Question: After a few years of not being able to ride my mountain bike, I am looking to get on it again. I also suffered the problem of my hands being continuously jarred. On a mountain bike a part solution is a Flexi-stem. These used to cost £50 or more, but I have found one at £16.50 now (for non techi’s the stem connects to the handlebar, which allows the shocks to absorb before it gets to your hands). A bike with full suspension would be better (or a recumbent bike), but for less than £20 to get me cycling again seems a bargain, and worth a try.
Answer 1: For a good posture, I would recommend a bike for city use that is very common in the Netherlands. The so-called “grandma or grandpa bike”. It is a normal bike that makes you sit with your back straight vertically, which is good for shoulders and back. Your upper arms can be held next to your body while your forearms bend towards the steer. It has a back-pedal brake, which prevents the pinching with your hands. It usually has only one gear, making it less useful in a hilly environment (Yes, The Netherlands are very flat).
The only problem may be the vibrations on your hands, although you do not have to hold on very tight since there are no handbrakes (you can steer more by balancing your body). I suppose they should be available in other countries as well.
Answer 2: The Netherlands also has another type of bike (although not so common): the recumbent bike. As someone else already mentioned, recumbent bikes are much more comfortable to ride. If you’re looking for a city bike, check the Flevobike Basic, or similar. You should be able to find plenty of english/american sites talking about recumbents: Most of these bikes are suspended, and have hydraulic brakes requiring little effort to brake, or can be fitted with a back-pedal brake. Most of them come with 7 or 21 gears.
Such bikes do not strain the back or the wrists, and are very easy to ride.It may look awkward at first sight, but after a couple of minutes you’ll be able to drive miles and miles…Even more relaxing models are the trikes (e.g. the Sinner Record Disadvantage is that they’re not cheap.