Iíve been riding a 15-year-old Bianchi mountain bike for the past few years. Iíve been pretty rough with it out on the trails when I was around 340lbs and havenít had any problems. But now that Iím 400+, I just busted a spoke and itís become just too uncomfortable to ride. I think itís time for something new.
Iíve read a lot of threads recommending bikes and after Iíve lost a considerable amount of weight and Iím ready to spend some serious cash, Iíll invest in a quality mountain bike. But for now Iím just looking for something to get me by till then. Iíll be riding paved trails a few times a week for no more than an hour or two at a time.
Iíve got a couple hundred dollars in certificates for Dickís Sporting Goods. So Iím considering the Diamondback Wildwood (Comfort bike) or the Edgewood (Hybrid). I know these bikes arenít the greatest quality, but Iím thinking they should hold up. Anyone have any experience with diamondback bikes? Which wheel would I have better success with 32h ssw26 or 32h ssw700? Both are double tunnel alloy.
A tune-up from the LBS and a new wheelset will serve you in good stead. A set of clyde-friendly wheels may set you back the cost of a department store bike, but it will let you keep riding that Bianchi for another 15 years, where you'd kill your Dick's Sporting Goods bike stone dead after a season of riding it as heavy as you are. Plus, you can take the wheels with you when it comes time to buy your "skinny bike," instant upgrade!
I vote for you to get a good bike as soon as fianancially possible. First, when I have a good bike, I just like looking at it and all I am thinking about is when is the next time I can get out on it. And second, once you get out on it it just rides so much better then some cheap bike. So you want to keep riding it. ;-) Have fun!
I'd try and do something with the Bianchi also. You really didn't say what was uncomfortable for you though. Maybe it's time for a new saddle or different grips. As we age we are usually not as flexible as we once were so maybe you need to get used to riding if you've taken some time off. I'd suggest go to a LBS and have them do a complete tune up unless you can do that yourself.
The comfort issue was mainly being hunched over to far forward. With my big belly I need to be sitting a little more upright. I replaced the stem and the bike is much more comfortable to ride now. Mainly it will just take some time to get used to riding again. I adjusted the brakes for now and replaced the broken spoke. So hopefully I can get many more miles out of it with no more repairs.
Thanks for talking me out inexpensive low quality bike. I'll start saving for a quality mountain bike. Kona Hoss maybe.
Consider wheels rebuilt with new rims and spokes by a skilled wheelbuilder--NOT a prebuilt "designer" wheel set. A bike 15 years old probably has 32 or 36 spoke wheels--this is good. Wheels built with high tension, quality rims and 14/15/14 gauge butted spokes will be the strongest--you are talking about wheels that will hold up a tandem. They should work for you if they're built right.
I know its up to you in the end but seriously reconsider your bianchi, i'm sure its a fantastic bike that just needs a bit of tlc. Can we have some pics of it? Love seeing older quality bikes Is it too small for you? Maybe give it a complete overhaul to get it like new again ha ha Saying that though a new bike could spark you into more cycling etc. so best of luck with your decisions and let us know how you get on. don't forget some pics of the bianchi
I am also very large 350+ and though I am just getting back into cycling I have to agree with the other person who suggested getting a good set of wheels because the cheap bikes in dicks are not likely to cut it with all the other cheap components on them. I know you have the money cards for Dick's so you might have to find some other person who needs them. I know I would hate to give up all the other components on new ones I was not sure of for the need of some better wheels.