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  1. #1
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    Purchasing a bike - Need help deciding what to get

    Hi There,

    Someone mentioned this question would be best posted in this forum. I have not owned a bike in ages. My primary reason is for excercise. I'm a fairly heavy guy. (About 270 lbs at most) I am getting ready to puchase a bike, but my money is extremely limited. I'd probably have to cap myself at $400 CDN, but might possibly be able to stretch it to $500 if needed. I'm looking to get the best bang for my buck, but have no idea what brands/models are good. Once I get used to biking again, and have built up a little endurance, I plan to start riding to work on it. Can anyone suggest any particular bike models that would suit me? I realize that if down the road if I really get in to biking, I may need to upgrade it, but I'll cross that bridge if/when I come to it.

    Chris

  2. #2
    Man, Myth, Legend,Bigfoot chunkyd's Avatar
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    Bike for a super Clyde? - some ideas... I hope it helps!

    Look at Fujibikes.com or Bikesdirect.com

    Chris

    Quote Originally Posted by Firebreak
    Hi There,

    Someone mentioned this question would be best posted in this forum. I have not owned a bike in ages. My primary reason is for excercise. I'm a fairly heavy guy. (About 270 lbs at most) I am getting ready to puchase a bike, but my money is extremely limited. I'd probably have to cap myself at $400 CDN, but might possibly be able to stretch it to $500 if needed. I'm looking to get the best bang for my buck, but have no idea what brands/models are good. Once I get used to biking again, and have built up a little endurance, I plan to start riding to work on it. Can anyone suggest any particular bike models that would suit me? I realize that if down the road if I really get in to biking, I may need to upgrade it, but I'll cross that bridge if/when I come to it.

    Chris

  3. #3
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    If there is a bicycle maintenance course near you take that. Usually you will practice on a junk bike you provide, and turn it into a restored vintage gem.

    Other wise look up 'down tube' on the folding bike forum section.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  4. #4
    JRD
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    Hi Chris,

    I was about the same weight when I got back into cycling for weight loss and all around better health and fitness. I started back with a hybrid and that just didn't fit too well. I went to LBS and pick up a 2005 (Never owned) Trek 1000c and for now I like it a lot. As I lose weight and get smaller I can make adjustment to my riding position. I paid $500.00 out the door for the bike and the LBS threw in some extras. It's a nice bike for the money.

    hth,
    John

  5. #5
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    I may have run in to a decent deal, would a Trek 7000 be a decent bike? A friend trying to sell one he's never used. (Won in a lottery)

  6. #6
    Unemplawyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebreak
    I may have run in to a decent deal, would a Trek 7000 be a decent bike? A friend trying to sell one he's never used. (Won in a lottery)
    Depends on what use you'll put it to. Riding mostly level, or rolling, paved streets/paths? Then that bike is a great way to build up a base fitness level. It'd probably do quite well on well-maintained gravel and dirt roads too.

    My main recommendation to people looking in the cheap end of the "real" (i.e. not Wally-world, X-Mart) bike spectrum is to look for used bikes that have been lovingly cared for and/or barely used. There are more bikes in this condition than one might think, and for someone just starting out, it's a good way to get a nice bike for little dough. You can often get 2-3x the bike for the money.

    The only difficulty I ran into in taking this path is that I'm on the tall side (6'2") with long legs (36" inseam). It took me a while longer than it did to find a bike for my girlfriend, but I found one.

    Eventually you'll probably want to upgrade, but that's once you've been bitten by the bug. Until then, save cash, build fitness, and have fun.
    Hope you like reality.
    -racingpain

  7. #7
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebreak
    ...I'm a fairly heavy guy. (About 270 lbs at most) I am getting ready to puchase a bike, but my money is extremely limited...
    You're a flea-weight compared to some of us, Chris! If your money is extremely limited, educate yourself first by asking others to test-ride their bikes. Once you find a style you like, look for a used one. It would be dishonest to go to the bike store, test ride their new bikes, and then buy used. Most cyclists, provided you know them at least slightly, will be happy to let you try out their rides.

