Well, she can might be able to make it work. Her bike is a 2003 Specialized Sequoia Sport. It should work for our needs. However, the frame size is described as 47 cm (XS), with a stand over height of 696 mm/27.4 inches. She can't stand over it, and has had several falls when stopping. We weren't fully informed consumers at the time of purchase. I think the frame is too big.
The tires are 700 x 25. The gears are 30/42/52 in front and 12-25 in the rear. One of the reasons I first posted is because I was under the impression the road gears might not be low enough, and the tires too narrow. We are in our mid 50s, and I was thinking a 26", wider tire might be better for her. We are more interested in comfort than speed.
I am restoring my Raleigh M80 mountain bike (aluminum, alas) and think I will be able to make it work.
I love the idea of a couple of old steel hard tails, but I need a large, she needs a small, which are hard to find, and the people in this area (Memphis) seem to think any bike with gears is worth $300. I don't do eBay.
Lot of things to think about here. Fortunately I've got time. Once again, all the input is appreciated.