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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 04-09-08, 09:45 PM   #1
deweesE
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How should I go about this...

Hey all, this would be my first post in the forums. After I finish this post I'll head over to the introduction section and do a little somthin somthin.
I'm starting to work out and get back into shape, I used to be a slim kinda guy back a couple years ago in high school. Comming out of 8th grade i was breaking 220lb so I started to play soccer again. Or football for some of you I reckon. Anyway during off season I started to use a "bike" I picked up at Wal-mart. Yeah, I know, tsk tsk. Anyway it had got me back down to 180lb. But I've, for lack of a better term, gone to seed, and my old 18speed has given up on me.
Im looking into getting a higher quality bicycle now. I had a 10mile loop that I used to do, Ive been doing the same 10miles this week and I can do it is <50min. And I barely break a sweat. Well here's what Im looking for, and if I miss giving any info or have a missunderstanding of somthing go ahead and yell, I won't take it personally.

I live in East Tennessee about 30miles from the Smokey Mountains. Its a hilly place, plenty of hills and long inclines to get a good work out on. (Great scenery too.) I don't go on rough trails, I stick to the blacktop and the occasional sidewalk. So my routes stick to roads mostly. Im not looking to build a bike, it doesn't sound like such a good start for me. I would however love some pointers on what to get, what to look for, and what to look out for. Ive got 500usd that I can afford to fork out right now. Prefferably not all 500. (Im so frugal )

Here's some info,
I'm 6'4", 226lb, I have a trick left knee (ripped patella off in a soccer match, sometimes randomly buckles 1x a week approx). I don't have much of an idea what other info would be helpful. I'm shooting for the 190-195 range since I have more muscle than I had in highschool. I doubt 175-180 is possible anymore.

I'd like to be able to do 40-50mile rides most likely 4-5times a week, quite a few sizeable hills in the routes I've got in mind.

So if yall have any suggestions, sites, other threads that you suggest I take a look at, I'd appreciate it.

Thx in advance.


~Jonathan
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Old 04-09-08, 10:17 PM   #2
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Well you have a few options, depending on how you want to ride and if you are willing to get a used bike.
But the first place to start, go to your local bike shop(LBS) and see what type(s) of bikes you like and would be willing to ride. You don't have to buy it, every once in awhile the owners/employees get crabby about people doing that, but it's a good way to figure out what size frame you want and what type of bike you want as well. After you do that you should come back here and ask more questions, buying a bike shouldn't be an impulse buy. Since you are on a budget at least.
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Old 04-09-08, 10:21 PM   #3
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Just wanted to say Hi. I also live in east Tn. Knoxville. Lots of bike shops here. I have a Giant FCR 1 that I like a lot. It's a flat bar road bike. You will get lots of help here just keep asking.
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Old 04-10-08, 05:51 AM   #4
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I would go to multiple bike shops and find the one that seems to be the most willing to work with you. Tell them exactly what you are wanting to ride and what you are wanting to spend, but also tell them you are not planning on buying this exact second and ask for their recommendations.

I was in your shoes about 9 months ago, so I went to multiple shops and even talked to a few on the phone as my closest bike shop is an hour drive from home. I ended up with a road bike, even though I thought a hybrid was probably more along the lines of what I needed. I am really glad I went with the road bike, so I can have multiple hand positions on the bars. It makes a big difference when you are going 20 miles or more and not taking a break.

Good luck with your purchase and you live in a B E A utiful part of the country, and hopefully in a few years my wife and I will be joining you in that area or maybe even a little farther south.
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Old 04-10-08, 07:09 AM   #5
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hiya johnathan, sorry to hear about your walmart bike. i reckon the best bike out there is the one thats used be it walmart or not. Good suggestions from the others and good ideas, you could also try second hand. Go around to bike shops and see what ones you like and look for similar on the second hand market. You'll get a much better bike for the money second hand. have you thought of maybe a cyclo-cross bike? its basically a road frame with knobbly tyres on it but you can change them to slicks if you ever get the hankering to go deeper into the smokies;-)
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Old 04-10-08, 07:38 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum! I started again with a 'comfort bike' a Specialized Crossroads. I rode it last year and it's going to the tent sale the have at the lbs in a month or so. It did it's job, it got me interested in biking again, but I soon found it too heavy and felt I wasn't getting the mileage out of it I wanted to.

This year I got a Trek 7.5 FX (which is still on the trainer) and a Trek 4300 series, a low end mt bike. I've only taken that for one quick spin around the neighborhood so far and after a trip to the lbs for some needed nuts, washers and hexscrews to properly attach my rear rack in about 1/2 hr, I'll probably go for another quick spin. I work nights part time and tonight's my last night so I'm fairly beat.

These folks are great at answering questions, don't be shy.

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Old 04-10-08, 07:39 AM   #7
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In addition to what's already been suggested, here are some thoughts.

If you plan to stay on hard surfaces, a road bike is a good choice. They are very efficient and the drop handlebars give you several different hand positions. This is important because it's good to be able to move around on long rides. There are many styles available. Bikes that leans toward touring style tend to be more comfortable than the aggressive, and maybe not so comfortable, racing styles.

IMO a triple chain ring setup is best for mountains. Others will suggest a compact double. My reason for preferring a triple is that it gives you more gears to choose from, which allows you to make smaller jumps between gears. This makes it easier to maintain a specific cadence. That third ring can be a big help when you're going up a long hill.
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