Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 67
  1. #26
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    55
    I think the big question is how different gearing will change your girlfriend's reluctance to stand on the pedals, use the drops, or go faster on descents. Maybe climbs will be easier; maybe they'll be slower.

    You want her to change. Does she want to? It sounds like your girlfriend is riding the way she wants to ride. What's wrong with that?

    I don't mean to be snarky. I just think the action you're contemplating doesn't address the problem.

  2. #27
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    686
    OP, have you considered converting her bike to a flatbar? You said the fitter gave her narrower bars which could have helped her overall gains, but may hold her back descending. You could even cut the bars down some (but not to hipster width), and they’d still be wider than road bars. Not sure how that would affect her climbing tho, especially if she pulls on the bars while climbing. I think that would help with her confidence and sense of stability when descending.

  3. #28
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2,446
    If one wants to do fast descents, one would not want a flat bar, IMO.
    BANNED

  4. #29
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Fredrico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    23,864
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    My girlfriend struggles both with climbs and is afraid of speed on decents.

    She never comes close to spinning out the 50/34 on her 2016 Specialized Ruby Elite w/hydraulic disk.

    Would there be any technical problems swapping her SRAM Rival Compact 50/34 for a (FSA?) Super Compact 48/32?

    I was recently riding with someone who had the 48/32 on a gravel bike and was extolling it's virtues. My though was it might assist GF with the climbs, and since she doesn't spin-out...any "loss" on the top speed end wouldn't be noticed or matter.

    Thanks.

    Attachment 322631Attachment 322632
    Have to agree with Toulouse and the others: don't do anything.

    A 120-135 pound rider on a 18 pound bike can easily make it up any hill a car could drive up. That's spinning at 90 rpm going about 6 mph in the lowest gear, 34-32. Piece of cake.

    The lady needs more miles in her legs. She will then welcome pain on those climbs, rather than give up and walk. The pain becomes entirely manageable. Without these anaerobic efforts, she won't get stronger and fitter. All the women I've encountered regularly on the club rides, after they've ridden for a season and can handle the gears, more often than not they'd be climbing in 2 or 3 cogs out. Women are well equipped for aerobic activity. They have long, slender, slow twitch muscle fibers in their shapely legs, perfect for cycling, and lighter upper bodies that would slow them down much less on the climbs. She's got a perfect bike, a perfect fit, and is ready to rock and roll.

    It'll take a couple of years, or a couple of thousand miles, whichever comes first, and she'll find 34-32 more than adequate for the worst climbs. And it only gets better, year by year. The advantage of 34-32 will then become, "Shall I spin up this grade at 85 rpm in 34-32, or hunker down and do it at 70 rpm in 34-26?

    Sitting down while climbing saves energy, which, the closer to anaerobic threshold, is the only way to go. Standing will burn out the average mortal in seconds. He'll collapse back on the saddle and try to pick up the rhythm where he left off, losing momentum and slowing down in the process, blowing it, basically.

    Your lady could eliminate the 11 t. cog and go with a 12 or better yet, 13-32 cassette, if they're available in 11 speed cog sets. Don't worry, though, plenty of gears from 15 to 32 to work with.

    As far as descending: stop pedaling, draw the legs close to the frame at 9 and 3 o'clock, lower upper body slightly over the bike, grip the hoods or tops, and relax. The bike will take care of the rest. If she needs to brake, do it in small spurts before the turn, and use body weight to lean through the turn.

    Rider can pass others pedaling like mad in their 53-11s like greased lightening if she reduces wind resistance, quite dramatically at 35+mph. Once she gets used to it, it becomes one of the many cheap thrills of riding. But yeah, a couple of moderate grades would surely be nice to train on and develop confidence.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 1 Week Ago at 11:29 PM.

  5. #30
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Lombard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,953
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    I hadn't considered a triple, and probably wouldn't. My first 12 years of cycling I had a Cannondale R900 with a triple. Loved the bike, but I don't miss all the shifting.
    I have road bikes with both a triple and a compact double. I can't say I shift more or less with either one. The reason I don't recommend going this route is cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    Honestly, her issues aren't terrible.

