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The wife wants to ride...(20 posts)

The wife wants to ride...pkompath
Oct 6, 2003 6:30 AM
As a trade, she'll beginning riding and I'll continue to contra dance. I just dont know which type of bike to get her i.e. road, mtn., crusier, hybrid. The latter two look promising, but my choices would be road and mtn. Also, she is heavy and finding the right frame material is also another factor. I just want her to get started and enjoy it as well. So, what shall she ride and the material does the bike need to be? Most importantly, how does one let her enjoy cycling?
I got a hybrid but,lotterypick
Oct 6, 2003 7:15 AM
If I was smarter, and you can be now, I'd get her a hard tail moutain bike.

All round smart choice. Can put on slicks and ride town okay, can ride knobbies and be great in gravelly road and dirt.

The hybrid was bad because once the road got gravelly the hybrid got sketchy, and she said the upright seating doesn't feel as much in control as the mountain bike.

A word of advice for you. Ride a heavier bike if possible than her. Nothing is worse than you gliding around on your 17 lbs road bike and she's got the 27 lbs bike trying to keep up with you. You should ride a mountain bike with the tire pressure lower to even it out and make you appreciate her work.
silly question...Steve_0
Oct 6, 2003 7:16 AM
what type of riding will she be doing?

though OK for some, i personally think the MTB is about the worse bike for road-riding. roadbike is best; but if she's heavy, she could be uncomfortable on modern road geomtries (at least until she's in better shape).

I'd lean on a cruiser (yeah) or Hybrid (ick) for starters. If she's comfortable, she'll be more likely to stick with it. Later in life get her the road bike.

On the other hand, if you're planning on riding single track, there's only one option.
I predict a dusty bike taking space up in a garageColnagoFE
Oct 6, 2003 7:17 AM
Definately don't spend a ton on that bike. If she's only riding because it will make you go to dance lessons I predict she won't stay with it long. Forget getting a workout when she is starting out. You'll have to ride really slow. If she keeps with it then get her a better bike. Good luck.
I'd vote for a hybrid--been there--and REI has 'em on saleCory
Oct 6, 2003 7:54 AM
I know it's not fashionable, but I've been through the same thing with my wife, who's a good athlete but only a casual rider. We started with a mountain bike, but she didn't like going off road (it's hard around here--no flat,scenic trails). Then a road bike, but the skinny tires felt too shaky, and while she likes to ride with me, she really has no interest in anything beyond 15 miles or so. Bigger tires and a taller stem on the roadie would probably have suited her, but there wasn't room between the stays. A medium-cheap hybrid with 35mm tires suits her fine. She can do "long" (for her; 20 miles) road rides, but still use it on gravel roads.
If you live near an REI store, check out the bikes this week. They're on sale pretty cheap.
Tandem?Spoke Wrench
Oct 6, 2003 7:58 AM
Not cheap but if the goal is togetherness, it's the only way.
don't spend a lot of money...lyleseven
Oct 6, 2003 8:27 AM
Been here before. Get a relatively cheap hybrid. Women like the control feeling over that kind of bike and how stable it feels. If she hasn't ridden much before getting her a road bike will be disaster. You can bag a Raleigh hybrid or Fuji hybrid for under $500 and equipped well enough to keep her happy until she begs you for a speedier bike.
yup...the stoker often feels out of control on a tandemColnagoFE
Oct 6, 2003 12:44 PM
you don't want to scare her. my wife says all she can see is my back when she is stoker on our tandem cruiser.
My wife says the exact opposite.Spoke Wrench
Oct 7, 2003 6:59 AM
I belong to a tandem club (it must be a club because it certainly isn't an organization). Invariably ALL of the stokers say that they see much more scenery than when they ride single bikes. My wife is always pointing out unusually senic vistas to me.

I think that the key is that it's a totally different kind of riding. It's mountain SPD, smell the roses, oh look - there's a quilt shop riding. If you are getting a tandem so that a non-rider can keep up with you, you're both likely to be disappointed.
Tandem, Hybrid or MTb.MrCelloBoy
Oct 6, 2003 8:28 AM
You could rent a tandem for a test ride.
Does she want to ride with you or would she consider riding with a more "beginner" group with the local bike club?

