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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 03-19-08, 12:41 PM   #1
davidsky
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New here

I'm new to this forum. 265lbs 5'11" or 6'0" depending on whether I slouch or stretch.
I'm looking to buy a new bike. I currently have a 90s Royce Union that I don't ride much because it's too uncomfortable. So far I've been to 3 bike shops and have tried the;
Specialized Expedition Elite
Giant Sedona DX
Trek Pure Sport (any opinions on the forward pedal bikes would be great too)
I'm going to do mostly neighborhood riding at first and some commuting when I get less chicken about being out in traffic. Paved roads with a lot of gravel and a few potholes
So far I like the Specialized best because it had the most comfortable seat and has trigger shifters.
Any opinions or recs?
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Old 03-19-08, 12:51 PM   #2
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Glad to see you here. I won't comment on the bikes as I don't have the experience that many others do. My suggestion is to find a good LBS, and then a bike from them that fits you best and you feel comfortable with.
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Old 03-19-08, 01:00 PM   #3
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Hello David,

welcome !

My impression is, for "neighborhood riding" anything goes and the best way to find your bike is extensive testing of the available selection of your local bike shops (LBS). Fortunately there are still a lot of different bike makers around. Whenever possible I would grab a bike without suspension fork - these are just silly marketing gimmicks; they are completely unnecessary on this type of bikes ( 80% of the weight is on the rear wheel anyhow; supension forks belong on mountain bikes that are actually ridden offroads); they make your bike a lot heavier and suspension forks need maintenance (makes them popular with bike shops).
Breezer has nice bikes fully equipped with essentials for everyday use (stand, rack, lights, fenders, chain protectors) - an often overlooked alternative. *http://www.breezerbikes.com

Just be aware that a bike you might deem comfortable for rather short "neighborhood riding" most likely will not be very desirable and comfortable should you ever attempt longer rides. I would suggest, if possible, aim for a bike a little bit sportier.

Last edited by lutz; 03-19-08 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 03-19-08, 01:05 PM   #4
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(any opinions on the forward pedal bikes would be great too)
Never heard this term before. Could you explain it please?
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Old 03-19-08, 02:34 PM   #5
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You might consider a used mountain bike--they're very widely available here in thrift shops (Salvation Army, Good Will etc) for $25-$75 and sometimes cheaper. I bought my wife a near-mint Specialized Hard Rock as a backup to keep at her office for just $10 last year. It didn't need anything but air in the tires and lube on the chain. If you spend, say, $50, you could put on road tires (from any bike shop) for another $20-$50 and possibly fenders ($20-$30, and well worth having in winter), and you'd be rolling for $100-$150.
It helps to know what you're looking for, but many thrift shop bikes are in great shape, donated by people who bought them 10 years ago, rarely used them and finally got tired of walking around them in the garage. Specialized, Diamond Back, Trek and Bridgestone are some reliable brands. Be wary of Huffy, Murray and Magma, which are junk. If you don't see what you want on the first trip, wait a week and look again. Turnover, at least in my area, is pretty rapid.
Before you buy, Google something like "bicycle fit" or "fitting a bike" to get a rough idea of what size you need. Fit's not critically important for the kind of short-range cycling you're talking about, but it's always best to be comfortable, and if you get enthusiastic and want to stretch it out, you'll be glad you got the right size.
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Old 03-19-08, 02:50 PM   #6
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Never heard this term before. Could you explain it please?
The Electra Townie is a forward pedal bike. They push the crank about 4-6 inches forward of the seat tube. It lets you put your feet on the ground while still having full extension while pedaling
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Old 03-19-08, 03:08 PM   #7
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You might consider a used mountain bike--they're very widely available here in thrift shops (Salvation Army, Good Will etc) for $25-$75 and sometimes cheaper.
It helps to know what you're looking for, but many thrift shop bikes are in great shape, donated by people who bought them 10 years ago, rarely used them and finally got tired of walking around them in the garage. Specialized, Diamond Back, Trek and Bridgestone are some reliable brands. Be wary of Huffy, Murray and Magma, which are junk. If you don't see what you want on the first trip, wait a week and look again. Turnover, at least in my area, is pretty rapid.
Before you buy, Google something like "bicycle fit" or "fitting a bike" to get a rough idea of what size you need. Fit's not critically important for the kind of short-range cycling you're talking about, but it's always best to be comfortable, and if you get enthusiastic and want to stretch it out, you'll be glad you got the right size.
I'll look out for thrift store bikes.
A quick trip to a local shop to look at bikes has solidified a few questions.
I'm going to go for a hybrid. The thinner wheels will likely work better on the road.
My current bike is too big. It's a 21" frame and I should be on a 18". When I sat on the LBS's 21" bike I had the same feeling I get on my current bike. I end up leaning on my hands too much and I can't sit up and relax.
I used to build cheap department store bikes as a job. I tried to do a good job assembling them but most I would've considered unsafe. Slimy chrome or painted rims should never be put on any bike.
My Royce Union was one of the better ones I put together
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Old 03-19-08, 03:37 PM   #8
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I would get a good road bike (so called racing bike) and a low cost, thrift store hybrid or mountain bike. A hard tail mountain bike with road tires (slicks) is pretty similar to a hybrid.

