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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 04-28-09, 08:18 AM   #1
BigPolishJimmy
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Torn on what to do

Has anyone here had one of these: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...allant/allant/

I saw it in the LBS the other day and much to my chagrin it called to me. The thing is I'm 6'4" 285lbs and lanky with a bad back. Last season I got into biking and did regular 10-mile rides with my wife and youngest son. I built up my endurance and was ready for longer rides but my back was having none of it. I was running out of back before running out of energy or *$$. I'm having difficulty finding a good fit and almost always feel cramped on any bike. To combat this I put a lay-back seatpost and stem riser on my motobecane road bike and it's more comfortable. In fact it felt better than I've felt on a bike since I was a young child, but my back is not happy at all. I have a very mild scoliosis and get an obnoxious clicking noise/feeling in my lower spine when my back shifts position.

I also have a frankenhuffy mtn bike set up with ape hangers that allows me to ride upright, but it stinks riding into the wind, plus it has knobby tires on it. There's just something about gliding on the smooth pavement on a road bike that's so soothing and relaxing and/or thrilling when you're pushing 20mph. I guess part of what appealed to me on the Trek was the amount of air space and tire available, perhaps I'd get fewer pinch-flats and the tires still looked narrow like road tires. The thing is I went in there to drool at recumbents which are out of my price range. If I sold all of my extra bikes I could probably get this trek but still not get a recumbent. I'm wondering if I should pursue this or try to buy/sell/flip a few bikes and just hold out for the recumbent next year. Of course to complicate this, I've never ridden a recumbent and might have difficulty with the whole look forward to maintain balance thing as I ride to get excercise and be out enjoying the scenery and check things out along the way.
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Old 04-28-09, 08:21 AM   #2
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have you considered a bent?
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Old 04-28-09, 09:14 AM   #3
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Sorry, I can't give advice since I only hit 20MPH on the downhill.

There's very little information on cycling and scoliosis out there, but everything I've read suggests getting as 'stretched' as possible is the best way around the problem. I'm very upright by most standards, but the lower I get, the better I feel. However, I've never been able to feel entirely comfortable on a bike, and I suspect you might have to accept a certain amount of discomfort as well.
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Old 04-28-09, 08:29 PM   #4
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bautieri - Yes... I have considered a bent, that may be the answer but they're out of my $$$-grasp at the moment.

Historian - I agree, I suspect I'll need to endure a certain level of discomfort, I just want to be able to ride longer. I'm far more comfortable riding upright, until I hit a hard bump and compress my spine. Our 10-mile rides last summer were about an hour in length due to my youngest needing to stop fairly often. If I rode alone I could probably cover a lot more ground, but then part of this is a family thing. The thing is... You make me jealous with your scenic rides. I know I can build up the strength and endurance to pull that sort of thing off, but finding the right fit has eluded me.
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Old 04-28-09, 09:33 PM   #5
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you just need to get on that bike and ride it. most bike shops are more than willing to let you test ride as many bikes as you want. there is really no way to know if a bike will suit you well by looking at it.

I was having back problems when I first started riding my cross check, but several weeks of daily stretching and core strengthening exercises and now I am better than ever. As a clyde, my core and my arms were just not up to the challenge of supporting my upper body.

I love the riding position on the cross check now, but I went through several weeks of some pretty serious back pain while commuting on the new bike.

Not sure if any of the info helps, because like I said you really need to get on a bike and ride it, check with your bike shop and see if they will let you take a bike for a long ride, like 20 miles or more.
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Old 04-28-09, 10:09 PM   #6
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Historian - I agree, I suspect I'll need to endure a certain level of discomfort, I just want to be able to ride longer. I'm far more comfortable riding upright, until I hit a hard bump and compress my spine. Our 10-mile rides last summer were about an hour in length due to my youngest needing to stop fairly often. If I rode alone I could probably cover a lot more ground, but then part of this is a family thing. The thing is... You make me jealous with your scenic rides. I know I can build up the strength and endurance to pull that sort of thing off, but finding the right fit has eluded me.
My secret is to get off and stretch, or at least spend a minute in a good posture.
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Old 04-28-09, 10:41 PM   #7
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I've test ridden several Day 6 bikes and found them to be very comfortable.

http://www.day6bicycles.com/index.html

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Old 04-28-09, 11:25 PM   #8
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I ride a Schwinn World GS a very simalar bike IMO and . From what you say I think you will love the Trek .I avg about 14 mph and hit speeds reg of 19 to 20 mph I got 500 miles on my Schwinn If you like riding upright then I say go for it .
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Old 04-29-09, 05:09 AM   #9
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Good to see you again Jimmy, been wondering what hapened to you.

I hear you on the family ride idea, but remember there is nothing wrong with taking a few rides "just for you" every now and then.

The best advice is to just test ride as much as you can. It's the best way to get a feel for a particualr bike or tyoe of bike.

