crank forward touring bike.. Rans or Townie?
I'm looking for a light touring bike for my wife. We only plan to ride supported rides so by light I mean water and small kit for emergencies (tube, inflater, TP, first aid, etc.). She now has a Trek 7300fx, a wonderful bike that she road the 225 mile Katy trail on last summer. Problem is she is a bit overweight (why we cycle), and has terrible problem with hand numbness. She also doesn't like the seat at the proper height because she has trouble mounting / dismounting.
I had her ride a Rans Crank forward bike with 700c wheels and she loved it. The first time I saw one of these bikes was riding the Bike Across Kansas (BAK) a couple years ago. I've owned a couple true recumbents but she wouldn't ride them.
I've been saving for the Rans but then had a crazy idea. Could she tour on the 700c/21sp Electa Townie? It has similar but not as aggressive geometry at less than half the price. On the Katy ride I swapped some road wheels on her Trek with 28mm road tires, and could do a wheel swap with the right tires on the 700c townie as well. With the price difference we could even upgrade components and buy a set of spare wheels for the actual tour if needed.
Were planning to start training for either the Oklahoma Freewheel or Katy ride again next summer. I'd like to take my daughter on her first ride so I'll likely ride a tandem.
Biggest problem is none of the bike shops in the KC area keep the 700c townies in stock, so would have to order one.
Should I get the townie... Or keep saving for the Rans?