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Old 01-05-14, 10:26 AM   #1
Jeff in vegas
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New to biking at 62-Have been looking at Comfort Bikes

My wife and I have been going to several biking stores and reading reviews, etc in an effort to learn about bikes suited to us.It seems like a "Comfort Bike" would be best but we are confused and could really use some good advice. The brand that looks good to us and is in the right price range is Giant. They have a couple of models that we like with the major difference being that one has "Front Suspension" and the other does not. They also have a different stem but we were told they could change that out on the less expensive model for around $20. My question is, Is the front suspension that important? We really do not envision going off-road at all and primarily want to get some mild exercise. The extra money and weight on the bike do not seem worth it since we will not be off-roading at all.
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Old 01-05-14, 10:32 AM   #2
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If you are only going to ride pavement, skip the front suspension. It's just extra weight and moving parts to wear.
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Old 01-05-14, 10:35 AM   #3
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Agree.
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Old 01-05-14, 10:36 AM   #4
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Hi Jeff,

Welcome to Bike Forums.

No such thing as a comfort bike.

"Comfort bikes" place all of your weight on the butt. That is not comfort.

Front suspension works on mountain bikes where one rides over rocks and tree roots.

I started road riding at 65 on a used $15 road bike.

Road bikes allow one to distribute your weight between , Legs, Hands, and butt.

Test ride them all before you decide. Have fun searching.

Post in http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...ing-Discussion for more help.

You might try Craigslist in your area for a used one.
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Old 01-05-14, 10:37 AM   #5
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^^ +1 I totally agree. The front suspension will slow you down and tire you on pavement.
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Old 01-05-14, 10:51 AM   #6
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Lawn chairs are comfortable, ride one... get a Tadpole trike
I got myself a Catrike Trail recently and I'm loving it. In the right gear it climbs walls with little effort and does great on pavement. The two front wheels do cause extra drag on snow and likely loose dirt, but you won't be doing any offroading anyway. If you get tired you don't even have to get off the bike.
They are pricey though if thats a factor, but well worth it in my opinion.
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Old 01-05-14, 10:58 AM   #7
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We love nothing more than to tell a noob what to do with his/her hard earned money. We know you can't tell the difference between knowledgable folk and ones just blowing smoke.

Well, I'm your friend. Not like the others. You can trust me.

1. There is no "bike for the ages". If you get into cycling, whatever bike you buy won't really be what you're looking for a year from now.

2. If you buy a crap bike (ill-fitting, poorly made) you'll quickly hate cycling.

3. If you buy an expensive race-worthy bike, you may be too stiff to enjoy it. It also can be like showing up at the first day of Pony Club with a horse just retired from the track, ie. a mismatch.

4. You can't go wrong with a good entry level hybrid serviced by a good bike store.

5. Suspension on a hybrid is purely a marketing gimmick.

6. Whatever bike you buy, learn how to pump up a tire and fix a flat. Your experience will be enhanced by these skills.
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Old 01-05-14, 11:10 AM   #8
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-1. I totally disagree. I suspect the bike you are looking at is one of the crank forward Giants. My wife rides this bike, it's designed for the non-rider crowd, zero rotation, high handlebars. She loves it, and we're talking about 3-4 hr rides.

The suspension is likely one of those lighter weight / small tube systems. It effectively takes the road chatter and buzz out of the ride. I've ridden it, and it simply works. It is not a marketing gimmick, the ride on these bikes is as smooth as glass.


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Old 01-05-14, 11:25 AM   #9
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I suspect the bike you are looking at is one of the crank forward Giants. My wife rides this bike, it's designed for the non-rider crowd, zero rotation, high handlebars. She loves it, and we're talking about 3-4 hr rides.

