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Best Way To Keep Up With a Road Bike?

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Best Way To Keep Up With a Road Bike?

Old 07-09-19, 08:30 PM
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PersephoneDown
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Question Best Way To Keep Up With a Road Bike?

I bought my first "adult" bicycle two months ago - it's the 2018 Liv Thrive 3. It's a beautiful bike and a joy to ride! I've done about 7 20+ mile rides on it and felt like I could go for another 20! The reason I picked this bike was because I wanted a bit more comfort than the stiffness of a road bike, but I also wanted a bike that could keep up with my husband, who rides a road bike. My LBS said the Thrive 3 would meet my criteria.

The problem is...it doesn't keep up with my husband. He's 6'4 and I'm 5'1. It's very hard to maintain the speed he wants to go for a long duration. I'm generally riding between 10-14mph, according to my Fitbit. He's going about 18mph on average. I'm curious what I can do to modify this bike to make it easier to ride with him. First, I'm replacing the pedals with pedals with toe clips, because a friend gave me them for free. I figure my upward motion will no longer go to waste and that'll help me keep moving. But I'm not convinced that will solve the problem. My other ideas were to try clipless pedals (even though I'm scared of them) or to buy an e-bike conversion kit for a little electric assist.

Is there anything else you'd suggest to make riding my hybrid more compatible with a tall road bike companion?
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Old 07-09-19, 09:01 PM
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Get right on his back wheel. He's a big guy, he can cut through the wind for you. You will need to put out about 60% of his effort to stay behind him, even at speeds above 20mph. If he wants to work hard, make him.

Mechanically, I would just suggest tires. The 700x32 S-R3 on the bike are pretty hefty, and built to be tough and inexpensive. A more supple, quicker-rolling set of 700x28 tires certainly wouldn't hurt.

My wife doesn't have the luxury of riding nearly as often as I do-- she's lucky to get in 5-6 rides a month, I ride 5-6 times a week. So when we ride together, I pace it appropriately. Maybe bring that up to him-- he doesn't always have to go 18mph.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:08 PM
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Old 07-09-19, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by PersephoneDown View Post
I bought my first "adult" bicycle two months ago - it's the 2018 Liv Thrive 3. It's a beautiful bike and a joy to ride! I've done about 7 20+ mile rides on it and felt like I could go for another 20! The reason I picked this bike was because I wanted a bit more comfort than the stiffness of a road bike, but I also wanted a bike that could keep up with my husband, who rides a road bike. My LBS said the Thrive 3 would meet my criteria.

The problem is...it doesn't keep up with my husband. He's 6'4 and I'm 5'1. It's very hard to maintain the speed he wants to go for a long duration. I'm generally riding between 10-14mph, according to my Fitbit. He's going about 18mph on average. I'm curious what I can do to modify this bike to make it easier to ride with him. First, I'm replacing the pedals with pedals with toe clips, because a friend gave me them for free. I figure my upward motion will no longer go to waste and that'll help me keep moving. But I'm not convinced that will solve the problem. My other ideas were to try clipless pedals (even though I'm scared of them) or to buy an e-bike conversion kit for a little electric assist.

Is there anything else you'd suggest to make riding my hybrid more compatible with a tall road bike companion?
It's not the bike. You are riding a 'road bike', no less so than is your husband. Yours just happens to have flat bars w/bar ends, and 32mm tires. Changing the tires to something else might, as suggested above, make a bit of difference, but that's about it. Toe clips (or even clipless) will make no difference.

The differential in 'average speed' comes down to relative power/strength as cyclists -- you and your husband. It really is that simple. If your husband was riding a Giant Fastroad (men's = of your Thrive), and you were riding a 'road bike', he'd still be averaging 18 mph and you'd still be averaging 10 to 14 mph, more or less.

