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Woman's road bike suggestion/help

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Woman's road bike suggestion/help

Old 05-09-11, 11:37 AM
  #1  
Eric91Z
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Woman's road bike suggestion/help

Ok, all, I am looking for some input and suggestions on a road bike for my girlfriend. Last spring we got her a new Trek hybrid type bike that did well for her to start with, but it is becoming quickly apparent that this bike's weight, tires, etc do not do well for longer rides where she has to constantly pedal just to keep up with me while I coast next to her. Yeah, yeah, so she gets a good workout, but the down side is slow average speeds and she tires quickly after about 15 miles or so.

So, looking for some input on quality, but affordable road bikes or replacement for her current hybrid bike. Something that is not too expensive, but that will roll nicely down the road, relatively light weight, etc.

We will be buying from the LBS, so looking at the following three brands specifically:

- Trek
- Giant
- Specialized

The first two brands are at the same shop she bought her current bike at and can get some trade in credit with them, so really interested on any input on the Trek or Giant options, but I like my Specialized and the LBS that sells them, so want to keep that option open, too.

Just from quick look at Trek website, thinking maybe along the lines of the Trek Lexa or Lexa S? Or at least maybe in that price range?

All thoughts and input appreciated.


Thanks.
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Old 05-09-11, 12:05 PM
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thcri
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If you are comfortable with both dealers then just have her try some of the ones out you think she would like. You have not posted the monies you want to spend or she wants to spend so it is hard to give advice. All three bikes are good bike brands.

But I am not so sure going from a Hybrid to a Road bike is going to change an awful lot as far as her performance. She might pick up some speed and duration but not a lot.
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Old 05-09-11, 12:27 PM
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I have posted many times on the wife/girlfriend bike. I'll summarize some of the crucial criteria here.

1) COMPACT CRANK!!! Many entry bikes and womens bikes come with triple cranks. Do not get a road bike with a triple, period. I know Iowa well and the rollers there do not need a triple - just the appropriate range compact. Likely the compact will come with a 26 or 27 cog in the rear too.

2) Lightest wheels you can get. Again, lower end bikes come with heavier bulkier wheels. It's awful that some of use 180+ pound tall guys are riding sub-1550 gram wheels but then stick our 100-140 pound women on those awful 2000+ gram wheels on entry road bikes. Lighter wheels+lighter tires+lighter tubes makes for a spry bike and a happy woman. At the same time, do not get any wheels that have rubber bearing boots on the ends. Those things equal low quality and on many wheels can drag horribly.

3) Looks. She must, must, must like the color scheme/looks of the bike. Don't settle on the ugly one because its on sale.

4) I think compact frames work better for newer road riders as they feel more comfortable with the standover. Most frames are now compact but this should be on the list.

5) Don't necessarily settle on the stock saddle. Be prepared to buy a different saddle. Trek and Specialized actually both make nice womens models in different widths, and the dealer can use their butt pad to determine the best width. In some cases you may be able to have them trade out the saddle for the same one in a different width if needed.

6) Road pedals. Don't instantly think a newer female rider should be on SPD cleats and shoes and consider actual road pedals like LOOK or Shimano's versions.

7) Finally, women specific designs can be great, but just remember she could actually fit better on the non-WSD bike. However, be careful and refer back to #3.
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Old 05-09-11, 12:31 PM
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Eric91Z
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Thank you for the input! That is much appreciated! I know the budget won't be anything too great, but I think I can try and talk her in to something more than she spent before and some of it will depend on how much we get for trade in for her year old bike. Most likely will be in the $1000 or less range - most likely less if she has her way on the budget for that.

Going tomorrow night to get her some test rides on the Trek and Giant options...
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