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Best bike to share between a tall person and a short person (USA)?

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Best bike to share between a tall person and a short person (USA)?

Old 04-05-19, 10:44 AM
  #1  
brianinc-ville
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Best bike to share between a tall person and a short person (USA)?

OK, here's the situation:

My wife and I have both been commuting to work by bike for more than a decade. We both work on a college campus, an easy 1-mile ride from our house.

Now, we've got a baby. To carry her, we got a Douze cargo bike, which is absolutely fantastic. I can't recommend it enough. When our daughter is ready for it, we'll be able to drop her off at the campus daycare, right near our offices, without worrying about parking. That's huge.

However, we now realize that there will be many occasions when we'll need to switch bikes -- for instance, if I take the baby to school on the Douze, but my wife needs to take her home. I'm about 5'11'' and ride a 58cm bike; she's about 5'6" and rides about a 51cm. I can sort of ride her bike if I pull the seat way up, but she can't ride mine.

So what we need is probably a large-frame step-through bike with an easily adjustable seatpost. It's pretty flat where we live, so a 3-speed hub would be ideal. When we visited Copenhagen, we rode cheap Danish bikes like these, which would be great, but I haven't seen anything like that in the USA. Any recommendations?
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Old 04-05-19, 12:05 PM
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Cool Did you get the step through?

Folding bike like a Brompton size is an adjustment rather than a separate product..

Bullet Cargo bikes for example , are a one size product there are telescopic bar masts and seat posts .

both use one building jig so sizing is by other means ..

but it seems like you have one,..

Bike Friday's OSATA fleet bikes are unique in their length adjustability,
so that offers a way to change the reach /top tube length .. and height of stem & seat..






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-05-19 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 04-06-19, 08:33 AM
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are you keeping both bikes? maybe a madsen bucket bike or yuba boda boda. both are step through. i don't know their frame sizes though.
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Old 04-06-19, 11:49 AM
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https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/priorityclassic2
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Old 04-06-19, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Bike Friday's OSATA fleet bikes are unique in their length adjustability,
so that offers a way to change the reach /top tube length .. and height of stem & seat..
And you didn't mention that the Haul-A-Day has an adjustable main tube?
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Old 04-06-19, 12:47 PM
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The share/rental bikes are typically one size fits all, with an easy adjust seat. Pretty upright position, but your distances are short, so pretty much any bike should work.

Many mountain bikes made in the last 10 years or so had easily adjustable seats, even to the point where some have "dropper" seats that are adjustable from the handlebars.

I'd probably look for a newer model basic aluminum step through town bike with a quick release seat post.

One option, of course, would be to use a bike trailer or something that could be easily swapped between your two bikes. Just pull the trailer off of one bike, and add it to the other. Make sure you have extra hitch parts.

Same thing for a "wee-go", attach to whatever bike you wish.
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Old 04-06-19, 01:11 PM
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Cool addendum

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
And you didn't mention that the Haul-A-Day has an adjustable main tube?
But You did ... IDK if they wanted 2 cargo bikes..
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Old 04-06-19, 03:34 PM
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No, not two cargo bikes -- we don't have space (or a budget) for that. But that Priority, with the medium-sized step-through frame, might do it.
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Old 04-06-19, 03:46 PM
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Might be easier to just get a taller wife.
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Old 04-06-19, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Might be easier to just get a taller wife.
Sounds like an extremely expensive option.
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Old 04-08-19, 07:23 AM
  #11  
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I've never ridden one, but Public Bikes has the look of what you're after. I like that style as well, and my wife was considering one for a while. https://publicbikes.com/collections/womens-bikes

Flying Pigeon was another on the cheaper end. Not sure if you can still get them in the US. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Pigeon

And like folks have said, folding bikes are generally one-size fits all, with long seatposts to adjust to a variety of sizes. My Downtube was not terribly expensive and also has a telescoping stem so that both the seat height and handlebars are adjustable. https://www.downtube.com/
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Old 04-08-19, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
OK, here's the situation:

My wife and I have both been commuting to work by bike for more than a decade. We both work on a college campus, an easy 1-mile ride from our house.

