Cycling in Brisbane Australia
Thanks Kathryn. That was my mother's experience. The 49 was nice and small but she found that there wasn't much room between the nose of the saddle and the back of the handlebar stem.
She swapped it for a Gazelle Balance Innergy as she really wanted to get her feet on the ground. She's very happy now.
Would a 49 actually be low enough to allow a foot on the ground from the saddle? Given the height of those bikes, I suspect that it still might end up being high, unless she can find enough raised kerbs? I'm merely speculating since I haven't been on a Gazelle for a while but short of trying it, an idea perhaps is to dig through some videos of the Dutch and how they handle starts and stops at various levels of ability. Let us know how you end up!
I'm 173cm and have a 53cm frame. I've got the seat 8.5cm above the clamp, and I've always felt the frame was a bit small. I actually think I'd be best off with a 55cm frame, but Gazelle doesn't import them. I had a brief ride on a 57cm frame but the seat was up a little high for me, so I'm undecided on how I feel about it.
I think a lot depends on your arm and leg length rather than overall height.
I work at Sth Brisbane and could meet you at the same time as Shaun one afternoon so you could compare the two. I've got an electric Orange Pure Innergy.
My wife is 175 and hers is a 57. Good size too... so I reckon you are right to want to try a 57.
My wife has a 53 and she's 168cm tall. She could ride the 57 easily I think. I saw a guy riding that very bike last night in New Farm. It was the white & blue one (step-through). Looked great.
If I were you I'd go with the 57. It still gives you plenty of room in the saddle to adjust height, etc.
BTW: don't try and throw a leg over them... they're too high and you'll dislocate your hip! ;)
- beautifully designed & built (cables in the frame, etc)
- quality materials & brand name components for which you'll always find parts
- mudguards, chainguards (fully enclosed), hub brakes & gears (low maintenance)
- rear rack is strong enough to take the weight of an adult...
- built in lights which are unlikely to be stolen (hub dynamo is great too)
- Gazelle has spare parts for all their bicycles in a *massive* warehouse (you'll always be able to replace something, even in 10 years)
- Axa ring lock (plus the plug in chain) makes it pretty much theft proof.
- Step-through frame (and flat pedals) makes starting, stopping, etc dead easy.
- Proper Euro city bike posture (straight back, long legs, no weigh on arms)
- a kickstand that will hold the bike still with fully loaded panniers (great on the train!)
- Slightly heavier (but not much unless you're talking electric) but with the right gears this is irrelevant
- most bike shops will take one look at it and say 'it's too hard'... or... they'll roger it in an attempt to do the required maintenance
- step-throughs can be difficult to carry (by hand or on a car) but not impossible
- removing the rear wheel is a bit of an effort but not bad *once you know how*... ;)
Tip: learn to repair a puncture without removing a wheel :)
By the way, Ben, I really like your Peugeot Mixte! :-D
RE: Step through vs diamond frame.
I struggled with this as well as the culture here is one that most people will call it a girls bike. I ended up getting the step through as
a) more practical bike. When you have double paniers on the back I didnt want to be trying to swing my leg over the back. Particularly if I'm wearing jeans / long work pants.
b) As the gazelle is a bike I should have for the next 10/20 years - when I hit 50/60 yrs I dont know if swinging my leg over will still be possible!
c) After almost 20 yrs of marriage and two kids I'm comfortable enough with my sexual orientation not to get upset when someone calls it a girls bike. I merely point out that 95% of dutch men ride a similar frame every day.
I cant make it during the day sorry Ben. After 5pm would be possible or before 9am.
A "girls bike" or "granny bike" is also a less appealing target for thieves, I would think.
Hmm... that's a good point. Maybe not in Amsterdam but here it would probably prevent theft!
And not that I encourage it for anything other than personal fun, they also allow a greater feeling of accomplishment when you pull off moves along the lines of this:
It's the old adage of not what you have, but how you use it. :)
(Thanks for reminding me about this video Melvyn!)