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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been tempted by getting a fixie to train on. In particular, I'd quite like to ride with my girlfriend and still get some decent training benefit. At the moment, I can cruise along at her pace (my recovery pace) on a flat road with it feeling painfully slow, but as soon as we hit the hills she is flat out before I'm in a training zone. Rides are fun but very easy for me and with limited training time I can't always afford to spend my weekend rides at an low heart rate.

Will this have the desired effect on my pace? I'm thinking it might cap my top speed on the flats and give her more chance on uphills and downhills. Or is it going to want to make me hammer it even more? I was hoping it might also have the advertised effects of cleaning up my pedaling a bit as well as being good fun.

Anyone got any experience/thoughts?
 

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Sticky Valentine
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I don't know anything about top speeds or training or anything, but I think that you should probably seperate your training rides from rides you take with your girlfriend. Maybe you could get out earlier and come back by, pick her up, and get a good little cool down ride in after you've gone through your training ride.

I just don't think that you viewing her, in any respect, as holding you back from something is going to end too well.

Just my experience though.



joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.

I appreciate your thoughts but the issue really is that it would be cool if we could ride together, just a bit more matched in terms of speed/effort. Just wondering if a fixed gear would have this effect.

I don't think it's a case of holding me back, as I'm not racing seriously at the moment and unfortunately I don't really have the time to do a few hours fast on a group ride and then a few more after. I have to study weekends/evenings and I ride 40 miles to work in the week for 10 hour days or so. Life is hectic!
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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I doubt it would have the desired effect. I ride ss (not fixed) and I tend to have to hammer up the climbs on the ss. That's just the way it works for me. How about a Bob Trailer with an anvil in it. That would be good equalizer...

I agree with JoeDaddyO separate the training rides with the loving rides.
 

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Out of work goaltender
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I ride a 48 by 16 which is pretty good at wearing me out a lot faster than my main bike. This makes me pretty much equal to one of my buddies who otherwise I'd be smokin, but still makes me end up waiting up if I ride with my dad. There is a definate minimum cadence with a fixie that I can't really stand to drop under.
 

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On the flats ride a tiny gear. Leave it in your 39/23, and just spin out. You'll be getting a good cardio workout, improving your pedal stroke, and going slow enough to keep your girl in tow. When you get to a hill, use your 53/16 or bigger and just grind up at low cadence. Good for muscle building and again will keep the speed down.
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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I'll second that. Climbing on a fixie have the opposite effect; you'l really smoke her cuzz yer forced to use a bigger gear and well, it will be worse.
 

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BS the DC
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Tandem

wooglin said:
Get a tandem.
I second the tandem. It is the only true equalizer.
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Hit It

JGD said:
...I was hoping it might also have the advertised effects of cleaning up my pedaling a bit as well as being good fun.

Anyone got any experience/thoughts?
When I end up riding with significantly slower riders such as volunteering to lead a new group of riders I regularly take my fixie with a suitably easy gear. You will get the training benefits of cleaning up your pedal stroke. It is way more fun than going slow on a geared bike. A fixie also makes it easier to adjust your speed as newbies are typically all over the place speed wise.

JGD said:
...I can't always afford to spend my weekend rides at an low heart rate...
...Or is it going to want to make me hammer it even more???
Going to a fixie and riding way slow is not going to up your heart rate. Focus on getting it up (your HR) after the ride when you are hammering it with your girlfriend.

Tandems can be fun but are expensive, especially if you change girlfriends frequently. I also am not sure I would have as much fun or get the workout I wanted with someone who was significantly different than my pace. My wife is close enough to my pace that we have a good time screaming along on the tandem, riding slow on the tandem would simply not be as much fun.
 

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BS the DC
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Keeping up with Junior said:
Tandems can be fun but are expensive, especially if you change girlfriends frequently. I also am not sure I would have as much fun or get the workout I wanted with someone who was significantly different than my pace. My wife is close enough to my pace that we have a good time screaming along on the tandem, riding slow on the tandem would simply not be as much fun.
I find tandeming days are my tough days. I'm usually hammering to keep the pace I'm use to. There's no way my girlfriend could keep up that pace, so I end up putting out way more than my share of the work. When I get on my single bike, I feel like I'm floating on a cloud.
 

