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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 09-18-06, 10:28 PM   #1
VolnTitan
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Big Biker Beginner...

Hey Folks...

So after years of watching football and eating pizza, I figured it was time to start riding the bike again. So got the old Murray (yes, cheap) and pumped the tires, washed, etc. Well, that lasted for about an hour. It is a mountain bike type and the "bending down" position was hurting my back since I am 6-3 and about 330 pounds. So I have decided if I am going to do it, I need to get a better bike.

What I want is comfort. I am not looking to ride in a race or go long distances. I just want a comfortable enjoyable ride to get some MUCH needed exercise. I have looked at 3 different bikes so far and the price from the local stores:

Giant Sedona DX ($410)

Trek Navigator 200 ($440) - Although the guy at the store also said the 300 might be good since it has double walled rims ($499).

Specialized Expedition ($350)

I guess my question is which one is considered to be "better"? I had originally planned to go with another Wal-Mart bike, so these prices are alot more. Do these prices seem "kosher"?

I know you probably get alot of these "tell me what to buy" posts, but any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 09-19-06, 02:10 AM   #2
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Yes, those prices are "kosher" I have heard good things about the Giant Sedona. I needed a larger frame size, so I went with a Trek Hybrid (7200). It has been a very stable bike. I popped a spoke after 2,000 miles, but that is the only component that has failed. I ride 20+ miles a day and I am pushuing 300+ pounds down the road

BTW, my wife is a UT alum
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Old 09-19-06, 06:36 AM   #3
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GO VOLS!

Another question....all these bikes I am looking at are "Comfort" bikes in terms of they have more Mountain Bike Giant Sedona and Giant Cypress? Or the Trek Navigator and the Trek 7200 series?

These 3 brands I am looking at, is there one that sticks out for being the better made bike or is 6 of 1, so to speak.

BTW...only one set of quotation marks this time.
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Old 09-19-06, 07:49 AM   #4
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VolnTitan -- I don't have any experience with those bikes, but all seem to enjoy a decent reputation. I will make 3 suggestions on your bike purchase.

1) Find an Local Bike Shop (LBS) that you like and where you feel comfortable. You will be seeing them off and on in the first year and it should be a place where you feel like you are getting good advice and service. Also you should feel comfortable working with them on bike fit and tweaking all the little things to get the bike just right. I would look for a shop that caters to commuters since they are more likely to have experience with bigger riders. Shops catering to the Lance wannabes may not be as helpful.

2) Test ride all of the bikes you are looking at and try to get a feel for each. It will probably come down to feel. I think when you start test riding you will find a bike that just feels right.

3) Be prepared to upgrade your rear wheel. It is the only part of my bike where stock just did not survive. After several broken spokes I bit the bullet and bouht a good wheel. So if you need to buy a new wheel remember more spokes, thicker spokes and a double walled rim with eyelets make a stronger wheel.

Beyond the bike, other gear (besides a helmet) is optional and will depend on how and where you ride. I would start slowly and cheaply on adding other gear as you get a feel for what you need and want. Good luck and enjoy your ride.
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Old 09-19-06, 08:49 AM   #5
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Thanks...The Giant and Specialized both have double wall rims and the Trek Nav. 300 has it also, but is more expensive ($499).

Man, yesterday at this time I was think about going to Costco and just getting a $200 bike.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:03 AM   #6
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many bike shops will rent you a bike and then apply that money to the purchase.

If you can do that for a weekend and find the most comfortable bike...

As others have said the reality is, the frame is going to be fine for you. The issue with big riders is first the wheels, and then some of the other parts.

You can often upgrade to better parts before you take the bike home by just paying the difference. Consider this for the wheels and/or saddle (seat) and/or pedals, etc.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:51 AM   #7
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If I get a bike with double walled rims, do I still need to upgrade the wheels?
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Old 09-19-06, 10:06 AM   #8
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I agree with Marylandnewbie. Also be prepared to go thru saddles til you find the sweet spot. I think it's comfort, or lack thereof, that lands alot of people back on the couch in the spud postion. If it hurts, go back to the LBS, not the TV room.
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Old 09-19-06, 10:17 AM   #9
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Great point. The one sales guy I liked the most said that not to buy a bike based on the seat. The seat is the easiest thing to buy and they can swap that out.
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Old 09-19-06, 10:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by VolnTitan
...I am 6-3 and about 330 pounds. So I have decided if I am going to do it, I need to get a better bike. What I want is comfort...any advice you have would be greatly appreciated
Hi VolnTitan!

