First step to your comfortable bike
We’re here to break it down for you in the simplest terms, to help you find the most comfortable bike for you. Let’s start from the beginning. You might want to Google “simple bike diagram” to familiarize with different bike parts.
First, how do we even define a comfortable riding experience? It’s safe to say the most comfortable bikes enable us to enjoy smooth rides where the bum doesn’t go numb, when pedaling is not taxing on the knees, when it’s easy to switch gears or brake, and being able to sit upright. So you see, it’s not just the saddle that determines one’s comfort.
How to choose a comfortable bike? Here are 5 things you need to be aware of
- Pick a bike that allows you to switch speeds
- Pick a bike that lets you brake with ease
- Pick a bike that gives you a smoother ride
- Pick a bike seat that’s just right for your bum
- Pick a bike that gives you freedom to move
Gears – To pick a comfortable bike, make sure the bike lets you switch between many speeds
Don’t be scared of the two levers (trigger shifters) on the stem. They might look slightly different on every bike but essentially one makes it easier for you to pedal, and the other helps you go faster. You’ll notice as you switch between the numbers that the chain will feel either looser or tighter, and this helps you ride more comfortably on different slopes. The wider the range of gears (range of numbers), the more possibilities you have to conquer different terrains. Don’t over-exert yourself of course, take time to learn how it works!
A word of caution: gears come in different sizes and switching to the right gear is incredibly important for protecting your knees and preventing physical injuries.
Brakes - Pick a bike that lets you brake with ease
There are two types of brakes: disc brakes and rim brakes. For most contexts, disc brakes provide a better experience. For instance, riding on rainy days is always challenging, and disc brakes offer a higher level of safety in these particular moments. They also require less effort to set up and don’t wear out as fast. But if you’re not going to be riding on rough terrain or on rainy days that often, then rim brakes are just as great!
Tires – Pick a bike that gives you a smoother ride
We often hear complaints about poorly fixed pavements or roads with speed bumps making the ride uncomfortable. This is where wider tires (or “tyres” in England) come into the picture by enabling a smoother journey. There’s nothing wrong with standard tires of course. But wider tires are comfier as they can run at a lower pressure, meaning they absorb road bumps better and make our bums happier!
Let’s cover the basics! Tires need to be pumped with enough air depending on certain factors, like how much stuff you’re carrying or the types of roads you’ll cover. Most tires have a recommended pressure range printed on the side of the wheel and pumping to the max is not always better. Finding the best pressure is about striking the right balance between comfort and speed. You can check the pressure by using a pump with an in-built pressure gauge, another item worth investing in. Don’t hesitate to ask the local sales rep for recommendations.
Saddle – Pick a bike seat that’s just right for your bum!
A larger, cushy-looking saddle is not always the most comfortable option. So how do we pick? The right saddle for you is determined by your riding habits, body type and gender, meaning the perfect saddle varies significantly from person to person. Generally, we want to be able to sit comfortably upright without straining our knees while minimizing lower back pain and neck pain. So setting the saddle at the right height makes a huge difference to your comfort. Too high, the saddle rocks excessively. Too low, your knees will feel strained.
Disclaimer: if you are experiencing discomfort like numbness or pain, it is worth consulting with our bike retailers for suggestions. All you might need to do is to simply adjust the saddle height or your riding position.
Bike frame – Pick a bike that gives you freedom to move
The bike frame is the “body” of the vehicle that determines how you get on and off, whether you mount it like when mounting a horse or step through and sit like with a Vespa. A step-through, or low-step, bike frame gives you the flexibility to hop on and off with ease. This is super useful when running errands around town, when you’re wearing a dress or nice office clothes, or if you’re on the shorter side. Check out our article on step-through bikes to learn more: https://www.momentum-biking.com/global/this-might-be-the-hottest-bike-around
The material of the bike frame also determines the weight of the bike. We love bikes with premium lightweight alloy bike frames, like the Momentum Vida models, because this electrical bike can handle tons of weight while being light themselves. In short, they’re suitable for all riders and lifestyles, especially if you need to carry your bike up and down the stairs every day!
Voila! Hopefully now you have a better idea of how to pick the right bike for you for a more comfortable ride. There’s a lot to consider: gears, brakes, tires, saddle, and bike frame. Don’t rush! Speak to the local sales team and go for test rides until you’re ready.