Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Road bike with maximum comfort?

Notices
Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Road bike with maximum comfort?

Old 06-22-14, 04:28 PM
  #1  
augiedogie
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Lubbock, tx
Posts: 61

Bikes: Specialized Crosstrail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Road bike with maximum comfort?

I've just recently gotten back into cycling, but have run into a small problem. I purchased an new Specialized Crosstour, (Hybrid) which I'm generally very happy with. I wanted something that could be comfortable for long rides, so I wanted the bigger tires with a little more give than the skinny ones. I wanted a more upright riding position, which has worked out well. However, like most bikes today in the more affordable range, it has an aluminum frame. Frankly this bike seems to have a very harsh ride, and it seems actually harsher or just as harsh as the old steel frame bike with the skinny wheels. I know the steel frame has more give and absorbs the bumps better. So here's the question. Any recommendation for a bike for an older rider that will give better ride quality. Or, am I at about as good as its going to get? Maybe put on fatter softer tires?
augiedogie is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 05:16 PM
  #2  
rubic
Slogging along
 
rubic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Fernando Valley, SoCal
Posts: 1,148

Bikes: Cannondale Synapse '06, Mongoose titanium road bike '00--my commuter. Yes, Mongoose once made a decent ti road bike.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cannondale Synapse Carbon with 700 X 28 tires.
rubic is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 05:36 PM
  #3  
RonH
Life is good
 
RonH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Not far from the Withlacoochee Trail. 🚴🏻
Posts: 18,208

Bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany, 2018 Lynskey Helix Pro

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 519 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
So here's the question. Any recommendation for a bike for an older rider that will give better ride quality.
How old is older? I'm 69 and my road bikes are VERY comfortable. The Litespeed is titanium and the CAAD 10 is aluminum. They're both more comfortable than my last two carbon fiber bikes (Specialized and Felt).
__________________
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. - Psalm 103:8

I am a cyclist. I am not the fastest or the fittest. But I will get to where I'm going with a smile on my face.

Last edited by RonH; 06-22-14 at 05:39 PM.
RonH is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 05:45 PM
  #4  
DnvrFox
Banned.
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 20,917
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
Welcome Augiedogie!

74yo here and love my Reynolds 853 steel road bike on 700 x 25 tires. How old is "older?" How long is a "long ride?"
DnvrFox is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 05:45 PM
  #5  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,866

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 829 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
There is always steel. Jamis, Surly, and All City all make nice steel,road bikes.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 05:57 PM
  #6  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,243
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 657 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
Frankly this bike seems to have a very harsh ride, and it seems actually harsher or just as harsh as the old steel frame bike with the skinny wheels.
What pressure are you running in both sets of tires? And what tires (model and size) are you using on the Crosstour? Wider tires aren't inherently much more comfortable - they're mainly more comfortable because you can run them with less pressure and still avoid pinch flats. And there can be considerable comfort differences between tires even with the same size and pressure. E.g. some tires, such as Spec. Armadillos, emphasize durability and flat resistance at the expense of both comfort and rolling resistance. That can be a good tradeoff if you live in an area with lots of thorns and flat-causing debris but would be less good in other areas.
prathmann is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 06:02 PM
  #7  
martianone
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern VT
Posts: 2,118

Bikes: recumbent & upright

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
A Surly Pacer is a "comfortable" ride.
However, bike fit is an important part of bike comfort.
if your current bike ride is jarring, reduce the tire pressure a little.
martianone is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 06:21 PM
  #8  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,350

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1198 Post(s)
Liked 54 Times in 41 Posts
If you're willing to think and act outside of the box check out my avatar.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 06:57 PM
  #9  
ModeratedUser150120149
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,712
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well, in my experience "comfort" as associated with a road bike is a nuanced term. Not sure that "sitting in a chair" comfort exists. That said, a person can train their body tolerate without complaining a bike. Almost all people I personally know who say they are comfortable on a bike are long time, high mileage riders.

Related to this are road bikes that are marketed as comfort bikes. After doing side by side comparisons beteen my "racing" Lemond Versailles and the Domane, Roubaix and Defy "comfort" bikes I found their geometries to be essentially the same. No doubt on big cobblestones at pro racing speeds they would soak up impacts better. That isn't where most people are I suspect.

My solution is to use fatter tires and configure the riding position to be more upright. Then to ride, ride and ride some more. The more I ride the happier my butt and by extension the rest of my body becomes. In fact, due to a medical issue and a lot of rain I haven't been on a bike for a week. This follows a very low mileage spring. So I am having to speak sternly to my body to get it on the saddle.
ModeratedUser150120149 is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 07:01 PM
  #10  
revchuck 
OMC
 
revchuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 6,919

Bikes: Specialized Allez Sprint, Look 585, Specialized Allez Comp Race

Mentioned: 199 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 447 Post(s)
Liked 27 Times in 16 Posts
I've got aluminum, steel and carbon road bikes, and they're all fine for 100+ mile days. Whatever the issue is, it's not the frame material.

