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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 03-06-09, 11:39 PM   #1
badassmekanik
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Bang for the buck

Well roughly a month ago the Doc told me that im border line diabetic and I need to loose the tire. So to make a long story short I bought a Walmart special Schwinn and its a total pile so I returned it.
Im going to purchace a bike from a bike shop and I need help picking one thats going to be decent in my price range. I am planning on spending $400 tops on a bike and I weight about 230 as of now so its got to be durable and reliable.
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Old 03-06-09, 11:47 PM   #2
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Any way you slice it, the best bang for your buck is a used bike. You'll get 2-3X more for your money buying a late-model used bike. You might see if there are any (reputable) shops in your area that carry used bike. Or try to hook-up with someone in a local cycling club or maybe a forum member in your area; someone who can help you evaluate the quality and fit of a used bike.

Next, think about where you want to ride, because that will help determine the type of bike to buy. Are you planning to ride on streets? Local bike or multi-use paths (MUPs)? Gravel or fire roads? Mountain trails? Are you planning to do short (< 10-15mi) or long (>50mi) rides? Letting us know while help narrow down the options and get you recommendations that are more likely to work for you.
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Old 03-07-09, 12:34 AM   #3
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I plan on just riding in the neighborhood to shed a couple pounds.
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Old 03-07-09, 12:47 AM   #4
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I plan on just riding in the neighborhood to shed a couple pounds.
Keep in mind that miles are like ptotoe chips, no one can have just one, lol. Seriously, give yoursel some benefit of the doubt that you could get hooked and your riding plans may evolve.

When you are buying your first bike there is a double edged sword you deal with. On one hand, you don't want to buy too much bike and over pay. There is a chance you won't stick with it and the bike ends up being an expensive garage ornament. The other danger is going too bargain basement and then finding that riding your bike is the second most fun you have ever had, and then heading back out to buy an upgrade.

If you are comfortable with determining mechanical condition and fit, or have a buddy that can help, then used is the best way to go. It sounds like you will be riding on the road for the most part. There are a ton of choices as far as bike styles go. Any of them will work with a bit of change such as tires.
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Old 03-07-09, 06:39 AM   #5
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I plan on just riding in the neighborhood to shed a couple pounds.
Here's a cautionary tale:

I know a cyclist who bought a bike because he thought he was going to ride short distances once a week. He'd never learned to ride as a child, so he taught himself. Ten months later he rode a century (100 mile ride.) A year later I, err, I mean he, was riding multi-day tours of 300 to 400 miles. Be careful, it can happen to you.
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Old 03-07-09, 06:44 AM   #6
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Well roughly a month ago the Doc told me that im border line diabetic and I need to loose the tire. So to make a long story short I bought a Walmart special Schwinn and its a total pile so I returned it.
Im going to purchace a bike from a bike shop and I need help picking one thats going to be decent in my price range. I am planning on spending $400 tops on a bike and I weight about 230 as of now so its got to be durable and reliable.
Look for a used mountain bike from a well-known name - Trek, Fuji, Specialized, Jamis, etc. The Specialized Hardrock seems to be the most commonly recommended starter bike on this subforum.

Don't forget the extras:
helmet, water bottle, basic flat repair kit, etc. Things such as shorts, gloves, etc, are nice too, if you decide you need them.
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Old 03-07-09, 09:26 AM   #7
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Should I stay clear of a hybrid or comfort bike since I'm a bigger guy. I was looking at various websites and I was checking out the Gary Fisher Mako and the Jamis Commuter.
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Old 03-07-09, 09:35 AM   #8
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A Hybrid or Comfort bike would be fine for a starter bike, if your riding is just going to be around the neighborhood or on a bike path. They are a compromise between a road bike and a mountain bike. They are more upright in position than a road bike, but not as aggressive as a mountain bike.

Good side, they aren't real expensive and you shouldn't have a lot of problems finding one in your price range.

Drawbacks: Since they are a compromise design, they have the worst features of both road and mountain bikes. They are slower than a road bike, and not as tough as a mountain bike.
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Old 03-07-09, 10:05 AM   #9
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Im going to purchace a bike from a bike shop and I need help picking one thats going to be decent in my price range. I am planning on spending $400 tops on a bike
Unfortunately, like everything else, the price of bicycles has increased significantly over the years. A bottom of the line road bike from trek will cost about $850. In bicycling, as you've already noticed, there's a massive difference in quality at various price points. Walmart sells toy bikes for children, the LBS sells real bikes but if you want a reasonable bike, you'll need to spend more money.

Also, if you plan on riding distances greater than 5 miles, stay away from flat handlebars. There are applications where flat handlebars work but road biking isn't one of them.


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Old 03-07-09, 10:46 AM   #10
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flat bars can work fine. and there are plenty of ways to change them- from moustache bars to treking bars.

