Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll try not to get long-winded. I am a MTB rider and recreational racer that rides a road bike 2-4 times/month, I ride the MTB 3-5 times/week.

My dear wife wanted to "road bike" with me. I'm thinking this means mellow group rides and family rides, plus some couples rides once in a while.

So I do research and decide on a WSD road bike - 2008 Bianchi Dama Lei Elena size 42. Wanted to get something with 700c wheels, a fairly nice grouppo (this has Shim105), plus some carbon bits. It's nicer than my bike. Presented it as a surprise gift!

She tried it once or twice and can tell that it's a nice bike, but the handlebar position hurts her back and saddle puts pressure in bad places!

OK, I say that I bought at the LBS so that we can get the bike fit FOR HER. Let's get the saddle height/fore-aft dialed, try a new saddle, shorten/raise stem, etc. No dice, the bike is just not gonna work for her she says, please return it.

I'm hoping not to get relationship or consumer advice as to what I did wrong. But maybe someone could help me to figure out what to do now!
Should we just ride together on our MTBs (on the roads) with slicks?
Should we get a tandem?
Should we buy her a comfort/hybrid bike with an upright position & squishy saddle?
Maybe a diff handlebar (e.g. bullhorn, flat) on the Bianchi road bike?

Any experience out there would be appreciated...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
let her pick

Last year I bought my wife a bike for her birthday. Part of me wanted to get her a full zoot road bike. But I decided to take her to the store and let her pick. She selected a specialized crossroads elite. One of those "comfort crossover" rides. I knew with this bike she could neither keep up with me on the roads .. or take it out on any sort of singletrack. But I bought it .. slowed down and enjoyed my rides with her. 3 months later she decided to get a real bike. and now has a "real" road bike with the skinny tires and high zoot bits.
Thing is .. bike are uncomfortable... road bikes especially so at first, with the narrow seats and aggressive position (compared to the comfort bikes). It takes some time to fall in love with the hobby. and if she's not comfortable ... she'll never get enough time in the saddle to find out how great the hobby is.

a side note my wife is now looking at mtn bikes and thinks a multiday bike trip like http://www.ptny.org/canaltour/ sounds fun!.. all this in under a year.:D
 

·
Meow!
Joined
·
1,449 Posts
My advice is similar. In the very least, talk to her about what she wants and what she had in mind when she said that she wanted to ride with you. Don't try to talk her into something she doesn't want.

My experience was similar to Simian's wife--minus the fact that I'm not married. I bought a hybrid thinking I'd feel more comfortable in an upright position. The thought of starting with a road bike intimidated me I guess.

Well, a month later, I realized that I actually wanted a road bike. I bought a Bianchi and quickly became obsessed with riding. I put about 13,000 miles on the Bianchi in 2 1/2 years, and I just picked up a news Moots this past week. Granted, she may never get that enthusiastic, but don't be surprised if she does. Just start with some baby steps.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate your replies, they give voice to some of my thoughts.
I already KNOW that I can't and ought not try to force anyone to do anything they aren't comfortable or ready for!
But somehow I think that my well-earned wisdom (from the school of hard knocks) might count for something, and I could help someone skip the heavy hybrid/comfort bike step. We don't have room for 8 bikes in the garage!!! :D

But maybe I'm the one who didn't learn and earn the wisdom. :mad2:

You gotta take the steps yourself...and then once you are comfortable walking try running. Need to watch the re-runs of King-Fu again...
 

·
haole from the mainland
Joined
·
5,962 Posts
For that size of a bike she would be better off with 650c wheels. With 700c wheels she is going to have a steep STA and consequently longer reach when her saddle is set up properly.

I think the geometry of the bike is probably contributing a lot to the bike being uncomfortable.
 

·
Hermia commutes
Joined
·
1,496 Posts
well don't get a tandem! that's certainly not the answer to your problems.

I'd start by going to the lbs together, and have her have a conversation with the sales person about what she likes/dislikes about this bike, whether or not the issues can be fixed, and what other bikes are out there. If she test rides several, she might find that all of them make her neck hurt at first. Or, if the shop is willing to do some component-swapping on her bike for a test, she might find that the frame works, just not the current set-up.