My guess is that it's one of two things. Most likely your tires are inflated too hard; I believe they're either 700x32 or 700x35, so they should be in the 70-85 psi range (the larger the tire, the lower the pressure). The other thing might be the upright seating position - when you hit a bump, the shock goes straight up your spine. When you're bent over somewhat as on a road bike, you tend to flex more.

Hope you get this figured out!
__________________
Regards,
Chuck

Demain, on roule!
revchuck is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 07:02 PM
  #11  
krobinson103
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Incheon, South Korea
Posts: 2,836

Bikes: Nothing amazing... cheap old 21 speed mtb

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Soma doublecross cx bike. Fast but not a racing bike, comfortable (eats potholes without an issue) but not heavy like a tourer. I like steel.
krobinson103 is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 07:49 PM
  #12  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 11,011

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 935 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 42 Posts
Q: which is more comfortable, an axe head or a fence rail?
A: whichever one fits for you best.

Really? My suggestion is to ask your question over on the recumbent forum. You'll get lots of different answers, and not a single one of them will be, "road bike." Well, unless it's coming from a visitor.
BlazingPedals is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 08:02 PM
  #13  
Floyd
el padre
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: South East Kansas
Posts: 1,490

Bikes: Rans Stratus, ICE TRike, other assorted

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When I saw the title of this post I was thinking...this is going to generate some wide range of answers... mine is, if you are looking for comfort, consider the lounge chair on wheels, eg. recumbent...but maybe that is not what you are looking for, however, that is my answer to your question of comfort.
Floyd is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 08:50 PM
  #14  
Wogster
Senior Member
 
Wogster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Toronto (again) Ontario, Canada
Posts: 6,932

Bikes: Norco Bushpilot (out of commission), Raleigh Delta

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
I've just recently gotten back into cycling, but have run into a small problem. I purchased an new Specialized Crosstour, (Hybrid) which I'm generally very happy with. I wanted something that could be comfortable for long rides, so I wanted the bigger tires with a little more give than the skinny ones. I wanted a more upright riding position, which has worked out well. However, like most bikes today in the more affordable range, it has an aluminum frame. Frankly this bike seems to have a very harsh ride, and it seems actually harsher or just as harsh as the old steel frame bike with the skinny wheels. I know the steel frame has more give and absorbs the bumps better. So here's the question. Any recommendation for a bike for an older rider that will give better ride quality. Or, am I at about as good as its going to get? Maybe put on fatter softer tires?
There are really too many factors..... However some general comments....

1) Tires,wider tires at lower pressure will act like air-shocks, absorbing more of the road buzz...

2) Handlebars. First they don't need to be a foot below the saddle, unless your a racer. The worst invention in cycling was the straight bar, moustache bars or trekking bars are much more comfortable, even the old style bars used on English 3 speeds are more comfortable the the straight bar you often see on hybrids and ATBs. Nice thing is, bars and tape are inexpensive, and you can use your existing controls.

3) Suspension, some hybrids have front suspension, and if it's properly set up for the riders weight, it can reduce the bumps and road buzz as well, so can a steel or carbon fork on an AL frame. The worst thing is a solid AL fork on an AL frame.
Wogster is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 10:03 PM
  #15  
augiedogie
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Lubbock, tx
Posts: 61

Bikes: Specialized Crosstrail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
And that is exactly what mine is, sold Aluminum fork and frame.
augiedogie is offline  
Old 06-22-14, 10:12 PM
  #16  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 15,540

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 118 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3787 Post(s)
Liked 168 Times in 135 Posts
Fatter tires rock if you want something a bit more comfortable. I'd check out the novara safari; trekking bars are cool. This is a well thought out bike:

Novara Safari Bike - 2014 at REI.com
bikemig is offline  
Old 06-23-14, 05:54 AM
  #17  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,670
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
I seem to recall that the local recumbent riders complain just as much about chip seal and rough roads and a lot more about gravel than the upright riders, so I think maybe it depends on what form of comfort you have in mind.
As far as that goes, my tandem has a lot cushier ride than my single bike, both steel frames, identical tires and pressures on both.
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  
Old 06-23-14, 06:20 AM
  #18  
Road Fan
Senior Member
 
Road Fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 14,307

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 35 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 846 Post(s)
Liked 30 Times in 27 Posts
Augie, what do you mean?

"what road bike is the most comfortable?"

"What are the attributes of the most comfortable bike?"

