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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-13-17, 10:40 PM   #26
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I know, that's another forum. When I was, more or less, in your boat...I realized that they only way I was going to get enough miles in, was to replace my work commute (at that time about 7 miles each way) with biking. However, I couldn't take my 15-30m car commute and turn it into an hour+ (big hills) most days (not to mention old knee damage...). So I took a look at the ebikes available. Long story short, within a short time my bike commute was a consistent 25m. I slowly reduced the amount of power assist. These days, my commute is 13m each way...

I selected a Stromer ST1. Tastes vary, check out a shop with a broad selection. Brands like Haibike, Surface Boar, Stromer and/or perhaps a cargo bike if your daily needs involve carrying a bunch of stuff. A good ebike will be a *lot* more; but I found it much more effective for me. Indeed, last October I got rid of my car ... which admittedly I regret a little bit when it's 10 df and snowing ;>
KHB:

Thanks for the recommendation. I live in Houston, Texas, and as with many things that we like to say are bigger in Texas, so is my commute. My commute one way is 33 miles and likely isn't feasible to get in my exercise. That being said, I will still talk to the LBS about an ebike.
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Old 09-13-17, 10:42 PM   #27
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@OP

Do what is best for your budget, but if you have the extra money and are just being cheap, go ahead with the nicer bike. I personally grew up riding my bike miles every day and loved it. So I already had a underlying enjoyment for bike riding. If you aren't sure if you're going to like it, it might be better to buy a cheaper bike. Contrary to what some people have been saying, $500 is more than enough to get a very respectable bike. You don't need to spend over $1000 to get a decent bike. While the line of quality is massive between a $500 and $1500 bike, a $500 bike isn't as bad as it's being made to sound.

I bought a Specialized Hardrock (MTB) off of craigslist last year for $80, (blue book is something like 250 used, 500 new.) I love the bike, despite having to have a new front break put on and some basic realignment of the chain / gears. Even after accessories and what I had to pay to fix the bike, as well as a helmet, I spent about $250 - $300. (Oh, I also threw some wide(ish) road tires on it. In your price range, I think you're better off going with a Hybrid or a MTB with large wheels (26" - 29") as it'll easily support your weight. For me, the issue is that even $1500 bikes are risky at my weight (430lbs), so I'd rather use a cheaper bike, drop some weight and upgrade when I've lost some of the weight. That being said, I'm far from an experienced Cyclist, so my opinion probably doesn't really mean all that much, but in my albeit limited experience, you don't have to break the bank to get started.

Thanks for the advise, BP. I found a few bikes that are between $500 - $750 since yesterday and it looks like they are almost at one of three bike shops near my job, so I hope to try them out on Friday.
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Old 09-14-17, 07:52 AM   #28
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Thanks. The accessories is what kind of changed my budget. I was initially thinking about $750 for a bike, but then learned I might need a new saddle, plus other things like a helmet, bike shorts, and a light because I will have to ride early mornings or late in the evenings based on my work schedule and family responsibilities. What I didn't think about was a rack, disc brakes (which I read might be the right answer), and fenders. Which makes me ask... do fenders really do a great job on keep the grit off of you?
I can't answer on fenders, I don't use them, and I don't feel any need for them, even on wet roads or in light rain. I don't ride in heavy rain (no purpose, been caught once or twice ). I only added the rack because we do longer rides on Sundays, and sometimes stop for brunch in the middle of the ride, so I like to have a pair of shorts or pants to throw over my bike shorts rather than sit in a restaurant in spandex.
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Old 09-14-17, 09:55 AM   #29
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KHB:

Thanks for the recommendation. I live in Houston, Texas, and as with many things that we like to say are bigger in Texas, so is my commute. My commute one way is 33 miles and likely isn't feasible to get in my exercise. That being said, I will still talk to the LBS about an ebike.
My LBS is "Small Planet eBikes" and they have a shop in TX; but it would be a very extended notion of "Local" for you (Dallas vs. Houston). But if you don't find anyone closer, it might be worth a trip.

33 miles (after two years of more or less daily commuting) would take me a bit over 2 hours (depending on hills) and would be a stretch for daily riding. But I know people who do further (single, or grown kids ;>).

Be well!
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Old 09-14-17, 12:09 PM   #30
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Thanks. The accessories is what kind of changed my budget. I was initially thinking about $750 for a bike, but then learned I might need a new saddle, plus other things like a helmet, bike shorts, and a light because I will have to ride early mornings or late in the evenings based on my work schedule and family responsibilities. What I didn't think about was a rack, disc brakes (which I read might be the right answer), and fenders. Which makes me ask... do fenders really do a great job on keep the grit off of you?
Fenders: They'll keep you and your bike dry, but they don't have to be expensive. I use ass-savers on the back (https://ass-savers.com/) because I don't ride in groups so the only person I need to protect from the back wheel is me, and downtube mounted guards on the front. That keeps me dry enough to where I don't consider it a problem any more, they weigh almost nothing (I keep the ass-saver on all the time) and is easy to pull off when it dries up. Total cost for both was less that $20.

