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Old 05-16-11, 04:32 PM   #1
joelw
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Comfort or Hybrid? Trek or Raleigh

Hi all. I'm agonizing over a comfort vs. hybrid. Here's my situation - Did much biking in past years, mostly on a mountain bike because I wanted the exercise. I had a road bike, but didn't enjoy it much for my riding. I ride on the roads of Long Island, and in some parks on bike trails. Used to ride 15 miles per day, and 50 on Sundays with the MTB, and did NYC 5-boro tour on the MTB. Stopped six years ago due to health issues and gave away my bikes. Now I'm aching to get back in the saddle, and purchased a comfort bike (Diamondback Wildwood). One ride of two miles, and I knew the gearing wasn't great, so I'm going to exchange it for another. Thinking of a Raleigh Venture 4.0 or a Trek Navigator 2.0. They both have better gears, but I like the trigger shifts on the Raleigh (Shimano Acera on the rear).

I'm looking at a comfort bike for, well, comfort reasons. I'm now 63 years old, and have wrist pain (arthritis), lower back pain (coccyx injury) and neck pain (herniated disk). Ouch! Now that I think about it, maybe I should just install handlebars on my easy chair, and watch cycling videos So a comfort bike makes sense. I want to do 8 or so miles a day, and I'm not a speed demon. I just want to get exercise and enjoy the sights. I know that the more upright posture will increase wind resistance, but I'm not out to win a race.

My LBS (Brands) suggested the possibility of a hybrid, but I'm pretty sure that the vibrations from a fork without suspension will ultimately hurt my wrists. Leaning more forward on a MTB will likely hurt my neck more than on a comfort bike. And the comfort seat is really comfy! Guess I'm talking myself into the comfort bike. I'd like to hear from you on what you think I should go with. Comfort or hybrid? And if comfort, then Trek Navigator vs. Raleigh Venture 4.0? Is there really much of a difference between the two frames, quality-wise? Sounds like I've talked myself into the comfort bike, but I'd really appreciate your thoughts and experiences on comfort vs. hybrid, and Trek vs. Raleigh. Thanks to all...
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Old 05-16-11, 08:03 PM   #2
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Looks to me like the three bikes you mentioned are all pretty similar re: geometry, components, etc. It's tempting to tell you that Bike A looks better than Bike B, but that's only on paper (or in this case, a web page). The proof is in the pudding... in other words, a test ride will tell you which bike is more comfortable. That being said, I think you may be selling yourself short by limiting yourself to "comfort" bikes. Try riding all sorts of bikes in your price range. You might be surprised at which bike feels the most comfortable.

I have a cyclist friend who suffers from a number of ailments, not the least of which is COPD. His ride is a "crank-forward" (aka "pedal-forward") bike. I believe it is this model. Since you appear to have a Trek dealer in your area, they make their own version of a crank-forward bike, the Pure. My friend likes the fact that he can put his feet flat on the ground when stopped, instead of being forced to dismount. He rides at a relaxed pace and can cover great distances, despite his physical limitations.

Another option is recumbent bikes or trikes, but I think you might have trouble finding something within your price range, assuming the 3 bikes you mentioned are indicative of how much you want to spend. The Recumbent sub-forum here is a great source of information for all things 'bent.

Good luck on your search, and make sure to test ride a lot of bikes!
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Old 05-16-11, 08:15 PM   #3
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Either one would be a great ride. I have a Raliegh mountain bike I've had for years. Recently,I went to the bike shop to have mine repaired so I can ride again after a long lay off.I fell in love with the Trek model hybrid. I already decided that the Trek will be my next one when I want to upgrade. But really,either one is a good choice. See if you can test ride them and hopefully you can make your choice that way.
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Old 05-16-11, 08:20 PM   #4
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How far do you think you'll ride? If you plan on going on 15-20 mile rides you might want to consider the hybrid. You can always change out the handlebar grips to something more cushioned if you're worried about hand pain.

