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Comfort bike!

Old 02-25-08, 11:46 AM
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meaculpa
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Comfort bike!

Hahaha, sorry. This is just about the most unexciting category I can think of.
Anyway, my GF is finally allowing me to persuade her to buy a bike. Maybe even ride it.
Her demands are: 1. step-thru frame & 2. cozy tires (I think this means "not-skinny") & 3. a comfortable seat. She insists that she will not be hitting any hills but we live in Pittsburgh...everything is hills here. So...

A local ad has a woman's "brand-new" 21-spd Electra Townie for $225. I have heard good things about them. The Trek comfort series has a $280 avaliable too. Both frames have a ridgid fork, that's fine for our purposes. But I heard the Townie doesn't climb, period.

Any thoughts?
Thanks.
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Old 02-25-08, 12:50 PM
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Zorba
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https://www.biriausa.com
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Old 02-25-08, 01:56 PM
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That's a deal on the Townie. Also look at a Raleigh Venture. Plain 7-speed single shifter with a nice 34T mega-low gear.
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Old 02-25-08, 02:16 PM
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It doesn't get more step through than a Biria, but here's another good one:

https://www.breezerbikes.com/bike_det...u&bike=citizen

With the hills in Pittsburg, I'd get a 7 or 8 speed internal gear hub. I'm sure you love your 24 plus speeds, but they are not great for everyone. You can't wear certain pants. Chains fall off, adjustments need to be made. Keep it simple, is my advise. I love my 7 speed hub and I know how simple it is. She'd love it. The problem is that a good one will be over $500.
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Old 02-25-08, 02:37 PM
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Check out the Raleigh retroglide. 3 speed nexus with springer fork or the retroglide 7 speed.
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Old 02-25-08, 03:07 PM
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I bought my wife a Diamondback Wildwood Citi, 26" wheeled womens comfort bike with the step through frame. I ended up giving it to my mom and buying her a Scott Sportster, women's frame but not step through. The 26" wheels w/ fat tires caused her to be slow and ineffecient. On her new 700c wheel'd hybrid bike she seems to have a lot more fun because she can keep up a lot better.

I suggest going to your LBS w/ the GF and having her ride a 26" comfort bike and a 700C wheeled hybrid bike. Bonus points if you call the shop before you show up and ask them to let a little air out of the 26" tires to simulate actual riding conditions. (my wife has never pumped up her tires and they are perpetually low during rides).

Skinny tires* can be scary to cycling n00bs but in the long run they are the best for riding on paved surfaces. I replaced the saddle on my wifes hybrid with a "tractor seat" trype saddle before we even left the bike shop. The hybrid is just as comfortable as the 'comfort bike' was but it moves a lot better. Now if I could just get hor to embrace the idea of clipless pedals.

EDIT: * by "skinny tires" i mean hybrid tires, not racing slicks. They are plenty wide enough, but are much skinnier than fat MTB style tires.
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Old 02-25-08, 05:45 PM
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If me and the wife are coasting down a slight downhill, I have to brake with my 700c bike to slow down to the speed of her 26" bike.
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Old 02-26-08, 12:30 PM
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How much more do you weigh than your wife? From my Pinewood Derby experience I can tell you heavier objects roll downhill faster than lighter objects.

The 700 vs 26" debate gets tossed about quite a bit. In the real world,there are many factors that determine how fast a bike is beyond the wheel diameter. The rider is the biggest factor. There's also the weight of the bike,the weight of the wheels,quality of the hubs/bottom bracket,gearing,condition of the drivetrain/hubs/BB,tire width/pressure/tread/weight,riding position...lots and lots of things. The main reason I have 26" wheels on my commuter is because it came with them. The second is the availability of tires. Every shop in the area carries 1.5" slicks for spring/summer riding on bad roads,and 2+" treaded/knobbie tires for fall/winter snow and goo. Wide,38+ 700 tires are available,but you have to special order them or go on-line.
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Old 02-26-08, 12:59 PM
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The Townie is a very nice bike. It was what finally swayed my girlfriend to really enjoy cycling, it might do the same for yours

The Townie 21 is also a fine climber. It has a triple up front and a 34t in the rear, its just not the sort of bike you stand up and mash on.
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Old 02-26-08, 01:08 PM
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A local ad has a woman's "brand-new" 21-spd Electra Townie for $225. I have heard good things about them. The Trek comfort series has a $280 avaliable too. Both frames have a ridgid fork, that's fine for our purposes. But I heard the Townie doesn't climb, period.

