Monday, November 14, 2011

I need your suggestions.

I love going out on my bike shooting.  Over the last year I’ve spent more and more time in every city (Milan, Paris, New York, Florence…) using one to get around.


Unfortunately, spending 4-5 hours on a bike most days is beginning to mess up my shoulders.  I need to find a new bike on which I’m able to sit more upright to take the stress off my shoulders.  What do you guys suggest?


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  1. Antonia at Swedish Love Affair

    November 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Go to the gym! I used to have the same problem, but it got better when I started going to the gym. Swimming helps too!

  2. Sara

    November 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    A college professor in my hometown was supposedly gifted a recumbent bike, and it was always kinda curious to see him riding around in it, but I bet that would be a lot easier on your back/shoulders?

  3. adrienne

    November 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I love my Linus bike..It helps me keep an upright posture…

  4. Alice

    November 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Dutch city bikes, the best.

  5. Scott Greiff

    November 14, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Segway? ;-)

  6. Andrew P

    November 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Something like this:

    In all seriousness, though. There’s a good chance that your issues have more to do with fit than the position you’re in. Might be worth it to visit a shop and get fitted with your current ride.

    Upright options like city bikes may appear attractive, but they’re generally overpriced and ridiculously heavy with few redeemable features.

  7. Jess

    November 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I have a lovely recycled vintage bike with the handlebars that are bent, and I have them set higher than the seat so I’m able to sit relatively straight and it doesn’t look odd. So yeah, bent handlebars (for lack of a more technical term!)

  8. Kasia

    November 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    weird… I have back problems from an asian lifestyle and so I went to the orthopedist and apart from some back-specific exercises he recommended swimming and… biking.
    If you sit on a bike with your hands straight and the scapula pulled together and your head leaned a little to the back (and not over the handlebar) biking should be really relaxing for your back! Other than that I use a bike where I can sit somewhat upright.

  9. Benedicte

    November 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I am a woman but the only bike on which I am comfortable is my “dutch bike” (vélo hollandais), an Amsteel for my part. I never had back or shoulder problems.

  10. Laura

    November 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Dutch oma or opa style fiets. The handle bars are designed so that you don’t have to be constantly putting weight on your shoulders. Also an electric bike. Gazelle is the best and oldest/ respected brand. there are also men’s bikes that don’t have the dip.

  11. Nathan R

    November 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I would recommend you either go to a bicycle shop and speak to the professionals. Actaully, try a few bike shops and speak to a few different people. If they have a common recommendation, you might be on to something.

    You can also try to locate a bicycle collective.

    Hope this helps,


  12. Guusje

    November 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    You need a bike we drive in Amsterdam! It’s called ‘grandma bike’. You have to sit upright, the design is beautiful and you can put a box in the front to put your bags in.
    I’ll sent you a picture if you want.

  13. John

    November 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

  14. Hernan Tello

    November 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I think that the best option is… the Cannondale Bad Boy.

    Good luck!


  15. Stefan

    November 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm


    I had the same problem, and more than that, I wass tired of riding around town on my MTB. Looking for timeless class and a straight position, I started looking for a vintage RALEIGH bike. Found it a month ago, with Brooks saddle and all. Heavier than a modern alu bike, but indestructable and truly classic!

  16. Leony

    November 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Scott,

    As you know us ‘Amsterdammers’ get around on a bike from 2 to 80 years old, and in my opinion the official Dutch bike, the omafiets, is the best one around.. Not sure if you can get one in every country, but via you can even get personalized ones and get them shipped!

    Have fun biking around!

  17. lintmag

    November 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Maybe that ever-youthful Bill Cunningham could offer some tips? I have no bike suggestion, but I think a weekly massage would be well worth the price.

  18. Austere

    November 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I would definitely suggest a hybrid bike. They’re built for traveling around the city while maintaining an upright posture. There’s a large range of bikes so the one you choose depends on your price range and concern with quality.

  19. Anna

    November 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Try a classic Dutch bike, they’re called oma/opa fiets or grandma/grandpa bikes and you sit almost completely upright on them and they often have a small rack on the back perfect for carrying around photo equipment!

  20. Michael

    November 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm

  21. zoe

    November 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Being on a bicycle should never result in pain. Have you been fitted for your bike professionally? That’s my first recommendation. Make sure your seat is at the proper position and that you’re riding on the right frame for your height.

    Second, if you’re riding with drop bars, try switching to straight bars. I ride a Schwinn Super Sport, a pretty unsexy commuter bike with straight bars. I sit upright on my bike. Perhaps a more aesthetically pleasing option would be a cruiser. You can find them old and charming for rather cheap on craigslist (at least here in San Francisco), or new.

    Best of luck!

  22. R E

    November 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    If you’re shoulders are hurting your bikes geometry might not be to blame. Most of these problems are caused by a bike that doesn’t fit in general or is not setup correctly. Take it to a reputable bike shop and get a professional fitting and your problems will likely go away. Although, if you really want something spectacular try Velo Orange out of Annapolis. They make beautiful french-porteur inspired bike frames and components that I’m sure you can appreciate aesthetically…

    Plenty of comfortable upright handlebars to choose from in classic design.

  23. zoe again

    November 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    You might also try a spacer between your bars and your frame. This will make any frame more upright.

  24. BL

    November 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Sitting upright won’t necessarily help (you do NOT want all your weight to rest on your derrière), you need to get a bike that actually fits you. Much like a suit, get a good fitting from a professional. Get panniers if you carry lots of gear too…

  25. shelby

    November 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Look for recumbent bicycles, where you are sitting with your legs in front of you, or cruisers where your handlebars are higher and you are meant to be upright

  26. Carrie

    November 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Get a cruiser, but not a beach cruiser. I have a Schwinn cruiser and I love it. You sit upright, but it also has hand brakes and multiple gears (unlike beach cruisers). My husband has one that has 3 gears and it automatically changes the gear based on your cadence. Also, cruisers have very comfy seats.

  27. Alana

    November 14, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Perhaps if you simply raise your handle bars it would alleviate the pressure on your shoulders.


  28. Name*

    November 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    This may sound stupid, but can’t the seat just be brought lower down?

  29. Rob

    November 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Go to Amsterdam and buy a vintage bike with some baskets for your stuff. You’ll sit upright like you were meant to.

  30. Julie

    November 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Wish I knew of a better bike for you. Alas, I suggest only a way to give them a rest.: head over to Dubai – and travel the malls on foot. Lot’s of fashion to follow there. ;-) I lived there for 3 years and am still inspired by what I see.

    Love your blog.

  31. Irene

    November 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

  32. Matthew Schroeder

    November 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    More small towns and rural places. We are all familiar with how people dress in cities. Lets see how people dress in small towns, what people come up with without following trends, what they were to simply stay comfortable

  33. Car Carpet

    November 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    You might try a recumbent bicycle– and I feel like the bike brand should leap at the opportunity to sponsor you!

  34. Judson

    November 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

  35. Ella

    November 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I’ve got the Original Amsterdam by Electra and it’s really comfortable to ride. The seat is low & wide and I sit completely upright. It also looks pretty good. I catch people photographing & pointing at my sky blue bike regularly (although perhaps not ideal if you’re trying to take stealthy photos??) Downside is that it’s pretty heavy and its not exactly fast, which isn’t important to me but might be for you. It’s also really hard to get replacement parts in the right colour should anything go wrong. Other than that, I love my bike!

  36. eileen

    November 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm


    You might consider raising your handle bars or you could even swap out your current handle bars with some cruiser handle bars. If you’d like to get a new bike entirely, some great smaller bike brands for long distance biking are Surly, Salsa and even REI brand bikes. I rode across the US on a Novara Safari bike by REI, and it kept me mighty comfortable. Friends of mine have also ridden cross country on Surly and Salsa cycles. Sometimes though it just comes down to getting a bike that is the right size and fit for you, including the length from seat to handle bars. Also if you are going to be riding for hours at a time a touring bike might be best for you, the geometry of the bike is made for comfort on a longer ride, ie more upright handle bars, and other features to help absorb shock. Here is a website that I check often as I am a geek for style and bikes, and they often post really stylish and well designed bikes:

    Additionally, your shoulders may just get stronger and less sore with time, it is not uncommon to experience some soreness after a long ride.

    Hope this helps!


  37. sophie

    November 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Here in Amsterdam we all ride our bikes “upright” and it is safe to say that we know what we’re talking about… I read about the Dutch owned store Rolling Orange Bikes on Baltic Street. They are supposed to sell plenty of really good brands of “upright” decent Dutch bikes.

    Good luck! And share a picture if you find your perfect bike!

  38. marie

    November 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    over here in holland you see a lot of those bikes,they ride excellent,indeed lovely for shoulders and back…My ride is gazelle heavy duty ,and it fits me well..

  39. Ben

    November 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Mr. Schuman,

    Try a beach cruiser. Might look a little funky, but if you can pick the right style and color, it could be a great fit.


  40. Alex Cassidy

    November 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    You need a Pashley!

  41. Kevin Kafesu

    November 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Have you considered the Pashley Gov’nor or any of the Roadsters out of the Pashley range. They should ergonomically and aesthetically meet your requirements. Lastly, they should fit your style.

  42. Ben Flynn

    November 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Mr. Schuman,

    Try a beach cruiser. It might be a little funky, but if you get the right style and color, it could be a great fit.


  43. mrbriels

    November 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    in the netherlands everybody rides a ‘omafiets’, translated as grannybike. you automaticly sit upright on such bike.

  44. egle

    November 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Schwinn for the win! Very comfortable and stylish

  45. Therese Brenner

    November 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    There are some comfort bicycles, like The Journey Semi-Recumbent Bicycle, but I think you might have to order it online. Here is a link that I think might work:
    The price is between $800-$900.

    Best of luck/t

  46. Cody

    November 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    A bike with handlebars curved toward the rider would help you out. Check these:

  47. Jordon.K

    November 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I would suggest something along the lines of a ‘sit up and beg’ bicycle. They’re not the fastest bikes around but they’re very comfortable and upright, relieving pressure from your shoulders

  48. Barbara

    November 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Sorry to hear about your back, that really sucks.

    This very, very dutch bike will spare your back. And yes, it lacks the sex appeal of your current bike.
    Or rather, it has a sex appeal from a different .. kind (era).

  49. Franci

    November 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Dutch bikes are probably what you are looking for! I am from Milan recently moved to Amsterdam, and here i ride a fantastic and very typical dutch bike that here call Omafiets, on which you ride and your back is completly upright. So much more comfortable..Oh btw i have one also in Milan, very old school which very similar..
    Pretty much like this:

  50. Kristine

    November 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I love my bike from Cykelmageren in Cph, it is old school and comfy. However, the Pedersen Bike should be perfect for you, since it has a rather special up-right construction.

    Best, Kristine

  51. Jen F

    November 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Go to yoga with G. It always fixes my bike related back issues.

  52. Someone

    November 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    the really great dutch ‘opafiets’

  53. Andres

    November 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Brompton M type.

    especially with the level of travel you are talking about.

  54. Andrew

    November 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I think its in the handlebars. The Nitto Northroad are a great example of handlebars that allow you to sit back without straining your shoulders.

  55. torrie

    November 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    a beach cruiser – moutain bike hybrid of course!! this would be where you’re sitting up straight, it may have gears, AND it’s light like a moutain bike – i think they are called hybrid cruiser bikes.

  56. Friederike

    November 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    … I have never heard of shoulder pains resulting from riding bikes, but your frame does look kind of small… So how about a larger frame; or a nice Gazelle bike as often seen in Amsterdam and elsewhere in Europe? (admittedly less often in Paris, Milan and Florence…)

  57. Agathe

    November 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    A typical Dutch “Oma Fiets”

  58. Simon

    November 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Look to what half the city rides, in Copenhagen
    a Raleigh Tourist

  59. Galen

    November 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    You might try replacing your stem and handle bars with bars that have more rise.

  60. CB

    November 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I ride a Trek FX which has a more upright geometry yet is still a city/touring bike suitable for long rides. You could also replace your handle bars with sweep back bars (cruiser style) could also help.

  61. Gian

    November 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    a unicycle.

  62. Emma

    November 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    If you use a real commuter bike, like a 1950′s cruiser, it’ll be like siting on a chair.

  63. Judith A.Ross

    November 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Scott,
    I don’t have a bike recommendation, but I will suggest getting some lessons in the Alexander Technique. Both of my sons are musicians and both have found that it has helped them relax their muscles in ways that prevent injuries. One of them is a trumpet player living in Brooklyn and I know it helps him both on the trumpet and on the bike.

  64. sandra

    November 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    go to metro bikes and see if they can put different handle bars on your current bike.

  65. roelsbeth

    November 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Buy a dutch bike, very very confortable! For me it’s the perfect bike for riding in the town, and you sit really upright. See for example: or

  66. THG

    November 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

  67. Margot

    November 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I simply suggest you find a bike that you like by the means of it’s looks. Any Schwinn is good. I bought an old used Panther myself and I love it. I say you just need to go to a store and try some out, see if it fits you, there can’t be any other suggestions made.

  68. Serena

    November 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    An old beach cruiser with high handlebars.

  69. Andrew

    November 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Kona makes the Africa Bike. A decent upright ride.

    Gazelle bike are good for upright riding too.

  70. IA

    November 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    A Dutch ‘grandpa’ bike:

    Search for ‘opoe fiets’ on Google. Holland is full of them. They also have them with transporter racks on the front:

    Good luck

  71. Fred

    November 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    It’s definitely time for a european bike; to “travel” like a grown-up.
    Pilen, a swedish bike, is a very good and extremely comfortable alternative, the upright position will spare your shoulders. I find the central and south european bikes too overloaded in style, which seldom is the case for a bike from Scandinavia.
    You’ll find them in NY at Hudson Urban Bicycles – HUB.

  72. cloudsofviolet

    November 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    any old 3-speed would work

  73. Jacqueline

    November 14, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    A cruiser bicycle would be perfect!

  74. anonymous

    November 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    check out, i think you will appreciate the style and functionality of these custom bikes.

  75. Kim

    November 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    My boyfriend rides road bikes as a hobby and suffered from shoulders and back issues. I found a place that specializes in bike fitting and known worldwide. I bought him a new bike that was fitted for him specifically and no more shoulder and back problems. With that, I suggest to go to a professional bike fitter. If you are ever in Philadelphia again, the one I used is about 15-20 minutes away in the Main Line suburbs.

  76. egle

    November 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Buy a vintage inspired one, my friend just bought this really beautiful vintage inspired bike and it has the seat lower so i think it would be better for your shoulders.

  77. Steve C

    November 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I’m a lifelong bike rider. Are your shoulders hurting because you are carrying stuff on your back? If so don’t. Golden rule of cycling – carry stuff on your bike and not on you!. Panniers, handlebar bag etc.

    If your shoulders are hurting because of your riding position you might want to go for an old fashioned ‘sit up and beg’ style. Very upright, long curved back handle bars, sprung seat – because you are putting all of your weight on your backside. Don’t expect to travel quick though – think ‘cruising’. Take a look at this :

    If you get chance have a look at my latest photo gallery on my website. Somewhat inspired by yourself!!!

    Best regards. Steve C

  78. Jennifer

    November 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    A town style bike (includes hybrids, beach cruisers, etc) will allow you to sit more upright.

    Owning one of these myself, I can say that it is an upright ride. However, after about thirty continuous miles other problems start to develop. These bikes are meant for riding around town (multiple trips of smaller miles) rather than long hauls (single trips of greater than 25 to 30 miles)

    All of that said, nothing on line can replace the expertise of a good bike fitting.

    Good luck, and happy bike shopping.

  79. Hans Peterse

    November 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm definitely good, I have one!
    otherwise contact adeline adeline in new york, they can help you out :)

  80. Christine

    November 14, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Try a hybrid. The handlebars tend to be a bit higher. Most importantly, don’t lean your weight on your arms. Hold your body up from the strength of your core torso muscles – your hands and arms should only be steering the bike, not supporting your weight. Good luck!

