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Surprise for the wife: Diamondback Calico v Raleigh Eva2?

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Surprise for the wife: Diamondback Calico v Raleigh Eva2?

Old 11-21-16, 01:40 PM
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law
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Surprise for the wife: Diamondback Calico v Raleigh Eva2?

So two years ago I made the mistake and bought my wife a Huffy Superia because it was $50. It is a terrible bike and this year I want to do one step better. I plan on surprising her at Christmas with the new bike (and really no LBS nearby that has bicycles in the under $500 category)

Now I've looked and get a pretty good corporate deal on one of two bicycles:

Raleigh Eva 2 - $216
Raleigh Bikes, 2017 Eva 2

or the

Diamondback Calico - $270
Diamondback Bikes - Dual Sport - Calico

She always talks about mountain bikes, so I was leaning towards the Eva 2, but so far the most difficult ride we have done is on a dirt roads, but this could be because the Huffy was such a bad bicycle.

Now I would imagine that either of these would be an upgrade, but any thoughts/opinions on either bicycle? Are these truly upgrades? Would you suggest a mountain bike over dual sport for some maybe light trail riding? Would the components of one of the bicycles worry you?

Thank you for any suggestions.
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Old 11-21-16, 08:48 PM
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You have at least one improvement in that the two bikes you list come in multiple sizes. You have a better chance of buying one that fits. One-size-fits-all like the Huffy would be fine if we were all the same height but that's not reality. If most of your riding is going to be on smooth trails and roads, I'd prefer a city tire over the knobby on the EVA 2 and the front shock on the EVA 2 is also not a selling point. Cheap shocks don't work well and divert money from buying better components elsewhere on the bike. When it comes to Shimano MTB parts, Tourney is the lowest and Altus is next above it. The tires on the Calico look less aggressive and may be more comfortable on the roads. You can easily ride a bike with smooth tires on a dirt trail. If you were doing a mountain bike trail in steep terrain then an aggressive knobby tire makes sense.

The Raleigh is geared a bit lower than the Calico. If you live in a hilly area that may be a factor to think about. Both are 21 speeds.
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Old 11-21-16, 10:50 PM
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The number one rule in sales is "qualify the customer." In other words, find out exactly what the customer needs as well as what they want, because it might not be the same thing.

You say your wife wants a mountain bike. Qualifier: Does she also want to ride on city streets and paved trails as well? If so, either bike you listed may be overkill. Mountain bikes at this price point are kinda heavy, a bit plodding and not always fun to ride on city streets. Unless you live near a MTB trail or plan to drive there with your bike a lot, probably won't spend that much time on the trails.

A hybrid might be a better fit for your wife. I say might, because I don't know your particular situation, your wife's fitness and enthusiasm level, etc., etc. Some hybrids have front suspension, so they are also suitable for not-too-technical trail riding. In general, hybrids offer a more relaxed/upright riding posture and a more pleasant experience on city streets and paved trails.

In terms of the bikes I sell (used/refurbished), for sales to women, I sell 75% hybrids, 20% road bikes and maybe 5% mountain bikes. Just my experience. Hate to see you getting her a bike which might not fit her needs and spend most of its time unridden. I know you're buying this as a present so don't want to spill the beans yet, but maybe you could discuss her needs casually without mentioning your intended gift.
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Old 11-22-16, 08:35 AM
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Thank you both for the comments. We both are pretty active runners, but causal bikers. The most I can see us riding in one trip is about 10 - 15 miles. I would think that 90% of our riding will be on paths or in the city, with only about 10% maybe off a path. That is why I was leaning to the dual sport.

The reason I believe she mentioned a mountain bike is our lack of knowledge. For us that are less knowledgeable in bikes, bikes usually fall into one of two categories, mountain or road.

Thinking about this, I probably should be looking at the Alysa 1 ($215) instead of the EVA2

Raleigh Bikes, 2017 Alysa 1

The equipment on the Alysa seems similar to the EVA, so to an inexperience rider, would what appears to be be slightly better equipment on Calico be worth the additional $60 over the Alysa?

