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Old 08-23-12, 11:05 AM   #1
thefunnyman
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Talking my wife out of a race bike.

I have been cycling/commuting for about a year now on a junky cheap trek hybrid. I will soon be having my lbs build up a do-all road bike on a cross-check frame because I really really like the versatility of the frame and the almost infinite things you can do with it. My wife has gotten into cycling with me in recent weeks and I've finally interested her in a road geometry bicycle. The problem is that she's become smitten with a Giant Avail 1 race bike and is very adamant about purchasing that bike. Currently she claims she has no need for hauling extra gear or anything like that, and enjoys how light and agile the frame is. The bike admittedly is very light and she's probably going to smoke me after i finish dorking out the cross-check with racks/fenders/etc. My concern is that she's going to get the bike and a few months down the road, her thoughts will change on what functions her bike should perform, and the avail will be inadequate for these additional functions.

Should I just leave her alone and get the race bike since she likes it so much and claims to feel comfortable riding it? Or should I slow down this process and try get her butt in some utility road bike saddles to feel out the differences? FYI she has absolutely zero intention of ever racing (her words) and maybe would be interested in doing charity rides or centuries in the future. Any thoughts from others who have successfully "talked their wives off the ledge"?

Thanks!

EDIT: After lots of feedback from more seasoned married men and a very good point that the Avail isn't technically a race bike, but more specifically an endurance bike, I've decided to back off and get her on the bike she wants. Thanks so much for all the colorful input!

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Old 08-23-12, 11:10 AM   #2
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Lighter race bikes are nimble and fun.

Let her have her fun.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:11 AM   #3
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I'd be happy if my wife would ride any bike. Are you worried that she will get tired of it and stop riding at all, or just about the money that would be wasted if she changed her mind about what bike she wants? Because most likely she would want to keep the light bike even if she gets something more practical.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:11 AM   #4
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>.> I don't think you'll like my input. I say let her get the bike! What are the odds she's not going to love a light fast performing race bike? And if she does decide she wants a utility bike later, why not n+1 for her too?
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Old 08-23-12, 11:19 AM   #5
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Likewise, I think trying to talk her out of it is a bad idea. Racing bikes are a lot of fun, and you can always find a cheap old bike to turn into a cargo hauler later.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:21 AM   #6
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You are screwed.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:22 AM   #7
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Well, the point with my direction for a bike build is that i COULD with a few different wheelsets change the bike from a commuter, to a racer, to light offroad machine. The versatility is appealing to me currently, although I don't know offhand how often i would be changing my bike's personality. I guess part of me feels like i'm making a practical decision while she's making an emotional one. But maybe i'm making the emotional one...
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Old 08-23-12, 11:25 AM   #8
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Well, the point with my direction for a bike build is that i COULD with a few different wheelsets change the bike from a commuter, to a racer, to light offroad machine. The versatility is appealing to me currently, although I don't know offhand how often i would be changing my bike's personality. I guess part of me feels like i'm making a practical decision while she's making an emotional one. But maybe i'm making the emotional one...
You are. And I can relate. I have a little green centurion.. it's on incarnation number 12 or something like that right now. Other then frames like your current build, most frames only do 1 thing well... so 2 bikes is often a better route if you can afford it. These are just my opinions though.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:27 AM   #9
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The only aspect of a racing bike I'd caution someone about is the thing I rejected for myself (and if I were rich I would have bought anyway).

When I was shopping one bike I tested was a Diamond Back steel framed true racing bike. It was great, handled beautifully. I could make it do what I wanted. BUT at that point I was a pretty good water skier and it reminded me a lot of a very responsive ski. Loads of fun when yuo wanted performance, but yuo always had ot be alert becaseu it was so responsive.

That bike would have been great for shot rides, meaning under 25 miles when I bought it and probably under 60 at my peak. But for really long rides it wouild have required a lot of attention.

The bke I got is still a racing bike, just not at the extreme of responsiveness.