I think you are correct. The bike has high handlebars( good for my weak back) and is made more for riding in an upright position than crouching down like most bikes. Prices point is about 400-500 which is pretty entry level but for a couple of newbies it is enough to give motivation to not let them sit in the garage and yet not be driven to have to ride them because we spent a lot on them.
I really appreciate the feedback from so many so quickly. I have a torn knee meniscus surgery coming up and have to postpone doing anything until it is done but then want to get into riding as soon as the surgeon gives me a thumbs up( or is it a knee up?) It should be a great activity for my wife and I to get into to help get exercise/lose weight, etc.
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Old 01-05-14, 11:38 AM   #10
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Jeff - I'm 62, started cycling at 56. My first bike was a Giant hybrid, and it was fine for what I wanted, something to replace running for cardio exercise. Then the bug bit - now I'm racing road bikes.

When you're starting out, it doesn't much matter which style you get, as long as you get on a bike and ride. It's obviously better to get a good quality bike from a reputable dealer, and the Giant you're considering fits that idea. It may be exactly what you want, and if it gets you on the road and helps your fitness, you're good to go. Then again, it might just whet your taste buds, and you can get deeper into it. Either way, you and your wife will be way ahead of most other folks our age.
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Old 01-05-14, 11:41 AM   #11
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-1. I totally disagree. I suspect the bike you are looking at is one of the crank forward Giants. My wife rides this bike, it's designed for the non-rider crowd, zero rotation, high handlebars. She loves it, and we're talking about 3-4 hr rides.

The suspension is likely one of those lighter weight / small tube systems. It effectively takes the road chatter and buzz out of the ride. I've ridden it, and it simply works. It is not a marketing gimmick, the ride on these bikes is as smooth as glass.


I agree that comfort bikes are smooth as glass and are great for the first 5-10 miles. It's after that point that they start to wear on you with their upright position, fat tires and power robbing suspension.

I re-entered cycling on a comfort bike and have no regrets for doing so. After about 1500 miles I had built some cycling muscles and had a much better idea of what type bicycle I really wanted. After getting a drop bar bike, I still had the comfort bike as a backup/loaner and later was able to sell it and recover 75% of my initial cost.

What's most important is to get something you will ride and if you are as out of shape as I was, then a comfort bike may be right up your alley. If your like me, no matter what bike you get, you will want something different in 6 months. Bikes are addictive.
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Old 01-05-14, 12:29 PM   #12
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Start with a hybrid and see where it takes you. You may eventually want a road bike, but don't be in a hurry and don't think that it's necessarily the next step up, some people don't like them or have no need for one.

Hybrid bikes, with or without (good) suspension, offer a great deal of versatility, especially if roads are pot-holed or there are dirt trails near you.

I regularly ride for 3 hours or more on a flat bar bike so you're not limited to short trips.

Many hybrid wheels can take fairly narrow tyres (28c) if you need less rolling resistance or weight.

Just be sure you get the fit right and try before you buy.

amendment: Ignore everything I've just written except the previous sentence. I realise it just shows my own preferences and circumstances and might be totally unsuitable for you.

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Old 01-05-14, 01:44 PM   #13
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If you're after comfort, you really haven't 'done your homework' until you've checked out recumbents and crank-forwards (along with hybrids and whatever else your local bike shops carry.) "Comfort Bike" is just an oxymoronic name for a cheap mountain bike with a cushy seat. Suspension or a fat saddle does not necessarily make a bike comfortable.

Recumbent:
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Crank Forward:
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Old 01-05-14, 02:21 PM   #14
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No doubt about it, if you are truely looking for comfort it will only be found on a recumbent bike or trike.
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Old 01-05-14, 02:32 PM   #15
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My husband and I have ridden Giant Cypresses for quite awhile - our rides are usuall 7 or 8 miles 3 to 4 times per week. I am more interested in doing more cycling, going longer than he and want to go longer distances and takckle more hills so am moving on to a Trek FX4. He may decide to upgrade too - will have to wait and see. I think it is a nice outlet for you and your wife. Hope you enjoy the fresh air and sunshine -
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Old 01-05-14, 02:39 PM   #16
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MHO, you will be better served with decent Hybrids, than the "Comfort" Bikes............. You will soon tire of the comfort bike. Again, MHO, but I'm old!
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Old 01-05-14, 04:13 PM   #17
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No doubt about it, if you are truely looking for comfort it will only be found on a recumbent bike or trike.
You recumbent bikers are all the same.

