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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 03-22-08, 06:29 AM   #1
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Newbie Confused/First Cycle.

Hi folks,
I am rather heavy - about 280-300 pounds or 20 stones in the UK where I live. I decided to get a cycle to help me get some of this weight off me and bought a Marin. I only rode it a few hundred yards and it locked out on me so I took it back to the shop and they fixed it only for it to go wrong again (gears). I believe it was just one of those things and I was a bit unlucky to get a cycle that needed to be tweaked a bit to get it right.

To digress a little: Where I live is all flat with a few inclines here and there. I can easily do 10 miles without ever coming across even a steep incline so this is an advantage especially as I am new, unfit, and only need a cycle for "on the road".

Now, after speaking to the owner of the shop he suggested that if I was losing confidence in the cycle I have, maybe I should change it for a cycle with Hub gears as I don't need the 20 odd that I have.

My question is would Hub gears (I think its 7) be good enough, and better for what I need?
I have no intentions of going off road, trying to cycle up a hill that I can hardly walk up, and basically only use the cycle for around town and country lanes.
Also, he told me that they were more reliable all round and the Dutch cycle company Gazelle are one of the most respected cycles in the world - is that true?

Many thanks.
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Old 03-22-08, 07:30 AM   #2
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Where are you in the UK? If you don't think you are likely to encounter any large hills, then a bicycle with hub gears should be fine. We don't see many Gazelles in the United States, so I can't answer that bit of your question.

You might want to visit our Clydesdales/Athenas forum, too. The folks there are experts on bikes which can handle big riders.

Welcome to BikeForums!

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Old 03-22-08, 07:43 AM   #3
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i actually know someone who swears by Gazelle - he has several. but his were all purchased before production left Dieren and went to China.

depending on the hub's ratios, an internally-geared hub can be excellent for general riding, even in moderate hills. plus, their infrequent maintenance schedule is a definite benefit for new riders.
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Old 03-22-08, 08:33 AM   #4
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The town where I live in the south of England is as flat as a pancake with very little in the way of hills - in fact the very few hills here I won't need to go up anyway. Also, to commute by train to London is only about 40 minutes so I thought it would be fun to take a cycle there (on the train) and spend a couple of days roaming round to see more of the place I would normally do by foot. London is of course also flat.

I suppose thinking about it I now realize I don't need any where near 27 gears and wouldn't know what to do with them all anyway so in some respects I have answered my own question. But as the vast majority of cycles are of the Derailleur kind I just wanted some info on the Hub geared cycles that had been suggested to me.

Many Thanks.
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Old 03-22-08, 04:24 PM   #5
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Here's my take on the situation. I am not exactly an expert, so feel free to hop over to the Mechanics Forum and ask about what's wrong with your bike there.

I think you are literally twisting the frame when you pedal. You need a stronger frame would be my guess.

If I am right, you have some choices. You can get a basic mass produced steel frame and put the parts you have on it. The labor to do this costs quite a bit unless the shop you got it from wants to be nice for selling you a bike that was totally wrong for you.

I think Surly is sold under a different name where you are. But the Surly website will give you an idea of what I mean. Their touring frame is called the LHT and would be a good choice.

If you can swing it, call Thorn or Mercian and have them whip up something for you. Mercian has a huge selection of frame models and steels. But their touring model will set you back about 500 pounds after the VAT. But it would be plenty strong.

The thing about touring frames is that they are very strong, will take a large tire, and have a riding position about halfway between bolt upright and what a racer would do.

Just a thought.

If the shop you got it from will take it back, that might be your best choice. You could use the credit towards another bike. Another choice, were that the case, is
a Mtn bike that doesn't have any shocks. But test ride it and make sure there isn't a lot of flex when you hit a big bump.
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Old 03-22-08, 05:15 PM   #6
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Internally Geared hubs are really good pieces of machinery. A good one will even do mild hills with little trouble. I wouldn't hesitate to get one. Especially for commuting/just tooling around town.
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