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Anyone else here have to get a "comfort bike" because of a medical problem?

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Anyone else here have to get a "comfort bike" because of a medical problem?

Old 08-09-15, 10:31 PM
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MarkND
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Anyone else here have to get a "comfort bike" because of a medical problem?

Hello, all. I've been an avid cyclist forever, riding both road and mt bike. I had all my bikes set up so I was basically in the same position on all 3. Well, because of a small tumor on my tongue which was cancer, I had a surgery that left a lot of scar tissue in my neck. And the 6.5 weeks of radiation and 3 doses of chemo left me with absolutely no energy for about 2 months. Its crazy how quickly your muscle tone goes. I tried riding one of my mt bikes and it was so tough, I could barely ride a couple miles and I was drained. Than one day I just felt better and got on my mt bike and took of and did an easy 6 miles and I felt good, except for my neck. It hurts to look up and down the road, and the pain would add up with every time I had to crane my neck. So I had to find something I could ride and not have to be looking up all the time. I had bought my wife a comfort bike a couple of years ago, so I figured I would go that route. I checked out the LBS in the area and settle on the Specialized in my bike list. It is comfortable to ride, I can take it down some nearby mt bike trails easy enough. The upright position feels different, but I'm adapting. The bike is slow and has a loong wheelbase. But hey, I can ride bike, and it's easier to ride at the wife's speed now when we go for rides. And my muscles are returning. It looks like comfort bikes get bad press around here, but they have their place as I've found out. Sure, they don't look cool or sexy, but just practical. I'm sure I'll eventually be able to ride my road bike again, but I'll keep the comfort bike for comfy cruises with the wife.

Mark
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Old 08-10-15, 07:53 AM
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I ride a comfort bike. A Townie. For medical reasons? Sort of. Age and flexibility. After a long spell of chemo, a 24" Townie was all I could handle. After four years of riding, I've traded it in for a 26"...Townie. I don't know about the bad press; blessings on those who can ride road bikes, but fact is, I can't. So I push it as far as I can, and I've got the wide eyed admiration of the young mechanics at the LBS. At the end of the day, I'd say life is good when lived on two wheels, regardless of configuration.
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Old 08-10-15, 08:59 AM
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My wife did, after having her gallbladder removed she has issues if she bends over too much. So we got her a Giant Cypress

womens
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/_gener...te_gateway.jpg

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Old 08-10-15, 09:04 AM
  #4  
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I can't ride a drop bar bike because of a chipped vertebrae in my lower back.
My bikes are a "roadified" hybrid and "grocerized" MB.
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Old 08-10-15, 09:11 AM
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Oh yeah! About 5 years ago I had a bicycling accident in which I broke both elbows. I couldn't put ANY weight on my arms. Mrs. Grouch suggested that we were going to have to either give up bicycling entirely or switch to recumbents (the ultimate comfort bikes). It's a great choice for the kind of riding that I do.

I've still got some upright bikes, but the only one that I still ride is my venerable beater bike on which I've raised the handlebar till it was even with the saddle. Otherwise my neck and upper back kill me.

Not everybody approves of recumbent bikes. That's OK with me. You do what you think is best for you, I'll do what I think is best for me.
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Old 08-10-15, 10:16 AM
  #6  
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My comfort bike is a Cannondale Criterium Series.
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Old 08-10-15, 12:08 PM
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I found out last week from my spine doc (he is a cyclist ) that I have spinal stenosis. He said cycling was the best exercise I could do with my condition. He asked what bikes I ride. I told him and he said the Litespeed was a great bike being titanium, etc. He said my Cannondale was "lower grade" carbon that was a bit uncomfortable and suggested I get a nicer bike. The wife was with me and said when the 2016s come in, if thats what I want, to get a SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod carbon. So I talked with the shop owner and got a price on a 2016 and an approx price on a 2015. Cannondale hasn't said what the reduced prices will be on leftover 2015s. Looks like a new "comfort" bike is in my future.
BTW: my spine doc has more disposable income than me (no surprise there), and he has a Trek Madone. Not sure which model but I'm sure the price tag is over $6000. Way outta my league.
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Old 08-10-15, 12:16 PM
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L
Originally Posted by RonH View Post
I found out last week from my spine doc (he is a cyclist ) that I have spinal stenosis. He said cycling was the best exercise I could do with my condition. He asked what bikes I ride. I told him and he said the Litespeed was a great bike being titanium, etc. He said my Cannondale was "lower grade" carbon that was a bit uncomfortable and suggested I get a nicer bike. The wife was with me and said when the 2016s come in, if thats what I want, to get a SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod carbon. So I talked with the shop owner and got a price on a 2016 and an approx price on a 2015. Cannondale hasn't said what the reduced prices will be on leftover 2015s. Looks like a new "comfort" bike is in my future.
BTW: my spine doc has more disposable income than me (no surprise there), and he has a Trek Madone. Not sure which model but I'm sure the price tag is over $6000. Way outta my league.
You have a very cool Dr. Mine is a cyclist, as well. It's good being able to have him relate to my "condition".
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Old 08-10-15, 12:29 PM
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It looks like there is more than one definition of "comfort bike". I'm talking about the upright riding position, non-drop bar handle bars higher than the seat type. Not any kind of road bike. Or is there a different name for the bike I'm trying to describe?

