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Ladies? New bike for wife.

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Ladies? New bike for wife.

Old 07-30-18, 05:05 PM
  #1  
Bang0Bang00
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Ladies? New bike for wife.

All are welcome to comment, however I'm particularly interested in women's comments that may have had similar experiences.

My wife has been riding a beach cruiser police auction special that weighs in the 30+ lbs range. Recently, she's expressed an interest in something new and lighter.

I'm curious what people may recommend.

I'd love to get her onto something like a hybrid or drop bar commuter, but I think she'd prefer sometime like the the Felt Cafe here:
http://m.feltbicycles.com/productcatalog/product/3/10173059

She has struggled with seat comfort, gearing, and fit in general. If I can convince her to do a fitting, that would be a win.

I would love any kind of gateway drug bicycles this community could suggest to bridge her from beautiful beach cruisers to something more rideable.
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Old 08-09-18, 08:51 AM
  #2  
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You must get her to a bicycle shop(s). Test some out. Road, hybrids or maybe a nice little bmx is her style.
most important though is to think about "well if she gets a new bike why shouldn't I..."
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Old 08-09-18, 09:08 AM
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It's hard without knowing what your wife is like, but I went from beach cruiser types to lower-end vintage road bike frames in my mid-20s and those were my gateway.

I think my first one was a vintage Schwinn (didn't pay attention to the model back then, but it was from the late 70s) that had bright blue accents. If you want to get her on something lighter, maybe color can be a good point of transition - maintaining some inherent femininity and fun that she might think she's losing with the cruiser shape.
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Old 08-14-18, 08:05 PM
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I know nothing about vintage frames/bikes, but I notice those topics get a lot of attention on this site. I'll have to do some reading.

I'm a little concerned about weight with vintage. But I totally see your point. She loves blue and she loves style.

I really don't see her trying a bunch of rides, but it might be worth exploring. Hopefully that would develop some buy in to the process. I just fear her getting burnt out. Maybe I'll narrow it down to 2-3 styles she likes and then set some dates to go visit specific shops with those styles.

I'm still hunting for suggestions or specific models people have liked after riding beach cruisers.
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Old 08-15-18, 02:42 PM
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Check out the Electra Townie(s). They were designed with comfort as the priority.
Lots of models to choose from:

https://www.electrabike.com/bikes
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Old 09-22-18, 06:52 PM
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Whatever brand you go with, if they have a women's specific design, it will fit her better than a men's bike. I have a LeMond road bike and my wife has the women's specific version (made for shorter torso, longer legs, narrower shoulders), and my wife very much enjoys her road bike, moreso than if it was a small men's. Two examples are Giant and Trek (sure others have bikes designed for a womans physique but these are just two examples). Giant has their Liv bikes: https://www.liv-cycling.com/us and Trek also has them: https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-bikes/c/B504/ .
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Old 10-20-18, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Bang0Bang00 View Post
I know nothing about vintage frames/bikes, but I notice those topics get a lot of attention on this site. I'll have to do some reading.

I'm a little concerned about weight with vintage. But I totally see your point. She loves blue...
Vintage quality isn't really heavier than modern unless you're into the carbon wonder-bike category (can be 10K+)
My 88 Bianchi was entry level, I've been riding it for 13years. Bianchi celeste mixte might be popular, add a brooks b68 for comfort.
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Old 11-08-18, 01:46 PM
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I found my wife a vintage Trek that worked well with swept back (i.e. cruiser) handlebars
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Old 11-13-18, 09:46 AM
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it just depends on the kind of riding she wants to do. I will 2nd what someone else said; if she likes the felt cafe, she should also look at the Townie Electras.

Also, this has nothing to do with your wife being a woman. I am a woman and ride a top of the line road bike with aggressive geometry... and it is not WSD. I have absolutely no need for a felt cafe or townie electra, because those bikes don't suit my riding style. But they suit the riding style of a large number of men and women alike (a lot more people ride that kind of bike than ride the kind of bikes I have).
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Old 11-16-18, 10:54 AM
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BMX? (2nd reply) seriously ? a Folding bike with 20" wheels , you can sit down and pedal .
Motos are sprints. seat is way too low..

and a folding bike, is functionally a step thru mount..
I ride mine a lot.. for the ease of getting on and off...





