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Would a Comfort bike be right for me?

Old 05-31-20, 03:52 PM
  #1  
Snow Dog
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Would a Comfort bike be right for me?

Howdy folks. New guy here and Iíve got some questions about ďComfort HybridĒ bikes.

I currently own a 1999 Specialized Crossroads. Itís a completely different design than the current Crossroads models. In my opinion, it has the ďFitnessĒ geometry. I absolutely adore the bike except for one thing. Iím getting older and just this year Iíve noticed that my shoulders get a little sore when riding. Nothing serious. More like a discomfort than a pain. That never bothered me before so I assume Iím just now starting to feel the effects of the forward leaning riding position due to my age. Iím 59.

Iím considering a Comfort Hybrid bike and Iím not sure if that would be good for me or not. I know I would like the upright riding position but I donít know if I would like it for very long. Iíve read many comments that Comfort bikes are only comfortable for short rides. Trouble is, I donít know what is meant by ďshortĒ.

Hereís a little info and some questions below.

A: I seldom ride any farther than 10 miles. Sometimes I only ride 5 miles but 10 miles is right in my comfort zone.

B: I pedal along at a casual pace. On every ride this year (about 7 rides) my average speed has been between 9-10 mph.

C: I love my Specialized Crossroads. The forward leaning position is the only thing I donít like about it. Everything else is perfect.

D: I ride primarily for low impact exercise. Iím not looking for a vigorous workout.

E: I do not want the maintenance requirements of a suspension fork.

Questions:

1. Would a comfort bike be a good choice for me considering my favorite distance to ride is 10 miles?

2. Since I like my Crossroads so much, should I just tough it out unless the discomfort turns to pain?

3. If I do get a Comfort bike will it be harder to climb hills?
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Old 05-31-20, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Snow Dog View Post
Howdy folks. New guy here and Iíve got some questions about ďComfort HybridĒ bikes.

I currently own a 1999 Specialized Crossroads. Itís a completely different design than the current Crossroads models. In my opinion, it has the ďFitnessĒ geometry. I absolutely adore the bike except for one thing. Iím getting older and just this year Iíve noticed that my shoulders get a little sore when riding. Nothing serious. More like a discomfort than a pain. That never bothered me before so I assume Iím just now starting to feel the effects of the forward leaning riding position due to my age. Iím 59.

Iím considering a Comfort Hybrid bike and Iím not sure if that would be good for me or not. I know I would like the upright riding position but I donít know if I would like it for very long. Iíve read many comments that Comfort bikes are only comfortable for short rides. Trouble is, I donít know what is meant by ďshortĒ.

Hereís a little info and some questions below.

A: I seldom ride any farther than 10 miles. Sometimes I only ride 5 miles but 10 miles is right in my comfort zone.

B: I pedal along at a casual pace. On every ride this year (about 7 rides) my average speed has been between 9-10 mph.

C: I love my Specialized Crossroads. The forward leaning position is the only thing I donít like about it. Everything else is perfect.

D: I ride primarily for low impact exercise. Iím not looking for a vigorous workout.

E: I do not want the maintenance requirements of a suspension fork.

Questions:

1. Would a comfort bike be a good choice for me considering my favorite distance to ride is 10 miles?

2. Since I like my Crossroads so much, should I just tough it out unless the discomfort turns to pain?

3. If I do get a Comfort bike will it be harder to climb hills?
2 suggestions. One for you, and one for the bike.
First you. Do some exercises to strengthen your core. It is possible that over time, your abdominals, and lower back muscles got weaker. So work on strengthening those muscles so they can better support you when riding, and your sore shoulders might get better since your core will better support your weight and take it off the hands, arms and shoulders.
If you try this and your shoulders are still sore, switch out your stem for one with a bit of rise to it. Problem solved all for about $25. Alternately, you could get some handlebars that give you a little rise, and maybe even a little back sweep. Soma and Velo Orange make these kind of bars that get you more upright and put your hands in a more natural position, in line with your shoulders. Again, easy fix for a lot less than the cost of a new bike.
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Old 05-31-20, 05:07 PM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Snow Dog View Post
Questions:

1. Would a comfort bike be a good choice for me considering my favorite distance to ride is 10 miles?

2. Since I like my Crossroads so much, should I just tough it out unless the discomfort turns to pain?

3. If I do get a Comfort bike will it be harder to climb hills?
Hi,

I ride a Rans Dynamik crank forward "comfort bike" and love it. I used it for my 17mi/day round trip commute for 10 years. Hill climbing is easy on this bike. When set up properly by pulling back on the handlebars you can add a lot of power, no need to stand. A "normal" bike now feels comparatively like a torture device.
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Old 05-31-20, 06:33 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Snow Dog View Post
Howdy folks. New guy here and I’ve got some questions about “Comfort Hybrid” bikes.

I currently own a 1999 Specialized Crossroads. It’s a completely different design than the current Crossroads models. In my opinion, it has the “Fitness” geometry. I absolutely adore the bike except for one thing. I’m getting older and just this year I’ve noticed that my shoulders get a little sore when riding. Nothing serious. More like a discomfort than a pain. That never bothered me before so I assume I’m just now starting to feel the effects of the forward leaning riding position due to my age. I’m 59.