my dad just got a bike over christmas. definitely check out REI's offerings. they have several good values, and some of their offerings are very unique. my dad got their internal geared hub commuter, with a rack, and loves it. he has been doing a little shopping (shopping center is only 2 miles away). im glad to see him using his bike and riding as opposed to just driving.
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Old 03-07-09, 11:46 AM   #11
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So far I looked at a Merlin hybrid, Trek 3700, and a KHS hybrid any of these better than the other?
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Old 03-07-09, 11:57 AM   #12
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I plan on just riding in the neighborhood to shed a couple pounds.
I don't want to sound critical, but another thing to keep in mind is that just short casual rides won't really help you lose much weight. You've got to get the heart rate up and keep it there for a while before seeing any benefit. One of the drawbacks of bicycles being so efficient is that it's possible to ride a bike and hardly get a workout if you're going slow enough on level ground. I heard Lance once use the rule of thumb that there's a three to one ratio between bicycling and running, eg. an hour riding a bike is like 20 minutes running. Probably oversimplified, but you get the idea.
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Old 03-07-09, 02:12 PM   #13
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I was 350 lbs when i started, for me a hybrid was the answer to get me ridding. I started with a Giant Sedona. I quickly decided I would have been happier with the Giant Cypress, it has 700 wheels vs 26". I put 700 or so miles on the Sedona in 6 months and lost 50 lbs. I have back issues so for me the upright riding position offered by the hybrid bikes was reassuring. Now that I have some miles on the road and know that I am capable of cycling I am getting rid of the Sedona, upgrading the Cypress a bit and looking at traditional road bikes to see if I could actually find one that I could use with out killling my back. I like going fast and the hybrid's are limited there for the most part ( I have gotten the Sedona up to 30mph on flat land for short distances). I do have to agree the flat bars are not necissarly the best option for road biking, I have wrist issues/pain often and feel that more hand positions would be a great asset. Looking into different bar options or add-ons.

Those are my thoughts on it, as a relative newbie to cycling, take em with a grain of salt.
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Old 03-07-09, 02:43 PM   #14
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This is a badassdeal for a badassmekanik;

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/galaxy.htm

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Old 03-07-09, 02:47 PM   #15
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Flat handlebars can be very uncomfortable, especially for long rides.

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Old 03-07-09, 03:20 PM   #16
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I was agreeing with you RR.
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Old 03-07-09, 06:09 PM   #17
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Flat handlebars can be very uncomfortable, especially for long rides.
So can drop bars. There are a million different kinds of drop bar and a zillion different kinds of flat and riser handlebars. Finding one that is comfortable over long distances is definitely possible.
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Old 03-07-09, 06:53 PM   #18
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Well roughly a month ago the Doc told me that im border line diabetic and I need to loose the tire. So to make a long story short I bought a Walmart special Schwinn and its a total pile so I returned it.
Im going to purchace a bike from a bike shop and I need help picking one thats going to be decent in my price range. I am planning on spending $400 tops on a bike and I weight about 230 as of now so its got to be durable and reliable.
Okay, we need some more info...

1) The type of riding you want to do.....
2) How much riding you want to do.....

For the type of riding there are different types, from people who want a leisurely 2 mile ride on the local MUP to hardcore roadies who think nothing of 200 miles in a day. There are people who like to do smooth dirt trails to those who think pitching off the top of the Grand Canyon would be a great way to catch a little air.....
There are also people who go on multi-day bike trips with nothing but an empty Visa card, staying in fine hotels and motels and eating in restaurants to those who think nothing of putting 50lbs of camping gear on their bike, and spending a couple of weeks on the road, going from one camping spot to another, even if some spots are not official.

Which rider do YOU want to be?
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Old 03-07-09, 06:59 PM   #19
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I just picked me up a new bike today I bought a Trek 7.2 FX. I allready took her on her maiden voyage and she rides great. Im going to have to upgrade the handle bars some time. I am still trying to get used to the rigid fork since my last one was spring loaded. But overall its good riding bike.

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Old 03-07-09, 07:01 PM   #20
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Okay, we need some more info...

1) The type of riding you want to do.....
2) How much riding you want to do.....

For the type of riding there are different types, from people who want a leisurely 2 mile ride on the local MUP to hardcore roadies who think nothing of 200 miles in a day. There are people who like to do smooth dirt trails to those who think pitching off the top of the Grand Canyon would be a great way to catch a little air.....
There are also people who go on multi-day bike trips with nothing but an empty Visa card, staying in fine hotels and motels and eating in restaurants to those who think nothing of putting 50lbs of camping gear on their bike, and spending a couple of weeks on the road, going from one camping spot to another, even if some spots are not official.

Which rider do YOU want to be?
Does he have to choose?
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Old 03-07-09, 07:14 PM   #21
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Flat handlebars are difficult to control, here are some commonplace scenarios
riders with flat handlebars experience on a daily basis. If flat bars are so great,
why don't they use them in the TdF? A ha! Gotcha, didn't I?

















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Old 03-07-09, 08:58 PM   #22
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I love that last pic, Richard, but all the images you posted are for the most part resultant of either racing MTB or Cyclocross, or doing stupid mistakes. Flats are quite controllable. The main drawback is the lack of hand positions and nerve damage from too much pressure on the ulnar nerve and carpal nerve.
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Old 03-07-09, 09:08 PM   #23
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I love that last pic, Richard, but all the images you posted are for the most part resultant of either racing MTB or Cyclocross, or doing stupid mistakes. Flats are quite controllable. The main drawback is the lack of hand positions and nerve damage from too much pressure on the ulnar nerve and carpal nerve.
Your facts just bounce off the side of my head like bullets off Superman's chest! Now that I've changed my flat bars for dropped bars, I'm on a crusade!
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Old 03-07-09, 09:29 PM   #24
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Does he have to choose?
Well, no, one can always have more then one bike. As we all know the perfect number of bikes is N+1 where N is the current number of bikes you own.
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Old 03-07-09, 10:07 PM   #25
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Nice ride badassmekanik! I was looking at the FX line for a while, but decided I might be better served with a drop bar bike when i upgrade. LEt us know how you like it once you get some miles on it. Congrats!


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Your facts just bounce off the side of my head like bullets off Superman's chest! Now that I've changed my flat bars for dropped bars, I'm on a crusade!
Well I have been pricing out the option of converting, so you may have your first victory.

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