I own a Navigator 500, pd. $300 roughly. My only complaint is that it is heavy. It has shocks on the fork and a very wide gear range that helps navigate hills without a problem. A nice comfortable bike for cruising around.
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Old 02-28-08, 11:59 PM
  #11  
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The seller still has the bike avaliable. I am sl\ure that it will be minimally satisfactory. My girlfriend has also stated that she refuses to stand up on the pedals. Well, welcome to high cadences and lower gears.
I think I am trying to sell ice skates to a legless woman. She doesn't care at all. Its a funny situation: boyfriend obsessed with bicycles, girlfriend thinks boyfriend is psycho.
Cheers!
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Old 02-29-08, 12:25 PM
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I like the electras, but they are still cruiser style and kill on the hills. The Marin Redwood is one I've had better luck with for long distance (30+ mile) rides. It's well made and very comfortable, esp. if you swap out the factory saddle for a Brooks B66 (the one with the springs). Bouncy bouncy.
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Old 02-29-08, 11:13 PM
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Here's a thought: I see Schwinn 10spds w/ step-thru frames, they are often for sale on CraigsList. Is it reasonable to try to fit one of these w/ 650B rims/tires? I just think this might be a good alternative...hmmmmm
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Old 03-01-08, 06:13 AM
  #14  
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I think that you're asking the wrong folks.

What does the GF want? The Townie has it's own cachet. I'm thinking she might go for that.
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Old 03-01-08, 07:39 AM
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Allow her to choose! And I STRONGLY suggest you give her the opportunity to try an IGH bike also. I helped my wife choose her first multi speed bike, it was a 24 speed GT Slipstream, 700c wheels, step thru frame. She rode it, but had trouble figuring out which gears to use when and which shifter did what. Fast forward about 6 years, we "won" a 1972 Raleigh Colt in her size (17") with a step thru frame. It has become her favorite bicycle because it is a hop on and ride and all you do is shift up or down, she can wear a skirt riding it....YMMV So now we will be exploring getting an upgrade to a 5-8 speed IGH bike.

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Old 03-02-08, 10:38 PM
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Wahoonc - what is an IGH bike?
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Old 03-03-08, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by meaculpa View Post
Wahoonc - what is an IGH bike?
Oops IGH stands for Internal Geared Hub...think old Raleigh 3 speed...but now they come in 3,4(I think),5,7,8 and 14(if you have the big bux)

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Old 03-03-08, 09:27 PM
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my wife went thru the same begineers "needs".if you enjoy putting on some miles talk her into some "skinny tires."the fat tires are only good for short slow rides.step thru frame is ok.dont let the look of seats fool you .many times the fat comfy seats are not comfy.get a saddle that fits her.it will feel odd at first but she will thank you.i have one of these comfort bikes hanging in the garage after about 6 rides.ended up going to local bike shop and getting something meant for riding longer distances.she now enjoys bike riding.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:19 PM
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Got to agree...

I test rode the Townie (craigslist) & the Raleigh Detour (lbs) & even though they were small for me I got a sense of what each is about. I have to say the compromises in the Townie were too much. Maybe great for a senior. The Raleigh by comparison was much more like a real bike, it has potential to do more than the flat terrain Townie. Now I see why 3 shops pointed me toward a hybrid.
So one more test ride will be the Trek, but I feel sold on the Detour already.
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Old 03-05-08, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by vincev View Post
my wife went thru the same begineers "needs".if you enjoy putting on some miles talk her into some "skinny tires."the fat tires are only good for short slow rides.step thru frame is ok.dont let the look of seats fool you .many times the fat comfy seats are not comfy.get a saddle that fits her.it will feel odd at first but she will thank you.i have one of these comfort bikes hanging in the garage after about 6 rides.ended up going to local bike shop and getting something meant for riding longer distances.she now enjoys bike riding.
Vincev - I had a talk after the test rides with my 1/8% interested girlfriend & she agreed with me - your response sums up the gist of our expectations - she would outgrow a comfort bike after a few rides probably. That is good news for me cause I don't feel like riding 100 yards & calling it a day.
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Old 03-07-08, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by meaculpa View Post
I think I am trying to sell ice skates to a legless woman. She doesn't care at all. Its a funny situation: boyfriend obsessed with bicycles, girlfriend thinks boyfriend is psycho.
Cheers!
I have the opposite situation - my Boy thinks I'M nuts for biking That's OK, he can stay home and kill aliens on the computer while I ride miles and miles and miles
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