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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After seeing me lose weight and get in much better physical shape due to cycling for the past 2 seasons, a couple of weeks ago my wife said that she would like to start riding with me some so she can lose weight and get in better shape too. I think to myself that this could be a pretty good development.

At first she just wanted me to get her old road bike back into riding condition, which I did for her. It's an old mid '80's vintage Nishiki Olympic 12, and was in need of new tires and a tune up. Over the past couple of weeks we have ridden some around the local bike path and around the neighborhood just to get her cycling legs back a bit. She came back up to speed pretty quickly, even though it has probably been close to 20 years since she has been on a bike. But you know what they say about riding a bike... you never really forget.

Well, today I talked her into going to the LBS to test ride some new Specialized Women's Specific Design bikes, just so she can seen how much has changed in the past 20 years. She didn't really want to go at first, and I think she initially went along just to humor me, but she enjoyed the process after we got going. You see, she is a very frugal woman and would probably have been satisfied with the old Nishiki if it wasn't for my prodding her along a bit.

Well, the LBS started off getting her a full bike fitting, and then they set her up to ride an all aluminum rig with CF fork and Sora level components. She liked the smoother ride, but especially liked the integrated shift/brake levers and indexed shifting. This was a big improvement over the down tube friction shifters on her old bike. However, I really wanted her to ride a slightly higher end model with at least CF seat stays and Tiagra/105 level components. They didn't have one like that in her size at that location, but they did at one of their other stores in the area, so we went to test ride that one too.

After we arrived at the second LBS location, they set her up to ride a Specialized Dolce Elite which has the requisite CF stays/CF fork and Tiagra/105 level components. I brought my road bike along so I could ride with her on both of the test rides. I was right in that she could really tell the difference in the ride that the CF seat stays made, and she also liked the Tiagra shifters much better than the Sora shifters.

Now here is her interesting comment. After riding the Dolce Elite for a bit she turned to me and said, "Now I understand why you wanted to buy such an expensive bike." Now this, I say to myself, is a very good development.

Now, of course, she wants the Specialized Dolce Elite, which I think she would be pretty happy with for several years. Unfortunately, the 2008 model is only available in white with pink flower accents (ugh!). She is not too enamored with this color combination, but she really did like the ride. (She even asked if we could paint it, but I told her that would be way more trouble and cost than it would be worth, especially on a new bike.)

We may wait for the 2009's to become available, as the LBS said they are going to be red, which is a color my wife likes much better. We may also look at other manufacturers bikes in this same price range (about $1,200 or so), and see what they have available. Trek has the 2.1 WSD, but the only ones that are currently available are ivory and peach, which is worse (to my wife at least) than the white and pink of the Specialized. In any case, I think we are now well on our way to getting a new road bike for the misses.

Later,

Jay B.
 

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There are plenty of other bikes out there that you can look at other than a Specialized. Shop around and see what you can find. I just switched from my 1985 bike 2 years ago and the difference was like night and day. I really have to be in the mood to ride that thing to get it on the road now. Most of the time, it stays on my trainer. Imagine how your wife is going to feel the next time she is out with you on that Nishiki?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cmg said:
Just buy a different Specialized. What's different, so women's specific about this frame other than white with pink flower accents? Look for last year's model.
Well, we also looked at the Specialized Sequoia, which I understand is nearly the same frame geometry as the WSD Dolce Elite. However, what isn't WSD about the Sequoia are the shifters/brake levers and handle bars. My wife really noticed that difference too when riding the WSD Dolce. The handle bars and brakes just fit her hands better, and therefore she was more comfortable and confident riding it.

We may see if the LBS can switch out the handle bars and shifters/brake levers on the Sequoia for WSD models and see what that costs. She certainly likes the color combination on the Sequoia better... we'll see.

As far as last years models go, they are all gone, especially in her size. We already checked. But it was a good idea.

