Help me find a bike for the wife

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Senior Member
So the wife has got jealous of me disappearing off on the bike for hours on end and has decided she'd like to come along too. Fantastic result as far as I'm concerned, but now we have to find her a bike.

Several years ago she bought a £70 BSO which has since become a clothes-horse for drying oily rags on in the garage. Incredibly uncomfortable for her and just generally not a fun experience.

In Amsterdam she rented and loved one of those big "sit up and beg" town bikes - wide seat, Sturmey Archer gears - kind of like a Pashley Princess. That's what she is thinking of at the moment.

She's never going to be into road racing, comfort is pretty high up the agenda so comfortable seat, not too much weight on the wrists etc. The aim is to say ride 10 miles to a nice pub along country lanes then back again, maybe days out on cycle paths through the forest etc.

I reckon the Pashley or equivalent is going to be really comfortable on a test ride, but after an hour is going to seem big and heavy and am concerned about the lack of gears - its pretty flat here but it would be good to make the pedalling as easy as possible. Great town bikes maybe but not so good for longer rides. Obviously we'll go to a bike shop and test things out, but at the moment I'd have no idea what to even try. I'm also concerned about "comfy on a test ride but no good after a couple of hours" factor. Anyone any ideas? Budget would be around £500-£600.


Über Member


Senior Member
mcshroom said:
How about a "trekking" bike. It will have the more upright geometry and bars of a city style bike but 24ish gears.
Something like these: -

Dawes Sonoran
Giant Cypress WSD
Globe Vienna

I could be barking up completely the wrong tree of course :rofl:

Excellent thanks, that's just the sort of thing I was looking for - seems to be the best of both worlds. Never looked at this kind of thing before so didn't know there was anything like that out there. The Ariel looks promising too.

Not too sure on frame size yet - she's 5'2" "small" is about as close as I can get! Time to hit the bike shops and get some test rides I think.

jay clock

Massive member
Hampshire UK


Legendary Member
Mrs Gti has a Specialized Mika, nice bike but a very upright riding position and she complains that it's slow!


Married to Night Train
Salford, UK
Hub geared bikes often come with 8 gears these days - surely that's enough for a 'fairly flat' area, no matter how long the ride. I often only use 3 of my 21 or 24 or 18 (depending which bike I'm on) - one for most of the time, one lower for little uphills, one higher for little downs...

So don't condemn the sit up and beg too soon, I know plenty of people who'd ride one 10 miles to a pub. If speed is not the aim, the right comfortable bike with 3 or 5 or 8 speeds is ample.

Another advantage of hub gears, for someone who is an occasional cyclist, is ease of use. No needing to change down in advance for stopping, less wear and tear.

If she loved the bike she rode in Amsterdam, there's more chance she'll love something similar, and the more she loves it, the more she'll want to ride it. Yes, one day, maybe she'll say "oh, I'd like to go a bit faster or further", then you think about upgrading and N+1. :thumbsup:

Anyway, whatever she chooses, happy riding!


Legendary Member
Another vote for the Ariel (at 5'2 she'll need a medium looking at the catalogue, which is the smallest), although I ended up going for the men's Crosstrail as I found the women's too upright with my long arms (I am around 5'10 with long limbs). Rugged enough tyres for off-road (and potholes), but smooth centres for getting a decent lick up on the road :thumbsup:

Given budget, I'd go for the Sport which has lock out suspension forks, leaving plenty of cash for a wider saddle if need be, some padded shorts, mitts, helmet etc :biggrin:


Europe Endless
The TerrorVortex
I've ridden a hub geared sit-up-and-beg bike for 20-odd miles before now. It's a different type of ride, a bit slower, certainly, but it's not always about speed.
This crew have Dutch-type bikes with a 3 speed hub and hubdynamo for £530. Worth a look?


New Member
I love my Dawes Galaxy, but my crash last year has left me with permanent lower back pain, so I wanted something more sit-up-and-beg.

I got a Claud Butler Odyssey last year, and don't like it. It feels lumpy, clunky, just not nice.
OH got a Dawes Sonoran - it's really rusty now (having been stored in a garage all year).

I've just treated myself to a Raleigh Jaguar (never thought I'd buy a Raleigh!) but it's great: really nippy, lightweight and can carry lots of gear. List price is about £500 but I got it online for £330 (plus £25 for the local bike shop to tighten up all the nuts and things)


I bought myself a 7 speed Dutch Batavus last year and the missus bought a Pashley Princess Soveriegn. She loves it, five speeds are enough for her steady pace even up here in the Pennines so should be plenty where it's a bit flatter. As for comfy, the brooks saddle is like a ruddy armchair. :rofl:


As long as I breathe, I attack.
Kinda a hijack what about a bike for a 4 foot 7" women thats right my wife is a short a**e . I reckon a 14 inch frame based on what inside leg she told me ...............
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