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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 04-13-08, 06:18 PM   #1
Eswau
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I haven't been on a bike in 22 years

I'm a couple of weeks out of having gastric bypass surgery. Four months ago I weighed 440 lbs and today I'm at 385 (I'm 6'1). However, due to my surgery I should be at 350 in 4-6 weeks and based on my Drs estimates, down to around 250 in a year.

One thing I really have wanted to do is ride a bike. I expect to ride 1/3 paved streets, 1/3 dirt roads, field trails and eventually 1/3 wooded bike trails.

I did a Google search on Bike Forums and found this forum today as well as this forum for bigger riders. I've read several of the posts that recommend certain bikes, but part of my problem is that I know absolutely nothing about bikes as my last bike was a Schwinn 10 speed I had in high school (mid 80s). So I'm not only looking for a brand that can support me (or will be able to support me) I also need some help with what type of bike.
I've seen several suggestions for Specialized Hardrock bikes, but unsure which variation if I went that route. My bike budget is $200-$350 and I have no problems getting a used bike. I know you've been asked this plenty of times before, but can you give a few suggestions to someone just starting out?

Thanks
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Old 04-13-08, 06:30 PM   #2
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Watch craigslist and get one of the Specialized MB's.
Put on some "less aggressive" tires.
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Old 04-13-08, 06:31 PM   #3
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Welcome to Clyde's

Yeah, the Specialized Hardrock is a great starter bike for you. It can be had within your budget, or maybe a wee bit more.

Also try http://wwcraigslist.org and go to the state then town nearest you and look through their list.

I am a fellow post op. I had the Roux-N-Y procedure 3 years ago and have gone from 581 to 211.




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Old 04-14-08, 01:18 AM   #4
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Welcome! I started biking just over 2 years ago after a 22 year hiatus myself.


My weight hovers around 350. I started with a Trek 7200 Hybrid which held up well (7,500 miles). You will have to respoke your wheels more often than the featherweights, but a good wrench should be able to build you a wheelset that you can get 2,000-3,000 miles on (depending on conditions).
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Old 04-14-08, 03:40 AM   #5
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Welcome!

I too have been about that long from being on a bike, but I took a somewhat unorthodox path back to biking so I'm not sure what to suggest.

Good thing you came here, I'm sure these folks will have no shortage of suggestions and encouragement!

Word to the wise, you get on the bike in your heart and mind before your butt ever hits the saddle. Everybody can encourage you til the cows come home, but it's you that has to make them pedals go round.

The good news is, YOU CAN DO IT!

So, here's to you and the road,

RD
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Old 04-14-08, 05:24 AM   #6
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I'm a couple of weeks out of having gastric bypass surgery. Four months ago I weighed 440 lbs and today I'm at 385 (I'm 6'1). However, due to my surgery I should be at 350 in 4-6 weeks and based on my Drs estimates, down to around 250 in a year.

One thing I really have wanted to do is ride a bike. I expect to ride 1/3 paved streets, 1/3 dirt roads, field trails and eventually 1/3 wooded bike trails.

I did a Google search on Bike Forums and found this forum today as well as this forum for bigger riders. I've read several of the posts that recommend certain bikes, but part of my problem is that I know absolutely nothing about bikes as my last bike was a Schwinn 10 speed I had in high school (mid 80s). So I'm not only looking for a brand that can support me (or will be able to support me) I also need some help with what type of bike.
I've seen several suggestions for Specialized Hardrock bikes, but unsure which variation if I went that route. My bike budget is $200-$350 and I have no problems getting a used bike. I know you've been asked this plenty of times before, but can you give a few suggestions to someone just starting out?

Thanks
Welcome.

I'm going to start with a question: what do you want to do with your bike? What sort of riding will you be doing? Will you commute on it? Tour? Mountain bike? Ride on roads or bike paths? The answers you give will help determine the answers you get.

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Old 04-14-08, 06:30 AM   #7
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Welcome.

What sort of riding will you be doing? Will you commute on it? Tour? Mountain bike? Ride on roads or bike paths? The answers you give will help determine the answers you get.

Neil B.
I expect I will start out mostly on paved streets until I get comfortable with riding again. Then move up to dirt/forest service type roads and eventually established wooded bike trails. All casual riding - no commuting or getting in too much traffic. I live in a small town.

I live about 40 minutes from any bike stores (Charlotte, NC) and am going this week to talk to them, particularly ones that carry the Specialized brands. I have no idea if they carry traded in bikes but hope to maybe find a older year model that they are ready to move or a traded in bike.

