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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 06-25-08, 07:25 AM   #1
NobylSpoon
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New to the forums

I just wanted to introduce myself since I am new around here. I am Matt, I live in Austin, TX. I recently finished 6 years in the military. I am 5' 11", when I left basic training I was about 180 lbs but 7 years later I am at 250 :/

For financial reasons I am getting a Walmart knock off of the Schwinn Varsity next week. I know its not the best choice but next season I will have about $2,000 to put into a better bike and I sure the Varsity will do fine for me until then.

When I get the bike I am going to start commuting to work. Its a flat 4 miles where the speeds don't exceed 40mph, low traffic and a bike lane most of the way.

I am glad I found this forum, I can already tell I am going to be spending alot of my time at work on here

Cheers!
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Old 06-25-08, 07:55 AM   #2
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Welcome to the thundering herd.
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Old 06-25-08, 11:41 AM   #3
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Welcome from a fellow Austinite!
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Old 06-25-08, 12:23 PM   #4
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Welcome.
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Old 06-25-08, 12:29 PM   #5
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Thanks
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Old 06-25-08, 12:48 PM   #6
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That bike isn't too bad, but do yourself a favor and get a set of cone wrenches from your LBS. The hubs probably won't have any grease in them, so take them apart imidiately and grease the bearings. You can find instructions on Park tool's website or Sheldon browns website. Then give everything else a good checking over. The one that I had, the shifters indexed great with a little bit of adjusting, and the brakes needed a slight adjustment. Have fun.
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Old 06-25-08, 01:21 PM   #7
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Hey Matt, glad to hear you're getting into cycling and commuting by bike. Sounds like a pretty ideal commuting route. The Varsity clone will also make a good errand/beater bike when you get your next bike.
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Old 06-25-08, 01:29 PM   #8
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That bike isn't too bad, but do yourself a favor and get a set of cone wrenches from your LBS. The hubs probably won't have any grease in them, so take them apart imidiately and grease the bearings. You can find instructions on Park tool's website or Sheldon browns website. Then give everything else a good checking over. The one that I had, the shifters indexed great with a little bit of adjusting, and the brakes needed a slight adjustment. Have fun.

Thanks for the tip, I will be sure to do that.

I planned to assemble it myself rathen then put my life in the hands of a disgruntled Walmart employee.
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Old 06-25-08, 01:32 PM   #9
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Hey Matt, Welcome- my wife is from Round Rock so I'm familiar with your area. Great City/bike community down there. Enjoy the forums!
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Old 06-25-08, 02:50 PM   #10
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I can't find a frame size listed but at 5' 11" you are a little above average in height and the Varsity is most likely aimed at "average" so it may be on the small side for you. Just make sure you don't raise the seat above the minimum insertion line (get a longer seat post if the one it comes with isn't long enough) and ride the heck out of it. When you have enough saved for your next bike, you will know what to look for.

And a side note, I was just above 250 at the beginning of the year when I got serious about riding and weighed in at 218 last Sunday. It comes off pretty quick once you get out and ride.
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Old 06-25-08, 02:57 PM   #11
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I can't find a frame size listed but at 5' 11" you are a little above average in height and the Varsity is most likely aimed at "average" so it may be on the small side for you. Just make sure you don't raise the seat above the minimum insertion line (get a longer seat post if the one it comes with isn't long enough) and ride the heck out of it. When you have enough saved for your next bike, you will know what to look for.

And a side note, I was just above 250 at the beginning of the year when I got serious about riding and weighed in at 218 last Sunday. It comes off pretty quick once you get out and ride.
Thanks for the tip on the seat post.

Real motivating to hear about your weight loss. I think this will be really good for me since I will be dropping weight doing something I enjoy. I am so bored of the treadmill.
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Old 06-25-08, 03:30 PM   #12
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Welcome!

Hey never dis your bike! Any bike is better than no bike and any exercise is better than none. You're smart to buy a lesser value bike and work up to what you want. Many folks buy an expensive bike off the bat and then have to get use to its style (some never do and the bike sits in the garage waiting to be a good deal for someone else). This way when you are ready - you'll know exactly what you want and need.

