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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    Just to relieve SK for a moment here...

    Just become your girlfriend is, well, a girl, doesn't mean she needs a women-specific bike. Actually, women-specific bikes are just different frames, with different measurements, and a lot of marketing. What she needs is a bike that fits, no? That will depend on the length and size of her various body parts relative to each other, of her ease on the bike, etc. Just because she has not ridden in a while doesn't mean she'll be into comfort or low-traffic or racing or something else. This suggests playing it safe in getting a "simple", not too expensive first bike, yet good enough (avoiding cheap, frustrating components if possible), giving her chances to experiment and to decide what she really wants for her second bike.

    I understand that doing things yourself might be a big difference in cost in the end, especially if you have parts at hand, plus: you're pouring a lot of love in the project which I am sure will be noticed but I would suggest getting help from people who know their stuff about fitting, and getting her as involved as possible in the process, so she really feels that it's HER bike, and it really fits like it's meant for HER (not for the "generic woman" out there, whoever that is).

    Thanks for doing this, we all wish we had a special person building a bike for us.

    ETA: Although at this stage I'd rather build one myself.
    I've been to a couple of shops around me and have yet to find one with great knowledgable service. Most of them don't carry many womens frames and most don't carry mens frames small enough for my girlfriend to try. They tell me to go home, do my research on the internet to figure out what size would fit her and then they can order the bike for me...

    My experience so far has been worse than that of buying a car. Stores would rather tell me what I should buy instead of sell me what I want. The worst part is some of these sales people don't seem like they know anything about bikes at all. I understand that these people are trying to make a living but when they try to tell me things like "oh, swapping out ultegra components for 105 won't save you much money" or persistently try to sell me a race bike for a girl who hasn't ridden a bike with gears, I get a little offended and would rather build my own bike.

    You are 100% correct in me not wanting to get her a super nice bike but not a total crap bike. This is why I'm looking for a low end frame with medium range components. This way if the frame doesn't fit or she wants to upgrade I can just swap out the frame and I won't lose a big chunk of change.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
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    I hear you on LBS frustration. Where are you? Maybe someone can give you a suggestion, even if you have to drive a bit.

    May I suggest that your girlfriend test ride a few bikes just to get a sense of what she likes in terms of handling and ride characteristics?

    That Specialized is probably too big (remember a lower front end increases the length in addition to just having a long top tube) and could easily have very fast handling. That's one heck of a bike. I haven't ridden it but from the little I've read it could be a handful for a new rider.

    Did she like the Dolce? If not, what didn't she like?

    One of the reasons I suggested the Gunnar Sport was because of the handling and ride for someone who hasn't been on a bike in a long time, and Gunnars have a great reputation. They're built by Waterford and have an impeccable pedigree. And you can get darn close to the fit of the Dolce.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    Wow Skunk! The experience you describe doesn't seem too nice. What state do you live in!?

    I understand your frustration too, but I really hope she gets to try some bikes. It will make a world of difference! She has to be a part of that project, otherwise she'll quickly loose interest in it (and you'll be frustrated because of the time and effort you're pouring in this...).

    Good luck!

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    29
    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate View Post
    I hear you on LBS frustration. Where are you? Maybe someone can give you a suggestion, even if you have to drive a bit.

    Did she like the Dolce? If not, what didn't she like?
    I live in Southern California. There are a billion bike stores here but probably only a handful that know what they're doing.

    The Dolce was nice, the problem was the store wanted $2200 for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    Wow Skunk! The experience you describe doesn't seem too nice. What state do you live in!?

    I understand your frustration too, but I really hope she gets to try some bikes. It will make a world of difference! She has to be a part of that project, otherwise she'll quickly loose interest in it (and you'll be frustrated because of the time and effort you're pouring in this...).

    Good luck!
    She's super excited about it just because she wants to get into better shape and going to the gym regularly isn't work for her.

  5. #35
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    Aug 2003
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    Southern California is a pretty big place. Bellflower anywhere near you?

    There is a 2005 Dolce on eBay. This is the same year/model I steered a friend toward. She just tootled around on a heavy hybrid but was suddenly motivated to ride a full century. This bike was perfect. Excellent value for the money with good ride and handling.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/SPECIALIZED-DOLC...QQcmdZViewItem
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Utah, Gateway to Nevada, not to be confused with Idaho
    Posts
    1,872
    Hmmm....methinks you are forgetting about my favorite place to look for that Surly (so far I haven't found it)! Just a sample of what I found in 2 minutes:

    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/bik/371686689.html

    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/bik/371267294.html

    NOTE THIS ONE! This is a great entry level bike!
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/bik/371135875.html

    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/bik/370460521.html

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
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    9,080
    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate View Post
    Ooh, boy, have I just opened a can of worms.
    SK if you open the can o' worms, you have to eat all the worms

    Skunk, why not invite your girlfriend to TE, that way she can get all fired up about cycling.

