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I do NOT need the bicycle for daily commuting or mountain climbing. I need the bicycle for morning and evening exercise and just for roaming around in order to get some fresh air.

I also want a smooth ride on non-smooth roads. I am a female.

What to look for in a bicycle meant for the above described needs?
Budget: 103$
Country: India

Update

I searched for and found the following bicycles with suspensions.
They fall near about $ 103.

  1. http://www.choosemybicycle.com/in/en/bicycles/hercules/hybrid-/hercules-atom/Technical-Specifications

  2. http://www.choosemybicycle.com/in/en/bicycles/hercules/hybrid-/hercules-rebellio-619/Technical-Specifications

  3. http://www.choosemybicycle.com/in/en/bicycles/hero/mtb/hero-ranger-dtb-vx-2013/Technical-Specifications

How do I know whether they are comfortable for exercise and roaming around?

Regarding exercise:
I am an underweight female so loosing weight is NOT my goal. I wish to get mentally fit and therefore I wish to tire myself out without getting bored. They say physical exercise is necessary to get rid of depression. Hence I chose to cycle out.

What to look for in a bicycle meant for the exercise?

The most important thing is that it be the right size for you, and after that you appear to want a "relaxed", upright posture rather than a "racing" posture. For that an inexpensively-built "city bike" (such as Andy's illustration) or perhaps a "hybrid" is probably the best choice.

Are the bikes shown above hybrid?

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will you be wanting to carry baggage? –  PeteH May 19 at 8:55
    
@PeteH A water bottle and a camera bag - That's all. –  TheIndependentAquarius May 19 at 8:58
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Start by borrowing a bike or buying an inexpensive used one, to get used to what you want/need. Just make sure when you test ride it that it's comfortable and seems to fit right. The most important thing is that it be the right size for you, and after that you appear to want a "relaxed", upright posture rather than a "racing" posture. For that an inexpensively-built "city bike" (such as Andy's illustration) or perhaps a "hybrid" is probably the best choice. And get a bike shop to explain proper "bike fit" to you -- mainly how the seat should be adjusted. –  Daniel R Hicks May 19 at 11:23
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@Ryan - I disagree. Any sort of non-impact exercise is good, and you can get quite a bit of exercise riding a bike at a moderate pace through neighborhoods for an hour or so at a time. –  Daniel R Hicks May 20 at 11:19
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@Ryan - You can gain considerable fitness at a low pace. –  Daniel R Hicks May 20 at 12:01

3 Answers 3

Very hard to answer without knowing your budget.

I would suggest a hybrid style bike. They have an upright riding position and geometry designed for comfort over speed (road racer) or agility (MTB). They have largish tires to absorb the minor bumps. Look at a bike with 29" (700C) wheels and at least 1.5" (35mm) tires for the smoother ride you want.

You are looking for a "smooth ride over non-smooth roads" - presumably for comfort - one of the holy grail of cycles. The closest you will get is a high end Cross country Mountain bike with full suspension. However, I would not recommend it (depending on how bumpy you are talking about), as the cost/weight penalty is high, and even the best can only increase comfort so much.

If you are worried about seat comfort, several things can be done. Suspension seat posts an help, but a woman's specific saddle would be my first recommendation. Large, plush saddles can get uncomfortable over longer distances and cause chaffing, so are not always the answer.

I suggest visiting you Local bike shop (LBS) and talking to them. Stay away from Chains stores if you can afford to.

Re Your Update: All those bikes look like they will be more trouble than they are worth. The complexity of full suspension combined with a bike in that price bracket is a recipe for a very unpleasant experience. The bike will be heavy and hard to ride, especially with no gears. I would suggest something more like the Hercules Arrow 6spd

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thanks, have added the budget in OP. –  TheIndependentAquarius May 19 at 6:38
    
woman's specific saddle What does that mean? –  TheIndependentAquarius May 19 at 6:39
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@TheIndependentAquarius there are different saddles for men and women. –  PeteH May 19 at 8:57
    
A hybrid with front suspension and saddle post "suspension" - usually just a spring - seems like a good idea here. The hybrid front suspension has a much shorter travel than true MTB suspension. Has anyone ridden a decent one recently though? –  Chris H May 19 at 12:38
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@PeteH I ride on 35s (for now) on a range of roads/paths from very nice tarmac to potholes to good dirt (and mud over tarmac, but that's another story with an uncomfortable ending). They're smooth enough for me, so long as I stand on the pedals over the worst bits, but I'm reasonably heavy and run the tyres at ~65psi (their max). I agree with you completely I think - instead of / as well as the LBS, any local cycling groups (especially work/commuting-related as they tends to be about gentler riding) would be good for a chat. –  Chris H May 19 at 18:41

I am an underweight female so loosing weight is NOT my goal. I wish to get mentally fit and therefore I wish to tire myself out without getting bored. They say physical exercise is necessary to get rid of depression. Hence I chose to cycle out.