Once again, thank you for sharing your knowledge.
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Old 11-22-16, 05:49 PM
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Did you take your wife to a bike shop or two and let her test ride bikes that appeal to HER?
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Old 11-23-16, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Did you take your wife to a bike shop or two and let her test ride bikes that appeal to HER?
I did not. I do go to both LBS myself, but neither offered anything under $500.00.
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Old 11-23-16, 11:05 AM
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For both the Alysa and the Calico, I'm going to share a personal bias: I'm not a fan of flat (straight) bars on hybrids. For me and most of the folks I sell bikes to, this is not a relaxed riding position. On mountain bikes, flat bars are the order of the day, to help control steering and the front end over technical stuff. On a hybrid, not really necessary to have that degree of front end control.

I'm a much bigger fan of swept-back / cruiser bars on hybrids, where the grips are parallel to the frame instead of perpendicular. An example of such a line:

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...city-bikes.htm
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Old 11-23-16, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
For both the Alysa and the Calico, I'm going to share a personal bias: I'm not a fan of flat (straight) bars on hybrids. For me and most of the folks I sell bikes to, this is not a relaxed riding position. On mountain bikes, flat bars are the order of the day, to help control steering and the front end over technical stuff. On a hybrid, not really necessary to have that degree of front end control.

I'm a much bigger fan of swept-back / cruiser bars on hybrids, where the grips are parallel to the frame instead of perpendicular. An example of such a line:

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...city-bikes.htm
I can see what you mean. I was looking at the flat bars because that is the mountain bike (that Huffy) she currently uses, but I would imagine that the swept back would be more comfortable for a rider. Now I know the link to Dawes was just as an example, but how does the bike you link compared to either of the ones I was looking at prior? All three appear to be a similar price point (unfortunately the only thing I feel comfortable enough to judge a bicycle on even though I know this is completely wrong).
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Old 11-23-16, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by law View Post
I did not. I do go to both LBS myself, but neither offered anything under $500.00.
Since you didn't ask your wife about her preferences or let her test ride the bikes I hope you don't get a "surprise" from her.
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Old 11-24-16, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Since you didn't ask your wife about her preferences or let her test ride the bikes I hope you don't get a "surprise" from her.
A couple years ago, after my wife went through her CCW class, I bought her her first carry gun. I got a compact frame in 9mm thinking that her smaller hands would fit it better and the small size would be easy to conceal. Boy was I wrong. The first time to the range with her new gun, she shot five rounds and put it down. It was too snappy and didnt feel good in her hands. So she shot my full size frame gun and said "yep, this is what I need". So off to the gun shop again, this time to trade in a virtually brand new gun in for another. All because I didnt have her test fire a few the first time to determine what she wanted.

Back to bike stuff: you might want to have her test ride a few styles at the bike shop, even of you dont buy from them. My wife prefers a more upright position and even with a hybrid I still had to swap out the seat and handle bars (at the time cruisers werent a big thing and most were heavy with limited gearing options). Be sure to look at brake and shifter setups as well. I prefer thumb/index rapid-fire style shifters while she likes grip shifters more. I like a short, two finger brake lever with a very short pull where she likes a full length lever and a longer pull (basically I set the pads out a little further so they dont grab right away).

You gotta let her ride a few setups. I know my wife pretty well and we've been married for a long time but she still will surprise me when it comes to stuff like fit and sizing.
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Old 11-26-16, 02:56 PM
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who is gonna ride it, you or her?
this is like buying a car for the missus without getting
(and actually listening to) her input.
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Old 11-26-16, 09:51 PM
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We went to LBS this afternoon & she mentioned that she wanted a mountain bike, but I also had her look at the hybrids. It ended up she liked the hybrid better. The bike she really liked was the Trek Verve 2. Unfortunately, at a price tag of $475 it is outside the budget.
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