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Help buying wife a bike for xmas - hybrid / road type

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Help buying wife a bike for xmas - hybrid / road type

Old 11-10-22, 12:00 PM
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whistleblower
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Help buying wife a bike for xmas - hybrid / road type

I'm looking for a hybrid-type bike for my wife for xmas. It will be ridden in the neighborhood, on paved trails, maybe around town. No dirt, no mountain. Want something onto which we can add a kid seat for the next 12-18 months until the youngest is riding their own bike. She is semi-athletic, 5'7" 130lbs. Maybe she gets into it and will want to ride more, but generally speaking the bike will be used for family rides (meaning, slow comfortable rides on easy terrain).


Overwhelmed at the number of options out there. Think I saw a stat that there are >150 bike manufacturers in the US alone, then multiply manufacturer count by bike models per manufacturer then by number of component/options etc etc etc. Doesn't help someone who tends to overthink purchases.


I started this thinking I'd like to spend $500 and am quickly realizing that I should increase that to $800, $1000 max. I don't want used.


I like the trek FX line, seems to do everything we want, seems straight forward. That said, I get completely lost in the details. Does she need the FX3 vs FX2? No idea...


Say you have $800 +/- for a new hybrid bike, which one would you purchase and why?


Thanks in advance for any guidance. I realize this is a bit of an open-ended question and appreciate input from those who know more than me.


And before the standard "go to your LBS" response - we are doing Christmas out of state this year so I need to be able to order it, ship it to xmas destination, and assemble it onsite. I have a good relationship with the LBS given the volume of flat tires my children produce.


Thanks!
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Old 11-10-22, 12:05 PM
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Ask what she likes/wants and buy that one. They're all gonna be equally crap if buying new at ur price point.
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Old 11-10-22, 12:20 PM
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And after the standard blah blah blah, GO TO YOUR LOCAL SHOP! Seriously guessing is great for the Price is Right but a bike someone is going to ride not so good. I get that you are going out of state for the holidays, buy her a gift card and right a really sweet note, then when you get back plan a nice day where you take her to her favorite breakfast spot (or cook her breakfast) then go to the shop and let her choose and then maybe take her out to a nice dinner and the next day plan for a ride on the new bike (assuming they are able to get it exit tuned that day or the next). I here it all the time "but but but but but but but" and my answer remains the same because if they are able to ride a bike they are able to come into the shop and help pick it out and while yes having a big present to give someone is nice it is nicer when they have a say in it and can try different stuff and get a real feel for it all.

I know if someone bought me a bike without my involvement I wouldn't be as happy especially if it didn't fit or didn't shift well or whatever the case might be and now I am stuck with something I may not want to ride.

$1000 will get you a solid entry level hybrid. I wouldn't want to go lower than that unless it was clear no matter what bike the person riding it is not riding often.
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Old 11-10-22, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DonkeyShow View Post
They're all gonna be equally crap if buying new at ur price point.
That's just not true.

OP has looked at Trek FX2 and FX3. I think these are great options. They have a super reputation; just skim through some threads in the hybrid bikes subforum and you'll see what I mean. I bought my wife an FX3 several years ago, and it's been excellent. She couldn't be happier with it. I think it was around $600 at the time, and with a few nice accessories and sales tax, the total came to less than 800.

I'm not sure of the differences between the FX2 and FX3, but anything in that range would be a good choice for someone like the OP's wife: just getting into cycling and wants to do casual rides around the neighborhood or perhaps across town. Assuming the Trek store has an FX of the right size in stock, and the price is still sub-$1k, this is what I would recommend.

Last edited by Broctoon; 11-10-22 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 11-10-22, 12:26 PM
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Please Let The wife go alone to the bike shop and get What Bike She wants.
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Old 11-10-22, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DonkeyShow View Post
They're all gonna be equally crap if buying new at ur price point.
For the described use $800 will buy a fine bike. I'm not sure what the used market looks like these days, but that's an option for a good deal. A year or so ago, the shops in my town weren't getting a lot of new inventory so they were selling very nice used bikes from our local co-op on consignment.
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Old 11-10-22, 12:32 PM
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Look at Brooklyn and Linus bikes. Steel and a IGH 3 speed is what you want. Finding something in stock is the problem.
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Old 11-10-22, 12:37 PM
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Maybe it ruins the surprise of opening the gift, but me and my wife for years have just picked out exactly what we want and just let the other make the purchase and claim the personal reward of being the gift giver.