    It's only the toughest hills she'll unsaddle and walk off, maybe 5 a season.
    Well then, an 11-36T cassette and SRAM mountain bike derailleur will enable her to climb any hill. She will need a new chain as the existing one will most certainly be too short. Note that Jenson USA has FREE shipping on orders over $50:

    Cassette:

    SRAM PG-1030 10 Speed Cassette | Jenson USA

    Chain:

    SRAM PC-1051 10 Speed Chain | Jenson USA

    Derailleur - X5 is cheaper, but X7 will probably give her a little better shifting. Personally, I would spend the extra $19 and get the X7:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SRAM-X5-10-...MAAOSwd2Ba53~x

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SRAM-X7-Der...kAAOSw-YZa6Mvi

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    And I love to bomb down hills with near reckless abandon more than most other normal folks. I'm just trying to get her to take a little more risk.
    I will have to side with her on this issue. Having seen a few bike wrecks where friends have been carted away in an ambulance, I'm more careful on downhills these days. Add to that the roads in my area suck. Unless I know the road really, really well, I generally don't go much over 30, maybe 40 if I know the road is in really good condition.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    She's done a few centuries with me.......
    Well then, what are you complaining about? Do you know how many people would love to have their significant other be able to do even one century with them?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    ........but her bike handling, climbing, and fast decents continue to be woeful. She doesn't have the courage to press it.
    So what? The important thing is that the two of you have fun. Enough with the perfectionism!

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    She will not get out of the saddle and stand to power over a hill. Never.
    This can actually be counterproductive. For me at least, standing gives an extra short burst of power, but then I will tire very quickly. The best advice is slow and steady.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    ......she is still too afraid to get into the drops on down hills. Never.
    I never use my drops either because of neck issues. As I said, concentrate on improving on hills. Lower gearing should do the trick.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    I'm looking at repositioning the brake/hoods down a little bit, as when I've observed her try the drops (rare one hand only at a time) she seems to struggle with the sharp angle at her wrist and finger reach to the brake.
    If it's unnatural for her, then don't do it. If she has smaller hands, it could be a problem doing this.

    Remember this: You can't run until you learn to walk. And you can't walk until you learn to crawl.

    One thing at a time and enjoy life in between.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  6. #31
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: MaxKatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    435
    ^^^^^^^^^^

    Much thanks to Frederico and Lombard.

    So many points to address. Skimming...

    30-40 mph is probably my "bombing" speeds on hills. The issue is she doesn't get close to this, riding the brakes almost constantly. Thus with rim brakes, her grip literally got tired. The move to hydraulic disk helped, but didn't completely solve.

    No doubt she needs miles on the legs. Unfortunately, she never seems to get that. Never did sports in school, cycled, or worked out at a gym before she met me. Getting in shape is more of a learned thing then we realize.

    Her mind does zero calculations like..."I have to be in shape for a Metric Century in 3 weeks, thus I need to watch the weather and my personal calendar for opportunities to spin myself into shape."

    I end up doing the scheduling, which she then groans about and feels like it's a 2nd job when I tell her we need to get out for a few 20's on the next few sunny warm days...followed by a couple 30's and 40's the next.

    Since she can't seem to close the gap with personal physical / mental adjustments, I'm seeking to "cheat" with tech solutions.

    Alternatively, I told her yesterday perhaps she could be my "at home" girlfriend, and I'd find a "cycling girlfriend." Did not go over well.

  7. #32
    tlg
    tlg is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11,265
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    She's done a few centuries with me
    100mi or metric century?
    Either way, I assume she's in pretty decent shape to complete either.

    Is weight an issue? What kind of grades are you climbing? A 34x32 should easily climb just about anything reasonable while seated.


    While I think her shifting is sound, no amount of my coaching has encouraged her to do other things that would help.
    She will not get out of the saddle and stand to power over a hill. Never.
    Sometimes women just don't want to take advice from their significant other. Do you have any cycling friends that could coach her? Maybe a local cycling club with beginner groups?

    My local shops have told me to accept she may have reached her personal limit and that perhaps I should just accept that. I can't. I know there's so much more fun available out there if she can just evolve a little more.
    See above. It might be you (not intentionally). She might need guidance from a 3rd party.

    No doubt she needs miles on the legs. Unfortunately, she never seems to get that.

    Her mind does zero calculations like..."I have to be in shape for a Metric Century in 3 weeks, thus I need to watch the weather and my personal calendar for opportunities to spin myself into shape."

    I end up doing the scheduling, which she then groans about and feels like it's a 2nd job when I tell her we need to get out for a few 20's on the next few sunny warm days...followed by a couple 30's and 40's the next.

    Since she can't seem to close the gap with personal physical / mental adjustments,
    It kinda sounds like she's just not that into it. While she may enjoy it to an extent, it may just be an attempt to have an activity together.


    I can sympathize with you a bit. When I met my GF, she was a previous runner but stopped after a hip replacement. She wanted to get into cycling since it was non-impact. At first she was very "competitive" with the expectation that she'd be able to ride at my speed with my group. It was never my encouragement, not that I didn't want her to, but I didn't want to be the one pushing her. As I know that could have very negative implications to the relationship! And that it was a goal she'd likely never achieve. She's a yoga instructor and weighs all of 90lbs and will never put out the watts necessary. She'd ask me what she needs to do to get faster, and my answer of 10lbs of leg muscles doesn't go over well!
    In the past year or so, she's come to terms with it and gave up with pushing herself to unrealistic expectations. She loves riding her bike and is a fine rider. She's a kamikaze going downhill and loves to climb. She rides by herself most of the time as she likes the relaxation of it. We'll ride together usually once a week and it's always at her pace. Usually the day after a hard ride for me as a recovery ride. But she always feels bad like she's holding me up. I do my best not to act like I'm not working hard.
    I have thought about an electric assist bike for her as it would open up riding opportunities.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  8. #33
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: MaxKatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    435
    Tig... full 100 mi Century's.

