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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Talking This man needs help!

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    Hi all,

    First off, i am a man. Sorry for that, but i really need some help here. My wife has a 2010 trek 3.0. She LOVES this bike! I am hoping that someone here can help me....She is 62 years young, and started riding about 6-8 months ago. We are both a little overweight, but we do like our biking. I am currently doing about 100-150 miles a week on either my road bike (specialized secteur comp), or my 1 month old Surly LHT. She rides about 20-40 miles per week. I try to ride with her, but she thinks she's slowing me down (she isn't). She sees me peddling once in awhile while she's spinning(she has 26" wheels, heavy bike,ect), and wants to keep up better. She is gonna keep her 3.0, but what bike can she move up to for maybe slow group rides, and building up to 20-30 mile rides? She told me to say that she has little to none in the coordination game, so fast, agressive bikes are out. She likes bigger tires for light gravel...not opposed to drop bars (she's never used them), and is scared of having to use a mirror attached to her helmet. She is 5' 6" tall and if i say her weight, i'll lose my biking privilages and more. I was thinking a trek 7.3fx, but never rode one. Is it all that different from her 3.0? maybe a cyclocross or touring...... Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Madison WI
    Hi and welcome to you and your wife.

    I have a navigator 2.0 and this summer I got a road bike. I did it because while I love the comfort of my navigator I had a very hard time making it up steep-ish hills.

    My husband and I both use our mountain-ish bikes (I have the navigator, he has a specialized hard rock) when we go on trails. The trails are rails-to-trails so the hills are at a very low grade. I love my navigator on these trails. Especially because I'm usually attached with a bike trailer for my daughter to push behind me.

    I now have a road bike and it really is a great bike for getting the increased speed and ease up hills. I'm not sure what the best bike would be for her but maybe someone else will have a suggestion. I wonder just how much better a trek 7.3fx would be over the navigator. I don't think they are really that lightweight.

    I would suggest you take her to a few bike shops and put her on a cyclo cross, touring bike, even a road bike.

    When I bought my road bike this summer, I got a used one for a lower price. It was a good choice b/c I also invested in clipless pedals and ended up falling over about 5 times. I'm glad I didn't fall over using a brand new 2,000.00 bike
    Alison - mama of 2 (8yo and 6yo)
    2009 Independent Fabrication steel Crown Jewel SE
    1995 trek 800 steel MTV

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    pacific northwest


    Welcome and don't apologize for being a man. My husband is a cyclist as well and is still way faster than I am so I understand how your wife feels. I had a hybrid put road tires on to start with and that worked well for awhile. I think I would try a cross bike if she.is okay abot being in drops. Maybe you should go to LBS and try some out to see what feels good. I think its nice that you care enough about her to get other womens opinions. She welcome too
    I like bikes, sometimes more than my husband

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Maybe you should start with Specialized. Main thing is fit, of course. Does she need women's specific (shorter torso in proportion to leg length), or will a standard design work. (Longer torso).

    Perhaps start by testing a Specialized Dolce against the Secteur, and then go from there.

    Surly is cool too
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.


    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    She needs to test ride different bikes, different styles (flat bar, drop bar) and some with different sized tires - 23c, 28c, 32c so she can see how they all feel.

    There is probably no way she can keep up with you on your Specialized Secteur Comp unless she has a bike of comparable quality and weight. Having her ride a $600-$700 bike while you are on a $1,600 bike just isn't a fair comparison.

    Look at the higher end Trek FX 7.6, or maybe a Specialized Dolce Comp - which is similar to your bike but in WSD. Just make sure if she wants 28c tires there is brake clearance to accomodate them. But to be fair, she should try bikes with a variety of tire sizes on the same route so she can be aware of the difference.

    Oh, and a 10 minute bike ride is not long enough to test a bike. 10 miles would be better. A good bike shop will let you do this.

    She can wear a mirror on helmet, eyeglasses, or it can be mounted on handle bars at the bar end or at the brake lever. If she can use her left side door mirror on her car, she can use a helmet or eyeglass mount. Even with bifocals.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Quote Originally Posted by withm View Post
    If she can use her left side door mirror on her car, she can use a helmet or eyeglass mount. Even with bifocals.
    Not necessarily. If she is not comfortable with a glasses- or helmet-mounted mirror, then why push it? I cannot stand the things. I prefer handlebar mirror.

    But back to the bike question, it's a very good idea for your wife to go out and try lots of different bikes. It can be overwhelming, so she might want to remember that she can take her time and no one is pressuring her into getting a bike she doesn't like.

    She might also wish to consider taking a bicycling course offered by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB). You can check their website to see if there are classes in your area.

    The most important thing is that the bike fits her properly. A good local bike shop (LBS) will take the time to get the right fit and will not try to sell her whatever they have on the floor. Keep that in mind as you go bike-trying.

