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I'm trying to find a new road or roady hybrid bike for my wife. She's been commuting on a Specialized 21 gear comfort/cruiser style framed bike we got a while ago that she wanted for the comfort and cuteness, and before she knew she'd want to commute regularly on it. But now she want so to be able to commute without sitting straight up and holding handles just below chin level!

My wife's 5'4", with not super long legs for that height. I've been looking in the 48cm to 51cm range. Feel free to correct that.

What I'm looking for:

- A commuting oriented, rather than training/racing oriented road bike, or a performance oriented, rather than ultra comfort oriented hybrid.

- The only definite specification is that she won't ride with drop bars, but she does want a fairly forward (read: more powerful, easier commute) riding position.

Price:

- A solid new road bike is unfortunately out of our price range (we've been to a few local shops and the minimum at a real bike shop seems to be mid $400s or so...). Something used in the $150-$300 range would be good.

Here's a couple things I've found on craigs list here.

GT Vantana, Advertised $150 OBO:
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/bik/780566522.html

Trek 1000sl, $399. I'd do it if I could get him down close to $300 and it's worth it:
http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/bik/780207437.html

Any other recommendations? I saw a Schwinn Caliente on CL too, but I found a thread on the forums here essentially recommending against that, especially at the price that was being asked.
 

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I'm 5'4'', commute to work and ride on weekends, and also didn't want drop bars.

I really like my Giant FCR 3w. I bought it on June 21. I have approx 500 miles on it now. I have the XS size. I have absolutely no complaints about it.

I paid around 500.00 for it new, and added pedals. If you could find one used, I'd definately suggest taking a look at it.
 
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