Bike shopping for my wife, part 1: Looking around

I’ve wanted to get my wife into cycling, as fervently as I have, for quite a while now. Most of the ride stories I articulate on this blog don’t really register to her as enjoyable or even sensible, so I wanted her to get in on some of the action and see for herself.

After getting Hyro and rebuilding Bino’s main frame hinge parts, I had her ride Bino on occasion, simply because Dahon’s folding bikes are almost instantly more accommodating of various sizes of rider. Without getting into the malarkey of various frame sizes and tube lengths, she could be off and pedaling in minutes on the same bike I am able to enjoy riding.

That said, it’s not quite as simple as that. Bino’s WTB Silverado saddle is rather narrow, and she doesn’t get along with it, preferring one with more width. Fair enough; that’s a physiological difference, and saddles are personal-fit items.

She was also trying to see if a drop-handlebar bike like Hyro would be more up her alley than Bino’s flat handlebar, because she wanted our bikes to match.

It didn’t also help that we didn’t drop by bike shops that often, and if we did, she was usually clothed in something not too friendly for riding, such as a mid-length skirt.

The stars all seemed to align one recent Saturday as we dropped by R.O.X. in Bonifacio Global City. She was in jeans, and the store has bikes on the third floor – part of it run by the folks of LifeCycle, the local distributors of Giant and Liv.

She was looking forward to seeing Liv road bikes, but R.O.X. had only Liv mountain bikes on hand. She decided to swing her leg around one she fancied: a black-on-white Liv Tempt hardtail with 650b (27.5″) wheels.

Giant SCR 1: A unisex road bike in a flashy shade of red.

The smaller wheel size and more upright riding position seemed to gel with her better than the Giant SCR she tried the last time. While 650b road bikes have started becoming popular elsewhere, thanks to brands like Canyon, in the Philippines, road bikes are still firmly 700c, to the detriment of smaller-framed riders like my wife.

Liv Tempt 2: a 650b hardtail built on women’s geometry.

Plastic flat pedals spun onto the crank arms, she wheeled around a lap of R.O.X.’s third floor aboard the Tempt…and she seemed to enjoy herself quite a bit. Whether or not this is the bike she ends up with is a story for another time, though.

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