His and Hers Bicycles: Matching Looks vs Matching Performance
It was all so perfect!... except that it wasn't. I could never keep up when we were both on the Pashleys, which was a constant source of discontent (I am now convinced that the female model is just inherently different from the male one). With the Motobecanes things were even worse, as my semi-upright mixte was no match for his racy Super Mirage roadbike. Despite being perfectly matched in looks, our beautiful velo couples were plagued by a disparity in performance.
vintage Gazelle, and then by selling my Motobecane mixte. Interestingly, the Gazelle is a better match for the Pashley Roadster performance-wise, and we no longer experience the same problem with discrepancies in speed when cycling together on our commuter bikes.
This particular discrepancy in "his and hers" bikes is something I wonder about when I see a man and a woman cycling together, where he is on an aggressive roadbike and she is on an upright hybrid from the same manufacturer (usually Trek, Cannondale or Specialized). While I understand that the idea is for the woman (who is presumably less skilled) to ride an "easier bike," surely it must make the difference in their skill levels all the more acutely felt?