Now, we've got a baby. To carry her, we got a Douze cargo bike, which is absolutely fantastic. I can't recommend it enough. When our daughter is ready for it, we'll be able to drop her off at the campus daycare, right near our offices, without worrying about parking. That's huge.
Congrats Brian ! It's cool that you & your wife are still commuting. Moral support is the extent of my help - Ken
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Old 05-16-19, 02:11 PM
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We have a Raleigh Comfort bike with a step through frame. Aluminium frame is nice and strong. I don't have a picture so here is a pic I found on the interweb:



It rides nicely, is simple and ours has fenders (mudguards).
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Old 05-17-19, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Mule View Post
We have a Raleigh Comfort bike with a step through frame. Aluminium frame is nice and strong. I don't have a picture so here is a pic I found on the interweb:



It rides nicely, is simple and ours has fenders (mudguards).
i have a schwinn made similar to this, only in steel. i picked it up for a future mid or long tail try.
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Old 05-17-19, 09:46 AM
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Bike Friday OSATA reach and height adjustable ..


Last edited by fietsbob; 05-17-19 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 07-17-19, 05:38 AM
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The best bike to share for two people would be a folding bike. My wife and I have a Dahon for the last ten years that works well for us. It's easy and fast to adjust for size and folds up nicely in a small space to store away. Brompton is simply the best for this but I can buy three or more Dahons to one Brompton. I see Tern
folding bikes now have a folding cargo bike that look interesting.
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Old 11-27-19, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by brianinc-ville View Post
OK, here's the situation:

My wife and I have both been commuting to work by bike for more than a decade. We both work on a college campus, an easy 1-mile ride from our house.

Now, we've got a baby. To carry her, we got a Douze cargo bike, which is absolutely fantastic. I can't recommend it enough. When our daughter is ready for it, we'll be able to drop her off at the campus daycare, right near our offices, without worrying about parking. That's huge.

However, we now realize that there will be many occasions when we'll need to switch bikes -- for instance, if I take the baby to school on the Douze, but my wife needs to take her home. I'm about 5'11'' and ride a 58cm bike; she's about 5'6" and rides about a 51cm. I can sort of ride her bike if I pull the seat way up, but she can't ride mine.

So what we need is probably a large-frame step-through bike with an easily adjustable seatpost. It's pretty flat where we live, so a 3-speed hub would be ideal. When we visited Copenhagen, we rode cheap Danish bikes like these, which would be great, but I haven't seen anything like that in the USA. Any recommendations?
you also put link on your comment for a cheap bikes so why you are asking here about that
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Old 12-06-19, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by H.Franco View Post
you also put link on your comment for a cheap bikes so why you are asking here about that
The bikes I linked to are not available in North America, where I live.
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Old 01-19-20, 11:11 PM
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Bike Friday Haul-a-day

I'm 6'4" and my wife is 5'6" and we have had a Bike Friday Haul-a-day for a couple of years. We really like it and have used it quite a bit for riding with our two boys (even on a couple of multi-day tours). To convert between my wife and I, I just extend the frame and raise the seat, which takes 2 minutes or less. With the 20" wheels the weight is low and pretty stable, plus carrying kids or other loads on a cargo bike so much easier then hauling them in a trailer (in our experience). Highly recommended.
​​​​
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Old 01-25-20, 03:20 PM
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Take a look at the Workcycles FR8. It's a step-through made in the Netherlands and it's very easily adjustable. There aren't many US dealers, but JC Lind in Chicago carries them and will ship.

They're not cheap, but they are study bikes with all the little Dutch details (stainless fasteners, center kickstands, chain guards, dynamo lights, etc.) that will last a really long time. Occasionally you can find one on eBay or Craigslist.


Workcycles FR8 City Bike
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Old 01-26-20, 02:21 PM
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A step-thru folding bike is my recommendation. Extra long seatposts and adjustable steering tube gives you great size adjustments. You likely will need a second seatpost and saddle if the long one drags the ground when setup for the smaller person, but this is no big deal and far cheaper than two bikes. Takes up no extra storage space either. Just be sure the steering tube is telescopic. Use a sharpie or paint pen to mark each rider's preferred adjustment points.

Something like a Dahon Ciao style should work although I don't believe it has a telescoping stem/steer tube. Many bikes this style do.


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Old 03-22-21, 07:12 PM
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For what it's worth, here's what we figured out:

Well, first the pandemic put this whole plan on hold -- we're no longer commuting to work, so we don't need to trade bikes very often. For the last year, on the rare occasions when we needed to switch between the cargo bike and another bike, we used a 23" Raleigh Superbe from 1974 that I already had on hand. I like that bike a lot, but it's a little bit too big for my wife, and the seatpost is kind of a pain to raise and lower, even when well greased.