Its really a shame they call road bikes racing bikes. For most, this is certainly a misnomer. Perhaps it helps sell bikes, but I think it also scares away potential buyers.


Once you start riding more, you will find that hybrids and mountain bikes are at a disadvantage on the road.

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Old 03-19-08, 04:14 PM   #9
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Before you drop money on a new bike, wha is wrong with the old one? Is the bike the wrong size? If not,you can replace components to make it comfortable. Nice new comfy saddle, different width handlebars, different brake levers. seatpost setback, length of the handlebar stem, width of tires, air pressure, rims, for example.

My wife has an 84 Bianchi road bike that she considers very comfortable after some adjustments. If you go to a bike shop, they will set up the new bike in a position that makes the new bike comfy. Who knows, maybe the old one can be set up too?

I know plenty of riders that ride old bikes that are comfy but set up properly. Now if you want something lite and fast, that's understandable but will cost plenty.
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Old 03-19-08, 04:53 PM   #10
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I would get a good road bike (so called racing bike)
Its really a shame they call road bikes racing bikes. For most, this is certainly a misnomer. Perhaps it helps sell bikes, but I think it also scares away potential buyers.
Once you start riding more, you will find that hybrids and mountain bikes are at a disadvantage on the road.
I'd be more likely to buy a road bike after I've been riding for a while. A good road bike is expensive to me. I'd have to save up.
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Old 03-19-08, 04:58 PM   #11
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Before you drop money on a new bike, wha is wrong with the old one? Is the bike the wrong size? If not,you can replace components to make it comfortable. Nice new comfy saddle, different width handlebars, different brake levers. seatpost setback, length of the handlebar stem, width of tires, air pressure, rims, for example.
I have modified my current bike somewhat. I switched the knobby tires for pavement tires.
I changed the handlebar from a flat bar to a hi rise bar
I have a Specialized BG seat. The seat was a big improvement.
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Old 03-19-08, 05:01 PM   #12
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Old 03-20-08, 01:14 PM   #13
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Old 03-20-08, 02:38 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the welcomes. I now just have to wait for GWBs economic "stimulus" to get a new bike.
In the meantime I ordered a squishy cruiser saddle for my current bike plus a new brake cable so I can reposition the levers for the front brakes. This way I can also raise the stem somewhat, right now it's stretching the cable.
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Old 03-20-08, 03:28 PM   #15
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I don't think you will go wrong with any of the bikes you listed.

I have weighed between 50 and 100 pounds more than you, and I have 3,000 miles on a Sedona DX (2003 model) I have replaced the fork with a rigid fork after about 2500 miles... The typical suspension fork on an inexpensive bike is a serious pogo stick if you get out of the saddle to climb hills etc. I think the DX now has disc brakes, which I would see as a plus.

I also switched to semi-slick tires after the originals started to get worn.

If I were buying today, I would personally go for the Cypress line based on what I know of my preferences today. I bought the Sedona figuring on some trail riding once I lost weight, but I really think the most agressive trail I will ever ride is a gravel road or rail trail, so the Cypress would be a better match, and the tires are more road worthy off the rack.

Each manufacturer will have similar bikes, so I would go along with what has been said... browse around enough to know which of the local shops is your favorite, then buy the bike they have that matches what you are looking for and your budget.
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