If you are going to be riding on relatively flat routes and mostly dry, rim brakes are going to be just fine. If you're going to be tear-assing down mountains or in continually wet environments, then disks really shine and are worth the investment.

Good bike shorts are worth their weight in gold. Helmets are worth whatever you think your noggin is worth. Ten cent heads get ten cent helmets. Lights can be ridiculously expensive, too, but don't have to be. They're doing some pretty amazing things with LEDs these days. My general rule is that I don't dick around when it comes to safety equipment. I'm happy to ride a hooptie, but I'm going to have quality lights, helmets, and shoes.

Do the doctor thing, and that's all deductible, too.
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Old 09-14-17, 02:28 PM   #31
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Breezer

Has anyone rode / familiar with a Breezer brand? I went to a Performance shop today and the guy recommended a mountain bike (Squall 2017) that is on sale for $499 from regular $899. Seemed like almost too good of a sale. Thoughts?
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Old 09-14-17, 02:53 PM   #32
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Fenders: They'll keep you and your bike dry, but they don't have to be expensive. I use ass-savers on the back (https://ass-savers.com/) because I don't ride in groups so the only person I need to protect from the back wheel is me, and downtube mounted guards on the front. That keeps me dry enough to where I don't consider it a problem any more, they weigh almost nothing (I keep the ass-saver on all the time) and is easy to pull off when it dries up. Total cost for both was less that $20.

If you are going to be riding on relatively flat routes and mostly dry, rim brakes are going to be just fine. If you're going to be tear-assing down mountains or in continually wet environments, then disks really shine and are worth the investment.

Good bike shorts are worth their weight in gold. Helmets are worth whatever you think your noggin is worth. Ten cent heads get ten cent helmets. Lights can be ridiculously expensive, too, but don't have to be. They're doing some pretty amazing things with LEDs these days. My general rule is that I don't dick around when it comes to safety equipment. I'm happy to ride a hooptie, but I'm going to have quality lights, helmets, and shoes.

Do the doctor thing, and that's all deductible, too.
Thanks on all counts. Based on the doctor recommendation above, I've already started working that angle.
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Old 09-14-17, 05:57 PM   #33
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Has anyone rode / familiar with a Breezer brand? I went to a Performance shop today and the guy recommended a mountain bike (Squall 2017) that is on sale for $499 from regular $899. Seemed like almost too good of a sale. Thoughts?
Looks fine if you want a mountain bike. If you don't, well then, it isn't so good.

I have to confess my frustration with LBS and bigger guys. They see a guy more than 250 not sure what he wants, maybe some vague idea of getting in shape riding the local rail/trails or something, and they automatically want to put him on a mountain bike or comfort bike. IMO, these bikes are destined to sit unused in someone's garage or basement one way or another because for their intended purpose THEY ARE THE WRONG TOOL FOR THE JOB.

Look for something a little more lightweight, but still fairly robust. It doesn't have to be less than 20 lbs, but 22 to 26 lb range is certainly doable. You don't need to be looking at bikes that weigh more than 30 lbs just because you weigh close to 300. And don't be afraid of riding on 35, 32, or even 28 mm tires. They can handle your weight (it is the wheels you need to worry about but that is another kettle of fish).
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Old 09-14-17, 07:28 PM   #34
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Looks fine if you want a mountain bike. If you don't, well then, it isn't so good.

I have to confess my frustration with LBS and bigger guys. They see a guy more than 250 not sure what he wants, maybe some vague idea of getting in shape riding the local rail/trails or something, and they automatically want to put him on a mountain bike or comfort bike. IMO, these bikes are destined to sit unused in someone's garage or basement one way or another because for their intended purpose THEY ARE THE WRONG TOOL FOR THE JOB.

Look for something a little more lightweight, but still fairly robust. It doesn't have to be less than 20 lbs, but 22 to 26 lb range is certainly doable. You don't need to be looking at bikes that weigh more than 30 lbs just because you weigh close to 300. And don't be afraid of riding on 35, 32, or even 28 mm tires. They can handle your weight (it is the wheels you need to worry about but that is another kettle of fish).
Thanks for your insight. The salesperson was kind of young, but said he'd been there for a while. He was quite patient, but he was definitely recommending MTB. Based on what I learned on here, I think I need to really focus on the back wheel, so I've been asking about them. It might be a mental thing, but I do like the look of the wider wheels.