Stop by the 50+ forum and say hello. There are lots of riders there in your age bracket who got back into cycling after taking a couple of decades off.
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Old 05-17-11, 05:50 AM   #5
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You might look at the Trek 7000 series since it is a comfort hybrid. It does have the front fork suspension, but the 700c wheels and narrower tires. I have had the Navigator 2.0 for a little over a year and it is great for my neighborhood rides and store runs. However, it is not my only bike and I prefer others for longer distances. By the way, the Navigator is fairly heavy if you need to take it up stairs or put on a rack.

Good luck with your search,
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Old 05-17-11, 08:30 AM   #6
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Hello,
Before switching to a road bike I had a Raleigh Venture 4.0 and loved it. After 6 months or so, the LBS changed the fat 1.95" tires and put on 1.5" slicks. This made the ride somewhat quicker and more enjoyable.

Just an idea for you.
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Old 05-17-11, 08:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelw View Post
Hi all. I'm agonizing over a comfort vs. hybrid. Here's my situation - Did much biking in past years, mostly on a mountain bike because I wanted the exercise. I had a road bike, but didn't enjoy it much for my riding. I ride on the roads of Long Island, and in some parks on bike trails. Used to ride 15 miles per day, and 50 on Sundays with the MTB, and did NYC 5-boro tour on the MTB. Stopped six years ago due to health issues and gave away my bikes. Now I'm aching to get back in the saddle, and purchased a comfort bike (Diamondback Wildwood). One ride of two miles, and I knew the gearing wasn't great, so I'm going to exchange it for another. Thinking of a Raleigh Venture 4.0 or a Trek Navigator 2.0. They both have better gears, but I like the trigger shifts on the Raleigh (Shimano Acera on the rear).

I'm looking at a comfort bike for, well, comfort reasons. I'm now 63 years old, and have wrist pain (arthritis), lower back pain (coccyx injury) and neck pain (herniated disk). Ouch! Now that I think about it, maybe I should just install handlebars on my easy chair, and watch cycling videos So a comfort bike makes sense. I want to do 8 or so miles a day, and I'm not a speed demon. I just want to get exercise and enjoy the sights. I know that the more upright posture will increase wind resistance, but I'm not out to win a race.

My LBS (Brands) suggested the possibility of a hybrid, but I'm pretty sure that the vibrations from a fork without suspension will ultimately hurt my wrists. Leaning more forward on a MTB will likely hurt my neck more than on a comfort bike. And the comfort seat is really comfy! Guess I'm talking myself into the comfort bike. I'd like to hear from you on what you think I should go with. Comfort or hybrid? And if comfort, then Trek Navigator vs. Raleigh Venture 4.0? Is there really much of a difference between the two frames, quality-wise? Sounds like I've talked myself into the comfort bike, but I'd really appreciate your thoughts and experiences on comfort vs. hybrid, and Trek vs. Raleigh. Thanks to all...
I have had lower back surgery, ruptured discs in my neck and many of the other pains you mentioned. I got a comfort bike (Electra Townie) pedal forward and it was comfortable, very little back neck or shoulder pain. The more I rode it the stronger I got and then I obtained a used touring bike with drop bars and I love it. (I outgrew the comfort bike) I am now able to do 25 miles on this without any pain. It didn't happen overnight however. I still ride the comfort bike but do prefer the steel touring bike which is very comfortable. I personally was surprised that I'd be able to do this with all of my issues. The Electra 21D was a good starter bike for me.
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Old 05-17-11, 10:52 AM   #8
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You folks are wonderful - thanks for helping!! I went back to my LBS today, looked at everything again, and decided on the Raleigh Venture 4.0 (thanks flan48). It's really, really comfortable and, after all, that's what it's all about at this stage of life. I like the idea of changing to slicks at a later time if necessary. For now I'll just start getting back in shape following heart surgery, and worry later about changing gear.

CbadRider - thanks for the tip about the over-50 group. I missed that before, but I'll be sure to follow it now. Thanks again to all of you. See you on the road....happy riding.
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Old 05-18-11, 03:08 PM   #9
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I have arthritis in my hands and find that the ergo grips are a necessity.
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Old 05-18-11, 09:42 PM   #10
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My first bike was a Trek Navigator and was a great bike for riding around the neighborhood and light trails. Trouble was it got me hooked and i just picked up a Trek 7.3FX. Navigator is more comfort and the FX is hybrid/road bike.
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