My wife is looking for a fairly simple, traditional bike. She likes the Velorbis Victoria a lot, but  despite them being made in Germany they are a bit beyond our tiny budget right now.  It would also be a bit impractical as we don’t live in Denmark, or even somewhere nice and flat, but in a small village near Stuttgart with steep hills everywhere, so we’re going to need a multi-geared bike. After some trial and error, we found my wife is happiest on a 16” high crossbar mountain bike frame, with 26” wheels, straight handlebars and some way to carry shopping or other things. Most importantly it should be dark green, to match my bike, or something neutral like silver or black. So we went looking for bikes.
I haven’t had a good look at new bikes in nearly a decade, and to be honest I’m not that impressed. While there are some good bikes out there, many are what my dear old grandmother would call ‘Mutton dressed as lamb’: they have a lot of flash, full suspension and disc brakes, but with a frame made of scaffolding and components that may just last 20km on a good day. I’ll probably go on about this in a future post.
It seems like we are between two markets, but we remain hopeful. The worst case scenario is that it’s impossible, in which case we would try and find a 16” steel/CroMoly frame, either new or second hand, some basic forks, and build up a bike from that over time. It’s entirely possible as we are good friends with several craftsmen who will let us use their facilities (including a paint shop) and help us out if needed, but that isn’t really the easy option.
We will continue searching for a place that sells simple, practical bikes which can be used on a normal day, by normal people, in normal clothes.