Commuter bike for a woman
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.
— 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.
— 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kona MinUte 2014 looks very attractive but it’s around $1,000.
Raleigh has attractive bikes — http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes-road-city-path-detour — don’t know the price (Thick Bikes is an official dealer).
You could always go the (puts paper bag over head) bikesdirect route… http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/cafe_latte_x_disc.htm
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.
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?
I must admit I haven’t tried that. lol.
Also that Kona Coco is sooo purty. I have a fondness for Kona.
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.
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.
Pretty sure there are shops around here that carry these.
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.
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.
Adeline Adeline = lust, lust. I need to go to NY and hang out.
Golden Triangle is selling their rentals… a few step-throughs too… just add a rack!
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.
just ordered one of these for my mom to replace her comfort bike now that she’s really stepping up the mileage.
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.
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