Thanks for all of the advice so far.
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Old 04-14-08, 06:36 AM   #8
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I expect I will start out mostly on paved streets until I get comfortable with riding again. Then move up to dirt/forest service type roads and eventually established wooded bike trails. All casual riding - no commuting or getting in too much traffic. I live in a small town.

I live about 40 minutes from any bike stores (Charlotte, NC) and am going this week to talk to them, particularly ones that carry the Specialized brands. I have no idea if they carry traded in bikes but hope to maybe find a older year model that they are ready to move or a traded in bike.

Thanks for all of the advice so far.
Specialized Hardrock, or any mountain bike for that matter.
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Old 04-14-08, 06:47 AM   #9
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I would like to welcome you here, and best wishes on this new journey you are under taking.

I would first recommend visiting local bike shop that does carry several makes and styles of bikes, and test ride. If they are not willing to help or do not carry selection locate another store, it will make your choice more pleasurable for the long haul.

Only you will know what is comfortable and right for your needs.

Wheel spokes, as already mentioned is a quality worth taking note. The Specialized Crossroad Sport model my wife took liking to, last year has 14 g spokes, sturdier than most riders and even some MTB.

Townies and Trek both make bikes with forward located cranks, allowing you to pedal, yet easily return feet to ground with out need to dismount. But you do wish to stay within budget, so patience will be required, as well as knowledge knowing what you need whne you locate.

All the best...
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Old 04-14-08, 06:55 AM   #10
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I expect I will start out mostly on paved streets until I get comfortable with riding again. Then move up to dirt/forest service type roads and eventually established wooded bike trails. All casual riding - no commuting or getting in too much traffic. I live in a small town.

I live about 40 minutes from any bike stores (Charlotte, NC) and am going this week to talk to them, particularly ones that carry the Specialized brands. I have no idea if they carry traded in bikes but hope to maybe find a older year model that they are ready to move or a traded in bike.

Thanks for all of the advice so far.
Hi Eswau, welcome to the forums!

This would probably be a good time to check out the bike shops for used bikes. Also check for leftovers. The Hardrock Sport is an awesome bike, many people here ride that bicycle. However there are also many good bicycles from other manufactures. Talk with the bike shop employees and they will help you make the best decision. If they start to pressure you or act like they cant be bothered then leave, google indicates there is 14 bike shops in the area. If they don't want your business the competition will. Other than that, if you go the used route make sure the bike you buy properly fits you. Fit is very important and will be covered by the bike shop employees.

Bau
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Old 04-14-08, 08:11 AM   #11
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Welcome to the forums! I started riding my Hardrock Sport when I was over 400 pounds. Rode it for a year and about ~1k miles, then decided to get a Trek. A year later, I'm back on the Hardrock Sport and the Trek is for sale . Suffice to say with almost two years past since I purchased my '07, I'm extremely happy with the purchase. I've put a hair over 1500 miles on it, and in that time here's what I've replaced:

Brake pads: replaced at 1400 miles with Kool-Stop dual compound MTB pads - originals worked great, though
Pedals: replaced at 1400 miles with wider platforms.. should have done this at mile 10
Chain: replaced stock chain at 1400 miles with 8spd XT chain
Cassette: replaced stock @ 1400 miles with 8spd Shimano (had I replaced the chain sooner, this would not have been an issue)
Saddle: replaced at 1450 miles with Specialized Sonoma 155 - should have replaced at mile 10 as well
Tires: replaced at 1400 miles with Specialized Nimbus Armadillo 26x1.50 - for in town riding, should have done on day 1. These are amazing tires!

And.. that's it. I probably have $500 into it now, if you count the parts and labor above, which is nothing. Rides great and is an absolute blast in the city. Could I do a century on it? Maybe, but I'd rather do it on a road bike . However, for something to ride on sidewalks and on my potholed commute, this thing is *perfect*. I can't say enough good things about it, really, as it's withstood the test of time gallantly. Here's a pic of the way mine was setup, before I swapped the saddle and pedals:

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Old 04-14-08, 08:47 AM   #12
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Hi Eswau, whatever you do go for, let us know . We really like to see how people change over the months and years, so photos are good!

Welcome to BF!

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Old 04-16-08, 08:39 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone. I stopped by a bike store today and ended up being the proud owner of a new Hardrock Sport. I paid $359 which was in my budget and so far so good. I plan to go to an empty park tomorrow and try and figure out shifting all those gears.