  81. Eric

    November 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    anything by Electra.

  82. Rapha

    November 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

  83. Kamal

    November 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I would recommend instead of replacing your bike having it set up by a professional, to be more ergonomic. I had this done when I was having back problems and I didn’t have to buy a new bike. The stem, the piece that connects the handlebars to the fork, is a piece that can be replaced or adjusted to bring your handlebars to where they need to be. Good luck!

  84. Chacoura

    November 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Look for this guy, Ezra Caldwell there:

  85. Jojo

    November 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    old-fashioned dutch black ‘oma’ bike – sturdy, super comfy, can handle a passenger on the rear rack, and include those nifty rear wheel locks. i got one at adeline adeline on reade st. and can’t live without.

  86. I.

    November 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I’d recommend a Dahon or a Brompton. They’re lightweight folding bikes, so you can put them in a suitcase and take them with you wherever you go, and they’re designed to be ridden sitting upright. You should be able to find one that works for you at NYC Wheels.

  87. christian

    November 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I have a Fuji Sagres bike which has an ‘articulate’ handlebar stem that lets me tilt the handlebar in a more upright position. That is more confortable on my shoulders and arms, and I can also sit more upright and see better. Now that bike is over ten years old, but I am sure any decent bikeshop can guide you to a handlebar set-up that will be more suitable for you.

  88. carlos veloso

    November 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm


    Maybe you should get an old style Dutch bike. In the Netherlands they spend their entire lives on them and they don’t seem to have posture or back problems!!

  89. Hans Peterse

    November 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    VanMoof N˚ 5 is a good model, otherwise adeline adeline in new york can help you out for sure ;)

  90. adam

    November 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    you could get a Pedersen, very upright & unique look.

  91. Adrienne

    November 14, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I recently switch from drop bars to upright handle bars. It makes a world of a difference, especially when commuting. I would suggest looking at Public bikes. They are based in San Francisco, but you can purchase online. They cater to the city commuter in style and are fairly affordable. Here is the link:

    I hope this helps.

  92. Mondo

    November 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Perhaps is the type of bike. There are those cruser bikes with the high handel bars and the seat low. You would sit more upright in one of those.

  93. Tamara

    November 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

  94. Philip

    November 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Public Bikes:

  95. IC

    November 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Linus makes super cute upright bikes.

  96. Marit

    November 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    You will need a Dutch “oma fiets” (grandma’s bike): it is the only bike I know on which you sit upright, and it looks really good!

  97. Emmanuel

    November 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Hello Scott. Although, this is maybe not the perfect solution you should try bar ends. Those bar ends (we say “bike horns” in French) should be fixed on your bike handlebar. It will probably relieve your back and your shoulders…

  98. cheyenne

    November 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I recently got a used Electra Amsterdam “Classic” off Craigslist and I love it. It’s a super simple, internal hub 3-speed, back-pedal brake bike (though they make an 8-speed version w/hand-lever brakes). It is ridiculously comfortable–very upright posture, fun to ride, and nice looking. The only drawback is that it is a little bit longer than a standard bike (maybe 6″ longer..) and so it is hard to fit it into the hanging bike racks on the trains here in Portland. I have friends with the Public (Linus bikes are similar in look) and they love it, but I don’t know how upright they sit.

  99. Name*

    November 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm


    Maybe you should get and old style Dutch bike. In The Netherlands they spend their entire lives on them and they don’t seem to have posture or back problems!!

  100. Al

    November 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    My father is a cyclist and I live in a Country where the bike is the main mean of transportation (Flanders, Belgium)… For my experience I can tell you that no bike will get better the pain in the neck and back if you are prone to this kind of issues (with women bikes it should be better though)

    The most important thing you can do is exercises for your back and neck muscles (which a good trainer at the gym can explain you, but I’m sure you’ll find detailed stuff on the internet too) and some sessions at a massage therapist/chiropractor.

    Hope it helps and that the pain gets better :-)


    -The Red Dot-

  101. asad

    November 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    anything in the “Dutch city bike” vein should do the trick.

  102. Hanian

    November 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Have you ever tried one of these old fashioned dutch bikes? Usually you sit on them in a very upright position. Am not sure though how well they are if you spend hours on them.

  103. Tamara

    November 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

  104. tiago

    November 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Look for dutch brands like Gazelle, Batavus or Workcycles, but the upright position it’s good just on flat citys… If not there’s a couple of exelent custon bike builders… They will do you a bicycle like a taylor will do you a costume. Drop me a line if you need some adresses.

  105. Monti

    November 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    nothing better than a good dutch bike to ride up straight:

  106. Judith

    November 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I would start my search here:

  107. cousublake

    November 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    a dutch bike!!!

  108. Magpie

    November 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Linus. Wonderful bike, retro feel, on the east coast they have a certain cache because they are a California-based company. I love mine, get tons of compliments and ride constantly. You might also consider hitting a couple of yoga classes with Garance :)

  109. Andrew

    November 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Batavus Fryslan – had one for a few years…changes your life.

  110. ellen

    November 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Batavus Cambridge Deluxe or Raleight – and you will be biking with style.

  111. panos koutroumpas

    November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    i have an abici granturismo .simple and beautiful.when you ride it you will love it.

  112. Scott Lane

    November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    A recumbent trike gives you comfort and a heads up view, without much difficulty getting around. You can stop without being tippy. Lost my ability to balance a 2 wheel and this was the best solution.

  113. Sarah

    November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Definitely agree with the folks recommending the Dutch bikes–both from an upright-comfort standpoint and from an aesthetic perspective. I also love the vintage English bikes for the same reason–the stance is much more upright than most modern bikes and you put much less pressure on your shoulders and hands. I was lucky enough to buy a 1932 ladies’ Raleigh a few years ago and it is a dreamily comfortable ride and elegant to boot.

  114. Alex I.D.

    November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    A lot of the discomforts of riding a bicycle can be traced back to it’s dimensions in relation to yours. You MUST invest the time to find a bicycle that is right for your size and the way you ride, but most importantly, make sure that it is adjusted to fit you right. All bikes have at least 6 adjustable dimensions you can do yourself, but I would suggest that if you’re getting a bike, go to a reputable bike shop, but up with the attitude of the holier-than-thou “expert” and get it fit to you.
    If you’re ever in Houston, I know of a couple of great shops without the attitude.

    Other than that, I can’t imagine you riding around in a cruiser… or worse: a Segway!

    Happy riding!

  115. Daniel

    November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    The first recommendation is to take your existing bike to your local shop to see what they can do. Saddles, seat posts, stems, handlebars – they can all be switched out to better suit your riding style. And any of those items are relatively trivial items to change out.

    If that fails, then look for either a “comfort” or “hybrid” bicycle. Comfort bikes have an upright riding position, which should be more comfortable, but can be very heavy. In NYC or anywhere else relatively flat this should be a non-issue.

    Hybrid bikes cross some of the efficiences of road bikes to the more comfortable riding position of a mountain bike. These tend to have more gears that you can shift through, making them a bit easier to ride if you need a bicycle that is capable of more hilly terrain.

  116. Maria

    November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    dutch gazelle are the most comfortable once!
    I have one myself and I really enjoy it!

  117. Eva W

    November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm


    As a Dutch girl, I would suggest you take an ‘oma’ bike, in English: a grandma bike. Maybe you’ve seen them when you were in Holland. You can keep your back very straight when you ride one of those and they are very comfortable. I think allmost the entire Dutch population would recommand you one. They also come in a lot of different styles, so you could even customize it if you want to. Easier to recognise it when someone steels it from you, just in case.

    Hope it helps!
    Love your work!

  118. AC

    November 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I have a vintage Ross that I ride upon upright. It’s all in being cognizant of your alignment, and I find it helps to think about pulling up through the top of my head while reaching back with my hip bones and feeling the muscles of my bum working to propel me. I know, I know, a lot to think about while you’re trying to get the shot on top of that, but it keeps the ole shoulders loose.

    Good luck finding your new steed!

  119. Cella

    November 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    What to think of a “omafiets” that’s what it’s called in Dutch – has for ages been the bike for Dutch “girl” students …. You sit up straight, it’s a great ride, almost never breaks down ;) and looks ok :) This is what it looks like: oma 50.JPG

  120. Santana

    November 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Contacy Kelly Starrett of and seek his help as a Physical Therapy PhD. The man is a genius of biomechanics. See if he can help you fix your shoulders by moving correctly even if you do get your new bike.

  121. Per-Øystein Berglund

    November 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Hi. Go for a clasic bike, like Pashley Cykles make in the UK. The Danes also make som with a realy cool, upright riding position.

  122. Naomi

    November 14, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    A beach cruiser!

  123. jane

    November 14, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    beach cruiser!

    so cal sartorialist follower

  124. Luuk

    November 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Sit upright?

    I would suggest a Pedersen, the most comfortable bike in the world and a beautiful design.

    You’ll love it !

  125. Abe

    November 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    There is just one brand that brings class to cycling:

    Dutch brand – fashionable – comfortable

    PS: not affiliated in any way

  126. Sarah

    November 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    P.S. You might also want to check out the Italian Umberto Dei bicycles–built along the same upright, vintage lines and hopelessly beautiful.

  127. behardbop

    November 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    French label Lapierre…nice and very good bike handmade in UE. I’ve used one of their bike for several trip (Iceland, Sctoland, France)…look here

  128. SophieR

    November 14, 2011 at 4:01 pm

  129. Chris Baskind

    November 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Well, there are so many great choices these days.

    I don’t know your budget. Let’s assume you’re a good sartorialist, and want something which is both functional, and a bit stylish. Nothing crazy expensive, with a certain timelessness of style.

    Here’s a good starting point. The line at Linus Bikes:

    Linus has done a great job of balancing modern componentry and traditional style. It’s hard not to imagine that natty Dover Mixtie — oozing French influence like an overly buttered croissant — carving through an alley in Calais. Or the Gaston (every bit a direct descendant of old British path racers) bouncing along some cobbled trail following the Avon.

    Me? I’m a guy, but wouldn’t hesitate for the step-through convenience of the mixtie. Especially if I were jumping on and off to snap pictures every few minutes.

    In any case, all of those bikes feature comfortable, upright riding positions and modest pricing. So do the lines at PUBLIC and Civia. These are all US-based companies with which I have no affiliation.

    Wanna be really stylish? Go find a secondhand Raleigh Sport. Maybe $60 on Craigslist, and it will outlast us all. ;-)

  130. Isabella

    November 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    In my opinion the Raleigh Tourist is *the* classical upright bike, though you may have to go second hand shopping to find one. I have also heard good things about the Swedish brand Kronan ( and the Danish brand Velorbis (

  131. Michael Dybevick

    November 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    You can do that with any bike. Just make sure you have a short headset (the horizontal part the handlebars slip through) and replace the handlebars with some that come up higher and sweep back more. You can get some hight by adjusting the headset on some bikes.

    In any case, make sure you are not falling into bad bike posture, where you let your shoulders sag back and your neck get below them. Then your shoulder muscles are pulling your head weight back up (and make it harder to breath) instead of merely maintaining the skeletal alignment that “stacks” everything up with less energy.

    Maybe experiment with not-so-wide handlebars as well. When you are riding with one hand, the closer to the center you can grab the handlebar (and still maintain control) the easier it is to avoid the kind of fatigue you are talking about.

  132. Eric from FlyKly

    November 14, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Dear Scott,

    I’m writing from FlyKly. We are an electric bike company based in SoHo NYC. We produce a zero emissions electric bike that is the most stylish on the market, and is comfortable enough to allow riders to dress for their destination–whatever it may be.

    Just wanted to write and say how much the FlyKly team loves your work!

    Check us out–if you like it, let us know. We are huge fans of you and see you all the time riding around SoHo. We would love to do something with you.

  133. Julie

    November 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I can only give you a female point of view, and since I have had the same problem with biking – my answer will be: “Get yourself a classic Raleigh – a brooks saddel and a pair of ergonomic handlebars, does the trick – and ofcourse, classic is cool and will be by your side for years. Till this day, I have had mine for 15 years, and it still purrs like a kitten”

  134. victor

    November 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm

  135. Tanguy

    November 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    You should totaly go for a Van Moof bike their quiet superb you sit really comfortably and upright and also their really Stylish ! I have one myself and I think they’re great !

  136. JKlein

    November 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I had the same problem when I lived on Kwajalein and the only mode of transportation was a bike. My solution was to outfit my bike with High handlebars. I’m not sure how it will work as far as transporting your bike from city to city. It worked for me. Incidentally, Kwajalein was a great place to live.

  137. Shauna

    November 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Whatever bike you get it is important that it fits you….just like a suit! Most good bike shops have a person who is trained as a fitter. Fit is very important and will take the pressure off your shoulders, wrists, whatever is bothering you. Don’t get a recumbant…too weird.

  138. JW

    November 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    For the same exact reason my husband chose this bike when he decided to commute 45 minutes back and forth Brooklyn – Manhattan daily. So far so good.

  139. David H.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Test ride a Linus. They are pretty comfy.

  140. John Henry

    November 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I think there is a shop in NYC that you might enjoy Adeline Adeline at 147 Reade Street , near Tribeca

  141. adamWG

    November 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I recommend a great bike store called Adeline Adeline in Tribeca, they will help you out. They have a lot of great (and stylishly designed) city bikes from a variety of makers. They are a joy to shop at and will certainly find what you want.

    (also, not locking my arms, and doing situps/pushups helped me through at lot of upper body bike discomfort.)

  142. Michael Wise

    November 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Might want to try some upright, sweptbacked handlebars, sometimes referred to as “priest bars”, and found on beach-cruiser-style bikes. Besides bringing the handlebars closer to you, they have a more natural and relaxed “palms-in” hand position. Switching to those would probably be the easiest and cheapest way to alleviate shoulder pain, since you could probably make do with your existing stem.

  143. Lucy

    November 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    You may not have to get a new bike just have it refitted; any niceish bike shop can do this for you and just set you up with a stem (that holds your handlebars in place) with a greater slope to put you more upright and perhaps a different handlebar set up too.

    You likely don’t want to buy any kind of cruiser thing because they tend to be very heavy and have fewer gears which (unless you are all fixied up) can prove a challenge when riding somewhere with hills etc.

    Good luck- a good professional bike fitting can do wonders!

  144. JoH

    November 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I’d recommend a Gazelle Toer Populair.

    The handle bar is high and close to you, keeping you in an upright position almost naturally. The frame is available in three sizes (57/61/66 cm from pedal center to top of saddle tube), so there should be one that’s right for you.

    Some people think the women’s model with its arched frame is even more elegant.

    (I’m not first to suggest that bike, must have been typing too long.)

  145. Diana

    November 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I spoke with my friend who is a professional biker and this is what he said: although most bikes don’t allow a person to sit
    completely upright, these are good for getting around town and have some style too.

    Scott, I also have a question for you. I like the way your pictures are displayed in your blog, can you suggest a template that you use to get as little white space and more space dedicated to a picture? Also, what is suggested pixel size to use in blogs? Thank you.

  146. D. Bun

    November 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Bowery Lane Bicycles in NYC makes the best hand crafted bikes in America. For a while I spent time looking for an alternative to the $3000 Dutch bikes. After rummaging through blogs and blogs and ads, I found this to be the most suitable for cruising in the city. It comes with a wooden crate to pack all your gear in and I’d recommend putting on a Brooks saddle for added comfort, especially for you since you spend a lot of time on your bike.

  147. Delano

    November 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    As stated here before, the Dutch ‘opoe’ bike. Or one of those baker/butcher delivery bikes they have here in Holland. With a rack. You’ve been in Amsterdam right. Must have seen them.

  148. Kelly

    November 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    My mother has an Electra Townie. It is so comfortable to ride that I am always borrowing it. The pedals are forward of the seat a bit so you are pushing forwards instead of down.
    Try one out.