In other news, I learned Performance Bikes is owned by Fuji bikes (I am sure this is not news to most on here). As many bike shops are, they are discounting the 2017s to bring in the 2018s. They apparently are going to stop selling GTs and Diamondbacks after they get rid of their 2017 inventory, so those may be a bit more discounted than normal if anyone is interested.

At a different LBS, a gentleman was recommending a hybrid by KHS. He was quite patient and explained a lot of things to me, but had a very limited selection to show me. I'll be going to two other shops tomorrow, so I'm hoping to have a bit more success. I'm also hoping to see some of the Giant bikes in person tomorrow.
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Old 09-15-17, 07:25 AM   #35
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Thanks for your insight. The salesperson was kind of young, but said he'd been there for a while. He was quite patient, but he was definitely recommending MTB. Based on what I learned on here, I think I need to really focus on the back wheel, so I've been asking about them. It might be a mental thing, but I do like the look of the wider wheels.

In other news, I learned Performance Bikes is owned by Fuji bikes (I am sure this is not news to most on here). As many bike shops are, they are discounting the 2017s to bring in the 2018s. They apparently are going to stop selling GTs and Diamondbacks after they get rid of their 2017 inventory, so those may be a bit more discounted than normal if anyone is interested.

At a different LBS, a gentleman was recommending a hybrid by KHS. He was quite patient and explained a lot of things to me, but had a very limited selection to show me. I'll be going to two other shops tomorrow, so I'm hoping to have a bit more success. I'm also hoping to see some of the Giant bikes in person tomorrow.
1.heavier riders might need to buy a stronger back wheel. No big deal. Just budget for it. You might need a wheel that is a few gms heavier than something someone half your weight might ride, but you can make some of that weight up going to lighter folding bead tires.

2. Get over your preference for wide mountain style tires. When I see a bike with super wide tires, I see myself struggling to get over hills or maintain a speed faster than 11 mph. Wider is better to a point, but that point is narrower than you think.

In general, I am no weight weenie but this is an area where it actually matters. Consider thus. Super skinny 23 mm racing tires weigh around 200 gms. Wider 28 mm to 32 mm commuting tires with puncture protection weigh 300 to 400 gms. Super bomb proof Schwalbe marathon tires you might take on an unsupported world tour weigh about 500 to 600 grams. 29 X 2.2" mountain tires weigh 800 to 1,000 gms a piece. That is an extra 1.4 to 1.5 kg of rolling weigh on the outside of the rims, which is the place you will most feel extra weight.

3. Don't worry about inventory. If a bike shop only has one bike, but it is the right bike for you, buy it.
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Old 09-15-17, 03:13 PM   #36
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Ok folks. It turns out that I work close to 5 great bike shops. I went to four of them (parking was a challenge for the fifth one) over an extended lunch and got to ride a few bikes, which was a bit more fun than I thought. So I have one more shop to go to on my way home, but there are three bikes that I rode that I'd like to see if the group has opinions on:

1. Giant ToughRoad: I rode the TR1 because that was what was in inventory but would get the 2 ($870). Felt good. 700 X 50 tires. Would likely only require a new seat.
2. Specialized Roll Sport: No issues here, seat is big enough, would have to replace the plastic pedals with metal ones ($25). It was fun to ride, but as much as I hate to say it, it felt like something I might outgrow in a year or two (feel free to say I told you so for those that warned me).
3. Giant Roam: nice bike, didn't enjoy it as much as either of the two above it, but I do think it would be serviceable longer than the Specialized Roll. I think this one has 700 X 38 tires

Any input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-16-17, 10:11 AM   #37
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Ok folks. It turns out that I work close to 5 great bike shops. I went to four of them (parking was a challenge for the fifth one) over an extended lunch and got to ride a few bikes, which was a bit more fun than I thought. So I have one more shop to go to on my way home, but there are three bikes that I rode that I'd like to see if the group has opinions on:

1. Giant ToughRoad: I rode the TR1 because that was what was in inventory but would get the 2 ($870). Felt good. 700 X 50 tires. Would likely only require a new seat.
2. Specialized Roll Sport: No issues here, seat is big enough, would have to replace the plastic pedals with metal ones ($25). It was fun to ride, but as much as I hate to say it, it felt like something I might outgrow in a year or two (feel free to say I told you so for those that warned me).
3. Giant Roam: nice bike, didn't enjoy it as much as either of the two above it, but I do think it would be serviceable longer than the Specialized Roll. I think this one has 700 X 38 tires

Any input is greatly appreciated.
The Toughroad sounds the most promising. I believe forum member Colonel Sanders has one and really likes it. The Roll is a comfort bike, which over longer distances will hold you back.
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Old 09-16-17, 11:04 AM   #38
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The Toughroad sounds the most promising. I believe forum member Colonel Sanders has one and really likes it. The Roll is a comfort bike, which over longer distances will hold you back.
Thanks. I will see if I can find the Colonel and get some input.
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Old 09-21-17, 04:49 PM   #39
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Ok folks. It turns out that I work close to 5 great bike shops. I went to four of them (parking was a challenge for the fifth one) over an extended lunch and got to ride a few bikes, which was a bit more fun than I thought. So I have one more shop to go to on my way home, but there are three bikes that I rode that I'd like to see if the group has opinions on:

1. Giant ToughRoad: I rode the TR1 because that was what was in inventory but would get the 2 ($870). Felt good. 700 X 50 tires. Would likely only require a new seat.
2. Specialized Roll Sport: No issues here, seat is big enough, would have to replace the plastic pedals with metal ones ($25). It was fun to ride, but as much as I hate to say it, it felt like something I might outgrow in a year or two (feel free to say I told you so for those that warned me).
3. Giant Roam: nice bike, didn't enjoy it as much as either of the two above it, but I do think it would be serviceable longer than the Specialized Roll. I think this one has 700 X 38 tires

Any input is greatly appreciated.

Ok fans. I went and test road a Giant Roam 2 again. It is a nice bike, but I am wondering does anyone in this group have experience with it? I admit, I don't love it like the ToughRoad, but it is better than serviceable. I read the Roam thread in the hybrids section, which of course was helpful, but my concerns primarily lie around the suspension it has. I've read before that I should avoid that because it may break and if you fix it a couple of times, that is ~$150 - $200 USD you could have just put towards a better bike.

Also road a Giant ARX, which was ok (recreational MTB), but I could tell there might be a real difference between it and hybrids over the long haul. In any case, my question is primarily about the Roam. I know it isn't in the same league as the ToughRoad (and there doesn't appear to be many bikes like the TR that aren't $1,000+ USD), but it might be a reasonable facsimile that helps me start on the goal of N+1 early. I guess the fact that Giant didn't really discount the 2017 TR to move it out of the way for the 2018 TR is also indicative of the perceived (and perhaps real) quality of that model.
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Old 09-22-17, 02:02 PM   #40
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Are you sure you even need a suspension bike? If you're going to be on flat and graded surfaces, it isn't going to buy you much except additional weight. Nothing wrong with a fork up front, too.
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Old 09-22-17, 04:34 PM   #41
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Are you sure you even need a suspension bike? If you're going to be on flat and graded surfaces, it isn't going to buy you much except additional weight. Nothing wrong with a fork up front, too.
I'm fairly sure a suspension is not necessary, but since I don't really know everything went bikes, I was trying to expand my options.
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Old 09-23-17, 12:06 PM   #42
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Ok fans. I went and test road a Giant Roam 2 again. It is a nice bike, but I am wondering does anyone in this group have experience with it? I admit, I don't love it like the ToughRoad, but it is better than serviceable. I read the Roam thread in the hybrids section, which of course was helpful, but my concerns primarily lie around the suspension it has. I've read before that I should avoid that because it may break and if you fix it a couple of times, that is ~$150 - $200 USD you could have just put towards a better bike.

Also road a Giant ARX, which was ok (recreational MTB), but I could tell there might be a real difference between it and hybrids over the long haul. In any case, my question is primarily about the Roam. I know it isn't in the same league as the ToughRoad (and there doesn't appear to be many bikes like the TR that aren't $1,000+ USD), but it might be a reasonable facsimile that helps me start on the goal of N+1 early. I guess the fact that Giant didn't really discount the 2017 TR to move it out of the way for the 2018 TR is also indicative of the perceived (and perhaps real) quality of that model.


Breakwater,

Get what you LOVE. If you don't love it, you won't use it. Go on lots of test rides. There will be something out there (the ToughRoads, perhaps?) that will just be "right" and will make you smile. THAT is the bike to buy.

If you feel like it's more money than you have or want to spend, see what you're not using at home and can sell on Craigslist. In the longer term, you'll spend less "wasted" money because it will be spent on something you'll use and love.

My story: I bought a new Specialized Hardrock Cruz around '91 and I liked it, but never loved it. I used it for errands and short rides, but never went on long rides; it was practical, but not "fun." I didn't like going on "exercise" rides.

About 3 years ago, I bought a used Specialized Crossroads as a bike to ride after work and loved it! I loved it so much, that I went from just running errands on the Hardrock on weekends to riding longer distances during the week, every Saturday and Sunday, and to signing up last year to ride in a fundraiser ride.

I finally sold the Hardrock Cruz and some other items that I wasn't using in my home, to finance another bike. (I keep a bike at work and one at home.) I test rode lots of bikes and I liked a lot of them, but only a couple SPOKE to me. I bought one that I LOVED and I am now riding so much more and am happier and feel better. It's not because I bought a better bike, but I bought the one that made me smile the most. I no longer go on "exercise" rides; I just ride for the joy.

Roberta

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