Your choices and prices are fine, but may I suggest an alternative. Go look at an Electra Townie. For comfort, they're hard to beat. They are also robust enough to handle you without breaking or any major maintenance issues.

Happy shopping!
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Old 09-19-06, 10:43 AM   #11
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I saw a Townie at REI and to be honest, they were not helpful at all. The only one they had was a 3 speed. This may be a stupid question, but is that enough?
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Old 09-19-06, 11:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by VolnTitan
I saw a Townie at REI and to be honest, they were not helpful at all. The only one they had was a 3 speed. This may be a stupid question, but is that enough?
Hi again, VolnTitan - we seem to be carrying on this conversation in two different threads... To answer your question, three speeds ARE enough, but only if they're the RIGHT three speeds. I bought a 3-speed Electra Townie and traded it the next day for a 7-speed because the three speeds on the original were too widely-spaced.

I wouldn't recommend the three speed Townie model, but you should go back and test ride the bike. If the store wasn't helpful, you may not want to buy, but the bike is different enough that it is worth seeking out and test-riding.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:30 AM   #13
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LOL...we are carrying on 2 conversations.

The store I really liked only had the Trek and Giant. I am going to another store today that sells the Townie and hopefully is better.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VolnTitan
I saw a Townie at REI and to be honest, they were not helpful at all. The only one they had was a 3 speed. This may be a stupid question, but is that enough?
safe answer: depends on where you ride and what you are trying to do (hell, I have a buddy who rides "fixed" The cog in the back is fixed to the rear hub. It doesn't spin free. No coasting. One speed 24/7. The only time I am faster than him is down hill.)

real answer: having more than three gears will help a lot. The hardest part of cycling for big folks is going up hill.
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Old 09-19-06, 06:39 PM   #15
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The Townie is a very robust bike. I find no fault with the gearing range on my 24-speed derailleur model. The steering is a bit twitchy compared to other bikes, but I seem to have adapted to it.

I have a small issue with the Townie's backward leaning riding position when I'm climbing grades above about 12%. When I really mash the pedals I sometimes feel like I'm about to fall over backward. Again, that's something that I've adapted to.

I had an initial problem with the spokes protruding too far past the nipples into the rim and causing flats, so check on that. Filing the spoke ends down and replacing the rim tape with Velox fixed that problem for good.
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Old 09-20-06, 06:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie
right.

3) Be prepared to upgrade your rear wheel. It is the only part of my bike where stock just did not survive. After several broken spokes I bit the bullet and bouht a good wheel. So if you need to buy a new wheel remember more spokes, thicker spokes and a double walled rim with eyelets make a stronger wheel.
Yup, I had a couple go out of true on me (26 mile RT commute a day) so I got a hand built one

36 Spoke (front is 32) on an XT Hub and Mavic 721 rims. I have 2000 miles on it and its still as true as the first day I got it.

http://www.mavic.com/ewb_pages/v/vtt....php?gamme=vtt

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Old 09-23-06, 11:35 AM   #17
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I'm a uber-clyde also, at 6.3 and 365.
Last spring I decided to start being a bit more physically active, and biking came naturally.
I bought a Sepcialized Expedition, which I was lucky to find at a LBS with a CrMo frame.
After ~1500km of commuting, one long ride on a badly paved road killed my rear wheel.
One double walled rim, twice getting it out of tru in less than 15km, then replacing the spokes with better quality ones fixed the problem.
The expedition is very comfortable, my commute is about 12km each way, and the longest rides I took were about 40km. One last note, you'll learn to hate the wind on the expedition.

If you'd like more info, let me know.

BN
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Old 09-23-06, 01:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VolnTitan
Hey Folks...

So after years of watching football and eating pizza, I figured it was time to start riding the bike again. So got the old Murray (yes, cheap) and pumped the tires, washed, etc. Well, that lasted for about an hour. It is a mountain bike type and the "bending down" position was hurting my back since I am 6-3 and about 330 pounds. So I have decided if I am going to do it, I need to get a better bike.

What I want is comfort. I am not looking to ride in a race or go long distances. I just want a comfortable enjoyable ride to get some MUCH needed exercise. I have looked at 3 different bikes so far and the price from the local stores:
Hey, Go Gators....

