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n00bsauce
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13,507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife has decided to start riding a bike for fitness this spring. She wants an upright riding position due to pain caused by arthritis and a bulging disc in her neck. She wants to work up to rides of 20-30 miles on the road and bike paths. Because she's attempted this in the past and not followed through I'm not real excited about spending a bundle of money. I'm thinking along the lines of a Giant Cypress LX with the following spec:

Frame ALUXX butted FluidForm aluminum
Fork SR SunTour
Rims/Wheels Aluminum
Hubs Aluminum, disc
Spokes Stainless-steel, 14G
Tires Cross Comfort Anti-Puncture, 700 x 40c, sealant-filled tubes
Crankset Giant
Chainwheel 48/38/28
Front Derailleur Shimano
Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
Rear Cogs Shimano, 8-speed: 11-30
Shifters Shimano EZ-Fire
Handlebars Aluminum 1.25-inch riser
Stem Aluminum adjustable
Brake Levers Shimano EZ-Fire
Brakes Hayes HMX-2 disc
Pedals Comfort platform
Saddle Variable-Density Comfort
Seat Post Aluminum micro-adjust MDU elastomer suspension
Accessories & Extras Slime sealant-filled tubes

I could get it for $330, any thoughts or suggestions? The $300-400 price range is what I'm shooting for.
 

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Unlabeled
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3,720 Posts
no shocks

The performance of hydbrids and comfort bikes declined when thay all had to have a front shock. My wife rode a 1995 Trek 720 without front shocks for about 8 years then she "upgraded" to Cannondale Comfort bike. She then constantly complained that it rode like her tires were underpressurized. I explained that everytime she pedalled the front fork absorbed her energy. I ended up building her a new bike using an older Cannondale Touring frame with no front shock. She loves it, rides about 3000 miles per year, and has dropped a lot of weight.

My advice is to look for a good used hybrid without front shocks.
 

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n00bsauce
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13,507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, a front shock is not necessary nor advisable in my book either. However, most bikes spec'ed in this price range have them. I'm thinking used too but it has to be a nice bike, otherwise she would feel second fiddle. However, she is familiar with me buying used bikes and being satisfied and she knows I wouldn't buy her anything that wouldn't work well. She also knows I'm a decent wrench and can build her a good bike.

She has an older Trek mountain style bike (rigid fork) that is in good shape. I might consider upgrading it to better suit her needs. But nothing like a shiny new bike to spur interest. Don't we all know that?
 

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gazing from the shadows
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27,288 Posts
Have you considered a bent? If both of you could ride it, that might be a good choice for someone with a back/neck problem... and if she does not keep with it you have a new toy!

I see forks and discs at 300 price point? That is some wasted spec, but it must be what sells. I agree, shock fork bad.

Why not wait and take her around to the shops and let her test ride? Then give her the option of new, used, or upgrade. If she picks, she will be happy.. or at least more likely to be happy.
 

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n00bsauce
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13,507 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Put it this way, I'VE considered a bent. In her polite way she says "I don't think I'm ready for one of those yet." I'd kinda like to surprise her but it would definitely be better if she saw what was available and chose her own course.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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11,980 Posts
My wife started riding just last year. Trek makes some cross bikes that have no shock. I bought her a 7500, (I think that's what it is. It's hanging in the garage, I'm in my PJ's, it's 14*F, & I'm not going out to look), that happened to have a nice component group. She's real happy with it. It came with 38mm tires, which I changed to 28's. That's the only change I've made to it.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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7,746 Posts
Ditto to the others remarks, skip the front shock. It adds weight and slows steering, and since she'll be riding on pavement it won't add to comfort. Also, can you find her something without such beefy tires?

She'll enjoy riding more if she doesn't have to grunt to turn the pedals, and some of the big tire MTB-type hybrids just make for extra work for the rider.

Based on what you describe, I think it is fine, probably even advisable, to keep looking at hybrids, but I'd look for no suspension, and run tires no wider than about 700X35.
 

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5,347 Posts
Don't pick a bike for her. Take her around to the good LBSs and have her test ride and pick what feels good to her. It might cost a bit more, but she's more likely to ride a bike that's what she wants and fits her.

When my wife wanted to start riding a couple years ago, I was convinced that a certain Specialized women's model would be the most appropriate given her size and riding goals. She test rode it, said it was "ok". The shop had one other bike in her size in the appropriate price range, a steel Bianchi. She thought it was too racy but the shop guy and I talked her into trying it anyhow, just for reference. She loved it. She tried some other bikes but nothing beat the Bianchi, so thats what she got.
 

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It should be fine...

Just take off the front shock and replace it with a Cyclocross Fork from Nashbar. they had a carbon cross for like $72 last week, but it's now $150

They DO have a Steel one for $49.95
https://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=86&subcategory=1182&brand=&sku=13283&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename=

If its come with a 1" treaded fork like me K2 Arcadia did, it has an adpater to get it to 1". Just get a cheap 1 1/8" HS and the fork will fit.
There you go! She will have a nice looking "latte/cafe" bike ;).

The bike will be perfect and allow here to enjoy riding with you.

You can also look at this one:
K2 Astral 4.0 Flatbar Road Bike $399

From Performance.

