I have not ridden a bike in a long time, and I really have no idea what to buy. I would mostly be using the bike to travel to and from the super market, and taking long rides. I am a wimp when it comes to bumps on the road (my wrists and my butt would like something that does not jar my body too much). I might use this bike to go on some off road riding too.
What kind of bike would be good for me that would provide the smoothest ride? Would a full suspension mountain bike be a good choice? Do shocks provide the smooth ride, or is it the type of tire that dampen the road bumps?
by long rides do you mean loaded touring, light touring or just longer day rides?
full suspension would be too slow and too energy consuming. perhaps you should try suspension seatpost or brooks saddle for butt comfort. mountain bike is a good option, they are more versatile than road bike or touring bike.
>>What kind of bike would be good for me that would provide the smoothest ride?>>
Be it a mtn. bike, road bike or hybrid/comfort model...you might consider a bike that provides a more relaxed, upright riding position. This can ease the pressure on your wrists. You should avoid the "racing" geometry, one in which the handle bars are considerably lower than the saddle. Your riding position should prove to be the most important factor for your comfort. A front suspension can help with the bumps, along with a suspended seatpost or perhaps one of the spring-loaded Brookes saddles.
If you have more serious comfort issues, then you may want to consider a recumbent bicycle. They have very limited off-road abilities, but for body comfort...'bents can be a godsend.
Originally Posted by Schumius
As for the "long rides", it would be just longer day rides. I live near the beach, and would like to take long rides along the roads by the beach.
i think touring bikes like atlantis of rivendell or long haul trucker of surly would be good both on and offroad. thereīre lots of people who have experiences with these bikes perhaps they can give you a more detailed idea of them. nevertheless, i still think a mountain bike would be a good choice because with it you can do both offroad and commuting and itīs got a pretty upright position. more importantly, itīs got a bigger stand over clearance which in my opinion is something to consider when commuting.
but no matter what kind of bikes youīre going to buy make sure you get a good fit. take a look at these articles, they might be of some help. http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/, http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/htm...framesize.html
even though i mentioned atlantis i donīt think itīs a good idea to go after it because itīs really expensive and you probably can get something cheaper that does the job as well.
I just bought my wife this bike:
She was also returning to cycling after being away for a while. The bike cost $199 and is very comfortable. It can take a rack and fenders so you can use it for commuting and errands. The components on the bike and build quality are much better than you could find in discount stores for about the same price. I would recommend a bike like this to start with. After you have ridden for a while and decide the type of riding you like the most, then you could get a more specalized bike such as a mountain bike for trail riding or a road bike for fast club rides.
Mad bike riding scientist
Get thee to a bike shop! Seriously, find two bike shops, preferably ones that carry different bicycle lines, in your area and tell them where you want to ride and what you plan on doing and ask their advice. Then ride everything they have. Even ride somethings slightly outside your comfort zone.
Originally Posted by newtobikes
For road riding and bike path riding, I stay away from a dual suspension mountain bike. Too complicated, heavy and energy robbing for riding on a road bed. Look at something with a shock post, if you have to, possibly front suspension but be aware that that adds weight and complexity as well as it robs energy too.
Get a Thudbuster seat post, the greastest think I ever did for my butt. It takes the edge of the roads. I road 4000 km last year over every type of road and I won't be without one on my bike. Plus they last and last. I'm huge and just updated my 4 year old Thudbuster on their trade in offer. The new ones are much stronger and should last even longer.
A bike like the Specialized Sirrus is a good all round bike, lightweight but comfortable and quite popular with regular commuters. The more stuff you add to a bike, like suspension forks and seatposts, the heavier the bike becomes, so it is less fun and less manouverable on the road. Tyres play a big part in comfort, and a medium touring tyres (28-32mm in width) is fine for general riding. You always have the option of a wider tyre for rough roads or a thinner one for faster riding.
Get yourself to a bikeshop and check it out. Other brands also make bikes in this style, so pick a bikshop you trust; they will advise you on getting the correct size.