"What is the most comfortable bike I can buy that meets my other riding requirements (for example, no cruisers with tractor seats)?"

Without more info, I'm tempted to answer "full-touring BMW or Gold Wing." With fridge and coffeemaker.

Are any of our answers (other than mine) doing anything for you?
Road Fan is offline  
Old 06-23-14, 07:07 AM
  #19  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 4,478

Bikes: 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 676 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 47 Posts
Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
Augie, what do you mean?

"what road bike is the most comfortable?"

"What are the attributes of the most comfortable bike?"

"What is the most comfortable bike I can buy that meets my other riding requirements (for example, no cruisers with tractor seats)?"

Without more info, I'm tempted to answer "full-touring BMW or Gold Wing." With fridge and coffeemaker.

Are any of our answers (other than mine) doing anything for you?
My son took me for a drive in his recently purchased '82 911SC. Felt comfortable to me. To each-our own.

There are basics for bicycle frame construction regarding comfort, handling, efficiency, materials, etc., so with the information provided by forum members and some additional reading along with test riding go out and find that perfect steed. Then go for n+1.
OldTryGuy is offline  
Old 06-23-14, 10:41 AM
  #20  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 11,011

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 935 Post(s)
Liked 53 Times in 42 Posts
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I seem to recall that the local recumbent riders complain just as much about chip seal and rough roads and a lot more about gravel than the upright riders, so I think maybe it depends on what form of comfort you have in mind.
My main problem with chip seal is that I can feel it sucking the speed out of my tires. But then I was the same way on my roadie. Gravel? What's that? If you want to ride on dirt, get a dirt bike.

Regarding frames, metal frames ring when you hit them. Carbon frames go 'thud.'
BlazingPedals is offline  
Old 06-23-14, 11:16 AM
  #21  
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Posts: 11,670
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
My main problem with chip seal is that I can feel it sucking the speed out of my tires. But then I was the same way on my roadie. Gravel? What's that? If you want to ride on dirt, get a dirt bike.
When you're a 100 miles into your ride and come to the "Road Construction Next Two Miles", it's kind of hard to switch bikes.
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is offline  
Old 06-23-14, 11:16 AM
  #22  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 4,478

Bikes: 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 676 Post(s)
Liked 64 Times in 47 Posts
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
My main problem with chip seal is that I can feel it sucking the speed out of my tires. But then I was the same way on my roadie. Gravel? What's that? If you want to ride on dirt, get a dirt bike.

Regarding frames, metal frames ring when you hit them. Carbon frames go 'thud.'
As far as the ring or thud..... I'm a dud not a dude, like Phil in video....Genesis - I can't dance (1991) - YouTube, so thud is just fine with me......

I do like the car though.
OldTryGuy is offline  
Old 06-23-14, 11:33 AM
  #23  
vic303
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 269

Bikes: Schlitter Encore, RANS Seavo tandem, Fisher HKEK, Spec. Roubaix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Recumbent. Check out the bikes from Vite Bikes, or Bacchetta, Cruzbike etc.
vic303 is offline  
Old 06-23-14, 11:37 AM
  #24  
augiedogie
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Lubbock, tx
Posts: 61

Bikes: Specialized Crosstrail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I appreciate all the help, although the sarcasm, not so much. The REI looks tempting. I'm going to have to check that out. Too bad I'm 350 miles from the closest store.

I'm sure some of you guys can't understand the interest in comfort. I was young once too, and that was hardly a major concern of mine. But I'm 61 now, and things don't work the same. Sitting in the same position for a long time. Not good. Things get still and sore. Your bones notice the bumps a lot more.

I know something about comfort on motorcycles and did a lot of research on that. Believe it or not, they make a surprising number of motorcycles that many middle age and older fellows can't ride for even an hour without getting off and then walking funny. Most can't be ridden comfortably for a whole day. My guess is that bicycles can be much the same. Some can be adapted so that even a codger like me can ride it for a long time, even though most are built with young people in mind who are interested in performance. Its just going to take some time and will require some testing, spending of the money and asking a lot of questions. But I don't doubt I can find what I'm looking for. I did it with motorcycles and there are machines that don't cost an arm and a leg, yet can be ridden for long days in the saddle. Thanks again for everyone's responses. Anymore help is appreciated.

Last edited by augiedogie; 06-23-14 at 11:40 AM.
augiedogie is offline  
Old 06-23-14, 11:42 AM
  #25  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,057

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 740 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
Soma doublecross cx bike. Fast but not a racing bike, comfortable (eats potholes without an issue) but not heavy like a tourer. I like steel.
+1

While many bikes can produce a comfortable ride quality and position, the Soma Double is the smoothest and most comfortable bike I've owned.
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
Barrettscv is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.