What is a Comfort Bike? | What to Look For in a Comfort Bike

Video Blog
August 25, 2020
What is a Comfort Bike? What to Look For in a Comfort Bike


Hey guys, Dustin here, CEO of Sixthreezero. Today I want to talk to you about comfort bikes and really what makes a comfort bike. What goes into the design of a comfort bike and the explanation of everything comfort bike. So here we go.

So comfort bikes are a category that I think obviously people find to be synonymous with comfort, but I do think there's a lot of questions around really what makes a comfort bike? What are the elements of a comfort bike that distinguishes it from other bikes and what would allow you to call it a comfort bike? So I'll touch on some of the features, what to look for and really what is going to make one bike more comfortable than another.

So I think the easy starting point with this topic is to focus on the seat. So in many comfort bikes, you're obviously going to see a wider cut saddle, something that's going to give a larger surface area for your bottom to rest on. And typically the seat's going to have a more comfort-based foam or gel. A lot of times it will have a spring underneath to give some shock absorption to the saddle.

When you look at performance bikes, typically you're going to see the saddle get narrower and narrower. On a comfort bike, it's not necessarily going to get extremely wide, but it's going to be more wide than a performance saddle. There're different cuts of saddles for comfort. Still different types of saddles and not everyone prefers a super wide saddle. Sometimes it can cut off your leg and make it uncomfortable. But generally speaking, comfort saddles are going to be wider and you're also going to see some sort of underneath, either elastomer spring or spring, just to provide some shock absorption as you're riding. So that's one distinguishing characteristic.

Another characteristic you may or may not see on a comfort bike is actually a suspension seat post. Suspension seat posts are a feature where the seat post actually will have a spring built into it. This is going to allow you when you go over bumps and curbs, the seat post is actually going to give with the ride.

So if you go over a bump, the seat will come down. You're going to feel the bumps a lot less throughout your body. Now again, this is more of an upgraded feature on a comfort bike. You're not going to necessarily see this on an entry-level comfort bike. You're going to see this on more of the higher-spec comfort bikes. Two other things I'd like to point out is, in both of those situations, a suspension seat post, or the seat. These are two things that can be modified or purchased after you buy the bike. They don't have to be purchased with the bike. There're lots of seats that will work on all types of bikes. And also there are lots of seat posts that we'll work on different bikes. So two features you can always buy aftermarket.

I would say the third component of comfort bikes is a wider tire. So on more performance-based bikes, you're going to see our narrower tire. The reason for that is you're going to roll faster. There's going to be less rubber contacting the road, which is just going to create less resistance. So on performance, you want less of the rubber touching the road. So the wheels will roll easier. On the comfort based bike, you actually would want thicker tires, more rubber on the road, A. It's going to create some, better stability and B. It's really going to absorb the shocks and the bumps of the road. You know, the vibrations will be absorbed more by the tire as opposed to more in your body. If you've ever ridden or written a road bike before with very narrow tires that are really pumped up heavily if you go over a curb with those it's going to be really stiff and you're going to feel a lot of vibration throughout your body. It tends to be somewhat uncomfortable.

That's why, when you talk about hybrid bikes, hybrid bikes typically have a tire somewhere in between a comfort bike and a road bike. So you can get the performance and the comfort elements out of both. So if I had to classify a comfort tire, I would say somewhere above, about a 1.95" typically, but you could see them around 1.75" wide as well, but typically no less than that to classify a bike into the comfort category.

In addition to that, we can talk about handlebars. Handlebars typically on a comfort bike are going to be somewhere where you can put your upper body and your arms in a relaxed position. And you're also not going to be leaning forward. So performance bike, you're obviously going to be leaning forward like this. Comfort bike you want to be back, upright, ergonomic. So you're looking for a handlebar that's somehow going to come into your body a little bit and allow your arms to be in a relaxed position.

I think this ties into handlebars. The last piece of this is really the geometry of the frame, sort of two elements to that. One, you're going to see a lot of comfort bikes with a very low step-through. This makes it easy to mount and dismount the bike. It doesn't have a lot to do necessarily with the actual riding comfort. The step-through is more for the ease to get on and off. But again, the step-through doesn't really play into the actual riding position. What's more important to the riding position is the geometry, and what this is, is really the position of the pedals in relation to the seat, the seat cuff, or the top of the seat tube and the handlebars and the stem. Those three points sort of make up the geometric positioning of the legs, the knees, the upper body, and things like that.

So you'll see on bikes like ours, on the Evryjourney, it's got a really ergonomic, relaxed position, same with our body ease. It keeps riders upright. And again, this has to do with how the positioning of the head tube, the crank, and the seat tube bar, those sorts of three points. Typically, in hybrids or performance, those are going to be in a position where the seat tube might be straight up and down. And you're going to be leaning forward because maybe the head tubes a little bit out in front, the handlebars are dropped. Again in a comfort category, you want to keep people upright. That's why you'll see some comfort bikes utilizing the forward peddling design, where you have the seat tube angled forward, which shifts the pedals out in front a little bit. That's sort of a variation of a more traditional comfort bike. But I think the key to any comfort bike is a riding position with the back straight up and down, shoulders, relaxed, arms relaxed. So your body can be in the most relaxed position as possible.

So I know sometimes when you're searching for bikes, it's really hard to distinguish one category from the next. Those are some of the features that set comfort bikes apart. If you have any other additional questions or comments, please comment below and we'll try to answer those as best as possible. And don't forget if you're looking for comfort bikes, you can go to our website, check them out on the top navigation, under comfort bikes, we offer a 365-day test ride policy. You can try your bike for 365 days. If you don't love it, you can send it back. No questions ask. Also, take our body fit quiz. You can put in your riding style, your body dimensions, and we will recommend a bike that is right, just for you, for your body and your riding. So enjoy the ride and don't forget, it's your experience, your journey.


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What is a Comfort Bike? | What to Look For in a Comfort Bike