    Best of luck to you and your wife. Tell her she's welcome here if she has more questions (you, too!).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Thanks for the replies

    Thanks for all the advice. You guys are quick with responses...awesome. She did test drive a fuji finest 2.0. She said the drop bars weren't so intimidating as she thought they were gonna be, but it sounds like she wants bigger tires. She also likes that handlebars were a bit higher than the seat. A kinda bad thing happened at the test drive though......the bike had those toe clips on it. I had the salesman remove them, but apparently he left them 1/2 on (leather still hanging, but toe clips removed). My wife cruised the parking lot for about 10 minutes and when she came to turn by me, the leather dragged and down she went...Ouch! With a little knee blood and hurt pride, we left soon after. She shook it right off and seems ok, but i'm worried that she may shy from road bikes after that....guess we'll go slow and see...maybe the trek 7.6 next and maybe a cross bike. I'll let you all know what happens

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Why doesn't your wife join the forum?
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Zen View Post
    Why doesn't your wife join the forum?
    We don't bite.. much
    Starbucks.. did someone say Starbucks?!?!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Centennial, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by 3wheelin View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. You guys are quick with responses...awesome. She did test drive a fuji finest 2.0. She said the drop bars weren't so intimidating as she thought they were gonna be, but it sounds like she wants bigger tires.
    Hi 3-wheelin!
    I also had a Trek Navigator 2.0 with fat 26 tires, and I went to a Fuji Cross Comp (pictured below in my signature). I love this bike and the stock tires it comes with are wider than road tires and knobbie, but not as wide as the tires on my Trek. It's a nice in-between. I easily rode with those tires on moderately paced group rides of 30+ miles, though people did comment that they couldn't believe I was riding hills and at the speed I was on cross tires

    If I recall correctly from when my husband was shopping bikes, the Fuji Finest has an adjustable stem allowing to easily change the reach and angle of the handlebars - that might be something useful for your wife as she becomes more comfortable on the drops, she'll probably want to go into a more aggressive riding position - she may not think so now, but once she's been on it for a while, she will!!!

    The other thing to think about is the gearing on 'cross bikes - they typically don't have as wide of a range (either high or low) as road bikes do as they aren't really made for long, steep climbs or descents. I live in the front range of Colorado and do a fair amount of climbing, and there are times when having at least a gear or two more on the low end would be nice (and I'd love a higher gear for speed!!). In fact, I have a two wheelsets now, one with my cross tires on it with stock gearing (12-25), and my second set has road tires on it with a slightly wider ranged cassette (11-28). Having that 28 on the rear has been helpful on some climbs for me. Up front I only have 36/46 - your road bike probably has a 50 as your largest on the front - I mention this because she'll hit top gear long before you will when it comes to speed. Just keep gearing in mind when looking at cross bikes.

    If there are any hills in your area, and if she really does want to keep up with you, I would suggest getting her a road bike. She already has the other bike to ride on trails. If she's really worried about tire size, switch out her current tires with slightly smaller slick tires for her to get used to so making the switch to a road bike wont be as drastic a change. And once she gets a road bike, put the fatest tires the bike will allow on it for her to get used to - you won't be fitting knobbies on there, but you should be able to put a little something more on there. I'm speaking from experience here!!! I have 3 bikes, and there is some overlap in them - if I had to do it over again, I would have been smarter in my purchases and allowed room for growth in my skill. That's what is so great about this site, is there are people here who can speak from experience
    Jenn K
    Centennial, CO
    Love my Fuji!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    My own thoughts:

    Your wife could get a much lighter weight hybrid bike with normal sized wheels and much lighter tires, and it doesn't have to cost a fortune. there are many great tires out there that are fairly thin (25mm) and have Kevlar inner belts that can take her safely over even the roughest gravel. Lighter/larger circumference wheels and lighter tires can make a big difference in total bike weight and being able to keep up with others.
    The gearing on such a hybrid would likely be easier too for all types of hills than the heavy bike she has now.

    Try weighing her bike, then bringing her bike with you to a good bike store and asking to see lighter weight hybrids with wider range gearing and normal sized wheels and tires. And they should be happy to put whatever tires you want on a bike you purchase- likely for free.
    A typical hybrid with straight handlebars and handle grip shifters would be way easier and reassuring for her than trying to jump right into roadie drop bars.

    P.S. I love love love my helmets mirrors, and I wear progressive tri-focal glasses and fit-over sunglasses too.
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Columbia, MO
    Maybe you could get a heavy slow bike. You could name it "The Equalizer".

    Or a tandem!
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Have you considered a road tandem? She would always be with you, you can experience the fun of being able to ride fast on flats and downhills, everyone loves seeing a tandem out and about, and she will find it's confidence boosting not having to worry about shifting. braking etc on drop bars.

    Yes, it can be not for everyone but it's worth a try. Best wedding present we ever got (everyone chipped in money) and it's a great ice breaker. And hey we are not lean cycling machines either (see my picture) but who cares!

    PS In my experience in my cycle club and former job, even a light weight hybrid will never keep up with a road bike if the road bike person is stronger. Yes a really fit person can riade a hybrid or MTB bike as fast as a road bike but I am talking about a really fit person. Put the fit person on a road bike and they will go even faster.
    Last edited by Kiwi Stoker; 10-01-2010 at 12:13 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    great advice.....

    I'm posting on various threads as I am a "newbie" in getting a bike. I bought a Catrike Expedition about 18 mos ago and did my first solo century in April on it and it was not fun - it weighs about 30 - 35 lbs and there was about 7,000 net of climbing! I've posted on my FB page a bit ago for advice from all my cycling friends (I worked the start and finish of Race Across America 2010) so I have a lot of them now and am hoping for some from you awesome ladies too! I rode a Cannondale Six (?) WSD a few weeks ago on a test ride but didn't like the saddle - easy enough to change, but I've had a lot of back surgeries these last 10 years, so it wasn't a great fit for me. The mfg reps suggested the Synapse (?) but noone seems to have my size in right now for me to test ride. I get Bicycle Magazine and have been reading all the reviews on bikes, but it's just more confusing to me I think. I was a stoker on a tandem for about 9 yrs (ex) and definitely liked riding it! HELP!!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    cmafit--you might get more replies if you started your own thread.
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.



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