So i blew $1k to get the missus riding and she is useless.

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Had a brief dose of this today, first proper test ride of her new Soma. There was always going to be a lot of stopping to adjust things, but goodness I copped it for trying to convince her the saddle was as far back as it would go and the reason she felt like she was wanting to sit further back was the actually the handlebar/stem height... I think I’ll send her off to a professional bike fit.
 

creaky

The obviative
Had a brief dose of this today, first proper test ride of her new Soma. There was always going to be a lot of stopping to adjust things, but goodness I copped it for trying to convince her the saddle was as far back as it would go and the reason she felt like she was wanting to sit further back was the actually the handlebar/stem height... I think I’ll send her off to a professional bike fit.
Just put it all where she wants it, then ever so slowly move it back towards where it should be so she won’t notice.
 

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Just put it all where she wants it, then ever so slowly move it back towards where it should be so she won’t notice.
That’s the idea. Alas saddle was as far back as it goes... No matter, she just needs to get used to it. She compares it to her old bike and everything “different” is perceived as “wrong”...
 

ozzybmx

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I read the first post and none in between... sorry.

We ride bikes hard in my house, we own 15+ bikes.

We race endurance events, enduro, DH, XC and whatever else comes our way... that's the 3 of us, Me and my 2 boys both aged 13.

The most competitive person in my house is 'mum', even know she has never been competitive in her life.

Mum... she is the shuttle queen, happy to shuttle, happy to make us happy, happy that we are happy.... what about mum ?

I buy her a $6.5k ebike, she rides up a hill waving 2 fingers at us, she is flying... mums a legend !

Every time we try to go for a ride, its a battle to get her out... basically she hates riding a bike, even an E-bike...

So in reality, you either like to ride a bike or you don't !

Throwing money at it doesnt make it work.
 

flamin'trek

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Is an anthem the right bike for a beginner? XC Race oriented doesn’t sound like something that is going to inspire confidence going down. You don’t need to go fast when learning, you need confidence the bike won’t chuck you off. Getting something a bit more trail based/relaxed geometry would seem a better option - as long as it still climbs fairly well.
 

Lazmo

Old and hopeless
Is an anthem the right bike for a beginner? XC Race oriented doesn’t sound like something that is going to inspire confidence going down. You don’t need to go fast when learning, you need confidence the bike won’t chuck you off. Getting something a bit more trail based/relaxed geometry would seem a better option - as long as it still climbs fairly well.
Yeah, I agree.

My wife went ok-ish on her xc Merida 96, a bit better on her Merida 120, but got infinitely braver on her Stumpjumper ... and it transformed her riding. Recently we were up at Tathra and she rode a few blacks, that she walked last time we were there. Shoulda seen the stupid grin afterwards.

I also think, it helps a lot if she is into adventure and the bush... my wife will choose a different way every time.
 

Mr Crudley

Eats Squid
The age old question and I struggle with this one quite a bit too.

Going back to basics: Why does she want to ride - Is it only to keep you happy only or does she have an interest in keeping fit or really likes the biking idea?

If it is only to keep you happy then it isn't going to end well. Mrs has done this since I have endured all sorts of vintage shops and markets where I essentially end up carrying old stuff. She coming on a ride to keep me happy won't make her happy and will end up futzing up my day and I'd rather stay home and play the PS4 than create mutual misery.

Mrs likes the fitness aspect and does like to ride but is also terrified of anything remotely chunky. Hills aren't her favourite but she gets there, descents scare her. That is what it is and I'm fine with that one now. I do like having her come along but I will quickly turn back if it turns into a 'too fest' meaning too hot, too cold, too steep, too high, too late, too long, too loose etc.

I take on places that will try to keep her content but also see how I can get more out of it.
  • Road bikes paths and cycleways are the easiest choices. I have picked out a few routes that are flattish, like the pipeline and M7.
  • She grew up deep in mountains so loved outdoors but god don't let her even think of seeing a snake :)
  • MTB trails need to be flattish. Lady Carrington Drive and Blue Gum Swamp in Sydney are preferred. To her credit, she does the Winmalee loop both up and down but isn't her favourite and I don't want to make her do stuff she isn't comfy about either.
  • You should ride a few gears down so you spin more to keep pace in bridal rides.
  • I ride Justin Timberline more, 26" rigid SS which makes easier trails feel like Les Gets.
  • Gently let her know that she might be a late entrant into the rotund, generously proportioned lady club without some exercise. She has noticed that the TdF are mostly stick like guys with muscles bolted on, 'Ride enough and you won't get fat' is my smartarse but spot-on response
Plan B is to sneak up for Crack Of Dawn solo rides and be back early if she isn't keen. This is good for other reasons like seeing less sunburn and summer reptiles. Mrs doesn't might the odd Crack Of Dawner in summer too.

get her an Ebike!.... :D
Not a bad idea and I've thought about it too. Lack of eBike standards is one thing and pedaling keeps you fit.
 

Binaural

Eats Squid
Find a section of non technical single track and just do 3 km loops of it. Then expand and change gradually as she masters it. Yep boring for you but it will work.
Can't emphasise that one enough - there are lots of relatively easy trails around Sydney (Hornsby, the Oaks etc.) that minimise the risk of injuries while she teaches herself how to ride.
 

Stredda

Likes Dirt
I agree with everyone here that saying, take it steady.
Professional coaching 100%
Christa at Shape and Ride is great. https://www.shapeandride.com/
Jodie Willett at Bike Rite is another great female coach https://www.bikerite.com.au/

My wife is been a slow to come around to mountain biking. She does CrossFit and Strongman, so she's fit, just lacks skills.
Now we have some great green trails close to home she's really starting to enjoy it. She's even entered her first race in the Challenger category in Tas Gravity Enduro's first round this weekend in Hobart.
Make sure you take her on easy rides (they may bore you but stick with it) let her progress. Worst thing you can do is send her down a trail that's well beyond her skills and/or fitness.
 

pink poodle

Our man in Japan
I took a girl riding once. We hit the local all mountain xc loop and she was thusly exhausted. This gave me the chance to show off on the dirt jumps. She took some good photos of me and was happy. What you really need is a groupie, or at least a girl that likes you.
 

Haakon

veni, vidi, volanti
Kirsty has found a happy place being dropped at work with her Mixte bike and trundling home along the bike paths. She enjoys that and about twice a year asks for a MTB ride - whereupon I’ll take her to Kowen with my old hardtail with a big squishy saddle on it and do the flat cruisy lower loop and call out all the possibly techy bits and let her decide if she walks it or not. She enjoys that and everyone is happy.
 

Paulie_AU

Likes Dirt
Definitely got to find easy trails to build on and acknowledge it is very possible for her to enjoy riding but not want to become a DH racer.

My wife and I met in a bike shop and she loves both MTB and road but when she was riding (off injured nearly 2 years now but post surgery hoping to be back end of the year) we rode together once a week despite both doing a lot of bike time during the week. The rides were always quick XC type and whilst I prefer chunk and jumps we always had a good time.

Another general recommendation is if you know a fast female rider don't ask her to take your beginner gf/wife out to learn..... If they haven't offered they have no interest in burning a ride on a beginner. Formal coaching and beginner rider groups are best for that.
 

Scotty T

Likes Bikes and Dirt
My wife and I met in a bike shop and she loves both MTB and road but when she was riding (off injured nearly 2 years now but post surgery hoping to be back end of the year)
Pretty sure I know your wife. You're from Brissie?
 
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