Recently, though, we found a used 2016 Priority Continuum for a good price. The frame is the medium size (19", with a slanted top tube). It's really a better size for my wife, but it came with a long seatpost that works really well for me, and it's really easy to raise and lower. The Gates belt drive and NuVinci hub are great for keeping the pants clean -- we have the same combo on our cargo bike, and we're total converts. It'd be really nice to have a generator hub, like on the newer Priority Continuum Onyx, and we both hate the straight handlebars (easy enough to change), but I think we'll stick with this one. If you're looking for a bike for a taller and shorter rider to share, this seems like a good one to share.
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Old 04-01-21, 09:37 PM
  #23  
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Brian's PRIORITY CONTINUUM is a great choice.

Perhaps an even better choice for some might be the ancient Women's step through frame SCHWINN SUBURBAN five speed of 1970 - 1976 -and- COLLEGIATE of 1970-1977.

Why? Because you had three different frame sizes in those step through Schwinn Suburbans and Collegiates of the SEVENTIES that I mentioned.
The relaxed frame geometry and generally long wheelbase makes each of the frame sizes USEABLE for greatly varied height men & women (couples) -or- for a parent and pre-teen child to share.

You have these three frame sizes...............17 inch.......................19 inch.........................and 21 inch
In Brian's case (above).......Brian is 5ft 11 inches tall and his spouse is about 5ft 6 inches tall.
HERE based on my experience the 19 inch step through electroforged frame of the Suburban / Collegiate of the SEVENTIES is probably ideal for them.
They could also choose the 21 inch frame, because Brian's wife is at least 5ft 6 inches tall. One thing that you will surely find is that these old electroforged frames are significantly larger than modern frames............THE WHEELBASE IS LONGER......and BECAUSE OF THE SLACK ANGLES, AS THE SEATPOST RISES IT GOES FARTHER REARWARD (the seat goes rearward more than typical modern bicycles)......
------Okay now, what if you have a pettite wife who might be somewhere in the 4 foot 11inch to 5 foot 1 inch range ----and--- you are 6ft 0inches tall..............YOU COULD STILL EASILY FIT ON THE small 17 inch frame, assuming that you're an athletic 6ft man and you don't resemble the shape of TV detective Frank Cannon, played by William Conrad......... Why will this work? BECAUSE YOU CAN ADJUST THE SEATPOST VERY HIGH ON THESE ANCIENT SCHWINNS (yes, you will need to swap out the factory stock nine inch seatpost for something probably at least 10.5 inches or longer.........but you have both new aftermarket WALD seat posts, old factory Schwinn seatposts, as well as posts that folks like Porkchop bmx carries....................so you have a bunch of longer posts in various lengths between ten inches and nineteen inches.................The stock seat post on the old banana seat bikes was around 14.5 inches long so there are millions of those longer posts out there.
There is no problem using them as they are the same 13/16 diameter.....................yeah, the posts are gonna be heavier because they are longer but who cares if it adds 1/8th of a pound to the overall weight of your bike..................you're not looking for a lightweight racing style bicycle anyway!
In this example of the 5 ft woman and the 6 ft man.........The 21 inch frame likely will be too big for the woman even with the seat lowered all the way down. The 19 inch frame might work for the 5 ft woman with the seat as low as possible.....if she's 4 ft 11 or under 5 ft then probably she'd need the 17 inch frame................Obviously, I am guessing based on experience and average-general sizes......but as everyone knows legs and torsos vary even though people may be the same overall height.
What I am saying is that these THREE (17) , (19) , and (21) women's step through SUBURBANS/COLLEGIATES of the SEVENTIES probably offer the widest range of possibilities for each of the frame sizes. No other bicycle, modern or ancient, offers that wide of a useable Rider Fit range because of the SLACK GEOMETRY and LONG WHEELBASE that those ancient electroforged Chicago SCHWINN frames have.
********************Now, YOU WOULD NEED TO CARRY a 9/16 WRENCH (spanner for those of you across the pond..)............You would need to carry the 9/16 wrench in your seatbag so that whatever RIDER can RAISE / LOWER the SEATPOST as REQUIRED for THEIR OVERALL HEIGHT!
It is fairly simple, as one can do this in about 45 seconds, and certainly under a minute.
I'm just saying that many of you may not realize just how good those old Schwinns are until you actually get a chance to sit and ride on one that perhaps a friend, neighbor, or relative owns. THE 5 speed COLLEGIATE of the 1970 - 1977 era and the 5 speed SUBURBAN of 1970 - 1976 are the most durable derailleur equipped geared bicycles that Schwinn ever made!!! The 1964-1969 5 speed COLLEGIATE is NOT AS GOOD, although it is equal in quality to the 10speed Varsity, Continental and 10 speed Suburbans. You also had a bunch of 3 speeds that Schwinn offered from the forties until the Chicago end at the beginning of the eighties.
THESE 1970 -1977 5 speeds ARE MOST IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY ARE THE BEST THAT SCHWINN EVER MADE, and that they were offered in the largest selection of step-through frame sizes (three: 17, 19, and 21 ) during that time period! Millions of them were also sold, so locating one should not be difficult.

