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Old 10-30-17, 06:17 AM
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kingston 
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My wife is interested in getting back into cycling after about 20 years off. Her requirements are women's specific endurance geometry, disk brakes, 105 level components, and clearance for 32c tires, which will be good for some of the gravel bike paths we have in the area. Before we started shopping, I set the budget at $2k and looked at Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Bianchi, Performance, Bikes Direct, Raleigh, Canyon, Diamondback and probably a few others that I don't recall.

I am getting her the women's version of this Diamonback Century 1 for eight hundred bucks. The carbon frame/hydraulic disk version is $1600, but she agreed that it's not worth it right now to spend an extra $800 to save 2 pounds.

I've become less of a fan recently of sending people to bike shops for a new bike. Two of my good friends did that in the past year and dropped $4 & 6k on their first bike, which I thought was ridiculous.

My advice is to:
  1. Think carefully about how you are planning to use the bike
  2. Write down a list of requirements
  3. Check your size with the Competitive Fit Bike Fit Calculator
  4. Visit a few shops to get a feel for how different types of bikes fit
  5. Update your requirements
  6. Buy the cheapest bike that meets your requirements

By the way, my wife's original requirements were for a comfortable bike for short rides in an upright position, so I bought her a second-hand Gazelle Omafiets, which she hates because it is so heavy and slow. The point is that your requirements are going to change as you get more riding experience so don't spend too much on your first bike. If you get into cycling it won't be your last.
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