Mtb with slicks is a good option. She's gonna want a wide seat at least to start with. Be patient!
same thing with my GFmexican-JUMPING-frijoles
Oct 6, 2003 9:23 AM
she wanted to start riding and getting some excercise. Since she had not been on a bike in years, we went to several shops and showed her the difference between hybrids and mtb's. Roadies where out of the question because of handling and she did want to go on dirt paths and the likes.
I had her ride several bikes at each shop. Most shops only had one or two models in her size (she's 5'2") so it was hard. We ended up at one shop that sells only used bikes and she had about 5 bikes to test ride. Frame material was not a concern. Basically she ended up with the bike that fit her best, had the best handling for her (a mtb with knoobies, which will change soon for slicks) and was in her price range of $200 (I paid $60 since it was orig. $260).

As for her enjoying it, we go on rides, most of the time after I return from my 3+hour hammer fest. We'll ride at 10-12mph for a few miles (let her set the pace) and grab lunch or a smoothie and then turn back. You might want to give her a jersey in order to make her feel more like a cyclist (helped my GF). Don't give her constant advice like "shift now.. brake.. etc...) unless it's very necessary. Also completement her riding.. like "wow.. nice pedal stroke or you look sexy with all the gear on". If after the ride she feels like laying down, do it with her, even if for a few minutes.
None of the above..........Len J
Oct 6, 2003 9:23 AM
rather I would get her a recumbent.

Why? Because of the following:

1.) They are more comfortable to ride than an upright. If she is heavy and just starting, you want her comfortable over anything else, or she will have many excuses not to ride.

2.) They are faster than a regular bike. It's all aerodynamics. Less Frontal area.

Buy a used one to start, with the BB lower than her butt. If she gets better & better & really wants to ride more, then get her one with a BB Higher than hre butt (A little harder to get used to but much faster).

Re: "how does one let her enjoy cycling?"

The keys are as follows:

1.) When you are riding with her, ride with her. Give up on training, speed or anything welse but what she wants to do, especially in the beginning. Don't make her feel like "She is holding you back!" Remind her that you ride hard with your buds, with her you just want to enjoy the company. She won't believe you until your actions support this. Remember, one screw up washes away several ataboys.

2.) Make her enjoyment paramount. Don't pressure her with your expectations. Let her set her own. Be really OK if she doesn't want to ride the way you think she should. Imagine how you would feel if a riding bud did that to you.

3.) Let her discover her own joy in cycling. Nuff said.

My wife started riding 3 years ago. At first, she struggled to maintain 10 MPH, Now, she's avging 15, she did 45 miles by her self on Saturday & is doing a metric next weekend with 2 "Biker Chic" (Her term not mine) friends that she organized and who ride with the same goals she does. Her & I ride together about once every 2 weeks when either my training schedule overlaps the kind of ride she does, or just because I want to enjoy her company. Life is good.

Len
None of the above..........Len J
Oct 6, 2003 9:25 AM
rather I would get her a recumbent.

Why? Because of the following:

1.) They are more comfortable to ride than an upright. If she is heavy and just starting, you want her comfortable over anything else, or she will have many excuses not to ride.

2.) They are faster than a regular bike. It's all aerodynamics. Less Frontal area.

Buy a used one to start, with the BB lower than her butt. If she gets better & better & really wants to ride more, then get her one with a BB Higher than her butt (A little harder to get used to but much faster).

Re: "how does one let her enjoy cycling?"

The keys are as follows:

1.) When you are riding with her, ride with her. Give up on training, speed or anything else but what she wants to do, especially in the beginning. Don't make her feel like "She is holding you back!" Remind her that you ride hard with your buds, with her you just want to enjoy the company. She won't believe you until your actions support this. Remember, one screw up washes away several ataboys.

2.) Make her enjoyment paramount. Don't pressure her with your expectations. Let her set her own. Be really OK if she doesn't want to ride the way you think she should. Imagine how you would feel if a riding bud did that to you.

3.) Let her discover her own joy in cycling. Nuff said.

My wife started riding 3 years ago. At first, she struggled to maintain 10 MPH, Now, she's avging 15, she did 45 miles by herself on Saturday & is doing a metric next weekend with 2 "Biker Chic" (Her term not mine) friends that she organized and who ride with the same goals she does. Her & I ride together about once every 2 weeks when either my training schedule overlaps the kind of ride she does, or just because I want to enjoy her company. Life is good.

Len
One more important thing.............Len J
Oct 6, 2003 9:30 AM
whatever you do, "DON'T GIVE ADVICE!"

