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  1. #1
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    Opinions on Kona Lisa RD

    I'm looking at the Kona Lisa RD for my wife, who is a would-be newbie roadie. She is small, and I think their 45cm frame will fit her pretty well.

    This is a bike spec'd with very good parts (105 group) so no worries there. It's dead flat here, so the compact double gearing is just fine. My only concern is whether the aluminum frame in that small size will produce an unduly harsh ride. Can anyone comment on this from experience?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireform View Post
    I'm looking at the Kona Lisa RD for my wife, who is a would-be newbie roadie. She is small, and I think their 45cm frame will fit her pretty well.

    This is a bike spec'd with very good parts (105 group) so no worries there. It's dead flat here, so the compact double gearing is just fine. My only concern is whether the aluminum frame in that small size will produce an unduly harsh ride. Can anyone comment on this from experience?

    Thanks.
    My personal experience and opinion is that the old "aluminum = harsh" thing is an old wive's tale, just a throwaway comment by people who really don't give a lot of meaningful thought to this sort of stuff. At worst, the so-called harshness of aluminum is possibly a slight tendency, not a hard and fast rule and certainly not as meaningful as people think.

    What will effect your wife's comfort is the overall fit, the saddle, saddle position and angle (!!), handlebars, handlebar height and angle, etc. etc. The frame material is about 10th or 20th on the list of comfort factors.

    Oh, tires and tire pressure are probably 100X more important than frame material too. Put 25's or 28's on there and pump them up to the PROPER PRESSURE for your wife's weight and the frame material will drop down another several magnitudes of importance. The old chestnut of lower pressure tires = slower tires is another old wive's tale, in case someone tries to bring that up too.

    I bought my wife an aluminum road bike (Specialized Dolce) for her first road bike. As I thought, after getting used to it and allowing me to watch her and teak from time to time, she comments much less about comfort on the aluminum road bike than she did on her steel hybrid with the upright position and wider saddle.

    I put 28mm gator skins on the bike and pump them up to about 70 psi (she's 105 lbs). She'd probably be happy with 25's at 80 or so, but didn't like the 23's @90 it came with.

    Tires are far, far more important than frame material, don't get caught up in narrow, high pressure tires unless you have an important reason for using them.

  3. #3
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    You make a good point about tires. My wife also weighs a lot less than I do, so there's more leeway with tire pressure than I have. Saddle and saddle position are critical, too. If she can't be happy with the Selle that comes with the bike, a LBS has a saddle trial program.

    I rode a Fuji all Al frame for years before upgrading to my current ride, so I do have some experience in the subject. The Fuji was a remarkably good frame for the money, but it was just noticeably more efficient at transmitting road noise to my butt too. This makes the most difference on distance rides and it will be some time before my wife starts thinking about her first century ride (if that ever happens).

  4. #4
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    I bought my wife a Kona Lisa RD 2011 and she loves it. It is a very nice bike. I assume you're buying from real cyclist? That's where we got hers at and the customer service is top notch.

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