<table class="ptxt2" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody><tr><td valign="top">FRAME</td><td>Reflex Road, butted 6061 aluminum, with flat oval top tube and replaceable hanger</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">REAR SHOCK</td><td>N/A</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">FORK</td><td>Aluminum straight blades with chromoly steerer tube</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">FRONT DERAILLEUR</td><td>Shimano FD-R443, for flat bar road bikes</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">REAR DERAILLEUR</td><td>Shimano Sora</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">SHIFTERS</td><td>Shimano R-440-8 Rapidfire Plus, for flat bar road bikes</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">FREEWHEEL/CASSETTE</td><td>SRAM PG-850 cassette, 12-26T, eight speed</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">CRANKSET</td><td>Truvativ Isoflow, 28/38/48T</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">BOTTOM BRACKET</td><td>Sealed Cartridge</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">CHAIN</td><td>KMC IG31</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">WHEELSET</td><td>Jalco DRX 2000 double-wall rims, alloy double-sealed hubs and 32 stainless spokes / wheel</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">TIRES</td><td>Kenda Kwest, 700Cx28mm</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">BRAKES</td><td>Alloy linear pull</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">BRAKE LEVERS</td><td>Alloy MTB levers</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">HEADSET</td><td>1 1/8" threadless, Intellaset style</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">STEM</td><td>Alloy threadless</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">HANDLEBAR</td><td>Alloy flat bar, 580mm wide, with ergonomic alloy bar ends</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">GRIPS</td><td>Dual-density MTB design</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">SEATCLAMP</td><td>Aluminum with allen bolt</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">SEATPOST</td><td>Aluminum microadjust, 300mm</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">SADDLE</td><td>K2 Road Sport, with dual material cover</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">PEDALS</td><td>Road with steel rear cage, toe clips and straps</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">EXTRAS</td><td>CPSC reflectors and K2 owner's manual</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">AVAILABLE COLORS</td><td>Blue</td></tr><tr><td valign="top">SIZES</td><td>SM (49-51cm), fits 5'3" to 5'6", MD (52-54cm), fits 5'6" to 5'10", LG (55-57cm), fits 5'10" to 6'1" & XL (58-60cm), fits 6'1" to 6'4"</td></tr></tbody> </table>

Just swap it for a higher rise stem. I have a 27.2 Supsension post you can have for $5 + shipping that I took off from my K2 and was never used.

This way she has bascially has real road bike with a comfort touch!
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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ericm979 said:
Don't pick a bike for her. Take her around to the good LBSs and have her test ride and pick what feels good to her. It might cost a bit more, but she's more likely to ride a bike that's what she wants and fits her.

When my wife wanted to start riding a couple years ago, I was convinced that a certain Specialized women's model would be the most appropriate given her size and riding goals. She test rode it, said it was "ok". The shop had one other bike in her size in the appropriate price range, a steel Bianchi. She thought it was too racy but the shop guy and I talked her into trying it anyhow, just for reference. She loved it. She tried some other bikes but nothing beat the Bianchi, so thats what she got.
Actually, that's a terrific suggestion. That's exactly what I did. She asked me for advice, which I gave ONLY when she asked. She test rode several bikes, and selected the Trek. She asked me what I thought, but the decision was definitely hers. Good advice! :)
 

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ericm979 said:
Don't pick a bike for her. Take her around to the good LBSs and have her test ride and pick what feels good to her. It might cost a bit more, but she's more likely to ride a bike that's what she wants and fits her.

When my wife wanted to start riding a couple years ago, I was convinced that a certain Specialized women's model would be the most appropriate given her size and riding goals. She test rode it, said it was "ok". The shop had one other bike in her size in the appropriate price range, a steel Bianchi. She thought it was too racy but the shop guy and I talked her into trying it anyhow, just for reference. She loved it. She tried some other bikes but nothing beat the Bianchi, so thats what she got.
I agree, she'll ride one that she likes more than one you think that she'll like. And, at the risk of offending our female members, you might make sure she likes the color. Women, def. more than men I think, make it the most important part of a bike.
 

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No team-cest unless 8+!
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7,158 Posts
Mel Erickson said:
My wife has decided to start riding a bike for fitness this spring. She wants an upright riding position due to pain caused by arthritis and a bulging disc in her neck. She wants to work up to rides of 20-30 miles on the road and bike paths. Because she's attempted this in the past and not followed through I'm not real excited about spending a bundle of money. I'm thinking along the lines of a Giant Cypress LX with the following spec:

Frame ALUXX butted FluidForm aluminum
Fork SR SunTour
Rims/Wheels Aluminum
Hubs Aluminum, disc
Spokes Stainless-steel, 14G
Tires Cross Comfort Anti-Puncture, 700 x 40c, sealant-filled tubes
Crankset Giant
Chainwheel 48/38/28
Front Derailleur Shimano
Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
Rear Cogs Shimano, 8-speed: 11-30
Shifters Shimano EZ-Fire
Handlebars Aluminum 1.25-inch riser
Stem Aluminum adjustable
Brake Levers Shimano EZ-Fire
Brakes Hayes HMX-2 disc
Pedals Comfort platform
Saddle Variable-Density Comfort
Seat Post Aluminum micro-adjust MDU elastomer suspension
Accessories & Extras Slime sealant-filled tubes

I could get it for $330, any thoughts or suggestions? The $300-400 price range is what I'm shooting for.
20-30 seems kinda hefty for a comfort/hybrid. Is it just me?... actually maybe... it might be. it often is.

Are touring bikes too hunched over for her? I'm sure with a bit of customization it can be made to work. Also what kind of riding do you do? If you're a roadie and you want her to go with you, something similar (but not exactly), i imagine, would probably be ideal... like a touring bike. :D

oh. and i feel like this is probably the most important part... make sure she likes the color. looking dizzam fine is seriously underrated.
 

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If you have them in your area, look up Devinci bikes. They are made in B.C. (where I am), so I'm not sure if they're throughout the states. They make some really nice packages for bike path/ comfort style riding, with hybrid tires etc. right off the bat. My dad uses one pretty well everyday and he loves it. (he's over 60, with some joint problems). Check out their website at least!
 
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