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Old 07-07-11, 05:53 AM   #1
Shrktank
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Husband and wife ?

Hello I have a question for you all:

My wife is 5ft and I am 6ft1. We are both over 50

My wife purchased a Schwinn Sporterra NX8 with an 8 speed internal hub. I purchased a Trek DS 8.4.

Our concern is we are getting into biking for fitness and to do things together. The two issues we have is with our physical differences and bike differences will we be able to ride together. I think she is afraid she will not be able to keep up with me. I told her I am not going to be a speed demon and we should be able to maintain a consistent speed we both can benefit from

The other issue is her bike. Do you feel with only 8 gears, she will be limited in keeping up as I have 27 different gears. My opinion is if we go on nice not too hilly rides we should be ok, but if we go with many hills she might find it harder. She bought her bike just on Monday so I think we can still return and replace with a more traditional gearing system.

PS: not sure if it matters but my wife weighs 110 and I am 300.
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Old 07-07-11, 06:34 AM   #2
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I am 6'1" 240, my wife is 5'2" 110lbs - she has no problem keeping up with me on the flats as long as I don't put the hammer down. Sometimes she can out-climb me, sometimes she can't. On downhills I pretty much have to wait for her...even coasting. Gravity is a wonderful thing for us big guys going down...not so much going up.

those 8 gears on her bike will cover pretty much the same range as your 27, just not as granular (bigger jumps in between gears), but if you are going to be doing a wider variety of rides you might want to ensure her bike is geared similar to yours.
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Old 07-07-11, 06:34 AM   #3
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it's not the bikes
it's not the bodies
it's gonna be your attitudes toward each other

you have to want to ride together

I can't play tennis with my wife. it's too hard to do that sport with less effort. but I can bike with her because its easy to ride easy.

every now and then you're gonna want to take off and feel your maximum effort rewarded so either wait for her to catch up or take an occasional ride on your own.

you can also handicap yourself by having knee surgery or something else like that!
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Old 07-07-11, 06:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Shrktank View Post
Hello I have a question for you all:

My wife is 5ft and I am 6ft1. We are both over 50
Why not ask the folks in the 50+ forum. Lots of friendly folks there.
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Old 07-07-11, 07:48 AM   #5
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You should have no problems cycling together, regardless of differences in strength.

I cycled three miles with my daughter on Sunday. She is 4 years old, 3 feet tall and her bike has no pedals, but there was no problem in us cycling along together. I also go on family cycle outings with my wife who doesn't cycle much, it's nice to take it easy an ride at a relaxed pace with her.

If you are trying to get vigorous exercise you may have a problem, but for a leisure ride there won't be an issue.
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Old 07-07-11, 08:53 AM   #6
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If you're both just starting out, my guess is that she will be far slower than you. When riding with her, don't think of it as a fitness ride, just think of it as an outing with the wife. If this is the case, just do some extra miles without her and hammer away. But keep the peace by always riding with her for as long as she wants. The bikes (and gearing) probably won't matter too much.
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Old 07-07-11, 09:55 AM   #7
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Why not ask the folks in the 50+ forum. Lots of friendly folks there.
What am I, chopped liver? Us old, friendly (and not so friendly) folks are not confined to the fossil forum, ya know.
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Old 07-07-11, 09:57 AM   #8
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If it turns out that your physical abilities are very different, you can adopt the following approaches:

1. Leave her in your dust - which does rather negate the intention to get fit together
2. Keep to the speed of the slowest partner
3. If she's flagging, place your hand in the small of her back and push, thereby giving her a boost and tiring you rapidly so that you are brought back down to her speed. It would also give you a more demanding workout.

And at 5' and 6'1" you might wish to learn from other physical activities which you share, whatever they may be, and how you have dealt with the disparity in physical size and weight.
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Old 07-07-11, 10:52 AM   #9
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I don't get why so many seem to have a problem riding with a spouse of lesser ability or fitness. When you ride with your spouse/SO, you ride to be together and enjoy the activity together...if you can't do that because you gotta go balls-to-the-wall all the time, you got a problem that may require professional help. There is no rule that says you can't go for rides by yourself when you want to push hard...and if there is...then maybe your spouse/SO has a problem that may require professional help.
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Old 07-07-11, 01:57 PM   #10
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I think those 8 gears will be plenty because I never use the front 3 gears, keep it in the middle one. So I only use 7 gears and that range is plenty for me even on hilly rides.

Cool that you guys are biking together, my wife and I just started riding together almost everyday. I just ride at her pace because I am in better shape. She is kind of weak because of lack of exercise, but once she gets her cardio back up and strenthens her leg muscles, I'm sure she will have no trouble keeping up with me.

Last edited by Scott_TN; 07-07-11 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 07-07-11, 02:00 PM   #11
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How about a tandem?
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Old 07-07-11, 02:43 PM   #12
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It is not a question of a problem, but more concern that she may get discouraged. It sounds like it should work out well. We ahve been married for 26 years so I think we can handle this.
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Old 07-07-11, 02:53 PM   #13
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My wife has just started riding with me, and while she's relatively fit by "normal" standards, I'm a stronger rider. A few thoughts:

1. Treat your rides together as your "recovery" ride. Hammer solo, cruise together. Will help you actually take it easy on your recovery ride, which I find difficult when I ride alone.

