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  1. #1
    Senior Member pcrx's Avatar
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    Why all the "comfort bike" hatred?

    General question (after short background):

    I recently test rode a Raleigh SD200DX and thought it was very comfy. Way more than my Schwinn Moab mountain bike. I am going to sell the Schwinn and WAS going to get the "comfort bike" as it seemed like a perfect mix - can do light offroad if needed, comfy, good for around town and on trails with the kids, etc. Particularly as I have spinal stenosos and need something I feel comfortable on.

    Maybe long term the comfort bike is not the answer, I am glad I have discovered these forums so I can get some education on it..

    BUT...

    Why all the angst and bad mouthing different bike styles particularly in the threads I searched for on "comfort bikes??"

    "They are for geezers..."
    "They are chick bikes..."

    etc...

    Kind of saddening and now has me questioning my own purchase of one, as I don't want to ride out with some automatic-brand on my arse that says "look there goes a dork/geezer/loser/girly man on one of those dork/geezer/loser/girly man bikes" as these threads have made me wonder if everyone around simply laughs AT people on such things. Same goes for recumbents, cruisers, etc. One poster wrote that when riding his comfort bike other riders act like he doesn't exist when he waves in passing!!

    Is it really that big a deal what someone else is riding? Does riding a classic cruiser toss you under the bus as a "loser geezer" same as a comfort bike pigeonholes you as a "girly man?"

    Makes me want to avoid other cyclists altogether like you would want to avoid a nest of pre-teen girls all fighting over whose dolly is the best or has the bestist hair.

    Im not trying to rattle any cages here - I am new here - but just found that a bit concerning. I would have expected more comaraderie over everyone just being on 2 wheels and riding - no matter what the bike style.

  2. #2
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    I've never noticed that....but I would sure find it disappointing if I did. As I expect most people on this forum would want to "promote" cycling, it would be pretty anti-promotional to tease others because they weren't ready or "comfortable" on a road/mountain bike.

    By the way.....I am proudly riding my comfort Trek Navigator 300!!
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Metieval's Avatar
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    I ride a hybrid comfort bike

    I needed a bike to get back in shape on.
    I needed a putt around bike for family rides where kids are involved.
    I needed an upright bike, because of an arm injury.

    I wanted road gears because when I am solo I want to be able to get somewhere faster.

    I have a hybrid Giant cypress SX.... if that makes me a loser or a girly man. Oh well

    I must be immune to insults as I haven't picked up on them.

    I think one of the biggest reasons people down on hybrids is because they see people buying them, and then soon there after. The people who bought the hybrid wishes they had bought a road bike or touring bike.

    I say buy what fits you. Buy what fits your needs. Buy what fits your riding preferences.

    MOST IMPORTANT

    Ignore the wanna be racers on $2000 carbons where their lips and tounge spin words faster than their legs can spin their crank

  4. #4
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    On group rides I've had roadies sneer at my old hybrid a few times. When I finish the metric at bout the same time they do, they stop sneering.
    Don't sweat it. Just ride and have fun. If they're petty enough to say something, they're probably not worth knowing in the first place.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bshow1's Avatar
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    For the kind of riding you want to do the comfort bike sounds great. Buy a quality bike from a good shop and enjoy!

    Any other cyclist gives you grief, pop a cap in his a**
    "I can't stop here all day; I'm on a cycling tour of North Cornwall!"

    2005 Trek 1200 | My Blog

  6. #6
    jur
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    My first bike was a comfort bike, Giant Sedona CX, it is a lot more comfy than 3 other bikes that were in the garage at the time of buying. As I got more experience, I found myself gravitating to "faster" bikes. Haven't bought one, but I am regularly chased out by bike salesmen after I drooled over some flatbar racer... But I don't have spinal whatever. Go for the confort bike dude. Who cares what roadies think. Just don't buy a department store bike at any cost.

  7. #7
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    Get some road tires for your Moab. You are trading down. Comfort bikes are for people who are uncomfortable on real bikes. Ask your friends that ride. They won't let you do it if they are real friends. STEP AWAY FROM THE COMFORT BIKE! Stems shouldn't pivot and saddles shouldn't be mattresses.

    I ride a Marin Mill Valley, a hybrid but not comfort bike. No. Don't do it! Save yourself. Yes it really is that bad!

  8. #8
    Senior Member pcrx's Avatar
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    Cool. this is comforting to me. I agree they are more utilitarian bikes, but thats OK. I like the idea of a special bike for that one purpose, but maybe someday Ill be there. In the meantime folks should still be able to have fun. Maybe I got freaked out and I should realize people dedicated enough to post on a forum like this do not always = the "regular everyday" rider just wanting to have some fun and ride around town.

    qms - Sorry but I have tried some other bikes. My back cannot take it. I considered switching around tires, steeper stem, etc but in the end its still the same back killing position for me. The result is I don't ever ride. I would if it were comfortable. Plus for me there is something to be said for getting a new toy, wether it is an up/down loss/gain in bike is no biggie to me. With my back condition and facing certain surgery I highly doubt I will see the day anytime soon where I am doing any real off roading - what the Schwinn was made for to begin with. Once my back got bad that was all of that and the bike has been in pristine storage for years. Light valley rides at best with family are in my future.

