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  1. #1
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    New to biking, new to this thread, just new...

    So, this is my second post on this site (or any biking Forum for that matter). My first posed a similar question, which ultimately, and in a very kind manner, directed me to this thread for more potential advice. Big thanks to the cool people in the Commuting thread.

    So, I'm a big dude, 400 lbs now.I I have recently shed some pounds, and in the 'strike while the iron is hot' mentality, am desiring to find a bike to begin commuting to and from my varies activities, like work and the such. I tried to browse through other threads, only to find I was over whelmed by what I was reading. I understand biking, just not the technical aspects to it. So, I was hoping maybe a few people who have a moment can help direct me to what I need...:

    From my understanding, most 'road bikes' tend to cause a person to enter a semi-contorted position, where in you lean pretty far forward, to create an apparent aerodynamic riding experience, while most mountain bikes encourage a regular sitting position. I can't imagine road bikes to be amazingly comfortable, mainly because I'm imagining my stomach getting in the way of a comfortable ride. Is that true?

    Nextly, I've been reassured by the nice people in the Commuters thread that there are bikes out there that can hold my weight. Is there anyone here who can suggest a good cost efficient one? I'm looking for 200 dollars or so. If not, I can stash up some more cash and go for something more costly, stingy side be damned. <edit add> In compliance with Air's sticky, I'm looking for something thats comfortable and capable of taking a beating. I live in the urban sprawl, so it wont be facing many adverse conditions, like dirt or hills. Good seating is a must. I couldn't imagine sitting on one of those 3 inch wide seats. I'm not just heavy, I'm big <end edit>

    Lastly, since I just found out theres a lot more needed to biking besides a bike and a desire to ride, I have compiled a list of additional gear I will need to purchase. Please, let me know if I'm missing anything...

    Safety Lights
    Helmet
    Bike Lock (not chain, hard metal only)


    Thanks a bunch, guys.
    -Jake
    Bike Newbie, extraordinaire!
    Last edited by biggyph00l; 08-12-08 at 06:31 PM. Reason: Read Air's sticky

  2. #2
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    as for bike recommendations, I'll leave to some of the bigger guys here

    I do recommend a under-seat pack (for tubes and tire levers) and strap-on bike pump for gear.

  3. #3
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    Im new too, and fit in the Clydes section. Im hoping to do the same, and am in this thread for the same advice... but Im not as big as the OP.

    ...back to lurking...

  4. #4
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    Pretty much any bike you get should work, as long as the wheels have a high spoke count. I'd also suggest a 26" wheel rather than the bigger ones. Go to a bike shop and ask for some help getting your measurements and such worked out.
    For handlebars, flatbars are uncomfortable, you want something with more positions, the bars on the side are enough. If you get a mountain bike (as those are inexpensive and easy to find) i'd suggest getting one without suspension, and then changing the tires for slicks that will go faster and easier. You may need to experiment with different saddles to find one that works for you.

    Don't get a freaking Wal-Mart bike, a couple people have been killed on those already because of shoddy construction - the pedals snap, the handlebars fall off IN TRAFFIC, the brakes stop working IN TRAFFIC, things like that. If for some reason you find yourself on a wally world bike, immediately take it to a bike store for a top to bottom tune up. (at my LBS, that's $50.)
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  5. #5
    No I'm Not a Pirate! Bionicycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggyph00l View Post
    So, this is my second post on this site (or any biking Forum for that matter). My first posed a similar question, which ultimately, and in a very kind manner, directed me to this thread for more potential advice. Big thanks to the cool people in the Commuting thread.

    -Jake
    Bike Newbie, extraordinaire!
    Hey, glad to see you made it over here to the Clyde/Athena forum… As someone said on the Commuting forum, you are free to go to any forum you like, I just figured you would find more helpful, and experienced advice here… For you see… I’m a Clyde too. 6’tall, and the high side of 280 lbs. Lots of good folks here…

    Well, have fun…
    A bird can roost but on one branch, a mouse can drink not more than its fill from a river.

  6. #6
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Welcome Jake! If you are at all handy I'd look to find an older MTB (a good brand not a Huffy/Murray type). You don't need suspension you just need something to carry you around. I picked up a $40 Diamondback on Craig's List and, after some maintenance and a few parts (tires, tubes, grips, saddle), it served me well on my return to cycling and I've put over 1,000 miles on it so far.

    Two very important points. First, size matters. Make sure you get a bike that fits you. Frames come in different sizes (primarily based on your height) and getting the right one for you will make riding much more enjoyable. Second, riding will not come without some pain. Your butt will hurt till you get it used to sitting on a saddle (don't get a cushy saddle and don't get one that is too big, firm and moderate width is a good place to start) and your muscles will tell you this isn't a good idea. Just start slow, work up your distance and frequency and you will truly be amazed at where you will end up. Good luck.

