Bea wrote:Trevor, it's funny that there are few women specific touring bikes since I believe that an interesting proportion of female cyclist are up for touring. Dawes has one with a butterfly handlebar which is not very appealing. I will probably need to change the saddle but I'll see. I read your blog and you went for a Ridgeback while your wife went for the Dawes, any reasons?
I'll keep you posted about the bike I get. I've made my mind it will be either a Ridgeback Voyage or a Dawes Horizon/Galaxy. It will depend honestly on what the LBS can source me as they don't sell any of them but they told me they could get it for me. However, I have to wait a couple of weeks until the C2W opens.
It came down to cost and availability. I bought mine through the CTW scheme and it just so happened that my LBS had a Ridgeback Panorama in my size in stock and they also do the CTW scheme, so I went for it. I'd also been looking at the Dawes Super Galaxy, but I couldn't find one as cheap as the Ridgeback.
My wife was limited to £500, as her employer doesn't do CTW, but they do give an interest free loan of up to £500. We went to Spa Cycles in Harrogate and she tried out an Horizon and a Kara-Kum, but she preferred the Horizon and they put a shorter stem and a ladies saddle on it for her (2008 Horizon was £460 at Spa, but they've sold out of the 2008 ones now). Great sevice from Spa, as they let you test ride the bikes and will make changes for you, but probably a bit too far for you to travel.