What about ladies bikes?
I tried to buy one recently, like mine but with a smaller frame. It came with 700 wheels. Is that sensible? Shouldn't there be a smaller wheel for a smaller frame? Does North America versus Europe make a difference re. which non-700 wheel size to expect?
The LBS said that frames with/for small wheels were the "mountain bikes".
When we bought this ladies bike we wanted it like my other bike, which I like, but smaller: so an aluminium frame with no suspension, and disc brakes; and added a rack, and fenders, an optional pannier ... and a heavy ("Kryptonite New York") D-lock (I use my bike for year-round commuting). I also got Marathon Plus tires, hoping they'd never flat. Though she could lift the bike on the show-room floor (and when we rented it for a week-end test ride) before they installed those accessories, now that it's heavier she's not comfortable lifting it up and down stairs. What solution?
Not for this bike necessarily, but in general: what bike has features and accessories but is proportionally smaller and lighter? Are there specific accessories which may be part of the solution, e.g. by being especially lightweight or removable yet well-made?
This isn't for racing. It's for riding to and around the local parks, and residential roads. Along roads to the park. For shopping. Along flat bike trails next to waterways. Possibly through town or city traffic.
Some light-weight bikes are racers, aren't they. But racers are not an ideal ladies bike, I expect. What if a lady has limited upper body strength: I expect (I haven't tried them) that racing drop bars aren't ideal, and complicate learning to brake and shift gears (kindly consider a novice lady rider if you answer this question). Also on a racer, the gearing would be wrong for a novice city/recreational rider.
When I say "lady" I mean adult (possible senior) female, wearing pants (trousers) or shorts, height around 5'4" (160 cm) or less, paved roads and paths, non-competitive, novice (and consequently not athletic). I'd like her to ride an hour and enjoy it (assuming e.g. she already does 45 minutes on an indoor bike each day, and swims and walks etc.), and carry it up or down a flight of stairs single-handed, or put it into the back of a van, or onto a rack on front of a bus.
- People have said and my experience confirms that an LBS might stock only 700-sized bikes, even with the smaller frames. And that where they have a smaller wheel, it's on a mountain bike.
- Adding a rack, fenders, and D-lock to an aluminium bike can make it too heavy to lift. Can such accessories be light weight? Apparently a few extra pounds makes a difference, subjectively.
- Eyeing specifically light-weight bikes they tend to be racers. Is there a light weight but not a racer (the answer was "apparently not" in the LBS), and if not can one be put together? For a rider of say 120-140 lb (55-65 kg) at speeds like 15 mph (20 kph).
- My wheels are 700x32 with Marathon Plus tires, for commuting. What size wheel and type of tire would be appropriate for a recreational ladies' bike?