If you want to ride together, either he needs to slow down a little or you need to up your cycling fitness. 10 to 14 mph is perfectly respectable; he needs to slow down.
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Old 07-10-19, 03:25 AM
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Get a bike with a motor.
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Old 07-10-19, 03:32 AM
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There is a petite woman in our bike club who is a long time cyclist and has no trouble keeping up with the fast group so it is mostly a matter of cycling fitness. At the same time, equipment does make a difference. I suspect your bike has fatter tires than your husband's bike. Narrower tires of, say 25 or 28 mm are lighter so can spin faster, maybe at slightly less effort and at your weight, with less air pressure than your husband would need, would provide a comfortable ride. Your current speed is a fine effort that can only get better.

Finally, many couples, as suggested in the an earlier post, ride a bicycle built for two, (a tandem), so they can remain together.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by PersephoneDown View Post
I bought my first "adult" bicycle two months ago - it's the 2018 Liv Thrive 3. It's a beautiful bike and a joy to ride! I've done about 7 20+ mile rides on it and felt like I could go for another 20! The reason I picked this bike was because I wanted a bit more comfort than the stiffness of a road bike, but I also wanted a bike that could keep up with my husband, who rides a road bike. My LBS said the Thrive 3 would meet my criteria.

The problem is...it doesn't keep up with my husband. He's 6'4 and I'm 5'1. It's very hard to maintain the speed he wants to go for a long duration. I'm generally riding between 10-14mph, according to my Fitbit. He's going about 18mph on average. I'm curious what I can do to modify this bike to make it easier to ride with him. First, I'm replacing the pedals with pedals with toe clips, because a friend gave me them for free. I figure my upward motion will no longer go to waste and that'll help me keep moving. But I'm not convinced that will solve the problem. My other ideas were to try clipless pedals (even though I'm scared of them) or to buy an e-bike conversion kit for a little electric assist.

Is there anything else you'd suggest to make riding my hybrid more compatible with a tall road bike companion?
When I ride with the wife, I pedal really really slow. It sometimes feels crazy slow but I value our time together. Ask your husband to slow down. Good riding buddies stay together.

I also regularly ride MTBs with my road friends. On a normal pace I keep up just fine. I don't hold them back but they're not trying too hard to drop me. On starts, climbs, and anything technical I pull ahead. On flats and descents, I have to spin 120rpm just to keep up.
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Old 07-10-19, 05:33 AM
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Get an e-bike and punish him
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Old 07-10-19, 05:49 AM
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Tires might make a slight difference. Drop bars can make a difference, but not much at those speeds. I don't think there's anything you can do to the bike that would get you more than 1 mph.

I'm not an especially fast rider, but I slow down a lot when I ride with my wife. The rides are very enjoyable, If I want more, I ride another 10 or 20 miles after our 'couples' ride is done.
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Old 07-10-19, 06:44 AM
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How are you and hubby handling the speed difference now? He must be slowing down, or you'd not be riding together! (for long)

Things that will help speed you up:

Tires, as mentioned. But only if they are supple, low rolling resistance tires like ReneHerse. (formerly Compass) I like the Stampede Pass 32's on a hybrid. They aren't cheap, but are likely the best rolling ties you can get without going to tubulars. And the ride is extremely nice. Cheap narrow tires will help very little, and give an awful ride.

Lower body position. Lower the handlebars by removing spacers and/or flipping the stem. Narrowing the bars will help improve aerodynamics too.

These changes are likely to only offer you 1-2 mph increase at best. For more, you need to strengthen the motor. Train more!

Another option is to hook hubby up with a trailer. Load with kid/dog/weights as necessary!
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Old 07-10-19, 06:59 AM
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Tires are the answer.

But I don't mean better tires on your bike.

I mean let the air of of the tires on his bike.