2. If you are on a street or trail that doesn't allow you to ride alongside each other, have her ride in front. It'll be easier for you to adjust to her pace than to expect her to communicate from behind when you are going too fast or too slow. Also will allow you to keep an eye on her (I sometimes have to remind my wife to slow down when she pushes too hard and her riding gets ragged).

3. Expanding on that last sentence, don't neglect to tell her frequently to ride at whatever pace she finds comfortable. My wife hammered a bit too hard on some early rides because she was embarrassed about going too slow. I told her, "I'd rather ride at a slow comfortable pace than stop and wait for 10 minutes while you gulp down water red-faced."
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Old 07-07-11, 04:19 PM   #14
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I may be the contrarian here, but if she can still easily exchange the bike, why not ask if she'd like one that is more equivalent to what you have (unless she is really in love with bike she has!)? Even though the consensus here is that hers will work if you take it easy, later on it might be better if the bikes were equivalent, after her fitness improves. ?? Just a thought. How does SHE feel about it?
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Old 07-07-11, 08:03 PM   #15
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I don't get why so many seem to have a problem riding with a spouse of lesser ability or fitness. When you ride with your spouse/SO, you ride to be together and enjoy the activity together...if you can't do that because you gotta go balls-to-the-wall all the time, you got a problem that may require professional help. There is no rule that says you can't go for rides by yourself when you want to push hard...and if there is...then maybe your spouse/SO has a problem that may require professional help.

Well said!

I let my wife set the pace. When she figures she needs a rest I will hammer pedals and return to where she is sitting.

After over 30 years in a factory with shift work and OT this riding together is real nice. Am I too proud to suck wheel behind a 70 year old woman? Nope!!
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Old 07-08-11, 06:21 AM   #16
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I may be the contrarian here, but if she can still easily exchange the bike, why not ask if she'd like one that is more equivalent to what you have (unless she is really in love with bike she has!)? Even though the consensus here is that hers will work if you take it easy, later on it might be better if the bikes were equivalent, after her fitness improves. ?? Just a thought. How does SHE feel about it?
That's right...Plus She will look forward and enjoy riding more if she has a bike that she really likes. Even if its just cosmetics.
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Old 07-08-11, 08:21 PM   #17
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I have already planted the seed regarding this. The Trek store manager here is her size. She is also one of the top ranked women cyclist in the State.
I told my wife we should go in and talk to her one day as I am sure she will better understand the situation.

Tomorrow will be our first ride
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Old 07-09-11, 12:53 PM   #18
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Here are the rules. Follow them. They work. Many male riders do not follow them and then wonder why their wives don't want to ride.

When you ride together:
  • She goes first.
  • Her speed is the perfect speed.
  • Perfect as in you suggest no other speeds.
  • When she develops favorite routes those are the best routes.
  • If and when she thinks it fine that you ride ahead for a while you never, ever, stop and wait for her. You ride back and meet her. If you rode ahead and back fast and hard enough you will LOVE her speed.
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Old 07-09-11, 03:14 PM   #19
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Well we finished our first ride today. Not very long, about 6.5 miles. Just wanted to get Out and test the new bikes and the misled we were to find we had.

My wife set the pace and it was a very comfortable pace. Our route and some challenging hills, which my wife did very well on.

My wife a little but past the half point, told me to go ahead. I kicked up the pace and practiced the rule mentioned earlier, I came back to her and we completed the ride together

Thinking snout a late afternoon river ride.
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Old 07-09-11, 03:38 PM   #20
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If you want to ride together you will. I make sure my wife rides in front of me almost all of the time. If I feel I need a more intense work out, I'll go out alone after or before our ride together.
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Old 07-14-11, 08:35 AM   #21
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My wife and I have the same type bikes (21 speeds). My wife seldom uses more than a few of her gears, says she does not need to shift. I on the other hand shift all the time. She often asks why I shift so often, I tell her I have all these gears I might as well use them. Like others have said, let her lead and keep the pace. My wife gets faster everyday. Im sure your wife will be fine with 8 speeds.
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Old 07-14-11, 05:56 PM   #22
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Whenever you feel the temptation to step it up and hit a speed that she's not comfortable with, which is bound to happen, just remember this:
Many are the cyclists whose lives are severely degraded because they can't get their SO to ride with them, for whatever reason. You, sir, have hit the jackpot. Don't blow it!
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Old 07-14-11, 06:24 PM   #23
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just remember this:Many are the cyclists whose lives are severely degraded because they can't get their SO to ride with them, for whatever reason. You, sir, have hit the jackpot. Don't blow it!
+1..
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Old 07-14-11, 10:03 PM   #24
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When my wife (73yo) and I (71yo) ride together, we ride at HER speed. This is our time together, and it is not much fun if I go off somewhere ahead of her. I have lots of opportunities to ride alone, and sometimes she does, also. But when we ride together, we ride TOGETHER.

(and, Chipcom, some of us 50+'rs do leave the yard every now and then )
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Old 07-14-11, 10:29 PM   #25
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Am I the only guy here who has to hammer just to keep up with his wife?

But seriously, I have an 8-speed IGH bike similar to your wife's; it's every bit as fast as my 24-speed hybrid bike, and is just as capable a climber.
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