I had an old, entry-level mens Trek mountain bike that I used mostly for riding a rather rough, lightly graveled and often muddy bike path (C&O Canal in Western Maryland). I would come home from rides with a sore backside, aching wrists, and a cramp in my neck. A padded seat didn't help much. I got smoother tires, which reduced the effort needed for pedaling, but even without tired achy calf muscles I wasn't enjoying the rides much.
I tried several bikes at a local bike shop and I ended up with a Giant Cypress comfort/hybrid bike. Now I'm not sure this was a good choice. The bike is comfortable with a rather upright posture, but I feel like I'm precariously balanced, sitting up high on its larger wheels with narrower tires. I've actually fallen while riding this bike, when I slowed down to ride through a tunnel on a paved bike path (Allegheny Passage).
Until I started getting the aches and pains, I used to enjoy weekend camping trips on the Trek and before that, on a Murray 3-speed. I feel so unbalanced on the Cypress that I haven't even tried a 20-mile day, let alone put on the panniers.
I've made several adjustments to the seat and handlebar positions, suspension, etc. The folks where I bought it say it fits fine and I just need to get used to riding it. I can't get used to the feeling that I'm about to go flying into the canal!
At another bike shop, a salesperson told me the bike is too large for me. This one has a 19" frame. I'm 5'5" tall and I have a 31-1/2 inseam.
Is this the wrong bike for me? Or am I just getting wimpy in my old age? How could I modify this bike so it would suit me better? Or should I just start over? If so, with what?