New Bike Advice! Trail hybrid

Hi All

The wife said she wants a bike. Apparently she loves cycling now! This is great news because it also means i get a new bike so i can ride with her.

I was hoping to get your advice as i’m a roadie.

Wife: She’ll need something comfortable as she’s a beginner cyclist and i want to encourage her! She’ll be riding some road, gravel trails, sitting upright (no drop handlebars). I was looking at a Trek Dual Sport, or Specialized CrossTrail Sport?

Me: Will hopefully do the above but quite a bit more trail. I was looking at a Spec Rockhopper or Fuse.

Side note, i have a baby. So if we’re heading out on some gravel then i want to put her on a seat behind (or infront) of me.

What you guys think of the above options? Price range £500-£1000 each.

Get some test rides in - it’s all the fun of getting a new bike.

Also having two girls we used WeeRide child seats and they loved them - ok you have to pedal a bit knees out but having them in between your arms meant we could interact much more than having them in a trailer or out back.

If you’re looking at suspension forks try and get an air fork as they are far lighter. As you’ve specced UK £ you may want to check out Voodoo in Halfords and if you’re a British cycling member you can get 10% off. You can also test ride and at Evans once the Covid thing lifts.

I quite rate Norco bikes and some of the bikes sold at go outdoors (if you live near one) are well thought of same with Deacthlon. Again you can give them a good look over but only when we can move around again.

Hybrid bikes kinda suck. If you have the know-how, build your own, start with a hard tail frame. The problem is trying to solve 2 problems at once.

If you can’t do that, then start with a hard tail mtb and put wide slicks on it or faster rolling tires on it. Depending on fitness, the problem she may run into, eventually, is gearing as most MTB these days use a 1x drivetrain with limited front ring clearance. Rene Hearse cycles make fast rolling slick tires. Depending on terrain, that may be adequate. I use them on my 1990 Rockhopper converted to drop bar wide slick commuter. They roll well, even the wider Rat Trap Pass can hold speed with lower effort than touring tires, and wider too, as well as tubeless.

I know, everyone talks about gravel bikes, but they are niche, and a reimagining of the hybrid bike. I think they suck for novice riders, unless they are heavily road focused, but it also depends on your gravel. I use mine as a light duty XC MTB, but I have years of off-road experience on technical terrain. I would never put my wife on one. She’s more comfortable on 27.5x2.8 off-road as it offers way more grip and comfort and allows her to ride. That won’t fly on road though.

@tman1234 which way did you go? My wife quit her job and wants to be more active. She indicated she’d like a bike so we can do easy cafe rides together. Just MUP’s and easy smooth roads…