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Returning a New Bike

Old 08-23-04, 06:42 PM
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rundmk
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Returning a New Bike

I bought a hybrid bike a couple of weeks ago. The bike is nice, but the seat is very uncomfortable. I told the woman at the LBS that the seat seemed a little uncomfortable, and maybe I should exchange it for something another seat. She said in a few weeks I would "break it in" and it would be comfortable. I rode it for 3 days for about an hour each time. On the 4th day I was too sore to ride. I went back to the bike shop and asked if I could exchange the seat and they said I couldn't because they don't sell that seat (by itself) so it has no value to them. They recommended I buy a "Comfort Plus" saddle that has the split in the middle. It was $39.95 at the shop. I found it for $29.95 on the Internet. They said they couldn't match Internet prices, so bought it over the Internet. It helped some, but not a lot. Now I have a bike that I cannot ride every day; I'm too sore. Maybe some of the problem is my sex (male), age (50) and weight (205lbs). I'm not sure.

Over the weekend I went to another bike shop and test rode some comfort bikes. I didn't feel any pain. I know the bikes are a little slower, but I'm willing to give up some speed for comfort.

My question is, can I return the hybrid to the original LBS and ask them if I can swap it for a comfort bike? Do most LBS' allow this? Or do I have to sell the hybrid in the paper for a big loss and then buy the comfort bike? Has anyone tried to return a bike for a different one? What's the protocol here?

Thanks in advance for any responses.
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Old 08-23-04, 06:58 PM
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Have you been fit on the bike correctly, can't help but think you need to have some adjustments made. No reason to throw the baby out with the bath water yet.
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Old 08-23-04, 07:03 PM
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alright, before you try to return the bike, heres what your problem is. Are you experiencing numbness? if no, then its not the seat. Your butt is what breaks in, not the seat, unless it is a stretched leather saddle. anyway, your butt is not used to the pressure being put on it. after a couple of WEEKS of riding, your butt gets muscles that sort of sheild it from the pressure.

If you are planning on doing any longer type of riding, then dont get a comfort bike. The problem with a bike like that is that you are very upright, and this actually focuses more pressure on your butt rather then distributing it evenly between your arms and butt. the "comfort" seats actually cause numbness on longer rides. your sit bones which are actually the bones that come out of the bottom of your pelvis dig into the seat and move the nice, squishy foam out of the way, and that displaced foam digs into the soft tissues of that area...and you dont want that. that is the cause of a numb cock and balls. if you see and long distance cyclists (like the ones that ride for 150+ miles) they will unvariably have seats that are hard as rocks.

so, rest a day, and ease into riding. let your butt build up muscles. you dont do bench press everyday if you are trying to build your pecs, that just fatuiges them. the analogy holds here.
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Old 08-23-04, 07:53 PM
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Seat discomfort is probably the number one complaint from cyclists. Although some soreness will go away with conditioning, a padded seat will probably always be a problem. If you search this forum for 'saddle' and 'uncomfortable' you'll probably get a LOT of threads you can read.

For my money, there is only one saddle. It's the classic leather saddle made by Brooks. Do a search on 'brooks' and you'll find tons of recommendations. I put Brooks saddles on all my bikes and the one part of me that is guaranteed not to hurt at the end of the day is my butt.