    Weight not an issue.

    Fear and athletic ability are.

    Off the top of my head, Twin Light Century at Sandy Hook, SeaGull Century out to Assateague Island with the wild horses in Maryland, Maine Lighthouse Century from Portland past 9 lighthouses to Kennebunk and back.

    She just doesn't stay in shape enough over winter, nor does she push herself enough to improve in the areas she struggles.

    For example:


    • She can't turn around 180 degrees on a two lane road without getting off the bike.
    • She can't restart if she stops pedaling on almost any kind of incline.
    • When a light turns green, she will often walk across the intersection as she doesn't have confidence restarting that first pedal stroke.
    • She can't stop with control. If I stop and expect her next to me, she'll either stop 10 yards behind me, or ten yards past me, with no ability to just come to a halt next to me.


    Honestly, after 5-6 years of this, I can't understand this lack of improvement or bike control, and from a safety perspective it's somewhat frightening.

    Below is her after her first Century she was proud to finish. Maine Lighthouse...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 50/34 to 48/32 ?-screen-shot-2018-05-14-12.50.26-pm.jpg  
    Last edited by MaxKatt; 1 Week Ago at 09:09 AM.

  9. #34
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    12,616
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    Tig... full 100 mi Century's.
    Century's what? Or centuries?
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  10. #35
    tlg
    tlg is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11,265
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    Fear and athletic ability are.

    She just doesn't stay in shape enough over winter, nor does she push herself enough to improve in the areas to struggles.
    Says you?
    Or says her?
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  11. #36
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Lombard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,953
    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Century's what? Or centuries?
    The full 100 miles belongs to the Century.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  12. #37
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: MaxKatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    435
    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Says you?
    Or says her?
    Says reality and what is.

  13. #38
    tlg
    tlg is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11,265
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    Says reality and what is.
    Uhh no.

    Does SHE think she needs to improve or do YOU think she needs to improve?
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  14. #39
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: MaxKatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    435
    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Uhh no.

    Does SHE think she needs to improve or do YOU think she needs to improve?

    No, she does too (I just called her to ask and confirm), but she doesn't seem to understand what that entails in terms of trying, and challenging oneself.


    As mentioned, she rarely experiments with anything new like getting in the drops or standing up.

    Only on the last ride did she ask that we return to the spot she put a foot down / walked a 180 on a 2 lane road so she could attempt it again. And she got it the second time...which was great... there has to be more of that.

    In general, she accepts limitations she places on herself. That limits what we can do together as cyclists. I'm tired of waiting, looking over my shoulder, etc., as much as I do. A little bit...okay. But when I see a 5 years cyclist dismounting for some of the stuff she does, I just can't let that go without saying...please try.

    Thus...solving with technology what we cannot close out mentally or physically.

  15. #40
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    161
    I built a bike for a girlfriend of mine. Similar situation. She doesn't care about going fast, and just wan'ts to be able to get up the hills without trashing her aging knees. She's not into HTFU. For her, if it's not fun and enjoyable, she's not really interested.

    I built her a steel 48cm Norco Search with 650b wheels and 42mm tires. I put a PraxisWorks 48/32 crankset and a shimano 11-36 cassette with no issues.

    https://praxiscycles.com/product/zayante/

    As CX noted early on, it's possible the FD mount won't accommodate a lower mounting position required for this. You can just look at the mount for the FD and see if there is room to go down. It won't take much. A millimeter or two would probably be sufficient. It worked fine on the Norco.

    Good luck!


  16. #41
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: velodog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,746
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    No, she does too (I just called her to ask and confirm), but she doesn't seem to understand what that entails in terms of trying, and challenging oneself.


    As mentioned, she rarely experiments with anything new like getting in the drops or standing up.

    Only on the last ride did she ask that we return to the spot she put a foot down / walked a 180 on a 2 lane road so she could attempt it again. And she got it the second time...which was great... there has to be more of that.

    In general, she accepts limitations she places on herself. That limits what we can do together as cyclists. I'm tired of waiting, looking over my shoulder, etc., as much as I do. A little bit...okay. But when I see a 5 years cyclist dismounting for some of the stuff she does, I just can't let that go without saying...please try.

