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Buying a bicycle for my wife...

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Buying a bicycle for my wife...

Old 05-21-18, 12:43 PM
  #1  
BrazAd
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Buying a bicycle for my wife...

My wife has decided she wants to start riding the roads with me, albeit at shorter distances and a slower pace than I generally ride.

I can buy a 2018 Specialized Dolce in her size at the (only) local shop for $650 + tax. Claris components, aluminum frame. Brand new, warranty, including a basic fit.

I can drive 3 hours and buy her a 2011 Trek Madone 4.5 WSD for $675. Seller's wife barely rode it. Carbon frame, Ultegra rear derailleur and crank, 105 front derailleur and brifters.

Same price, 2 different bikes, both fit for a woman in her size. Which would you prefer, and why? I can also go the Ebay or Craigslist direction, as we live in a small town with few local options.

Oh yeah, I can get the Trek with a set of Stans Notubes ZTR Alpha 340 rims for another $100, rather than the stock Bontrager rims.

Thanks for the input,

Gary
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Old 05-21-18, 12:54 PM
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I think you're asking the wrong people. What does your wife think?

To you and me, the fit and composition of the bike may be the most significant factors. To her color choices and a new bike that nobody has ridden before may count for more. It's her bike. If she decides for whatever reason she doesn't like it and never rides it, the most wonderful bike in the world isn't any good.
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Old 05-21-18, 01:11 PM
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Yes, surely ask the lady.
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Old 05-21-18, 04:12 PM
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Get her the pink one
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Old 05-22-18, 06:03 PM
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Big mistake!
never buy your wife or partner a bike !
your job is to encourage her to do so and offer guidance !
don't cheap out in this task.
what you spend will be a great investment
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Old 05-22-18, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I think you're asking the wrong people. What does your wife think?
Totally agree, and be careful not to ramble over what she wants when you two discuss it.

I'd buy used for me in a heartbeat, my wife felt more comfortable on a new bike. I also would have spent a lot MORE for me, but she was happy with what she chose and still likes it. I periodically offer to upgrade it for her and she generally declines, which is too bad because I reckon I could get in on that action at the same time.
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Old 05-22-18, 07:43 PM
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If she has handed the decision of what to get over to you, go get the Madone, and hurry.
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Old 05-22-18, 08:26 PM
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The Madone is a lot more bike for the money, but I agree with those who suggest she be involved in the decision.
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Old 05-22-18, 08:41 PM
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Yes - be sure to ask her about her preferences.

If it were for me, I would get the Madone. A barely used CF bike with decent components? Yes, please. It's also the kind of bike that, IMO, would be worth upgrading, if your wife gets into cycling and decides she wants to update the components.
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Old 05-23-18, 07:02 AM
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You can gallantly pay for the bike. She MUST choose the bike with your uncontrolling input, of course. But no mansplaining. You want her to ride the bike, if she doesn't like it for ANY reason, you will have successfully bought a bike that will sit in the garage and just get in your way.
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Old 05-23-18, 07:37 AM
  #11  
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fwiw - my spouse is petite (& recently tuned 60) so aside from requiring a small frame, she now likes a bike with a deeply sloped downtube, so she can mount/dismount in front of the saddle instead of swinging her leg over the back of the bike

this is not her, but is her bike, a Trek FX 7.2 Stagger

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Old 05-23-18, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for the input so far. My wife has delegated me with picking her bike as she knows next to nothing about them. She's been riding a 5 speed cruiser for the past couple of years - the tank probably weighs 30 lbs, easily. So in her words, "Whatever you get is going to be good."

I'm leaning to the Trek Madone WSD as it's the same money, components are much better, it's a "woman specific design", the seller has measured everything that I've asked and it fits my wife.

