Choosing a city bike for my wife part 1

I have written quite a few posts (here and on my general blog) which followed my search for a city bike for me (the result was a Bullitt Clockwork).

But recently I have been focused on the far harder task of choosing a new bike for Jane. She has had a Ridgeback Storm for years but now we are passing that onto our youngest son who has grown out of all the hand me down bikes from his brothers. Jane gets a new bike as her needs are now quite different (plus to be honest neither of us are as flexible as we were a few years ago, so a step through design is now preferred).

This is a pure city/town bike. It won’t be used for touring or longer day rides as for those we expect Jane will either ride our Trice XXL recumbent trike or join me on our Trice X2 tandem recumbent trike. However, neither of those are ideal for around town. So our criteria have been:

  • Step Through Frame
  • Pretty upright seating position (although not bolt upright)
  • Hub Gears (ideally Alfine 8 speed)
  • Hub, roller, or disc brakes (ie no rim brakes)
  • Full mudguards
  • Ideally a full chain case, if not an excellent chain guard
  • Front basket
  • Rear rack
  • Stand
  • Tyres with plenty of air (32mm absolute minimum)
  • Subject to all the other criteria it should be as fast as possible.

To my mind these are basic transport requirements based around:

  • Being able to wear normal clothes
  • Minimal maintenance and maximum reliability
  • Totally practical eg for wet roads and for carrying shopping etc
  • Feeling safe in traffic (upright, step through frame, strong so not worrying about pot holes)

However, it is not an easy task to find bikes in the UK that meet this set of criteria.

In future posts I’ll look at some of the bikes we are considering. Meanwhile suggestions are welcome.

Related Posts
  1. Choosing a city bike for my wife part 2 « 42 Bikes - pingback on November 13, 2010 at 12:36 am
  2. A city bike for my wife « 42 Bikes - pingback on November 13, 2010 at 1:09 am

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