Post pics of the bike when you can so we can "oooh" and "aaah"!
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Old 06-25-08, 03:53 PM   #13
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I am 5'8" and the frame was slightly too big for me, so I bet the sizing will be fairly close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
I can't find a frame size listed but at 5' 11" you are a little above average in height and the Varsity is most likely aimed at "average" so it may be on the small side for you. Just make sure you don't raise the seat above the minimum insertion line (get a longer seat post if the one it comes with isn't long enough) and ride the heck out of it. When you have enough saved for your next bike, you will know what to look for.

And a side note, I was just above 250 at the beginning of the year when I got serious about riding and weighed in at 218 last Sunday. It comes off pretty quick once you get out and ride.
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Old 07-04-08, 06:34 AM   #14
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Lucky me I got some Walmart giftcards for my birthday, unfortunatly Walmart doesn't except their online giftcards in store so I had to order the Varsity online so I will have it in about 7 days. One advantage about getting it online is I don't have to worry about it coming preassembled from the store though.
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Old 07-04-08, 06:57 AM   #15
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Actually, for what it's worth, there was a poster over in Commuting trying to ride one of the new varsity's to death as a commuting bike. At a bit over a year, he quit posting on it and the bike was still going strong. He had some wheel issues and adjustment issues with it that were the only issues I remember off the bat.
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Old 07-04-08, 07:12 AM   #16
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Actually, for what it's worth, there was a poster over in Commuting trying to ride one of the new varsity's to death as a commuting bike. At a bit over a year, he quit posting on it and the bike was still going strong. He had some wheel issues and adjustment issues with it that were the only issues I remember off the bat.
Awesome, I will have to look that up.

Every morning when I go to work or leave home all I can think about is how much I would love to be riding instead of driving. I can't wait for it to arrive!
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Old 07-04-08, 07:17 AM   #17
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Yep, hey, look up the member Ravenmore...he lives in Austin and can help you hook up in the local scene for cycling.

By the way, you'll know you're a hard man on a bike when you can climb Jester.
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Old 07-04-08, 07:34 AM   #18
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Old 07-04-08, 07:58 AM   #19
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Yep, hey, look up the member Ravenmore...he lives in Austin and can help you hook up in the local scene for cycling.

By the way, you'll know you're a hard man on a bike when you can climb Jester.

Jester is going to take me some time and I don't think I trust the Varsity for the downhill return lol. I am considering a Trek XO1 next season, its right in the price range I was looking for. When I get that I will make it a personal goal to climb it
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Old 07-04-08, 12:16 PM   #20
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Welcome!

You are in a great area to ride. I wish the Dallas area had half the cyclist consideration that your town does.

Another initeresting thing about Austin is it's ability to support what has to be one of the heaviest per capita bike shop saturations in the country. It's amazing.

The good thing about all those bike shops are the group rides you can hoolk up with and the riding partners you can find.

Was Navy for 10 years, didn't start my weight gain until a couple of years after I got out. Welcome back to the world, so to say, and enjoy the ride.

BTW, there is a thread in the Roadie forum about shops in Austin. You will be amazed at the choices. I don't think you can live anywhere in Austin and be more than 20 minutes from a well established shop.

Last edited by txvintage; 07-04-08 at 12:17 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 07-04-08, 12:17 PM   #21
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Welcome! I'm right next door to you in College Station.

Before you pull the trigger on the Walmart bike, I'd suggest spending some time on Craigslist. I've noticed that Austin has a really good used bike market.
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Old 07-04-08, 12:20 PM   #22
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Welcome! I'm right next door to you in College Station.

Before you pull the trigger on the Walmart bike, I'd suggest spending some time on Craigslist. I've noticed that Austin has a really good used bike market.

I knew there was something about you I liked, lol.

Gig'em!
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Old 07-04-08, 03:45 PM   #23
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Welcome and +1 to all the above

Also, you should consider retensioning the spokes after a couple hundred miles. This will usually prevent broken spokes and some other wheel issues.

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Old 07-10-08, 10:41 AM   #24
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Well my bike is now on its last leg of the delivery so it looks like I will be riding by the weekend

I also have a copy of Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance heading my way.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:23 AM   #25
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Awesome, can't wait for the bike porn
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