Generic Newb Questions
I recently decided that when I move to my new apartment in a couple weeks I was going to buy a new bike. The plan is that I'll find a job within biking distance, campus is already within walking distance, and I'll not have to drive anywhere but to get groceries which can be done in a carpool. It seems like a great way to save money, help me lose weight, and reduce my carbon footprint. The only problem is that I am very fat. I fell out of the habit of going to the gym daily and have now put weight back on. I would guess I am probably around 325 at 6'1. I want to be sure I get a bike that is going to be able to survive for a couple years under this extreme weight with no permanent damage. I started investigating on my own, and found out a little before deciding that the collective knowledge of a forum was the best way to go. (It almost always is. Oh how I love you internets)
So here's the deal:
1. I can probably only spend about 600 bucks. Cheap, I know, alas I am a college student.
2. I will be riding on almost exclusively pavement and light dirt/grass paths. Though the pavement is very rough as Ohio is unforgiving to such surfaces.
3. I am willing to put a lot of work into maintenance of a bike, if that will make a difference. I'd like to see this bike last quite a few years if possible, as I am an English Lit major and my financial situation isn't going to get much better after school.
4. Ohio is very, very hilly. :-( This isn't particularly relevant, I just wanted to *****.
I was looking in my local shop and saw a Specialized 08 Globe I kind of liked, and the price was agreeable at just 400. Is this a bike that may serve my purposes? If not I guess just use it as a stylistic preference example.
Thanks everyone in advance for your help. :-)
If the Globe is what you want, go for it! 600 isn't horrible for a budget. 400 for the bike and 200 for tire pump, patches, couple of tubes, shorts if you desire and lights...
Simplistic list but its a start...
oh! Watch your rear wheel! It is what goes first for us bigger people.
By the way, your in good company here. I started at 337 at 6'1 myself...
You should LIKE the bike not "kinda like". Make sure you test ride several bikes, there are several shops in the Akron area, Eddy's, Century Cycles (chipcom's favorite), Marty's (around the corner from Eddy's in Stow) Wheel and Wrench (Cuyahoga Falls), Performance Bike (south akron). When you test ride enough you will find one that you will know its the one.
One upgrade you might have to make is wheels. 36 spoke might be a bit better to handle the weight.
With a $600 budget you are smart to look at the $400 range bikes, and use the rest for accessories like spare tubes, helmet, lights (if you plan to ride at night) lock(s) (you might want more than one being on a college campus.
It appears the Globe has 32 spoke wheels. For your weight, I think 36 would be better.
Quality of the wheelset makes a difference though.
When the budget gets limiting, used becomes a really good option. Either you buy a new bottom end bike, or a used midrange bike with much better components. I paid less than half of new for a two year old bike that had been ridden a total of 2.5 miles. This is not unusual or some kind of super deal, it is what the used bike market looks like.
+1 Be sure to save some money for gear and good basic tools.
Rigid steel framed bikes are almost indestructible!! Suspensions are made for 150 pound riders so I would avoid any suspension bikes.
Also, if you are into green and carbon footprint, nothing beats used. Its the ultimate in recycling: reusing a bicycle that has been sitting idle in someone's garage.
Common source of used bikes: Craigs List.
Cheaper but more sporadic source of used bikes: thrift stores and garage sales.
If you diecide on the Globe, ask teh LBS about switching out the wheel set and how much it would cost. Remember you will have the cost of teh orignal wheels in teh price already, and they should have some sort of credit towars different wheels.
If you have a Performance near you, check the coupon thread and watch for coupons. Currently, there is a 15% off for this weekend one running.
Used is a good option as well. Locally, on Craigs List, there are several Trek 7.3 with what looks and sounds like really low miles for between $300 and $350. Similar deals are probably where you are, just depends on size and fit.
Half: Yeah Eddy's was the only place I've stopped so far. I dropped in for a couple minutes between appointments. (I'm still looking at apartments) Thats why I say I "kinda liked" the Globe. I didn't have time to give it a ride or anything. I'll be sure to look at the other places you mentioned. Thanks. :-)
wrk: You bet I'll keep my eyes open on Craig's. It's just silly the deals you can get on there. Good to know it extends to bikes as well.
I'll have to shop around and see who may have the best price to have the wheels switched to 36s.
Thanks everyone. See you around the boards. :-)
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