You'll fly right past him.
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Old 07-10-19, 08:26 AM
  #12  
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I've seen this occasionally on the trails I ride. The husband goes flying by and the wife is trying to keep up and does not look like she is having any enjoyment at all on this. Some guys just need to slow it up for their spouse and go fast another day by themselves. Just my opinion.
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Old 07-10-19, 09:05 AM
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Yeah, the solution can have a number of forms. He can slow down. If the point of riding together is to enjoy each other's company and/or encourage joint exercise, him leaving you in the dust isn't doing either of you any good. The other side of that is you getting an e-bike. It's going to take significant effort for a 5'1" rider (who is presumably not as cycling fit) to maintain pace with a 6'4" rider (who is presumably pretty fit on a bicycle). You can keep up or pass him if you're on an e-bike and you both can then enjoy being out doors on bikes together.

This is exactly what my parents did. My dad bought my mom an e-bike for endurance, not speed (so she could ride more than 5 miles at a time). He liked it so much, he bought one for himself, too. And he converted his Trek DS. So they have three e-bikes, and they go on multi-day cycling trips now. E-bikes have been completely transformational for them, and they're a TON of fun, too!
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Old 07-10-19, 09:16 AM
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The best way is to ask your husband to tone it down a notch when you're riding together. I'm not trying to be snarky, because I've been there and done that and realized that riding with my wife is not the time to try for a workout. Going easy anyway, it doesn't matter how easy so there's no issue from my perspective.

Changing things on the bike isn't going to get you to 18 mph from 10-14. A lot of things will help some, but in the end he's likely going to have to compromise with you. You'll both get stronger, you're not really holding him back.
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Old 07-10-19, 01:19 PM
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Cool

As suggested in # 3; you can easily keep up, on a tandem.. ..
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Old 07-10-19, 02:24 PM
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A good hubby will slow down, and as you get fitter, you will revel in climbing faster than him, you can rub it back in his face some

But honestly, riding more will be the biggest improvement you can make. Keep it up and have fun!


(I was easily 2x my wife's weight when we rode a bunch together, and while I did ease it up so we stayed together, she'd dance on the pedals away from me on any hills. I's one proud hubby in those moments)

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Old 07-10-19, 02:44 PM
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We had a good article in the local paper about a 70 year old guy that just couldn't keep up with his younger bike buddies anymore. These guys would go on 30 mile rides and he couldn't keep up (18-22 mph). He was a popular guy in the group and it was a sad story......until he bought an ebike. Of course now he keeps right up with them and they have a great time.....I think you should look into the ebike segment
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Old 07-10-19, 06:17 PM
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It is not as simple as tire width, as yes, tire width does impact speed to a very small degree, BUT YOUR BICYCLE's GEARING will play a much larger role.

Look at some of the available free online bicycle gear calculators (GOOGLE: bicycle gear calculator)


Basically, if your husband's road bike has the HIGHEST GEAR of say for example 52 front and 13 rear and he is comfortable pedalling away on flat-land or downhill in this 52 front TEETH and 13 rear Teeth configuration.................he's gonna be motivatin' and moving out, AND YOU WILL HAVE ZERO CHANCE OF KEEPING UP WITH HIM UNLESS YOUR BICYCLE ALSO HAS the HIGHEST GEAR of at Least That. Why? Because for every revolution of the crank, his bike will be traveling farther in distance THAN say something with a 48 front and 14 rear configuration.
You could also have for example a lighter, even a carbon fiber bike BUT if the alloy/steel bike is also light enough and has superior gearing than the lighter carbon fiber bike, the alloy/steel bike may be in fact faster---------------------THIS ALL DEPENDS ON HOW WELL THE GEARING IS MATED TO THE INDIVIDUAL CAPABILITIES OF THE POWER-MAKER(the human rider)........................................Think of this in terms of the fit of a nice dress or a gentleman's suit-------- off the rack might be acceptable to many, but many may benefit from having a tailor make it fit you better.
Hey you recall, your 8th grade Algebra don't you......sure you do, because you may have helped tutor your kids with their homework.
There is a super simple way to compare.

DIVIDE THE NUMBER OF TEETH ON THE FRONT SPROCKET by The Number Of Teeth on The REAR SPROCKET.