  149. Josef M. Lloyd

    November 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Definitely an Omafiets of some description ( I’ve been living in the Netherlands for the past 7 months and, if nothing else, they sure know how to cycle around all day looking sharp, fit and healthy.

  150. Jasmi

    November 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Tyler Brûlé also likes Jopo plus your only option is to it up-right.

  151. Dyveke

    November 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Buy a “granny” (or grandad) bike! The steer is much higher. Bikes very comfortably!

  152. Emmanuel

    November 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    You might consider to ad bar ends at your current bike handlebar (we say “bike horns” in French). This is maybe not the perfect solution but it will more than probably relieve your back and your shoulders…

  153. Annemarie Lawless

    November 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    M husband has an abici grand turismo. So comfortable-he rides all around the city!
    We purchased it Adeline, Adeline. Not cheap but definitely worth it! In fact head down to Adeline -they will set you up on one-they’re AMAZING!!!

    AND ALSO they’re definitely the MOST stylish!


  154. Marcel Da Chump

    November 14, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I’ve made my living on a bike, and I know what you’re going through. If the bike you’re spending 4 to 5 hours on is either too small or too big for you, your body will let you know. You need to be properly fitted for the right frame size and riding position. Riding around with a heavy camera around your neck is also not the best thing, physiologically. See if switching to a lighter camera will alleviate things. When I caught Bill Cunningham in action– he had his bike–I noticed he used smallish cameras.

  155. Tanguy

    November 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    You should totaly go for a Van Moof bike it’s a pretty new brand from the Netherlands. They’re quiet great and really comfortable because you sit upright and they have a great fresh look that you don’t see everywhere. Actually I think they just have a great style. Personally, I have one and I’m really satisfied with mine. So here’s their website if you want to check them out :

    Tanguy H. (France)

  156. david

    November 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    try bending your elbows. locking them up will have your shoulders taking all the impact. also get some gloves to reduce the stress on the hands.

  157. Sofia

    November 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I think you NEED to look at Brooks England and their Bikes of Distinction. It is one of the most traditional bike manufacturers in England and they make great, classic, very elegant bikes where you can sit upright.

    I don’t know you Scott, but I know The Sartorialist well. I am pretty sure you will love their hand-made leather saddles.

  158. melissa

    November 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    OMA FIETS for sure! Listen to the Dutchies, they know of what they speak :)

  159. Yvonne

    November 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    LINUS. All the way! Price is right and you’ll look so darn cool! Get one in cream black. HOT!!

  160. Reinhold

    November 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I do sell a basic version of an oma style fiets near Duesseldorf in Germany on eBay:äder&hash=item2a158c49a5#ht_667wt_922
    This should be definitely enough for short distances in the City. New Price is about 500€. Have a look!

  161. Austin Ramsland

    November 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Maybe instead of buying something off the shelf, you should get something custom made?

    We’d be happy to build a bike for you.

    We are working on a new model that might be just the thing.

  162. Kienio

    November 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Trynsome classic Dutch bikes, like Betavus Old Dutch.

  163. Emma

    November 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm
    saw this upright bike recently. have no idea if it is any good.

  164. Brenna

    November 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Try some yoga poses. Starting up your daily practice will help alliviate your back, neck, and shoulder pain.

    Best of luck!

    love you blog!

  165. melissa

    November 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm
    great city commuting bikes that you can ride out the door

  166. Hannah

    November 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I am not sure if changing a bike and switching to an upright position is a real solution to your problem. It’s either your shoulders or your spine. If you spend 4-5 hours on a bike, sitting up straight, your spine will get more pressure from every shock, every bump that you meet. Maybe you need to strenghten your core muscles and do some thorough stretching (i.e. at least 20 minutes) after every ride. It wouldn’t hurt seeing an ostheopatic physician either. Good luck.

  167. Dario

    November 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Electra Townie.

  168. Brandon B

    November 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Check out Republic Bikes, they not only have a really relaxed frame but they are also entirely too trendy for their own good.

  169. Femque

    November 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    You should buy a Dutch ‘Oma Fiets’ (Granny Bicycle)

    Please come and shoot in Amsterdam ;)

  170. michael

    November 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    try walking instead. also, doesn’t it get boring going to the same neighborhoods for your photos? since i live and work in nolita (new york downtown), how many times i’ve seen you riding your bike around, looking for people? it’s so obvious the places you are riding have a high concentration of people who dress trendy- such easy photos, easy job, so obvious and stale. doesn’t it get boring????

  171. Margit

    November 14, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    A German journalist, Mike Winnemuth, is doing a trip around the world – every month another city for one year. It is a wonderful blog, although in German:
    She has been to copenhagen in summer and instead of a savile row suit she decided to have her own bike made there. Maybe this is an idea for you, too…

  172. Alexa

    November 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    You could always try the elliptical bike?

  173. Matthew

    November 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Rivendell bikes are made especially for this. I injured my shoulders/upper back from riding with drop bars for many years with a lot of weigh on my back. My Rivendell with mustache bars gets me nearly straight up.

  174. shea

    November 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    these bikes are great!! you sit completely upright… and they come in great styles and colors

  175. Thomas

    November 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I’d suggest a Dursley-Pedersen, Christiania bike

  176. Aaron Stewart

    November 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Call bicycle habitat here in Manhattan (212) 431-3315 and tell them you want to get in touch with me, Aaron, to arrange having you come in and we can look at your bike and you and suggest options for you. I’m only in the shop on Sundays, but leave a message so I can get in touch with you as I can come in whenever to help you out.

    Pain on a bicycle is usually not the bicycle or any specific sitting position but how the bicycle’s fit is set up; could be frame size, handlebar width, saddle fore and aft etc. So it could be an easy fix if you’re in love with the bike you have.

    There is nothing more gorgeous to me than a beautiful bicycle, too; a combination of form, function & an extension of the human body. I can show you what can be done to restore vintage bikes, or show you what’s on the market, or simple customizations to make a bicycle look great.

  177. Keesje

    November 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    You should take a classic dutch bike, not the ones mentioned for women but for men, better looking and very durable (I ride one which is pre WW I).

    Or take a classic Chinese bike, there is still a company that produces them on large scale in Shanghai, they are cheap (around 50 dollars) and last a lifetime.

  178. Mea Duke

    November 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    GET A LINUS! The steel frame is great for urban riding. They have internal gear hubs so you can change gears without pedaling (great for stop-and-go). It’s strong yet flexible, gives you a great posture, and maintains a classic old “tick tick bike” look. Their panniers are very handsome… Less is more, yeah?

  179. M

    November 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Omafiets is the answer, translation would be Grandma bike.
    Check this website. That’s what we ride on in Amsterdam.
    The capital of bikeriding ;)

  180. Sarah

    November 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Try something from Electra – like the townie or their line of Dutch bikes

  181. TJS

    November 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    You need the upright-est bike ever made, the Pedersen. From Denmark but available in this country. Plus they’re beautiful. And pricey.

  182. dina

    November 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm
    super cute too! loads of people in san francisco ride them!

  183. JB

    November 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Pashley has a good range of sit-up-and-beg bicycles. Excellent quality too & stylish, especially with Brooks leather accessories.

  184. Steve Niedorf

    November 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I also vote for getting a professional fit session on whatever bike you pick, it will make all the difference. This by the way is more involved then just having the seat the bars adjusted. Go to a shop that has an in depth process, it may take and hour or more and often is charged for. They will review everything about the process, make sure you bring your gear
    and bag as well, everything makes a difference.


  185. igor

    November 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    just need some albatross bars

  186. Amy

    November 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I have gone through this issue. Tried a Dutch style bike for a few years – has many pluses, but efficiency of movement, especially anywhere with hills, is not one of them. Try pilates. Your arms and shoulders are sore because they are bearing the weight of your upper body on your bike. Strengthen your core, the pain will disappear.

  187. Patrick

    November 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I second the recommendation to get a fitting. 4-5 hours on a bike should not result in shoulder pain. Also, I’m guessing you’re going to be switching bikes from city to city so you can’t be fitted to just one bike? During the fitting you should get educated on an ideal position so that when you do travel you can setup your bike in a way you know it’s going to work for you. A good fitter should be able to explain geometry, what bikes sizes to pick, how to adjust the adjustable components, weight distribution, etc… I think this will help determine what works for your body. Good luck.

    p.s. keep up the great work!

  188. Bernadette

    November 14, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    How GREAT are your followers, Scott. So much information for you on the bicycle question. Hope you find a solution that’s available for you in each city you visit so you can keep producing your wonderful images painfree. B.

  189. js

    November 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    YOGA!!!!, honestly. Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York, 22nd bet. 6th and 7th.

  190. Maggie

    November 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Late to the party here, but when I had back problems, my bike mechanic was able to add a bar between the body and the handle bars that raised it up about 6 inches. It looks a little funky, but I can sit perfectly upright now. (and it can be removed later if/when I heal)

  191. Marie

    November 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Belgian made to order bikes
    It ‘s the best, it ‘s made on Your body And very beautiful

  192. mina

    November 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm these are the best! used one every day back at school, schlepping heavy books ect.

  193. Florian

    November 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Some people seem to forget that a recumbent bike doesn’t offer the agility required to cruise around town taking pictures of well dressed ladies and gentlemen. As a dutchman, I too advise you to get a dutch ‘grandma’ bike; you will not only sit upright but will also gain some stability, enhancing the accessibility of your equipment. Batavus and Gazelle are go-to brands in my opinion.

  194. Nanna Rosen

    November 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

  195. Mark Williams

    November 14, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Giant Cypress. Cheap, good looking and a good performer. Go for the lightweight one (DX I think). Not a heavy bike, and you can find a size that fits you.

  196. Aimee Moran

    November 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I love my Breezer bike. It is a sweet commuter, designed by Scott Breeze, one of the original mountain bikers. It is a nice, nice ride.

  197. johan

    November 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Hello from Finland, these things are just mere quality!

  198. rico

    November 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I’m a professional cyclist and would recommend doing some push up’s and sit up’s it’s super simple and you’ll be able to ride whatever you’d like.

  199. Léon Klaver

    November 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Dear Scott, these days there are a lot of ‘fashionable” old fashion bikes made in The Netherlands, but there is only one proper good bike (all the Dutch royals and Ralph Lauren have one) and that’s the Gazelle Tour Populair. This is the bike on which you are gently ‘forced’ to sit upright, which is the best way!

  200. Marco Guarna

    November 14, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I really don’t have a clue…but, please, don’t stop shooting!

  201. Stampy

    November 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Before you invest in a new bike look into getting a new neck with a steep angle. It’ll bring your bars close to your body so you won’t need to be as bend over. Also, you might want go to a bikeshop for a proper bike fit (at least one other person suggested this already). You’d be amazed by how much adjusting a few things like your seat position and height can effect your comfort on the bike.
    Oh, and when you’re at the gym add in a few sets of dips. They’re the best upper body exercise for cycling.

  202. Francesco

    November 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    The best is a dutch bike. The form of these bikes not only release pressure on shoulders and wrists, but also makes easy to tackle holes and irregularities on the streets (I am thinking milan tram rails here).
    Good luck.

  203. Loa

    November 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Make sure after being fitted with a new comfortable bike, that you see a chiropractor. Doing anything for 4-5 hours in the same position, every day is going to need a treatment or two :)

  204. Jorge N

    November 14, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    There are lots of brands and styles you can try. I really love italian classic urban bikes, which are usually smaller ,lighter (and more stylish, in my opinion) than dutch or british ones. My favourite brands are:
    Montante ( and Abici (

    In this link you have a nice list of classic shaped but modern made bikes. All these bikes seemed to be really simple and comfortable

    Another good option is to buy and to restore a classic second hand bicycle which are normally much cheaper and with much more character than new ones.

  205. Isabel

    November 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    An ‘omafiets’ is THE way to go! Without a doubt!

  206. Pass the Dutchie on yr lefthand side...

    November 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Old school Dutchie is yr ticket to ride.

    If you want proper Dutchie classic: go for a Gazelle.

    If you want a new school Dutchie: go for VAN MOOF. (Not Van Halen….)

  207. Zak

    November 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm

  208. Pam

    November 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I have an electra townie that I got a great deal on, and love dearly. Public bikes have the look that started me fantasizing about a new, more upright bike. You’ve got lots of great suggestions here — let us know what you choose.

  209. David

    November 14, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Spending 4-5 hours on a bike is a considerable amount of time, so the fit of the bike becomes more and more important. You should try to find a bike shop that you can establish a dialogue with. The shop should be able to fit you beyond you merely riding around on the bike in the parking lot. They should at the very least be able to put you and the prospective bike on a trainer (a device that allows a regular bike to be ridden stationary) and take some leg extension, arm angle, and other measurements. They should be able to take into account what type/speed/distance of riding you are doing and adjust the fit accordingly. It is important on your part to bring up any specific concerns/pains. The world of bicycles is pretty big, and well, the deeper you dig, the deeper you get, so finding a good bike shop to guide you around is essential.

    Also, another addition to finding a bike that fits would be to see a physical therapist or such (or sometimes even the bike fitter is qualified) for some bike-specific strengthening exercises to mix into your exercise routine, because riding a bike utilizes your muscles in a very different manner from other everyday activities. Exercises won’t fix a bad bike, but they do help a lot.

  210. Julia

    November 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Everyone’s going on about Dutch bikes- Swedish bikes need some recognition! Most of them have higher-set handles regardless to whether it’s a female/male model and a lot of them are really vintage-stylish without being a ‘Grandma-bike’. Kronan is an old military-type bike brand, and Pilen is also a classic label. Crescent have a great variety of models and Skeppshult is known for their good quality. Good luck!

  211. edo

    November 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    (8 years every day )

  212. Ugaitz

    November 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I couldn’t read all the previous comments, but before buying a new bike, tink about getting some advice on bike fitting.

    If you are bearing shoulder problems it’s probably due to the size of your bike. A shorter stem should help you prevent that.

    I don’t have any handy website about bike posture, but if you know a good bike shop, i’m sure they will be happy to help you.

    And if you decide to get a new bike, check Retrovelo

  213. Matt Henry

    November 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    My suggestion would be to suffer for fashion. At least a little bit.

  214. berlinbiker

    November 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    look at achielle or gazelle, belgian and dutch classic bikes, but achielle is still made in belgium. they look great, but even more important they are excellent for posture.

  215. Sara

    November 14, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    this article gives you an standing in place exercise that may make you stronger and more attuned to healthy body moves.. Now I use it when I use the elliptical trainer- it has made a huge difference in one week:

    the exercise was invented in the 1870s

  216. Ingrid

    November 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Hy, i recomend you swimming pool and strechments. It’s the best for your health. The problem is not the bike, it’s long time riding with the same position.

    Tashi delek

  217. Cecilia

    November 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I’m sure a physical therapist could give you great advice and training into how to stabilize your shoulders! I’d help you, but I live in Sweden, so it’s a bit far :)

  218. chris mahoney

    November 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    You spend a ton of time on a bike, kinda like a professional cyclist. I’d go and get a professional bike fit from a reputable bike fitter ( found at most high end bike shops ). Nevermind you are not racing your bike, for EVERY cyclist, the handle bars, the saddle and the pedals are the 3 contact points for every cyclist and for every single person where those three things are in relationship to one another is critical to being comfortable and healthy on a bike.

    So a professional bike fit, will ideally tell you exactly where those 3 contact points need to be in relationship to one another for you specifically, and then those measurements can be added to a new bike, or used to make your existing bike fit properly. So find a shop and a fitter that you like that LISTENS to what you want/doing with the bike.

    This should cost you no more than ~$150 + whatever parts you need ( stem, seatpost, saddle) to “fix” your old bike.

    you probably have a few tailored suits, why not get your bike tailored as well.