I still would not try to talk anyone out of an overly responsive bike, jsut make them aware that what is fun for a test ride may not be fun for a long ride.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:27 AM   #10
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My only thought is if she's not racing with it, she may eventually decide the gearing is too high on a pure racing machine. What's the gearing like? Something geared as what is called a "club rider" or "sport touring" bike might be perfect. Fast and fun, but still comfortable for long rides.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:29 AM   #11
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My only thought is if she's not racing with it, she may eventually decide the gearing is too high on a pure racing machine. What's the gearing like? Something geared as what is called a "club rider" or "sport touring" bike might be perfect. Fast and fun, but still comfortable for long rides.
Good point. But at any decent bike shop she can get that at little to no cost if she asks at the time of purchase.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:32 AM   #12
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My only thought is if she's not racing with it, she may eventually decide the gearing is too high on a pure racing machine. What's the gearing like? Something geared as what is called a "club rider" or "sport touring" bike might be perfect. Fast and fun, but still comfortable for long rides.
here's the bike she's liking. it's a 34/50 crankset with 12x30 10 speed cassette.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:32 AM   #13
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Great feedback and discusion! this community is so awesome!
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Old 08-23-12, 11:34 AM   #14
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Two things come to mind. 1. If you have been married very long by now you should know the answer to your question. If she isn't happy you will not be happy.
2. You should read Erma Bombeck. I think it was in her book, "The Grass is always greener over the Septic Tank" she talks about her husband buying her a car. She stated that what he bought reprsented how he felt about her. A good solid practical car meant he thought of her as good, solid and practical or in an un-romantic way. But if a man were loking for a car to get his mistress it would be a sexy sports car. Something with curves and style. Think before you object too strongly to the image she may be looking for.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:35 AM   #15
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I have been cycling/commuting for about a year now on a junky cheap trek hybrid. I will soon be having my lbs build up a do-all road bike on a cross-check frame because I really really like the versatility of the frame and the almost infinite things you can do with it. My wife has gotten into cycling with me in recent weeks and I've finally interested her in a road geometry bicycle. The problem is that she's become smitten with a Giant Avail 1 race bike and is very adamant about purchasing that bike. Currently she claims she has no need for hauling extra gear or anything like that, and enjoys how light and agile the frame is. The bike admittedly is very light and she's probably going to smoke me after i finish dorking out the cross-check with racks/fenders/etc. My concern is that she's going to get the bike and a few months down the road, her thoughts will change on what functions her bike should perform, and the avail will be inadequate for these additional functions.

Should I just leave her alone and get the race bike since she likes it so much and claims to feel comfortable riding it? Or should I slow down this process and try get her butt in some utility road bike saddles to feel out the differences? FYI she has absolutely zero intention of ever racing (her words) and maybe would be interested in doing charity rides or centuries in the future. Any thoughts from others who have successfully "talked their wives off the ledge"?

Thanks!
Sometimes you just have to smile and say "Honey, I love you get the bike YOU want" and let it go at that.

IMO this is one of those times.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:41 AM   #16
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Will she have to ride hunched over on that racing bike? A lot of women like to ride upright.
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Old 08-23-12, 11:48 AM   #17
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Sometimes you just have to smile and say "Honey, I love you get the bike YOU want" and let it go at that.

IMO this is one of those times.
I'm just getting back into riding after a several year break, after a lot of years of race geometries I decided to try out of the more relaxed "comfort or endurance" geometries. They are still light and responsive but smooth out the road a bit and put you in a more up right position. If she is locked into Giant she may want to look at the Defy.

In the end I would go with her choice, over all you want her happy and riding.
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Old 08-23-12, 12:01 PM   #18
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The worst purchase decision would be a bike that hangs in the garage and never gets ridden.

I'm thinking she will be much more likely to ride and enjoy a bike that she has chosen for herself rather than a bike that you picked out for her.
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Old 08-23-12, 12:03 PM   #19
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She likes the bike and that will make her want to ride it. Seems you are the one wanting to change the function of what her bike will do later down the road, not her.
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Old 08-23-12, 12:24 PM   #20
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She's the one riding it. Let her have her fun. Your influence is just something she will use against you at a later time.
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Old 08-23-12, 12:43 PM   #21
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I've been trying to talk my wife into a race bike. Besides, there's always N+1.
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Old 08-23-12, 12:47 PM   #22
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The Avail is the Women's version of the Defy. Let her get the bike she wants. My wife wanted something sportier than her old Sirrus. She has a Madone 4.7 now, and couldn't be happier.
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Old 08-23-12, 01:15 PM   #23
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... The bike admittedly is very light and she's probably going to smoke me after i finish dorking out the cross-check with racks/fenders/etc.
Hehe, be honest - this is your main concern, neh?

The Avail isn't a race bike - it's an endurance bike. With a compact double, 12-30 in the back, and relaxed geometry, it's a fantastic choice for a new cyclist.

Fall in love with cycling first, worry about the details later. ^_^b
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Old 08-23-12, 01:15 PM   #24
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I rode a hybrid once and it was an awful experience. I have a couple "race bikes" and they are so much more fun to ride. Some people don't want racks and fenders and all that stuff. Plus if you ride with your wife you get to experience the fun of carrying everything she needs.
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Old 08-23-12, 01:26 PM   #25
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So you want to talk your wife out of something she clearly wants. Two questions:

1) How long have you been married?
2) How much longer do you plan to be married?
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