..
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Old 07-22-19, 04:13 AM
  #11  
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I prefer mens bikes more than womens
But not bmx. Not my style of riding
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Old 07-27-19, 05:52 PM
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The orginal poster, Bang0Bang00, brought up concerns about the WEIGHT of vintage bikes.
You will find that VINTAGE, lower level steel frame road bikes from PANASONIC, FUJI, RALEIGH(usa) and others from the 1978 thru 1986 era are LIGHTWEIGHT. Even those from '78 thru '84 that had steel wheels as standard equipment, the heaviest of those ONLY weigh 32 pounds MAXIMUM, and some like the 1979 Raleigh Grand Prix and 1979 Raleigh Record Ace weigh only 29 pounds Maximum and 30 pounds Maximum, respectively WITH THEIR STOCK CHROMED STEEL WHEELS (27 x 1 1/4 , 32-630 tires).
The reason that I am pointing this out is that these RALEIGH USA 1979 models that I specifically mention are Fantastic bicycles for changing from the Drop Bar(racing bars) to THE VELO-ORANGE alloy Tourist bars which look like a Schwinn northroads bars that came on such models as the Schwinn Collegiate/Suburban/Breeze/Speedster/ 1960'sVarsity Tourist, etc.
THE ELECTRA TOWNIE weighs in the neighborhood of 34.5 pounds, which is very close to the weight of vintage Women's Schwinn Collegiate five speed from 1974. The Electra Townie in my opinion DOES NOT have nearly as useful GEARING as those 1979 RALEIGH USA grand prix , and 1979 RALEIGH USA record ace, Ten Speed bikes have.
SIMPLY CHANGE FROM DROP BARS to TOURIST BARS and change the Seat to a Tourist Style Springer Saddle Seat, and you'll have a GREAT Bicycle that is so much better than the Electra Townie.
***Most Every lower line, steel road bike, made between 1979 and 1986, that features Stem Mounted Shifters (friction) and "Turkey" dual brake levers on Drop Bars, WILL BE AN EXCELLENT CANDIDATE FOR ADOPTING AN UPRIGHT TOURIST-STYLE RIDE because of the frame geometry of those bicycles in general and because of their relatively long wheelbases (and the shape/style of the front forks of bikes of that era...).
Now, I did choose these two 1979 RALEIGH USA bicycles for a reason.
They have WIDE RANGE (suntour) 34 to 14 teeth at the rear wheel, and you have a 52 teeth/42 teeth -Double-, up front that makes up the TEN SPEED configuration. Crank arms are 165mm length which are suitable for most anybody. The Derailleurs are the excellent maeda SUNTOUR components. Japanese reliability and not the junky French or Italian components that certain vintage afficionados seem to drool over even though the "C" stuff and "H" stuff from continental Europe is junk by comparison. There is a reason that by 1977 or so that everyone had mostly adopted Shimano or Suntour because they were better at any price than the classic European ones.
LOOK FOR LOWER LINE ROAD BIKES from FUJI, PANASONIC, RALEIGH USA, BRiDGESTONE/Kabuki, and the other many Japanese/Taiwan brands-makers during the EARLY 1980's era to about 1986 or so. Even Peugeot is good enough from the mid 1980's era when they became more "standard" and less unique as far as the components/accesories.
