|Men's and women's TransEnd from Giant. Courtesy: Giant bikes.|
Clare from New Zealand contacted us about the TransEnd. She is a 5’5 woman in the market for a new "comfortable" bike for weekend rides and shopping trips. She writes: “I haven't ridden a bike for many years but am very much looking forward to doing this with my 10yr old son, and to build up my own strength and fitness - as well as have fun!”
The question is whether the TransEnd is the right bike for Clare. I asked her to explain why she was considering the TransEnd, and she wrote:
What attracted me to this particular bike is a combination of factors. Firstly a little research via my local bike shop & online taught me that Giant, Trek, and Specialized were the recommended brands available in New Zealand. Secondly, my initial research had also taught me a bit about "women specific designs", and because I do have a history of spinal (back/neck) problems that I'm currently seeing an Osteopath for, I figured a WSD bike with upright seating would be a big bonus for me. And lastly I wanted a bike that would be a comfortable ride, with adequate gears for the hilly country area I live in Though in saying that, it's also very important for my purposes to be able to carry shopping, towels for beach etc, and have fenders as we can get wet weather all year round. Of course I realize these can be added on later, but if these are already attached at purchase that's another tick.
Clare says her short list includes the Trek Allant, the Giant Suede, and the TransEnd, which she found to be "super comfortable." Unfortunately, her local bike shop currently does not have her size. She says she's open to recommendations.
Thank you, Clare, for contacting Bikes For The Rest Of Us. Let's see if we and our readers can help. First, and this is mandatory here at BFROU, let's take a look at the specifications for the women's TransEnd:
Frame: Sizes XS:14, S:16, M:18
Colors: Light Blue
Frame: ALUXX FluidFormed™ alloy, comfort 700c
Fork: Alloy ahead straight blade
Handlebar: Alloy low riser 610mm x 30mm rise
Stem: Alloy 25 degree
Seatpost: Alloy 27.2 micro-adjust
Saddle: Giant comfort w/gel women’s specific
Pedals: Flat Comfort
Shifters: Shimano Altus 24 sp. EZ FIRE+
Front Derailleur: Shimano M191 31.8
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus 8 sp.
Brakes: Alloy V-brakes
Brake Levers: Shimano V-brake
Cassette: Shimano HG30 8 sp. 11-34T
Chain: KMC 8 sp.
Crankset: Shimano M131 28x38x48T
Bottom: Bracket VP semi cartridge
Rims: Alloy double wall 700c x 32H w/reflective decal
Hubs: Fr: Alloy QR
Rr: Shimano RM30 8sp cassette
Spokes: 14G stainless steel
Tires Kenda 700 x 35c Reflective sidewalls
Extras: F+r Fenders, rear carrier/rack, Reflective decals
Here are some things I like about this bike: fenders, rear rack, and wide 35mm tires. I find that V-brakes have powerful stopping capability, so I will count that as a plus as well. I'm less excited by the flat bars and straight fork.
For Clare, I think this just might work. She found it to be super comfortable, and it will allow her to ride in an upright position. It's important that she finds a bike that does not aggravate her neck/back injury, and maybe this is the one. I would recommend different handlebars (maybe north roads or albatross bars?) that work better in an upright posture and allow more than one hand position. Tom did a post on riding upright that you can find here.
OK, readers. What do you think? Share with Clare in the comments.
Update: In the comments, Evan mentioned that this model looks similar to Giant's Escape City. He's right - they are very similar. You can find our post on the Escape City here. For a quick comparison, here is what the men's and women's 2012 Escape City models look like: