new bike needed, trek 2300 hurts too much
So I see there are lots of queries about what kind of bikes, sorry to add to the list. I own 2 bikes already, a hybrid for commuting and a trek 2300 (both 10-12 years old). Both make my knees, shoulder, and wrists hurt when riding, now that I am 45+ and have been pregnant several times. So I need a new bike. I used to ride 40-80 miles per week and do 300 mile weeklong trips in the summer, but with kids I am mostly doing 6-8 miles at a time on the bike paths, and hoping to do more as we build up the older kid's stamina. I considered recumbents or Giant Revive, but I will need to haul a trailer or kiddie-tandem for the next 4-5 years, so those frames are no good. Have settled on the option of getting a $4-600 bike I can use for the next 5 years, and then once the youngest kid is on her own a recumbent. I have test ridden several bikes: fitness-hybrid, comfort-hybrid, and comfort (electra townie). The only one that feels good and makes me smile when riding is the comfort, but it is so heavy, and I really don't care about the cushy seat. I guess I am grimacing at the thought of a comfort bike, but I really don't want to lean on my hands at all. I am planning to test ride a Giant Suede and Trek Sole Ride soon. Any comments on bike styles or finding a higher quality bike with comfort geometry would be appreciated.
Mad bike riding scientist
Originally Posted by lovebikes
First your old bike. The reason your knees are hurting is probably because it's gear too high. It's likely that it has a 52/42 in the front with a 12-25 in the back. It might be a triple which would be a 30 in the front. This is way tall! Without too much hassle, you can change the front chainwheels to a 48/38(/28) and have a bike that is easier on the knees. If it's a triple, you have a long cage derailer and could probably go with a 12-28 or 12-30 on the back and have a wider, easier on the knees bike all the way around.
Shoulders and wrist suggest that you have a handlebar much lower than the saddle. Why? Are you racing? If not change out the stem (get a threadless adapter and use a mountain bike or road bike threadless stem on that) so that it has more rise. If you turn over a threadless stem that is a -7 degree rise, you'll feel the difference immediately.
What I've suggested above is what most manufacturers have done for "comfort" bikes. They just have you sit upright more but they put it in a cheap package with cheap and heavy parts. Not that I look at them much but I think hybrids are a little further up the chain than comfort bikes so I'd look at those if you want a new one. Specialized Sirrus looks okay as does the Trek FX. There are many others just go to a good shop and ride everything in sight, then pick the color that you want because they are all going to be about the same.
(Stuart's first rule of bicycle purchasing: All bikes in a given price point are going to be so similar that you should pick the pretty one. Unless the ugly one is on sale )
THanks for the reply, it is double chain-ring in front and I have a 12-32 XTR cassette on it which I got when I bought the bike. I got it at one of the best bike shops in town which fitted it very well, it also has different crank-arms, stem, and handlebar from the original.
I have test-ridden several hybrids, both "sport-fitness" style and "comfort" style, and they hurt my wrists too. And on the test rides the thing that feels best is the feet-forward position, which seems to limit me to comfort bikes or recumbents.
I did find a recumbent shop in the next state over that may be able to help me find a recumbent that can pull kid gear.