  219. Anna

    November 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm

  220. Lily

    November 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I great commuter bike would be awesome. I have the Townie from Fuji and it has a bigger seat which is super comfortable and I sit totally upright. You could also get a sweet cruiser. Although, that might hurt your street cred.

  221. laura

    November 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I say go BMX, I’ve tried all kinds of bikes and these you really sit straight and your arms and shoulders don’t have to be hunched over at all.

  222. Lousie Kure

    November 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I have a Velorbis bikecycle. The best ever and you sit/bike in a very upright position. Danish design, but they’re sold in the US too :) The have cool leather gear for the bike too!

  223. Ryan

    November 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Dear Sartorialist
    There’s nothing wrong with your bike. Plenty of people spend more than 4 hours a day on more aggressive bikes than that without problems. You’ve just got to do some pushups until you’re strong enough to hold yourself in that position. Drink some milk and grow strong like in those commercials when we were kids. Not teasing you, really – this is honest advice.

  224. Sanchita

    November 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Excuse me! It’s difficult to me to understand this photo, are you riding a 4 wheels bike?

  225. janneke

    November 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    try an old fashion dutch ‘grandma” bike. It is a bike with a higher handlebars so you sit up straight. They are very confertable. The design is very old, it is made for woman so that they can ride their bike with long skirts and to sit up straight for a decent posture. I think this bike can help to relax your shoulder. for more info check

  226. Angie Muresan

    November 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    A vespa?

  227. Ida

    November 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm


  228. Nancy

    November 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    In my opinion, my GT Jetstream is the best street bike I’ve every owned. It’s ergonomically correct so you’re not bent over your handlebars for miles and miles. I’ve ridden from Hollywood to Venice with nary a back or shoulder strain and back again. I don’t ever know if they still make them, but if you can find one on craigslist, get it!

  229. gabriella sheffield

    November 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    the only plausible answer is a unicycle ;)

  230. Suomyn Ona

    November 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    A chopper bike!

  231. Steven

    November 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Old dutch Bikes, like Gazelle, Burgers or Batavus. We dutch know how to build bikes.

  232. Cindy A.

    November 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Recumbent bikes make you sit very low and literally your handle bars would be in your line of sight and camera shot.

    Likely better is fitting your bike with higher handle bars. But you risk having the look of a ZZ Top low-rider.

  233. Ted

    November 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    It’s less the bike than the position. People have varying body types that an “off the rack” bike sometimes doesn’t treat well. If your shoulders hurt, it’s likely you’re too stretched out on the bike and reaching too far forward. Before you buy a new bike (but for we cyclists, any excuse to buy a new bike is as enticing as for your subjects to buy cool new clothes), take it to a bike shop and have them size you properly. My diagnosis is your stem is too long, making your handlebars too far forward. Could be a $30 fix.
    Cheers! My first comment to your awesome website!

  234. Name*marilyn

    November 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    for years i have enjoyed a 1952 upright bike; one speed, great seat, white wall tires, comfortable to ride for hours even on dirt roads. i cannot imagine ever returning to any other type of bicycle. city or country, its the berries!

  235. Danielle

    November 14, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I agree with Adrienne a& some others with a Linus bike.

    They are still good looking and have that, what I like to call, “professor” posture.

  236. Mabel and Zora

    November 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    The Electra bike is the best!!!

  237. Lily

    November 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    You got to check out the DUTCH bikes. They are the best!!!
    When I was living in Berlin I used a vintage “Gazelle”. I think they look really fabulous and are comfortable. Good luck!

  238. Fotautomat

    November 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Go get your bike ‘fitted’. There are professionals out there who will fit your bike to your body type and shape. Triathletes and professional bikers use them because they spend so much time on their bikes, which you seem to do too. Only downfall is that they’re quite expensive and you can’t fit every bike out there… but maybe having your main bike fitted will make a difference to your posture and shoulders.

    Here’s a useful link, explaining the theory behind bike fittings:

    Best of luck!

  239. js

    November 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Different seating arrangement might help but YOGA would help you way more.
    Being a photographer is also very hard on your shoulders… 22nd between 6th and 7th. – They can help you.

  240. C.G.

    November 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I used to have a mountain bike and hated leaning forward on the handlebars…I bought a Breezer bike about five years ago…designed by Joe Breeze out of California…it’s similar to a European bike but has North American components. Anyway, I sit much more upright…I love my Breezer…I very much recommend it. Check it out!

  241. Matt A

    November 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    make your own bike! an old road bike, sandpaper, paint, higher handle bars, and a brooks saddle is all you need to be a gentleman on the street

  242. jiji

    November 14, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Electra makes a great comfort bike… …check them out!

  243. Erin

    November 14, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    RANS bikes are designed and built in the US. The bikes from their crank forward line are unbelievably comfortable… easy on the back and the bum:

  244. Derek DJ

    November 14, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I would recommend getting a dutch style bike:

    Very similar to the “mama-san” bikes in Japan.
    The key is that this style of handle bar allows you to raise it to more upright position without sacrificing steering comfort.

    Each time I’m in Tokyo I’m always tempted to buy one of these bike at Loft (shipping is outrageous), fortunately dutch style bikes have become very popular in NYC. Several companies are now producing very simple, stylish versions.

  245. Tim

    November 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    At the risk of catching some grief over this suggestion. You may want to check out women’s bikes. I have found, especially for city cycling, they are much easier to mount and dismount. This is in large part to the much lower top bar on the frame. They are also constructed for a much more upright riding experience.

    Good Luck to you.

  246. Michael

    November 14, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I second (or third, or whatever it is now) Public bikes! Stylish, relatively affordable and easily available in the US. (Of course, if you’re headed to Holland anytime soon it’s worth checking out bikes there, though those tend to be much heavier (but also more durable). See also

  247. boris

    November 14, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    buy a classic dutch granny bike ( not the granpa), the best brand is gazelle it really helps and they have swagger

  248. CWR

    November 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Comfortable and stylish. I saw one at a local shop and fell in love. Beautifully built, beautifully detailed.
    The “Guv’nor” is my favourite, but you might want a chain guard to protect the trousers from getting wrecked so maybe the “Roadster”….


    November 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    The choice of bike, the adjustment of the bike, the carriers, and most importantly the relative fitness of your back and abdominals will help with the strain/pain. A massage once a week is essential. Pausing and stretching or doing an asana or two during the day helps too. Also, drink more water. This simple remedy, H2O, helps reduce pain.

  250. Yola

    November 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    This is a really great all around cycling resource. He has some advice about what may be causing your pain.

  251. Lisa

    November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Matthew’s suggestion is a good one. The bicycles at Rivendell ( are as classically styled and beautifully made as a suit from Anderson and Sheppard. And they are just as passionate about fitting — in this case, the proper fit of a bike to you. They offer different handlebars for a more upright posture, and even tweed bags to store things stylishly.

    And as so many others have suggested, yoga is good too. ;->

  252. pietro

    November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I photograph on my Dutch Workcycle all the time. It puts you in the saddle high and upright.

  253. Tracy

    November 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    My “city bike” kills my shoulders, too. I am happy as a clam on my Electra Cruiser. It’s absolutely a dream in the city and I think with you shooting from your bike, you could easily transition from cycling to shooting, thanks to the seat position being a little back from the pedals. It’s just heaven!

  254. clara

    November 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    try a dahon they look kind of funny cause they are folding bikes but they are awesome, i bought it for the same reason that you are complaining and i´ve never had such a comfortable bike before

  255. Victor

    November 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Rivendell Bicycles are gorgeous and high handle bars is precisely what they’re about. Go to and read Grant (the owner)’s thoughts. Even if you don’t buy from them, what he says will help you pick the right bike.

    Jimmy Carter has two and they’re GORGEOUS.

  256. Merrycyclist

    November 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Get a “Public” M8- they are like Dutch bikes but lighter, beautiful colors, and intended for daily commuting use. Seriously, a good choice to check out.

  257. BMinus

    November 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    I second the Breezer recommendation… over the past few years, it’s been one of the best purchases I’ve made. In the meanwhile, get a new extended neck for 30 bucks and the pressure will come right off your wrists. It only takes a small amount of elevation of the handlebars to make a huge difference.

  258. Tara

    November 14, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    It’ s hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like you might have a Brooks saddle with a non-setback seat post. A Brooks requires a lot more setback than other saddles, and having the saddle set farther forward than it should be will cause you to shift your weight forward, putting the weight on your arms. You really don’t need your bars that high if you’re young and fit. Getting a Velo-Orange saddle that gives quite a bit of setback may help, but it would require your seat tube to be 27.2, with the older bikes it’s never a sure thing.
    Ideally you want city bike to distribute your weight about 70/40 with the 70 being on your rear, but don’t be afraid to get a bike with the bars a little bit of drop. Road bikes are built the way they are for a reason, and there is a reason that they are the bike of choice for 150 miles a day for days on end. Don’t be afraid to put a little bit of weight on your core, your core can take a lot of weight. Old men ride out of Italian villages in herds on classic road bikes with a little bit of drop. Go to your local bike shop and buy commuter road bike, make sure you go to a shop that will throw the fit in for free.

  259. SF

    November 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Heard of R&A Cycles in Brooklyn? They are militant about measuring a person (like a tailor) for the right bike fit. So much so that they won’t sell you a bike even if you are wiling to drop $10,000 for it…if they don’t think it’s right for you.

  260. Stjulienlepauvre

    November 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Scott, Have you considered a scooter? The seats are closer to normal, so it’s easier to move around & there’d also be more room for stuff.

    Good luck.

  261. Ali Lozoff

    November 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    This place has your name written all over it:
    And they’re in Brooklyn.

  262. Bob

    November 14, 2011 at 9:26 pm

  263. Ali Lozoff

    November 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    This place has your name all over it! And they’re in Brooklyn.

  264. nina

    November 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    i have a weak right shoulder – it dislocates because the joint wore out from years of gymnastics. my main concern when buying my bike was to put more pressure on my elbow joint rather than my shoulder. i ended up with a globe (sub-company of specialized) vienna. i’ve had it for two years and it’s a great bike… very easy to outfit with accessories (racks, baskets, etc) and not loud – my model is all black and very sleek. not that expensive, either!

  265. Lindsi

    November 14, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Go to Hudson Urban Bicycles in the west village in NYC – George is the owner – he’ll find you a comfortable and beautiful bike. He has been driving the movement for well dressed bicyclists in NYC.

    Try an Abici – they are gorgeous.

  266. Mimi

    November 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    A velorbis scrap delux, they are very nice, very comfortable and chic.

  267. kathryn

    November 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    At bicycle habitat take a look at the Marin uprights.

  268. Rebecca

    November 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    1. Like everyone sensibly suggests, a European upright style bike will solve most of the problem. EG Gazelle is a very old and respected company that also makes fast, light contemporary versions – no need to buy into the “too heavy, too slow” nonsense about European bikes.

    2. Riding any bike with your shoulderblades pulled down and your stomach muscles activated will ensure you use the right muscles to propel your bike. Shoulder pain often happens when you divert effort away from core muscles towards joint muscles.

  269. Wendy

    November 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I use it almost daily in my commute to work (no shoulder pain for 1.5 years). It looks great…to the point it stops traffic and I have to answer questions about it to tourists and it weighs nothing at 9.6kg. You can bring it anywhere…take that Amsterdam bike thieves! Mine’s even travelled to Australia with me with no extra charge on KLM.

  270. Lisa D.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Check out Electra. The Townie or maybe the Amsterdam. They’re great bikes. =)

  271. TroublesomeYogini

    November 14, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Everyone seems to agree (and I do too): Dutch Bike or Public Bike. Either way – it’s a “sit up and beg” style. I had the same problem and bought a Specialized. Peterborough bike baskets complete the look!

    WORD OF CAUTION: The Brooks saddles that look so cool on your bike are VERY hard and take about 100 miles to break in. Bon chance!

  272. Margarita

    November 14, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Change your transportation!! you must to try to use skates is easy to take photos and is better for your back, sorry for your bicycle….take a relaxing massage before each travel ;)

  273. Adelaide

    November 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I hear wonderful things about the Linus bikes. On another note, as a longtime reader and 25-mile-a-day NYC bike commuter who was hit by a cab a week ago and spent a long night in Bellevue getting stitched up and catscanned as a result, I would really love it if you posted more shots of chic cyclists wearing helmets. I got a concussion with one and hate to think what would have happened without. I hope you and Garance are wearing yours!

  274. Trena

    November 14, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    The jorg & olif city bikes are amazing. I have the oma, and I love her like mad. I am completely upright and the chain guard and mud flaps are great for dressing up. Also has a rear wheel lock. I had one of their boxes attached to the back rack so with that and a basket, I can take everything I might need (including my dog) with me.
    I bought mine when they were starting out here in Vancouver BC, but looks like they are in London now. Hope they have the same owners, I liked them so much!

  275. migo

    November 14, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    hello! have you considered a Strida folding bike? it has a triangle frame/body so that the bars are higher than the seat, and you can adjust the seat if you feel you need something more level. you can fold it too for more mobility if you need to go to a metro. I don’t own one, but my friend uses it and love it. check out their website:

  276. Sara

    November 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I have I Linus Dutchie 3 and I love it. I love Dutch bikes in general, just be sure to have a lightweight one (aka not Electrica or something) otherwise it takes forever to commute. And gears. Do yourself a favour and don’t give up gears.

    Another suggestion would be a Public bike. I love the Mixte 8 and I would have bought that but I don’t live in the states.

  277. Ben

    November 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Come see us at – we’re right up your alley.

  278. michael rovner

    November 14, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Check out the Batavus Lento at Hudson Urban Bikes. It’s the best bike I’ve ever ridden and the envy of all my cyclist friends.

  279. erika l

    November 14, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Hmm. First, check the geometry of your bike. Does it really fit you? If it’s good, maybe you just need to change the handlebars.
    Don’t put stuff on the handlebars, carry your load in a lovely Dutch bike bag or pannier on the back of the bike. That will take stress off your shoulders.
    I recently had to change to a more upright bike because arthritis in my wrist couldn’t take the load any more. (Made to order by Urbane Cyclist in Toronto so probably not an option for you.) What I’ve found is a very upright stance changes your center of gravity so it’s a very different ride. Dealing with hills is a lot more work! ( I really miss the big black Schwinn.) And you probably don’t need to sit way upright like an old granny!
    Consider a good hybrid bike. I believe Public makes a fab stylish bike!
    And just say ‘No’ to cruisers. They’re for the beach. Not for grown men.

  280. Amy

    November 14, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I’m a fan of more upright bikes, like several that people have commented on here, especially if you don’t have a long commute where you need more speed. I think aside from being more comfy, it also improves visibility. You could see if you have a good bike fitter in your neighborhood bike shop, a few small adjustments to your current bike might do the trick! Roadies do it all the time, but if you spend a lot of time on your city bike, why not customize it to fit you perfectly?

  281. Fifi

    November 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Hey Scott,
    this bike was especially designed to sit more upright and carry alot of weight, for the times you have a lot of equipment with you or just want to go grocery shopping by bike.

  282. RpJ

    November 14, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    rubbing tiger balm on your shoulders post cycling…

  283. Tyler Ford

    November 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Biria Easy Boarder.

  284. Lulu

    November 15, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I love Electra Townie or Ticino are the best in both function, comfort and style for me.


  285. imperio jp

    November 15, 2011 at 12:11 am

  286. Kristin Sekora

    November 15, 2011 at 12:23 am

    I have a bike with racer’s handlebars. I learned how to ride “with no hands” when I was a teenager. Master this. You can even turn without using your hands. Your back will feel fine.

  287. Caleb Y.

    November 15, 2011 at 12:26 am

    Get the “Pure” bike by Trek. Seriously. It looks gorgeous, has an upright, cruising design, is easy on the knees, and not too expensive. Read the reviews. It’s awesome.

    If you want a more classy looking one, try the Lowstep version.

