Over the past year my mother has lost 80 pounds using her Townie bike as well as a calorie counting program. She went from 'needing knee surgery' to not needing it or anything else at all! Today when we went for a ride, she was saying how she loves her Townie but when going up hill it is harder to reach momentum. I had a standard cycling bike that is good for speed but not as comfortable as her townie when it comes to wrist pressure, seating, and back alignment. What is your opinion? If a person is a cyclist - not for speed but lets say averages 30 miles 4 times a week (like my mother), is the Townie not the bike for her? Should she upgrade to a faster bike? My father is afraid she will hurt herself. He says the Townie keeps her balanced. I am wondering if it has also helped save her knees. Any opinions?