May 14, 2014

Comments (2)

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Upright works for me

I like the more upright ride due to the good visibility I have of both the cars and the crosswalks. I haven't gone further than about 5 miles in one direction, but I have to hit some hills on the way home no matter where I am coming from. The position works just fine, my bike's layout still leaves me room to stand up and pedal up the steep section of the hills if needed.

The side benefit of being more upright is that it leaves you with less worry about flashing people if you bike in a skirt or a dress. I saw a woman on a road type bike in a short skirt the other day, and well I don't think she realized how much was on display as she rode. I couldn't warn her from my position, I was driving and she was a few lanes over.

But most importantly, I had no idea upright was even an option till just a few short months ago. And I encourage all prospective riders to try all types of bikes to see what matches their lifestyle. For many a casual rider, upright works just fine.

Jaded 249 days ago

Fit is highly individual

Whenever I see statements such as "Many are uncomfortably hunched forward ...", I cringe a little. Sure, some people may be on road bikes that are designed for that pronounced aerodynamic lean when they have no intention of racing, and others are on bikes that just don't fit them.

But I have read way too may people praising a Dutch bike / comfort bike that has a "comfortable" upright posture as an optimal choice for day to day cycling and shopping. In my experience, a hybrid or mountain bike with saddle and handlebars at or near the same height (resulting in a slight crouch) is often much more comfortable than a bike that only allows an upright posture because the handlebar is significantly higher than the saddle.

I have found that an upright posture is fine for light riding on level ground, but once you face a serious incline, windy conditions, and/or the weight of shopping on your rear rack, you cannot power the bike as effectively as one that naturally lets you crouch a bit. An upright position doesn't engage your core as well as even a slight crouch, so almost all of your power comes from your legs only.

I'd advise anyone trying out an upright bike to compare it to one that allows a slight crouch. Try loading the bikes and cycling uphill. You may find that you need that moderately styled bike to really enjoy day to day biking.

UT 250 days ago