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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 04-21-07, 12:53 PM   #1
don04
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Some advice please

Hello all. New Clyde member here.

My wife and I are looking to get into road riding. We used to ride MTB, but the ease and call of the road are too strong to resist. I have been quite sick over the past few years, and now have a clean bill of health. I need to lose 80 or so lbs that I put on while sick.
Me - 5'8 280 lbs
Mrs. 5'2 125 lbs.

I have searched extensively for suggestions for bikesin the forums...

So far I have learned...
1. Hybrid is a good place to start.
2. Trek 7.x series are pretty good
3. Most other manufacturers have hybrids that are good also.

I live north of Boston. I went to CycleLoft in Burlington MA today, and felt like I was getting the cold shoulder, no one really seemed interested. They are a Trek dealer. I started asking about 7.2, 7.3, etc... and given my price range... ~600, what is my best bet. The response.. Get the 7.5. It is the best. If we want to try them, there is a parking lot next door. Buy the bike... you get just the bike.

I then went to another dealer (Giant and Cannondale) in Bedford MA. These guys were great. Took the time to show me Giant FCR series, talk about differences, compare to Cannondale... They want us to come in (they are at the start of a bike trail) and test drive the bikes, make sure they are correct. They even have some leftover 2006's, the FCR2 is probably plenty of bike for us. Oh yeah, one year free service with the sale.

Now... my questions:
Everyone seems to have good things about the Trek. Is it truly superior, or will I be ok with the Giant FCR2? I have not test ridden anything yet. The second place said we need to come back in clothes for riding so we can get a true feel for the bike.

FCR1 - FCR2 - FCR3? In your opinion, do you think the FCR2 is enough? We plan to start slow, and work our way up. I need to lose some weight due to health issues. I don't want to buy a bike, and then spend all my time wondering if it was the right choice.

So please, fellow Clydesdales... help guide me.

don04
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Old 04-21-07, 01:50 PM   #2
centexwoody
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Sounds like you've done good research already.

As for bike brand, my LBS sells Giant, Cannondale, Specialized and other brands. The other shop in town sells Trek, another Bianchi. I patronize the shop that sold me my Giant MTB and now my 2nd bike. I've never owned or ridden a Trek. My experience with Giant was that they are great bikes for the cost. I don't like the Trek dealer so I'm riding one of the brands of bike from my favorite LBS because the after-sale service is nearly equal to the initial sale, in my opinion.

My wife started on a Giant hybrid & just upgraded after 3 years to a Specialized 'comfort road bike'. She is not a Clyde. I am.

Pick bikes that are comfortable to you and ride them into the ground. Then you'll know what your next bike needs to be. For 600 bucks, I'll bet the Giant line has the best offer but ride some of them for several miles on the trail near that shop, don't hesitate to get them to raise/lower the seat, etc. and let your experience determine your choice.
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Old 04-21-07, 02:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don04
Hello all. New Clyde member here.

My wife and I are looking to get into road riding. We used to ride MTB, but the ease and call of the road are too strong to resist. I have been quite sick over the past few years, and now have a clean bill of health. I need to lose 80 or so lbs that I put on while sick.
Me - 5'8 280 lbs
Mrs. 5'2 125 lbs.

I have searched extensively for suggestions for bikesin the forums...

So far I have learned...
1. Hybrid is a good place to start.
2. Trek 7.x series are pretty good
3. Most other manufacturers have hybrids that are good also.

I live north of Boston. I went to CycleLoft in Burlington MA today, and felt like I was getting the cold shoulder, no one really seemed interested. They are a Trek dealer. I started asking about 7.2, 7.3, etc... and given my price range... ~600, what is my best bet. The response.. Get the 7.5. It is the best. If we want to try them, there is a parking lot next door. Buy the bike... you get just the bike.

I then went to another dealer (Giant and Cannondale) in Bedford MA. These guys were great. Took the time to show me Giant FCR series, talk about differences, compare to Cannondale... They want us to come in (they are at the start of a bike trail) and test drive the bikes, make sure they are correct. They even have some leftover 2006's, the FCR2 is probably plenty of bike for us. Oh yeah, one year free service with the sale.

Now... my questions:
Everyone seems to have good things about the Trek. Is it truly superior, or will I be ok with the Giant FCR2? I have not test ridden anything yet. The second place said we need to come back in clothes for riding so we can get a true feel for the bike.

FCR1 - FCR2 - FCR3? In your opinion, do you think the FCR2 is enough? We plan to start slow, and work our way up. I need to lose some weight due to health issues. I don't want to buy a bike, and then spend all my time wondering if it was the right choice.

So please, fellow Clydesdales... help guide me.

don04
The dealer is the one you go back to for repairs, advice, accessories, more bikes, etc. The dealer is more important then the brand they carry, if the dealer is a jerk, don't buy there.... Now, I have a question, do you still have your mountain bike,and is it a hard-tail? If you do, and it is, then just slap a set of Narrower tires on it, and you essentially have a hybrid. Save your money, until you have lost some of your weight you want to lose, and then buy a road bike. You can check out my Blog to see what I did with a run of the mill MTB....
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Old 04-21-07, 03:20 PM   #4
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I have a Trek 7300 which is the same as the 7.3. I really like the bike and put 2300 miles on and took off 80 pounds. I did make several changes to the bike to improve the ride and comfort. I changed the fork, shifters and put on a more road based cassette. If you have the real feel for a road bike, don't get a hybrid, as you will be ready to swap out of it pretty quickly. If your not sure, I would look on Craig's List and you can pick one up for half the cost to make sure versus spending $600 on something you grow out of in 3 months.