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Old 01-05-14, 04:30 PM   #18
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For a Saturday evening saunter from the RV park to the coffee shop they are just the thing. They fill the same niche as beach cruisers. Giant makes some of those too.

Comfort bikes come in for a lot of abuse here because they run counter to the self-image of anyone identifying as a cyclist. Just the word comfort brings offense. Cycling is all about efficiency and power and the agony and the ecstasy and etc.
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Old 01-05-14, 04:31 PM   #19
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Hi Jeff,

Welcome to Bike Forums.

No such thing as a comfort bike.

"Comfort bikes" place all of your weight on the butt. That is not comfort.

Front suspension works on mountain bikes where one rides over rocks and tree roots.

I started road riding at 65 on a used $15 road bike.

Road bikes allow one to distribute your weight between , Legs, Hands, and butt.

Test ride them all before you decide. Have fun searching.

Post in http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...ing-Discussion for more help.

You might try Craigslist in your area for a used one.
This is wrong, the upright bicycles are very comfortable, I ride mostly older ones and I do about 20 to 40 miles on them daily at a time year round. A vast majority of bicycles ridden in Holland would fall under the category of comfort bikes. When you are upright you can enjoy the scenery more and have a much better view of whats going on around you , being much safer. Originally that is how most people rode bikes. I have done almost every kind of cycling there is. I own mountain bikes, road bikes, fixed gear bikes, muscle bikes, BmX bikes and cruiser (comfort bikes). There is no doubt in my mind the best and most fun kind and practical bike for the majority of persons is an upright comfort bike. When my wife rides with me she also rides on a comfort bike.
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Old 01-05-14, 04:34 PM   #20
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This is wrong, the upright bicycles are very comfortable, I ride mostly older ones and I do about 20 to 40 miles on them daily at a time year round. A vast majority of bicycles ridden in Holland would fall under the category of comfort bikes. When you are upright you can enjoy the scenery more and have a much better view of whats going on around you , being much safer. Originally that is how most people rode bikes. I have done almost every kind of cycling there is. I own mountain bikes, road bikes, fixed gear bikes, muscle bikes, BmX bikes and cruiser (comfort bikes). There is no doubt in my mind the best and most fun kind and practical bike for the majority of persons is an upright comfort bike. When my wife rides with me she also rides on a comfort bike.
Come and join us on our trip to El Paso March 01, 2014 with your comfort bike.
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Old 01-05-14, 04:55 PM   #21
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Come and join us on our trip to El Paso March 01, 2014 with your comfort bike.
Thanks for the invitation , I live in Michigan or I would be there for sure (-:
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Old 01-05-14, 05:32 PM   #22
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Comfort bikes? I thought you were talking about "comfortable" bikes. I'm 69 and my road bikes (click on the links in my signature to see them) are very comfortable, even after 40+ miles.
Much of the comfort idea involves finding the correct (translated: comfortable) saddle for whatever bike you ride.

So if you want my two cents don't go with the traditional "comfort" bike. Start with a flat bar road bike and go from there.
Typical flat bar road bike (IMHO) --> http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...cat_grp=strt_2
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Old 01-05-14, 05:49 PM   #23
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Wow. I've got no idea what to suggest to the OP at this point (except maybe find a new bike forum)

I generally recommend to avoid front suspension as it usually robs a lot of energy.

Long story short: Buy what you think feels good now. After you ride it for a while, you'll know what (if anything) you'll want different for your next bikes.

I've got nothing at all against crank forward bikes, recumbents, and trikes. They are generally more expensive but a lot of us consider them worth it.

Cheers, Charles
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Old 01-05-14, 06:01 PM   #24
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Go back and read Dudelsack's post again and stop there. (Oh, and someone mentioned the Giant Cypress and RonH suggested a 'flat bar road bike', both of which are worth looking into). Personally, I reached my comfort level with the flat-bar road bike and have not moved beyond that for some years now. I use it for both commuting and touring.
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Old 01-05-14, 06:42 PM   #25
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Note that I did not recommend what to buy, but to "check out" the different styles before making a purchase based on one shop's limited selection.
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