July 31, 2006

    I am a 50-year-old woman who has not ridden a bike in some time, but would like to purchase something that is comfortable to ride and easy on the back. I would ride this bike on paved roads and some dirt roads or bike trails. I would like some speeds so I do not have to purchase another bike if I get more experienced.
    At a bike shop I looked at a Sun Cruiser 7-speed for $280 which I thought was pretty steep. I went to two other shops; one recommended the Schwin Sierra GS 21-speed for $290, and the other recommended the Diamondback Wildwood (either a 21- or 24-speed) for about $320. Walmart has a Schwinn Skyler 21-speed for about $150. For family trips Good Housekeeping recommends the Diamondback Wildwood Citi ($220).
    What do you think is the best buy for comfort and riding as I described?

Teena W.

    I’ve not ridden any of the bikes you name, so I can’t recommend one over the other.
    I think that any of the bikes in the $300 price range will do well for you. The lower-priced Diamondback might not last as long if you start biking a lot—but provided you get it at a bike shop and not a bix box store, I'll go along. (For the kind of biking it seems you’ll do, I consider anything beyond seven speeds overkill—but bike shops sell ‘em, so there ya go. ) You should get the bike that makes you the happiest, which means it fits you comfortably (most important) and you like the color.
    You can learn more about the differences between bike types from my book, Urban Bikers’ Tricks & Tips, and by looking at this page.

Mr Bike

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