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Old 07-22-03, 02:03 PM   #1
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Any Comfort Bike riders out there?

I'm still deciding whether to go for a comfort or hybrid bike.
I appreciate the responses to my previous post (Comfort vs. Hybrid bike?) recommending the hybrid for the efficiency/performance. But, to get a different perspective, some questions for the comfort bike riders: Are you happy with your bike? What kind of riding do you do? How long do you ride for? Any significant limitations on longer rides (say >10 miles) ? Do you regret not having purchased a hybrid? Just looking to hear about your experiences with comfort bikes. Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 07-22-03, 02:33 PM   #2
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I am curious, and this was the subject of a recent discussion between Joe G and myself.

How do you define a "comfort bike" and what are the difference from hybrids?

Tx
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Old 07-22-03, 04:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Post42K
I'm still deciding whether to go for a comfort or hybrid bike.
I appreciate the responses to my previous post (Comfort vs. Hybrid bike?) recommending the hybrid for the efficiency/performance. But, to get a different perspective, some questions for the comfort bike riders: Are you happy with your bike? What kind of riding do you do? How long do you ride for? Any significant limitations on longer rides (say >10 miles) ? Do you regret not having purchased a hybrid? Just looking to hear about your experiences with comfort bikes. Thanks in advance for the help!
First a definition. This is my definition after trying to sort through many manufacturer web sites. Comfort and Hybrid are similar (if not identical) with the exception of wheel size (26" vs. 700), fat tire (1.9-2.0) vs 25 or so.

For me the comfort has worked. I am sixty. I want to ride for exercise (type 2 diabetic). I want to work for 45 min to 1.5 hours (8 - 16 miles) at least 3 times a week. I am not interested in speed just work. In fact I am more interested in safety.

The comfort works great for me. If you want to go farther, faster, on paved roads, you might like the hybrid better. Just my thoughts.

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Old 07-22-03, 04:14 PM   #4
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A related thread from not so long ago where differences between hybrid and comfort designs were discussed:

Hybrid Bikes
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Old 07-22-03, 05:18 PM   #5
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I was basically in the same type of position at the bike store.. couldn't decide between the comfort (navigator) and the hybrid.. Ultimatley the comfort just had a 'too' upright position' while the hybrid was not quite as down as a mountain bike.. plus the hybrid just wanted to 'go!' it felt a bit lighter maybe? and the bigger higher inflation wheels just roller farther and faster.. so i personally went with the hybrid.. but with the shock seat and fork suspension its really not that far from a comfort bike.. the only REAL diff is the tires.. you feel the road a bit more with the hybrid.. the comfort bike feels a little more... bouncy i guess is a good word.. like a cadillac to volkswagon jetta or something similar Aside from the fact that my handle bars aren't straight my with my tire right now (bike shop gonna fix it today) i've been really happy with my trek 7200!
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Old 07-23-03, 08:30 AM   #6
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Any Comfort Bike riders out there?
I'm 58 years old, ride 25-35 miles a day six days a week, and I'm VERY comfortable on either of my bikes.



I've tried other styles of bikes (mtn, comfort) and I'm just not comfortable on them.

Since you'll be spending a good amount of cash on whatever bike you get, test ride a road bike. You might like it.

Whatever you get - make sure your bike FITS.
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Old 07-23-03, 09:15 AM   #7
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I've tried other styles of bikes (mtn, comfort) and I'm just not comfortable on them.
I like your choices.

But, I really don't want to take my roadie where I take my mtn bike.

To me, ideal solution is

1. at least 1 road bike

2, at least 1 mtn bike.
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Old 07-23-03, 09:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by DnvrFox

To me, ideal solution is

1. at least 1 road bike

2, at least 1 mtn bike.
I'm glad you said "least" and that I meet the minimum. I'm hoping to of course go in excess.
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Old 07-23-03, 05:50 PM   #9
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I went with a "hybrid". The main difference with my Sirrus Pro is the straight handle bar. It's just as fast and light as many road bikes. But, I have a mountain bike also.
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Old 07-24-03, 06:37 AM   #10
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I have a Specialized Expedition comfort bike, and I've been pretty happy with it. I commute (average about 18 miles round trip) and the fat tires make it great for rough roads and trails, too. I can't seem to go more than 50 miles without my knees going all funny....I don't know of that's the bike or just me, though, since one reason I took up biking again was because my knees were taking too much of a beating to keep hiking...
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Old 07-24-03, 07:49 AM   #11
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Are those aerobars on a hybrid or are my eyes playing tricks on me? :confused:
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Old 07-24-03, 11:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by RonH
Are those aerobars on a hybrid or are my eyes playing tricks on me? :confused:
Yes they are .. hybrid doesn't mean I don't want get out of the wind & to go fast now and then.
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Old 07-25-03, 07:28 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the input! Well, I decided to go for the Comfort bike(Gary Fisher Solstice). I think I spent more time trying to decide which bike than I did deciding on a new car. Boy, it was so much easier 30 years ago when I walked into the LBS and the only decision was what color the Schwinn Varsity should be.

