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Need advice for picking the right bike for my wife

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Need advice for picking the right bike for my wife

Old 05-14-12, 01:03 PM
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mystang52
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Need advice for picking the right bike for my wife

This is my first post. I'll do an intro later. I was referred to this Site from another chat group I belong to. Based on initial responses from there, I think the answer is "Comfort Bike" and I'm also swayed to go to a bicycle specialty shop. But I'd appreciate any further insight. I'm 59 and my wife is 60 years old. Here's my original question:

Here's the scoop. My wife is blessed with good genes - longevity in both sides of her family, has all of the right numbers (e.g., she's thin,low cholesterol, etc), her normal blood pressure is low, and so on. For the first time in years she went cycling with me yesterday...on her very old 3-speed Raleigh.
I'm physically active - run, swim, cycle, and my wife is the opposite. But after yesterday she will go cycling with me. We'll have to go slow, and she can't/won't go too far, even if she builds up her conditioning. I suspect that at most she would do a 10-mile round trip.
Any suggestions as to type/brand of bike? Should I just buy a cheapo at Sports Authority, or spend the presumed extra $$ at one of my local bike shops?
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Old 05-14-12, 02:39 PM
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Welcome to the board!

Can you give a little more information about the area you'll mostly be riding, and what kind of conditions? Any hills you'll be climbing? Sticking to roads or paved paths, or going on any unpaved paths or rougher terrain?
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Old 05-14-12, 02:45 PM
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What's wrong with the Raleigh? My dad is still riding the 3 speed Raleigh he used to commute to work in the 60s. Don't know the particulars about your wife's bike, but it's likely a better bike than anything you'll buy new and cheap at a big box store. For short distances, unless you have serious hills to deal with the 3 speed is likely sufficient. Unless she needs a wider gear range, I'd just get the Raleigh back in top condition. They don't make them like they used to.
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Old 05-14-12, 03:09 PM
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I like the idea of fixing up the Raleigh, too. However, I recently saw the staff at a local shop look at a woman's old steel something and just scratch their heads. If you can find a shop that knows old bike, great.
If you do buy new bike, no matter what, I would suggest buying the bike at a real bike shop. You may pay a bit more, though not necessarily, but you will get a bike that is properly assembled and set up. Too many big-box store bikes are improperly, and even dangerously, assembled by people who do not know that they are doing.

Enjoy. The only thing more fun than buying a bike is riding one!
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Old 05-14-12, 05:53 PM
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Thanks for the replies. We'd only be riding on roads and a paved bike path. There are a couple of unavoidable hills - not bad to me but my wife had some difficulty. Also, she had 2 back surgeries years ago so can't put that much exertion while pedaling....which is why we wanted to get more than 3 speeds.
Since I first posted we went to a couple of bike specialty stores.
Top 2 contenders are the Giant Cypress and KHS Brentwood.
Any good/bad comments on these 2 bikes?
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Old 05-15-12, 08:01 AM
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Both seem good for what you want. I personally think suspension forks are highly overrated, and just make the bike heavier and less efficient. I'd say get whichever one your WIFE likes riding best!
Happy riding!
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Old 05-15-12, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Rockfish View Post
Both seem good for what you want. I personally think suspension forks are highly overrated, and just make the bike heavier and less efficient. I'd say get whichever one your WIFE likes riding best!
Happy riding!
Agreed.
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Old 05-15-12, 01:20 PM
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Definitely agree that you do not need a suspension fork. That's only going to add weight and effort. I also agree that if she likes the bike she's going to ride more. For a lot of people that comes down to looks - nothing wrong with that; just make sure to avoid something that's good looking but not functional.

I'd also look at women-specific models because that might be a better fit and also easier to mount/dismount especially given her surgeries. Many bike shops will sell 2011 models for a discount, so you could get more bang for your buck. What else do the bike shops around you sell?
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Old 05-15-12, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
What's wrong with the Raleigh?
Yeah.... what's wrong with it? If it is the gearing, it is a lot cheaper to put a larger cog in the back (thus lowering all her gears) than to buy a new bike.

Originally Posted by Rockfish View Post
I'd say get whichever one your WIFE likes riding best!
This.

My wife is a recent convert back to cycling. In my experience, the best bet is to let her take the lead in the decisions. Don't push. And no matter what you do, don't ever drop her. Riding with the wife is not a training event; it is a social interaction.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 05-15-12, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
This is my first post. I'll do an intro later. I was referred to this Site from another chat group I belong to. Based on initial responses from there, I think the answer is "Comfort Bike" and I'm also swayed to go to a bicycle specialty shop. But I'd appreciate any further insight. I'm 59 and my wife is 60 years old. Here's my original question:

Here's the scoop. My wife is blessed with good genes - longevity in both sides of her family, has all of the right numbers (e.g., she's thin,low cholesterol, etc), her normal blood pressure is low, and so on. For the first time in years she went cycling with me yesterday...on her very old 3-speed Raleigh.
I'm physically active - run, swim, cycle, and my wife is the opposite. But after yesterday she will go cycling with me. We'll have to go slow, and she can't/won't go too far, even if she builds up her conditioning. I suspect that at most she would do a 10-mile round trip.
Any suggestions as to type/brand of bike? Should I just buy a cheapo at Sports Authority, or spend the presumed extra $$ at one of my local bike shops?
My wife was in the same situation -- wanted to get back into cycling but didn't know where to start. Best advice I can give is to go to a bike shop, have her fitted for a bike, and let her tell you if it works for her or not. If the bike fits properly, and she doesn't have pain and enjoys it, then you will be able to enjoy a lot of time on the road/trail together.
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Old 05-19-12, 11:30 AM
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Update - we did our research, including advice from the helpful people here, tried out a few bikes. She was happiest with the Giant Cypress comfort bike (yes it has the front suspension, but that was not a factor either way) and felt most comfortable with it. She biked the 3 miles from the store to home and loved it.
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Old 05-21-12, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
Update - we did our research, including advice from the helpful people here, tried out a few bikes. She was happiest with the Giant Cypress comfort bike (yes it has the front suspension, but that was not a factor either way) and felt most comfortable with it. She biked the 3 miles from the store to home and loved it.
Awesome! That's all you can ask for. Happy riding!
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Old 05-21-12, 09:22 AM
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Happy riding!
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Old 06-18-12, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
Update - we did our research, including advice from the helpful people here, tried out a few bikes. She was happiest with the Giant Cypress comfort bike (yes it has the front suspension, but that was not a factor either way) and felt most comfortable with it. She biked the 3 miles from the store to home and loved it.
I was going to recommend the Giant Cypress, had mine for 3 years and still enjoy it.
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