Just found out that the seller will include a set of Stans NoTube ZTR Alpha 340 wheels for $100. Not sure my wife would know the difference - but they might be good for my bike as an upgrade over the Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels I'm using now. :-)

Gary
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Old 05-23-18, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
Thanks for the input so far. My wife has delegated me with picking her bike as she knows next to nothing about them.
So in her words, "Whatever you get is going to be good."
Gary
Must admit I was a quite surprised at the majority of comments as this was exactly what my Mrs said and had no real interest on choosing it at all .... as long as it does the job and will be reasonably reliable ... I'm sure it would have been noted and serious points against me if I bought her the bargain basement one though

Last edited by Witterings; 05-23-18 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 05-23-18, 09:03 AM
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RUN, do not walk to your local bike shop WITH YOUR WIFE! Make her go with you. Make her look at all the bikes. Look at ALL the styles, sizes, regular and women specific designs. Make her test ride. If she has a bike she choose, that she likes, that fits her best, then there is a much better chance that she will ride it more than once or twice.
If you want to try the Madone, take her with you to test ride before you buy it.
Trust me, she will not want to ride an uncomfortable bike that you chose.
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Old 05-23-18, 09:06 AM
  #15  
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going against the grain here, but I say get the barely used carbon bike. You know bikes, look it over and pull the trigger if it's indeed barely ridden

that bike cost twice what your paying for it
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Old 05-23-18, 09:45 AM
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Let your wife buy the bike. Don't make her do anything. Offer support and answer questions as best you can but let her choose what she wants. If she isn't interested enough to decide on what she wants, it's not likely she will stick with it for any length of time.
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Old 05-23-18, 10:46 AM
  #17  
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First off, what everyone else said: let her choose.

That stated, I'd probably go Dolce. It is what my wife has, it is a fine bike for that money. Other sounds like a great deal, but its also hours of driving and how much gas? I'd also question why a rarely ridden bike had a RD swapped.

Also, even though I've had set pickup times established, I've had a few CL things sold out from under me (a car and motorcycle, both of which I talked to the person about 9pm and set up an early next morning meet) because someone else showed up in the meantime with cash in hand. I don't travel long distances for CL items anymore.
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Old 05-23-18, 10:57 AM
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She has handed the decision to you, so buy the carbon bike as it is the better bike. What's the worse thing that can happen? If she doesn't like it, sell it and buy something else. At the very least she will have more information to work with.
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Old 05-23-18, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
Thanks for the input so far. My wife has delegated me with picking her bike as she knows next to nothing about them. She's been riding a 5 speed cruiser for the past couple of years - the tank probably weighs 30 lbs, easily. So in her words, "Whatever you get is going to be good."

I'm leaning to the Trek Madone WSD as it's the same money, components are much better, it's a "woman specific design", the seller has measured everything that I've asked and it fits my wife.

Just found out that the seller will include a set of Stans NoTube ZTR Alpha 340 wheels for $100. Not sure my wife would know the difference - but they might be good for my bike as an upgrade over the Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels I'm using now. :-)

Gary
Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
RUN, do not walk to your local bike shop WITH YOUR WIFE! Make her go with you. Make her look at all the bikes. Look at ALL the styles, sizes, regular and women specific designs. Make her test ride. If she has a bike she choose, that she likes, that fits her best, then there is a much better chance that she will ride it more than once or twice.
If you want to try the Madone, take her with you to test ride before you buy it.
Trust me, she will not want to ride an uncomfortable bike that you chose.
Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
Let your wife buy the bike. Don't make her do anything. Offer support and answer questions as best you can but let her choose what she wants. If she isn't interested enough to decide on what she wants, it's not likely she will stick with it for any length of time.
Just because a cf racing bike sounds good to you doesn't mean you wife will like it, especially if she is used to riding a cruiser. True story. Last year, a friend of a friend told folks she was looking to buy a bike to ride with her husband and daughter. Family rides on the local MUP, at slow speed. So her husband offers to buy her whatever she wants. So this woman asks her friend who is a competitive triathlete, who tells her she needs a cf bike. Some Trek cf model on sale for about $3k. Bad choice. I hear from my friend she is afraid to ride it because she is afraid to ride it. It was too much bike. Just the thing for for the experience road rider, or aspiring triathlete. Not the thing for the person looking for slow speed recreational rides.