What You Want To LOOK FOR IS Road Bikes with STEM Shifters and "Turkey" Levers, preferrably with ALUMINUM 27" (27 x 1 1/4.....32-630mm) WHEELS. (***you're gonna convert the bike to Northroads bar and springSaddle upright seating so the STEM shifters are needed----The Turkey Levers and the drop bars will be REMOVED...........Turkey Levers were standard on this grade of road bike from about 1969(first was schwinn) through the mid 1980's***) The Aluminum wheels will provide better BRAKING power, especially in Wet conditions than a Chromed Steel Wheel. By 1984 or 1985, even the most low line, base model road bikes, typically began to come standard with aluminum wheels.
The steel frames remained traditional mostly in geometry such that they lend themselves to making excellent TOURIST-UPRIGHT bicycles by simply changing the HANDLEBARS and the SEAT. Focusing on the lower line Road Bikes, you'll find STEM SHIFTERS which are desireable for TOURIST use, and you'll find more traditional, longer wheelbase frames, with geometry that works great for tourist use. The serious, much more expensive Road Bikes in the line-up may have more responsive, shorter wheelbased frames that are perhaps superb for racing in the hands of an expert rider, but are not suited for tourist-novice use.
Now, I am not going to argue about how "UNCOOL" it might be to be riding some road-bike of 40 years ago with Northroads-Tourist bars and a Spring saddle seat, but I will argue that it does make for a better bicycle than the TOWNIE, in both overall cost and Durability.
You have a great many traditional frame size options and ladies frames and mixte frames too. Bicycles in the 28 pound to 32 pound total weight range, with a few from the 1985-1986 era in perhaps the 26.6 to 27.4 pound total weight range.
There are a few that you can already find as originally sold in the upright Tourist configuration......depends largely on the manufacturer and year offered.
SUNTOUR and SHIMANO derailleurs that are bulletproof and rugged enough to as the Timex watch ads once said....."to take a licking and keep on....flawlessly shifting. Yes, it is Friction shifting, but how hard is it to move a lever back and forth......... Ten Speed, or Twelve Speed is more than adequate for even the most serious of riders. Yes, it isn't fashionable perhaps to be seen on any bike older than a decade, much less something nearly four decades old, but these old bicycles have their merits and the build quality of their components are top-notch, even at the lowest catalog line at that time. You don't need a super-light road bike for recreational riding. The heavier lower line, steel-framed road bikes of that era are very fine substitutes for bikes like the Electra Townie, when the ancient road bike is set up with TOURIST HANDLEBARS(northroads) and a upright seating, Spring Saddle Seat.
See the VELO-ORANGE alloy tourist handlebars.........see also an old seventies era Schwinn Suburban's handlebars...
https://velo-orange.com/products/vo-...lebar-22-2-dia
https://www.thebikelane.com/product/...r-295097-1.htm

