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I Miss My Comfort Bike....Help.......

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I Miss My Comfort Bike....Help.......

Old 09-12-16, 02:43 AM
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americanlt2
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I Miss My Comfort Bike....Help.......

I rode a Fuiji comfort deal with a suspension fork for over 5 years. A few years ago I got a GT ZUM city type bike. It's only a 8 speed which I like and faster but can't seem to handle the pot holes as well. Are fatter tires an option to help me?? I got a suspention seat post which helps a little. I think my stock tire are 700c by 35. Can I go 700c by 38??? And would it help? I drive 90% inner city pot holes. I live in Chicago and we have plenty of bike lanes but lots of pot holes.
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Old 09-12-16, 05:56 AM
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You'll have to check for clearances between the frame and current tire and see if there is room for more rubber.
The change you are talking about isn't significant and might not be very noticeable.
Thanks for reminding me on how much I miss my Giant Cypress DX.
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Old 09-12-16, 06:43 AM
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THe GT ZUM looks rather upright, so in addition to the suspension seatpost, you may want a gel seat with springs. Also, you can experiment with tire inflation. Try inflating to halfway between the recommended inflation pressures. For example, if it says 65-85, try 75. Then try 65. Also the ZUM looks like a straight bar bike. Try putting foam pipe insulation on the grips.

Speaking of grips, it would also help if you loosened your actual hand hold of the bar, and avoid locking your elbows.

But if you have clearance for fatter tires, that may help, especially if you could run them slightly soft.
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Old 09-12-16, 07:03 AM
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Schwalbe Big Apples in 622-55 if they will fit your frame…

AIR SUSPENSION BUILT-IN.

The Big Apple started off the Balloonbike trend more than ten years ago: Comfortable cycling without using complicated technology! Air cushion tires are used as natural suspension. Inflated to around 2 Bar a Balloonbike rolls really easily and with a full suspension effect. A normal tire with a width of 37 mm must be inflated to a rock-hard 4 bar, in order to roll similarly well.

Big Apple - Schwalbe Professional Bike Tires
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Old 09-12-16, 10:56 AM
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I'd try riding around the potholes, not into them

You could also try lowering the air pressure on your tires before switching to wider ones.
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Old 09-12-16, 11:27 AM
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That bike (GT ZUM) looks kind of like the worst of all worlds short of some really bad beach cruiser bikes.



From a ride comfort standpoint there appears no rake in the forks, a fairly steep fork angle, a lean forward geometry so weight on your hands instead of your sit bone, flat bars, no seat spring, seat stays connecting to the top tube, and small tyres. You're battling a lot of bad design.

Compare this to the bikes that are ubiquitous outside of the US (from http://localmile.org/city-bikes/):



Shallower fork angle and a bit of rake in the fork provide considerable shock absorption

Larger tyres do as well. They are also a bit more flat proof and need air top ups less often.

Fully upright geometry and angled back handlebars take weight off your hands, wrists, and arms and put it on your ass that's designed for it.

Sprung seat provides considerable comfort (not all are created equal though so stick with Brooks, Selle Royale, or similar).
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Old 09-12-16, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by kuroba View Post
You could also try lowering the air pressure on your tires before switching to wider ones.
Yes, but be careful about going too low or you could end up with snake-bite punctures or pinch flats. The smaller the tyre the greater the pressure required to avoid these.
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Old 09-12-16, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by americanlt2 View Post
I think my stock tire are 700c by 35. Can I go 700c by 38??? And would it help? I drive 90% inner city pot holes. I live in Chicago and we have plenty of bike lanes but lots of pot holes.
We can't really tell over the internet. Your local bike shop would have a better idea, though even they are guessing a bit until you actually put the tire on the bike.

Two things come to mind:
1. Some tires are much more comfortable to ride than others. I like Schwalbe Marathon Supreme's because I value both speed and comfort.
2. As someone else mentioned tire pressure plays a big role as well, overinflate any tire and it's a nasty ride.

In my opinion the ideal tire size if your priority if first comfort then speed is 40c. If you cannot return the bike, and you're already using a reasonable pressure, I would say there's a good chance that replacing the tires with a better model might solve your problem.
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Old 09-12-16, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by americanlt2 View Post
I rode a Fuiji comfort deal with a suspension fork for over 5 years. A few years ago I got a GT ZUM city type bike. It's only a 8 speed which I like and faster but can't seem to handle the pot holes as well. Are fatter tires an option to help me?? I got a suspention seat post which helps a little. I think my stock tire are 700c by 35. Can I go 700c by 38??? And would it help? I drive 90% inner city pot holes. I live in Chicago and we have plenty of bike lanes but lots of pot holes.
Sell the GT, and look for another Fuji on Craigslist.

My personal experience is that trying to make a bike much more comfortable is futile.

If you know something works, just stick with it.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 09-12-16 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 09-13-16, 01:05 AM
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Keep the GT for sporty rides on good pavement. Get another comfy hybrid. They turn up every week on craigslist and similar used sites for well under $200.

I've ridden a Globe Carmel comfy hybrid for a year and wouldn't sell it. Spring suspension fork, thickly padded saddle with springs. Long wheelbase. I added 700x40 tires and run 'em at lower pressure. On days my back and neck are aching it's like riding a sofa. Great for rough pavement, gravel and errands. This weekend I bombed over a huge pothole I couldn't avoid, only managing to lift the front end over the hole. Barely felt the jolt. Bike cost only a little over $100. Only mods I did were a stronger double wall rear rim and flat bars to replace the original upright bars.

For better days I recently got a Univega chromo steel frame with rigid fork that I'm gradually tweaking to suit myself. It's lighter and *feels* faster, especially climbing hills. But in reality it ain't much faster. I'm still averaging 12 mph over 20-60 mile rides. And I can feel more jolts from chipseal and rough pavement.
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Old 09-17-16, 04:52 PM
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The new GT should work fine for you with some changes to your riding style. Going faster and pedaling harder takes weight off your keister and hands b/c you're sort of lifting your whole body by putting more power down on the pedals. The weight is on your feet. This is what motivates me to go fast as a commuter -- it's more comfortable that way!

Your mileage may vary. If you are a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race rider, that is of course awesome too. A comfort hybrid might be your ideal style. Different strokes...

That's why I love bicycles so much. Where else can you get all sorts of different amazing unique custom transportation for like $100-$200?
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