Last edited by MRT2; 05-23-18 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 05-23-18, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by blakcloud View Post
She has handed the decision to you, so buy the carbon bike as it is the better bike. What's the worse thing that can happen? If she doesn't like it, sell it and buy something else. At the very least she will have more information to work with.
I have a different thought on this. Your wife may have told you to choose, but IMO you *must* have your wife give you her input before you “make the choice.” I would tell her that you are happy to use your knowledge but that you could not possibly make the choice without hearing what she thinks of the bikes. In other words, guide her through testing the bikes and hear what she says. Then *suggest* to her what you think would be the better choice. Listen to what she says about that, and then go buy the bike that will work best for her given all the info you have.
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Old 05-23-18, 12:16 PM
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Yes, get her to be there, at the bike shop, to get the right size at least.

now back to endless conflicting opinions ...


I offer; internal gear hubs make the gear ratio sequence linear..

where derailleur drivetrains , but the 1 by stuff , is not.

can she drive a standard transmission or only an automatic?




..

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Old 05-23-18, 04:11 PM
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For some reason this thread stuck in my mind and I was thinking about this when I was out riding earlier ... I wonder of some of the ladies say for us to decide because they realise we possibly have more knowledge about which is good and which is bad and maybe they don't want to pick one if they're not "into" cycling as they'd probably be more biased to go for aesthetics than anything else and don't want to be in a situation picking the one that looks best and you say ..... lovely but it's the lesser quality one as they may feel it highlights their lack of knowledge.

I appreciate it's more difficult if you're having to travel a long way, the ideal is though to say I've found 3 bikes, all of equal quality BUT one bike will fit you better than another so you need to try them and it's a very personal
thing ... they can then ride all 3, their choice may be based on which looks best but if you've said they're all equal quality it really doesn't matter because whichever they choose you can just say great choice .... they may actually pick the one that feels most comfortable which in reality - at the end of the day - is the most important thing.
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Old 05-24-18, 04:02 AM
  #23  
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Well, another option is - and don't tell anyone I said this - is to buy her a bike that you really like and with minor fit adjustments (if that's possible) you'd be happy to ride. Of course, that's just in case she ends up getting bored with cycling. After all, you wouldn't want a perfectly good bike to sit unused in the garage or, God forbid, the shed.
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Old 05-24-18, 04:47 AM
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Looking for a new bike, thank you for useful discussion
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Old 05-24-18, 05:37 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post

Same price, 2 different bikes, both fit for a woman in her size. Which would you prefer, and why?
Recently went through this same exercise with my GF. I'd suggest, even if she's delegated the search to you, have her ride the bike before you buy...and have her ride/try a few bikes before that. We tried both bikes you've targeted..even rented a 51cm Dolce(custom fit included) for a day and did 40 miles. When we first started the search I was looking for the best fit for her. I have decades of riding and she had been a runner(marathons, but now 55 years old..and I don't run), but was new to real road riding. I'd ask her, "How does it feel?" She'd say, "Compared to what?..it feels like a bike." After trying out a few bikes, she began to get a feel for "..compared to what?.." She knew when she was too stretched out(eff top tube too long) and when a frame was too small(51cm Dolce). She "came up to speed" on fitting quite fast. Then we tried a 53cm Bianchi Dama. Two minutes after she got on it, she said, without hesitation, "this is it..oh my..this feels great!..perfect" We bought it and she's thrilled every time she gets on it. She's fast..."..it's not me, it's the bike.." We ride together, but just as often she's out on her own..cracked off 36 miles last night after work..got home right at dark as she didn't want to stop and got too far from home.

Long story short..all WSD bikes are not the same. Throw a WSD at your wife that's 'reportedly' the right size is a crapshoot. She may not be interested in the bike, but if it doesn't fit, she will gain an interest, she won't enjoy it, and your local craigslist will eventually have a listing of a nice bike, with minimal use, that is no longer needed..that bike will be her bike that didn't fit.

(fwiw..The 51 Dolce fit her "ok" in the top tube length, but was near maxed out on the seat post height as her legs are long(this also increased the seat-stem drop). The 53 Dama fit her well with seat height, drop, and, with a shorter stem, fit great in the top tube.)

Last edited by fishboat; 05-24-18 at 06:06 AM.
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