It was six of one, half dozen of the other, but I picked the Comfort bike cause it seemed to feel better, was more stable and had a smoother ride than the Hybrids. I'm not as concerned with the speed/efficiency at this point and if I do get the "need for speed" I figure I can always trade it in. Anyway, thanks again for all the help!
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Old 07-28-03, 01:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Post42K
Thanks for all the input! Well, I decided to go for the Comfort bike(Gary Fisher Solstice). I think I spent more time trying to decide which bike than I did deciding on a new car. Boy, it was so much easier 30 years ago when I walked into the LBS and the only decision was what color the Schwinn Varsity should be.

It was six of one, half dozen of the other, but I picked the Comfort bike cause it seemed to feel better, was more stable and had a smoother ride than the Hybrids. I'm not as concerned with the speed/efficiency at this point and if I do get the "need for speed" I figure I can always trade it in. Anyway, thanks again for all the help!
That was how I made my decision. Now get out and ride.
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Old 10-17-03, 06:34 PM   #15
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UPDATE: Well, after a few months with the comfort bike, I found myself taking longer rides (about 40 miles each Sunday) than I originally thought I would. Although I was getting a good workout, the bike started feeling heavy and sluggish and was losing it's comfort on longer rides. So, I decided to ditch it for a hybrid and oh what a difference!! The hybrid is much lighter, faster and I really enjoy it a lot more. And, I find it very comfortable.

I'll expand on the analogy from an earlier post. The comfort bike felt like a Cadillac but with a 4-cylinder engine....while the hybrid feels more like a sports car.

Hope this helps anyone trying to decide between the two.
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Old 10-17-03, 06:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Post42K
UPDATE: Well, after a few months with the comfort bike, I found myself taking longer rides (about 40 miles each Sunday) than I originally thought I would. Although I was getting a good workout, the bike started feeling heavy and sluggish and was losing it's comfort on longer rides. So, I decided to ditch it for a hybrid and oh what a difference!! The hybrid is much lighter, faster and I really enjoy it a lot more. And, I find it very comfortable.

I'll expand on the analogy from an earlier post. The comfort bike felt like a Cadillac but with a 4-cylinder engine....while the hybrid feels more like a sports car.

Hope this helps anyone trying to decide between the two.
Boy did I enjoy reading that, and had to snicker a little. I have an older touring bike that I used to ride all the time. This year I decided I was going to cycle again after a 10-12 years off, so I went to the bike store, not sure about the reliability of the older bike given all the weight I had put on. I got a hybrid, which I truly enjoy, and have put almost 1000 of miles on since July. Got the older bike down, put some air in the tires, lubed it up good, and took it out for a ride. I could NOT believe the difference between it and my touring bike. I feel exactly the same as you in the analogy but substitute my hybrid for the Caddilac, and the touring bike for the sports car. It was so refershing to read your analogy that was so well phrased and something I could truly relate to. Gonna buy a new bike in the spring, but not sure if I will get a newer touring bike, OR go for a true road bike. Gotta say in terms of ride comfort, I prefer the hybrid, but in terms of the toring bike, I prefer the speed, performance and weight which in the end lead to comfort.

ANYWAY, thanks for sharing, and glad to hear your enjoying the new ride!
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Old 10-17-03, 10:24 PM   #17
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Uh huh

All this sounds familiar. I too, find the road bike to be the most "comfortable" of all the choices: hybrid, MTB, "comfort" for two reasons. On a roadie you have multiple hand positions available on the drop bar. Flat bar alone does not offer much variety (I put Cane Creek bar ends on my Trek 7500fx)

On the roadie (and my 7500fx, which is more "like" a road bike fit) your butt sits with your sit bones on the saddle. Leaning forward a little takes the pressure off of the toosh. On the comfort bikes, with the more upright seating, after 5 miles my butt is killing me! But doesn't hurt on the road bike saddle. (took some breaking in)

"Hybrids" are sports cars compared to "comforts", but roadies are "magic carpets" compared to hybrids. That is why I picked a hybrid like the 7500fx (similar to the Sirrus) with no front suspension, 700cc wheels, and a more road bike position. Because on a long ride that is what feels more comfortable. I wanted something that will go where the road bike won't go-a more versatile ride for rough rides, very light trail, inclement weather where I feel more secure on fatter (35s) tires.

I had a Trek Navigator and it was GREAT for cruisin' around the neighborhood. After that, it was painful.

Good choice! Congrats!
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Old 11-16-03, 09:21 AM   #18
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I have a Sirrus Pro as well and thought it would be more comfortable than a road bike when I bought it. Don't get me wrong I really like the Sirrus and I commute on it, but it is not as comfortable as a road bike and it's 1-2mph slower with 23c tires on it. Don't let the bikes intimidate you, most people, are capable of way more than they may think after 10+ year off periods as long as they go slow and keep focused. It is just a bike after all.
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Old 11-16-03, 08:16 PM   #19
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When the hybrid starts feeling heavy and sluggish, you just may ditch it for a road bike. That's what I did (actually, I didn't ditch the hybrid. It sits in my garage waiting for me to take it on the Katy Trail).
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Old 11-16-03, 08:21 PM   #20
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The comfort might also have to do with your size and width.
One bike for a tall person who is heavy may not be as comfortable for someone shorter, who is also not in as good shape.

