I’m not sure why women generally have worse bike equipment than men, but they do. It may be because they don’t see the value in spending a lot of extra money for things that have little or no added value. And women seem to ride their stuff for a lot longer. I know serious women cyclists who are riding bikes six or seven years old.
That’s a Stone Age bike to the average guy enthusiast.
When I got my wife her bike it was a pretty basic deal. Carbon frame, Shimano 105, and aluminum rims.
The first thing I upgraded were the wheels; a nice set of super light FastForward carbon climbing wheels. Why? Because wheels make a huge difference, but also because I ride the same wheels and they are very nice.
Why shouldn’t she have the same things I have, especially at upgrade time?
After a while the Shimano 105 thing wasn’t working out so well. She could shift okay but actually she couldn’t, and I quit trying to explain it. Part of it was because those levers aren’t easy to move. The other part is because at age 51 she wasn’t all that interested in gear-inches.
A month or so ago I scraped up all the spare change I had, sold everything I never used, and got her e-Tap. She loved it and it made riding so much easier. For both of us.
Then the other day, Baby Seal was riding with her. “Hey,” he said, surprised. “Are you riding e-Tap?”
“Your shifters. Are they electronic?”
“I think so. Seth had them put on. They are really easy to use.”
“Oh, he got a new set?”
“And he just put his old stuff on your bike and the new stuff on his?”
“No, this is the new thing. He has the old thing.”
Later on, Baby Seal and I were riding together. “Dude,” he said. “You bought your Freddie wife e-Tap and kept the old stuff on your bike? You didn’t give her the old stuff and put the new group on your bike? It’s the NEW generation e-Tap, man!”
“Why would I do that?”
“Everybody does that,” he said. “Everybody.”