I've never ridden a 'bent but would like to try. I doubt I could ever b ring myself to spring the bucks for one unless it was the last thing my 3 suregery veteran back could handle though. Then again, I bet the 'bent vets have some pretty serious personalization strategies going on too, lol.
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Old 04-29-09, 05:52 AM   #10
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Check craigslist.org in your area. Bents are always showing up for sale.
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Old 04-29-09, 06:54 AM   #11
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Jim

I have to say +1 on the stretching and core exercises for your back. I had a mild case and it actually did more good than the bone popper. No curve as of today. But I'm sure you might have a more profound curve.

No way around the price tags of 'bents or crankforwards. But like Flip posted, they are always in the paper. The St Louis CL has ten at this moment and at least 30-50% off the new price! Very tempting, but not really since I have no money at this time!

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Old 04-29-09, 08:46 AM   #12
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Thanks for the input everyone. I'm still torn but feeling better about it. Last year I acquired a giant road bike that was too small for me, but man was it a joy to ride just due to the higher quality components than I'm used to. Part of that envy is what attracted me to the Trek, it also looked like it might not be as prone to the pinch flats I've been encountering with my old road bikes. Even so I'd hate to drop that kind of money only to find out i'm still only good for an hour on the bike. Looks like I'll just have to ride a bunch and figure it out.
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Old 05-01-09, 08:49 AM   #13
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Rode a Jamis Coda at a different bike shop the other day and really liked the frame and shifters and the san marcos saddle. This is going to be one of the bikes i consider for the future. Funny thing is recently I bought an old Schwinn Frontier at Goodwill for $20.00 with the sole intent of cleaning it up and re-selling it. Turns out I'm starting to see real potential in this bike after riding it. It's nothing special and low-end to be sure but the frame is larger and made inTaiwan. The Shimano SIS needs a bit of fine-tuning and the foam handlegrips are getting old, plus I don't like the feel of foam grips. I may put cruiser bars on this to help out and if I can get the seat back just a touch we may have an winner. Currently it's got knobbies on it but I think some slicks will bring the tires around to a happy medium where I can resist flats more than on my road bike. It won't be the smooth glide of road tires but it may be good enough and handle the gravel portions of our rides.

Does anyone know, can you put mutiple bar ends on a bike? I pretty much hate flat bars and I've got a set of bar end drops that I can add to mix up the hand positions, but I'm wondering if I could put some regular bar ends on first and then put the bar end drops on the outside of those? It would look like the bike had antlers, but there'd be a huge variety of hand positions available. My concern is that by tightenign the bar ends on one set it may affect the tightness of the other set. I suppose I can just try it and find out.

ps. thanks for the shoutout txvintage, it's good to be back. Winter was looong and cold and it's good to be riding again.
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Old 05-01-09, 08:58 AM   #14
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Thanks for the input everyone. I'm still torn but feeling better about it. Last year I acquired a giant road bike that was too small for me, but man was it a joy to ride just due to the higher quality components than I'm used to. Part of that envy is what attracted me to the Trek, it also looked like it might not be as prone to the pinch flats I've been encountering with my old road bikes. Even so I'd hate to drop that kind of money only to find out i'm still only good for an hour on the bike. Looks like I'll just have to ride a bunch and figure it out.
When you get it figured out, let me know, please. I still have a lot of problems I'm seeking answers for.
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Old 05-01-09, 09:21 AM   #15
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I have scoliosis. And am all to familiar with the clicking of the spine

The worse is when you are exercising and you can feel your spine moving as two.....

I was, at first, uncomfortable in the drops on a road bike. I think the stretching out part is the way to go. My Fuji is probably a size to big for me (it is a 54 with a 100mm stem, I probably should ride a 52 or a shorter stem) but the stretching of my torso (I think) is helping with my issue.

I still have my episodes where it just sucks, but I try to get on my bike at least every other day to keep them at a minimal. Now, if the CA weather would figure out it is late spring/early summer instead of winter, I'll be out there everyday.
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Old 05-01-09, 09:22 AM   #16
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That Day 6 looks like a mid-evil torture device to me!!!!!!

Of course, that is where my bend is.....
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Old 05-01-09, 09:46 AM   #17
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hatching a plan

I'm hatching a plan to see if I can get an Rx from my doctor for a recumbent and to see if I can get it approved and use our flexible medical spending next year. Then I would be able to purchase it pre-taxes. It won't be free, but every little bit helps. Still in the meanwhile I've got to figure out what works. It is nice having built up a bit of repair knowledge and being able to work with more options. I also bought a Trek 800 sport Mtn Track the other day for $40.00 again with mainly an intent on cleaning it up and reselling it. My youngest has taken a shine to it, so now it will be part of his birthday present which is nice because it's a better bike than I could have afforded to buy him new.
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Old 05-01-09, 12:04 PM   #18
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Jimmy, that Trek looks nice. Have you tried it? The upright handlebars might be what the doctor ordered, metaphorically speaking. And I notice the wheels have 36 spokes each, so they'll be durable.
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Old 05-01-09, 12:43 PM   #19
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That Day 6 looks like a mid-evil torture device to me!!!!!!

Of course, that is where my bend is.....
The Rans crankforward design has a nice comfy seat but lacks the backrest you see on the Day 6. The Rans CF are also designed for performance, unlike most CF bikes.
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