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Hybrid Bike for my Wife

Old 02-25-15, 09:22 AM
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fritz1255
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Hybrid Bike for my Wife

Looking at buying a hybrid bike for my wife. She does not ride at all now, so not looking to make a $1000+ investment until I know she wants to do this on a regular basis. We have plenty of other unused equipment sitting in our basement. The three possibilities I am looking at (all Nishiki) are the Montour, Anasazi, and Manitoba. I can't find any info online as to the weight of the three, just reviews in qualitative terms. Anybody know where I can find this information? Any other suggestions in a reasonable (less than $500) price range?
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Old 02-25-15, 09:38 AM
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Got a favorite bike shop ?
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Old 02-25-15, 09:42 AM
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Trek 7.2 FX WSD, Specialized Vita, Jamis Coda Sport, Liv (Giant) Alight 3, or Alight 2. Every major quality brand has a model around or under $500. FWIW, I would stay away from department store brands like Nishiki. They might be OK, but I just wouldn't buy a bike from a sporting goods store.
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Old 02-25-15, 10:20 AM
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OK, I'll check around the the local bike shops again, but I'm not optimistic. I was looking at Dick's sporting goods because they have actual inventory of hybrid bikes, while the local shops usually only have one or two. Ordering something sight unseen online or through a shop is not an option with my wife - she has to see it and try it. She buys clothing online, which is a disaster - she returns about 75% of what she orders. We don't get packages, we get stuff that hasn't been returned yet. Bad enough with clothing, I'm not doing that with a bike. Also concerned that I will go ballistic with the first salesperson who gives us the "Oh, you don't want that" routine.

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Old 02-25-15, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
OK, I'll check around the the local bike shops again, but I'm not optimistic. I was looking at Dick's sporting goods because they have actual inventory of hybrid bikes, while the local shops usually only have one or two. Ordering something sight unseen online or through a shop is not an option with my wife - she has to see it and try it. She buys clothing online, which is a disaster - she returns about 75% of what she orders. We don't get packages, we get stuff that hasn't been returned yet. Bad enough with clothing, I'm not doing that with a bike. Also concerned that I will go ballistic with the first salesperson who gives us the "Oh, you don't want that" routine.
Don't know about the Dick's in your area, but in my area they basically have zero service on the bikes they sell. Most of your LBS will offer at least a year of free adjustments and at least one free tuneup. That may or may not matter to you. If your LBS doesn't have a lot of inventory, they should carry at least a couple of bikes in your wife's size at or near the $500 price point. And if they don't have her size, they should be able to get something within a couple of days for her to try.

I am sure some will accuse me of being a bike snob, but in general, Nishiki doesn't have a great reputation.

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Old 02-25-15, 11:10 AM
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+1 to trying other bike shops. Google is your friend. I bought a Fuji from a LBS that only sells Fuji. Wife went and just couldn't get a good fit. Although the LBS surely wanted to sell us one so they offered to take a hacksaw to various parts to make one fit. Forget that. We drove an hour to one that sells Specialized where she sat on a Sirrus in her size and it was exactly what she wanted.

You won't spend meaningfully more on a low-end Specialized, Fuji, Giant, or other 'better' bike than you will a department store / chain sporting goods store bike, but you will get a better bike, IMHO. It'll also be assembled by a bike shop mechanic or owner, instead of a minimum-wage clerk whose responsibility include operating a cash register, occasionally helping customers, and doing the best you can to make the bike look assembled. If you're a proficient mechanic yourself the latter probably doesn't matter, because you can give it a once over when you get home. But personally, having someone who knows what they are doing putting the bike together is worth shopping at the LBS.

For the record, we paid about $450 for the Sirrus. The hybrids at Dick's, et al, weren't any cheaper really (except for the twist-shift cheapies), But the Specialized really seems to have far better build quality, uses better components (low end Shimano instead of no-name stuff), etc. And she's really enjoyed it. It's been a great bike for her! My ONLY beef about the bike is that it's pretty 'wide' in the rear which makes it a tight squeeze onto the indoor trainer.
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Old 02-26-15, 08:18 AM
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I was in the same position as you. My wife was showing an interest in starting to ride but I didn't want to spend too much on a bike and then have it sit in the garage. I got her a Diamond back fitness bike from the local Performance bike shop. While looking around this seemed to be the best solution for "bang for the buck" for a entry level bike with some service backing it up.

My wife stayed with it. Her next bike was from a large Sporting Goods chain. Not that I particularly wanted to buy it there but she found the color she liked and that was pretty much that. Although the guy who sold me the bike was telling me about his certification as a bike mechanic and that the bike was setup properly, nothing could have been farther from the truth. I spent the first day with the bike doing nothing but realigning and adjusting almost everything on the bike. Once I was done the bike rode quite well. But if you were to have just taken that bike straight out onto the road from the shop you would have had all sorts of shifting and braking problems. If you're buying from a big box store, be ready to put a little time into it.
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Old 02-26-15, 09:23 AM
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Are there any bike shops in your area that sell refurbished old bikes? You can get a lot for your money that way, and still get something that's been gone over very closely by a good shop.

