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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 08-02-08, 12:24 PM   #1
DISPENSER4HIRE
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Hello, More Newbie Advice Wanted

I've been lurking for several weeks, and feel like I have picked up on lots of information. I will introduce myself as a 56yo 6'1" 335lb clyde (down from 365 in Jan... thanks South-beach) I feel I have reached a size, that I can begin to exercise without injuring myself. I had a heart attack at 41, but 7 years, and 40 lbs ago I would do 25 miles rides knobbies and all. I also have some breathing issues, but since being diagnosed with Apnea , and being on CPAP I am feeling much healthier. The bike I currently own is an almost 30lb 1990 Bianchi Osprey. I would like to start riding again, and have made a few tentative rides around the neighborhood. The cost of servicing, and making getting new brakes, cables etc will be over $100. I am thinking a new bike would make more sense than putting money into the old bike.
I want to start riding again, because it is the only form of exercise I ever enjoyed. I will be riding almost exclusively on good roads, mainly flat, with invisible hills (almost constant wind) I have NO inclination to even try drop bars. I have short arms, and legs, with a long torso. (31 & 1/2"pant inseam 6'1"
I ride a mountain bike for the strength and durability, but I am thinking of a hybrid for more speed, and fun. The LBS carry Trek, Gary Fisher, and Specialized.
The one with the best service carries Gary Fisher and Trek.
I have a budget of up to $500.
I really do not want to have to do a lot of upgrades to make the bike sturdy enough to hold up to my weight. I think a mountain bike with slicks would be most sensible, but I am curious about the hybrid with larger wheels. Would I crush the hybrid? Would the hybrid really be more fun on the road? Stick with a mountain bike? Opinions please?? Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-02-08, 01:02 PM   #2
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It sounds like you don't want my opinion, because you don't want a road bike, even though it sounds like you are planning on riding only on the road. The road bike offers many different hand positions. I am similar to you in inseam and height with the long torso, and I love my road bike. I am 6'3" and I have a 32" inseam, but thanks to swimming, biking and running, I am down to a 32" waist also. I still have 40 pounds to go to get to my goal, but I have a lot more muscle than I have had in 15 years.

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 08-02-08, 01:44 PM   #3
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+1 Get a road bike. Or go ahead and fix your current bike.

My mountain bike with slick tires is faster than my hybrid. It weighs less, is a rigid frame, so I do not lose energy to suspension seat posts and other gimmicks.

I don't see where a hybrid is more fun.

As far as using drops, in 2,000 miles on my road bike this year, I have used the drops probably less than 10 miles total.

If you are up to it, servicing a bike is pretty easy.
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Old 08-02-08, 02:09 PM   #4
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A little more information. I do have some lower back problems, so I need a relatively upright position. I have never ridden a road bike, but just looking at one hurts. I guess I am thinking of my current MB at nearly 30 lbs, when I said a hybrid with the 700 wheels would be more fun.
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Old 08-02-08, 02:49 PM   #5
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A little more information. I do have some lower back problems, so I need a relatively upright position. I have never ridden a road bike, but just looking at one hurts. I guess I am thinking of my current MB at nearly 30 lbs, when I said a hybrid with the 700 wheels would be more fun.
Fix up your old bike.
Get in 1000 to 1500 miles.
Start looking for a road bike.
The forward lean on a road bike will help your back.
After 6200 miles my back pain from 2 bad disc's is gone.
Riding in drops has caused the stomach to disappear.
Go slow, ride for time in the seat.
Stand up and pedal in a high gear when you feel butt discomfort.
Stand up and coast, thrusts your back forward and backward.
Increases blood flow.
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Old 08-02-08, 03:08 PM   #6
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You may want to get something like this:

http://www.rei.com/product/760867?pr...:referralID=NA

I had one and loved it. It has an adjustable stem that allows you to adjust the height of the handle bars. The bar ends give you another hand position and helps up hills. I believe the tires were 700x28 which are basically road tires.

Mine got stolen back in April and I replaced it with a Specialized Roubaix which is more of a traditional road bike. The fit is definitely not as upright and comfortable as the novarra but I've gotten used to it and it is faster and lighter. I rarely use the drops - only on days when I'm well caffeinated and think I'm Lance Armstrong. It helps if you don't look at your speed
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Old 08-02-08, 06:01 PM   #7
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If you feel you won't ride a drop bar bike, then don't get one. A great bike is reduced to clutter if it isn't going to be ridden, and even the worst of bikes is a good bike if it is being ridden.

