Originally Posted by Violet May
I'm trying to get my brothers & sisters to ride more with me. I bought my sister a Trek Navigator off craigslist last year. She likes it, but I notice that when we go as a group, she's much slower than my brothers & sister-in-laws who all have a Giant Cypress. They are all at about the same level when it comes to experience and fitness level. The Navigator is slightly heavier than the the Cypress and the tire sizing is different.
Is there a big difference or does she just need to pick it up?
Any help is greatly appreciated!
The difference in tire sizes and weights between the two bicycles is not a big issue. It is how much effort a person is willing to put into the pedaling.
My wife and I have been riding together now for 5 years. Averaging between 1500 and 2000 miles per year. A short ride is 30 to 35 miles while a good ride is 55 to 60 miles. We are both now 68 years old.
We each have a Trek Navigator comfort bike. She also rides a Raleigh Detour 3.0 hybrid while I also ride a Trek Multitrack hybrid.
I follow my wife, letting her set the pace for the day. She has good days and bad days. It all depends on how much housework she did the day before and what sort of housework it was.
All of our experience suggests that the bike plays something of a minor role in how well our rides go. Energy levels, weather, mood, etc., play a greater role. Some days you just fell like hammering the pedals and other days you feel more like taking it easy.
How comfortable one is on a bike comes into play here. We found that little changes in seat height, angle and position in the mounting rails can make or break a ride in how much energy you can put into a ride. Tire pressures play a part.
Wind, force and direction can play a major role in how well a ride goes. We normally ride the Schuylkill River Trail out of Oaks down into Philly. Prevailing wind hits us in the face on the return leg of the ride. Long sections of the trail out in the open with strong gusty winds can kill your energy levels. While my wife has good endurance in her legs they are not as strong as my legs. So the wind will take a good bit out of her compared to the effect on me.
We have found that in order to improve our legs we must push them a little bit. On each ride you must push yourself a little harder than on the previous ride. During the short days of winter we will do 30 to 35 miles a day. As the days warm and lengthen we find that we must work our way back up to the 50 to 55 mile ride endurance. And if we are off the bikes for more than a week it is like starting over when we get back on them.