  288. Miriam

    November 15, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Linus bikes are fantastic and based on French and Italian style city bikes. But to be honest, if you want one of the best, go with a Pashley. I’ve been riding one for about a year (her name is Abigaile), maybe awing over them for a few more, and I’ve never felt anything close to the comfort or quality. They’re made only in England in their factory by their craftsmen. On top of this, drum brakes (which don’t slip in the rain or cold) and internal gears come standard. Really just beautiful bikes all around. Love love love them.

  289. JL

    November 15, 2011 at 12:30 am

    VESPA and a helmet .. or is that not ‘green’ enough

    maintaining a ‘hunched biking’ form is not healthy for extended hours daily ..

  290. Katie

    November 15, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I work seasonally in a bicycle shop, and I’d have to recommend Electra as a bicycle brand. They’re a little on the expensive side, but you’ll get a well made, quality bike.

    They specialize in cruisers and comfort bikes where you sit more upright and get a very comfortable ride. After following your blog for a few years now, I would recommend either a Ticino or an Amsterdam. Those two models look more like the older, classic bicycle, and come in a range of colors.

    Happy riding!

  291. lisa

    November 15, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Euro cruiser. It’s like a beach cruiser but with road bike type tires and frame.

  292. James

    November 15, 2011 at 1:03 am … The Morton, Every Day or Rapha Speedster …

  293. Gabriele

    November 15, 2011 at 1:09 am

    You can buy a Graziella bike really useful for your work.

  294. WG

    November 15, 2011 at 1:11 am

  295. Herta

    November 15, 2011 at 1:16 am

    your shoulders hurt just because you are not positioned right, the bikes were either too big for you or too small. but you can try a women’s city bike frame, you can’t get more straight than that.

  296. Russell N

    November 15, 2011 at 1:21 am

    While there have been many great suggestions, I highly suggest you look at Breezer Bicycles.
    They consistently win awards for best commuting bike on the market-and how can you go wrong when they have model names like “uptown 8″, or ‘downtown 8″. The frame geometry is spectacular and many models already come complete with chain guards, and great lighting. Good luck.

  297. Scarlett

    November 15, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Electra bikes has a bicycle called the “Townie” that uses “flat foot” technology. and you sit completely up right and it is great.

  298. Paul

    November 15, 2011 at 1:38 am

  299. Mikko Antero

    November 15, 2011 at 1:46 am

    A Pelago Bristol, from Finland with love

  300. Alan

    November 15, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Switch out the handlebars. Your local bike shop may have somehing. If not check out velo-orange online or google “north road,” “porteur,” or “cruiser” handlebars.

  301. Tricia

    November 15, 2011 at 1:55 am

    Adult tricycle for many reasons: you sit upright, all your gear rides in the back basket covered and when you need to snap a shot you’re already balanced – you don’t even put your foot down. Test one from a rental shop, they are fantastic.

  302. Iain

    November 15, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Get a shorter handlebar stem and also raise the handlebars… Cost about $20… Value priceless or should that be painless (plus about 20 pushups and situs a day will help build stronger core and shoulders or a yoga class with plank)

  303. Sam

    November 15, 2011 at 2:01 am

    It’s true different types of bikes are suited for different styles of riding and thus put your body in different positions but even an aggressive race bike shouldn’t put the type of stress on your shoulders that I think you’re talking about. A bike that fits you well should be designed to relieve any kind of stress that might be put on your body, even my track bike (super aggressive geometry meant for racing) is comfortable a long time. (tough on my neck in the drops though:P). I’d really encourage a trip to the local bike store because proper bike fit can be a very complex and well worth it.

  304. Natalie

    November 15, 2011 at 2:07 am

    I work at a bike shop in Portland, OR – It sounds like you need a cruiser. :) A large seat to disperse the pressure of your body on your hips, and geometry that positions you farther back/sitting more straight. Maybe an Emory bike. Don’t get a schwinn – or at least don’t get one made in the last 15 years. They’ve given up quality for quantity. There’s some great cycle-makers who will actually do custom fitting and design, too, if you want to shell out big bucks.
    Good luck finding a nice ride! :) Tell us when you get one!

  305. Melissa

    November 15, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I would say go the beach cruising way. You have an easier time keeping your back straight plus a smoother ride where you can pedal without keeping your hands on the handlebars, even! I love my beach cruiser, many an adventure was had while riding said cruiser.

  306. Marie

    November 15, 2011 at 2:08 am

    The sparta pick-up bikes are very good for your posture!

  307. Eva H

    November 15, 2011 at 2:17 am

    In Denmark we have become quite fond of Christiania bikes:

    You can bring whatever you want arround everywhere.
    Good luck with your back from Denmark.

  308. Lin

    November 15, 2011 at 2:23 am

    You really must come to Portland…more fashionable cyclists than you’ll know what to do with! Maybe wait until Spring/Summer though…

  309. Brisbane

    November 15, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Dutch Bikes are just what you want!

  310. QA Create

    November 15, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Just get in touch with fellow photographer, the always charming Bill Cunningham! He will certainly have some tips! It would be amazing to see you two together shooting the fashionable people of NY on your bikes!

  311. Ivana

    November 15, 2011 at 2:30 am

    you should really check out the Dutch brands Gazelle, Sparta or Batavus bikes. This one is really stylish:
    or even this one if the ‘normal’ transporter bike is a bit dull:

    good luck!

  312. Virginia

    November 15, 2011 at 2:32 am

    I agree with the previous post about Dutch City bikes. You can’t sit straighter then that on a bike. And they are very stylisch as well!
    Good luck, Virginia from Amsterdam

  313. Dorothee

    November 15, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Scooter ! Vespa…just dont give up cycling..just change a bit of the routine do 3 days scoot/4 bike…..
    x D

  314. Janique

    November 15, 2011 at 2:48 am

    In the Netherlands we use bikes called ‘grandma and grandpa’ bikes. The steering wheel has a higher position what keeps you up straight.

    I have found an example:

  315. Daniela

    November 15, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Get a dutch bike! They are made so you sit up strait on them!

  316. Tanja

    November 15, 2011 at 2:55 am

  317. Andrea

    November 15, 2011 at 3:00 am

  318. Laure

    November 15, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Dutch bike. The best. You’ll sit upright, elegantly, and won’t mess with your body. Plus they’re ultra solid.

  319. Laura

    November 15, 2011 at 3:17 am


  320. Alessio Ottaviano

    November 15, 2011 at 3:34 am

    You must get an ABICI bike.

    This is perfect for you.

  321. Alexandra

    November 15, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Hi Scott, I would recommend you one of these Dutch bikes. They are very retro and cool on one hand and you sit so upright on them, that you won’t have eny problems anymore. Coming from Germany I only have links from Europe for these bikes, but I am sure you can shop them as well in the US.
    Good luck! Cheers, Alexandra

  322. Emmy

    November 15, 2011 at 3:45 am!140!w!3394!!NL!!!!!!

    there you see a bike you would probably like!
    In holland a great hit!

  323. Name*

    November 15, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Had the same problem till a couple of months ago: I happened to be at a flea market in Berlin and found used bars for a couple of euros, now I ride more upright and have no more back pain any more! Switching to this kind of Dutch bars is pretty cheap, you don´t need to buy a new bike. Chao.

  324. clem

    November 15, 2011 at 4:02 am

    I have one like a “granpa” style. If I carry a heavy bag I always put it safely in the basket, so my shoulders are completely free and the body position straight.

  325. Carolien

    November 15, 2011 at 4:27 am

    I did not read all other comments. But this might be an option as well:

  326. Melissa M

    November 15, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Dear Scott,

    Bas is a friend of mine and lives in Haarlem near Amsterdam.
    I’ve been introduced to his art a few years ago and totally fell in love with his bikes.
    He works on special requests and I’m sure he can find a solution for you!

    Take care


  327. Alys

    November 15, 2011 at 4:34 am

    The oldest bike manufacturer in England and a fine bike for upright rides. Very comfy, takes lots of weight, a beautiful machine. Worth importing.

  328. Christa

    November 15, 2011 at 4:37 am

    A solid Dutch bike! You have good ones at Rolling Orange in Brooklyn, good luck!

  329. Aline

    November 15, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Dutch bike!

  330. julie

    November 15, 2011 at 4:51 am

    I have back problems so I wouldn’t bike on anything else than a dutch bike(Gazelle or Batavus). But Netherlands is flat so pay attention to the topography because is less handy in hilly surroundings.
    But I guess they also make bikes with electric assistance. ;)

  331. sofiaatsali

    November 15, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Do some yoga in your living room. Search for yogamazing free podcasts. :) S.

  332. barbara dirks

    November 15, 2011 at 4:58 am

    I see a lot of people have recommended you a dutch bike already and i can only agree!
    this is quite a new brand that make really cool bikes! they integrated a lot of details in the middle bar, such as lights an brackets, so it wont break easily!

  333. Miguel

    November 15, 2011 at 5:02 am

    VELORBIS Churchill Classic

  334. Leslee

    November 15, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Im an old bobbly lady who loves to ride.
    I use bunion pads. I know, weird but if you loop the big toe space around your thumb, the pad fits in your palm and under your gloves.
    And it is enough to take the pressure off the nerve that runs up behind your shoulders.
    Good luck. Enjoy your photos.

  335. Mike

    November 15, 2011 at 5:08 am

  336. Maria

    November 15, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Hi Scott – I live in Cambridge, UK and I own a Sparta. It is a dutch bike and absolutely bombproof. Incredibly comfortable cycling position but it is heavy. I think of it as being built to last. Alternatively, the Pashley brand of bikes are really lovely and have a very English look. Good look on the bike search :)

  337. Sabine

    November 15, 2011 at 5:17 am

    German quality bikes, 125 years of tradition. WANDERER bikes have a special ergonomic concept and a timeless design.
    The riding comfort is unique. Every bike is assembled by one mechanic from the beginning to the end in a small manufactory in Cologne, Germany. If you’re interested just let me know.

  338. Nicky

    November 15, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Just try a dutch bike – “Gazelle” is a great brand. They are great to ride and so stylish!!!!
    Enjoy it :-)

  339. Amalie Soufi

    November 15, 2011 at 5:24 am

    I see Im not the only one suggesting it – which must mean something.
    I say Batavus! Its Dutch, incredibly sturdy and the only thing I can ride being almost nine months pregnant and huuuge. Not a shoulder thing but still. It makes it easy keeping good posture. I suggest sprusing it with a teapot shaped bell and a gorge leather saddle! Thats how we roll in Copenhagen and we sure know our bikes in Copenhagen ;-)

  340. Susannah

    November 15, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Sart, what you need without a doubt is a classic Pashley Roadster Sovereign, made in England. It’s stylish, and has a “regal riding position”. The Guv’nor is also lovely, but with lower handlebars. Both are often seen with stylish gents on the Tweed Run here in London.

  341. Eli

    November 15, 2011 at 5:46 am

    I love my Batavus bike! To choose between Gazelle or Batavus (both Dutch brands) you should ideally try them out before ordering one, because it depends on the proportions of your body which model fits you best. Also they have different sizes, but you could look up which size fits your length. Also they have different bikes for men and women, but some men prefer a woman’s bike (like my father). Have a professional bike-seller advise you! And try them out! For me my favorite brand is definitely Batavus. But how you could take your bike with you on your trips I’m not sure …

  342. barry stevenson

    November 15, 2011 at 5:52 am

    After back problems and disposing of trail bike, purchased a Batuvus
    Blockbuster. comfortable and as sturdy as most mountain bikes.

  343. thefashionguitar

    November 15, 2011 at 5:58 am

    This is the best bike

    And I am from Holland, so I know what I am taling about in terms of biking ;)

    XO Charlotte

  344. Belles

    November 15, 2011 at 6:10 am

    THE one is Velobris. Very cool and very well made.

  345. jade stenhuijs

    November 15, 2011 at 6:13 am

    you need an old-fashioned dutch bike! they’re great, no stress in the shoulders at all :)

  346. Vira

    November 15, 2011 at 6:23 am

    try something like Electra Townie. They are specially designed to keep your shoulders relaxed

  347. maria rute

    November 15, 2011 at 6:25 am

    go for it and have fun!

    maria **

  348. G. Klerk

    November 15, 2011 at 6:27 am

    I live in Amsterdam, everybody goes around on a bike here. I recommend the classic dutch gentleman’s bike, like the Gazelle. They are designed to sit upright, they are good looking in a classic way, and very practical for everyday use. They have coat-protectors, so you can drive these while wearing long overcoats. They can take rough roads (like our canals) and they don’t break easily. You can put a bag with rubber straps (or even a person) on the back. Here’s an image of one:

  349. Nadine

    November 15, 2011 at 6:31 am

    a gazelle! they are classy!

  350. G. Klerk

    November 15, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Btw. My grandfather was a bicycle repairman here in Amsterdam. He swore by Gazelle. I can see why. The vintage is a might be a little bit better, but in fact not that much has changed in their classic model since i’ve started riding bikes. I learned it 35 years ago, I was 4 years old, but I probably rode on my father’s classic Gazelle for the first time when I was somewhere around 8 or 9 years old. It seemed so HUGE. :) His bike had the classic leather Brooks saddle, which is great (it forms to you shape) but I don’t because nowadays in Amsterdam they will get stolen. How sad is that?

  351. G. Klerk

    November 15, 2011 at 6:49 am

    One more post. They model is Toer Populair RT.
    Here is their site:
    Notice the bike stand. This bike will not fall over when you park it on an uneven, soft, or tilted surface.


    November 15, 2011 at 7:09 am

    all togheter by bike for save the world!
    visit my life style blog!

    –> iphone case steve jobs:

  353. Marijn

    November 15, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Dutch city bikes are indeed THE best.
    Get a customized Azor bike.

    You want the Heavy Duty model in mat black, with a brooks saddle, a front transportation rack, and paddle back breakes (or however you call those). Costs around EUR 700-750.

  354. barbara noack

    November 15, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Take a Feldenkrais Class with a really good teacher. this will show Yo,. what do do with Your shoulders in any situation. have some patience, it is worth while.

  355. shirleen

    November 15, 2011 at 7:27 am

    The oma fiets works best. It keeps my posture unusually straight unlike the mountain bikes.

  356. F.-

    November 15, 2011 at 7:31 am

    A tandem bike. With a chauffeur.

  357. My Styleadvisor

    November 15, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Get a Dutch Omafiets to cruise around, with high handlebars, like Gazelle or Batavus, or the hip Electra….

  358. My Styleadvisor

    November 15, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I forgot this one:

    You could sit Garance in front! ;)

  359. Stefan

    November 15, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Since you’re a fan of local, good old and decent craftmanship and style, I suggest Achielle – Nostalgic bicycles by a small family business. They are quality made in Belgium by a father and his two sons. The name is derived from the grandfather. They will suit you perfectly, not just as a ride , but also as a philosophy. You can try one at the Waterfront Bicycle Shop, 391 West St.

  360. antique engagement rings

    November 15, 2011 at 7:45 am

    An upright bike seems to make the most sense!

  361. Pixy Damian

    November 15, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Dutch bikes!! That’s what we use here in Paris. D.

  362. Rebecca

    November 15, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I’m from Holland myself, and we only use bikes to get around here. There’s a certain kind of bike known as ‘oma-fietsen’, ‘granny-bikes’ on which you sit very upright. (they are called that because the design is very old). Maybe that is an option, although I’m not sure if they sell those in America!

  363. Karen

    November 15, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I can see where riding the streets of FLorence might be painful after some time, but your issues most likely have to do with fit and posture. Get fitted by a professional, you may not even need a new bike.

  364. Cesare

    November 15, 2011 at 7:58 am

    The best bike in the world, completely hand made.

  365. Key

    November 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I love my Linus bike too… it’s a European design but made in America. I have the Dutchi model – extremely comfortable ride.