Also, make sure you wear padded cyling shorts (with no underwear). If you don't like the look of spandex, wear nylon shorts over them or get a pair of baggie mountain bike shorts with a padded inner short (also with no underwear). The cycling shorts do make a difference.
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Old 08-23-04, 08:19 PM
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You also have to try and separate soreness from sitting on the wrong saddle from soreness from improper bike fit and soreness from using muscles you didn't know you had in that area. Then add the possibility of chafing and seams in the "wrong places" if you aren't wearing cycling specific shorts.
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Old 08-23-04, 09:40 PM
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I have a cheap saddle ($15 Cdn), it is quite firm, wide enough at the back to support my sit bones, narrow at the front so it doesnt rub against the inside of my thighs. I have it tilted up at the front ever so slightly so I dont slide forward onto the narrow part. Maybe you can adjust the handle bar position to take some weight of your butt, and put more on your feet and hands. Make sure your seat is high enough - sitting you shoud just be able to reach the pedal at the bottom of the stroke with your leg dead straight (then with the front of your foot on the pedal you will have the right amount of knee bend). This might give problems reaching the ground when you stop, but riding will be a lot easier.
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Old 08-23-04, 10:22 PM
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The soreness is like a bruised feeling in the perenium area. It takes a day or 2 to go away. It isn't like the feeling of sore muscles. I have tried raising and lowering the seat, moving it forward and back, and also tilting it backward and forward. When I bought the bike, they didn't do any fitting. They took it in the back to get it adjust the cables or whatever and then gave it to me. They didn't ask me if I wanted the seat raised or lowered, or if I wanted the handlebars tilted backward or foward, or raised or lowered.

As far as the seat on the comfort bikes not being comfortable for long distances, I just plan to ride 10-20 miles at a time. I don't have any plans to ride 50 or 100 miles, just about an hour a day.
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Old 08-24-04, 01:09 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by rundmk
The soreness is like a bruised feeling in the perenium area. It takes a day or 2 to go away. It isn't like the feeling of sore muscles. I have tried raising and lowering the seat, moving it forward and back, and also tilting it backward and forward. When I bought the bike, they didn't do any fitting. They took it in the back to get it adjust the cables or whatever and then gave it to me. They didn't ask me if I wanted the seat raised or lowered, or if I wanted the handlebars tilted backward or foward, or raised or lowered.

As far as the seat on the comfort bikes not being comfortable for long distances, I just plan to ride 10-20 miles at a time. I don't have any plans to ride 50 or 100 miles, just about an hour a day.
that lbs didn't even bother to fit you? that's terrible. however, would you mind posting ur height and the size of your frame? perhaps this way, maybe someone here can tell you if that size is ok for you or not. as Phatman has said earlier.. comfort bikes makes u too upright. take my sirrus for example. it is a comfort/road bike. some call it hybrid, some call it comfort. regardless, the geometry is a bit upright, however for me to diverse the pressure from my arse to my arms, i've changed the setup and lowered the nose of my seat. majority of the pressure is now diversed and long rides is ok.

yes ur butt does need to be broken in. in the beginning it's painful to ride.. but after a while later, the more u ride the more u'll become use to it. or u can just get a brooks stretched leather saddle and break that in. bottom line is... i would seriously consider finding urself another lbs.. cuz it seems like the one u went to ripped you a new arse without lube! stay away from lbs like that that just wants to sale u something and not care about after service.
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Old 08-24-04, 02:00 AM
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well reguardless of what anyone says here the choice is yours
if you want to ride to get some excersize and thats all then go for the comfort bike
I have seen comfort bikes that are multi speed and you dont give up much speed over all
but remember the longer you wait to take back current bike the less likely they will take it back

I personally never liked the narrow Road bike seats and yes I gave them a chance
as a teen rode one for several months before chaning the seat
I still dont like them and wont ride one for very long

the bike is not fited for you and that can make you very uncomfortable even on short rides much less long ones

and reguardless of what some people think a comfort bike can be rode for Hours
I used to spend all day on one and felt fine afterwards
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Old 08-24-04, 07:37 AM
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My height is 6' and the bike frame is 20".
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Old 08-24-04, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by supcom
Seat discomfort is probably the number one complaint from cyclists. Although some soreness will go away with conditioning, a padded seat will probably always be a problem. If you search this forum for 'saddle' and 'uncomfortable' you'll probably get a LOT of threads you can read.

For my money, there is only one saddle. It's the classic leather saddle made by Brooks. Do a search on 'brooks' and you'll find tons of recommendations. I put Brooks saddles on all my bikes and the one part of me that is guaranteed not to hurt at the end of the day is my butt.

