatility
3) Price

We visited the LBS and the guy was sort of pushing a carbon-fork road bike, but I suspect that in the long haul, this is not the right machine for her. They do have a couple of Surly bikes there, and that got me to thinking that maybe a Cross Check build is the way to go for her. The biggest concern is to find a bike whose geometry will be suited to her -- she's 5'4" and has a perhaps slightly short inseam for her height. She's worried about reaching and about having an upright position and so forth.

I recognize that we can really customize things if we build from scratch. So my questions are:

Are there any recommended, introductory-level bikes with geometry that's good for women?
If building up, what sorts of components will make a big difference for the wife on a 30-50 mile tour?

I could probably squeeze out $1000 for the complete ride -- shoes and everything. Ideas?
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Old 09-20-06, 10:34 PM   #2
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The way it often goes is the guy is either more interested in gear, or more into the sport, or richer, and buys the better rig. For her to tour with you every piece of the gear puzzle is more difficult because at 64" she doesn't have the same power. So if you are considering loaded touring, you might stick with actual touring bikes with lighter components, and very very very good wheels.

You have to accertain what the real fitting issues are whether there is a practical stock frame out there for her body type.

It's hard to do this out of stock parts, barring some wonderful second hand deal, counting shoes, for 1K. There are good rigs out there for that, but not much choice so getting pass two fit issues (small, short leg) and very good wheels is more than a little tough.
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Old 09-21-06, 12:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sorrell
We started touring this year and we're getting committed to doing more and more. I finally upgraded to a Fuji Touring, which is working out quite well, and I'm trying to find a similar mid-range machine that will suit my wife. Now, she's moving from an Electra Townie to this -- yes, she's been doing day trips on a Townie -- so her biggest concerns are:

1) Comfort
2) Versatility
3) Price

We visited the LBS and the guy was sort of pushing a carbon-fork road bike, but I suspect that in the long haul, this is not the right machine for her. They do have a couple of Surly bikes there, and that got me to thinking that maybe a Cross Check build is the way to go for her. The biggest concern is to find a bike whose geometry will be suited to her -- she's 5'4" and has a perhaps slightly short inseam for her height. She's worried about reaching and about having an upright position and so forth.

I recognize that we can really customize things if we build from scratch. So my questions are:

Are there any recommended, introductory-level bikes with geometry that's good for women?
If building up, what sorts of components will make a big difference for the wife on a 30-50 mile tour?

I could probably squeeze out $1000 for the complete ride -- shoes and everything. Ideas?
Check out my wifes Trek 7.2 FX WSD, she got it this spring and she did 2 tours (1rst over 1600kms and the 2nd over 1300kms) fully self supported, with no problems whatsoever.
Very good bike for the money you can find out more details by visiting our site on the link below.
cheers
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Old 09-21-06, 12:23 AM   #4
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Trek 520; seems to offer a little bit better componentry then the Fuji. Only problem is I think their about $1200, but now that the season is over you might be able to find one for less.
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Old 09-21-06, 12:28 AM   #5
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What do you mean by "touring"?
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Old 09-21-06, 12:31 AM   #6
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Oh yeah... I'm 5'2", ride a 520 with only fit modifications a shorter crank and 60mm stem. And I got it for waaaaay less than $1200, the first time around, on super last-year's-model clearance sale.

The second time around the insurance company of the car that hit me paid full retail... which is to say, i like my 520 so much I got a second one on someone else's dime.
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Old 09-21-06, 02:19 AM   #7
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There is a LBS Here in Wichita that has a Trek 520,50-54 Cm as a guess (Small 15-17 Inches or so) Looks Stock,used for $499...Looks to be in good and solid shape tho it is an older looking model...I've been staying quiet till I could show the wife( She is 5'3" long legged,short torso,medium reach)...She opted for a Gary Fisher Wahoo Disc...

The Bicycle Exchange
1516 E.Central
Wichita Ks.67202
(316)264-6427

It has been hanging in their front window for a couple of months!!
Most here would'nt know a good bike if it bit them

Wichita,Home to the Schwagmart bike
They have had it for quite a while...Try dickering,They take trade-in's too

Last edited by The Figment; 09-21-06 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 09-21-06, 09:50 AM   #8
Brian Sorrell
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As far as what I mean by touring: at this point we're doing lightly loaded day trips like to parks for picnic lunches and such. And we've done one longer distance multi day ride to the beach -- this was much more loaded, probably 25lbs of gear each since we stayed for a couple of days. That's our current level, but I'd like to see us train to do more multi-day trips, but probably not camping.

The 520 was a real temptation when I was looking for my touring bike, but I ended up getting the Fuji for $500, so I couldn't pass that up. It feels really solid and I'd like to see the wife get into something like that.

Additionally, our bikes get mileage as commuting rigs and sometimes for trips to the store or out to eat, etc. So we're going for versatility.

As far as the 7.2 FX, I actually was riding a 7200 FX until I got the Fuji. I think that the wife will appreciate drop bars though, so I resist a flat bar bike. It is a great bike though, so I'll keep it in mind as we continue looking.

I'm really starting to convince myself -- and so are all of you -- that building a bike for her is the best option -- once we figure out what size / geometry frame will suit her.
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Old 09-21-06, 12:32 PM   #9
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http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm
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Old 09-22-06, 01:22 PM   #10
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The REI Randonee is a great bike at a great price ($799 with the frequent 20% off coupons). The 2007 models should be in stock within 2 weeks.
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