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Old 03-24-07, 10:14 AM   #1
Yen
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Comfort bars/seat on a hybrid?

I'm still looking for a good all-around bike that is very comfortable for me to ride. I have a prosthesis in my left wrist and problems in my neck, and both of these issues require a more upright riding position than road bikes and hybrids offer.

I've ridden some comfort bikes and loved how they felt during the 2-3 laps around the parking lot.

However, I've read many times about comfort bikes NOT being comfortable for long trips with most of the weight being in the saddle. My husband and I see ourselves participating in long rides (not racing) and want to be comfortable for many miles (20+). It seems that the answer is a hybrid, but with comfort bars and a softer seat.

Yesterday I rode a Trek 7100 in my size (I am looking for a Trek 7500, but this is all they had in my size). Even after raising the stock stem and bars, I felt a little discomfort in my wrist after a few trips around the lot. This tells me that I will feel a LOT of discomfort after a longer ride. One shop said they could fit a Kona Dew Deluxe with a riser and comfort bars, and I liked that bike very much too.

I feel like giving up... I do want to go on long rides, and I do NOT want a recumbant type bike or any bike that will put pressure on my wrist. I don't want to be limited by a comfort bike that can't go far without a lot of pain in the seat. But I also need to be realistic. I don't want to be sold a bill of goods at a LBS that promises me a comfortable ride with a higher stem and comfort bars, and then I discover later that I can't stay in the seat for more than an hour.

Is it easy and inexpensive to fit a hybrid with a stem and bars to enable me to ride it comfortably? Do a lot of riders do this? Am I aiming too high, giving my physical limitations (which never bothered me until I started shopping for a bike to go out and have some fun... )?

Jen
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Old 03-24-07, 12:21 PM   #2
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You say that you are not looking for a recumbent...won't say you should try one. However there are some 'crank forward' bikes which would take a lot of the weight off of your wrists and should be a comfortable ride as far as the seat is concerned too. peace
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Old 03-24-07, 04:42 PM   #3
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Well, "comfort bars" are usually the classic North Road handlebars (which used to be known as "touring handlebars" back in the day) and it should be an easy switch. For longer rides, adjustment of the heights of both the handlebar and seat can be done to find the best compromise and comfort level for you. There's no set standard and any adjustment applies to most styles or types of bikes, not just hybrid's....you are fitting the bike to your body not somebody's idea of what is "ideal or proper". As long as you are physically comfortable for a long period of time, in your case...less pressure on your wrists with minimal butt pain, that's all that matters.

I've ridden my cruiser bike 20+ miles without major butt pain and that bike has an upright a riding position as one can get. It's finding that right balance/adjustment and a good seat/saddle that's right and comfortable for you, not to mention bike short/clothes that may have padding. Any longer distance and I'm on my road bike...my cruiser bike is a nice change of pace for those relaxed excursions and brings out the kid in me. If you are the typical rider, you will make a few stops along the way to enjoy the scenery, make a pit stop, or grab a bite to eat...not to mention traffic signals and whatever that will get you off the riding position even for a few moments.

Can add cyclocross/"interrupter" brake levers to the middle of the handlebars (depending on the design of the "comfort handlebars"), since you may inevitability rest your hands or change your hand position there. Your LBS can install them for you and it doesn't cost that much.
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Old 03-24-07, 04:50 PM   #4
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Maybe try the Electra & Breezer lines of bikes. They look pretty upright and I think are rather nice looking.
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Old 03-26-07, 03:00 PM   #5
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you might try the electra townie...
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Old 03-29-07, 02:32 PM   #6
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We picked up this hybrid back in the mid 90's. I put these handlebars on for her as they offer many hand positions. Big factor is how you tilt the handlebars, foreward or backward to distribute the stress of the wrists.

You sound like a newbie. It does take time to get adjust and figure out a bike. Any bike is comfy if you adjust it correctly. Wife swore she would never ride a roadie. That's pretty much all she will ride now. Hasn't touched the hybrid but won't give it up either!..Now she's doing 70 milers on the roadie.

Pay attention to fore aft postion of the saddle (adjust by sliding on seat rails). Tilt of the saddle nose up or down(does affect pressure on the wrists.) tilt of the handlebars. All figures in. Hard to tell on a parkinglot ride. Sometimes I can't tell if something is wrong with my bike adjustment unless I do a 50 mile ride or more. Hard to tell much on a 10-20 miler.


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Old 03-29-07, 05:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e0richt
you might try the electra townie...
Yup, very comfortable on the rear and wrists.
I have a neighbor who is 108 years old... well, 80 something, and he rides it everywhere. He has arthritis in his wrists as well and doesn't have any problem. And that seat looks so comfortable
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Old 04-11-07, 06:57 PM   #8
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I recently bought a Trek 7300. I've only managed to put 83 miles on it so far because the weather here in NW PA simply refuses to co-operate with me. I can tell you one thing, though. The stock Bontrager "comfort spring" saddle is garbage !! After one 11 mile ride, that thing came off and my trusty old Serfas "split up the middle" saddle went on. Those things make all the difference because they put the weight on your sit bones instead of, well, you know ...... Some padding in your clothing will help too.

As far as your handlebar/wrist dilemma? All I can say is experiment. If a bike shop wants a sale bad enough, they should work with you as far as stem/bar adjustments. Crank forward sounds like it may be a good option. Try one !!
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Old 04-11-07, 07:08 PM   #9
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Also try the Electra Amsterdam. I preferred it over the Townie a little bit. Love the Amsterdam.
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Old 04-12-07, 01:16 PM   #10
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The Rans Crank Forward bikes are about as upright as you can get before getting into recumbents. I have a Fusion and it's really comfortable. Kind of spendy $950+.
http://www.ransbikes.com/

Fusion, Dynamik, and Zenitek models shown here:
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Old 04-13-07, 11:37 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone. I bought a Giant Cypress SX and I really enjoy riding it. I may need to raise the stem higher and I definitely need a new saddle but otherwise it seems to fit my style so far. I'll know more when we have some time to go on some longer rides.... so far I've only had time to ride around the neighborhood for 20 minutes or so and even after that, I feel some tingling in the palm of both hands that continues for about an hour. That may be remedied by gloves, which I'll wear on my next ride. Now that I finally have my helmet (see avatar), I have no more excuses!
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Old 04-13-07, 01:38 PM   #12
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Gloves will help; there are some with gel pads in the palms. Also, try not to grip the handlebars too tightly. Hold on loosely, but don't let go(sorry, 38 Special).


A cheaper alternative to the Rans Crank Forward bikes are the new Trek Pure and Lime bikes.


Pure $370 7-spd.


Lime $579 3-spd automatic transmission.
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Old 10-03-07, 09:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by sb1396 View Post
Also try the Electra Amsterdam. I preferred it over the Townie a little bit. Love the Amsterdam.
Admin note: As of May 10, 2007, Scott is cruising heaven on his Amsterdam. I imagine he's smoking a cigar while he's at it as well.

Ride on Scott, we hardly knew you.
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