I’m considering a Comfort Hybrid bike and I’m not sure if that would be good for me or not. I know I would like the upright riding position but I don’t know if I would like it for very long. I’ve read many comments that Comfort bikes are only comfortable for short rides. Trouble is, I don’t know what is meant by “short”.

Here’s a little info and some questions below.

A: I seldom ride any farther than 10 miles. Sometimes I only ride 5 miles but 10 miles is right in my comfort zone.

B: I pedal along at a casual pace. On every ride this year (about 7 rides) my average speed has been between 9-10 mph.

C: I love my Specialized Crossroads. The forward leaning position is the only thing I don’t like about it. Everything else is perfect.

D: I ride primarily for low impact exercise. I’m not looking for a vigorous workout.

E: I do not want the maintenance requirements of a suspension fork.

Questions:

1. Would a comfort bike be a good choice for me considering my favorite distance to ride is 10 miles?

2. Since I like my Crossroads so much, should I just tough it out unless the discomfort turns to pain?

3. If I do get a Comfort bike will it be harder to climb hills?
I think my experience is a bit similar to yours. I started riding again (consistently) last summer at age 56 when I purchased a Marin DS 2 San Rafael. My first bike purchase in 22 years and I figured I needed something rugged (with a lockout fork) to ride the occasional off road trails and state parks. Come to discover I wasn't a big fan of the more forward type geometry that the duel sport bike provided as my hands got numb frequently. I quickly realized that I didn't need the front suspension for the gravel/hard packed trails I was occasionally riding either. After several months I decided to sell my Marin and look for a more "upright", comfortable bike. After much research, and test riding, I settled on the Trek Verve 3, which I purchased in early January after selling my Marin in Dec. For me, the Verve 3 has been perfect. It is such a fun, easy to ride bike that I want to ride it every day (went over 1100 miles today). Most of my riding is fitness orientated, with my average workouts around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. In essence, my rides are much like yours...I like to get a minimum 10 miles in if time allows. I've also done some 2 hour rides with ease, so I'm not sure I'd agree with folks stating that comfort bikes are only good for short rides. My average speed on the Verve is roughly 10-12 mph, which is fine for me - I still get a great cardio workout. As for hills, the Verve 3 has a pretty wide range of gears (2 x 9) get you through any elevation. It took me a little time, and a change of bikes, but the Verve 3 worked out great for me. Good luck in your search, and hopefully you will be riding without discomfort in the near future.
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Old 05-31-20, 06:47 PM
  #5  
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What MRT2 said.

At age 65 I'm facing the shoulder aches you described, and encroaching arthritis in my wrists. Some days by the time I got home I was praying for the ride to end.

The fix? I raised the handlebars and shortened the reach on my Cannondale hybrid PD for about $35. It got me more upright and kept me on an otherwise perfectly functional bike. I've had trouble "making peace" with the mental image of traditional swept back bars on that bike, but each time I price a new bike of parallel quality the $100 or less modification looks better and better.
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Old 06-01-20, 03:20 AM
  #6  
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Thank you all for the advice. I'm looking into raising the handlebars and shortening the reach on my current bike but I'm finding it difficult to know what will work for me once installed. I can't post any pictures of my bike until I get 10 posts but I will certainly do that when I'm allowed to.

Best I can tell is that I need to raise the grips about 3 inches and shorten the reach about 4 inches but I won't know if that will help until I try it. I've already got my stem adjusted about 1/4 inch lower that the maximum height allowed. It's still too low so I would definitely need a different stem and some different bars.

All of the bike shops here in town are open for business so I'll take my bike into one of them next weekend for some advice on what to buy. My working hours don't allow me to make it there during the week before they close. I've also been looking at the Jamis Citizen. We have a Jamis dealer in town so maybe that's the dealer that I'll go to. I can check out a Citizen while I'm there if he has one in stock. Maybe I can look at some other brands too while I'm there. I've owned my Crossroads for 21 years and it would be hard to part with. It's like an old friend. With that in mind, my primary goal is to modify it to fit my needs better.
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Old 06-02-20, 05:41 PM
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I thought I would post an update.

I was able to stop by one of my bike shops today. I think bike shops are referred to as "LBS" here on the forum but I'm not sure what that stands for exactly. It meant something entirely different when I was in the military.

Anyway, the dealer was extremely nice and extremely helpful. The shop wasn't even open but he talked with me anyway. We talked about modifying my current bike and much to my surprise he also has a Jamis Citizen 1 in stock. The color I want and the size I need. I couldn't believe it! With all this COVID stuff going on I never dreamed in a million years that he would have one in stock today! He still has to build the bike but once he does that he's going to call me in for a test ride. While I'm there we will talk more about modifying my current bike. I drove my car there today but I'll ride my bike there when he calls so he can help determine exactly what I need to make the riding position more upright.

I'm still not sure how I'm going to proceed but it's been a good day.
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Old 06-02-20, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Snow Dog View Post
I think bike shops are referred to as "LBS" here on the forum but I'm not sure what that stands for exactly.
LBS = Local Bike Shop
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Old 06-03-20, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
LBS = Local Bike Shop
Thank you. Much appreciated.
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