MULTIPLY That RESULT BY THE Diameter Of The REAR WHEEL TO OBTAIN THE "GEAR NUMBER".
(trust me on this, USE 27 as the diameter of the rear wheel for every 700C(622mm) or 27"(630mm) bicycle wheel....
Use 26 instead of 27 if your bicycle has 650C wheel, or 26x1 3/8 schwinn (597 mm) or 26 1 3/8 industry standard (590mm) or 26 mountain bike(559mm)


TO DETERMINE THE DISTANCE TRAVELLED WITH EACH REVOLUTION OF THE PEDALS:
You Take that "GEAR NUMBER" and Multiply it by "pi" ( use 3.14 for "pi")
so this "GEAR NUMBER" x 3.14 = the amount in INCHES that the bike travels for each revolution of the pedals.

Convert to FEET by dividing that amount for inches by 12.


YOU CAN ESSENTIALLY MAKE YOUR OWN COMPARATIVE GEAR CHART.
CALCULATE FOR EACH OF YOUR POSSIBLE GEAR COMBINATIONS and COMPARE TO OTHER BICYCLES, OR OTHER POSSIBLE CONFIGURATIONS THAT YOU COULD REALIZE FROM CHANGING SOMETHING WITH RESPECT TO THE BIKE'S GEARING.


Here is a simple example:
45 teeth front sprocket and 15 teeth rear sprocket combination..........

45 divided by 15 = 3

3 x 27" wheel diameter = 81 GEAR

81 GEAR x "pi" = distance in INCHES the bike travels with each revolution of the pedals

81 GEAR x 3.14 = 254 inches

254 inches = 20 feet


Yes, this is super-simple BUT IT DOES Provide a Meaningful Comparison that even a ten year old would understand.
Your online bicycle gear calculator does essentially the same thing.
I know the using (27) for wheel diam in inches simplifies things since essentially 622mm(700C) is very close to 630mm(27" tire).
IF YOU'RE COMPARING BICYCLES WITH THE EXACT SAME WHEEL CONFIGURATIONS, IT IS NOT GOING TO MATTER, BECAUSE YOUR COMPARISONS WILL BE MEANINGFUL.
Sure, you can get more scientific but I doubt that that the differences will amount to any significant changes to your findings in most cases.



Gear ratio that the bike has and the ability of the human to spin the pedals is the MOST IMPORTANT THING, assuming all else is relatively equal in weight, etc...

Those online bicycle gear calculators can take things farther by giving you ability to see the estimated difference between PACING the pedal cadence.......
Just remember that hypothetical gearing calculation is just hypothetical UNLESS you can realistically handle such a task....
........................What some super-stud can do is meaningless to normal mortal individuals.................thus in order to benefit from gearing, you must realistically get in the ballpark (OFF THE SHELF) of what is beneficial to YOURSELF as the Human power (you as the rider!!).
You may or may not be able to keep up with someone super-strong that can make any bike really move...................................you may need to ask if he'll be more courteous and moderate his need for speed so that both of you can enjoy the ride together. Fast isn't everything. Enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-10-19, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
It is not as simple as tire width, as yes, tire width does impact speed to a very small degree, BUT YOUR BICYCLE's GEARING will play a much larger role.

Look at some of the available free online bicycle gear calculators (GOOGLE: bicycle gear calculator)


Basically, if your husband's road bike has the HIGHEST GEAR of say for example 52 front and 13 rear and he is comfortable pedalling away on flat-land or downhill in this 52 front TEETH and 13 rear Teeth configuration.................he's gonna be motivatin' and moving out, AND YOU WILL HAVE ZERO CHANCE OF KEEPING UP WITH HIM UNLESS YOUR BICYCLE ALSO HAS the HIGHEST GEAR of at Least That.
Sorry, but neither the OP nor her hubby are spinning out their top gear. Her gearing is absolutely not limiting her from keeping up.
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Old 07-10-19, 09:23 PM
  #20  
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Maybe do wut Wifey & I do. When I ride w her I have to mostly coast for her to keep up. Meaning I have to slow down a lot
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Old 07-12-19, 04:36 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by PersephoneDown View Post
I bought my first "adult" bicycle two months ago - it's the 2018 Liv Thrive 3. It's a beautiful bike and a joy to ride! I've done about 7 20+ mile rides on it and felt like I could go for another 20! The reason I picked this bike was because I wanted a bit more comfort than the stiffness of a road bike, but I also wanted a bike that could keep up with my husband, who rides a road bike. My LBS said the Thrive 3 would meet my criteria.

