What tourer for my wife?

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Eeyore
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Joined: 29 Mar 2012, 8:48pm

What tourer for my wife?

Postby Eeyore » 7 Feb 2015, 5:07pm

My wife is in her 60s and needs a new bike after an unsuccessful flirtation with a Danish sit-up-and-beg. She has good general fitness but hasn't ridden much recently. We long to do touring hols like the one a few years ago when we cycled from the Hook of Holland to Amsterdam in easy stages, using B&Bs.

I would very much appreciate advice on what bikes she should consider. She is uneasy about being unable to put a foot down when stopping, so a low bottom bracket seems desirable, as does a step-through frame. Rear pannier braze-ons are needed and fronts would be helpful but not essential.

Budget ideally around £300, but that could be on a used bike in good condition. If pushed by derision from forum members, it could be higher!

I'd be grateful for any thoughts.

Michael

rjb
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Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby rjb » 7 Feb 2015, 6:16pm

How about a Tandem! :shock:
At the last count:- Focus Variado, Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin, Raleigh 20, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Longstaff trike conversion on a Falcon corsa. :D

iandriver
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Location: Cambridge.

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby iandriver » 7 Feb 2015, 6:27pm

For that money you should be able to pick up a perfectly acceptable hybrid bike new. Fit ergo bar ends for a change of position. It sounds like fit is going to be key, so I think a journey, even it's a bit of a trot, to a good bike shop will be necessary. I wouldn't get bogged down on the dedicated tourer label. The drop bar tourer is a bit of a UK thing you don't see abroad.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

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jamesbradbury
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Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby jamesbradbury » 7 Feb 2015, 6:31pm

+1 for tandem.

My wife and I did our honeymoon on ours, along the banks of the Rhine.

You have to compromise on cadence, but it's very sociable and no one ever gets left behind. I'm also fortunate that my wife is great at navigating. :-)

Eeyore
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Joined: 29 Mar 2012, 8:48pm

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby Eeyore » 7 Feb 2015, 7:49pm

Many thanks for these helpful suggestions. I'm afraid the tandem idea is out, even though it has so much to recommend it, as she will want to use the bike also for day-rides with (her) friends and for shopping.

I ought to have mentioned that she'd like straight or butterfly bars, so thanks for that idea, iandriver. We live in Bedford - to find a 'good bike shop' would Transition or Priory Marina bike shops be OK if anyone knows them? Otherwise, it might have to be MK or Cambridge.

Any other (non-tandem) ideas would be very gratefully received.

Michael

sreten
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Joined: 29 Sep 2013, 10:59pm

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby sreten » 7 Feb 2015, 11:14pm

Hi,

You could do a lot worse than this :

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/hoprider-300 ... 07663.html

Ignoring the rampant sexism, it will do a lot more than "occasional rides around town".

Fabulously well equipped for the price, and the basics are also good, a French bargain.
Inevitably there are limitations compared to more expense, but basically a lot more.

rgds, sreten.

Only word of caution is keep the adjustable stem really tight, loose ruins them.
I'd also add budget combined ergonomic grips and bar ends for touring.

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simonineaston
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Location: Bristol - work in... Yate!

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby simonineaston » 8 Feb 2015, 9:43am

Eeyore wrote:...after an unsuccessful flirtation with a Danish sit-up-and-beg.
Reminds me of what happened to a colleague a couple of years ago, who was sold a similar Sit Up & Beg, and thought it 'quite nice' until I spotted a decent old 10 speed Raleigh 531 'racer' for sale, on our works bulletin board. She bought it for her son, but after we pumped up the tyres and gave it a couple of squirts with the oil can, she took it for a spin and came back with a rather wistful look in her eye... She used it for mini triathlon she was doing a few days later, as far as I know it didn't ever get as far as the son! Dunno wot happened to the Sit Up, tho'... :wink:
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

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foxyrider
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Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby foxyrider » 8 Feb 2015, 12:47pm

I'd look at the Trek 7 series and the Giant Escapes, both come with step through options and prices start @ £300. Rack and guard mounts are standard and they are both designed for a relaxing ride on tarmac or trails.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Eeyore
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Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby Eeyore » 8 Feb 2015, 8:36pm

Many thanks for the practical suggestions - especially to foxyrider and sreten - I'll follow those up next week.