The only thing I'd try to make sure of first is who is at teh shop. I was really intimidated when my then-boyfriend took me bike shopping. I knew that I had no knowledge whatsoever and wouldn't have been able to say boo to a salesperson. So make sure that it's someone who has the time and patience to really work with her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, this is what I need to do! Go together to the LBS. We just are busy-busy folks...no excuses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks I did consider that, it may be a 44cm size rather than 42cm. Either way, you are right. The handling may feel off due to the 700c wheel size. I guess that the seat tube angle would be steeper than normal? But wouldn't that shorten the cockpit? If it were shallower then the seat post would go further over the rear wheel and lengthen the cockpit and stretch her into an uncomfortable position, I THINK.

Appreciate the comment.
 

·
.·*°¤`*·.·*´¤°*·.·*°¤`*·.
Joined
·
2,042 Posts
My friend asked me to help her find a bike 2 days ago, after searching the internet, EBAY & CL, we headed into my LBS today. She went home with a Trek Pilot 1.2 WSD. New Shimano shoes, Ultegra pedals, computer. She was so happy to finally complete as she said "the last piece in her tri puzzle." Shes been running and swimming and now she gets to ride. I think it was easier because the passion is already there in a sense, and she knows the discomfort of trying to keep up on a mtn bike with me on my road bike! lol I though it was cool my LBS let her borrow a trainer to practice clippin in/out before riding tomorrow :)

No offense but I would not want to be surprised with something SO unquestionably personal as a road bike. There are way too many variables as to what I would be looking for. It's like picking out her wedding ring for her or even moreso - her wedding dress. Why not let her do it if she's the one who will be "wearing" it? I just think if you would of surprised her with a $1000 gift certificate to the bike shop that would of gone over much better. She would of had the ability to go and try a number of bikes and styles and make up her own mind as to what fits her best. Sometimes even the color plays with our minds and can entice or dice the moment. I have a non WSD bike, I love it. My LBS lady told me today that WSD is partially seen as a gimmick anyways because you can pretty much customize any bike to function and feel the same... and any good LBS will be sure to make sure that you are 100% satisfied on the way out the door. Your wifey never had that opportunity to make the bike "her own" it was all done for her. And yes you said you would take her to customize it but I think it was just off to a bad start with purchasing the bike for her. Don't get me wrong it was a super sweet gesture! But knowing how touchy and scientific something such as a road bike is, it would of been best to just take her to the source I think. As for now? Take her to the source and let her decide - then get out there and ride! I've taught 3 women how to ride in the past 3 days. Clipless and all. I've had a great 3 days and learned a lot about some amazing women. Sure they were slower and I wanted to go fast sometimes but seeing people having fun A BLAST doing something for the first time just makes me way to happy to complain.
 

·
haole from the mainland
Joined
·
5,962 Posts
NC2WA said:
Thanks I did consider that, it may be a 44cm size rather than 42cm. Either way, you are right. The handling may feel off due to the 700c wheel size. I guess that the seat tube angle would be steeper than normal? But wouldn't that shorten the cockpit? If it were shallower then the seat post would go further over the rear wheel and lengthen the cockpit and stretch her into an uncomfortable position, I THINK.

Appreciate the comment.
No it actually lengthens the cockpit--assuming she is properly fit.

For example, if the saddle position relative to the bottom bracket is identical on two bikes and they both have the same TT length, the one with the steeper STA will have more reach because the saddle will have to be further back relative to the position of the seat tube.
 

·
Anti-Hero
Joined
·
10,343 Posts
Honestly it just sounds as if she doesn't realize how much a proper fitting/saddle can change the entire ride of the bike. I'd tell her to try the fitting, and if she's still not happy, then look in to other options. Seriously- a poor fit and the wrong saddle will make the ride on a perfectly fine bike absolutely unbearable.
 

·
Cat 6 rider
Joined
·
3,090 Posts
Andrea138 has the right idea. If she feels like she's just _way_ too bent over then raising the bars significantly might show her that these things are adjustable. You can even get one of those movable stems that allow a number of bar heights to be tried.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top