Anyway, I, like you, decided to end my life of sitting on the couch and almost 3 months later I am down 45 lbs. I took the 2003 Trek 7300 down from the garage ceiling and made a few upgrades: clipless peddles, change the shifters from SRAM 4.0 shifters to a much more comfortable Shimano quick shifters. I also got a new saddle, invest in a good one, not just one that has gel in the seat. Made a world of difference for me. I am riding 20 to 35 miles stints easily now and I am looking forward to my goal bike, Trek Pilot 5.0. I have logged almost 750 miles so far. Figure I will have about 7500 to 10000 miles on mine by the time I hit my goal.

MY wife has the Navigator 300 and likes it, but if your planning of doing any kind of long distance it will be tuff on it. I'd stick to a hybrid of some type.

Brian
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Old 09-25-06, 08:09 PM   #19
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Hey VolnTitan....you sound very near where I was when I started 2 1/2 years ago. I did end up getting the Trek Navigator 300. For what it's worth...I still love that bike and ride it now and again.....though now that I bought a road bike, I lovingly refer to it as my "John Deere bike".

The real test is to ride the bikes you think might be good and get which one works best for you. If you do go with the Trek....the 300 is worth the few extra $$ over the 200.
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Old 09-25-06, 08:56 PM   #20
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Giant comfort at $370
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/030...06&model=11311
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Old 09-25-06, 11:16 PM   #21
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I'm about 225. I currently have the TREK Navigator 200. It was a good bike when I was riding 5 miles at a time. When I moved up to 10-15 miles per ride, I was unhappy with the speed with fat tires, so traded for thinner tires. When I started riding over 25 miles at a time, I realized that I needed a road bike. Comfort bikes seem to only be comfortable for shorter rides.
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Old 09-26-06, 05:01 AM   #22
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I'm about 225. I currently have the TREK Navigator 200. It was a good bike when I was riding 5 miles at a time. When I moved up to 10-15 miles per ride, I was unhappy with the speed with fat tires, so traded for thinner tires. When I started riding over 25 miles at a time, I realized that I needed a road bike. Comfort bikes seem to only be comfortable for shorter rides.
This is somewhat true.....I was fine on the Navigator up to about 25 miles. When I started going past that on occasion, I put slick tires on it...not really much thinner, just smooth. Then I was ok up to the 40 mile or so range. When I started riding past that I started thinking about a road bike....and now ride my road bike predominantly.
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Old 10-02-06, 09:44 PM   #23
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My two cents

I just got on a bike not two months ago.
After riding for many years competitively (last time about 15 years ago) Fuji's. Peugeots, Biachi's and home made Spanish bikes. (I did grow up in Spain and also did enjoy great years in the DC area riding everywhere when I moved to the States). I looked and looked for a new bike during summer. I tried Treks, Cannondale and many others. Read and read and finally before shedding some serious money on the bike I really want. I found myself looking at the used bike ads. And guess what, I found what I consider a great bike for this first year of riding or till I grow out of it. I bought a 2005 Diamondback Response. The owner was a local yuppie that bought the bike and upgraded everything, brakes, gears and handle bars, etc etc. He only used it for a year or so and then it sat on a corner till he thought of selling it about two months ago.
Maybe is not my ultimate bike but this was the deal. The bike does not have one scratch and for $200.00 I got the Bike, two set of tires (mountain and road), two water bottle cages, cateye lights and computer, two sets of pedals (clipless and platform) helmet and a Bike Thule roof rack for my car. I am perfectly happy with the bike; it rides great, as until my belly does not go down and my legs donít build up I will be in shape enough to push it to its limits. Now I just need to get a comfy seat (Brooks B-17), fenders and some panniers an off I go to work !!!
So look for a used bike you might get more bang for your buck!!!
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Old 10-06-06, 10:48 PM   #24
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How Bout Dem Vols!

Gotta get a win over those Gawga Bulldawgs tomorrow... we ain't done so great against Gators or Dawgs lately...
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Old 10-07-06, 09:40 PM   #25
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I think it's more important to buy from a good LBS rather than what particular brand you are buying. All of the big companies make good bikes or they wouldn't stay in business. The main thing is to get a good fit. You won't enjoy riding your new bike unless you have the correct size and seating position. Your rear wheel will be the component taking the most stress. Be sure they check the spoke tension on both wheels before you take it home. Many new bikes come with wheels that have loose spokes. I had a problem breaking spokes on my Lemond due to inadequate tension and the very rough gravel road I live on. I bit the bullet and bought a new set of 36 spoke wheels built by Colorado Cyclist. In over three years I've never had to use a spoke wrench on them. Hopefully you won't have to go through that with your new bike. The double walled rims might be another thing to consider before buying. Good luck with your new bike and welcome back to the wonderful world of cycling!
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