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  1. #1
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    Bike Recommendations For A Big Guy on a Budget?

    I am a big guy looking for a bike. All the details on who I am and what I will use the bike for are listed below.

    I have been looking at and considering the Schwinn bikes at Target. They are definatly better quality than any bike I ever had before (Huffy, Murry, Magna.) The bike I most recently rode (2 years ago) was a Magna. The Magna broke due to my weight on a cheap crank/pedal. The pedal threading on the crank was weak enough that it stripped itself causing the petal to sit at a weird angle in the crank before falling out about a block from home.

    Based on what I have read I am going to guess that you don't recommend the Schwinn bikes I mentioned. I was hoping to get the bike for under $200, but could go as high as $300 if absolutly required. I expect with my budget, a used bike off craigslist or similar would be the best choice, but I don't know what to look for. I would be really greatful if any of you bike experts could either tell me what to keep an eye out for, or point me to a specific listing you would recommend.

    About Me:
    Weight 350 lbs (was 375 lbs, 2 months ago, targeting 275 by Oct)
    Height 6' 1"
    Age 24
    Location: Inver Grove Heights, MN (55077) - Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St paul)

    I have been overweight nearly my entire live, but never really tried to lose weight. I decided a few months ago that it was time to get into better shape. I have set an aggressive goal of getting down to 220 lbs by this time next year. That means I need to lose atleast 2.5 lbs per week. I have been able to meet that goal over the last 2 months with diet change, and adding a little bit of walking in (about 2 miles a day.) Starting monday I am going to the gym every weekday morning prior to work for about an hour.

    Expected Bike Usage:
    City Streets
    Paved Trails
    Dirt Paths
    Grassy Fields
    (Trips to Stores, friend's house, exploring my town, paved/dirt nature trails)

    Not Expected:
    Steap Inclines
    Mud or Loose Dirt

    Frequency and Duration of Use:
    3-4 Times per Week
    1-2 Hours per Use

  2. #2
    Senior Member badgermac's Avatar
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    Welcome! I'm a newer fella here myself, but when I asked this question the "house" bike for this forums has been the Specialized Hardrock. I'm right around your weight and have no worries about this bike holding up. I picked up my '07 model for $319 new, but have seen later models for under $200.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgermac View Post
    Welcome! I'm a newer fella here myself, but when I asked this question the "house" bike for this forums has been the Specialized Hardrock. I'm right around your weight and have no worries about this bike holding up. I picked up my '07 model for $319 new, but have seen later models for under $200.
    One of the LBS (Erik's Bike Shop) has the 07 Hardrock XC for $289. If I don't find a better deal on a used bike I will have to get one before the sale ends (monday.) When I was trying out bikes at Target I found that the front shocks bottom out too easily at my weight when braking or hitting a bump. Are the shocks on the Hardrock any different?

    Any differences between Hardrock XC, Hardrock Sport, and Hardrock Sport Disc?

  4. #4
    Senior Member badgermac's Avatar
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    When I looked at the XC - it doesn't have the "take anything and ask for more" beefy frame that the sport does. YMMV and to each his own of course, but I would go Sport at a minimum. Now that's just based on me sitting gfor hours combing through the forum archives and reading what others have thought. There are of course other bikes that would do very well, it just seems the Hardrock Sport has gotten a lot of praise and a lot of recommendation.

  5. #5
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    bdinger rides the HR sport, and his weight was a lot more than yours. He's done great, by the way, and his Hardrock sport has taken great care of him.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  6. #6
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    I can see there is a difference in the frames on the Sport and XC. So I will look for the best deal on the Sport. How stiff can the front shock be set? If it can't be set stiff enough I would prefer to go with a solid fork.

    What other bike models should I be watching for on craigslist?

  7. #7
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    I was you a few years ago! I was 330, and looking to spend about the same. I went to Sport's Authority (like Target, but all sports). I bought a Mongoose MTB (made by Schwinn). Well... I thought I had a decent bike until I cracked the frame, and they refused to honor their alleged warranty.

    If I were in your spot now, I would go to garage sales in the nicer neighborhoods until you find a decent mountain or hybrid for sale. You can get a very solid bike for $100 or so if you have the patience, and it will be better than anything Target has ever sold. Second option, pay more at the bike shop, maybe $3-400.

