Looking for a commuter upgrade for the missus - advice

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Looking for a commuter upgrade for the missus - advice

Postby twilliamson » Tue May 01, 2018 11:57 am

Hey all,

Got the missus onto riding about a year ago and her $100 road master is falling, we always saw it as more of test bike to see if it was something she would be into. Looking to invest and upgrade now as the roadmaster is terrible. She's after something a bit trendy but also very capable of getting around on. She has a 15km commute each way and has fair hills (Through Studley park). We're not the Sunday morning lycra types but we also pretty often ride 50km on a Saturday or Sunday while out.

Budget is $500 - $1000, will go up a little for a great deal, don't mind new or second hand, just want a steel frame with handlebars that don't force too low of a riding position, the drops we're a little much

So far we've looked at:

Tokyobikes - Currently the favourite but it feels like you're paying $400 for the bike and $600 for the extras
Papillionaire - much too heavy and seem pretty average
Linus - These look pretty good but unaware of where we can try one in Victoria.

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Location: Melbourne, in the suburbs, near some hills

Re: Looking for a commuter upgrade for the missus - advice

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed May 02, 2018 5:07 pm

Without knowing which model of Tokyobike/Papillionnaire/Linus that you're considering, it's hard to suggest alternatives.

A brand that has picked up their quality game recently is Reid, and the Ladies Esprit may be a good option. Steel-framed, simple 7sp gearing to deal with Kew/Balwyn North hills, 32mm tyres and dual pivot calipers.


Comes in well under budget, and I would use the surplus to replace the OE tyres (Kenda) with a better 32mm tyre (Continental/Schwalbe..basically anything that isn't Kenda).

There are lots of options however, with Giant and Avanti also making Ladies bikes, although a bit more expensive.
Mmm, SunTour

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Re: Looking for a commuter upgrade for the missus - advice

Postby Thoglette » Wed May 02, 2018 6:14 pm

A tricky market. At one end you have the Rivendell Clem-L, which is, unfortunately, about twice what you want to pay.

And at the other, the Reid Vintage Ladies leads the twice-what-you-want-it-to-weigh group full of "hi ten" 1020 gas tubing.

As you've found out, there's not a whole lot in-between. If your missus can live with a horizontal top tube and you don't mind swapping bars, then the field opens out a bit more. Such as the Malvern Star Oppy S1 or S2. Or the Tokyo range (why is it that the Classic sport weights 1kg less than the Bisou?)

If you can move away from steel (I can't) the market opens up completely. Not only are 90% of non-crabon bikes Aluminium but they're cheap too.

Finally, I'm also going to repeat what I've said many, many times before: most people who don't like drop bars are objecting to the way they are set up (aggressively low) rather than the bars themselves.

E.g. it is possible to set them up in a way that matches an "upright" bike.
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