I looked at the Decathlon website (I can see why you thought their bike such good value!) but couldn't see how one could ride a bike, even briefly, before deciding to buy it. Buying blind over the internet, trying it out and then returning it voids their 'return in pristine condition in original packaging' (my wording) condition. I imagine that the Trek and Giant options would be available from conventional bike shops and could be ridden before purchase.

I'm extremely grateful for all the help, including that from people whose ideas won't work for us. It is good to know there's so much willing and knowledgeable help out there. My weekend job used to be helping out in a bike shop, but that was over 50 years ago and things have changed out of all recognition, so I need advice from people who are up to date.

Patrick10am
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Joined: 20 Mar 2014, 10:46pm

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby Patrick10am » 10 Feb 2015, 8:33am

My choice would be surly LHT a nice stable bike. Flat bar option possible if preferred.

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TrevA
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Location: Nottingham

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby TrevA » 10 Feb 2015, 12:15pm

Eeyore wrote:Many thanks for the practical suggestions - especially to foxyrider and sreten - I'll follow those up next week.

I looked at the Decathlon website (I can see why you thought their bike such good value!) but couldn't see how one could ride a bike, even briefly, before deciding to buy it. Buying blind over the internet, trying it out and then returning it voids their 'return in pristine condition in original packaging' (my wording) condition. I imagine that the Trek and Giant options would be available from conventional bike shops and could be ridden before purchase.

I'm extremely grateful for all the help, including that from people whose ideas won't work for us. It is good to know there's so much willing and knowledgeable help out there. My weekend job used to be helping out in a bike shop, but that was over 50 years ago and things have changed out of all recognition, so I need advice from people who are up to date.


If you can get to a Decathlon store, then you can sit on a bike and ride it (slowly) around the shop. They may even let you have a go in the car park? However, Evans and a few others will let you take a bike out for a proper test ride (you leave your credit card with them).

Tonyf33
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Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby Tonyf33 » 10 Feb 2015, 5:56pm

For under £300..I got my mum one of these in XS for Christmas, she's 5ft 2 on a good day and had no problem with it (sh'es 64) in fact she loves it. http://www.rutlandcycling.com/211953/pr ... -bike.aspx
they also do the one up with 24 speed gearing and cassette wheel as opposed to the freewheel variant above (which is the only diff)
http://www.rutlandcycling.com/211955/pr ... -bike.aspx

And Rutland bikes isn't that far away from you in Bedford if you needed to try before buying.
That said you get an extra discount if you're savvy and use topcashback & buy online (2%cashback) plus you get another few quid in Rutland rewards.

gregoryoftours
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Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby gregoryoftours » 10 Feb 2015, 7:06pm

Decathlon bikes around that price are a really good deal usually- there's a store in Oxford I guess you could take a look if you make a day of it or something. It is a bit of a pain not being able to take it outside for a ride though. I didn't know that you could with Evans.

gregoryoftours
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Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby gregoryoftours » 10 Feb 2015, 7:14pm

That mongoose looks really good spec for the money, better than the decathlon bike, especially that it has a cassette rather than freewheel that I suspect the decathlon bike has. Axle is much less likely to bend/break because it's better supported by wider spaced hub bearings, so good for touring and load bearing. The only downside I see with it is that it's not a step-through which might be a big deal.

Tonyf33
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Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: What tourer for my wife?

Postby Tonyf33 » 10 Feb 2015, 9:21pm

Given the size of the xs ..and it really is small unless the lady in question is even shorter than mater or has zero flexibility in lifting a leg then i'd suggest it's ideal. there are 'ladies' versions with an angled top tube but none are available on discount.
The bike is pretty light too..less than 12kg incl the rack and guards.