Commuter bike for a woman

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Ahlir
Participant
#

Someone who I know well has drifted into bike commuting. But her current bike is what’s usually described as a “crappy mountain bike”.

I’d like to recommend a better bike and would appreciate some guidance on brands and shops.

Her criteria:
— step-through or something that can handle a knee-length skirt.
— agile enough to do SSide->Oakland->SqHill->RegentSquare (and back) trips. This itinerary is a composite but includes the expected climbs. Note that this is someone who, on her current bike, can handle Butler->Stanton->Negley.

My elaborations:
— lights + fenders + rack + pannier(s).
— slick tires, preferably 35mm (this is Pittsburgh, after all) but maybe 28mm’s.
— Probably a Cro-Mo frame, though a relaxed Al frame could work.
— clips

I google/binged around but nothing struck me as a obvious choice. I did see some bikes with pink frames and such: No. Also artisanal bikes, with prices to match.

Something with a max ~$500 base price would be great.

Thanks!


Drewbacca
Participant
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A little over budget at $700 but I think the Kona Coco would be a good choice. http://konaworld.com/coco.cfm I think the local Trek stores are all Kona dealers.


Drewbacca
Participant
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There’s also the Raleigh Clubman mixte version… looks like they discontinued it for 2014 but maybe you can find the current version if you call a distributer.


Ahlir
Participant
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One more detail:
She has a triple but tells me she sticks to the two smaller rings.
I’ll have to check it out but I expect this might mean being able to get down to a ~25in gear.


Mikhail
Member
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Mikhail
Member
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Kona MinUte 2014 looks very attractive but it’s around $1,000.
http://www.bicycling.com/node/59321

Raleigh has attractive bikes — http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes-road-city-path-detour — don’t know the price (Thick Bikes is an official dealer).


Drewbacca
Participant
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You could always go the (puts paper bag over head) bikesdirect route… http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/cafe_latte_x_disc.htm


edmonds59
Participant
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My favorite bike is a crappy mountain bike with a few key upgrades to make it a good commuter. It is not very attractive to thieves, and I ride it more because it is completely unperturbed by crappy roads, weather, and I don’t worry a whit when I lock it up. I think I have about $150 into it. Let me know if you want details.


Drewbacca
Participant
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edmonds59 wrote:My favorite bike is a crappy mountain bike with a few key upgrades to make it a good commuter. It is not very attractive to thieves, and I ride it more because it is completely unperturbed by crappy roads, weather, and I don’t worry a whit when I lock it up. I think I have about $150 into it. Let me know if you want details.

How does it feel when you wear a knee length skirt?


edmonds59
Participant
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I must admit I haven’t tried that. lol.
Also that Kona Coco is sooo purty. I have a fondness for Kona.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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This is why we need another Bridesmaid Dress Ride. If nothing else, it gives the long-dress-wearing folks among us to share their experience base in preparing for riding everywhere in dresses and skirts.

Last October’s Halloween Flock Ride, I wore the same full-length dress I wore on the 2010 Bridesmaid Dress ride (it is such a dress), using the blue step-thru frame. Dress and bike got along fine.

Separately, I put close to 2,000 miles on the blue bike in the last couple of years. It’s a plain, low-end, old 12-speed. Roads, trails, hills, no matter. Simple, routine maintenance, plus fenders and lights. Beyond that, any changes you might want are personal preference, like drivetrain, saddle, pedals.


WillB
Participant
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Here’s a KHS that’s $500, and comes in a step through frame.

The Torker Graduate mixte is a little more ($630), but might do the trick too.
http://www.torkerusa.com/bikes/commute/2012-graduate

Pretty sure there are shops around here that carry these.


Benzo
Participant
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Torker interurban (drop bars) and Torker Graduate (riser bars) can be had for a bit over $600. They both have a nice mixte style version. Both have mounts for racks and fenders and have decent components. My lady got the interurban from thick bikes and reallly digs it.


jonawebb
Participant
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She should definitely consider Terry. And if she travels to NYC she might check out Adeline Adeline.


RustyRed
Member
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jonawebb wrote: And if she travels to NYC she might check out Adeline Adeline.

I’d give a digit or two for a Pashely or an Omafiet.


Mick
Participant
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@ Ahlir
I think she should take a couple of folks she knows with different perspectives on biking (like, say, just for example, you and me) to the bike shop and pick out a bike.


edmonds59
Participant
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Adeline Adeline = lust, lust. I need to go to NY and hang out.


RustyRed
Member
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Golden Triangle is selling their rentals… a few step-throughs too… just add a rack!

http://www.bikepittsburgh.com/used-bike-sales


Pseudacris
Participant
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I do those routes on a bike that fits those specs: The mxte version of the khs urban xpress. Usually stocked at Iron City. I love it for commuting. My only beef has been the locaton of the water bottle mount. takes a rack, fenders, variety of tire widths. Great bike for the price.

Mine is silver.
http://www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_xpress_l_12.htm


cburch
Participant
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just ordered one of these for my mom to replace her comfort bike now that she’s really stepping up the mileage.

http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/absolute-15-stagger


beccameadow
Keymaster
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I’m way late to this thread but what did you end up suggesting? Just my 2 cents but I ride in skirts frequently and do not have a step through frame. I have a rebuilt Trek cross bike that has a slightly slanted top tube. As long as the top tube isn’t completely parallel it’s usually not hard for skirt riding.


cburch
Participant
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for my mom its more an issue of getting on and off the bike than skirt riding. she’s only 5′ tall and not as limber as she was 30-40 years ago.

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