First and most important is the depression. You should really go to a bike shop and hop on a few different bikes and styles. Try them all. The one that makes you feel giddy and excited is the one to get. Pleasure, smiling, laughter, and exercise all release endorphins which help depression. Get the one that will not only give you exercise but also make you feel great! This is also how you will know if it is comfortable and fits you.

wish to get mentally fit and therefore I wish to tire myself out without getting bored

This is best done by picking difficult challenges that you enjoy. It could be getting a BMX bike and working to learn one trick after another. It could be setting a speed goal for yourself that really forces you to push yourself. It could be any number of things. Just set challenging goals and surround yourself with others that will push you to reach them.

I am an underweight female so loosing weight is NOT my goal.

Eat more. Seriously. Any exercise will cause a little weight loss and if you're really looking to challenge yourself mentally then that means more than a leisure ride. That means more calories. You'll have to learn what the right amount to eat is to not lose weight and then you can decide if you want to eat more to put on weight.


My feeling

The bike you chose looks odd to me but if it makes you happy it also looks versatile and fun. I could see taking to some trails and little jumps on it. Otherwise the more I write the more I'm inclined to suggest a smaller BMX bike like:

enter image description here

You can generally find them pretty cheap (not this model but other ones). They're incredibly durable. Relaxing for when you do want those roaming around trips, but can also be pushed for the fitness side. And learning a new trick or jump will burn less calories so you don't lose weight. Loads of fun too!

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Thanks for the response. The bike you chose looks odd to me Why? Please explain. I chose that only because it has shockers and is under $103. I don't know whether test drive is allowed for cycles in India. –  TheIndependentAquarius May 20 at 13:35
    
your picture is not loading properly. –  TheIndependentAquarius May 20 at 13:36
    
I tried a different picture. Let me know if it isn't loading either. –  Ryan May 20 at 13:37
    
the picture in the other answer is loading without any probkems, perhaps you have chosen a big size. please reduce your pic size to kbs and then try to include. –  TheIndependentAquarius May 20 at 13:44
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The bike you chose looks odd because it looks like its trying to do too much and none quite right. Its got the frame of a downhill mountain bike, fenders and rack though like a city bike, and no idea what those vertical handlebars are. It does look like it could be fun if you are intending on going offroad on trails and downhill but otherwise not so much. I suspect its also very heavy. Best I can tell it has no gears so that further makes me believe its best used in downhill freestyle. –  Ryan May 20 at 13:44

In your question you say nothing about your fitness level, or expected riding speeds / distances.

If you are reasonably fit, and want to ride, say 10km in half an hour (20kph), then I would certainly agree with mattnz's answer.

But when you say just for roaming around, I hear requirements more like those of my wife:

enter image description here

In many places, this is called a Dutch Bike, or City Bike. Some people just call them ladies shopping bikes.

Under the (ladies) seat there are springs to cushion your ride. In the picture the seat is unusually low; normally it would be at least 10cm higher.

The main concern I have with your requirements is your budget. While I know nothing of prices in India, I suspect that you will need to aim for a second hand bike. As others have said, do go your LBS to see what your possibilities are.

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A dutchie was my first thought when I asked above about luggage. I have one of these and love it (for the right purpose). Plus, if fitness is your goal, what better than riding a 20kg bike? But I'd just question how long you could ride a dutchie for before it would become uncomfortable? My ballpark guess (based on mine) would only be an hour or so. –  PeteH May 19 at 11:33
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@PeteH Yes, it depends what the OP means by fitness. For me, a (distant) goal is to be able to climb 1000m per day. For my wife, it's to be able to ride to the shops 5km away. –  andy256 May 19 at 11:39
    
Yes shops is what I use mine for - I had no other bike that could reasonably carry shopping and it seemed daft to be cycling 100km a week, but jumping in the car to go get a pint of milk. I think the longest I ever rode it was to the nearest town, accompanying my wife on her hybrid. My ability is that much greater than hers, so me riding the granny bike made us just about even! –  PeteH May 19 at 11:47
    
@PeteH Please see the edited question. –  TheIndependentAquarius May 20 at 5:20

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