Been lurking for awhile now. I'm 6'2", 250#, and I'm a DEAD SEXY MAN!
So one LBS sales-dork says, "Rivendell's tire sizing chart is basically gospel. Check it out, and tell me what it says, and we'll find a bike in your budget that will take those tires."
Ok. Me + 30# of books + 30# of bike (inc. lights, fenders, blah) = ~310#. Riv's online chart says I need to be on 38mm tires (!) in order to be comfy and avoid flats. Fine, I'm not proud.
Two days later (today) same LBS, different sales-dork. "It don't matter. You're a big guy, so get a relaxed road bike or 'country bike' and ride 25s or maybe 28s instead of 23s. Really, 700cx25 is plenty. If you don't want flats, don't hop curbs with a road bike like a messenger." Wha? Seriously, if the first guy had told me that, I'd've bought the XL Schwinn Madison they had (cuz I think it's pretty, but it's gone now, backordered till April; whatever).
So, really, what's the actual story on tires? And if I need the bigger ones, what can I get in the $500 range that won't have me snapping off seat posts like the guy in the other thread, or carving grooves in the pavement with my steamroller weight on knife-edge tires?! (Sales-dork #2 wants me on a Schwinn Circuit, FWIW.)
EDIT: Oh, yeah: plan to start with a 2-3 times/week commute to school, 4.5 miles one way, gently rolling roads. Would like to work up to more frequent commuting and some weekend day-rides with the fiance, who's in better shape and wants us to ride together. This first bike doesn't need to do everything perfectly, but just enough, well enough to not put me off of riding, and get me through, say, the next two years.