Posts Tagged ‘comfort’

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

It’s the Holy Grail of cycling, the object every cyclist seeks. It’s the part of the bike which evokes most fear from newbies. Everyone wants a comfortable bicycle seat.

Big spongy seats are for bikes which transmit road/trail shock vertically up your spine ... not always the best solution for people with back issues

Big spongy seats are for bikes which transmit road/trail shock vertically up your spine … not always the best solution for people with back issues

One of the most predictable statements from people coming in to purchase their first adult bicycle is, “I don’t want one of those skinny seats that professional cyclists sit on.”

Well, Halter’s doesn’t have many professional cyclists as customers, but I think I can say that if we did, they would not want to spend seven or eight hours a day perched on a seat which was torturing them.

A more "aggressive" position means back shocks are directed obliquely ... but a narrower seat will be more comfortable

A more “aggressive” position means back shocks are directed obliquely … but a narrower seat will be more comfortable

So, some basic advice;

If you’re new to cycling and buying a new bike give the seat a chance. A reputable bicycle manufacturer is going to fit the seat that’s going to suit most people who ride a particular bike. They want you to buy it after all.

Save your money ... check your seat adjustment

Save your money … check your seat adjustment

It’s likely that your whole body will feel it’s getting a workout the first few times you ride it. The same goes for your backside. If it continues to be uncomfortable get back to us. At least you’ll be able to tell us in what way it’s bothering you and we can work from there.

Check your current saddle is correctly adjusted. Most people find a level seat or slightly nose down is best. This assumes your bike is the correct size and type for you. If it’s not then comfort is going to become a more remote goal.

It's tempting, but gel covers often make a bad situation worse

It’s tempting, but gel covers often make a bad situation worse

If you’re looking for a new seat for your old bike and thinking fatter and squishier or adding a gel cover is the way to go, think again.

Our most sophisticated range of seats outsell our basic, go-to value saddle at nearly ten times the price ... for a good reason

Our most sophisticated range of seats outsell our basic, go-to value saddle at nearly ten times the price … for a good reason

To be rather indelicate, do you think growing a new layer of fat on your backside would make your present seat more comfortable? No, I didn’t think so. Big, wide, cushy seats have a purpose, but are not necessarily best for you.

Most seats in a bike shop have varying amounts of gel, a resilient plastic which may help ameliorate shock from the road. Quality of gel is important. Better quality gel may appear and feel thinner but may have better shock-absorption characteristics.

Most seats are available in women's and men's versions

Most seats are available in women’s and men’s versions

If you’re looking for a new seat, bring your bicycle in so you can try out one or two around the parking lot before purchase. Be prepared to describe the issues you’re having with your old saddle. We’re bike shop professionals here … We’ve heard it all.

Better still, bike seat issues can be best addressed by a full professional bike-fit which will address your whole position and stance on the bike before settling on a new seat. This service is free with the purchase of a new road bike from Halter’s.

Our experienced bike-fitters will further induct you into the mysteries of ischial tuberosities and other arcane stuff, all of which will enhance your comfort and, thus, your performance.

It’s hard to believe, but anyone would find a concrete bicycle seat comfortable if its the right shape in the right place.

Halter’s stocks a full range of quality seats by Giant, Terry, SMP, Brooks, fizik and other good brands from around $40 and up. One will be right for you.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Ladies and Gentlemen

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Electra Amsterdams - His 'n' Hers. A traditional interpretation of men's and women's bicycles.

Electra Amsterdams – His ‘n’ Hers. A traditional interpretation of men’s and women’s bicycles.

Yes, you too can look elegant in a skirt on a bike

Yes, you too can look elegant in a skirt on a bike

One of a bike shop’s essential FAQs is, “Do you have any women’s bikes?”

Of course, the answer is “Yes”, but what are customers expecting to find?

A women’s or ladies’ bicycle is characterized by a frame with a step-through frame. That is a bicycle with with a crossbar which has been lowered. The Electra Amsterdams above illustrate the essential difference.

A diamond frame - light and strong

A diamond frame – light and strong

The design of women specific bicycles stems from a time when women rode bicycles in skirts and dresses and the frame was adapted to accommodate a low step-over height and maintain modesty.

The ladies’ frame does have some disadvantages. It’s heavier and less strong than a conventional diamond frame bike.

But if you have mobility issues – male or female – or really do anticipate riding in a skirt or dress then this type of frame is for you.

You can find further advice about riding in a skirt on the copenhagencyclechic.com website.

Giant Avail and Giant Defy - same bike but one is designed for women. Which one's which?

Giant Avail and Giant Defy – same bike but one is designed for women. Which one’s which?

Modern women-specific bicycles are more likely to use the diamond frame configuration. The trend towards compact road frame geometry means that “men’s” and “women’s” bicycles look very similar.

Put together the bikes are almost impossible to tell apart. Subtle changes to the length of frame tubes and angles bias the frame towards the intended user.

Women-specific bikes may also have the benefit of narrower handlebars and levers and controls suited for smaller hands and female-specific seats.

Now, here’s the thing; There is no law or commandment which says men must ride men’s bikes, and women shall ride women’s bikes.

Electra Townie 7D - you don't have to have pink

Electra Townie 7D – you don’t have to have pink

Men with mobility issues and new to cycling may want to consider a step-through frame.

Tall women may find a “men’s” frame more comfortable.

Smaller men may find a “women”-specific” frame more suited to them. Fortunately, the PiP – Paint-it-Pink – philosophy has passed most bicycles by, except where women have been identified as a particular demographic.

The real issue, when buying a bike, is do you feel safe and comfortable when riding it? The range of available frame configurations means there will be a bike just right for you.

Halter’s stock a number of step-through bicycles, including: Giant Sedona, Giant Cypress, Giant Escape and the Electra range including Townies. We also have a step-through mountain bike, Giant Revel 4.

Women-specific compact frame bikes include: Cannondale Quick, Giant Escape.

Virtually our entire line of regular road bikes – Cannondale SuperSix and Synapse, Giant Defy/Avail – are available in a women’s configuration. Many higher end mountain bikes also have variations designed for women.

If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


 
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