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Old 11-23-03, 09:13 PM   #21
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My next bike (coming in the spring, hopefully) will be a road bike (Spec. Sequoia). Lighter, faster, more responsive, etc.= "sports car". It's the next logical step after a hybrid...
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Old 12-17-03, 02:02 AM   #22
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Count me in as yet another one of the masses that have started out with a hybrid after a long biking layoff only to purchase a road bike a year later. I was also concerned with the comfort issue when I decided to get back on a bike, so I purchased a Gary Fisher Utopia two years ago. Great purchase and a "road like stance," but after a season of riding it, I found myself lusting after more performance and speed - and a road bike would fit the bill. Last August, I bought a Bianchi Veloce road bike and my wishes were granted. I still enjoy riding the Utopia on the bike trails with my wife or in bad weather but when the sun is out, I'm flying on the Veloce. If I owned a bike shop, I'd sell all the comfort bikes and hybrids I could. They are a great place to start or resume your cycling career and they won't bend the wallet too badly. Furthermore, your customer service is good, friendly, and not intimidating, you can count on that same customer returning to drop a lot more coin on a road bike in a year or two if they grow serious about the sport.....just like I did along with a lot of the rest of you and my riding buddies.
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Old 02-14-04, 02:25 PM   #23
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I am a 39 year old man, that needs to ride to get in shape. I used to ride some 10 years ago, nothing serious. I have a old Diamondback, that would need a bunch of work to get going again. Being that I am turning 40 this year I need to get the weight off and keep it off.

I am currently 290-300 lbs and 6ft 4, my goal is to get down to 240. I think that riding a bike could help me get in shape.

I am interested in riding on both gravel and paved trails in and around Houston.

I went to three bike shops this week and the bike that I really liked was the Specialized Expedition Sport.

Anyone have any opinions?

Thanks
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Old 02-14-04, 03:45 PM   #24
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I am currently 290-300 lbs and 6ft 4, my goal is to get down to 240. I think that riding a bike could help me get in shape.
Cycling will certainly help get you in shape but also note that simply riding won't necessarily bring your weight down. You may also need to change other aspects of your lifestyle such as diet and possibly include other forms of exercise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TX WJ
I am interested in riding on both gravel and paved trails in and around Houston.

I went to three bike shops this week and the bike that I really liked was the Specialized Expedition Sport.

Anyone have any opinions?
How far or long do you intend your rides to be? I presume that starting out, you'll probably keep it under 50 miles for the first couple of months at least. But later on, you may eventually decide to move to longer distances. The Expedition is certainly a good enough bike for the 30-mile range and will suit you well when starting out again. You will however find that as you start pushing the distances and your body becomes more acustomed to riding, you may want to start looking at more performance oriented bikes so picking a bike in the entry-level range is a wise choice right now as it will most likely be a transition bike. At this point a 26" wheel comfort bike or 700c hybrid is a good choice.

The following is a broad generalisation so please don't take it as canon.

Most people who just want to cycle for fitness and local commuting without going "hard core roadie" well gravitate towards hybrids such as the Crossroads and move up to the Sirrus for a little more performance. Hybrids offer many features of a roadbike but with a more upright position. Others will go with more touring or commuter specific bikes which are constructed to carry heavier loads. Many hybrid riders will make the move to a road performance bike eventually.

People who are looking to just enjoy riding a bike every once in a while and want a reliable bike with a more upright position and something that doesn't have much frills but is relatively care-free will generally pick comfort bikes. Their wider smaller tyres although carrying more rolling resistance are more capable of handling the various terrain one might find with just tooling around town. These are not true mountain bikes however and should stick to light gravel trails at most. They are suitable for both pavement and smoother trails.

Have you tried out many bikes? You will probably also want to visit a few shops and try a few different brands and models before making your decision. Also, remember to shop not just for the bike but also the bike shop. Good luck.


BTW, does the "WJ" in your username refer to the 1999-present Jeep Grand Cherokee body style?
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Old 02-14-04, 05:27 PM   #25
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BTW, does the "WJ" in your username refer to the 1999-present Jeep Grand Cherokee body style?
Yes. I had a Grand Cherokee, as well as 3 other Jeeps in the last 10 years. Sadly I have no Jeeps now. I needed more room and the ability to carry stuff, so I now have a Dodge Ram Quad Cab.

Here is my old Jeep, I had tags that said TX WJ on it.



I have visted several bike shops and I tested several bikes. I have also read the forum here, and did some searches. I hear what you are saying about growing into another bike, and that may happen. But now I need buy what fits us the best. I really enjoyed riding before, and I am looking forward to riding again. My GF used to ride too, and now this is something that we can do together.

Today, I bought two Specilized Expedition Sports today, one for me and one for my girl friend. I think that they are a good choice for us, they felt the best of the bikes we tested.

Thanks for your advice, no I have to figure out the best way to carry the bikes in my truck to the park.
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