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  1. #1
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    Yeah, another newby looking for bike recommedations/opinions

    Well, I haven't ridden a bicycle in nearly a decade now and have decided I would like to pick it up again. I've been riding motorcycles (standards) for the last few years and love it. I'm hoping the motorcycle experience will help with bicycle safety as ideally I would like to commute to school every day as well as maybe go to the grocery store/errands. My trip is only about 5 miles one way and it seems ridiculous to ride the motorbike such a short distance. I'm not sure that I've even regenerated the energy lost from starting the bike in such a short trip.

    So here I am, eager to start riding the other kind of bike. My problem is like everybody else in this section, I'm not a thin 130lb rider. I'm 6'5" and weigh about 270 lbs right now. I'm always my heaviest at the end of winter, and often will lose 15ish lbs over a summer. I don't own a scale, so I only get weighed if I'm getting a physical usually.

    I'm looking at different bikes, and I'm not sure what will work best for me. My gut feeling is that I want a road bike, but because I'm so used to riding standard motorcycles I keep looking at Hybrid bikes with 700c wheels. I like the combination of upright riding with a relatively fast drivetrain and the bigger wheels make me feel like they will support more weight. I've been looking at the Trek 7000 and I think that's around the price I'm willing to pay right now. ($350ish) Ideally I would go used but my local craigslist is full of small stuff, non if which is brand name. A friend of mine said he might sell me an old (I'm guessing 80s) Fuji road bike cheaply, but I'm still not sold on a road bike. I know if I don't feel comfortable, then the bike will end up in the garage collecting dust. With that said, if I feel slow on the road then the same thing might happen.

    Any recommendations around $350? Also I've been looking at some of the Schwinn Hybrids and from research they are really hit or miss. The reviews on the actual shops websites (such as Target) are often 4 out of 5 stars, however on forums like this I'm sure they aren't as well liked. I also figure $250 for the bike in store, then another $50-150 to have it setup at a bike shop and I might as well of bought the Trek. Another thing, is I'm not sure what sizes I should be looking at.

    Sorry about this mammoth of a post.

    Also, last summer I did a motorcycle trip from Wichita, KS to Los Angeles and up the coast and back and it was a blast. I know this is ambitious (especially since I'm not riding yet), but someday it might be fun to attempt a smaller scale trip on a bicycle.

    Thanks

    Andrew
    Last edited by AndrewClaycomb; 03-29-09 at 10:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    I would encourage you to keep looking on craigslist. Ask your friend if you can ride the Fuji and see if it fits.

    First some things to consider is your height is going to make it more difficult to find a bike and fit is the most important thing to consider on the bike. If the Fugi fits see if you can barrow it for a couple days to see if fits your needs. Also, go to the local bike store (LBS) and test ride some bikes, MTB, hybrids, and road bikes. See how each feels.

    For a five mile commute any bike will work. You may want a bike that can take a rack so you can carry your books on it. At your weight I would trust any MTB and most road bikes.

    Hey, if you aren't too picky here's one to look at http://wichita.craigslist.org/bik/1075532498.html the green one. Has fenders, looks like a large size and a rack. The upright hybrid riding position, get you started.......or NOT.

    I think you should be able to find a good used bike in your price range. Some may mention to go to a LBS for your first bike to get fitted correctly. I think if you test ride some bikes and then find a used one you feel comfortable on you can tweak it to fit correctly.

    Once you ride for awhile you will have a better feel for what you want in a bike and then can upgrade if you desire.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewClaycomb View Post
    Well, I haven't ridden a bicycle in nearly a decade now and have decided I would like to pick it up again. I've been riding motorcycles (standards) for the last few years and love it. I'm hoping the motorcycle experience will help with bicycle safety as ideally I would like to commute to school every day as well as maybe go to the grocery store/errands. My trip is only about 5 miles one way and it seems ridiculous to ride the motorbike such a short distance. I'm not sure that I've even regenerated the energy lost from starting the bike in such a short trip.

    So here I am, eager to start riding the other kind of bike. My problem is like everybody else in this section, I'm not a thin 130lb rider. I'm 6'5" and weigh about 270 lbs right now. I'm always my heaviest at the end of winter, and often will lose 15ish lbs over a summer. I don't own a scale, so I only get weighed if I'm getting a physical usually.

    I'm looking at different bikes, and I'm not sure what will work best for me. My gut feeling is that I want a road bike, but because I'm so used to riding standard motorcycles I keep looking at Hybrid bikes with 700c wheels. I like the combination of upright riding with a relatively fast drivetrain and the bigger wheels make me feel like they will support more weight. I've been looking at the Trek 7000 and I think that's around the price I'm willing to pay right now. ($350ish) Ideally I would go used but my local craigslist is full of small stuff, non if which is brand name. A friend of mine said he might sell me an old (I'm guessing 80s) Fuji road bike cheaply, but I'm still not sold on a road bike. I know if I don't feel comfortable, then the bike will end up in the garage collecting dust. With that said, if I feel slow on the road then the same thing might happen.

