Comfort FAQ

Steve D on a comfort bikeComfort. To most of us, what could possibly matter more? Yet to generations who grew up riding ten-speeds, comfort is not a word they have learned to associate with bicycles. That was, until now. Gone are the days of rock-hard seats and being bent over your handlebars. Recently, bicycle designers have started listening to what cyclists are saying. The result is called a “comfort bike”.

Comfort bikes will have several of the following features:

  • a more upright sitting position, for those who don’t want to be bent over into an aggressive racing stance.
  • seatpost shocks to smooth out the road or the trail, an important companion to an upright sitting position.
  • a front suspension fork (aka a “front shock”) for better control on trails and a smoother ride.
  • flanged grips for better palm support and vibration dampening
  • a wider and dramatically more comfortable seat with a flexible base

There are many people who avoid cycling because of hand or wrist pain. On a traditional bike, the rigid frame and fork, in combination with the forward-leaning posture means that every bump and vibration from the road is felt in the hands and arms. At the same time, the arms are also dealing with holding up a portion of the weight of the torso. This can mean a rather uncomfortable ride, as well as the possibility of exacerbating the problem. Comfort bikes help solve this using the combination of upright posture (reducing the amount of weight pushing down on the handlebars), flanged grips (spreading the pressure out on the palms) and front suspension (absorbing the lion’s share of the bumps along the way). Many of our customers have rediscovered that bike riding can be both fun and pain-free. For other issues we can help solve, see our accessibility page.

The new generation of seats is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. No matter how soft you make the top of a seat, if it has a hard base then it will feel hard and unforgiving when you sit on it. A good example of this is gel seatcovers which attempt to mask, generally unsuccessfully, the problem of a hard seat. The real goal is not to mask the problem but to solve it, and a new seat with a flexible base is that solution. Thankfully they are not expensive, costing as little as $29.99.

Comfort on your current bike

It’s possible to retrofit an existing bicycle with comfort options, especially seatposts and seats, and we keep parts in stock to do that for customers who no longer believe that they have to “break their seat back in” each spring, or “just live with it”. Come in and we will ensure that your bike fits you correctly and discuss the options you have to make it more comfortable, all at no charge for the fitting and consultation.

Additionally, if the seat we set you up with isn’t perfect, we have a comfort guarantee: we will let you swap the seat for another one, as long as it is undamaged, as many times as necessary until we find one that works well for you. If the new seat is more you need only pay the difference, if the new seat costs less then we will credit you the difference. You may be responsible for a reasonable amount of labour for the swap, but we will do this as many times as needed to find the perfect seat.

Sometimes, the only solution is a new bicycle, and we recognise that comfort means different things to different people. To some, comfort is sitting upright and enjoying a sunny day on the Galloping Goose Trail. To others, it’s a bike that is reasonably comfortable but still high-performance so they don’t have to work as hard to get where they want to go. Goldstream Bicycles has what you need no matter what your idea of comfort is.

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