I'm not sure exactly you are in relation to Boston, but I did find these on Craig's List:

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/315539312.html
http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/315106997.html (Might be a slight bit tall for your 5' 8"
http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/bik/314776961.html This one is right up you alley 19" frame, $120.00

Good luck.
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Old 04-21-07, 03:28 PM   #5
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Take a test ride. Ride until something starts hurting. That'll tell you most of what you want to know. A couple of turns around the parking lot isn't enough as far as I'm concerned. Bring your own helmet, some places have shop helmets and others don't.

Oh, by the way tell the folks at the bike shop you'll be taking a longer than usual test ride. I failed to do that once. When I got back they were wondering if I'd ever be coming back with their bike.

Some shops won't let you take a long test ride. Cross them off the list, there are plenty of LBS's that will.
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Old 04-21-07, 03:37 PM   #6
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I completely echo the service thing. If they aren't bending over backwards to get your business, they aren't worth it. I have very much lucked out on my two recent purchases, and will definitely be frequenting both shops. I'd like to get a Surly Karate Monkey or Long Haul Trucker build up when I hit my goal, and I'll be having shop 2 do the build. They might be a little more expensive, but they keep bending over backwards for me. That, in my mind, you can't put a price tag on.

I have a Trek 7.3FX and am generally very pleased with it. However, I think the shop is full of idiots if they recommended you buy something that is the most expensive that you could afford. The 7.5 is nice and all, but if you are on a < $600 budget it isn't worth the step up over the 7.3. Now if you were talking the 7.6 or 7.7, then maybe, but not just going from .3 to .5.

My only gripe with my FX is the rear wheel, but that's getting remedied currently. I'll be without it for most of the week and back to the MTB, but oh well. When I get it back it'll be better than new with a hand-built rear wheel and a Brooks .

That being said, I echo what others here say. Go with the shop that really wants to earn your business, and forget about the brands they carry. Cannondale makes good bikes, the Bad Boy line in particular are very sweet.

Good luck!
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Old 04-21-07, 04:22 PM   #7
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I have a 7.3 and have never had a single problem in my 1800+ miles of ownership. That being said, go with the bike shop you feel will support you the best. REMEMBER just because they are friendly during the sale does not mean they will be that way after the sale.

Most bike shops here will do one free service after the sale.
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Old 04-21-07, 06:17 PM   #8
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I looked at Cannondale vrs Trek Hybrids and bought a Cannondale Road Warrior 400 and am happy with it. I felt its build quality was higher. If I did it again, I would probably would have looked for a Cannondale Road Warrior 500.
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Old 04-21-07, 06:41 PM   #9
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One of my LBSs is a Trek dealer. Horrible to deal with. Want to sell you what they have rather than what you need. I buy stuff from them, but for a bike I go two doors down the street to the shop that sells Giant, Cannondale, and Fuji. Like the shop you described, he takes his time with you and wants you to be happy.

Giants are good bikes. I have a Giant Yukon SE MTB that has been great.
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Old 04-22-07, 07:58 AM   #10
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I own and have owned Trek and Cannondale bikes and I like both. I agree with comments that the LBS is the most important part of the deal for the novice.

As a Cylde I would look at the quality of the wheel parts to determine my "minimum" bike to purchase. Constant trips to the LBS can really diminish the fun factor.

Trek lists the Shimano FH-RM60 Rear Cassette Hub for the 7300 and then goes to the Bontrager Select wheels on the 7500. The Shimano hub is a standard lace cassette hub at the low end of their scale about $15-$20 just for the rear hub. The Bontrager wheels go to the 24 x paired setup wheels.

I would ask the LBS about the durability / capacity of the wheels to avoid pitfalls, constant loosening / broken spokes / hub adjustments can and do happen.

Front Suspension is another issue as each fork has a limit of adjustment available. Check to see how it rides and if there is some type of preload adjustment on the fork.

As a fellow clyde I tend to say spend more on the initial purchase to avoid future issues if you wish or as others have stated buy it then run to the ground and then upgrade to a new bike when you know what you want a bit more.

I have friends who have had the "starter" bike for years and others than barely made a few weeks before upgrading to another.

Good Luck
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Old 04-22-07, 08:55 AM   #11
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I agree with the other people in this forum. Go with the dealer that spent the most time with you and appeared to address your concerns. I brought a Giant from a LBS down the street 20 years ago. My Giant was a good bike. I went everywhere with it, commute and a couple of bike vacations. The owner is a jerk but the service man was great!!! I don't make any purchases there anymore because the owner is still a jerk. I go to another LBS where I have a service man that I trust with my life. I now own a Trek 4500 as well as a Schwinn and a Mongoose. I buy my bikes from people whom I can spend time with and who take me seriously.

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Old 04-22-07, 09:20 AM   #12
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i'm 5'6", 270 lbs and looking to drop about 80 pounds also. i got a trek 7000 from the trek store in st. louis. it was the only bike in my price range with a rigid fork, and they changed out the grip shifters for triggers for me for only the cost of the shifters, no installation fee. they were the nicest and most accomidating, plus i think i ended up with the best deal. it's a great bike for not too much money. i've already put over 120 miles on it since i got it in the beginning of march. definately worth looking into.
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