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Mountain Bike or Comfort Bike

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi. I am planning on buying a new bicycle either tomorrow evening or Saturday. I went the the bike shop today intending to look at mountain bikes - and after we talked about mountain bikes, the person at the shop showed me a comfort bike as well, and now I am wondering which is best for my purposes. I now have a hybrid bike. I want to get something with a larger tire, because there are some bike trails that I do go on that have stones that are too large for the hybrid. I will be mostly on asphalt trails or fine gravel trails, but want to be able to occassionally take it into rougher trails with larger stones (2 - 3" in diameter I guess) or hilly somewhat muddy trails that are not really paved. I don't go terribly fast in these places - I'd just like to be able to ride through them slowly rather than walk my bike, which I do now. I like some of the features of the comfort bike, such as the adjustable handlebars and more comfortable looking seat. In my current bike, leaning forward on my wrists has bothered them a bit so like the idea of riding in a more upright position, although since my bike is about 12 years old, the mountain bike may be more upright anyway. I have ITB syndrome at one knee, and so will not be riding great distances - 10 - 12 miles is the most I've been able to work up to without pain, and an hour or so ride on the weekend or half hour on weeknight is the most I'd probably ever be doing in a day.

The three models he recommended were the GT Avalanche 3.0 Mountain Bike, Haro V2 Mountain Bike(Leaning towards this one if I get a mountain bike) and the Del Sol LXi 3.0 comfort bike - he would switch the tires for knobbier ones for better off road use. I have a gel seat that I could use on the mountain bike if it is too uncomfortable.

Does anyone have any advice? I'm also still trying to understand exactly what the difference is between a mountain bike and a comfort bike.

Meg
post #2 of 6

Re: Mountain Bike or Comfort Bike

Comfort bikes have more ergonomic riding positions but typically have lower end components and can't handle the rougher terrains. Since you stated that you are not going to be tackling these trails with a vengance, either type bike will probably suit you. You may also want to consider putting some more suitable tires on your hybrid and saving some money. That's a much less expensive option that you could try first. Of course, that won't help the bike shop's financial situation too much.

www.nashbar.com currently has a 20% off coupon and has reasonable prices on tires and components.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Re: Mountain Bike or Comfort Bike

Thanks for replying. My hybrid has problems with the shifting not working anymore very well - so I am needing a new bike anyway.

After talking with the bike shop again, what I have decided to do is go with a Mountain Bike, in case I do decide to do harder trails someday - I'd rather do that than find out later I can't use it for that. I'm going to get a different seat and the adjustable handlebars, though - which the two features I liked from the comfort bike.

Thanks.

Meg
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius
Comfort bikes have more ergonomic riding positions but typically have lower end components and can't handle the rougher terrains. Since you stated that you are not going to be tackling these trails with a vengance, either type bike will probably suit you. You may also want to consider putting some more suitable tires on your hybrid and saving some money. That's a much less expensive option that you could try first. Of course, that won't help the bike shop's financial situation too much.

www.nashbar.com currently has a 20% off coupon and has reasonable prices on tires and components.
post #4 of 6

Re: Mountain Bike or Comfort Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbergen
Thanks for replying. My hybrid has problems with the shifting not working anymore very well - so I am needing a new bike anyway.

After talking with the bike shop again, what I have decided to do is go with a Mountain Bike, in case I do decide to do harder trails someday - I'd rather do that than find out later I can't use it for that. I'm going to get a different seat and the adjustable handlebars, though - which the two features I liked from the comfort bike.

Thanks.

Meg
Have you replaced the cables on your hybrid and cleaned the parts lately? I know my mountain bike (which was purchased used) never worked right until I did that. It isn't that hard to replace cables and it makes a big difference.

It seems to me that a comfort bike puts you in the same position as your current nike when it comes to riding off trails. I added slick tires to my mountain bike (a trek 820) and it works wonderfully on the road and on trails, even when conditions get a bit bad).
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Re: Mountain Bike or Comfort Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by TKOS
Have you replaced the cables on your hybrid and cleaned the parts lately? I know my mountain bike (which was purchased used) never worked right until I did that. It isn't that hard to replace cables and it makes a big difference.
I had a tuneup done - but I am still having problems. Basically what happens, is I don't feel much difference between medium and high gears (or whatever they are called - sorry don't know the technical terms.) It has 18 speeds, and I feel change from speed to speed, but not medium to high.

I've been wanting an exercise bike for awhile, so my plan is to use my current bike in the house with a bike trainer - as an exercise bike - and the gears work fine for that.

Meg
post #6 of 6

Re: Mountain Bike or Comfort Bike

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbergen
Thanks for replying. My hybrid has problems with the shifting not working anymore very well - so I am needing a new bike anyway.

After talking with the bike shop again, what I have decided to do is go with a Mountain Bike, in case I do decide to do harder trails someday - I'd rather do that than find out later I can't use it for that. I'm going to get a different seat and the adjustable handlebars, though - which the two features I liked from the comfort bike.

Thanks.

Meg
Good idea. Get a cumfy seat, perhaps a shock absorbing seat post and an adjustable stem and you can convert a decent mountain bike into a comfort bike. Then at some point in the future you can hit the more technical singletrack without tearing up the bike as it will be build for more of a beating.

TKOS has a good idea too and that is to put some slicks on your new MTB for better rolling resistance. I use the Kenda Kross tires. They are slick down the center with knobbies on the sides for the occasional dirt trail.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile_morei...ku=1966&brand=
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