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What is best bike for person with neck problems ? To be more specific, problems in inclining and looking up - I feel good when I am in straight vertical position. (for example, for long reading I use: http://www.bookholder.com/ )

Or is bike not recommended at all ? (ok, I know second question is for doc)

I've found answer about posture : I often get a sore neck when riding. How can I adjust the setup of my bike to help prevent this happening?

Here I ask which types of bike (there are so many of them and their variants, including: mountain bike, european city bike, touring bicycle ,recumbent bicycle ) are suitable (and which are the best) for:

  • flat area
  • hilly area

(I am going to buy two bikes, each for different city)

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You're going to need to be more specific about your neck problems. Some problems (such as mine) make it hard to be bent over looking up, as on a road bike, while others (as in the question you linked to) make it hard to sit up too straight. –  Joe Ganley Sep 6 '12 at 11:30
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Generally some sort of recumbent will be best, followed by a "city" bike, mountain, touring, and, least good, road/racing. (Though mountain and touring bikes span a range that overlaps.) Most people feel recumbents are not as good on hills, both because of weight and because of the lack of a standing stance -- for the others it's mostly a weight issue. –  Daniel R Hicks Sep 6 '12 at 11:30
    
Hilly rides are still flat on average; you can't avoid having to look slightly up and down. But in general for casual riding grades will be at most 5-10%. Is even that much neck motion a problem? –  Jefromi Sep 6 '12 at 13:51
    
@Jefromi neck motion is not a problem but static position. My current mountain bike requires of constant keeping head in "up-position" - that's not good. Moving head from time to time is ok - as far as "default" position is straight. –  Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Sep 6 '12 at 15:03
    
@GrzegorzWierzowiecki I don't see why you'd have trouble with a hybrid in hilly areas when you don't have trouble with a mountain bike (as you mentioned in your comment on Alex's answer). I also suspect that if hilly areas are fine on a mountain bike, but flat areas aren't, then you could also fix your problem by just moving your neck some from time to time while riding, as you do when you're going up and down hills. –  Jefromi Sep 6 '12 at 18:18

2 Answers 2

I wasn't familiar with the term 'city bike' but it seems to map pretty closely to what I've known as a 'hybrid'. I haven't spent a lot of time on these types of bikes but have gotten them for my father and my wife in the last few years. Both bikes have a very upright stance, and came with adjustable stems so the handlebars can pretty easily be brought even farther up.

No matter what kind of frame you end up choosing I would probably err to the smaller frame sizes if you find yourself 'in between', and possibly get a size smaller than normal anyway - this should translate to a shorter effective top tube which will keep reach to the handlebars shorter and allow a more upright stance.

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What about "hills vs flat" area issue ? I believe this might be good solution for flat city. The another city (I am going to travel between two) is hilly. –  Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Sep 6 '12 at 13:20
    
What makes you think the hybrid would be a problem in the hilly city? Are you concerned the upright stance would make climbing too difficult? –  AlexCuse Sep 6 '12 at 13:46
    
I have experiences only with mountain bikes and I know they are comfortable for hilly areas. I am afraid if other types are suitable. –  Grzegorz Wierzowiecki Sep 6 '12 at 15:20
    
The seating position on a hybrid bike is much more like that of a comfort-oriented mountain bike than a road bike. The gearing is typically similar also, though big chain rings up front are typically larger because there is less need for clearance. Just watch out for the 'fitness-oriented' hybrids like the trek FX - the ones I've seen in the wild don't have adjustable stems and tend to lean the rider forward into a more aggressive position. A mountain bike with hybrid tires would probably be another good choice. –  AlexCuse Sep 6 '12 at 15:31

A lot of recumbents, including the Cruzbike Sofrider pictured below, allow you to ride in the same kind of seated position you do in an office chair, and the ones that have high bars (instead of having the handle bars under the seat) allow you to mount rear view mirrors so that you needn't turn your neck to look backwards.

Recumbents are lower to the ground than upright bikes, which makes them a fast efficient alternative to "comfort bikes", though it also makes them harder to use than a road bike for fast city riding in dense traffic since you can't stand up to see over cars.

Cruzbike Sofrider

which are the best for:

  • flat area
  • hilly area

Recumbents are great for riding in flat areas, though not as good for hilly areas -- they're not quite as stable at low speeds since you can't as easily reposition your hips, and you can't stand up to torque when you run out of gears.


mountain bike, european city bike, touring bicycle ,recumbent bicycle

Mountain bikes can be ridden with back and neck straight but they're designed for people who ride with a slight forward tilt, and they're not efficient on roads.

Many European city bikes are similar to US Comfort bikes, and others like Dutch cargo bikes are designed with carrying capacity in mind. They're good for riding wearing everyday clothes at a pace that isn't going to get you all sweaty, but are no good for recreational riding with people on faster bikes.

Touring bikes cannot as they have similar geometry to road/cross bikes.

As explained above, recumbents come in vastly different geometries, but many do allow the kind of riding posture you describe.

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+1 Second for 'bents if you have a neck problem. My experience with upright/city bikes is that seat pressure dramatically decreases the time on can spend on the bike if sitting vertically enough to avoid neck extension. –  Gary.Ray Sep 7 '12 at 18:28

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