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Easy gearing and spin might be fine--on the right days--whether you are riding fixed or not. Fixed sort of takes away the option of soft-pedaling while a slower rider catches up, although maybe you didn't really want that option anyway.

One thing that I've done riding with my wife is just to spin a low gear and go easy with her for nearly the whole ride. On certain hills or short clear stretches, she's always been cool with the idea of my taking a hard short flier and looping back for her--I always ask in advance just so she doesn't feel like she's getting dropped. If I do the hill twice, at a good pace, and then spin again, I get some work and I'm just not out of sight much. If you wanted to be really industrious in planning your route, you could turn it into an interval day.
 

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Don't think fixie will do it.

The only advantage it offers is a chance for a slower rider to catch back up on a down hill big enough to spin out the fixie. Many slower riders don't want to go that fast even when they can.

The best thing I've found for riding with my wife, is wearing a mirror. It makes it much easier to stay connected without the constant slowing and waiting that makes her feel like a burden. We usually ride together on my easy days. Sometimes we'll split up about 10 miles from the coffee shop and go hard as we can, stop for coffee or another drink, and ride home together.
 

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Windrider (Stubborn)
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Some hard earned advice......

Only ride with your GF when you want to be there with her....not to train.

My wife and I have an agreement.....when I ride with her, it's for the company not the training. She was always worried about "Holding me back" or feeling like she had to Overwork to keep up........finally, we just agreed on the above.

Now, I go out knowing (and she knows that I will honor it) that I'm riding with her....she sets the pace. If I work on anything while I'm with her it's form, or spin, or maybe I'll do a complete 2 hour ride in the drops....or something like that. Riding with her when I feel like I need to be training is a good way to have her not enjoy the riding.

Many times I'll ride with her on the day after a very hard effort....I make it my recovery day and just enjoy the company, we will stop for luch, dally etc.

The only other thing we will occasionally do is paln on a long out anfd back ride........where we wrm up together for the first 5 or so miles & then I'll ride ahead and where I will turn around at 30 miles, she might turn around at 20, and then I'll try to catch her around the 5 mile mark and cool down with her for the last 5 miles.

The riding couples that drive me nuts is where the guy is always 25 or 30 yds ahead of the women for the entire ride..........I never understand why the women puts up with that.

Len
 

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If you gear low enough you can really work on your spin. I do that with a lady friend who is training for tri-events, but is not very fast. I let her lead at her speed for most of the ride. I personally focused on adjusting my pace to hers regardless of the terrain. I got a great workout of my fixed-gear doing that. I actually had to slow down going up the hills.:D
 

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Cipo's long lost cousin
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Simple

We've got a three year old thus I ride singlespeed towing a Burley trailer. This slows me down enough that the wife can keep up. This works out pretty good for the whole family. Trust me, pedalling at 14-15 miles with one gear, towing a trailer is a pretty good workout...
 

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I ride fixie with my girlfriend on her old 12 speed raleigh. She is WAY slower than me (although I am slowly upgrading her bike, which is definitely a huge part of the speed differential). The only way I can keep from dropping her is to ride behind her. I do like this for a couple reasons ... A: the view is better, B: she's not as confident a rider, so I hold a steady line a little further out and back from her, and it forces traffic to give her a little bigger buffer zone.

We have an understanding that I pass her on uphills and slow down enough for her to catch up at the top, which she's cool with.

To keep my interest levels up in the ride, I alternate unclipping my legs and spinning for like a km or so with only one leg, including short climbs and decents. It really lets me work on my spin in a very unique, concentrated way, and makes the ride more challenging (and therefore more interesting). Plus, drivers look at me like I'm crazy. (But I definitely avoid having my girlfriend seeing me ride one-legged, as that might seem condescending or insulting)
 

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Ditto Steve-o

I also use the bike trailer to make me work harder at my wife's pace. It doesn't hold me back that much on the flats, but enough to notice. With a four year old and a two year old in there, though, the hills get quite a bit tougher. Side benefit: it makes my old steel bike feel super lightweight when I'm solo.
 
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