1979 Raleigh USA ...Grand Prix (29 pounds with STEEL Wheels) and Record Ace (30 pounds with STEEL wheels) specifications:
http://www.kurtkaminer.com/1979raleighcat_us_11_lg.jpg

'The Headbadge': 1979 Raleigh Catalog - USA

See the Raleigh Sprite 10 (Tourist) as a visual example perhaps of the TOURIST set up, although you'll have to check and see if the Sprite 10 tourist had the quality SUNTOUR wide range gears and SUNTOUR derailleurs (or perhaps Japanese quality from shimano...) instead of the European garbage derailleurs that Raleigh and others had been using prior to the late seventies.
I am simply saying that it is so incredibly simple to change a steel-roadbike that has typical 27 x 1 1/4 (32-630) tires and stem shifters, to a Tourist style bike with upright spring saddle seat and handlebars robbed from a Schwinn Breeze, Collegiate, Suburban...etc or a VELO ORANGE alloy tourist bar, or something from the WALD handlebar line, or most any ancient cruiser........assuming the bars fit the diameter of the stem's clamp. Heck, you can even find Peugeot tourist bars from a Peugeot bicycle from the era when Peugeot used unique sizing to make the unique sized era Peugeot with drop bars into a Tourist style bike. Peugeot made a large amount of mixte frames that had beautiful graphics and frame colors and were popular with the ladies in the seventies. There are certain unique "Issues" with such old Peugeot models that may make them undesireable to many folks..................issues with the stem possibly in a worse case....detaching..... They are pretty bicycles that are excellent if you do know exactly what you're dealing with but unless you wish to become "schooled" in the world of Peugeot, you may want to consider only mid eighties and later examples when they became "standardized" to most other brands in the industry.
Vintage electro-forged Schwinn lightweights (built in Chicago) are perhaps TOO HEAVY at between 37 to 40.5 pounds depending on whether Women's step through or regular Men's frame and whether it is a five speed configuration or 10 speed configuration. The front forks as seen on the SUBURBAN and the CONTINENTAL have a Tubular front fork which is significantly lighter than the Forged Blade Fork that is seen on the VARSITY/COLLEGIATE/Breeze/Speedster and other single speed bikes...
These Chicago Schwinns are durable and simple. The 1970 through 1977 FIVE SPEED Suburbans and the 1970 through 1977 five speed Collegiates are the BEST electroforged multi-speed bicycles that Schwinn ever produced. The Collegiate five speed of 1970-1977 is the most comfortable, rolls-royce like riding of any of them. It is the 37-597mm (26") tires and the Model J , shimano wide gearing and shimano built for schwinn derailleur. The 27" , 32-630 mm Suburban five speed has a good ride and the exact same Model J, shimano stuff. The ten speeds have the french stuff (model F) like the Varsity/Continental which don't equal Shimano quality.
SCHWINN did import PANASONIC made bicycles that would meet your WEIGHT criteria but the acquisition cost of a Schwinn World Voyageur or a Schwinn Voyageur II from the 1972 - 1976 era might be expensive. The 1974 Schwinn LeTour, also from Panasonic was heavier at around 32 to 33 pounds with its stock steel wheels and all. The LeTour of the mid seventies and later variants can be found often for next to nothing. Schwinn had other later Panasonic and Giant built bicycles that are lighter and can be found often for next to nothing.........($40 to $80 in rideable condition). As with other brands, the closer that you get to 1985, the greater likelyhood that you have aluminum wheels standard and still have stem shifters and turkey levers on drop bars and the ten or 12 speed configuration, still with 27" wheels (32-630mm). Weight range(total weight) should typically be in the 28 to 30 pound range for these IMPORTED Schwinn badged products of circa 1984. You'll likely find that say the 1977 Schwinn Superior weighs less than that but that wasn't an economy/base line import.
Investigate and you'll find plenty of Japanese and Asian made ten and twelve speeds of the late seventies into the mid 1980's that have superb SUNTOUR derailleurs, or excellent Shimano derailleurs. It is easy enough to change such a model that may have DOWNTUBE shifters to a STEM based shifter.
Roadies, not the folks who work for McCartney or The Rolling Stones, but the colorful spandex wearing Tri competing people, will find such a modification, a cardinal sin for which you could be excommunicated from the Roadie religion. Stem shifter will work better for Tourist configuration.......vintage road bike with spring saddle seat and Velo-Orange alloy Tourist bars, or something northroads from an old bike.
Some people will argue that you don't have too many Tire choices in the (32-630mm) 27 x 1 1/4 wheel size. That is baloney! Yeah, your local bike shop is not gonna stock 27" tires because their survival is based on selling their inventory of brand new bicycles. Not carrying the 27" tires does indeed help persuade the old bike hold-outs to perhaps consider purchasing a new bike, or perhaps a newer used bicycle, or to possibly "Upgrade"....
There are plenty of adequate 27" tire choices for tourist riding and even a few that you could ride in a triathlon, assuming that you were riding a vintage bike.
There is nothing wrong with the tire quality or tire selection in the 27 x 1 1/4 (32-630mm) size today. You're not likely to find a decent example at Wal-Mart or Target store, but from many major online bicycle parts sellers/online bike shops/amazon & the bay, you'll find more than a half dozen quality tires that are available brand new today at a very reasonable cost. Sure, some may fudge a bit on the true width (varies by brand, etc) but if you google reviews and specs before buying, you should know what to expect.