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Old 08-10-15, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkND View Post
It looks like there is more than one definition of "comfort bike". I'm talking about the upright riding position, non-drop bar handle bars higher than the seat type. Not any kind of road bike. Or is there a different name for the bike I'm trying to describe?

That is what I was talking about. comfort/cruiser. The Specialized Expedition, you have pictured is about the same as the Giant Sedona,, multi-use with 26x1.95 medium width tires making it a little on the mountain bike side of all purpose. They also have the Crossroads which like the Giant Cypress has 27x1.5 tires putting them on the road side of all purpose.
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Old 08-10-15, 01:11 PM
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Do you just need an upright position or do you also need wider softer tires?

I only ask because a good lightweight road bike can be setup with swept back handlebars. It may take some creative cockpit layout, but if this were going to be longer term, I'd want to find a pretty sexy road bike and maybe add a little Rivendale or mountain bike touches along with higher bars. Maybe run some vintage XT/XTR shifters/brakes for the cool factor. Just a thought.

John
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Old 08-10-15, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MarkND View Post
It looks like there is more than one definition of "comfort bike". I'm talking about the upright riding position, non-drop bar handle bars higher than the seat type. Not any kind of road bike. Or is there a different name for the bike I'm trying to describe?

The bike you're asking about is a comfort bike. I was just letting everyone know about me and what my doc said about a "comfort bike" for my back.

Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
You have a very cool Dr. Mine is a cyclist, as well. It's good being able to have him relate to my "condition".
Good for you. My primary care doc is also a cyclist. And the maxillofacial doc I saw last September after my car-bike accident is also a cyclist. He has his waiting room and exam rooms decorated with bike posters. After we saw the spine doc my wife said, "Are all the doctors down here cyclist?"
We moved here because of all the great bike trails. Much better than riding in Atlanta traffic.
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Old 08-10-15, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by hig4s View Post
That is what I was talking about. comfort/cruiser. The Specialized Expedition, you have pictured is about the same as the Giant Sedona,, multi-use with 26x1.95 medium width tires making it a little on the mountain bike side of all purpose. They also have the Crossroads which like the Giant Cypress has 27x1.5 tires putting them on the road side of all purpose.
Yeah, we are on the same page. I guess I was referring to the last couple of posts. The bikes they were talking about looked like road bikes.

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Old 08-10-15, 01:21 PM
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I had a lower back injury and was on my back for 3.5 months. Two herniated disks and narrowing of the nerve channels and I was in severe pain and could not ride at all. Before this happened I was building a bike for long distance cycling and so made a tweak or two to make it a "comfort bike". added a body float suspension seat post to absorb shock to my low back. Set up trekking bars with a fairly upright option and the frame I used (VO Pass Hunter) has a nice ride with the 32 mm tires at 80 rear and 60 front.

The back is getting better and I rode it 40 miles yesterday with no ill effects to my back. I am 70 so need a little comfort anyway.
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Old 08-10-15, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by RISKDR1 View Post
The back is getting better and I rode it 40 miles yesterday with no ill effects to my back. I am 70 so need a little comfort anyway.
Glad to hear you're riding again.
I too am 70.
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Old 08-10-15, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Do you just need an upright position or do you also need wider softer tires?

I only ask because a good lightweight road bike can be setup with swept back handlebars. It may take some creative cockpit layout, but if this were going to be longer term, I'd want to find a pretty sexy road bike and maybe add a little Rivendale or mountain bike touches along with higher bars. Maybe run some vintage XT/XTR shifters/brakes for the cool factor. Just a thought.

John
I need the upright riding position because scar tissue makes it hard to move my move my melon certain ways.
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Old 08-10-15, 05:03 PM
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Your Doing It Wrong ~

Comfort bike ?

Those are not Comfort bikes,,,
,
,
THIS Is a COMFORT BIKE !



