Follow-up bike questions

Looks like I narrowed the wish list down to a mountain bike with trapezoidal frame, full front and rear suspension, gel seat. Not concerned about the weight or about having more than one gearshift range. If possible, would prefer taller handlebar position for more upright riding.

Looking for specific model recommendations, ideally under $5K fully configured. Less would be just fine. The main goal is getting exercise in reasonable comfort and without getting too bored.

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11 Responses to Follow-up bike questions

  1. Nomen Nescio says:

    can’t give specific model recommends, sorry, because i know nothing about MTB’s. my best advice there would be to make a full circuit of your local bike shops and make notes of what they have to offer.

    what i will recommend is to not get too hung up on details. you have a pretty big budget for a non-competition machine; things like handlebar stem (which can affect handlebar height and reach) can be switched out within that sum of money. so can the entire handlebar.

    saddles and pedals are almost intended to be switched out, bike makers often ship very cheap such because most every experienced cyclist tends to have personal and highly idiosyncratic preferences in those. (for instance, gel seats are comfortable for the first few miles, but some people find they become uncomfortable past a certain mileage of nonstop riding. bikes meant for very casual cyclists often ship with gel seats standard — more serious cyclists sometimes swap them out untried.)

  2. TimD says:

    If it weren’t for the suspension requirements it sounds kinda like you want an Electra Cruiser.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      This looks like the overall shape I’d prefer:

      • Nomen Nescio says:

        that does look quite nice. and unlike too many cruisers, it seems as if it may be road-safe — i.e., it has a front brake, a thing without which it’s impossible to panic-stop a bike. i wish i knew why some new bikes are sold without it.

        you probably won’t find them in any stores near you, and they don’t sell anything with suspension, but how about:

        • Paul Koning says:

          Gee, I never had trouble stopping my rear brake only bike when I used it to go to high school every day in Holland.
          That said, it certainly is not a bad idea to have brakes on both wheels. I wonder about the three gears, though. In Florida that might work, but don’t you have some pretty good hills around your home, Oleg? I found that my Dutch bike (with 8 speeds, but set up for flat country) was completely unusable when I brought it to the NH hills.
          If you want to protect your pants, I suggest pant clips or rubber bands. A cowling over the chain will reduce trouble a lot, but it’s not foolproof. That’s why traditional Dutch bikes have fully enclosed chains.CWZ

          • Nomen Nescio says:

            oh, you certainly can stop a rear-brake-only bicycle. but you cannot panic stop such a one. it’s a notably different maneuver, which perhaps more cyclists ought to deliberately practice more, even though it’s (luckily) much less often needed. it’s unfortunately trickier to pull off, too.

            in an automobile, it would be the difference between coasting to a stop with only a gentle application of the brakes and stomping the brake and clutch pedals to the floor and keeping them there. except on a bicycle you can’t just cramp the brake handle blindly, because that’d send you over the bars; the panic stop is misnamed since panicking is one thing you can’t do while performing it.

            as for pants legs, i use a short strip of double-action velcro myself. found that stuff sold by the yard in a fabric store, and it works well. when not in use, i just zip it into a loop around the handlebars.

          • Paul Koning says:

            No, in fact you can panic-stop a coaster brake bike just fine. I’ve done so any number of times. The technique is simple: stand on the pedal (the one currently pointing to the back of the bike). That can easily outperform a hand brake because you’re using your full weight, and also because you’ve shifted weight towards the rear wheel for better traction.
            Agreed on velcro. Our grocery store uses green velcro strips to hold various vegetables together (lettuce?) so we have about 500 of them saved…

  3. ambiguousfrog says:


  4. Martin says:

    Here is what I recommend, .. albeit you might have to look where you can get similar in the US.. Specific VK10 version in this building concept is fit to you.

    I based it on your TWO posts in the blog and some assumptions of what you bring to cycling (i.e. which mistakes you could avoid).

  5. Martin says:

    Alternatively this :


  6. Evan says:

    Brand, schmand… don’t get too tied up with names – they’re all (mostly) make in one of four Taiwanese factories anyway. Anything from the larger manufacturers will be fine: Specialized, Scott, Giant.
    Like anything – you get what you pay for. Your budget is good.
    A reasonable shock (in the frame) – I like coil spring/oil dampened (as opposed to air spring) and front fork (Fox/Manitou/Rockshox) and ideally hydraulic disc brakes (Shimano/SRAM/Magura) – mineral oil or DOT brake fluid. The gel seat/stem& bar combo can happen afterwards & won’t generally be specced on the bike.
    You’ll get a cheaper bike from a big-box store, but better service from a proper bike store – just like buying a gun. I’d opt for the smaller store and a life-long relationship with good cycling folk over $$$ anytime.
    For your money, possibly look at Scott’s e-bike F/S (full-suspension) bikes. Scott offer some pretty reasonable gear at good prices. e-bikes are awesome – try trialling one without a cheesy grin on yer dial…
    Gel seats are not a panacea (like shooting gloves – “here, hold my purse”) – I’d get a Brooks leather saddle & get it broken it in for you ( They’re initially like a 2×4 but become the best thing since sliced bread once broken in.Otherwise, try out a number of different saddles and brands to see what fits your anatomy – we’re all different & one will suit better than others.
    Bikes are awesome – enjoy.

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