We both like it that way as we really have everything we need. As well we are just so particular in what we would want for ourselves, that no other person could possibly pick the right version of that gift.

Maybe give her a gift coupon or pre-paid CC and say it's to be used for a bike.
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Old 11-10-22, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by whistleblower View Post

I like the trek FX line, seems to do everything we want, seems straight forward. That said, I get completely lost in the details. Does she need the FX3 vs FX2? No idea...

I have no idea either. But in this range, I'd buy the highest level I could reasonably afford. Law of diminishing returns doesn't come into play until you get much higher up the price scale. My wife's FX3 (from 2017, I think) came with aluminum frame and carbon fork, hydraulic disc brakes, 3x9 drivetrain, Shimano Alivio shifters (maybe the same level for derailleurs--I don't recall), and some nice details: really great handgrips and a decent seat. At the time of purchase, we added a Bontrager rear rack and trunk bag, a kickstand, and a taillight. A short time later we put on a water bottle cage and headlight and swapped the seat for one she likes better. The only thing that hasn't lasted well is the pedals. They were a cheap model, and one started coming apart after a few years. The wheels that came on it are tubeless ready but did not have tubeless compatible tires. After a few years I dropped an additional $200 on tubeless tires, rim strips, sealant, and valve stems, and I consider this money well spent. Eventually, we added fenders, and I have no regrets over this purchase.


Originally Posted by whistleblower View Post

And before the standard "go to your LBS" response - we are doing Christmas out of state this year so I need to be able to order it, ship it to xmas destination, and assemble it onsite. I have a good relationship with the LBS given the volume of flat tires my children produce.

I missed this before my initial reply above. It's not a bad plan, assuming you know what size she needs, and you are confident in your ability to assemble it yourself. If you're not a fairly skilled bike mechanic, I'd recommend having a shop do the assembly.

Last edited by Broctoon; 11-10-22 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 11-10-22, 02:08 PM
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Consider the Stagger models in the FX line for her, and not because she's female, but because swinging her leg over the saddle with a child seat on might be awkward.
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Old 11-10-22, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Please Let The wife go alone to the bike shop and get What Bike She wants.
And be sure to buy EXACTLY the one she picks out..... Don't do like my parents always did, and buy a model two or three steps down the pricing ladder instead.
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Old 11-10-22, 03:22 PM
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I would recommend a belt-drive bike because it's a whole lot cleaner and much less maintenance. Here is a $599 Priority with a 3 speed hub:


BTW, don't just assume your wife would ride a step-thru town bike. A lot of women are deadset against this type of bike because it makes them look old and dowdy. Just as a lot of women actively resist minivans because it makes them look like soccer moms (especially true for actual soccer moms). So make sure she is OK with this type of bike first.
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Old 11-10-22, 03:50 PM
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Maybe a Liv. Takes a rear rack, so maybe takes a child carrier.

https://www.liv-cycling.com/us/bikes-alight-disc-2021
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Old 11-10-22, 04:02 PM
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Thanks all for the thoughts and will readily admit a bicycle is not exactly the best *surprise* gift given the variables. A couple quick responses

Originally Posted by DonkeyShow View Post
Ask what she likes/wants and buy that one.
She's going to say "I saw a nice looking white one at Costco for $200" and then I'm going to say "but I think if we spend more we'll get a higher quality bike" and then she's going to rattle off every child expense we are facing between now and college graduation in support of purchasing the Costco bike

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
And after the standard blah blah blah, GO TO YOUR LOCAL SHOP! Seriously guessing is great for the Price is Right but a bike someone is going to ride not so good
I appreciate your response and know this is the logical approach. I was hoping to tickle out a "if I was spending $1000 on a bike, this is what I'd buy" answer. Gives me ideas, websites to visit, specs to compare, etc.

Originally Posted by Fredo76 View Post
Consider the Stagger models in the FX line for her, and not because she's female, but because swinging her leg over the saddle with a child seat on might be awkward.
This is a good thought.



EDIT - I tried to post links to a couple of bikes I'm looking at on BikesDirect but cannot post links until I hit 10 posts. Using the Trek FX as baseline, I was wondering if there is value to be unlocked by purchasing through the bikesdirect site. The FX3 goes for $1,050 these days, fwiw.
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Old 11-10-22, 04:03 PM
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Nice, suggestions/thoughts rolling in as I respond. Keep them coming!
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Old 11-10-22, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Broctoon View Post
But in this range, I'd buy the highest level I could reasonably afford. Law of diminishing returns doesn't come into play until you get much higher up the price scale.