  7. #7
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Search is your friend. Pick a topic or issue, do a search, and get dozens of threads with information, answers and so on. Search, search, search. Enjoy!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bigboxeraf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    Welcome Jake! If you are at all handy I'd look to find an older MTB (a good brand not a Huffy/Murray type). You don't need suspension you just need something to carry you around. I picked up a $40 Diamondback on Craig's List and, after some maintenance and a few parts (tires, tubes, grips, saddle), it served me well on my return to cycling and I've put over 1,000 miles on it so far.

    Two very important points. First, size matters. Make sure you get a bike that fits you. Frames come in different sizes (primarily based on your height) and getting the right one for you will make riding much more enjoyable. Second, riding will not come without some pain. Your butt will hurt till you get it used to sitting on a saddle (don't get a cushy saddle and don't get one that is too big, firm and moderate width is a good place to start) and your muscles will tell you this isn't a good idea. Just start slow, work up your distance and frequency and you will truly be amazed at where you will end up. Good luck.
    I totally agree grab a used Diamond back thats what I used at first. Ride every other day at first than bump it to 5 or 6 days after a month or so. The pounds will drop off slowly but they will stay off. Good luck; and congratulations it's an addictive hobby.
    Last edited by Bigboxeraf; 08-12-08 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Thought of something else

  9. #9
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    +1 on the used mountain bike if you are comfortable with a little maintenance. If you want new, you will have to raise your budget a bit. The Specialized Hardrock is the house bike for Clydes, but all the manufacturers have something comparable. A new entry level mountain bike will be about $400 at your local bike shop.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Senior Member AbundantChoice's Avatar
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    It'll completely break your $200 budget, but if you're a big guy and want something pretty much tank-shell proof i'd reccomend a Worksman Cycle. I think you can get a baseline one for around $450-500, or you might be able to find one used. Theyre HEAVY (about 60 pounds), but (a) hellaciously strong frame and wheels, (b) most of the parts are older / more basic and thus more cheap to replace if/when they break.

    I ride one but swapped out the swept-back cruiser handlebars for BMX-style uprights, and it's extremely comfortable to ride. I'm pretty slow on it, but i'm riding for fun and to work-out, not to set distance records or commute.

    And to echo what everyone else here has said, don't get discouraged your first few times back out. I hadn't ridden in about 12 years (and had become "twice the man I used to be"), so I was really shocked at how quickly a ride of just a few miles completely wore me out. Alot of this has to do with horrible form... you'll figure out the right riding form for you over a few weeks, and suddenly discover the distance that killed you on Day 1 seems really trivial. Then you can start adding laps of your route, or going further, etc etc etc.

  11. #11
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    budget bike for you

    Hi there, I am in the same boat you're in now, I'm 400# plus........this is my take.....I've only been biking for a month and a half and it's fun. I have two bikes i purchased....a Kona Smoke (new) and a used Trek 800 Mountain Tracking Sport (used). Both have a couple things in common you should think about 1. both bikes have a cromoly steel frame 2. both bikes have a rigid fork and 3. I replaced both of the bikes' seats with a big cruiser/comfort seat with springs. If your budget is tight, I would suggest a used Trek mountain bike......again rigid fork, cromoly steel......a Trek 800, 830, 850 or something along that line. You can replace the tires with slick ones if you want less resistance. Hope that helps you.

  12. #12
    Senior Member vorkus's Avatar
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    Hi Jake,
    I started in the neighborhood of 400lbs about 2 years ago. I'm down to 305 now. I guess I started biking at about 365. I bought a Diamondback Wildewood Deluxe from my local sporting goods store. I'm thinking it was about $300. In any case its a mountain bike. Front fork suspension and seat suspension, which saves ones butt on rough surfaces.

    I'd recommend starting with a mountain or commuter type bike. Try to get one where the handlebars can be tilled up and down. I started by raising mine all the way up to give me as much of an upright position as I could get. Also look for wheels with lots of spokes...at least 32.

    You will probably wack out wheels pretty quickly, I did. I bought the stuff and trued them myself. If you have a good LBS, then use them. If you are a do-it-yourself kind-of-guy then get what you need and do it.

    Read what you can find on the net about bike fit. Make sure you get one that's big enough for you. My Wildewood is about one size too small for me. I had the seat all the way up.

    I graduated this summer to a cyclocross bike, which basically a road bike with wider tires. As the gut decreases in size, you will find leaning over not as much of a problem. The curved handlebars of road bikes give you more hand positions which helps with hand numbness.

    Good luck.

    John
    If it doesn't hurt, then you're not doing enough of it.

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