    Any recommendations around $350? Also I've been looking at some of the Schwinn Hybrids and from research they are really hit or miss. The reviews on the actual shops websites (such as Target) are often 4 out of 5 stars, however on forums like this I'm sure they aren't as well liked. I also figure $250 for the bike in store, then another $50-150 to have it setup at a bike shop and I might as well of bought the Trek. Another thing, is I'm not sure what sizes I should be looking at.

    Sorry about this mammoth of a post.

    Also, last summer I did a motorcycle trip from Wichita, KS to Los Angeles and up the coast and back and it was a blast. I know this is ambitious (especially since I'm not riding yet), but someday it might be fun to attempt a smaller scale trip on a bicycle.

    Thanks

    Andrew
    A misconception, bigger wheels can take more weight, actually given the same spoke count, and same type of rim and hub, a 26" wheel is stronger then a 700C wheel. Stick to name brand bicycles, any of the major brands, Trek, Canondale, Giant, Fuji, Specialized, Rocky Mountain, Norco, Opus and Orbea have decent products. Pretty much anything found new in a bike shop will be decent. Places like Walmart, Costco and Target typically sell bicycle shaped junk.

    Your probably best to start with the Trek, and then work toward the road bike. Remember about 99.9999% of all bicycles are standards, although a few automatic transmission bicycles are now starting to come out. Based on Shimanos's new computer controlled Nexave system. Of course everyone is different, larger people tend to not have a lot of core strength, so the more bent over position of a road bike can be tough.

    As for safety, yeah, the motorcycle will help, it's amazing you can hear a Harley from 5km away, but drivers can't see one that is 5m in front of them. They don't see the quieter crotch rocket's either, and they certainly don't see anything with pedals on it. Although having said that, it really depends, areas like around downtown Universities where there are typically a lot of bicycles, then drivers seem to see them better. This may not apply to Universities that are in the outlying areas of cities, where students arrive primarily by car. Toronto is a good example of this, the downtown U of T has a lot of bicycles, and drivers tend to know what to do around them, at York, there are a lot fewer bicycles and people tend to see them less.

  4. #4
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    Pretty much anything found new in a bike shop will be decent. Places like Walmart, Costco and Target typically sell bicycle shaped junk.
    It's been said that there's a reason those places sell them in the toy department.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    Your probably best to start with the Trek, and then work toward the road bike.
    +1 - I started this time last year on a Trek 7300 and put 1200+ miles on it before buying a road bike. Someone else said that your first bike is just to figure out what kind of riding you want to do and what kind of bike you really want.
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys, we recently had a major snowstorm out of nowhere so I haven't been able to check out the Fuji road bike. I did go to another bike shop and looked at a Giant Cypress. It's a little more than the Trek 7000 but it also has a front shock and a light aluminum frame. I'm not sure what kind of frame the trek has.

    Is a front shock nice to have, or is it useless weight? There's a cheaper Giant model without the shock, but it has a heavier frame (according to the shop owner) and it isn't available anymore in XL, which I confirmed on the Giant site.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewClaycomb View Post
    Thanks guys, we recently had a major snowstorm out of nowhere so I haven't been able to check out the Fuji road bike. I did go to another bike shop and looked at a Giant Cypress. It's a little more than the Trek 7000 but it also has a front shock and a light aluminum frame. I'm not sure what kind of frame the trek has.

    Is a front shock nice to have, or is it useless weight? There's a cheaper Giant model without the shock, but it has a heavier frame (according to the shop owner) and it isn't available anymore in XL, which I confirmed on the Giant site.
    Most front shocks are designed for riders from 150 to 175lbs, so if your outside this range, and not planning on doing much off road, skip the shock.....

  7. #7
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    +1 My last bike had a front shock on it and I just felt like it added resistance to my ride. Since almost all my riding is on some sort of pavement, when I went shopping I rejected all bikes with shocks.

    My new bike is shock free (unless I hit a bump), Actually it's pretty free of a lot of stuff
    Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

    My Website: New Home http://www.eclectic-relic.co.cc/
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  8. #8
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    Well, I went another bike shop and have more to think about. The trek 7.2 fx looked nice, the specialized sirrus caught my eye, and I still think I might want a full road bike. Of course nobody in town carries the larger sizes, so I can't do test rides to actually compare the bikes. Anybody have experience with these bikes?

  9. #9
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I would sugggest you look towards a hybrid to start at your price range. At any given price point, there isn't much of a difference between brands, so don't get too hung up on the name painted on it, shop more for a good shop. Stay away from anything with shocks if you're going to ride on pavement. Given your goals and your taste in sensible motorcycles, I would recomend a good touring bike like the Surly Long Haul Trucker, Trek 520, or Masi Randoneur. They will give you the benefits of drop bars with multiple hand positions for long rides, have comfortable geometry and be built to carry a load. Only downside is they are a lot more expensive than the hybrid, so not really a good choice until you really know what you want and know that you will stick with it.
    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
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    Well I found a good deal on a trek 1200 road bike with aftermarket wheels so I brought her home. It worked out being cheaper than going with a new trek hybrid and it still looks like it's in great shape.the guy at the bike shop said the wheels on the bike were worth more than the bike. Can't wait to start get on the road with it. Only thing it needs is a new set of batteries for the computer.

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