Noted, thanks for mentioning
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Old 11-10-22, 04:54 PM
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whistleblower I hear you but in the end it comes down to her and what she is wanting and what feels good. I mean if it were me and I had a Jamis dealer near me probably a Sequel would be my choice personally (Ideally S2 but that all depends on budget as it is a little above 1k) but I am not the wifey and know nothing about her really and she has to be comfortable on the bike.
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Old 11-10-22, 05:16 PM
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A neighbor surprised his wife with a lower end mountain bike. She likes green but the one he got was a pretty bad shade of green. He thought it was the perfect surprise. It has never left the garage over the past 4 years.

I'm more in the camp of going with her and letting her pick out the bike. You don't want her overwhelmed at a shop.

You do need to spend a bit of time researching the different models and reading reviews so you can explain the basic differences if she asks. It shows that you took some time on the purchase.

John
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Old 11-10-22, 05:20 PM
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With some ingenuity, it’s possible to make it a surprise. I took my bike to a LBS for some work. The GF and I were doing loaded touring at the time, but she really needed a more appropriate bike. Her birthday was coming up. The shop had the smallest size Surly LHT in stock. I came up with some ruse to get her to come to the shop when I picked up my bike. I pointed out the LHT and suggested that she check it for fit. The next day I called the shop and told them to hold it for me. Paid for it and picked it up a couple of days later. Hung it on the wall rack in plain sight. When the GF got home I told her to look around the house for her birthday present. It took her about 5 minutes to find.
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Old 11-11-22, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by whistleblower View Post
Nice, suggestions/thoughts rolling in as I respond. Keep them coming!
I sell bikes for a living, here's my take,
Let her pick out her bike and don't get her too much bike for aspirational future riding. If you are one of those that does all their maintenance (the fact that you are seeking advice would suggest you are not) then you can get a bike on line or one from a boutique brand, if not go to a LBS, and pick something out from one of the major brands.
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Old 11-11-22, 07:12 AM
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Did anyone else read the thread title as "Help buying a wife for Xmas" lol
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Old 11-11-22, 07:47 AM
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This is probably not true, but some men want their wives engaged in their hobby. Imagine if she were into cycling and was getting you a bike.

That said, I really like these Kona offerings, KONA BIKES | | URBAN (konaworld.com)
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Old 11-11-22, 06:03 PM
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If that Trek 2014 FX 7.3 I have fit me I would definitely ride it. Solid very light bike that you will be completely upright riding.

I don't know how the modern Trek FX bikes are.

I like veganbikes recommendation.

I know their selection can be limited, and one may not be near by, but check REI. Get a membership for $30, it's a lifetime one time payment. They give you a one year return policy no questions asked. That way if you buy a bike, and it doesn't work for her you can return it for a refund. And if it does you get a 10% dividend after a year to use for something in the store/online.
I am certain as long as you save your receipt (A novel concept for some folks) you can return without a membership, but you won't get that dividend after a year.

I think there are some solid recent used options out there, but you don't know if they will work for her.........

Last edited by StarBiker; 11-11-22 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 11-11-22, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
I would recommend a belt-drive bike because it's a whole lot cleaner and much less maintenance. Here is a $599 Priority with a 3 speed hub:


BTW, don't just assume your wife would ride a step-thru town bike. A lot of women are deadset against this type of bike because it makes them look old and dowdy. Just as a lot of women actively resist minivans because it makes them look like soccer moms (especially true for actual soccer moms). So make sure she is OK with this type of bike first.
How much maintenance is she going to need for the type of riding the OP is implying.

I have never needed much maintenance for the thousands of miles I put on a bike in a year, and all my bikes are old........
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Old 11-11-22, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by whistleblower View Post
She's going to say "I saw a nice looking white one at Costco for $200" and then I'm going to say "but I think if we spend more we'll get a higher quality bike" and then she's going to rattle off every child expense we are facing between now and college graduation in support of purchasing the Costco bike
I actually just saw a bike at Costco that didn't look half bad. It was a Northrock xc27 and it was clearance priced at $347. (Some say Northrock is made by Giant and I see they're $480 online.) I'm sure you'd need to go through the whole bike to make sure everything was put together correctly, double check the grease in the bearings etc. If you're into working on your working bikes, it'd probably get the job done. If you would rather get something you know will work well, a bike shop is the way to go.

I'm not sure I'd buy something online if you don't feel comfortable working on bikes. Anything you buy online may need some adjustments to get it just how you want.

Last edited by mtnbud; 11-11-22 at 06:54 PM.
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