How to slow myself down?

Hi all,

My partner and I both like road cycling. I’d like to do long rides with her. Sadly, her threshold power is about half of mine. Even when accounting for the weight difference, out on the road, her Z2 is my very casual Z1. It would be great if we could both stay in the same zone around the same ground speed.

I’ve been thinking about short/medium term solutions. Since she cannot get faster at a snap of the finger, I was thinking about making myself slower, as in increasing the rolling resistance of my bike.

Some ideas so far:

  1. Install the widest, lowest quality tires that I can fit on my road bike.
  2. Get a really heavy secondary bike, or a touring bike and load it up.
  3. Attach a drogue parachute.
  4. Replace hub grease with sand.

What do you think?

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How about letting her draft?


Have you ever tried a tandem?

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How about just riding at your partner’s pace and setting things up so that when you ride together it is your recovery day? Or get your partner an e-bike?


Get her an e bike.


From someone who has been down this road, be careful! If you try to push too hard, your partner may decide riding with you isn’t fun and move on.

The heavier bike thing might work if you’re somewhere hilly, but again, be careful. Be encouraging. Watch the words you use. Don’t be overtly critical or preachy. Riding a bike should be fun!!

An ebike solves the problem, but is an expensive solution. It may be worth it though. It was for my family.


Just ride slower and enjoy the time together. Why change your bike?


Tandems rock!!
Limited(25kph) e-bikes suck on flats.


Do you have a mountain bike with knobby tires you can ride?


Did that resistance-hub front wheel thing ever take off?


Some prior discussion that’s worth a look.


I usually ride my hardtail while my wife rides a hybrid when we ride together. Usually city tires because using knobbies isn’t fun for me, even if it would be slower.

The airhub still seems to be around but $1100 to slow down doesn’t sound like fun. I’d rather spend the money on a faster bike for my wife (her hybrid is kinda heavy so there’s room for improvement). Probably not as effective though, relatively.

Interesting topic. I had this exact experience with a riding partner. I’m not worried about fitness gains, I use these rides as a way enjoy a hobby together. The problem is I have gotten pretty strong so upper Z1 is close to their threshold.

I’ll ride slow, I don’t mind, but i find if I don’t make the conscious effort to go slow, I will slowly creep the pace up subconsciously and end up smoking my partner.

Also remember that they probably don’t want to slow you down so they are going to push harder than they normally would.

I try my best to make sure they know I am totally comfortable going their pace. I value these rides immensely and don’t want my partner to dread them!

I also have decided to just let them lead, so there is no accidental halfwheeling.

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An ebike may solve the problem - but likely not if you still want to ride together at 15mph / 25kph or over, and not have to modify the bike (at least if you’re in Europe)

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OP, go with #4!

I have the same issue and got a tandem. It was cool when we used it for one season, but now I just have tandem in my garage for the past 2 years.

I ride my mtb when my dad rides his road bike. He drafts and it seems to even things out. I can ride zone 2 and he gets a good workout.

Ebike sounds cool but expensive.

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Seriously why? If you want to go slow just put on slow puncture proof tires, these are much cheaper and actually provide functionality and baggy clothes, open your jersey etc…

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If you like riding together this is the best answer. This is really for you, not her though so make sure she wants it before you pull the trigger. I have a e-bike in my garage ridden exactly once :sob:


I ride my mountain bike when I ride with my wife on her road bike. Works great.

I’ll also say that we call these “date rides” and I wouldn’t consider them proper training rides.

I think an e-bike is a more elegant solution if she is amenable.

Adjust your brakes so they exert a constant light pressure as you ride.

Attach some panniers and put 30kg of gear in them.

Wear the baggiest clothes you have

Put your saddle down

Personally I just drop my pace to one comfortable for my wife. The ride is about her needs not mine. I get enough riding in, that slowing down when riding with my wife will make not an iota difference my own fitness progression.