    BTW, I got a Gary Fisher (lifetime warranty) and have no problems to report. But I am not pushing that brand. You would probably do well with a Trek, Giant, Specialized, etc. I stayed with it and now weigh in at 210 (6'5"). Another JMHO, I would not get too hung up on target weights (I lost it over 2 years). Just make a lifestyle commitment to excersize and eat healthy, and you will drift to the right weight over time. good luck. B.

  8. #8
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Older Mid 80-s to late 90's mountain, or steel framed road bike?

    This is especially interesting

    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/631245602.html
    Last edited by Tom Stormcrowe; 04-05-08 at 01:33 PM.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  9. #9
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    This is $500.00, but it's a hell of a deal. This is a touring bike, with high quality components

    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/631077232.html
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    I apparently don't have the permissions required to view the thread you linked to. I have been looking at the bike you linked to on craigslist. The listing says it is stuck in one gear. What would the best and worst case scenerio be for repairing that? Also, the frame doesn't look "heavy duty", it has a standard looking round tube frame, while the new HardRock Sport's have a much stronger looking frame.

  11. #11
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    That's weird, I thought I copied the right URL. i had several tabs open though. Now that I look, no, you don' have permissions for that URL. It's from the Mods forum.

    Don't let the tubing diameter fool you on that bike, it's surprisingly strong. The issues you'd most likely have at 350# will be with wheels and the terrain you are looking at riding isn't particularly challenging to a bicycle as a structure. That's a CroMoly steel frame, not gaspipe, after all. It's also got a rigid fork , and this addresses your suspension issues. A seatpost would set you back another $30 or so and I could rustle you up a saddle and mail it to you. Maybe another Clyde has some shifters lying around?

    I'd make an offer of say, around $50.00 and start from there.

    That late 90's hardrock sport frame is frequently used to build a touring bike with since it is designed for abuse.

    The other bike I linked in the second post is a touring bike, designed for heavy loads, etc.
    Last edited by Tom Stormcrowe; 04-05-08 at 01:43 PM.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  12. #12
    Senior Member tabnlu's Avatar
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    The Trek 7000 is a sturdy bike by a good brand. I'm 275 and have had no problems with this bike. I feels strong and could probably take more weight with ease. It was only $310. Good luck.
    2000 Trek 1000 (yellow bike)
    2008 Trek 7000

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Older Mid 80-s to late 90's mountain, or steel framed road bike?

    This is especially interesting

    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/631245602.html
    Sometimes non working shifters can be "fixed" by simply flushing them with WD-40 or similar.

    How about this one. it's already commuterized!

    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/631652015.html

  14. #14
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    I am finding alot of good bikes within a reasonable price range $75-$200 for RockHoppers, HardRocks, and a few other models. I'm not sure what size or sizes I should be considering though. Different calculators have told me from 17" to 20" frames.

    I attempted to complete the fitting measurements as described on competitivecyclist.com. I didn't have a stool or measuring tape to complete these steps properly, instead I performed the measurements at work using an available USB cable, a piece of paper (8.5x11 inch, used as a measuring device), and my computer chair.

    Based on this information what frame sizes should I be looking for?

    Body Measurements
    Gender M
    Inseam 32 in (Normal pants inseam is 29 or 30)
    Trunk 28 in
    Forearm 14 in
    Arm 23 in
    Thigh 29 in
    Lower Leg 22.5 in
    Sternal Notch 57 in
    Total Body Height 72.25 in

    Fitting Results (Greek to me)
    Competitive Fit Eddy Fit French Fit
    Seat tube range c-c 52.6 - 53.1 53.8 - 54.3 55.5 - 56.0
    Seat tube range c-t 54.3 - 54.8 55.5 - 56.0 57.2 - 57.7
    Top tube length 53.8 - 54.2 53.8 - 54.2 55.0 - 55.4
    Stem Length 11.2 - 11.8 10.1 - 10.7 10.3 - 10.9
    BB-Saddle Position 69.5 - 71.5 68.7 - 70.7 67.0 - 69.0
    Saddle-Handlebar 53.7 - 54.3 54.5 - 55.1 56.2 - 56.8
    Saddle Setback 8.6 - 9.0 9.8 - 10.2 9.3 - 9.7
    Seatpost Type SETBACK SETBACK SETBACK

  15. #15
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Merxx fit is a tightly tucked racing fit. French fit is for comfort on a traditional road frame. Slant the top tube, and you'll likely need a 58.5 cm top tube and you'll need a 58 CM vertical on a traditional road frame, with 55 CM top tube. On a Mountain bike, you're looking at an XL frame. (19-20")
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  16. #16
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    What do you think of these? I have already sent an email to each asking for more detail about the bike's age and condition.
    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/632922978.html
    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/630580983.html
    Last edited by jplayland; 04-07-08 at 01:09 PM. Reason: second link missing

  17. #17
    Sperry Sperry's Avatar
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    I am at 305 llbs workin toward 225 or so. I bought a Felt Z65 and it is holding up great. The upright position is very comfortable and the bike is fast.