    Plus, to me, real friends IMHO would just be happy to know you were happy with your own bike. Its not like I would be showing up on a giant pink tricycle with pink and blue flashers and yelloy frillies hanging out of the handlebars. That would be a sight though, eh!

    The worst put down on a comfort bike came from my own wife, who upon hearing my elation at test riding something that was affordable AND comfortable for me goes, "You want one of those "senior old lady" bikes?"

    Thanks for throwing a wrench into my manhood.

    I had my revenge though when later at the local shop she test rode one herself and was like "hey, this IS nice for just tooling around town!" and actually admitted being hasty.

    Last edited by pcrx; 08-09-05 at 07:47 PM.

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    I just look at those handle bars and the idea of speed just goes out the window. Now mind you, I have three bikes: a fast roadie with drop bars, a commuter/touring bike with flat bars and a beach cruiser with "comfort bars and a spring loaded tractor seat."

    That latter bike does not mean speed to me at all. It is comfortable.

    Now the insult factor is when I go into a bike shop and they look at my gray beard and older body and tell me I want a "comfort bike."

    Nope, sorry, no way... I am looking for what I am looking for... don't push me into your image ya young whippersnapper.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    When my wife started biking again a couple of years ago, she bought a comfort bike. IIRC, it was a Giant. After a month, she sold it. The problem was with the quality of the components. When she had ridden before, in the early '80s to the mid '90s, she had ridden good if not top quality bikes and was used to having good components. She did not like the entry level components on the comfort bike.

  11. #11
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    The bikes shops around here tell me the hybrid/comfort bikes are the fastest sellers. Go figure. I chose a hybrid for several reasons. I wanted a bike for bike paths and light trails with a low top tube/rack bar. The hybrids fit me better than the mountain bikes I tried.
    I agree with cc rider, the roadies sneer at times. But this tortoise usually does not take as many breaks.

  12. #12
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    Be a man in the eyes of your wife. Change your tires for the road, change them back for trail riding. Women love to see men changing tires. Men love to change tires. Stick with the Schwinn for a while. Flat bar road bike OK. Comfort bike will turn you off on cycling or make you want a nice bike. It is a senior old lady bike, and your wife knows it. Listen to the people who care about you! She might say she didn't mean it. but she told you the truth the first time. You will get less action after your wife sees you as a comfort biker.

  13. #13
    Behind EVERYone!!! baj32161's Avatar
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    If you have fun riding it, don't sweat it. I am looking for one to ride the D & R Canal Towpath near my house since I can't ride my roadie on it.

    Cheers,

    Brian
    A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.

    ― Bruce Lee

  14. #14
    Senior Member pcrx's Avatar
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    Yeah the posture and handlebars dont say "speed" to me either. But neither does my 7 year old when we are out riding.

    I figure if someday I want a speed demon bike for solo riding I could get a sweet recumbant or something else anyway.

    Plus I am only 32. The LBS guy didn't push me into it. I rode about everything he had. He recommended it over far more expensive bikes that I could have easily been talked into.

    I tried a cruiser but that seemed a bit too relaxed for me.

  15. #15
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    Without influencing my reply by reading everyone else's first...

    I was riding one a year ago, and it really got me into wanting to ride more just for the sake of riding. Now 30+ miles is my normal 3-4 times a week ride, and I wouldn't want to do it on a comfort bike.

    Comfort type bikes are great for commuting, and for the purposes you named. They are comfortable for shorter distances and stop & go riding. For longer distances, they are terrible. The conclusion that people will draw from this is that if you are on one, you aren't riding a lot, so they don't take you seriously. There's probably some price envy there as well. They are sort of like a small economy car, great for getting groceries and running errands, but not all that much fun to drive across three states, no good for off-road use, and you aren't going to draw the young girl's eyes.
    Tom

    "It hurts so good..."

  16. #16
    Senior Member pcrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15
    Be a man in the eyes of your wife. Change your tires for the road, change them back for trail riding. Women love to see men changing tires. Men love to change tires. Stick with the Schwinn for a while. Flat bar road bike OK. Comfort bike will turn you off on cycling or make you want a nice bike. It is a senior old lady bike, and your wife knows it. Listen to the people who care about you! She might say she didn't mean it. but she told you the truth the first time. You will get less action after your wife sees you as a comfort biker.
    LOL

    Yeah, except the last ride we went on SHE was the one complaining that "her neck hurt like H3ll" afterwards. After her own test ride she dropped it and I suppose if I do it - time will tell as we see how long she can last with an aching neck as we tool around town on the way to the local ice cream parlor.


  17. #17
    Senior Member pcrx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twahl
    ........ but not all that much fun to drive across three states, no good for off-road use, and you aren't going to draw the young girl's eyes.
    Well, perfect, as I doubt I will be doing any of these being married with young kids, mortgage, shot back, etc.