  366. Abs

    November 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Check out a “Hybrid Cruiser”: the handles bars aren’t quite as far back as on a traditional Beach Cruiser, but they’re also not as far forward as on a Mountain or Road Bike; and the tires are also wider than those on a Bach Cruiser and Road Bike, but they’re not quite as fat as on a Mountain bike. All in all, it’s a really nice “hybrid” bike and with an extra wide saddle, it’s fun to ride and really comfortable!

  367. Beth

    November 15, 2011 at 8:16 am

    my white amterdam electra is my vote for a bikers’ view of the world. it’s gorgeous, upright, quiet and rides like butter. i use the baskets, saddlebags and skirt guard. i’ve ridden it for two solid years and it’s as solid as the day i got it. it’s the best thing i own. i love my bike; my husband likes to remind me that i “love” him, but i love my bike.

  368. Pearl

    November 15, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Rollerblade! :)

  369. debbie

    November 15, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Yoga. Get you some yoga man pants and go to class w/Garance. Then she won’t get all the whistles….you will get some too. I bought a vintage Raleigh touring bike over 30 years ago. You sit upright, 3 speeds, it is perfect for flat city riding in NYC.

  370. Anja

    November 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

    You should buy a real dutch bike!

  371. Steven

    November 15, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Bowery Lane Bikes!

  372. Jasmine

    November 15, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Hello. I had the same problem with my old bike which was a mountain bike. This past summer I got a Pashley Princess Sovereign and love it. I now sit upright when I ride so no more neck/shoulder issues plus this bike has a certain post second world war stylishness. Tweed ride anyone?

  373. Katie

    November 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I have a rivendell atlantis touring bike that I love. when I originally bought it I selected drop bars, over time I wanted to be more upright because of back pain, but I also wanted to be able to wear blazers and fitted shirts while bicycling without stretching seems.

    So I simply purchased new bars (dove bars I think, but moustache or many others would do the same trick) and a longer stem. I had to chnage my brake levers and cables, but now I have a very comfortable bicycle that I can ride anywhere in almost anything.

  374. Fanya

    November 15, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Unicycles obviously. =P

    And they are much easier to store.

  375. Jeremy S

    November 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Don’t know if you’ll read this far down.. but as an avid cyclist (to put it mildly) here’s what I think is more important than the brand of bike.

    Make sure your bike is adjusted to fit you. Here are a few tips:

    Lance Armstrong was getting sore shoulders too. His bars were too narrow, that could be your problem.

    Make sure you’re riding with good posture, keep your back straight. If it’s not comfortable straightening your back, get a bike with a shorter reach. Dutch bikes have a short one.

    Make sure the seat is the right height. Peddle with your heels—if your legs are straight you’re good. If your knees are bent, it’s too low; if your waist is rocking side to side, it’s too high.

    Nothing beats going to a good local shop, but I hope that helps. Let us know how you go! Good luck.

  376. Nicole K.

    November 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Hiya, (cheap/free shipping/build it yourself!)
    brooks saddle
    swap out for nice cruiser handlebars and you’re golden. You want an even balance between your seat and arm weight.

    good luck!

  377. Adriana

    November 15, 2011 at 9:13 am

    I agree with Adrienne: Linus is the way to go! I own the roadster sport; it’s a simple, sleek design, and
    an extremely comfortable ride.

  378. sktpsyxi

    November 15, 2011 at 9:18 am

  379. Greg

    November 15, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I would recommend looking into the Bamboo Bike Studio. They work with you to fit the bike to meet your needs and upon request they can even do custom geometries. The bamboo makes for an exceptional smooth ride.

  380. Iamasnarkyengine

    November 15, 2011 at 9:37 am

    You need a van Moof, dutch, stylish, and funny to say

  381. marta

    November 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I suffer from serious back problems but at the same time don’t want to compromise my love for cycling. My problem has disappeared since I swapped my MTB for a Dutch bike to commute to work, so I’d definitely get a Dutch bike. I spent weeks looking for a perfect one and ended up getting an Electra Amsterdam one – they make you sit straight, are well-designed to keep your arms and feet at the right angle, and most importantly – have aluminium frames which makes them extremely lightweight. They also have more speeds than any other Dutch bikes I looked into. Creme Cycles look much nicer, but don’t feel as nice to cycle, and the parts are poorer quality. So go ELECTRA! :0)

  382. Gregory

    November 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Bicycle suggestion: Electra Amsterdam. Here’s a shot at my homepage.

  383. marta

    November 15, 2011 at 9:50 am

    may I please also add that cycling can unfortunately give you back pains so everyone who has cleverly advised you to get fitter or adjust your bike better should maybe first research the topic better.

  384. Heidi

    November 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Get your own custom-made Danish bikes @Soegreni

    For your purposes it sounds like you need a hybrid of a classic Gazelle (higher handlebar than seat and grandma seat bc it’ll help distribute pressure on your back better ) and a modern bike (smaller wheels than a Gazelle and for easier starting and stopping). I’d also suggest lowering the seat below the recommended height, because it aids in supporting yourself and the bike with your feet when you stop yo take a quick photograph.

  385. Courtney

    November 15, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Go to the bike shop in your area that has the BEST and most knoweledgable staff to fit you for a bike that best fits your body and your needs!! Since you are biking to enjoy and view a city, that is completley different than somebody who is biking to race or something like that. The staff, their knowledge, a perfect bike for you and the FIT (which for clothes and tailoring you already have the best eye;) will help you have more fun on your bike!

  386. tracy

    November 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

    …i agree, the electra townie.

  387. Charrose

    November 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I suggest a beach cruiser. The handle bars are pretty wide, there’s a nice, comfy seat, and you’re basically sitting upright while riding. I have a pink one (with basket and bell) and it gets a lot of attention! It’s not as fast or sleek as other bikes, but it has real personality.

  388. Gretchen

    November 15, 2011 at 10:38 am


  389. Carola

    November 15, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Hi Scott,
    I do not think you back problem is being caused by the bike, it might be related to trying to do two things at once, hence causing your body to go on awkward positions. I pretty much have the same problem as my camera is quite heavy (and I like zooming in :), so my yoga teacher gave the possible solution: “If you cannot lift your camera, just don’t, your body is telling you that it cannot support that weight and/or you need to find another way of taking pictures”. I am still trying to figure out my own creative ways… Hope this helps!

  390. Laura

    November 15, 2011 at 10:48 am

    beach cruiser!

  391. Paulina

    November 15, 2011 at 10:56 am

    ERocket motorcycle bicycle

  392. BigCharlie

    November 15, 2011 at 10:56 am

    The choice, most obviously, is Back-Up Barz.

  393. Ana

    November 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Try yoga! Headstands are an amazing cure for shoulder trouble.

  394. Sasha

    November 15, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I had this problem too and happily traded in my “Brunhilda the bike that would surely give me a hunched back” for a nice fusion cycle. However, I recommend combining the stress of cycling with an oppositional movement. Pilates is terrific for extending and lengthening the body and it will help your body find an upright stance even when you are snapping your amazing shots. Bonne chance! XOXO HVC

  395. Antonina

    November 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Well, that actually depends.
    In Germany for example there’s lots of people swearing dutch bikes are the best if you’re having problems with your shoulders. Most famous is the Gazelle brand- but their new ones don’t look as classy as the older ones did. So you might want to get a vintage one.
    I myself- the classic german girl/woman going everywhere by bike at any time during the day or the year (yes, even through snow and freezing minus degrees)- found swimming as helpful as well as to keep on cycling (your shoulders will adapt one day).
    But since I am also a orthopedic doctor I’d suggest swimming- just working out in the gym tends to leave out to many muscles…

  396. ABP

    November 15, 2011 at 11:36 am

  397. Jake

    November 15, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Fundamentally, you should look for a bike with a short top tube. It doesn’t matter whether you find that in the form of an undersized mountain bike or a woman’s size, etc.–only that it fits properly.

    However, before you buy a new bicycle, you can try modifying your existing one. The stem, which is the metal connector between the handlebars and the tube which turns the front wheel, can be changed on most bikes. Buying one with less extension (forward length) will effectively reduce the distance you have to hunch over to reach the handlebars. The side effect will be less stability when steering, but not so much that you’d be uncomfortable.

  398. Sandra

    November 15, 2011 at 11:43 am

    There’s nothing quite like a Velorbis bike. They’re just perfect. Scott, you should check the Classic Gents Vintage line. Here:

  399. 2brobbie

    November 15, 2011 at 11:44 am

    A bike is like a good suit… has to be fit to your body.
    A trained technician is key.
    Spare no expense on the machine.
    It will change your life.

  400. Jessica

    November 15, 2011 at 11:45 am

    You probably want a more cruiser-y style bike. I love my vintage Schwinn Suburban- a sturdy, wonderfully shiny (shiny is important) city cruiser that I love!

    If you’re looking for something new, I definitely recommend looking into Electra bikes- they make really wonderful, stylish bikes. I used to have a Townie Euro- a slightly sleeker version of their ever-popular Townie cruiser- (until it was stolen from my backyard), which I would highly recommend, but I have also been known to lust after the Ticino and the Amsterdam (which comes complete with rear-wheel coat guard!)

  401. Daryl

    November 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I also suggest a folding bike. They are more than just compact –imo they have the most upright of bicylce seating positions. With some models, your back can be perpendicular to the road.

    They are also a pleasure to pedal — something about the seating position makes the leg movement very natural…it is a piston-like movement.

  402. Name*

    November 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Get your bike fitted by a good bike shop. Nothing should hurt on the bike. For starters, move your seat backwards and make sure you’re riding the right size frame.

  403. Lucy

    November 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Pashley, I have a Princess one but i am a girl so that is fine! I’ve had it for about 4 years now couldn’t live without it in London. Also beat most lycra clad cyclist at traffic lights.

  404. Rowena

    November 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    As a few people here have suggested and possibly what you intuitively know to be true. It’s all about core strength. When your dumping into your shoulders it’s invariably because of a week core. Yoga Yoga Yoga! It will deliver the lower back flexibility & core strength you need. Failing that get a streamline/bespoke chopper bicycle.

  405. George Hahn

    November 15, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Get a Brooklyn Cruiser. Just got one and it’s bar none the best bike I’ve ever ridden. It also happens to be featured in this month’s Vanity Fair “Hot Gifts” guide.

  406. Taxi

    November 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    old school schwinn beach cruiser. cheap, one speed, upright stance and they come in black.

  407. Paolina

    November 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Vintage style women’s bike might be the best for this. You’ll be sitting more upright and with the modern models you can actually move the handlebars closer which enable you to get the stress off the shoulders.
    Something like this:
    This is women’s bike but many brands make this kinds of bike to men too.

  408. Hannie

    November 15, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Are you kidding me? Traditional Shwinn!

  409. Bastian

    November 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Go for a dutch Bike. I promise you will love the comfortable Position. Lots of People use them overhere in Germany. I do,too!

  410. tekay

    November 15, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Modern bike designs (with a so called “A-head stem”) don’t permit much handle bar adjustment, so you’re left with changing the handlebar. Try BMX ‘bars (with a rise) or cruiser ‘bars (bent back towards the saddle) either should help. Older designed and traditional designed bikes (and dare I say modestly priced, less “sporty” bikes) have a different handle bar stem (in the UK called “quill”) which can permit up to 20 cm of up and down adjustment – how sensible! Some quill stems have a neat kind of elbow joint which permits further up/down or forward/back adjustment too. Happy hunting

  411. Emily

    November 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    A Pashley. A British thing of beauty. But only if you live somewhere flat.

  412. Maria

    November 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Definitely the Linus Mixte! I got mine at Adeline Adeline, awesome shop and really helpful staff.

  413. Kate

    November 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Try “Dublin” from patria or any other of their upright bikes.
    The nice thing about this brand is that you can combine all components of your liking to a basic frame. And please take the extra 1000 EUR and indulge in a Rohloff internal-gear HUB, you’ll thank yourself for the next 50yrs:

  414. patricia

    November 15, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    traditional dutch bikes!! great to sit really upright >> good for your shoulders, neck and overview;) greetings from holland by the way!

  415. Hope

    November 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    As for type of bike or fit, I cannot say, Sart. BUT: Have you considered sessions with an SI (Structural Integration) practitioner? It is a kind of deep-tissue massage (it used to be called Rolfing, from Ida Rolf, the lady who started it all). Anyway, no matter what kind of ride you decide on, you need this work if you are spending so much time on a bike, electric or not!

  416. wagner

    November 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    beach bike style, with high handlebars…

  417. William V

    November 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Definitively go for the Dutch city bike model. It keeps you sited straight and has all the accessories to make your ride more pleasant like the chain guard to protect your clothes. I use one every day in New York City and never had a problem, even when wearing my suits to the office!

  418. Leeann

    November 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Another vote for a proper bike fitting, educating yourself on bike fit for when you travel, not carrying gear on your back, and maybe the occasional strength exercises. Sitting more upright for that long every day is likely to just create pain in your lower back instead. Go to the pros and they’ll adjust things to make you more comfortable.

  419. Harry Milan

    November 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    A highly recommended bicycle from the streets of Copenhagen, the bicycle capital of the world.

  420. paulainsantabarbara

    November 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Material and fit are key. Your body will feel a lot better after 4-5 hours on a carbon frame vs. an aluminum one, for example. Make that your bike fits you properly. Have a seasoned professional (ideally one that is not wholly focused on selling you a bike) look at your body position to insure your body is in proper alignment. Could mean a custom made bike, which like a bespoke suit would be worth the investment. Strengthen your core, too. A few forearm planks a day do a body good.

  421. Jasmine

    November 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Love my Brooklyn Cruiser – it’s in New York Magazine’s gift guide.

  422. Stephen

    November 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I had the same problem but, when working in London, I got one of these and never looked back. Brought it back to Melbourne with me. Never had a problem again

  423. Catherine

    November 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    If you want timeless good looks, a beautifully hand-built classic frame and posture-perfect riding position, a BEG Billy or Bertie ( bicycle will be a trusty and much loved set of wheels for you for a very long time.

    The only ‘bump’ in your ride will be choosing which of the gorgeous muted shades to go for…

  424. Luke

    November 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Ask Bill Cunningham…

  425. David J.

    November 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    LINUS. end of story. Buy American from the nice guys on Abbot Kinney in Venice, Ca. I love mine with the creme tyres, Brooks seat and my canvas and leather trunk bag. Excellent value pricing I’d say as well.

  426. Maca

    November 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Hola¡ You probably bee more comfortable with a beach bike. This is due to the simple fact that your arms are practically on the same level of your shoulder, which implicates less effort in your shoulders. Here is a pic. Maybe some painkillers as well…

  427. Andreia

    November 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    You have a posture problem when you ride a bike… you are supposed to concentrate your weight in your legs and keep your arms loose and light so that you won’t feel pressure and pain on your shoulders. The seat and headset of the bike are supposed to be at the same level, but you can put your headset a bit up. OR you can buy a street bike instead of a mountain bike. Try and buy a fantastic vintage bike :) You will look great on it!!

  428. Emma

    November 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    You need a classic dutch bike! Dutch people spent their entire lifes on it and never have any problems. They also look elegant too! And you can get them with baskets on front of them so you can transport (heavy) bags and stuff!

  429. Nikos Aragon

    November 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I suggest the kind of bike that the Dutch like to ride around Amsterdam. There’s one called Gazelle that is particularly popular, and while their more recent models aren’t quite as classic as the older ones, I’m sure you can find a vintage bike without much trouble. In fact, just go to Amsterdam, where there is, in my opinion, plenty of sartorial subject matter, and pick up a bike while you’re there. Done.

  430. Gabriela

    November 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Warm up before and stretch after…

    And take new pictures of your bike, didn’t we see this one before?

  431. Diane A.

    November 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I had the same problem! I had a roadbike that I loved but my shoulders, back, and elbows were in such pain I had to change. I went to the bike store thinking I would exchange my bike for a different, but instead they put more upright handbars on the bike. They’re bars kind of like the bike has in this picture. I also do a lot of yoga and I try to do the same actions with my arms that I do in downward dog, with my arms on the bike. Externally rotating the upper arms, bringing the shoulders down the back etc.