Nishiki, alas, isn't the brand it once was -- the name was sold many years ago.
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Old 02-26-15, 11:33 AM
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I got a Diamondback Clarity 1 hybrid for my wife from Sports Authority. Paid $350 for it. Pretty nice bike. I am int he same boat as you - lots of stuff purchased, few used. I didn't want to shell out too much if she wasn't going to use. it. I had to order it since I was getting a price match. They require you bring the bike in for a tuneup. I hate to say this but I think the tuneup I got was better than the bike shop I purchased my Specialized Secteur from. Might have gotten the rare instance where they had a guy who knew how to work on bike and took the time to do it. Also got same day turn around and this was late December just after Christmas. It is all baseline Shimano but it covered what my wife wanted.
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Old 02-26-15, 05:03 PM
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Bike shops around here have loads of hybrids as they are by far the largest selling category. They usually divide them into three categories; performance, trail, and comfort. Trek and Specialized have a number of models well under $1k. You get a good warranty and the service/support of the LBS.
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Old 02-26-15, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
Looking at buying a hybrid bike for my wife.
I think you might not be asking the right person. If your plan is to acquire a bike that your wife will ride, I think it best to make her the major player in the purchase decision.
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Old 02-26-15, 08:33 PM
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If you aren't sure if she is going to like riding, think about a good used brand name bike. With spring coming there will be loads of trade-ins at the LBSs.
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Old 02-26-15, 08:41 PM
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...but what if your wife turns out to like riding? How will you get away on the weekends? You are going to halve to take up golf.
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Old 02-27-15, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I think you might not be asking the right person. If your plan is to acquire a bike that your wife will ride, I think it best to make her the major player in the purchase decision.
Um, yeah.... That's why we need to find a bike shop with a reasonable inventory. As I mentioned before, she returns 75%+ of all clothing she orders online, no way are we doing that with a bike. The shop has to have THE bike in THE size right there for her to try. Going shopping Saturday, wish us luck!
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Old 02-27-15, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
Um, yeah.... That's why we need to find a bike shop with a reasonable inventory. As I mentioned before, she returns 75%+ of all clothing she orders online, no way are we doing that with a bike. The shop has to have THE bike in THE size right there for her to try. Going shopping Saturday, wish us luck!
If she wasn't so particular about her wants and needs she might have settled for a lesser man than you. I think trying to find a well stocked LBS is definitely the right idea. Good luck!
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Old 02-28-15, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Trek 7.2 FX WSD, Specialized Vita, Jamis Coda Sport, Liv (Giant) Alight 3, or Alight 2. Every major quality brand has a model around or under $500. FWIW, I would stay away from department store brands like Nishiki. They might be OK, but I just wouldn't buy a bike from a sporting goods store.
We ended up with a Trek 7.2 FX WSD, purchased at a local shop. What closed the deal was that the bike was due to go on sale in late March, and the guy gave us the sale price today. It also helped that he was about our age as opposed to a twenty something, so no attitude either! Whoever said that shops are stocking more hybrids now is correct - this shop actually had a selection this time as opposed to a couple of years ago when we started looking. The process went on way too long, but it is over now!
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Old 02-28-15, 04:11 PM
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24 months of indecision?

Nishiki [a trade Name used by distributing Importers] sold their brand name off too?,
they selling in Bike Shops, were coming from a Japanese(not of that name, they did apply it for the importer) company in the 80's)

Old Company Reputations are a Commodity in the modern Market place..

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Old 02-28-15, 04:34 PM
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Maybe only 18 months! And as for brand names, the Schwinn website avoids mentioning where their bikes are made today, but it is not in Chicago! I believe the name and logo were purchased in a bankruptcy?
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Old 02-28-15, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by fritz1255 View Post
Maybe only 18 months! And as for brand names, the Schwinn website avoids mentioning where their bikes are made today, but it is not in Chicago! I believe the name and logo were purchased in a bankruptcy?
Schwinn has changed hands at least 3 times since the bankrupcy. First, it was acquired by a group of investors who tried to revive the brand by making decent quality mountain bikes in the late 90s. (full disclosure. My son owns one of these late 90s mountain bikes) Schwinn declared bankrupcy again in the early 2000s, at which point, Pacific acquired them and turned them into a department store brand. Schwinn is now owned by Dorel, which owns a number of brands, some good quality, some not. As far as I can tell, Schwinns are all made in China these days.
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