    REAL bargains are to be had at police bicycle auctions, flea markets, Salvation Army stores, and yard sales. The bulletin board at the local college at semester's end is also a good source. Happy shopping!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebreak
    Hi There,

    Someone mentioned this question would be best posted in this forum. I have not owned a bike in ages. My primary reason is for excercise. I'm a fairly heavy guy. (About 270 lbs at most) I am getting ready to puchase a bike, but my money is extremely limited. I'd probably have to cap myself at $400 CDN, but might possibly be able to stretch it to $500 if needed. I'm looking to get the best bang for my buck, but have no idea what brands/models are good. Once I get used to biking again, and have built up a little endurance, I plan to start riding to work on it. Can anyone suggest any particular bike models that would suit me? I realize that if down the road if I really get in to biking, I may need to upgrade it, but I'll cross that bridge if/when I come to it.

    Chris
    I'll assume your in Canada, if so what part? If your near Toronto, ON. then PM me, and we can chat. There are some decent deals out there. For example sometimes you can pick up a last years model, for a lower price then the current model. Now it really depends on the kind of riding you want to do, and whether you plan on riding in the winter. You said about commuting, that usually means a commuter bike, the problem is, they are not commonly sold in this country, so most commuters adapt one of the other kinds of bikes.

    Bike shops usually have three kinds of bike, the mountain bike, the hybrid and the road bike.

    The mountain bike, is the SUV of the cycling world, built to take abuse, home in mud and snow, tend to be on the heavy side, has low gearing so that after that 5m .01% grade decent, you can go up the 5km 12% grade accent, that always seems to follow. I always wondered how it was possible to have long steep uphills, followed by short almost imperceptable downhills, but still end up at the same level at the end of the trail . Tires tend to be knobby and wide, rims are a smaller diameter for better wheel strength.

    The road bike is the sports car of the cycling world, built for speed with high gearing, skinny tires, and everything designed and built to be as light weight as possible.

    The hybrid tends to be in between, the other two, often with road bike wheels and brakes almost every else from the mountain bike. Including the lower gearing, but because the wheels are larger, it's not quite as low.

    For commuting you may find a hybrid with racks, fenders and lights attached, would work the best for you, and should come in around your price point at the lower end. Best is to visit some bike shops and try a few bikes out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebreak
    Hi There,

    Someone mentioned this question would be best posted in this forum.
    Yep, that was me!

  10. #10
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    Well, bad news is my friend already sold it, good news is that I've been checking that bike out and I really like it, so I think I might go see one in person. Seems to be exactly what I was looking for and fits in my budget.

  11. #11
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    Yep I ended up getting one. So far I like it, seems to ride smooth. I wish my area wasn't so hilly, for someone out of shape like me it's a KILLER! lol!

    Oh well, I'm sure I'll get used to it.

    Chris

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebreak
    Yep I ended up getting one. So far I like it, seems to ride smooth. I wish my area wasn't so hilly, for someone out of shape like me it's a KILLER! lol!

    Oh well, I'm sure I'll get used to it.

    Chris
    Hills are the reason Granny gears were invented , although hills are also great for training, as you get stronger you will find that the hills get a little easier. Having said that I walked the bike up a hill today, I am sure later in the season I will master this particular monster .

  13. #13
    Mountain Man on a MTB Chris in WCVA's Avatar
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    Have fun. Don't worry so about the hills. I have a monster climb at the end of my drive. One of those LONG medium grade hills that don't look so bad but have you gasping 1/2 way up! WHen I started out a few months ago, I was exhausted. I rode to the store the other day to return movies, and realized as I was returning that I hadn't run out of breath once!

    My goal route would make a goat wheeze, but I'm looking forward to having the stamina to pull it off!
    DON'T PANIC

    2006 KHS Alite 300

    Adjustable Shocks Rock!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris in WCVA
    WHen I started out a few months ago, I was exhausted. I rode to the store the other day to return movies, and realized as I was returning that I hadn't run out of breath once!
    That's how it works. That's the way it was with me. At the beginning, I could barely go one mile without huffing and puffing. Now I could go more than ten times as far without huffing and puffing.

  15. #15
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    best deal is

    Check out my page and you will see three bicycles that cost less than $400 U.S. to make perfectly rideable. The sky is the limit on restoring a 80's steel bike and at our weight (I am 260) we need steel frames and 36 spoke wheels with at least 28mm wide tires and preferably 32mm minimum. Vintage bikes with 27x 1 1/4 inch wheels lend themselves to wider tires, usually have 36 spoke wheels, have clearances for fenders and can later be converted to 700c wheels with no problems. As others have stated you can usually find a good project bike for a really good price and many are rideable with only a new set of tires, new cables, brake pads and some clean up.

    Check out my bikes at: http://www.myspace.com/eccentriccyclistcharlie

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