    Thus...solving with technology what we cannot close out mentally or physically.
    Have you thought about a tandem? It would give the two of you the opportunity to ride together without some of these issues. As long as you can match your cadences it could work. I've seen some pretty fair priced used tandems that could let you know if that would work, or maybe look into renting one for a coupla rides,

    And you would still have the singles so nobody would be tied to the tandem for all rides.
    Too old to ride plastic

  17. #42
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    12,616
    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    If one wants to do fast descents, one would not want a flat bar, IMO.
    Speed doesn't seem to be a major concern at this point. Control and confidence, yes.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  18. #43
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Lombard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,953
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    In general, she accepts limitations she places on herself. That limits what we can do together as cyclists. I'm tired of waiting, looking over my shoulder, etc., as much as I do. A little bit...okay. But when I see a 5 years cyclist dismounting for some of the stuff she
    I don't know how long you two have been together. If you have been riding together for five years, you know what you can expect of her and what you can't.

    Not to sound like a relationship councilor, but at this point, you will need to accept her as-is or move on. Some people are just more risk averse than others. Accept it.

    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    Have you thought about a tandem?
    This could be a possibility. Of course as Velodog said, she will need to match your cadence.

    Warning, if you pass gas, don't be offended if she takes her feet out of the pedals and tells you to do all the work.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  19. #44
    tlg
    tlg is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11,265
    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I don't know how long you two have been together. If you have been riding together for five years, you know what you can expect of her and what you can't.

    Not to sound like a relationship councilor, but at this point, you will need to accept her as-is or move on. Some people are just more risk averse than others. Accept it.
    Maybe she needs a new "cycling boyfriend".

    If after 5 years, she's not "getting it".... either she doesn't really want to... or maybe it's the instructor.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  20. #45
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Lombard's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    6,953
    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Maybe she needs a new "cycling boyfriend".

    If after 5 years, she's not "getting it".... either she doesn't really want to... or maybe it's the instructor.
    It's possible if she takes it as nagging, she may be pulling the other way.

    No offense to the OP, but perfectionists can be annoying and often humorless.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  21. #46
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: velodog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,746
    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Warning, if you pass gas, don't be offended if she takes her feet out of the pedals and tells you to do all the work.
    As to this...

    My then girlfriend, current wife, and I were riding a tandem and hit an incline. It got pretty tough and in my effort a fart snuck out. And, damn, the bike almost come to a standstill and tipped over. I stood on the pedals to try and regain some momentum and when I pulled up on the bars I noticed here feet sticking straight out to the sides, nowhere near the pedals.

    WTF...

    If you're going to fart in my face you're going to pedal up the hills by yourself, was her response.

    And Mr. Lombard, maybe it's funny now.
    Too old to ride plastic

  22. #47
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    12,616
    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Maybe she needs a new "cycling boyfriend".

    If after 5 years, she's not "getting it".... either she doesn't really want to... or maybe it's the instructor.
    I don't know how many times I've heard of scenarios like this...sometimes the relationship partner is NOT the right one to do the coaching/instructing. OTOH after 5 years or so she can barely spin a 180 on a 2 lane road and refuses to stand up on the pedals...maybe doing organized/long rides aren't her thing.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  23. #48
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2,446
    Maybe an electric bike is not in your future, sorry.
    You should consider some alternative entertainment activities, and kinda let the biking buddy's go.
    BANNED

  24. #49
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    8,395
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxKatt View Post
    No, she does too (I just called her to ask and confirm), but she doesn't seem to understand what that entails in terms of trying, and challenging oneself.


    As mentioned, she rarely experiments with anything new like getting in the drops or standing up.

    Only on the last ride did she ask that we return to the spot she put a foot down / walked a 180 on a 2 lane road so she could attempt it again. And she got it the second time...which was great... there has to be more of that.

    In general, she accepts limitations she places on herself. That limits what we can do together as cyclists. I'm tired of waiting, looking over my shoulder, etc., as much as I do. A little bit...okay. But when I see a 5 years cyclist dismounting for some of the stuff she does, I just can't let that go without saying...please try.

    Thus...solving with technology what we cannot close out mentally or physically.
    This thread is a ticking time bomb.

    I'll just suggest you go try some physical activity with something you suck at and go with people who are really good at it. Downhill mountain biking or ice hockey might be good if you've never done either. See how you feel about ignoring your protective instincts and about people who are good at it getting frustrated with you.

  25. #50
    Huge in Japan
    Reputation: craiger_ny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    345
    I am going to bluntly concur with others here and just outright say that the possibility exists that you need relationship advice more than she needs bike advice. Maybe, maybe not. This is, after all, the internet and we have limited perspective.

    Our advice covering either one will be sketchy at best. Mine will suck so keep that in mind as you process this post.

    Regarding a tandem, you will be farting on her. I see that as a potential final straw.
    Interwebs bumpersticker goes here

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

roadbikereview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.