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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a woman just starting to bike again after many, many years. I'm 5'11" and was directed towards mens bikes due to my height and leg length. I'm currently interested in the Raleigh Retroline 7. Can anyone suggest anything similar? I definitely want to purchase a retro style bike with not many gears. My husband and I will be using the bike on a very flat canal path without many hills.

Thanks for your help in advance!!!
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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If your legs/torso are proportioned like a man's, get a man's bike. Otherwise, they do make women's bikes in your size. When you say you don't want a lot of gears, how many do you want? There are plenty of cruiser style bikes with one, three, four, seven, or more gears. What's your budget, and what do you like about the Raleigh?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Three gears would be ideal. When I sat on the Retroglide 7 it felt good and I fit on it nice but it's a bit expensive. I was hoping to find a bike for under $300...I just don't know what other bikes to compare this bike to. As you can probably guess I know nothing about bikes. My last new bike was 20 years ago.
 

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Well I would suggest you go to a bike shop that will let you take them for a test ride.

Don't be intimidated by the number of gears. Like you I am getting back into biking after a very long time off. You may find yourself using using certain gears an awful lot, but when you need them, they are there. There are a lot of good reasons to not want a lot of gears. Some guys delivering messages do it on a single speed because they don't want the down time for maintenance. They typically get in great shape in a hurry too. But one reason that you might regret is lack of understanding or fear. Numbers like 21 24 or 27 can leave people wondering will I ever figure out what gear I need to be in. The answer is you will figure that out in just a few minutes, and then if you have a chance to ride other places you have more options. But bike choice is very personal. Like what you ride and ride what you like, be it one or 100 speeds.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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There are plenty of three speed beach cruisers out there. If you check Chubby's website, you'll find them in your price range in both men's and women's models. Yes, the women's seem to cost more. If you're ok with swinging a leg over that higher top tube, save some money.

Some things to keep in mind: Buying online may save you some money up front, but if you can't do the final assembly, (most bikes are shipped 80-90% assembled) you'll have to pay someone to do that for you. It's not terribly difficult, especially for a beach cruiser, but you'll want to make sure the brakes work and that everything is tightened properly. Buying from a local shop, they may offer you some sort of free service for a year, (some shops offer lifetime maintenance) but maintenance on a cruiser is minimal, at best. And since they don't exactly get ridden hundreds of miles each week, not much is going to be required anyway. So don't let that be a big selling point. Same with fit - they all have roughly the same geometry, and with their giant seats, upright riding position and wide bars, comfort is rarely a problem.

I would suggest you look for something like a Micargi. They should have something to suit your budget. While $300 is really at the low end of the bike shop scale, it should still get you a decent cruiser. Do yourself a favor, and avoid WalMart bikes. Every single item WalMart sells has to be built to the lowest possible price point. And don't be afraid to check your local classified ads, such as Craigslist. Plenty of folks bought bikes with the best of intentions, and then find they don't use them as much as they thought they would. You can frequently find a like new bike at a substantial discount.
 

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I'm going to say something off the wall, it may even mentally disturb you and others on this forum! I know the retro bikes with their curved fames are cool to look at but there is a problem with them. If you should accidently hit a curb with a curved frame bike hard enough where you could bend the front wheel, you stand a pretty good chance of bending the frame right where the curve apexes or at the junction of the curve part of the frame and the headtube. I've actually seen this type of damage. A normal "boring" looking straight framed triangle design will shrug these type of impacts off with no damage to the frame. Sorry for the mental disturbance.
 

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I'm going to say something off the wall, it may even mentally disturb you and others on this forum! I know the retro bikes with their curved fames are cool to look at but there is a problem with them. If you should accidently hit a curb with a curved frame bike hard enough where you could bend the front wheel, you stand a pretty good chance of bending the frame right where the curve apexes or at the junction of the curve part of the frame and the headtube. I've actually seen this type of damage. A normal "boring" looking straight framed triangle design will shrug these type of impacts off with no damage to the frame. Sorry for the mental disturbance.
You fail to grasp both physics and metallurgy.

Before you think that I'm picking on you, please understand that if you post rubbish, someone needs to call you out on it.
 

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'57 Schwinn Wasp
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+1 'cept I'm gutless witness my *not* reading the politics thread and not responding to the knuckle heads who recommend not using a helmet when riding a bike.
 

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You fail to grasp both physics and metallurgy.

Before you think that I'm picking on you, please understand that if you post rubbish, someone needs to call you out on it.
Really, you need to explain because I've seen about 3 or 4 of these comfort bikes with the curved frames buckle just from hitting a curb that according to the LBS would have likely not damaged a regular triangle shaped frame. And according to Park Tools they kind of agree when I poised the question:

Hello
A crash involves a transfer of energy. It certainly is possible with some designs that a tube would buckle easier compared to a traditional triangle.

Calvin Jones
Park Tool
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Did you look up a photo of the bike in question? Do you understand the difference between 6000 and 7000 series alloys, and hi-ten gas pipe? Are you aware that most people (except, apparently, the ones you know) don't go running their bikes into curbs on a regular basis?
 
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