I am not saying that an OLD VINTAGE steel ROADBIKE converted to TOURIST Configuration and upright seating is for everyone to do.
This just offers someone an alternative. Yes, old is old and depending on condition and care that was given to said ancient bicycle under it's prior ownership can and will likely have significant impact on your satisfaction of said ancient bicycle. Those that desire a perfectly tuned, everything perfect at first sight, bicycle, should look no further than a brand new bicycle from a bike shop that really places the customer first and provides service after the sale. That is always why bike shop new is far superior to USED and/or VINTAGE OLD, and INTERNET/Dept Store NEW for those people that do not have the skills/knowledge/ time/patience to research and learn.
Someone may already have a decent steel roadbike candidate in their garage or basement or that of a family member or next door neighbor. Sure, the bike shops want to sell you new bikes just like the GM and FORD dealers want to sell you new SUV's and pickup trucks. $65,000 for a loaded FORD F150 pickup truck but you can find an old F150 for $16,500 that will haul grass sod, dirt, rocks, and also your garbage to the dump. That $16,500 old F150 will likely look decent enough in your driveway. Expect it to break-down as often as all FORD/GM/Fiat Chrysler products do, but you'll be able to manage that problem as there are O'Reilleys, NAPA, Advance, Auto Zone, Car quest, on every major road street corner. Bicycles are better built than cars and trucks made in Detroit. As with cars, you probably can spend a fortune and get certain fragile machinery that does not last, but as with cars and other products, you do have "reports" out there that detail what is a good buy and what simply is a goodbye. Maybe no Consumer reports for bicycles but web forums such as these and google and youtube, etc and you can perhaps know enough to determine the better choices. Remember that choices will differ based on each person's intended use for said bicycle. Much depends on the person's physical capabilities/limitations/overall health and size and weight. Benjamin at 36 years old and 415 pounds may need something vastly different than Thomas at 36 years old and 174 pounds, or Jerome at 66 years old and 174 pounds.
You also would want to look at whether it is even adviseable to consider something old/used as a bicycle based on who the person using it will be.
You are better off, no matter the total cost of the new bicycle IF IT ULTIMATELY IS SAFER AND BETTER SUITED to the person riding it, and that person has no prior knowledge of anything related to maintenance/repair/tuning/adjustment of bicycles.
Such a person will likely enjoy bicycling. It matters that they have safe/totally reliable/& properly adjusted and a properly fitted bicycle so that they will be safe and secure while riding.
What matters is that you have fun and enjoy your ride, and return safely to have fun doing it again!
GET WHAT YOU WANT, BECAUSE HECK, A NEW BIKE ISN'T THAT COSTLY, WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE GOOD TIMES AND ENJOYMENT THAT IT WILL BRING YOU, assuming you do get out and ride. Don't forget your HELMET. "Don't Leave Home Without It."
Look at your bike as something that will be fun. You don't need to ride five miles or any set distance. Enjoy it and have fun.
Go as slow as you want. You're the pilot. Do obey traffic rules and perhaps learn from others what roads to avoid and/or avoid at certain times. Consider riding with a more experienced buddy/buddies on any ride on streets/roads that you are not familiar with. Always carry a fully charged phone with you and a water bottle.
Find a helmet that you find comfortable and find a seat that you like too. Have fun!
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Old 07-27-19, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
That is always why bike shop new is far superior to USED and/or VINTAGE OLD, and INTERNET/Dept Store NEW for those people that do not have the skills/knowledge/ time/patience to research and learn.
I disagree. Bike shops do not always put the customer first. There is plenty to be said for sites like this one where people can learn about different types of bikes, and fit, and so on. I think that people should and often do make time to learn about what interests them. And many people especially starting out have a budget, they don't necessarily want to spend $5,000 on something that may or may not work out as a source of joy to them.
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Old 07-28-19, 02:17 AM
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Lucille, you are correct. Perhaps, I was not clear but I did mean to say that "for those people that do not have the skills/knowledge/time/patience to research and learn"........meaning the desire or interest in learning.......
I do agree that there are many that do wish to know where and how one can obtain a suitable, inexpensive or reasonably priced bicycle.
A bicycle does not have to be complex, although it can be. There are plenty of inexpensive new bicycles that are more than adequate if assembled and adjusted properly.
A good friend and riding buddy of mine won the Clemson Triathlon in her age division today on Saturday July 27th, 2019, riding a GMC Denali 700C 21 speed road bike from Wal-Mart that she bought new in about 2015 for $179. She won, not just placing while riding a 29 pound Wal-Mart bike with the exact original equipment except for an improved seat. The 700C tires are newer than 2015 and the brake pads too but that is just because she wore out the original tires.

