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Looking to get a bike as birthday present for 50 y/o mom? Need advice!

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Looking to get a bike as birthday present for 50 y/o mom? Need advice!

Old 08-01-09, 02:08 PM
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JazmynS
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Looking to get a bike as birthday present for 50 y/o mom? Need advice!

It's between one of these, so far. I have test ridden both in store.

http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/simple-city-3W

and

http://fisherbikes.com/bike/model/simple-city-8W

They are the exact same bike, basically, except one is 3 speed with only one handbreak + pedal breaking...and the other (shown with basket) is 8 speed, and has better shifting.

They are both available with that same basket.
I know she'd love the color better on the cheaper one though! The lack of both handbreaks freaks me out though. That's mainly the question I want to ask: how does that effect stopping distance!? I don't even remember the last time I rode a bike like that.

So the problem with the nicer one is color, and the problem with the cheaper one is the damned breaking.

Help me out here! I would love to get the cheaper one.
And if there is ANYTHING else you can think of, tell me. I don't know a whole lot about buying bikes, I am actually kind of new to this myself.

She's skinny, physically fit, and already rides a bike. It just sucks. Got it from Joe's like 10 yrs ago and it is heavy as HELL. Cheap piece of crap.

She's not looking to go long distances or anything, but we are looking to get her a light, speedy bike so that if she decides to go there, she will be better able to keep up.
Basically a nice, simple commuter/cruiser that you can do pretty much anything with.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 08-01-09, 02:34 PM
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I was going to say get a bike with good resale but it's good she already rides.
Get something light that has the same, but better, mechanical layout as her current bike.

Ie: if she does handbrakes then get one with handbrakes, coasterbrake then get the same. No need for her to have to learn new tricks just to ride the new one or else you may catch her riding the old one because she's more comfy.

Cool gift!
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Old 08-01-09, 03:41 PM
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Hate to say it but bikes are a personal item. There is only one way to get her the right bike and that is to let her choose it herself. And she will only be able to tell the one she wants by riding them.
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Old 08-01-09, 06:38 PM
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Had an idea. if you don;t want her to find out how much you pay for it because its a gift, ask the bike shop to take the tags off three or four comparable bikes and let her pick her own. Then walk out the door with it no questions asked.
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Old 08-01-09, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
Had an idea. if you don;t want her to find out how much you pay for it because its a gift, ask the bike shop to take the tags off three or four comparable bikes and let her pick her own. Then walk out the door with it no questions asked.
Thats a good idea.

Don't worry about the braking, the one with only one brake has it on the front. The coaster brake is on the rear, which is not where most of the braking comes from. On the other hand, if she is used to coaster brakes, thats what she's gonna use. If she is used to using both brakes, and does use the front one, then fine. Rear brake is not for serious slowing anyway.
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Old 08-01-09, 11:35 PM
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Go radical and get her a Strida.

Maybe she likes her heavy POC bike. It might suit he purposes. She can chain it and not worry about it.

lack of both handbreaks-it means she might hate it because she keeps locking the break and skidding + fish tailing. Or she might love it for the skid marks she can make.
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Old 08-08-09, 02:28 PM
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Thanks everyone! Keep it coming!
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Old 08-08-09, 06:07 PM
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I ride an Electra with pedal braking, and for anything under 10 MPH, there just isn't much difference in stopping speed. Both coaster brakes and v-brakes work as well as I need.
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Old 08-08-09, 06:17 PM
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My wife had a cruiser with 7 speed shimano hub and coaster brake. She had a bad wreck when she locked the coaster brake on a wet wooden bridge and the bike fish-tailed around. Its very hard to modulate a coaster brake. I will never get her a bike with a coaster brake again. She rides a nice road bike now.

The bikes you've chosen will be comfortable commuters but they are not going to go fast or be very suitable for long distances.

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Old 08-08-09, 06:20 PM
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Changing a flat on a coaster brake rear hub is a real pain. I would never own one again for that reason in addition to my previous post.

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Old 08-09-09, 09:50 PM
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What about this: http://www.trekbikes.com/women/wsd_p..._path/7000wsd/

The bikes you've suggested would be mostly fine for taking short rides or running errands. And if that's what your mom will use it for, they might be appropriate.

But if you would like for her to go longer distances - and you live in a place with either hills or wind - you should probably make sure that she has the appropriate gears to keep up. If every one else can ride up the big hill by calling granny, and she ends up walking her bike up because she doesn't have a low enough gear...she may not be enamored quite as much of biking.

I'm not a real fan of coaster brakes either, and certainly not as the exclusive means of braking. If your chain falls off, or if you chain breaks, you suddenly have no brakes anymore.
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