    Hope that helps!

    Diane A.

  432. Jennifer

    November 15, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    I wouldn’t go a fixie or trendy bike like that, they definitely look hype but they are not comfortable.
    _You have to try the bike to see what suits you best. I will advise trying a classic Dutch bike, available in Paris at “AuPoint Velo” in the 5th:
    _Or I will go for a beach cruiser, it looks casual but very comfortable to ride, you can have a basket… You have Electra:, Firmstrong and Urban. Available in many stores in Los Angeles.

    Best, Jennifer

  433. Bike Shop Employee

    November 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Go to a decent local bike shop and ask if they can help you determine what makes sense for your bike. They should also be able to install anything for you, for a fee.

    Swapping the stem is a good first step, or swept/semi-swept back handlebars may be a good second step.

    Also make sure your saddle is at the correct height and that your frame is the right size for you. I’d give you links, but you know how to use Google.

  434. Ch

    November 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Electra Ticino! I have the ladies model and LOVE it. Super comfy, stylish, lightweight, and easy to ride (for an amateur cyclist such as myself).

  435. Craig

    November 15, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Although I ride a racing bike, I looked at a lot of shops in New York before buying it (last week actually). Bicycle Habitat on Lafayette was the place, and they’re a great bunch of people who really know their stuff. They have every kind of bike imaginable, and could probably look at your current ride to find out where the problem might be, and whether a new one is the solution.

  436. Leslie

    November 15, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Love my Townie by Electra. Great on the street as well as canal banks through town.

  437. Morgan

    November 15, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I have an Electra townie and im sitting straight up everywhere i go. Plus the seat is big and comfy, so it’s perfect for long bike rides!

  438. Wesley

    November 15, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Scott – go no further than the 3rd response. Linus Bikes are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever ridden. Don’t bother with a beach cruiser. Though they’d keep you upright, they rarely come with gears you’ll need in any situation you’re not on a (cement) boardwalk. Be good, and keep shooting!

  439. r.rupert santos

    November 15, 2011 at 9:25 pm


  440. Rivera

    November 15, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    A “Harley”

  441. Tanya

    November 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Bespoke, sartorial, made in the US with Euro sensibility. I ride the Every Day in NYC every day and can go for miles without realizing it. Upright for seeing over & around things. Brooks saddle for comfort. Perfectly engineered for hands-free when necessary (though my shots are iPhone so single handed works)

  442. Noyes

    November 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    TWO KEY FEATURES: 1) SWEPT-BACK HANDLEBARS & 2) COASTER (AKA foot pedal) BRAKE. I have a disorder which causes my shoulders to slowly tear themselves apart by the weight of my own arms. Haven’t touched a bike since 2003, until this summer (after trying over 20 bikes) I got on a LINUS DUTCHI 1 and haven’t gotten off it! The handlebars allow you to sit in a more ergonomic vertical position; the coaster brake frees up your tendons from constant braking. The single speed hasn’t been a problem for city riding (Richmond, VA). Good luck!

  443. Constance

    November 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    The Electra “Townie” is built to address what ails you, upright, and feet flat on the ground while on seat.

  444. Name*

    November 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Biria Bikes:

  445. Julie Prichard

    November 15, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Get the Electra catalogue.. I have an Amsterdam… And they make a few models where youare seating upright and ergonomic.

  446. Tanya

    November 16, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Use a Brompton or Bike Friday for folding/travel or a custom Rivendell and have chinese chiropracty and acupuncture once a week in addition to pilates regime. But whatever you do, don’t stop riding the streets for photos!

  447. marilyn

    November 16, 2011 at 2:02 am

    If ever in London,
    see Stuart at bikefix. The height and length of ‘steering-wheels’…..

  448. Tobias

    November 16, 2011 at 3:05 am

    I am from Amsterdam and as you may have noticed, everyone rides a bicycle in Amsterdam!
    This is my bicycle
    This bikes asks little maintenance and you will sit particularly upright on this bike, because they moved the steering bar backwards a lot.


  449. Lizette

    November 16, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Go Dutch!

    There’s a reason we all cycle on non-hip grandma bikes :)

  450. Adam

    November 16, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Kona Africa Bike – thats what you looking for + you support great thing.

  451. chris

    November 16, 2011 at 4:29 am

    scott, you mention a lot of different cities, and i presume you’re not using the same bike in all of them, so i’d say that while bike fit is pretty important, your shoulder problem could have more to do with what you’re doing on the bike the bike itself. best way to investigate this is with an alexander technique teacher, or maybe a feldenkries practitioner. the main thing to remember is that no bicycle is really comfortable, and if you know how to accommodate yourself to the machine properly it won’t matter so much if you’re on a substandard rentabike in a foreign town or something lent to you by a friend for the afternoon. also alexander technique will inevitably have a broader impact on the general efficiency of your movements, this is why it is really popular with dancers and musicians and actors, people who know their body is their instrument.
    good luck,

  452. linda

    November 16, 2011 at 5:49 am

    HI, Just spent the weekend cycling round Amsterdam on a lovely classis british Pashley bike, lovely upright riding postion , plus a super stylish bike.

  453. Mike

    November 16, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Being a professional triathlete I think I have some knowledge on this topic.
    Most of the times the problem with back pain is caused by bad posture. As with any other sport there is a good form you should have when biking.
    The correct cycling posture is the one that eases pedaling; in a nutshell:

    - adjust your seat to the correct height. In order to determine it, sit on the bike and when pedaling your legs at full swing should never be completely straight but always slightly bend.

    - the back should be arched, like a bridge. (If the back is properly arched, bumps will cause it to flex slightly in the direction of a bit more arch; this is harmless. If you ride swaybacked, bumps will cause the back to bow even farther in the forward direction, which can lead to severe lumbar pain.)

    - when holding the handlebar your arms should be slightly bend, never straight.

    - you should never be seated upright, with your spine straight: a straight spine has no way to “give” when the bike hits bumps. Road irregularities will jam the vertebrae together, often aggravating existing back problems.

    When buying a new bike just make sure that it’s the right bike for your height and that has a comfortable seat.
    As many of the above readers have suggested the Linus Dutch is a pretty good choice in that sense.

    Mike @TheIronYou

  454. Steve

    November 16, 2011 at 7:40 am

    How about a slightly different approach? the urban factor ( produces some of the best and for sure the most stylish electrical bicycles. They are both comfortable and very practical. Using an electrical motor to support your pedaling riding through the city is a lot of fun and a lot less tiring at the same time. I have been riding my bike from the urban factor now for over a year using it to commute and also for longer tours and it’s better than any other bike I had before unless you want to go really sporty. For this I still sometimes ride my MTB or a decent road bike.

  455. Doug hartman

    November 16, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I would suggest having someone take a picture of your posture after you have ridden for a short time, to get settled. I think you will find your back arching, as most people do, but it should be straight. Having worked at Seattle’s Premier bike shop, Elliott Bay Bicycles, I have delt with this numerous times. BTW, where are your Pike Place Market fashion photos?

  456. petra

    November 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I have the same problem. a very good bike is the GAZELLE ( a Dutch brand), it is stylish and convenient. Very popular in Munich!
    Kind regards

  457. Marco

    November 16, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Mr. Schuman, probably this post will not made it to you but, since I know that you visit Milan very often, I truly suggest that you invest about 1500 euros in a vintage Umberto Dei from the 30′s or the 50′s they are walking bike so you won’t be leaning forward riding them. Many gentlemen that you shoot ride one of them while wearing their suits and manage not to mess up their outfit.

    I hope my suggestion help. I’d love to know with a short e-mail if it does.


  458. Ian Flett

    November 16, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I love my Pashley, a proper Barrister’s bicycle. But theft is probably an issue for you and losing a Pashley or its fancy parts on a regular basis would best be avoided. The bikes at are cheap, simple and have style. You will need to ask a mechanic to build the bike for you because it needs some initial love to make it reliable. But I find it’s the most style bang for your buck.

  459. Krissy

    November 16, 2011 at 9:54 am

    You need a Seven! Bespoke bicycle–custom built to your specifications.

  460. @tantekee

    November 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

  461. Alexandra

    November 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Batavus Old Dutch. I’ve had one for a few years and I love it.

  462. JAke

    November 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Wow! So many responses!

    Look into french porteur (messenger) bikes for ideas as well.
    maybe lighter/faster/less cumbersome than the dutch models

    you can have a good vintage bike modified with higher stem, upright bars, a front utility rack, fenders, and perhaps a lower number of gears. (ie: just 5 in back instead of 10-15)

    Public, Linus are building good looking complete bikes. Velo Orange ( has a lot of components to convert a suitable existing bike to something more useful

    Read Rivendell’s thoughts on bike fit:

    Good luck!

  463. Stylerider

    November 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I also ride an electric bike from the urban factor and I love it for riding in the city. It’s especially great if you have to stop very often since it helps you accelerate. Maybe you want to check it out on

  464. Cecilia

    November 16, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I can at least suggest you how to keep being elegant on your bike under the rain!…

  465. O. N. Ely

    November 16, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Myself I ride a Bridgestone ox-3. That is a great bike around town. – belt drive (no grease)

    State Side REI has a belt drive bike.

    and Rivendell is a faviorate of the Tweed set Cyclist.

    If you want to go over the moon get a TI frame from Crisp.

    The above are great bikes.

    I find Sogreni Bikes a bit heavy. The dutch and the danes never have to go uphill. So weight is not the same issue as other places.

    In Milan there is a nice bike shop on Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi. Just down from Corso Como.

    These are cool Danish Designs: (great details)

    You should really try a bike out and get a pro to fit the bike to you. That will help your back pain a lot.

    Good Luck and Have Fun –


  466. O. N. Ely

    November 16, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Oh I forgot,

    These are perhaps the most beautiful bikes. Last I heard there was a multi year waiting list.

  467. Matt

    November 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    A comfort bike doesn’t look as nice as a vintage bike, but it will definitely get your weight off your hands a bit. Here is a couple options.–8-Deluxe-Mens.aspx Felt’s cafe is not super comfort, but still retains some cool factor. This next example is a true “comfort” bike meant for slower speed comfortable riding. With the proper seat, this could alleviate your problems.

  468. Sherna

    November 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Giant Suede.

  469. Erik

    November 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    The comments on fit are right on the money. It could be that you’re sitting too far upright already and so hunching your shoulders to make space for your arms. Get thee to a good bike shop. Fortunately, NY, Milan, and the rest of your haunts are littered with them! After the reach is set, the next thing is to look at hand position, since twisting your hands as on a drop bar totally changes the stress on your shoulders. “Mustache” bars are hip and offer the ability to change hand position a lot so you can use other muscles and may be all you need. Cover them with Brooks leather bar tape or stitched Elk Skin from Velo Orange (in New Jersey) and you can move your bike towards the style of the rest of your life! Then, go to and get Ezra to build you the perfect city bike, one with S&S couplers for your travels. He’s a wonderful photographer and lives in NYC. Very worth chasing down if you don’t know of him.

  470. Vanessa

    November 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Love my Electra Amsterdam, but it’s SLOW and heavy.

  471. teresa

    November 16, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I don´t know which bike is the best for your shoulders, but I think it’s very important a place to put your stuff. I have a bike with a Basket on the front, but it’s much better those who have one on the back (because if you have too much weight on the front, it’s harder to keep the bike straight.

    I hope you¡ll find a good one soon!

  472. Orlando

    November 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I ride a 1972 Raleigh 3 speed just like the British have been doing since 1866. They were designed for the upright rider. Known for being made of tough British Steel! Sally forth

  473. Craig Randall

    November 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I’d suggest a bike from the new brand, Tern.

    The Eclipse S11i is my pick. It’s a beautifully riding bike that happens to fold with an adjustable Andros stem to help relieve the back tension that you mentioned. Because it folds, you’ll be able to get off your legs and take it with you on the bus or train if needed. Send me a note if you’d like to try one!

  474. rob*

    November 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    There is no bike like a Dutch bike. Google ‘omafiets’ at site’s of Dutch bike manafacturers like Batavus, Gazelle or Union and than you know to how it is to stay right up and keep firmly your noise in the wind!!!!!

  475. Esther

    November 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    As someone who suffers from back problems, traditional dutch bikes are the absolute best.
    Pashley and Gazelle really are the Mercedes of bikes, and I can’t praise their traditional models enough. I also own a lovely vintage bike from the 1930s which I’ve restored, and it has a quality which new bikes just don’t have. So, if you’re willing to put in the time and patience, track down a well maintained vintage bike and put in any extra work needed to make it road safe and meets your requirements.

    Just be sure you invest in a couple of very good bike locks, preferably two different ones which would require different tools to crack.

    Happy cycling.

  476. Nicole

    November 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I am an avid cyclist and have had this problem. Try yoga. Shoulder openers and stretching will definitely help.

  477. Eric Trageser

    November 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Whatever bike you choose, or of you work on your own: higher, longer handlebars will sit you more upright.

  478. Jef613

    November 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    My wife gets around on an Electra Townie. I get around on an Electra Amsterdam. We got these for the same reason you mention, and the switch has removed the issues. The bikes are engineered to facilitate an upright seating position. They’re good looking too, quite European.

  479. Mopsy

    November 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    A dutch bike or what we call in England, sit up and beg. Mine is from the Edinburgh Bike Cooperative, has a basket on the front and I love it to death. Pashleys are the most gorgeous bikes in the world (and still handmade at the factory in southern England) but for my slightly hilly city they were not ideal.

    Commuting to work on one is such a joy because you are upright, you can look around you and take everything in. I saw a baby hedgehog a few months back! So much better than speeding along in a crab-like hunch.

  480. j

    November 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Globe daily in blue or green to stand out. i have one with the 7 speed hub. it’s a dutch bike essentially but aluminum framed so it’s not as heavy and much faster.

  481. Daniel Edwards

    November 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Townie bars on nearly any bike will make it better. For instance one of my bikes (10 total) is your average Nishiki Olympic roadie with cruiser bars on it sweeping back and up. The shifters are bar end shifters as well so I don’t need to bend down to do that. You have no choice but to sit totally upright on this thing because of your hand position. Just get the handlebars to come up towards you and you should be set. Flat bars may work if you have enough of a rise. Drop bars and bullhorns definitely won’t work. If I hear you bought a Linus bike I’ll cry a little. That’s like buying a knock off of a knock off of a knock off.

  482. Katie

    November 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I love my townie – you sit up straight and it is comfy!

  483. Kate

    November 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    It may not be the bike. It may be where the handlebars are positioned. And the seat as well.

  484. Laurence Zankowski

    November 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm


    My feeling is that you really love how your bike feels, so what can you do with out going out and buying a new bike.

    Saddle and handle bars. However you got me thinking, there may be some more to this….

    Be well


  485. Karl

    November 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    As regularly as your pics I check . The lady takes it very serious, and I am sure you will find good advice there. Also see David Byrne´s “Bicycle Diaries” about riding in big cities all over the world

  486. Anna

    November 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Dutch granny bikes (that’s how we call them here) are stylish, unbreakable and very comfortable. Everyone in Holland owns one.

  487. Alice

    November 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm


    I have messed up shoulders too and love to pull the kids around on my Electra Amsterdam.

  488. Kerry

    November 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm
    Hand-built steel, to your size specs; The Best.

  489. Agnès deB.

    November 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I think my original comment got lost, so I am sending you a link to this picture once again. I visited my cousins in Flanders last year and borrowed a bike such as this:

    I have never been more comfortable. But. alas, these bikes are expensive in the states.

  490. Josh

    November 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Tern is a new company that makes portable bikes for urban lifestyles. A portable bike would allow you to take the bike with you on travels. These bikes have lots of interesting luggage options to carry your equipment. And, the bikes are stylish.