Also, make sure you wear padded cyling shorts (with no underwear). If you don't like the look of spandex, wear nylon shorts over them or get a pair of baggie mountain bike shorts with a padded inner short (also with no underwear). The cycling shorts do make a difference.
Agreed. The comfort bike puts ALL the pressure on your rear end. The best saddle for the "Comfort Bike" with it's upright position is the Brooks Champion Flyer. The springs on the Champion Flyer are a must because the upright position means you will hit almost all those potholes sitting down. The springs will bounce a little but that 'give' makes all the difference in the world to those who are riding bikes with the comfort geometry

Sheldon Brown stated that prior to the 70's, almost all bikes with the "upright" postion (Roadsters) came with a Brooks saddle or one with springs. The racing bike changed all that as companies stopped supplying bikes (even comfort bikes!) with Brooks saddles. A mistake.

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 08-24-04 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 08-24-04, 07:42 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by ruirui
that lbs didn't even bother to fit you? that's terrible. .
I find that unless you're buying a road bike that cost over 1K, most local bike shops will not make a fit on a $350.00 comfort bike. They simply take a look at your height and make an estimated decision on what bike you need and what they have on display!
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Old 08-24-04, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I find that unless you're buying a road bike that cost over 1K, most local bike shops will not make a fit on a $350.00 comfort bike. They simply take a look at your height and make an estimated decision on what bike you need and what they have on display!
This is what I have seen too. They may do it for bikes less than $1,000, but they'll charge you.
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Old 08-24-04, 08:22 AM
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Sorry Man,

It's your butt's problem. It's sore becuase you haven't rode a bike for some time now, I'm guessing and your butt is getting used to it. Get used to it.
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Old 08-24-04, 08:30 PM
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You've heard from the experts, and I defer to their knowlege, but I'll also give my own expreience re: comfort bikes. Take this with the grain of salt that I've never ridden a serious quality road bike.

My wife and I recently bought Specialized Expedition Sport bikes. We've both sufferend from carpel tunnel syndrome, her's at one point requiring surgury, so at least for her, the prospect of having body weight born at all on the hands and wrists is not good. She suffered even with mountain bikes and could not ride for more than a few miles. So when we discovered the Exedition, it was a blessing. With them came riding much more regular than we've ever ridden before.

We've equipped properly with cycling shorts and gloves and to date are riding the stock seats that came on the bikes. We've logged something over 200 miles in less than a month, not as much as we'd like, but getting there. Longest ride has been a hilly 36 miles, but rides in the 15 mile range aren't uncommon.

That's background, now for the meat. When we started riding regular we were doing like 4 mile rides, and we'd both be sore after. After a few weeks riding pobably 3 times a week, a 15 mile ride isn't too hard on the butt, but we'll stand on the pedals occasionally on the downhills for a break. On the longer rides, we're sore but it's not unbearable. We're looking forward to, and working toward a metric century on Sept. 18, and I think we'll be OK. You're certainly more efficent on a road bike, but I tend to think that with the lower gearing and the wider tires, we're getting a pretty good workout with what we have, and we're certainly enjoying them. I can't compare it to a road bike, I can only give you what I have experience with, but I did about 25 miles this morning and I'm sitting here typing after driving a couple hours without my butt hurting.
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Old 08-26-04, 08:54 PM
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I'm 59 (6'2", 220lbs) and never have been comfortable on a bike until 2 years ago. Tried flat bars and padded seats, everything was a disaster. Now I ride two conventional road bikes and have never been more comfortable. The 3 truths (2 of which sound illogical) that have made the difference are: 1. Pay the money, if you have to, and get the bike professionally fitted; 2. A padded saddle dosn't mean you're more comfortable (the padding compresses under your weight leaving the fat foam to rub and irritate your private parts). I now ride a Brooks B-17, which really didn't take as much breaking in as people believe. It was an immediate and noticable improvement over my padded saddle the first day I used it; 3. wear bicycle shorts with a chamois. The are two things your butt sits on when riding, the saddle and the pants you wear. Many people obsess about the saddle, but ignore the pants.

I don't know how much riding you plan to do but a road bike will get you there faster and with less effort than a "comfort" bike. Oh, one other thing. The larger the tires you put on your bike, the more comfortable it will be. Hope this helps
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