It's so comfortable that when I get tired, Legs burning, Lungs heaving, near puking from a long speed run, I rest ON the bike.
No need to get off, I get more rest just leaning back and catching my breath while I pedal a slow easy cadence

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Old 08-11-15, 11:11 AM
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I have a "comfort" bike and trike because of common sense and logic.
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Old 08-14-15, 06:00 AM
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A recumbent is the ultimate "comfort bike." I did not get one for any type of medical problem, but your head is upright and there is no pressure on your hands/wrists/arms. And the seat is about like a desk chair.
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Old 08-14-15, 11:07 PM
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While my "comfort bike" is slower than I'm used to, I find the up right riding style makes it much easier to take in your surroundings. They are perfect for going for a ride with the wife, a more laid back approach to cycling, not always checking my heart rate monitor, type of ride. They are a good choice for riding rails to trails, trails, with some off road trail riding tossed in. Or cruising city streets like we have in St. Cloud, MN. The front shock gets a workout.

I do miss blasting down the road at 18 - 20 mph on my road bike. Hopefully next year I can ride it in comfort.

i thought about recumbents. But do like to ride mt bike trails and I can't see a recumbent doing well there. But my present bike seems to handle them ok.

Mark
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Old 08-15-15, 03:29 AM
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> While my "comfort bike" is slower than I'm used to, I find the
> up right riding style makes it much easier to take in your
> surroundings..….i thought about recumbents.


Recumbents are curious machines and not all of them are comfy. On reclining recumbents the rider is laid back with their head cocked way forward where the chin almost on the chest. Pay attention to recumbents as they ride by and notice that although the rider is sitting or reclined, when applying force to the pedals the rider is often trying to lead with their head. The rider’s upper body reflexively moves forward to increase leg leverage on the crank. This was discovered by me years ago when I had a Counterpoint Presto. Even more upright sitting recumbents, such as the Easy Racer “Tour Easy" style, create the same lean-forward reflex. That is not comfort riding, but it is a great way to firm up the abs. High-crank recumbents, like the Presto, can also create leg fatigue and numbness because they elevate the feet and legs. None of the recumbents I rode were good climbers, I really worked to get over hills. Another thing to be aware of is that recumbents tend to be hard on the knees. With a regular bike, nothing more than the body’s weight and muscle strength stresses the knee joints. Even when standing and pounding the pedals on a climb there is a natural cushion in the leg muscles which acts like a shock absorber. With a recumbent, the rider’s lower back is tight against an immovable seat which greatly increases load stress on the knees. There is no shock absorber for a recumbent rider except the meniscus in the knees.


Like others in this 50+ group, I also need a comfort bike. Arthitis in my c-spine is torture with a low-bar bicycle. From my experiences, the standard diamond frame bicycle with comfort geometry that locates the BB a bit forward allowing higher handlebars is the way to go. The sit bones take more load sitting upright, but there is a whole lot less stress on the neck, arms/wrists, and shoulders when not leaning forward. Less discomfort, and you certainly do see more when moving slower and not staring at the front wheel.


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Old 08-15-15, 03:36 AM
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Sure. Have had physical issues for the past 15 years, in terms of strength and flexibility. A "grocerized" commuter that's a bit more upright and relaxed than normal works for me. Would have no problems doing a "townie" type format. Indeed, I actually looked seriously at the Electra Townie, at one point. Might do so again, in the future. Myself, what works for me is something a bit between the more-traditional riding position and the layback arrangement of the Electra Townie. But with the right saddle, stem/bar and seat post position, I can work with most bikes. Just can't do the drop bar thing.

Keeps me out there. Don't mind what others thing.
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Old 08-15-15, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by MarkND View Post
It looks like there is more than one definition of "comfort bike". I'm talking about the upright riding position, non-drop bar handle bars higher than the seat type. Not any kind of road bike. Or is there a different name for the bike I'm trying to describe?
Check. I don't like being quite this upright, but it's probably very easy on the neck. Put a front fairing on it and it's reasonably fast, too.

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Old 08-15-15, 10:11 AM
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If the op wants some speed and an upright position then it is fairly easy to convert a "proper" road bike with a flat bar and shifters/levers that will work with road gears and caliper brakes.

OK it may not be quite as fast as a drop bar bike but 18-20 MPH is still easily achievable if you regularly ride that sort of speed on a road bike. You can also add bar ends if you want to increase the number of hand positions for long rides.

There's no need to be hamstrung by strict definitions of bike types.
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Old 08-15-15, 10:56 AM
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I've been riding a cannondale adventure for the past year. It fits the criteria you specified re: upright riding position, handlebars set above the seat.
It has a suspension seat post as well as the fork. Sprung cushy saddle ...a true comfort cruiser. I really like the 700c wheels it has.
nice looking bike. The stem is fully adjustable which I also like because I can lower it when the back is in shape for a more aggressive posture.
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