Author Topic: Bike Recommendation  (Read 3495 times)


  • Stubble
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Bike Recommendation
« on: June 10, 2014, 02:22:09 PM »
In addition to repairing my old clunker thread, my wife is also due for a bike.  She previously had a 3 speed vintage bike(Raleigh I think) that was in pretty rough shape that we let go.  We purchased it at the same shop where I got mine for I think ~$100 back in the day.  They don't sell used anymore for concern of stolen bikes though.  I think her eye gets drawn more to the style of a bike, probably wouldn't be for commuting but for rides with the kids to the park, pulling a trailer, etc. Probably used weekly on the weekends during nice weather. 

We had gone to a local bike shop a year or so ago and she was interested in their "lifestyle" bikes
They have Bianchi and Biria bikes for ~$499 and up, and the Linus for ~$675.  If I remember right she was leaning towards the Linus, only because I think it was the more expensive one.  I pushed back some on the price before, but I think as long as we are getting a decent deal and project I am going to stop pinching pennies here. 

Any recommendation on these brands? Is there a better one to look at?  I like the idea of buying local and supporting the LBS and being sized for the bike but could be swayed to a good online deal.  I know Nashbar and Bikesdirect have some bikes that fit the look for less.

We do have a few other LBS's in town, this one just happened to be a newer one we checked out and I know the style that she liked there.  We may be able to get different brands locally at other shops if there is a standout I should be looking for.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 02:27:16 PM by Bourbon »


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Bike Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2014, 02:54:07 PM »
I'd decide based on whether you're comfortable doing a little assembly and adjustment on the bike. If you are, those Motobecanes are pretty solid. At the shop where I worked, the comparable bike was a $530 Giant Via: (no rack though! The next version up has an internal hub and an OK basket at ~$600.) I don't think brand matters much for these bikes - a lot of them get made in the same factories and just have different paint & decals. Size is also not super hard to figure out for these - they usually don't come in very precise sizes anyways.

You could always ask your LBS what they'd charge to check it over for you -- that way you could save a little by buying the online bike, take a crack at putting it together, and if it just doesn't work out, have them do it.

Supporting the LBS is definitely worth something, plus you usually get a better warranty and maybe a free first tuneup or something, but I think it's your call to decide what that's worth. Also checking out the other LBS's is probably worthwhile.

FWIW my fiancee has the internal hub Giant Via, and absolutely loves it. Style is important - she rides it much, much more than previous "ugly" bikes that worked just as well.

Good luck!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Bike Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2014, 06:43:06 PM »
Bianchi makes excellent commuters. You are correct not to pinch pennies here - find her a bike she LOVES and it will be worth every cent because she'll be motivated to actually ride it.

So I guess what I'm saying is, let her shop for the bike. You can help.


Sonorous Epithet

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Re: Bike Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2014, 06:54:54 PM »
Get her butt on the bikes and do a lot of test riding. Bike recommendations that go beyond "avoid department store bikes" are as useful as recommendations for pants. Everyone fits a bike differently, and has their own style.

I got my girlfriend a bike and we must have test ridden 10 models before she found something that she didn't have a complaint about, and it was well worth it, because her ass is practically welded to that thing now.

Little House

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Re: Bike Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2014, 10:41:47 AM »
I agree that she needs to try out a couple of different bikes. I purchased my bike over a year ago and was looking for a specific style (commuter version with a step-through frame). It took me 23 bike shops to find just the one I loved - rode well and matched what I was looking for. I ended up with a Felt Cafe 8. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but still within my budget (without any accessories they sell around the low to mid $500's) Good luck on bike shopping!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Bike Recommendation
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2014, 10:55:09 AM »
My only comment on this is with regard to Linus. They make nice looking bikes that are quite practical, except for one thing: coaster brakes. Some of their bikes (the most common ones) only have one rear coaster brake. Personally, I wouldn't be using that for anything but cruising on the boardwalk. No chance I'm heading out in traffic with one under-powered coaster brake that can't even lock up the rear wheel without significant effort AND only works on the rear wheel (which, when it comes to braking, only makes up ~30% of your stopping ability). Personally, I think they're a danger. So, anyway, be careful which model you're planning on picking up if you decide to go with a Linus!


  • Stubble
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Re: Bike Recommendation
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2014, 10:17:34 AM »
Rambling Update.

Made it to both shops this weekend.  At the first shop she was still 100% committed to having a step-through/dutch bike, but I think she was beginning to have some concerns over the upright stance.   They had a Civia City bike that she liked.  I think this one -

Got to the second shop just before close and she rode a Masi stepthrough and didn't like it(no handbarkes).  They didn't have too much else in the way of stepthroughs that she liked.  She hadn't liked the idea of a top tube, not used to having one, might bump it, skirts?, etc. But she decided to give one a shot and rode a Jamis Coda Sport(16" frame), she liked how it rode, felt like the positioning was more proper/how she is used to seeing me ride.  I believe it was their femme model as the top tube wasn't horizontal.

So now to decide if we are getting a good deal on the Coda and if it is a nice bike. Will possibly go back to the first shop and see what they have with a top tube that she might be interested in.  Shop 1 is in a trendier part of town but has a good selection, possible more high end road bikes.  They do also have a small selection of used bikes, even a $150 nishiki to match mine, but don't know that any will match her frame(She's 5'2").  Shop 2 is attached to a courier service downtown and is more urban, so has some more affordable bikes.  They no longer sell used due to prevalence of stolen bikes, though this is the shop where I bought my own steel Nishiki a decade ago.