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Unsled 07-30-19 02:24 AM

Versatile bike with upright seating position
First post...

I've been riding for a long time, but my wife has mainly been interested in other sports. Last year she got an old 3 speed trekking bike commuting and is now keen to start doing longer trips on mixed surfaces, although not proper mountain biking. This wouldn't be particularly difficult, save that she has to have a very upright seating position. She has a neck problem that prevents her from tilting her head back at all, even a little (she has a normal range of motion for tilting it forward, and it's comfortable holding it straight).

Her current bike is a boat anchor and the gearing is inadequate. It's also extremely harsh on mixed surfaces. A bike with gearing for climbing, that isn't a boat anchor, and that is compliant or suspended would be ideal. It does not need snappy handling. I measured her current bike, which has a comfortable fit, and the hand grips are about 20cm higher than the seat. The seat to stem distance is about 43cm. The plane of the handlebars is about 30cm behind the stem. She likes the large tyres (2.0" on 29" wheels) on her current bike.

Budget is flexible, but ideally under €1500/$1650. Trying bikes requires time and planning (options are limited locally). The best thing would be to identify the best two or three candidates, and then we can make a trip to check them out. Ordering a bike is a possibility as long as it can be returned.

We did try using a stem extender on an old touring bike. The ride was pretty sketchy between the reduction in handlebar reach and the raised centre of gravity. The position was comfortable, however.

Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated. We're both looking forward to enjoying some longer rides farther off the tarmac.

FrenchFit 07-30-19 01:22 PM

We went through this years ago. Lots of test rides. The runner up was a Riv Cheviot, but I suspect that's out of the price range. Very nice riding bike though... The winner was an Electra 20d Mixte , very hard to find now. It performs flawlessly.

I guess my point is, it became obvious a drop bar or hybrid configuration was never going to happen. Once we started looking at more the Mixte, dutch bike w/wide gear selection, we started to get good hits.

We ride together a good deal, all year long, 3+ hour rides, only big hills and 15+ avg. speed is out of her comfort zone. When I ride with her I am typically on a hybrid or heavy tourer.

Unsled 07-30-19 02:47 PM

Thanks very much for this! Rivendales are beautiful bikes, but as you say, a bit pricey. Your suggestion makes a lot of sense. If there is a bike thatís similar to the ticino adequately locally, it will be well worth a test. I am sure my wife would be very pleased with something along the lines of a lighter Dutch bike, mixte, etc This is a great staring point for the search.

I donít mind riding at a modest pace, and itís pretty flat locally. Thank you for sharing your experience.

FLYBYU 08-03-19 07:45 PM

One of the Mom's of my kid's friends has me do work on her bikes from time to time. She brought over a nice Specialized Roll comfort bike the other day, it was very upright, had decent gearing and best of all was very light. I took it for a little cruise and very much liked the way it rode. She said it was around $650 new, but it wasn't a current model, a few years old. Of course I live in Canada so our bikes are usually a little more.

Unsled 08-05-19 01:56 AM

Thanks for the suggestion! I looked it up, and it seems like the right sort of thing. It may even be a bike we can see without a major excursion.

hermanchauw 06-03-20 10:45 AM

I don't know what to recommend for "new bike", but if you could post a/some photos of her current bike and some other details, i may be able to suggest modifications.

I don't really believe in "new bike", unless you want a new frame. Everything else can be made to fit.

I am 1.70m and i built and ride this. Not that i want this frame, but i already have it for my wife, but she didn't use it, so i rebuilt it for me.

trestlehed 06-04-20 01:08 PM

I recommend an Electra Townie. I have the 24 speed version. I upgraded to the Electra Bullhorn handlebars, a Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost, new pedals, and a Hobson Easy Seat 2 for comfy "junk-saver" pedaling.
I call it the "Holy Grail of Beach Cruisers".

Harhir 06-05-20 10:39 AM

Originally Posted by trestlehed (Post 21515166)
I recommend an Electra Townie. I have the 24 speed version. I upgraded to the Electra Bullhorn handlebars, a Cane Creek Thudbuster seatpost, new pedals, and a Hobson Easy Seat 2 for comfy "junk-saver" pedaling.
I call it the "Holy Grail of Beach Cruisers".

How happy are you with that Hobson Easy Seat 2?

trestlehed 06-06-20 01:57 PM

Originally Posted by Harhir (Post 21516777)
How happy are you with that Hobson Easy Seat 2?

Very happy. Last time I checked, that seat was NLA. Hobson has since come out with a newer model which I tried and didn't like as much. Please note that these seats DO NOT WORK on a standard diamond frame bike. They only work on crank-forward style bikes. The reason is because the back of your thighs will be hitting the seat pads on a crank-forward bike. On a crank-forward, the pedals are set back 8 to 10 inches further away from the bottom bracket, which is what gives you the comfortable upright seated position. I once tried this seat on a Specialized Expedition (diamond frame) bike and learned of the thigh interference.
Both seats are strangely called the "Easy Seat 2". The newer version is on the left. I prefer the older version as I feel it is much more comfy.

Hobson Seats Ė The Shape of Better Biking

Hope this info helps!

Harhir 06-08-20 09:11 AM

Ok. Thanks for letting me know about the problem with the diamond frame bike.

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