General Cycling Discussion - First bike since childhood, looking for input
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08-11-09, 09:10 PM
In the next couple of weeks I be purchasing my first bike in over 20 years and would love some opinions.
* Want a bike for town cycling, trips to farmers markets, path and road cycling of prob. no more than 20-30 miles max, ever. Since I haven't ridden in years it is difficult to try and guess how much/long I will ride. For this reason I'd rather focus on comfort for now, to ensure I bike regularly, and then buy another style bike next fall, if needed.
* Don't want a bent, a road bike, or a hybrid.
* Comfort is king and bike must allow for flat feet at stops and no hunching over.
* Spending around 500ish
* 7 speeds sounds about right
Thus far I am drawn to the electra townie, the trek pure and the trek calypso. The calypso meets all of my criteria, besides the flat feet (is that correct?) and that I worry that I might be more limited on it for long rides as my bike riding abilities improve. I have read on a couple of forums that it is difficult to stand on a cruiser because of the handle bar placement. Any validity to that statement?
Townie and pure are about the same in every respect, though I am drawn a bit more to the pure simply for aesthetics.
Any input is greatly appreciated.
08-11-09, 11:01 PM
How about something like a Breezer Uptown (http://www.breezerbikes.com/bike_details.cfm?bikeType=town&frame=d&bike=uptown)
Looks like a cool bike to have in the city.
Or something like a Electra Townie (http://www.electrabike.com/home.php)
The Sport 105 looks pretty slick.
08-12-09, 02:41 AM
The mention of farmers' markets suggests that some form of load-carrying capacity may be desirable. If what's needed is comfort and an upright riding position, what better than the Dutch bike or Omafiets? Work Cycles (http://workcycles.com/workbike/bicycles/dutch-city-bikes.html) seem to me to be the best of these, and they have a small number of American distributors. These bikes are totally traditional in appearance, but have some top-quality modern components including hub generators for the lights and multi-speed hub gears for reliability and low maintenance.
08-13-09, 08:21 AM
30 miles on an upright bike is something that I'd avoid personally - it really is the territory of the true hybrid. The problem isn't so much lack of speed but increased ass and back damage:
Back pain while cycling is usually caused by poor cycling posture. Good cycling posture is very different from good posture while sitting or standing. A posture that is comfortable for sitting still will not necessarily be comfortable while actually riding a bicycle. Correct cycling posture must facilitate the pedaling action, and also must enable the rider to cope with the jolts that result from road irregularities.
When riding a bicycle, the back should be arched, like a bridge, not drooping forward between the hips and the shoulders. If the back is properly arched, bumps will cause it to flex slightly in the direction of a bit more arch; this is harmless. If you ride swaybacked, bumps will cause the back to bow even farther in the forward direction, which can lead to severe lumbar pain.
Some back-pain sufferers modify their bicycles with extra-high handlebars so that they can sit bolt upright, with their spines straight. This is actually counterproductive in most cases, because a straight spine has no way to "give" when the bike hits bumps. Road irregularities will jam the vertebrae together, often aggravating existing back problems. The bolt-upright posture is comfortable if you're sitting stationary on the bike, but is not suitable for riding much faster than a brisk walk. Riders who for some reason require such a position should use some form of suspension...a sprung saddle at the very least.
I'd suggest fitting a suspension seat post these days. Re the ass-pain: avoid those super wide "comfort" saddles, get something like a WTB Speed V. Also uprights usually come with terrible tyres and brake pads. Change them for, oh, 38mm Marathons and Kool Stops. And BMX platform pedals give the best mix of comfort and efficiency.
08-13-09, 08:27 AM
Oh - if you're willing to spend the money, look for a bike with a Nexus or Alfine internally geared hub. Much less maintenance work!
Re "* Comfort is king and bike must allow for flat feet at stops and no hunching over " - look for a bike with a low bottom bracket (doh) possibly with 26" wheels preferred.
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