https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...0/1973_20.html

https://waterfordbikes.com/SchwinnCa...0/1973_22.html

Both the 1970 and later COLLEGIATE and SUBURBAN five speed have 46 teeth single front crank and 32, 26, 21, 17, 14 at the rear wheel.
THE COLLEGIATE HAS THE 597mm 26 x 1 3/8 wheels---------and the SUBURBAN HAS THE 630mm 27 x 1 1/4 wheels.
The SUBURBAN has the Tubular Front Fork from the Continental, but not the centerpulls of the Conti, as the Suburban has the same sidepulls as the VARSITY.
The COLLEGIATE has the Ashtabula Blade Front Fork of forged steel that was common to millions of bikes including Varsity, Breeze, Speedster, so many others.
The Collegiate has L.S. 2.8 weinmann made side pull brake calipers(same as the weinman 810 model) which are longer reach than the Varsity/Suburban's L.S. 2.4 weinmann made side pulls...........................The Collegiate's are obviously longer reach because the Collegiate's wheel is (26) 597 BSD and the SUBURBAN/Varsity wheel is (27) 630 BSD.
*******************There is currently only KENDA that manufactures the 37-597 26 x 1 3/8 "schwinn tire" for the 597 twenty-six S5 & S6 Schwinn wheels.
You have a wide range of choices in the (27) 630mm tires needed for the SUBURBAN / VARSITY / CONTINENTALS etc but for the (26) 597mm tires needed for COLLEGIATE/BREEZE/SPEEDSTER and many other varied names that Schwinn used over four decades with 26 inch 597mm wheels, ---YOU ONLY HAVE THE KENDA "schwinn" 597mm 26 x 1 3/8 tire. It is an excellent tire. It is widely available online and it is relatively inexpensive. Like all 26 inch 597mm "schwinn" tires have been throughout history, THIS 597mm SIZE TIRE IS A BEAR FOR NOVICES TO MOUNT EVENLY IF THEY HAVE ZERO PRIOR EXPERIENCE WITH BICYCLE TIRE MOUNTING. There are YOUTUBE tutorials that expertly show you how to..................proceed slowly.......perhaps use a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid soap .
If replacement cables are needed, The BELL PITCREW 600 cable set for $10 from Walmart online and at some Walmart stores, and online from Ace Hardware HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED EXCEPT THAT YOU'LL NEED To Borrow, Buy, or otherwise obtain a Bicycle Brake Cable Cutter Tool.........such a tool can be found for approx $18 with free shipping online or new from ebay sellers............it is the same visually as the expensive branded tool that costs three to four times as much.
Yes, it might not last as long as the expensive brand name tool, but I can attest that I've done over 30 bicycles with the "cheap" tool and it still cuts as clean as it did on the first bicycle....................I didn't expect it to be as good as it has turned out to be..........I guessed that it likely would become less useable or totally unuseable after 15 bikes when I ordered the brake cable cutting pliers tool, but surprisingly enough it arrived and the tool's construction and materials are excellent quality. It cuts clean. I can't match that with a Dremel with a cutoff wheel.


Stay thin, ride a SCHWINN.

Those ancient 5 speed SUBURBANS in the step through Women's models ( Collegiates too...), are great general purpose utility bicycles that can accomodate riders of all sizes. They are bulletproof, bombproof, and comfortable to ride. Yes, they are heavy, but you're not gonna race, or ride with a fast pack,..................and yes you would have to carry along a 9/16 wrench to make seat post adjustments if changes in seat height are needed for riders of differing heights. You can purchase a new 9/16 o-----c wrench for probably less than $4 from the Harbor Freight store. It will fit inside a new small seatbag that you can find from hundreds of US based as well as Shen Zhen China based vendors on ebay for less than $12 from US sources and less than $7 from China based vendors for the same exact item......could be less or more from Amazon depending on the color and style of the seat bag.
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Old 04-05-21, 11:55 AM
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I won't speak ill of the '70s Schwinn Suburban -- I had one once and really enjoyed it, until it got stolen -- but in this case we're not interested in a derailleur setup. Dress pants and shoes, you see. It'd need to be either a belt drive (which we now have on both the Priority and the Douze) or an internally-geared hub with a Hebie Chainglider (which is what we use on our own, size-specific city bikes).
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