Advice for my wife please

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Super Domestique
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 13:06 pm

Advice for my wife please

Postby Super Domestique » Wed Mar 05, 2014 16:11 pm

Although there was a thread about wives joining their husbands cycling in the General sub-forum I thought I'd add my thread here.

My wife has done some gentle bike rides / family ride stuff on her MTB but has expressed an interest in road riding with me. Her reasons were based on getting fitter, enjoying a shared interest and improving as a cyclist.

I've ordered her a new bike as an early anniversary present (tracking down a model from last year that she loved the colour scheme of, not because it was reduced!).

Anyway, she hasn't the greatest confidence on a bike and doesn't want to get clipless pedals (yet) so what advice do any of you have that may have perhaps been in the same situation?

Other than the obvious (helmet, mitts, padded shorts - got those ready) what might help / am I missing?

Thanks.
Allez 16 - bad weather / turbo trainer
Tarmac Expert SL3 - test colours
Dogma 2 - ex Team Sky

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drlodge
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby drlodge » Wed Mar 05, 2014 16:15 pm

Had a similar experience I guess but with my Son. I got him some pedals with clips just to keep his feet more or less in the right spot on the pedals - will help if/when they move to clipless and aids their leg movement.

Just find some quietish flat ish roads and a route that's an appropriate length. Take it easy and enjoy it. If they enjoy it, they'll improve and what to do more.

Oh, might think about their own saddle bag with spare tube, chain link, tools etc so they are self sufficient.
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Super Domestique
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 13:06 pm

Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby Super Domestique » Wed Mar 05, 2014 17:28 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I've got a set of half-clips in the spares box I'm sure, so that might be a start.

Good idea on the tools. The bike comes with a saddle pack so I'll make a little kit for it.
Allez 16 - bad weather / turbo trainer
Tarmac Expert SL3 - test colours
Dogma 2 - ex Team Sky

Kajjal
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby Kajjal » Wed Mar 05, 2014 20:51 pm

For extra balance you can try light weight MTB flat platform pedals. I have some they grip really well.

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Baby Trek
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby Baby Trek » Thu Mar 06, 2014 21:53 pm

Yeah I would not be rushing into clip less until she is happy and relaxed cycling on her bike. Get her comfort and confidence up first and strength and go from there. Bear in mind that it may take a while to find the right saddle and padded pants for comfort.
Also please,please make sure she does not wear underwear under her cycling shorts...I suffered in pain for many many miles until I was told to get rid of the underwear...painful lesson!

Super Domestique
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby Super Domestique » Fri Mar 07, 2014 15:21 pm

Thanks Baby Trek.
Probably best I show her this thread as she might not believe me!

Just got the dispatch email for her bike so hopefully it'll arrive by early next week.
Allez 16 - bad weather / turbo trainer
Tarmac Expert SL3 - test colours
Dogma 2 - ex Team Sky

tommo7567
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby tommo7567 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 20:57 pm

Baby Trek wrote:Yeah I would not be rushing into clip less until she is happy and relaxed cycling on her bike. Get her comfort and confidence up first and strength and go from there. Bear in mind that it may take a while to find the right saddle and padded pants for comfort.
Also please,please make sure she does not wear underwear under her cycling shorts...I suffered in pain for many many miles until I was told to get rid of the underwear...painful lesson!


I've been helping a work colleague and friend get into cycling over the last few months and she was also suffering with what can only be described as extreme discomfort in her nether regions, which after much head scratching and adjustments of saddle position we solved one ride when I asked her if she was wearing knickers......which she was. The next ride was very different!

I've taken her to my trusted LBS where she has now had two bike fits (original with new bike, and subsequent one after a few rides to tweak positions) and a proper saddle fit which has now solved any discomfort issues and everything is as it should be.

She is now a committed cyclist and loves going out on her bike. For her birthday I gave her some cleats and clipless pedals and her family bought her some road shoes. She has now ridden clipless twice and is becoming very confident.

All in all, it has taken a lot of patience on both our behalfs, and a lot of determination on her behalf, but all through this journey I have reminded her its about having fun and enjoying herself first and foremost.

My wife rides too, albeit a hybrid and she will never go clipless, but likewise we ride together to get/stay fit but ultimately its about enjoyment and riding for the sheer pleasure of doing so.

I love my own riding, whether its going out with the club or by myself or on a sportive, but I think I get more enjoyment from taking my wife or my friend and watching them develop and enjoy the same things that I do.

Hope it works out for you both

bikergirl17
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby bikergirl17 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 23:40 pm

Would it make sense to leave things like the clothes & shoes -- and even the helmet & saddle - up to her? Perhaps as a gift certificate? It's lovely you want to have it ready, but so much is personal preference particularly saddle. I would add a jersey and arm Warmers (given time of year) to your list. And if she doesn't have sunglasses/windbreaker.