Two questions while I'm here (1) Does anyone have a kickstand on a Hardrock? The dealer was wishy washy about installing one on it, saying they hadn't before. Can anyone point me to one that will work.

(2) I bought the Specialized Air Force 3 Adult One Size Fits All helmet, and it just barely fits. Does anyone know of a resonably priced helmet for big horse heads?

Thanks again
Eswau
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Old 04-16-08, 08:42 PM   #14
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Look at the Bell Helmets. They run to Big Heads
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Old 04-16-08, 08:47 PM   #15
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My advice is just stay on the pavement until you drop your weight down a good bit. It's the wheels that give out, not the bike itself, but you can ride all year on pavement with no problem, then go bounce over a few roots and have a bent wheel.
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Old 04-16-08, 08:59 PM   #16
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Great purchase, that fits your needs perfectly

The mtb wheels will probably holdup fine (not forever though). It is low spoke road wheels that don't like weight. someone mentioned "Specialized Nimbus Armadillo 26x1.50" a tire like that will make you road travels much more pleasureable in my opinion (due to the tread and width), but keep the current tires when you take it to the trail.

Also i don't think you should be afraid of trails at first. You go slower and the ground is softer than the street
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Old 04-16-08, 09:08 PM   #17
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(2) I bought the Specialized Air Force 3 Adult One Size Fits All helmet, and it just barely fits. Does anyone know of a resonably priced helmet for big horse heads?
This is the site I located mine. I picked up a silver.

The other color not listed is Black. This size seems to sell out.

My hat size is usually 7 3/4" and this size helmet is adjustable and fits well. I have used with light weight socking cap letting out the straps slightly.

Best wishes.

PS: Also, found this page with more color options!

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Old 04-16-08, 09:20 PM   #18
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Great purchase, that fits your needs perfectly

The mtb wheels will probably holdup fine (not forever though). It is low spoke road wheels that don't like weight. someone mentioned "Specialized Nimbus Armadillo 26x1.50" a tire like that will make you road travels much more pleasureable in my opinion (due to the tread and width), but keep the current tires when you take it to the trail.

Also i don't think you should be afraid of trails at first. You go slower and the ground is softer than the street
A 26" wheel is stronger then a 700c or 27" wheel, most MTB wheels are 36 spoke, they do need to be kept properly tensioned, and should last a good long while. I was cleaning out the garage, and finally tossed the "snow" tires for my bike, haven't used them in a couple of years, and figure if I want some, I will need new ones anyway. I currently use Ritchey Tom Slicks 26x1.4" will probably look at a 1.25" tire next time though. I really want a road bike, the neighbour has one in the garage, and I am thinking of putting an offer on it....
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Old 04-17-08, 02:40 PM   #19
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Congats on the new wheels!

I had about the same cycling hiatus as you before I started cycling a year ago. I love it!

Now get out there and have some fun!!
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Old 04-17-08, 09:24 PM   #20
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Thanks. I rode it a bit today and soon realized that I need a cushier seat. I think that will be my first upgrade. Anyone have any suggestions. I don't care what it looks like or how big it is, but I don't think I can take the stock seat much longer.

Eswau
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Old 04-17-08, 10:34 PM   #21
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Padded shorts rather than a bigger seat.

http://www.aerotechdesigns.com

If you are embarrassed about wearing Lycra in public, you can throw a pair of shorts over them

ans no underwear between thee and the chamois padding. Prevents chafing and seam irritation.
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Old 04-17-08, 11:04 PM   #22
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Old 04-18-08, 04:29 AM   #23
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I have a big head (Pushing 8) and I found a Trek helmet at my LBS that fit.
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Old 04-18-08, 04:31 AM   #24
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Padded shorts rather than a bigger seat.

http://www.aerotechdesigns.com

If you are embarrassed about wearing Lycra in public, you can throw a pair of shorts over them

ans no underwear between thee and the chamois padding. Prevents chafing and seam irritation.

+1
Cushion actually adds to discomfort by putting pressure on your fat and muscle rather than your sit bones. I have an unpadded Brooks seat that I have logged over 5,000 miles on comfortably. There is a seat break-in period which can last over several long rides. Be patient, make some adjustments here and there, and maybe the saddle will conform to your bum
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Old 04-18-08, 05:12 AM   #25
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I tried something new yesterday on a 75 mile ride. Wore Two pairs of cycle shorts.
They worked just fine. Sitting and pedaling into 33 mph headwinds was Tuff.
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