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  1. #26
    Senior Member
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    One problem with women's bikes is that, compared to their rider's height, they have very high bottom brackets. This results in the rider being perched high off the ground. This is just plain bad design, and is typical of smaller bikes and kids bikes.
    It is harder for small women on "high" bikes to dismount, than it is for ave size males on ave size bikes.

  2. #27
    Year-round cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    (My Wife) has not ridden a bike since teenage age years...I bought her a hybrid bike a couple years ago, hoping it would entice her.. Earlier she had toyed with the idea.
    Well, I tell her bikes are not the same and to learn to do multiple miles is not the same as a spin about the block..I try to feed her some beginning ideas...She is at the stage where she is trying to get familiar with shifting.
    So I tell her about proper bike position. She is uncomfortable on the bike.. Bike position being so important to long rides. Well.She is afraid to put her feet on the ground and jump off her saddle..She also likes those silly saddles without horns...And expects to touch the ground and remain in the saddle..
    Her complaints...Her legs hurt... She demands her saddle be lowered all the way to the cross bar...Afraid of not getting her feet on the ground fast enough...

    Forget about being the cycle zealot and think about riding the bike.
    For a novice rider, having the saddle so low she touches the ground with both feet is actually a very good thing. It improves stability, allows her to scoot the bike for a few steps at low speed, and solves the fear of falling over or not being able to cath oneself. And it's not too bad even to practice spinning, because you can't apply too much force on the pedals.

    What you need to do is to raise the saddle slowly. Let her start from a position she is comfortable with, but every 2-3 weeks, raise the saddle by 0,5-1 cm (0,125-0,25 inch) or so. She will experiment the added speed, especially when climbing hills.

    As for the saddle, I don't know what you mean by "horns", but she needs to find a comfortable one. And her notion of comfort will change when the saddle gets higher.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  3. #28
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Yeah..Can't expect a new cyclist to feel comfortable for awhile. My dilema..She complains of pain in her arms and hands. My only clue is that of seat position. Looking at her form, she appears to be bent very low at the waist.. you are right about getting her comfortable with the bike before substantially raising the saddle.
    The cause of my original fear about saddle being too low..If your legs are not bent in the two o'clock pedal position , thought, on the up stroke, the trapezoids ?( muscles atop the legs, knees to waist) are susceptible to strain?
    The saddle she insists on using resembles a log roll. Not sure if having no horn causes one to sit too far forward, therefore coming down on the handlebars.
    Not trying to get her to be a pro cyclist over night. Just if the problem of the pain does not diminish, she might give up without solving whatever is wrong.

  4. #29
    Year-round cyclist
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    Pain in the trapezoids and other leg muscles: I wouldn't bother for now. Any pain she feels there is from lack of training those muscles. A bit like when I did cross-country skiing: even though I walk or cycle at least 10-20 km per day, the first time I did cross-country skiing, I felt pain in a few leg muscles because legs are spread further apart in skiing than in walking or cycling. That type of pain will disappear after 1-2 days and will be subdued over time.

    As for saddle position, I'm afraid it's a trial and error process. Some neophites like saddle covers because it makes the saddle softer. Seasoned riders don't like them because it chafes inner thighs. If you have a store that sells second-hand parts/bikes, you might be able to borrow/buy cheaply/exchange saddles from their used display bikes to try them. You don't see a crappy saddle when you sit on it... and if she finds a bad-looking saddle comfortable, nothing would prevent her from buying a new one of that model.

    For pain in arms and hands, shorter stem could help. Also, if she has totally straight bars, try to find older bars (they had handles pointing 45 degrees toward the rider), and try to play with their orientation.

    Regards,
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  5. #30
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfspeed
    A nice mixte with mustache bars! Ok, Ok, way too "out there".

    Last summer my wife decided she wanted to ride with me. We started her out on a comfort bike at the beginning of the summer. By August she decided it was a "granny bike" and we traded it in on a Trek 1200c. With its sloping top tube, cushy seat and relaxed geometry, it is far less intimidating than a full racing bike, but it's still a pretty quick recreational ride.

    But you're not going to buy your way out of the problem. If she asks for help give her exactly what she asks for. Always be positive, but know when to shut up. If she ignores your suggestions let her. Eventually she'll either come around or just give up. The worst thing that could happen is that it becomes a negative experience because she perceives your "help" as nagging, hectoring and condescending.
    I could'nt agree with this any more. My girl friend is about to get a poprad going from a big dorky treck hybrid. She want's to race cx with me this year and go on road tours. I try to tell her the demands of racing and that you have to get many many miles in your legs ect... Fortunatly there is a good group of friends that we have around here that all ride at different levels that she can hop on. At the risk of sounding like an A$whole, the thing that I hope she will understand is that I need to ride hard and am at that level of training so that when we go out for a ride it is difficult for me to maintain a slow pace. Perhaps recovery rides will work out. So CycleZelot if that is your situation too then she and you will benifit if she has a group to ride and learn with that are on the same level. Then once she is up to speed you all can go on the big tours ect... But it wil probably take several months.

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