Yes, bike shops can be like car dealerships, but there are some that do care.
I ride ancient electro-forged Vintage Schwinns. My city has three major bike shops that all do a huge amount of business. Two go back to the 1970's and the youngest one originated in 1991. Only one had snooty/elite attitude of oh, we don't work on that, take it elsewhere and that was the staff of store. The store's namesake, founder-owner and former rock band drummer died in the past two years. He was as nice a person as they come and was helpful and willing to assist on any common equipment but his staff were not at all like him as they didn't like to even change a tube on common machinery, or heaven forbid, a Schwinn......Did you ever see that episode of COLUMBO where Detective Columbo drives his battered old gray Peugeot up to the showroom of the Beverly Hills Rolls-Royce Dealership and they come out and demand that he move that awful monstrosity off the property........yes, that bike shop is very much like that.
The other two bike shops have better attitudes toward common machinery even though they are located in more affluent areas, and one has a large building that is super-nice on the inside, like a luxury car dealership. I do know the owners of both of those. They are just as helpful with replacing a tube on a Murray or selling replacement brake pads for an ancient seventies Columbia/Huffy/Ross, or the #64 crank bearings for an ancient Schwinn, or installing a new chain for $16 total on something old that somebody just wants to get back on the road and ride. These guys all sell $10,000 bikes too. This area has a huge medical community and a segment of very very wealthy retirees. There are also thousands of folks that just want to ride whatever. Walmart, Target and the internet sell a ton of bicycles too.
The bike shops that do it right, treat everyone with respect whether they are replacing a tube or adjusting a shimano derailleur on a walmart bicycle or installing tires on a 1972 Varsity. That customer that they treat well may become more affluent at some point in the future, such that they might like to splurge on a fancier bicycle.
Read fifteen or twenty reviews written by actual customers and those who shopped there to get a feeling about how they are.
If you find that you are treated like you are first by any establishment, then my opinion is that those establishment(s) do not deserve to earn your hard earned money.
You can always find some other dealer or shop or bicycle source or supplier that wishes to earn your business.
You need not spend very much to obtain a decent bicycle. Those decent new bicycles need not be sourced from bicycle shops.
In some respects bicycles haven't changed too much in 75 years, and in some respects bicycles have indeed changed a whole heck of a lot in the past thirty years.
It depends upon what type of bicycle that you might be shopping for. Certain WALMART/Target bicycles are no worse than bicycles that bike shops carry for more than three times the cost. If you can determine that they are not lacking in quality control, or defective and the bike has been assembled properly and adjusted, even something modest from Walmart/Target will be an adequate basic bicycle that should provide years of enjoyment if you make certain that the crank bearings have adequate grease...headset bearings too...and wheel bearings. If you wish to learn more about how basic bicycles go together and function, and everything you'd wish to know related to road bicycles up through the 1970's and any other types of bicycles prior to the eighties, you should go on to ebay and find a $4 copy of the (c) 1973 book called "GLENN'S COMPLETE BICYCLE MANUAL by Clarence W. Coles and Harold T. Glenn........it is 338 pages softbound 8.5" x 11" and there were probably a half million copies sold over ten printings during the seventies............................those huge used book sellers on the bay often have ex-library book copies for $4 with free shipping. It is worth obtaining a copy, I'm certain you can find copies all day long for less than $7 with free shipping if you really search the bay. It is the best ever book written on Maintenance, Repair, and Selection as it relates to 1970's era bicycles......it was written in 1973.
It is very much like an automobile shop manual/repair manual. It still remains to this day, as the best book ever done on bicycle repair. If you want to know about bicycles and you want to do it yourself, you must own the GLENN'S COMPLETE BICYCLE MANUAL as there is no substitute.
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Old 07-28-19, 02:25 AM
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Lucille, you are correct. Perhaps, I was not clear but I did mean to say that "for those people that do not have the skills/knowledge/time/patience to research and learn"........meaning the desire or interest in learning.......
I do agree that there are many that do wish to know where and how one can obtain a suitable, inexpensive or reasonably priced bicycle.
A bicycle does not have to be complex, although it can be. There are plenty of inexpensive new bicycles that are more than adequate if assembled and adjusted properly.
A good friend and riding buddy of mine won the Clemson Triathlon in her age division today on Saturday July 27th, 2019, riding a GMC Denali 700C 21 speed road bike from Wal-Mart that she bought new in about 2015 for $179. She won, not just placing while riding a 29 pound Wal-Mart bike with the exact original equipment except for an improved seat. The 700C tires are newer than 2015 and the brake pads too but that is just because she wore out the original tires.