  18. #18
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    Also on this one can anyone make out what model the Specialized bike is?

    I sent an email, and the wife didn't know the model(don't know why she couldn't read it off the bike.) She also said it was a size 24 frame (do they even make them this big?) I responded asking for her husband's height.

    They are moving out of the country tomorrow, how much of a lowball offer should I make assuming the bike is the correct size?

    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/623259032.html

  19. #19
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    Go to your LBS and talk to them. Tell them what you want and what you want to spend. They can fit you for a bike. You will get a new bicycle and typically you will get one free tune up and maybe an option to buy a service plan. The service plan is worth the money, because bikes typically need tune ups, for shifting, maybe wheel truing. The LBS will sell you a quality product and offer expertise and service. That way the bicycle will fit better and be easier to ride, and you are not buying something site unseen. The worst thing that can happen is that you spend your $300.00 on a bicycle that doesn't fit and is uncomfortable to ride. Then it becomes junk in the garage.



    Dave

  20. #20
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    I will be buying a bike off craigslist in the next few days, maybe tonight. I will be paying less than $200.

    $75
    Specialized RockHopper Mid-Late 90's
    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/632922978.html

    $150
    Specialized HardRock Sport
    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/630580983.html

    $175
    Specialized ?????? (Let me know if you can tell anything by the picture)
    http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/bik/623259032.html

    In addition to one of these bikes I will be picking up a lock, helmet, and most likely a new saddle.

    I would really appreciate your feedback on these three bikes.

  21. #21
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    If you are OK with doing some work, I would look for a name brand bike at a cheap price, and not sweat it too much.

    Every week or two a really good deal will pop up on Craigs List around here. I picked up a 1992 Trek 950, in ready to ride shape, for $60 last Saturday. The 950 has a nice lugged steel frame with pretty good components. Of course, I am tearing it down to "improve" it...

    The one ad you posted has someone moving. If that is legit, they may get pretty flexible price wise.

    I really like this site to give you an idea of original price and components. (If you can get a model name out of the seller).

    http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/Default.aspx
    Last edited by wrk101; 04-07-08 at 05:13 PM. Reason: typo

  22. #22
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    The bike being sold by the people moving out of the country is a Specialized Expedetion.

    I was able to make the name out on a larger image they sent me via email.

    When I try to look this bike model up (google, and the specialized website) I don't find any Mountain bikes with this name. I did find Craigslist listings around the country selling nearly identical bikes. All I am finding on forums and bike shop websites is a Hybrid bike with this model name. Since I can't find any sites with specs for this model I have no way to compare it to the HardRock and RockHopper models.

    If I want to buy this bike I would have to pick it up tonight or tomorrow morning before work as they are moving tomorrow.

  23. #23
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Here is a review of the Specialized Expedition Elite.

    http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/20...5_4226crx.aspx

    There are also five versions of the Expedition in 2003 in the bike pedia site I listed above. Depends on the version, the bottom end model is pretty basic.

  24. #24
    Kyleness
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    i didn't check all the links but that lotus is an amazing deal. I just got friction shifters replaced on my Cilo and it set me back about $50, it was also stuck in one gear, however it could easily be cheaper to fix(just some grime in the shifting mech like posted earlier flush with some WD-40, or it could just be a stuck cable which would be about $20 to repalce including labor probably). it could also be more if it's a derailleur but even then it wouldn't be much more than replacing the shifter. Even assuming it's all of these things it'll probably cost around $150 to repair with a decent derailleur and shifter(obviously you could spend a lot more depending on the components you pick) but it's still a great deal even if it's the shifter and the derailleur.
    someone buy that thing.

  25. #25
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    poor assembly on that Magna bike you had. Very often there was so much paint on the pedals and crank (mostly the crank) that one could tighten a stripped pedal all the way down and the excess paint would hold it in place. Imagine the crank and pedals having no threads at all and being held in by latex sealant, it holds up for a while.

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