    I helped start the company so I’m a bit biased. But if you are potentially interested just email me and I can walk you throught the various options.

  491. B

    November 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    When I lived in Copenhagen – I did a really fun series of photographs of Men on girl bikes, I was curious and asked a male friend who happened to be riding a girl bike about it and he goes: ” you girls have the luxury of a basket and long high handle bars so your back hurts 10 times less than if you were on a man-bike” – SO! get a girl-bike! no one will judge you…you might just end up in my photo series ;)

  492. L otta

    November 17, 2011 at 2:46 am

    Specialized live/urban looks really cool. to me.

  493. jpjx

    November 17, 2011 at 7:11 am

  494. 350125GO

    November 17, 2011 at 7:25 am

    “Brooks Saddles!”

  495. Tish

    November 17, 2011 at 8:35 am

    not a bike recommendation but something that might help relieve the shoulder muscles is a foam roller. great for lying on or rolling along the upper and mid thoracic spine. also great for posture.

  496. Meechemeeche

    November 17, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Get a hybrid bike! You sit upright so there is no stress on the neck or shoulders.

  497. Charlotte

    November 17, 2011 at 10:06 am

    You definitely need a Dutch bike! The Dutch Oma (translation: grandmother) bike is sturdy, stylish and ergonomically ideal. All the rage here in Amsterdam is to fit a crate on the front in which to transport all your stuff, ie: camera, purse, luggage etc.
    Absolutely love my bike, it is better than a boyfriend :)

  498. Daphne

    November 17, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I’d suggest this: (a “grandma’s bike” as we call it, or in dutch: “omafiets”)
    It’s a very common kind of bike in the Netherlands, I don’t know if they sell it where you live, but have a look! I have a bike just like this, and there won’t be any trouble with shoulders or backs because you’re sitting straight up.
    Good luck finding a good bike!

  499. Kevin

    November 17, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I suggest looking into the Pashley Roadster 26 (

    You need a more upright position on the bike for comfort as well as for seeing what is around you (for safety and your work).

    Pashley has a storied name, they are among the top makers for style and build quality. I think you deserve something as dignified and stylish.

    There is a great shop downtown, who deal in Pashley’s and other style/comfort brands called Adeline Adeline (

    Start there.

    Hope to see you out riding.

  500. Andrea Heng

    November 17, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Get a Dutch city bike or a lady bike! It’s a very relaxed ride and the grip on the handles needn’t be too tight, allowing the rest of your arms and thereafter, your shoulders, relax while riding. The curve of the frame allows easier alighting too.

  501. alexander

    November 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    two syllables. one awesome machine. segway.

  502. lucia

    November 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    maybe you should try something more like a classical bike. I always go around with my bikes and I have problems with my shoulders only when I use the mountain bike. I prefer using my dad’s old bike because it’s more relaxing.
    try smt like this
    or this there are many brands and shapes, always remaining classical. I prefer thhem because of their clean line and the lightweight which makes them much more manageable and enjoyable. :)

  503. Maria

    November 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I just flipped by conventional drop handle bars right side up. Voila!

  504. Theresa

    November 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    maybe this will help if your camera isn’t too big :)

  505. irmantas

    November 17, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    dutch “granny” bike is perfect for your spine

  506. Allen Anthony

    November 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    First of all .I love fashion and I love cycling. I’ve been in the cycling industry for over 15 years. If your shoulders are bothering you , your neck giving you issues, going to the gym is not going to fix the problem. You need to a have fit done for whatever kind of bike you ride. One form of fitting is called Retul. We put you on your bike and watch you pedal. We look at your reach , leg extension and look at the distance of the saddle to the bars. We recommend the Retul because the wrong size bike can effect the type of ride you will have. They’re are a few bike shops that offer this. Look into it because the last thing you want to think about is the pain you are in while riding your bike. Look into a hybrid bike. These bikes offer a great amount of comfort , you can add panniers (side bags) and ride it on the street as well as some light trails. Your bike might only need a few little tweaks to get you back into the enjoyment of cycling. Your site is great by the way.

  507. Elisabeth

    November 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

    PUCH!!! Vintage Austrian bikes, produced until the end of the 80s. Best bikes for cycling in cities, they are fast, but very comfortable to ride. If you can, get the clubman model, they are very reliable and have really great style.

    What I love most about them is that they are really effortless to ride. I used to do 2-hour-rides to other cities and I wasn’t tired after that at all! I don’t know what Puch engineers did differently, but the way these bikes are built makes them easier to ride than any other brand I’ve ever had!

  508. Hinke

    November 18, 2011 at 11:55 am

    When you sit on your bike your toetips should touch the ground. This is how you know your saddle is at the proper height.

  509. Puck

    November 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I have Unions a 20inch wheels vintage Dutch folding bike I left with a friend in his condo in Midtown. Brooks spring Seat and handle bar all height adjustable cruiser style with rear rack.. Perfect for me 5’7″ I only use it when I fly from San Francisco to NYC for trip. You can check it out , Yours for $300 , hit me up Scott.

  510. Anna

    November 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Scott, you need one of these. True design, true (finnish) quality:

  511. Margarida

    November 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    I would suggest the LEV bicycles, they are great! :)

  512. Luisa Ortu

    November 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Bonjour Mr. Shumann
    Je vous recommand vivement cette bizarre mais trés commode velo produit en Republique Tcheque. En la regardant on dirait difficile à conduire, mais je vous assure qu’il ne l’est pas du tout. Je l’ai essayé et c’est trés facile mais super commode pour le dos. En plus c’est un velo sociable…tout le monde vous laisse passer!
    Regardez le video:!
    Bonne ballade en ville!

  513. Ryan Greer

    November 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    you need a bike with some style and a more upright leaned back position. This is one of the most beautiful city bikes ever made. I would recommend it.


  514. chad bailey

    November 18, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    From just doing Spin class I have learned the importance of handlebar height & seat height/ distance from front of bike. My arms would get sore and i felt it in my shoulders also. Than I raised my Handlebars closer to my body and adjusted my bike seat closer to the handle bars.

    That should SERIOUSLY help!

    good luck

  515. Amy sherman

    November 19, 2011 at 1:55 am

    If you haven’t been, make a visit to “Rossignoli” on Corso Garibaldi in Milan. They will set you up with a beautiful custom made bike in no time. Very chic. :)

  516. Emma Greenlees

    November 19, 2011 at 3:35 am

  517. David

    November 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I have a Marin. It is a mountain bike from a company based in San Marino, Cailfornia. It has a sleek frame, and if you keep the bike seat at it’s highest, you have no choice but to sit up straight most of the time.

  518. izabella

    November 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    the bikes they have in Amsterdam are the most comfortable :)

  519. Peter H

    November 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    This is the one for you I think. Indeed Dutch (Oma fiets – but the male version)

    Other option is the pick-up model also fom Sparta. Buy a very good lock to go with it.

    Probably best to get the version with 3 gears.

  520. mihai

    November 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    “Designed specifically for the urban cyclist, Bowery Lane Bicycle’s elegant Dutch-inspired Broncks bike is made in New York City, with 30% of their factory’s energy source coming from renewable solar energy. ”

    and it looks great too :)

  521. george

    November 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Try a Pedersen.
    It’s the best one for tall people.

    best george

  522. innatestyle

    November 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    The experts in this area are the Dutch. I lived in Amsterdam in the nineties and cycled everywhere — and thrived! The locals cycle everywhere and retain their level of chic at all times. Have you contacts there?

  523. Josh

    November 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Like tailored clothes, taking the time to learn a few things about bicycles will help you find something that not only fits you perfectly, but reflects your taste and personality. Take the time to visit a few websites and read a little.

    Most of the readers on this site are not looking to buy a carbon road bike, but rather something more civilized that can be ridden with a pair of heels and doesn’t require you too look like an alien. So lets focus our attention on the classic French designed bikes of the 1950′s for inspiration.

    (Listed from less expensive to more, and like most things in life you pay for what you get.)

    Public makes decent bikes, with varying models at a good price. A good deal if you live in a high crime area and want a little style without breaking the bank.

    Soma makes a pretty mid-price range Buena Vista frame set that could be built up to be anything from a fixed gear to a city bike. (This is about bike fit) (A must read article for happy riding)

    Rivendell produces the lovely lugged Betty Foy, one of the nicest mixte’s on the market. They are also a source of great knowledge and help. Their site discusses how to size a bike for real people (as opposed to road racers), and what to look for in comfortable riding. If you have an extra $2000 to spend on a bike, they could help build you one that would fit your personality and body type like a pair of hand crafted leather shoes.

    And if one just wants bike porn or inspiration Vanilla Bikes creates mouth watering custom bikes, while Brooklyn Bamboo Bike Studio is a little more organic. There are also loads of other places to look and some fantastic builders right in the NYC area, but this should get you started.

    And if this video doesn’t inspire you to ride nothing will.

    Enjoy the journey of building a bike and you’ll have a best friend for years to come.

  524. Terese

    November 21, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Handlebar fit is a little like tailoring in that if you look fit in 3 dimensions, you’ll get a better overall effect.
    If you opt to just change the handlebars have someone measure the width of your shoulders because handlebars are available in different widths. You can also change the length of the handlebar stem to improve the reach. If you get a new bike altogether, consider the frame’s top tube length which varies by brand and depending on whether you’re short or long waisted can make a big difference in your comfort.
    Having a strong core also really helps too because you will lean less onto your hands.

  525. Lin

    November 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I have an Electra that I absolutely love. You can sit upright so there is less stress on your shoulders and there is flat foot technology.

  526. A Girl, A Style

    November 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Pashley, no question about it. The classic English upright bike (still made in their Somerset factory as they have been for decades). Justifiably expensive, and the smoothest ride you will ever have (I have a Pashley Princess sovereign and am pretty evangelical about it).

    Briony x

  527. Robin

    November 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Simple – all you need are mustache handlebars. I ride everyday from my apartment in Brooklyn to my office in Soho. I ride several different bikes, but the mustache handlebars are the most fashionable and the most comfortable ride!

  528. ryan

    November 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

    spend a week with mike flanigan!!

  529. Amy

    November 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

    You should try a Wabi frame…just bought one a few weeks ago and it rides like a dream. the bikes are custom fit when you order them so if you talk to the owner about your shoulders hurting, he should be able to adjust everything and make it painless for you!

  530. Karin Åhgren

    November 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    You should definitely get an Electra bike, I have had one myself for 6 years now and it is indeed the best bike ever made!

  531. Shelly @RidingPretty

    November 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm


    Try a custom built bamboo bicycle. The bamboo gives the bike frame a lot of desirable “flex” which is something you want — it will cushion your ride better over bumpy roads.

    Perhaps a mixte frame would work for you. Better still would be an upright frame (also known as a ‘sit up and beg” frame). It would give you relief from the hunched over position that has been causing you your current discomfort.

    Also look for a frame builder willing to personally work with you to ergonomically fit the bike’s design to your specific body. Not cheap, but that’s what I would do. Good Luck! Can’t wait to see what bike you decide to go with!

    Oh, I bicycle, blog and take street photos…


  532. The Royal Oui

    November 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    A PUBLIC bicycle.
    They’re a company out of San Francisco and their bicycles are amazing.

  533. Mercedes

    November 23, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    A Dutch city bike or similar! You really can ride seating straight! Very comfortable and steady but a bit heavy. Try the pedal breaking!

  534. Keith

    November 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Get a Pedersen bicycle if you can find one. Brief glimpse of one in Wim Wender’s “until the end of the world “

  535. M

    November 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    hi there, It might be to late to comment but I thought I would give it a try…
    This bike would definitely help you problems..a very famous bike from Christiania in Copenhagen.

  536. Erin

    November 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Excellent article once again! I am looking forward for more updates;)

  537. Amdres

    November 25, 2011 at 4:47 am

    More than 100s clasic style bikes are listed on
    and aslo the very nice Italian handmade bikes at afordable prices.

  538. Len

    November 26, 2011 at 2:37 am

    Check out the both the BellaCiao and the Retrovelo ranges as well.If a folding bike appeals,the top of the range Tern has turned my head,it might yours.I own a Rohloff Retrovelo,but with the cruiser bar setup,big cushy tyres,ample ways to carry bags,its luxury on two wheels and I have ridden in comfort for hours on it and my body is old…..

  539. Angella

    November 26, 2011 at 2:51 am

    A hybrid Vespa??

  540. William

    November 26, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Try a mustache handlebar – you don’t have to reach forward so far. They are easier to control for slow riding too.

    My other advice is chiropractic. I ride a lot and my chiropractor keeps me fluid.

  541. Alex

    November 26, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Strida is best bicycle to sit upright! :-)

  542. Angella

    November 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Please show us what you’ve decided on..I’m curious. Lots of good ideas here!

  543. little plum

    November 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Moustache handlebars

  544. michael pfeiffer-belli

    November 28, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Hello Scott,

    here is an offer:
    choose one of your favorite fabrics and we will build a bike for you, that fits exactly to your outfit.
    And the question of position we will solve too!

    Would be great to from you!

    Greetings from Hamburg, Germany,


  545. Jeroen

    November 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Pretty easy. Dutch bikes, take an old one like Gazelle, pretty beautiful and very good posture.

    But if you want something classic, check out this one:

    Hope you find something nice!

  546. Hubert

    November 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Detto (viale Vittorio Veneto, Milan) makes spectacular taylor-made bikes.

  547. Eric

    November 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    You could simply replace your current saddle, handle bars (similar to the style), and a taller goose-neck. My father in-law did this with his bike and it worked out great.

  548. André Lindholm

    December 5, 2011 at 5:37 am

    You should get a Skeppshults Natur bike, it’s an incredible handmade swedish bike-cycle.

  549. Tore Grødem

    December 5, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Beautiful, comfortable and affordable biking

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    December 9, 2011 at 4:04 am

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  553. krf

    December 11, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Sitting upright may not solve your problem. Go to a bike fitter. The best ones will measure you, test your strength and flexibility for imbalances, put you on a bike that is properly adjusted, then video you. From the video they will make tweaks to accommodate your riding style. It’s all about proper set up. As a fitter said to me, “I’d like to see Shaq play golf with Danny DeVito’s clubs and not sustain an injury.”

  554. Raymond in Raleigh

    December 19, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I would urge you to include Rivendell Bicycle Works in any such search. Not only are their bicycles functional, beautiful, and aimed at the non lycra clad set; their accessories and the insights on their blog (i think they call it a ‘blurg’) are clearly reasonable.
    Best of luck and thank you for sharing your beautiful work.

  555. Ricardo Carvalho

    December 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Dear Scott, i almost grew up on bicycle until my first years in the fashion bussines. At that time i decided to change my “two wheels”. I bought a “Motorino” (Vespa). All my pain on the shouders, arms and back were gone, and the sweating was over (i live in Brazil = hot weather). You are almost as free, to come and go, as you were on a bicycle, but the diference is: You can meet the Queen when you get there. Love your work!

  556. Audrey

    December 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    3G bikes are what my dad swears by.

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  559. ted

    March 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I ride a 1951 Schwinn. I have my (old, longer) handlebars lower at the stem, and the saddle slightly higher. That way, I can have my arms relaxed while I sit upright comfortably. The handlebars have to be a bit longer, however.

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  567. Dave @ Sage Titanium Bicycles

    September 15, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Scott,
    I would recommend the Sage Titanium Barlow as the bike of choice for you. The body position is a bit more upright than a traditional road bike and the titanium frame absorbs road chatter and shock better than all other materials on the market. Plus, since it is not super heavy it will be easier for you to pedal around.

    The bike has separate fender and rack mounts so that you can mount bags to it when you need to pack some extra gear. The titanium frame will also stand up to various abuses such as inclement weather, and spills or falls.

    Of course, a proper bike fit is highly recommended so that you have the correct sized bike and components to make you feel your best.

  568. Jay

    September 1, 2017 at 5:23 am

    I think you should try Smaller folding handlebars.

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