Yes, bike shops can be like car dealerships, but there are some that do care.
I ride ancient electro-forged Vintage Schwinns. My city has three major bike shops that all do a huge amount of business. Two go back to the 1970's and the youngest one originated in 1991. Only one had snooty/elite attitude of oh, we don't work on that, take it elsewhere and that was the staff of store. The store's namesake, founder-owner and former rock band drummer died in the past two years. He was as nice a person as they come and was helpful and willing to assist on any common equipment but his staff were not at all like him as they didn't like to even change a tube on common machinery, or heaven forbid, a Schwinn......Did you ever see that episode of COLUMBO where Detective Columbo drives his battered old gray Peugeot up to the showroom of the Beverly Hills Rolls-Royce Dealership and they come out and demand that he move that awful monstrosity off the property........yes, that bike shop is very much like that.
The other two bike shops have better attitudes toward common machinery even though they are located in more affluent areas, and one has a large building that is super-nice on the inside, like a luxury car dealership. I do know the owners of both of those. They are just as helpful with replacing a tube on a Murray or selling replacement brake pads for an ancient seventies Columbia/Huffy/Ross, or the #64 crank bearings for an ancient Schwinn, or installing a new chain for $16 total on something old that somebody just wants to get back on the road and ride. These guys all sell $10,000 bikes too. This area has a huge medical community and a segment of very very wealthy retirees. There are also thousands of folks that just want to ride whatever. Walmart, Target and the internet sell a ton of bicycles too.
The bike shops that do it right, treat everyone with respect whether they are replacing a tube or adjusting a shimano derailleur on a walmart bicycle or installing tires on a 1972 Varsity. That customer that they treat well may become more affluent at some point in the future, such that they might like to splurge on a fancier bicycle.
Read fifteen or twenty reviews written by actual customers and those who shopped there to get a feeling about how they are.
If you find that you are not treated like you are first by any establishment, then my opinion is that those establishment(s) do not deserve to earn your hard earned money.
You can always find some other dealer or shop or bicycle source or supplier that wishes to earn your business.
You need not spend very much to obtain a decent bicycle. Those decent new bicycles need not be sourced from bicycle shops.
In some respects bicycles haven't changed too much in 75 years, and in some respects bicycles have indeed changed a whole heck of a lot in the past thirty years.
It depends upon what type of bicycle that you might be shopping for. Certain WALMART/Target bicycles are no worse than bicycles that bike shops carry for more than three times the cost. If you can determine that they are not lacking in quality control, or defective and the bike has been assembled properly and adjusted, even something modest from Walmart/Target will be an adequate basic bicycle that should provide years of enjoyment if you make certain that the crank bearings have adequate grease...headset bearings too...and wheel bearings. If you wish to learn more about how basic bicycles go together and function, and everything you'd wish to know related to road bicycles up through the 1970's and any other types of bicycles prior to the eighties, you should go on to ebay and find a $4 copy of the (c) 1973 book called "GLENN'S COMPLETE BICYCLE MANUAL by Clarence W. Coles and Harold T. Glenn........it is 338 pages softbound 8.5" x 11" and there were probably a half million copies sold over ten printings during the seventies............................those huge used book sellers on the bay often have ex-library book copies for $4 with free shipping. It is worth obtaining a copy, I'm certain you can find copies all day long for less than $7 with free shipping if you really search the bay. It is the best ever book written on Maintenance, Repair, and Selection as it relates to 1970's era bicycles......it was written in 1973.
It is very much like an automobile shop manual/repair manual. It still remains to this day, as the best book ever done on bicycle repair. If you want to know about bicycles and you want to do it yourself, you must own the GLENN'S COMPLETE BICYCLE MANUAL as there is no substitute.
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Old 08-27-19, 06:57 AM
  #16  
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I just went through this as we move to make family rides a regular activity in our house.

