Comfort bikes are another fairly recent development in cycling but hark back to bikes from the early 1900s. They are aimed at leisure riders who are more interested in fresh air, gentle exercise and sunny cycle lanes than pounding out the miles at maximum heart-rate; perhaps an old idea but what makes these bikes new is the blend of an old fashioned cycling comfort combined with modern materials and gearing.
The rider position is what is sometimes referred to as ‘sit up and beg’ in as much as the rider is sat very upright with their arms out in front of them which means that the riders weight is taken through the saddle and not the arms as with most other styles of cycle. The frames are usually ‘low slung’ meaning that getting on and off is a lot easier, also the frames are built long and low enough to allow both feet to be placed flat on the floor whilst not pedalling. All this makes comfort bikes very stable and easy to handle.
This makes these bikes not only comfortable for everybody but also especially suitable for older riders or people who have suffered back, shoulder, neck or leg injuries and for whom the riding position of a regular cycle is no longer practical or indeed comfortable.
To achieve this comfort most are equipped with 26” wheels (mountain bike diameter) allowing the fitting of larger tyres to provide a more cushioned ride. Many have suspension forks and seat-posts to further increase the cushioning and this is often combined with a large sprung saddle.
These bikes are all about comfort; cruising along admiring the view. If you want to beat the traffic on a daily commute or explore the wilds of the mountainsides then you’ll need to look elsewhere, but if you crave the quiet life then look no further.
Expect to pay between £200 and £500 for a good Comfort bike. Click here for the full range of Comfort bikes.
April 13, 2012 Bike Guides