    Im too old to draw the young girls eyes anyway....no need for me to go to jail over some inexperienced tail.



    Hey! maybe however I would attract the senior bunko ladies... I should make sure the thing is geared to outrun that horde!!

    j/k


  18. #18
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    hehe, I hear you. Don't sweat it, if you like it, ride it. There are road type bikes with more comfortable geometry, and if you decide to ride more and want something a little faster, you can look for one of them down the road.
    Tom

    "It hurts so good..."

  19. #19
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Get the bike that fits you best and fits what you want to do with it. What other people think of it is of no consequence, unless they are offering to pay for it. I returned to cycling a couple of months ago on an entry level Trek, and to me, it's the finest looking bike on the planet. Yes, I know it's not a fancy bike, but I have put 340 miles on this bike in the last few weeks, and without it, I would have spent most, if not all of that time on my couch.

    I'm feeling stronger, I'm more assertive on the street, I'm finding out the pure joy of hammering down a road from time to time, and I've almost convinced myself that I've actually made a lifestyle change.

    Maybe some day I'll upgrade; probably will come to think of it. In the meantime, what others think of my faithful steed is of NO concern to me.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Metieval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15
    Flat bar road bike OK. Comfort bike will turn you off on cycling or make you want a nice bike. It is a senior old lady bike, and your wife knows it. Listen to the people who care about you! She might say she didn't mean it. but she told you the truth the first time. You will get less action after your wife sees you as a comfort biker.
    a Flat Bar road bike would be worse on his back . I have a friend with back problems, and he loves his recumbent. I rode it and actually liked it a lot.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Rob944's Avatar
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    Buy the best bike that you can afford that is comfortable and fits you and just ride. Dont be influenced by some of the snobbery here. I have a medical problem but I like to ride road bikes so I ride a Sequoia Elite. It is a "comfort" bike but is not slow and, in fact, I am faster on it than I ever was on my old, uncomfortable Trek roadie. You will quickly find that speed is much more a function of lungs, legs and, in our case, comfort, rather than the type or price of the bike. Happy riding.

  22. #22
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    [rant]

    It used to really p!ss me off when people put someone down because they don't conform to some sort of 'norm'.... I get it all the time because I commute by bike instead of driving a gas guzzler like 'normal' people. I even get attitude from roadies because I get aroun on a hybridised mountain bike, and ofcourse I get attitude from the mountain bikers because I dont ride of 3 1/2 inch knobbies. Now I no longer care, my advice is that neither should you.

    Don't listen to all these wannabe-Lance-Armstrongs or tryhard he-men that need to prove something to the world and think that every female that shares the same zip code with them somehow is sizing them up as a potential mate. They're a bunch of insecure losers..... show some ballz and ride whatever the hell you want to ride, if that means a friggin comfort bike because of your medical condition or even just because you just feel the hell like riding a comfort bike then JUST GEt OUT AND RIDE IT!

    Hell, I'll ride my kid's tricycle wearing my wife's underwear if/when I damned well feel like it and if some snotty little roadie with a carbon fiber pole up his azz gives me attitude then I'll just *****slap him into next week, plow straight over his 0.001 microgram frame and pi$$ on the carbonfiber splinters.

    Dude, what I'm saying is do your own thing, be your own person, enjoy your life. So long as you're not hurting anyone then the rest of the world can take its *****ing and moaning straight to hell for all I care.

    [/rant]

  23. #23
    Senior Member Metieval's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twahl

    I was riding one a year ago, and it really got me into wanting to ride more just for the sake of riding. Now 30+ miles is my normal 3-4 times a week ride, and I wouldn't want to do it on a comfort bike.

    Comfort type bikes are great for commuting, and for the purposes you named. They are comfortable for shorter distances and stop & go riding. For longer distances, they are terrible.
    I ride 30 miles on my Giant cypress SX, It is top of the cypress line, and a HUGE differance from the entry level cypress.

    I would do 100 mile trip on my bike.

  24. #24
    King of the Forest Totoro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcrx
    Kind of saddening and now has me questioning my own purchase of one, as I don't want to ride out with some automatic-brand on my arse that says "look there goes a dork/geezer/loser/girly man on one of those dork/geezer/loser/girly man bikes" as these threads have made me wonder if everyone around simply laughs AT people on such things.
    When I was 20, I was always worried about what people thought of me.
    When I was 40, I didn't care what people thought of me.
    When I was 60, I realized that people weren't thinking about me at all.

  25. #25
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    A comfort bike is a great all-around urban bike. I own a Marin 2004 Coast Trail. It is a general-use bike: meaning it does not excel at any one thing, but it goes fairly fast AND it can lug a lot of cargo AND it won't die on unpaved trails. I wouldn't mind having several special-use bikes if I had the money, but as long as I have only one bike a comfort/hybrid works for me.

    I have customized mine a fair bit, but that's my nature and I would customize any bike, comfort or not. I get multiple hand positions with my new handlebar, go faster with thinner/smoother tires, and now use clipless pedals.

    Buy what works for you.

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