Author Topic: Ladies bike recommendations please  (Read 784 times)

Swat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Ladies bike recommendations please
« on: July 08, 2018, 08:37:32 AM »
Im in the market for a new ladies bike but have never purchased one before. I was curious if anyone had recommendations. A little background info
-Im 6 feet tall and weigh about 170. Athletic build.
-Id like to use the bike for leisure and maybe some road biking. Nothing competitive. Im guessing a hybrid is the way to go but not sure.
-I have no brand loyalty. Just want something that is solid, reliable, somewhat stylish, and minimal/moderate maintenance.
-I dont want a super cheap bike nor do I need something crazy expensive. Was thinking in the 200-600 range.
-Id like something with a comfy seat, although Im guessing that can be added to any bike.
-Live in the mid Atlantic so would bike in 3 seasons (hopefully).

In terms of recs, I would be interested in bike type, company, material (aluminum vs steel), etc

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9755
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Ladies bike recommendations please
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2018, 09:27:36 AM »
You might have trouble finding a ladies frame at your height -- frame choice is limited at the higher and lower ends of the spectrum (I'm at the lower end at 5'3").

I would go to several bike shops and test ride their different models.  They all have slightly different geometries, but once you try a few you figure out what combinations work best for you.  An experienced salesperson will also give good advice.  We had best results from smaller neighborhood shops -- big chains like Performance Bike are horrible (we were just starting out and knew more about the bikes than the sales people).

If you have an REI near you, be aware that they offer a one year, full refund policy.  We ended up buying our touring bikes from them because one year is a LOOOOONG test ride.  Small shops only offered two weeks, return for credit against another bike only (can pose problems if the one you bought was the only one that worked for you originally -- nothing to swap out with!), and often charged a restocking fee. 

So far we are really happy with our REI Co-op Adv 1.1 models, but they are quite a bit more than what you are looking at.

Once you get a sense for what models/sizes work for you, you can always troll craigslist to see if you can find a good used deal.  Advantage of CL is that if you decide the bike doesn't work for you for whatever reason, as long as you didn't overpay you can usually sell it again for close to what you paid for it.

Alf91

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 140
Re: Ladies bike recommendations please
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2018, 09:50:19 AM »
I second going to a reputable bike shop and testing out different models. I had a Kona bike and loved it!

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6767
Re: Ladies bike recommendations please
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2018, 10:19:13 AM »
I have a Schwinn hybrid.  It's old and I like it.

My 12 year old just got a bike for his birthday.  Went to a bike shop to test drive.  We ended up with a hybrid around $350-400.  The women's bikes were around $600 (he test rode both types of bikes.  He's short, they are about the same size.)

Don't remember the brand.

Tass

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1598
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Southern California
  • Working on a PhD...
Re: Ladies bike recommendations please
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2018, 12:11:04 PM »
I got this Trek hybrid used for $200: http://archive.trekbikes.com/us/en/2016/Trek/7_0_fx#/us/en/2016/Trek/7_0_fx/details

I'm a 5'10" woman and my (unisex) frame is a bit smaller than ideal for me, but I've compensated with seat height. I just scrolled craigslist every few days until I found one that looked promising.

It can be useful to go into a bike shop and get tips on how everything should fit, and what you want to look for or avoid. For example, if you're only going to be riding on roads, you don't need a suspension, which will just add extra weight. It looks like a heavy fork over the front wheel; a bike seller can show it to you. Trigger gears are easier to use than twist gears. Disc brakes are better than rim breaks but more expensive and not often found on cheaper bikes; I don't have them and it's no problem.

Unless there's something you specifically want about a "ladies'" frame - sometimes they have a lower top bar that's easier to step over - I wouldn't worry about whether it's a women's bike or not.

tralfamadorian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1213
Re: Ladies bike recommendations please
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2018, 03:14:36 PM »
Unless there's something you specifically want about a "ladies'" frame - sometimes they have a lower top bar that's easier to step over - I wouldn't worry about whether it's a women's bike or not.

One note about this bit. Women typically have longer legs and shorter torsos than men of the same height. Many women's bikes take that into account with the geometry of the frame. So, a men's bike might be fine for the OP...or not.

Tass

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1598
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Southern California
  • Working on a PhD...
Re: Ladies bike recommendations please
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2018, 03:35:41 PM »
Unless there's something you specifically want about a "ladies'" frame - sometimes they have a lower top bar that's easier to step over - I wouldn't worry about whether it's a women's bike or not.

One note about this bit. Women typically have longer legs and shorter torsos than men of the same height. Many women's bikes take that into account with the geometry of the frame. So, a men's bike might be fine for the OP...or not.

I thought they mostly made smaller sizes though? That's why I didn't bother looking into them, and OP has 2 inches on me.

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2126
  • Location: Florida
Re: Ladies bike recommendations please
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2018, 02:08:28 PM »
I'd suggest a bike shop and a few test drives. I'm short, so not all bikes are comfortable for me to ride. I have short legs and I could never ride a full man's bike it's all wrong for me.
My criteria had to do with brakes, lightweight/foldable so I can put it in the trunk, comfortable handlebars, alu - since I live in Florida, a good rear bike rack and an unexpected benny - a pump that is hidden inside the bike.
One day while on vacation in Miami Beach - there it was, my perfect bike. Suitcases had to ride in the back seat so my bike could live in the trunk. It was on sale for half price too.