Tell her that you will answer any question she wants you to, but that you will not try to make her ride perfect. Trust me, for us guys, this may be the hardest part. Other than safety issues, my Wife knows that I trust her enogh to learn at her own pace & ask when she wants to know.

Otherwise, she will think that all you are doing is correcting her. Trust me on this, be open with her, ask her how you can best help her enjoy herself & then just shut up & be supportive.

Len
I made the mistake of forgetting Rule #1!MShaw
Oct 6, 2003 10:00 AM
recently running with the new GF. BIG mistake!

If you want to go do a workout, go either before or after riding with the SO. To do anything else is to risk not having them ride with you ever again!

Tandems are either the best thing or the worst thing for your relationship. You can't drop the one you're with if you're having a good day, and you can't drop the one you're with if you're having a bad day...

Mike
The hybrid will be fine for her.Kristin
Oct 6, 2003 9:33 AM
The cruiser is though on the knees because of gearing. (If I recall properly, cruisers only have 1-3 gears, correct?) Anyway, I started with a hybrid and it was just fine. I think I paid $350 and it suited its purpose. It wasn't perfect, but it was all the bike I needed for the first 3 years. I lost quite bit of weight riding that bike around. It was a Trek with grip shift. If anything, get her a comfort bike that at least has rapid fire shifting and some level of Deore components. My greatest complaint about the bike was that the shifting was always clumbsy.

Leave the road and ATB bikes for later. If she gets into it, then she'll be telling you that she wants one or the other eventually. If she doesn't get into it, then she'll have a $600 bike that will last the rest of her life. I wanted to get into road, but man, the bikes are not comfortable to ride. If you put her on one of those now, I predict she'll walk away.
Whatever you get, buy usedhans
Oct 6, 2003 10:16 AM
My wife wanted to start riding a couple of years ago, but I was worried about spending money on something that would just sit there unused. So we shopped around in the classifieds and found a Marinoni with 8sp 105 and Vittoria shoes, all in her size and in new condition for $600 Canadian. I had to change the gearing (it had a 42-23 low gear), but otherwise it's been great.

If you buy used, and you're careful, you can always get back what you spend on the bike if your wife doesn't end up riding it. My htought is to get a road bike, and set it up with the handlebars fairly high, and a comfy saddle. Road bikes are just way nicer to ride than hybrids (dorky) or mtn bikes with slicks. Plus with her on a road bike you are more likely to be able to ride together. Start out with you on a mtn bike with underinflated knobbies, and work up from there.

My wife doesn't ride a huge amount but she commutes to work a fair bit, and she's learned to draft enough that we can ride together if it's fairly flat. SHe probably did 2000 km this year, and now has new bike fever (like me).

Good luck.
Mountain Bikelitespeedchick
Oct 6, 2003 10:32 AM
I'll never understand why anyone would want a hybrid. Why be poor at two different disciplines? Get a hardtail and buy it used so you don't put too much in it.

I would get her the lightest weight bike you can find in your price range. I doubt she'll be thrashing hard enough to break bikes and components right away, even if she is a bit heavy. And the more someone is out of shape, the more they need the climbing help a light bike gives them.

Do you ever Mtn bike? Do you want her to go with you? Does she have friends to go with? For me personnally, biking was a social thing, and still is to some degree.
You're going to have to figure out how to make it fun if you really want her to ride. I recommend:

Take her to an easy trail in good weather. Try to think up a trail that has something interesting to see, like a waterfall, view, wildlife, etc. Stop a lot. Quit before she's too tired. Go somewhere nice to eat afterward. NEVER EVER mention that riding is a good way to loose weight.

I agree that road bikes can be hard to ride. I had been riding and racing my mountain bike for 7-8 years when I bought a really cheap road bike. I couldn't shift, climb, or clip in. If that had been my first bike as an adult, I'd still be riding horses.

Good luck!
re: The wife wants to ride...pkompath
Oct 6, 2003 12:50 PM
The riding would be for fitness, but she'll be limited to riding mainly flat, gravel and/or paved rds. A mtn. bike would be better because of its versatility. Eventually, we'll have our little one tagging along as well. Thanks for the suggestions.
re: The wife wants to ride...Barton
Oct 7, 2003 7:36 AM
Been there as well. I think an inexpensive hybrid is the way to go. Get one with a "ladies frame", as she will feel safer with it. Also, be patient - ride at her pace. If she stays with it, her speed and distance will improve.