Planning to move in a couple months, the goal for my fiancee is to bike to her school (also her workplace)
Hopefully it’ll be about 5 miles each way, mostly on roadway or sidewalk.
She hardly ever cycles so is a bit nervous about this change, do you know of any good commuter bikes that are good for a short person (5’1’')
We are also on a budget, not sure what to expect maybe around $400?
We live in Florida so the only other concern is occasional rain and crazy drivers
Maybe if there’s better deals for multiple bikes I’ll get one for fun too…
Treaded tires on a road or sidewalk? Disc brakes? With that budget?
I’ll come right out and say it, your girlfriend is short. A horizontal top tube with 700c wheels won’t work. Unless she is all torso, the top tube length will be too long to avoid toe overlap. She’ll be stretched out and will eventually hate the bike.
I would recommend what is call a mixte. They can readily found on Craigslist. I would also recommend fenders and a rear rack to carry a change of clothes, lunch, other work stuff. Carrying a bag will make you back sweaty, even in freezing temperatures. Good blinkies front and rear. And good commuting clothing - good stretch, form fitting so it doesn’t act as a sail and a couple water-repellent items.
If you don’t want used from CL, and you are a decent mechanic because the quality is not the highest, bikesdirect.com, $500
$400 doesn’t really give you much in the way of budget, something small with fenders will be fine. I’d suggest just going to your local bike shop and seeing what they have in that price range and also letting her ride a few different variations to see what she prefers.
For a 5 mile commute I would personally recommend something less hipster (straight bars vs very swept back - those bars are cute but ergonomically poor and offering fairly bad control on a long ride). Something more like a hybrid with a step through frame. Your shop can add fenders on.
Also, depending on your area, my $100 used commuter (20 year old Cannondale road bike) got stolen after 3 weeks and I wound up just replacing it with a $150 Amazon China bike so when it gets stolen again I don’t feel as bad.
In Europe almost all women ride something like this. A good percentage of men also rides the female version.
No gears, often a kickback brake, less mechanical parts = less issues
They are great rides. Add a basket on the front and bags on the back, a loud bell, and you can do groceries with it.
Believe me, I have a lifetime of experience with bike commute
Dang. That is inexpensive. Cheaper to ship to Oz from China?
And I wholeheartedly agree that the OP should get a bike with enough clearance for a minimum 32mm tires and fenders like a CX. But it does not negate the fact that diamond frames don’t work for short people and tires should be smooth for pavement and the only place for a heavy tread is mud.
I would also advocate the simplest bike for a commuter. More stuff just means more stuff to fix. Needing to fix a commuter means you have to do it before you go to work the next day. When I get home, or to work, the last thing I want to do is fix my bike. (Although like you, I have several bikes and could substitute, but us bike nuts are the exception) While not for everyone, my commuter is fixed with a single rim brake, platforms and 35mm Panaracer Paselas. Probably could get a good $200 on Craigslist for it. Perfect tool for the job.