    We won't tell her that you're building a bike, really.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by yellow View Post
    Hmmm....methinks you are forgetting about my favorite place to look for that Surly (so far I haven't found it)! Just a sample of what I found in 2 minutes:

    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/bik/371686689.html

    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/bik/371267294.html

    NOTE THIS ONE! This is a great entry level bike!
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/bik/371135875.html

    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/bik/370460521.html
    The only problem I have with these bikes and a lot of the ones on ebay are that they're 9 speed.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
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    For your price range and her newness to the sport: fit, handling and comfort should take priority. 10 speed won't affect any of this unless the Campy parts you have right now are 10-speed specific so you'll save money. Even then, much of the 9 spd and 10 spd stuff will work together.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    10,557
    +1 on letting your gf try out lots of bikes so she can get a feel for what she likes. It is going to be *her* bike, right? If you post in the California thread, you can ask for shop reccs. Don't limit her options to sizes and top-tubes and materials you think she needs. Cut her loose, and let her experience the joy of riding whatever strikes her fancy! Let her play! There is a wonderous assortment of bikes out there, give her the pleasure of experiencing that! Then you can build her the bike of *her* dreams. (or buy the one she falls in love with on a test ride. )

    WSD isn't a magic bullet. It's just a handy label for a general trend of geometry.

    That being said, none of my bikes is "WSD". Let your gf try some bikes. Bikes aren't like underwear: she doesn't HAVE to ride a WSD just because she's a girl.

    Edit: Yellow - my Surly just whispered to me that you really need to get a Surly, too. Sending you Surly-vibes!
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 07-11-2007 at 09:33 PM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Utah, Gateway to Nevada, not to be confused with Idaho
    Posts
    1,872
    Quote Originally Posted by skunk View Post
    The only problem I have with these bikes and a lot of the ones on ebay are that they're 9 speed.
    9 speed seems to be good enough for many beginning riders. Heck, I even know some very talented riders that ride 8 speed bicycles! sadiekate

    I'm beginning to think you don't really want us to help you but rather want us to run around in cerebral circles while you watch, fascinated. I guess we're not really answering your original post, which is about WSD frames, since that's what you seem to think she needs. I'll put in one last plug for you to be a little more flexible re: material, number of speeds, and WSD vs non WSD, and now I'll shut up.

    So no, I certainly can't provide any helpful information! Good luck and have fun!

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,080
    I prefer the term TrekSD to WSD.

    Your bike doesn't have to be custom, it just has to fit YOU and frame is just one tiny aspect of that, it's important for sure but not the only thing.

    Hides subliminal message, everyone needs a Surly
    Last edited by Trek420; 07-11-2007 at 09:58 PM.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by SadieKate View Post
    For your price range and her newness to the sport: fit, handling and comfort should take priority. 10 speed won't affect any of this unless the Campy parts you have right now are 10-speed specific so you'll save money. Even then, much of the 9 spd and 10 spd stuff will work together.
    It's not so much that 9 speed isn't good enough for her it's just that 9 speed is pretty much obsolete and almost impossible to find parts for unless its DA9. Finding a new 9 speed 105 cassette is a lot harder than finding a 10 speed 105 cassette.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
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    Wow, you must use a different internet than I do. 30 seconds found these from very reputable dealers.

    http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp...t=55&brand=226
    http://www.bikemannetwork.com/biking/c/COMPCASS9RDSH

    There's also a little company called SRAM that makes Shimano-compatible cassettes, as do Miche and IRD, perhaps you've heard of it?

    I'm with yellow as far as leaving the conversation. You appear more concerned with bling or some mind game than making your girlfriend happy and getting her on a bike. You get her there, you can upgrade any frame to 10 spd down the road. Upgrading girlfriends is a whole different ballgame.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,059
    SK, I love you.

    I second the notion of letting GF be highly involved in picking her own ride, even if she is a newbie. Personal experience story there for me. Let her control her buying experience. She will be that much more comfortable, then, going to LBS alone after she has the bike, and getting educated and making her own decisions, so her riding experience empowers her, rather than creates perceived dependence on you for her bike know-how.

    And, um, as I type, my LBS is putting a new 9 spd cassette on my bike, which happens to not be a WSD, but is 105.
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

 

 

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