The problem is...it doesn't keep up with my husband. He's 6'4 and I'm 5'1. It's very hard to maintain the speed he wants to go for a long duration. I'm generally riding between 10-14mph, according to my Fitbit. He's going about 18mph on average. I'm curious what I can do to modify this bike to make it easier to ride with him. First, I'm replacing the pedals with pedals with toe clips, because a friend gave me them for free. I figure my upward motion will no longer go to waste and that'll help me keep moving. But I'm not convinced that will solve the problem. My other ideas were to try clipless pedals (even though I'm scared of them) or to buy an e-bike conversion kit for a little electric assist.

Is there anything else you'd suggest to make riding my hybrid more compatible with a tall road bike companion?
Once your husband decides to slow down, here are a few generic tip for beginners:

1) Dial your fit and Position. Start with saddle height and fore/aft, then height, distance, and width
2) Contact points. Swap em: Grips, pedals, and saddle. OEM can be improved in every metric and differences are noticeable.
3) Learn your gears and when to be in which one. A good cyclist is always in the right gear at the right time. Personalizing your gearing is always a good idea
4) Spin fast. Constant 90rpm is a good start.
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Old 07-12-19, 12:26 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
4) Spin fast. Constant 90rpm is a good start.
These article offer alternate opinions on "optimum cadence":
https://www.cyclingweekly.com/fitnes...-froome-191779
https://blog.mapmyrun.com/whats-the-...-for-cyclists/
https://www.bicycling.com/news/a2630...ncrease-speed/
https://www.active.com/cycling/artic...ng-cadence-101

For the OP: I do agree that the rider (strength, endurance, etc.) accounts for the majority of the difference in speed. But having just purchased within the last month both a 2019 Trek FX S6 fitness bike (one of the faster fitness/hybrid bikes) and a 2018 Cannondale SuperSix Evo, there is a definite speed difference between the two with me as the constant variable. I routinely finish a familiar local ride circuit about 10%-20% faster on my Cannondale than my Trek. Even acknowledging that traffic/lights can play a factor, I have always finished faster riding the road bike than the fitness bike, the difference is only in how much faster. And I feel way less tired afterwards. The Cannondale is just so much more efficient transferring my power/effort into speed, on all surfaces and gradients.
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Old 07-12-19, 12:58 PM
  #23  
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When we didn't take the tandem for a ride, I'd take my MTB and ride along with her on a road bike.
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Old 07-14-19, 01:04 PM
  #24  
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Hey all! Thank you very much for all the advice! I went on another 30 mile ride today and tried to take into account all your advice. One thing to note is that my husband, while owning a pretty amazing road bike, is not a hardcore rider. The only ride he does all week is our Sunday ride, so asking him to slow down is kind of cruel to him. Today, I let him keep the speed he wanted to go and I rode behind him, drafting off of him, letting him take on the wind while I stayed up at my highest gears to keep up. It worked. I was able to keep up, though I definitely got my workout today! I feel like a few more rides like that and I'll make up for all the advantages he has of being 6'4. Haha!
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Old 07-18-19, 05:25 PM
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Al_in_NH
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Bikes: Cannondale Cataylist, Giant Toughroad, Specialized Sequoia, KHS Fatbike, Electra Loft

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Go to the local WalMart and buy two bottles of SLIME. When he is at work, let the air out and fill each tire with a bottle of slime, then fill them back up with air to the correct pressure/

The weight of the SLIME will slow him down. He'll never know.
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