There are lots of guys riding hybrids, and as with any bike, opinions vary. Best bet is to test ride all of the bikes in your price range that you can find, and go with the one that makes you smile and has the best shop behind it.

Don't forget to check your shops for used bikes as well, along with Craigs List. Just be sure a used bike is in good shape and not in need of major work, and make real sure it fits if you go that route.

Best advice I can give, again, is test ride as many bikes in your price range as you can find, and go with the one that makes you smile and makes your heart go pitter patter.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:09 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. Tying my shoes is not the aerobic workout it was 6 months ago, but still involves some planning, effort, and discomfort. I can't see myself riding a bike with the handlebars at or below seat level. I have misgivings about a skinny tire standing up to my 335 lbs of naked weight + clothes, water, etc. These are the reasons I am reluctant to get a road bike. My thinking was a hybrid should be closer to a road bike than a Mountain bike, but still be more rugged, and have a more upright riding position than a road bike. I know the road bike recommendations were made in good faith, but I don't see it working for me at this time.
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Old 08-02-08, 08:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. Tying my shoes is not the aerobic workout it was 6 months ago, but still involves some planning, effort, and discomfort. I can't see myself riding a bike with the handlebars at or below seat level. I have misgivings about a skinny tire standing up to my 335 lbs of naked weight + clothes, water, etc. These are the reasons I am reluctant to get a road bike. My thinking was a hybrid should be closer to a road bike than a Mountain bike, but still be more rugged, and have a more upright riding position than a road bike. I know the road bike recommendations were made in good faith, but I don't see it working for me at this time.
Lots of touring riders have drop bars AND the bars higher, with new bikes the key is the steerer, this needs to be left longer, and spacers put between the top of the head tube and the stem, a shallow stem angle will also raise the bars, I think for touring best is to have the bars so that the top is above the seat by the same amount the bottom of the hooks is below the seat. Touring bikes also run wider tires, and usually steel frames, which are almost indestructible,

The typical hybrid is designed for the guy who puts in on the back of the car, spends and hour driving in traffic to the park, pootles along the bike path for 20 minutes, then spends and hour in traffic to go home, so many riders outgrow them fairly quickly, This is because they are fairly heavy, and flat bars do give lots of problems with hand numbness, and wrist pain, over longer distances. If you have a mountain bike now, get the cables replaced, throw on new brake pads and smooth tires, and essentially you have a hybrid.
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Old 08-02-08, 09:58 PM   #10
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I got a Marin Muirwoods 29er that is a hybrid. I love road bikes, but breaking my neck in '88 pretty much ruined dropping down on the drop bars. I had a Trek 830 Mountain Bike set up to commute on with street tires...but hated the gearing. When I looked into upgrading it later I found that I could buy a new bike for less...but nothing seemed to fit the bill until hybrids came along.

The 29er is inbetween a road and mountain bike .Heavier than a road bike, but more sturdy (since I am now bulkier than in the past...;<>). The gearing is closer to a Road bike and the more upright position makes it easier to ride with my chronic pain. I find it more satisfying to ride than the mountain bike, with glimpses of what I enjoyed from a road bike. I veiw it as a transitional bike that will allow me to improve my fitness to the point that I can consider more specialized bikes once again. The town I live in has a large cycling crowd that can be rather elitest, but I see any number of folks around town on hybrids, without regard for what the mobs of roadies may think.

Finally, there are certainly more expensive bikes around in the same class, but this seems like a great value for the cost of around 500 bucks. Before getting it I asked myself if a could REALLY tell the difference in any meaningful way of a bike costing two or three times as much.....the answer was "No, not at this point. I need a starting point, not an ending reward."
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Old 08-04-08, 10:21 PM   #11
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I run into a lot of 30+ year olds who put a lot of miles on bikes with upright handlebars. Gary Fisher makes a very fast hybrid for just over $500. Also check out the Cannondales. One of the good things about hybrids is that you can put almost any type of tire on them for any type of terrain.
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