I practiced clipping in/out in a park on the grass. And I would clip out well in advance and pedal with one for months until I had confidence. Also if you have look pedals you can set them to be very loose to make it easier to clip out. That said I was turtling on occasion for easily a year!

Super Domestique
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby Super Domestique » Mon Mar 10, 2014 13:31 pm

Fair point. Thanks.

The helmet, padded shorts and mitts are all things she has from riding her mtb so will start her off. Clothing I'll leave to her to choose, although I can imagine Rapha kit being high on the agenda!
Allez 16 - bad weather / turbo trainer
Tarmac Expert SL3 - test colours
Dogma 2 - ex Team Sky

jaxf
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby jaxf » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:14 am

Everyone is different, but my husband just put clipless on when I got my first bike. I have had a couple of slow mo comedy moments, especially after really big days (more than 3000m climbed and you really would prefer to look cool rather than lying on your side still clipped in outside the garage with all the neighbours looking on) I am so pleased he did, as I have watched friends struggle with making the move over to clipless. He got me double sided pedals to make it easier.
I have just had a knee reconstruction, and am not allowed to use clipless for a few months when I am allowed back on the road, and the thought of using toe clips I find terrifying ........

I completely agree about choosing her own clothes, as comfort is a very individual thing. People always enjoy stuff more when they feel comfortable and look good. I love Rapha shorts, rain jackets, gilets and rain jackets, but am not at all keen on their jerseys. Am about to try the souplesse, as my husband likes them a lot.

And can I suggest chamois cream?

bikergirl17
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby bikergirl17 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 23:16 pm

fyi -- the souplese jersey runs tight (i realise they have a more racing fit but it is still tight). i'm xs in the regular jerseys and m in the souplese. i also tend to wear the men's jerseys as they are just nicer looking (the colors for women are like a total after thought). )

jaxf
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby jaxf » Thu Mar 13, 2014 09:55 am

it sure does - the xs souplesse arrived yesterday, and I need to eat no more chocolate! and, yes, why are the colours and range so much better in the mens?

AndyPkr
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby AndyPkr » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:52 pm

I am in exactly the same position as yourself. Out of the blue my wife bought herself a new roadbike (Giant Avail 1) last September. She is now totally hooked and is currently clocking up more miles than me. As for the pedals she started with a cheap set of pedals with plastic toeclips. She kept these loose but at least this kept her foot in the correct position on the pedal. After about 3 months we got some Look Keo's. Make sure she practices clipping in and out before her first ride. My wife was all set to go straight out. Set the springs to the lowest setting. Dont let her go out on her own for the first few rides and make sure you tell her to unclip well before every junction that you come to and that she needs to be aware of which foot she intends putting down so that the bike is leaning to the correct side as she stops. My wife has only had one fall and that was when she was stood still in a car park with one foot clipped in. I got a similar response when i suggested that she didnt wear any underwear. After one ride without she has never worn underwear since. Also make sure her saddle is the correct height. Most people new to road bikes set the saddle far too low thinking that they need to be able to touch the ground with both feet whilst sitting on their saddle. The correct height wil make a massive difference to both how efficiently she can ride and how much further she can ride without getting sore legs One other point, consider fitting secondary brake levers to the handlebars. My wifes bike came with these already fitted and she absolutely loves them to the point where she rarely uses the normal ones. Finally the biggest incentive to her has been the total loss of all cellulite from her thighs. She never fails to tell anybody she meets.

Miss Pootle
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Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby Miss Pootle » Sun Mar 16, 2014 17:44 pm

I can recommend Shimano Klick'r pedals for beginners if you can get them. They are SPDs and for beginners you can put them on a low tension. Or MTB pedals with studs to start with.

You will never be short of pressie ideas now, if your wife gets into road biking. I say to my husband he can always get me some Rapha kit!

Super Domestique
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 13:06 pm

Re: Advice for my wife please

Postby Super Domestique » Mon Mar 17, 2014 08:50 am

Thanks. I'd not seen those pedals before.

Yesterday was the first ride. Just round the block, etc to get a feel of the bike. I'm pretty good with bike set up / fit so no adjustments needed. The Mrs really noticed the speed difference compared to her entry level mtb. Also the comfort was impressive as she thought it would be awkward after flat bars, etc. Only negative for now was the fact that the thinner tyres
obviously make for faster (therefore more twitchy steering) but nothing that doesn't become second nature with time.
Allez 16 - bad weather / turbo trainer
Tarmac Expert SL3 - test colours
Dogma 2 - ex Team Sky


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