Jay B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
fabsroman said:
There are plenty of other bikes out there that you can look at other than a Specialized. Shop around and see what you can find. I just switched from my 1985 bike 2 years ago and the difference was like night and day. I really have to be in the mood to ride that thing to get it on the road now. Most of the time, it stays on my trainer. Imagine how your wife is going to feel the next time she is out with you on that Nishiki?
I am not ruling out other bike brands at this point (I especially want to look into what Felt might have to offer in a WSD bike in this price range), but I am partial to this particular LBS. They are very professional, helpful, and are all in all just a great example of how to run a business. It just happens that they are the Specialized/Cannondale/Raleigh dealer, so those brands are at the top of my shopping list. We also have a great Trek dealer in the area that does almost as good a job as the Specialized dealer, so they are on my short list as well.

As far as how she will feel the next time she rides the Nishiki, I think she will be comparing it to her memory of the Specialized the whole time. In fact, I am counting on it.

Jay B.
 

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Treker,
If your wife is anything like mine (and she kinda sounds like she is) she probably doesn't want to be saturated with a whole lot of choices and detail. You just need to do what you're already doing - help expose her to a few pieces of equipment you think she might be happy with, and let her take it from there. If she's frugal, as you say, she'll make a sensible choice that you'll both be happy with. Most importantly, help find the right person to fit her and set her up correctly. This is how it went with my wife and her new Trek 4.5. And everybody's girnn'n. Good luck.
 

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What happens when you're wife is sitting in front of her laptop, scanning ebay, rbr classifieds, techreports on pez, cyclingnews, and plays the same testrider.com review over and over, instead of starting dinner, picking up the kids, or even listening what you're saying!?!?
Not that that EVER happens with me!!!
Great news for you. I hope she enjoys, turns it into a lifestyle, and be safe.
I pieced together an old c'dale 3.0 with my old ultegra/da-9, and vector wheels. So far slow going. But today could be the day for our maiden ride together.
regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Treker said:
Now here is her interesting comment. After riding the Dolce Elite for a bit she turned to me and said, "Now I understand why you wanted to buy such an expensive bike." Now this, I say to myself, is a very good development.

Akirasho said:
... U may have to marry that one... Oh, wait...
I hope she still feels this way when I am trying to get her to agree to let me upgrade to an all carbon/DA bike in a couple of years...

Jay B.
 

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FWIW, my wife bought a Dolce Elite about 3 mos ago and really likes it. For her, the white/pink color was a 'plus', it does fit her personality and aesthetic.

When changing a tube on her bike I noted the hubs seemed too-tight ... it's disappointing but I realized many bikes in that (not cheap) category might be set-up sloppily. i posted on it here:
"Specialized hubs seem to have excessive drag"
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=137110

If you & LBS do end up swapping components around to a different model, don't forget the stem .. the Dolce Elite has the type of specialized stem that will adjust from -16º to -8º , and +16º to +8º ... clever design. My wife was most comfortable at +16º, which we adjusted a little bit at a time, over a few week period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Arginine said:
Shouldn't be all that long until the 09's are out. Probably worth the wait if she can get just the color she wants.:)
In fact, I just got back from the LBS and yes indeed, the '09's are almost here. Their manager had just returned from the Specialized '09 product launch event, and had color photos of the '09 Dolce Elite. It is available in the white/pink trim of last year, as well as a deep red/dark grey trim similar to the '08 Dolce Comp. The deep red is much more appealing to my wife, as most of her cars have been this color over the years. According to the Specialized dealer web site, the bike should be available in early August.

I mentioned all this to my wife when we I got home, but no comment from her yet. If I know her,she is thinking about it and trying to justify such an expensive purchase in her mind. It will probably take a week or two for her to make a decision.

Later,

Jay B.
 

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Powder coat paint jobs aren't all that spendy. Certainly less than $200 for the whole shootin match. (assuming you can take apart then put back together yer bike)

My last bike was pearl black. Very nifty color.

M
 

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My wife rides the Dolce Elite... 07, with blue and white and silver....
She can't say enough good things about it.... She's not a racer, but she likes to come out and spin the pedals...
 

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Paula was fine with her old GF Sugar MTB when I replaced my '01 Stumpjumper FSR with a '05 Stmpjumper 120 Expert.

But, when I replaced my '97 Lemond OCLV with the '07 Tarmac, she'd had ENOUGH! :eek:

The next thing I knew, she'd brought not only a new '07 Ruby Comp home...she got a '07 Stumpjumper FSR Expert as well!

Be careful...you can create a MONSTER! :D
 
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