Here's the back story before the details on the final purchase:
My wife is petite (5'2") and has never really enjoyed riding bikes for multiple reasons - primarily comfort. Her first adult bike was a Huffy 10 speed in the 80's which she really never enjoyed. In the late 90's she upgraded to a 21 speed Huffy hybrid with larger tires in hopes the larger tires and more comfortable seat would make a more enjoyable riding experience. Even after a seat upgrade, that was not the case and the bike remained pretty much unused until earlier this summer. While purchasing a Trek Precaliber 16" for our 4 year old daughter, my wife sat on a few different bikes at the LBS. I thought the FX series would be a good choice but she found the Verve to be a pleasant surprise... so before made a hasty purchase I did some more research and she did a bit more riding.

Observation and further research:
Three points that quickly became clear from the LBS:
- Frame size matters (small frame gives a much better fit)
- Riding position (she likes relaxed, upright position)
- Components matter (the better components shift easier, smoother and more securely)

Armed with these facts, I looked at the bikes from the major brands sold at the numerous LBS in our area. Those brands included Cannondale, Specialized, and Trek (happens to be the shop closest to home). Once I narrowed down the field to bikes to consider, we headed to the LBS and did a bit more fitting and eventually more riding.

Fitting and riding:
After visiting several shops and trying out multiple bikes that I thought would be solid choices, we ended up back at the Trek shop with the Verve in her sights. After trying XS and S sizes, it was clear the S was a better fit and she spent some time on the Verve and tried out the FX again - and the Verve was the choice once again. She finally settled on a small frame 2019 Verve 3. (FWIW - the small 2019 Verve 2 that I expected to purchase sold over weekend. The price difference was $80)

Final thoughts:
Do your research and trust the potential rider's initial reaction to each bike they try. I watched the reaction on the faces of my daughter and wife when riding better bikes and know that fit and feel matter more than often acknowledged.

Epilogue:
We did our first family ride this weekend and it was great. I did a little more saddle adjustment on my wife's bike before the ride and her comfort improved. Overall she is very happy with the purchase and I am happy to have her on a better bike. I get budget and fiscal responsibility but look at this as a long term purchase that will pay for itself over time. Good luck with your search.
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Old 08-28-19, 02:58 PM
  #17  
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My wife and I have been looking for a new bike for her and she fell in love with the Specialized Roll. Seems like a nice set up for 540 dollars.
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Old 08-28-19, 03:37 PM
  #18  
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The models my wife considered were:

Trek Verve 2 & 3
Cannondale Treadwell 2 & 3 with a focus on the 2 Remixte
Specialized Roll
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Old 09-15-19, 03:07 PM
  #19  
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we bought a Schwinn Sanctuary for my wife this summer and she likes it a lot. It is not overly light but it just depends on how fast and how far you want to go. We're just riding around the neighborhood.

There are better bikes out there I'm sure. But this one we got for 80 dollars at a rummage sale and it was only 2 years old and in very good shape. I just needed to adjust the brakes a little and give it a good cleaning. Pump the tires up. She was looking at getting the Huffy Cranbrook from Walmart cuz of the price, but I think this is the better bike. I doubt that one would've been a big problem though, despite it being a super cheap bike. Although who knows.... they do feel kind of cheap. But for short, neighborhood rides it probably would've done just fine.

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Old 09-25-19, 06:09 PM
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Whatever you choose, don't ever buy a bike that comes in "one size fits all". It is almost a positive guarantee the bike will not fit really well unless you just happen to be lucky to be the "average" size it was built for.
It looks like the $680 Electra Townie 7D viewed at REI fits that description. For that amount of money you should be able to go to a bike shop and get one that has multiple frame sizes.
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Old 10-08-19, 03:12 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Trav1s View Post
The models my wife considered were:

Trek Verve 2 & 3
Cannondale Treadwell 2 & 3 with a focus on the 2 Remixte
Specialized Roll
Hi Trav1s, we’re not lucky enough to get the Verve down here in Aus so am looking at Roll - what made your wife choose it over the Roll?
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Old 10-08-19, 06:13 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by gazz View Post
Hi Trav1s, we’re not lucky enough to get the Verve down here in Aus so am looking at Roll - what made your wife choose it over the Roll?
Gazz,

The Verve just felt right to her. She knows what works but cannot articulate what is different between the two. I wish I could offer more details but sadly I cannot.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:08 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Trav1s View Post
Gazz,

The Verve just felt right to her. She knows what works but cannot articulate what is different between the two. I wish I could offer more details but sadly I cannot.
It looks like the Verve could be more lighter & nimble while maintaining its upright geometry? Really wished we got the Verve in my country as I would consider one for myself as well.
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