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  1. #1
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    Bicycle Commute & New Bicycle help (5.5 Miles)

    This is my first post here after some considerable reading in the Commute Section as well as here.

    I'll start out by saying that I haven't truly owned a Bicycle in about a decade, (when I was nine!) and a little background. I have borrowed a few from some people for a week or so, but I haven't owned one. Since then I have gained some weight and I have concerns about just buying any old bicycle.

    I am 5'11, and at last weigh I was 235. This was nearly a year ago, however due to my sedentary lifestyle (Damn you internet!) I am sure I am either near 250 or slightly past it. So! I had been taking the bus to and from my University (Willamette University in Salem, OR), and I figure it would be healthy (and even fun!) to actually exercise. I have started walking instead of taking the bus, and now I think I am ready for a Bicycle. (Seems much more efficient!).

    I didn't really feel comfortable just buying a Bicycle without knowing much about brands, tools, and how my above-average weight would fit in. So here I am! I have about $600.00 USD set aside for a Bicycle, but being a student I would love if it was less (For tools, Rack.. Top Ramen.. You know, basics.) I really need an everyday bicycle that will likely be used an average of 6-10 miles a day.

    TL;DR I am a little (perhaps a bit more than that) overweight, have little knowledge about bicycles and need some advice in what to buy. (Something Sturdy!) [I really need an everyday bicycle that will likely be used an average of 6-10 miles a day.]

    I've taken note of this thread, and some others about what tools I will need. Good thing I found this place, or I would have never thought to buy some of these things.
    Advice for New Commuters

    Quick Edit: The bike I have been looking at is the Redline R530, And it is pretty much what I am looking for except for Two things, Price and my Weight. It would be great if I could find one that has what this bike offers, and to be sure it will be all right for me to ride. (I have heard horror stories about spokes on bikes)
    Last edited by 58545256; 05-12-09 at 12:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    The redline looks ok. 32-36 spoke wheels will be no problem as long as the spokes are properly tensioned. (and you don't do any curb hopping)

    The unofficial Clyde Bike seems to be the Hardrock.

    Don't worry too much about the bike at your size.
    These are my bikes (I'm 350+ and they have had no problems)
    Trek 1220 w/32 spoke wheels (slightly aero)
    Non-suspension Hardrock (26" wheels)
    Nashbar touring build. (36 spoke wheels)
    Late 80's Schwinn LeTour (36 spoke wheels)

    Grab a decent quality bike off of Craigs List and ride the wheels off of it. (then replace the wheels and ride some more!)
    Hey, I'm just this GUY...you know?
    >>>Team Critical Mess<<< (You mean it's not SUPPOSE to hurt?)

    My nice new Nashbar Touring Build AKA "The Flying Avocadooooooooo!"
    1998(?) Trek 700 Multitrack
    1995 Trek 1220 AKA "Jimi"
    Older Non-suspension Specialized Hardrock

  3. #3
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    I've ridden all three of the bikes in my sig. at 280 with no problems. The lemond has 24/20 spoke count and needs a little truing but that is from a nasty pothole but no broken spokes. You should be able to get a bike that matches your needs without worrying too much about spoke count.

    If you can find a used bike it will be less of a thief target at school. It's a good idea to use a ulock through the frame and a cable through the wheels. Once you get in better shape and figure out the kind of riding you like you can spend your money on a nicer bike for yourself and keep commuting on the used bike.

    http://salem.craigslist.org/bik/1166316858.html
    http://salem.craigslist.org/bik/1164556733.html

    I commute year-round on the Hardrock 13mi. roundtrip. I use these tires:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=42111
    a friend uses these:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=42106
    and this should work well:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=42105


    Last edited by MikeOnBike; 05-12-09 at 10:50 AM.
    '08 Jamis Dakota 29er, '06 LeMond Sarthe, '92 Hardrock, '80 Schwinn Voyager 11.8

  4. #4
    me ride bike good
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    well, I have been as much as 250lbs, but weigh 220s now, and I ride a 7 year old Trek 4300 Mountain Bike that I have modified a bit for a commuter/tourer. It has a front suspension fork, but given the roads on which I commute, I like it. For short money I outfitted it with a plain rear rack and some inexpensive panniers from nashbar-rack and bags together were less than $50. I also put 1.5" tires on it for road use. I paid over $400 for the bike new, but it is a fairly common mid-entry level trek, and there are plenty on craigslist in the $100 range. I have since replaced the crank and rear cassette, and a couple of chains, tubes, and tires due to wear. I doubt, after all this time and a few thousand miles I am into this bike for $800 total, and that includes $200 worth of good tires. And, having started here, I know what I want for my 'step up' bike. So, for the life of the bike so far, that is a bit over $100 per year. If Craigslist were around when I bought it, I would go CL all the way.

  5. #5
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    I see, I appreciate the advice from experience. I have been looking on craigslist, however I am ever weary about buying these bicycles without knowing much about the owners and the Bicycles origin. I have sent a few emails off to some sellers, including the Marin Bicycle you linked as well as a $350.00 Hardrock 2008 with pump, and some other tools.

    I will keep an eye out for the Trek models you all have mentioned, as well as the Hardrock. If I don't find anything, I'll definitely have to consider one of the Specialized Bicycles. They seem to be of Decent Price (Cirrus, Hardrock 390-400) range.
    Last edited by 58545256; 05-13-09 at 03:48 PM.

  6. #6
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    I saw this, http://salem.craigslist.org/bik/1167541613.html , But I haven't heard much about that brand/model here or anywhere else. Any thoughts on that?
    I also see this one: http://salem.craigslist.org/bik/1169071148.html , but I am concerned about it. I dropped by the three LBS's, and none of them had any Hardrocks for me to try. I'll try some others later this week.

  7. #7
    Mass Mover takingcontrol's Avatar
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    Hey, 585 when you get your bike if you want to do some rides I'm game. I am a superclyde but u think I can handle 10-12 miles. I currently ride 8 miles round trip to the gym with no problems. Oh I live in Independence.

  8. #8
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome to the forums! To be quite honest with you there is very little difference in entry level mountain bikes (which the Hardrock falls under) component wise and the frames are all most likely made in the same plant in China so no frame will be made to a different quality control level than another manufacturers in the price range. Don't be afraid to check into a Trek, Giant, Raleigh, Diamondback etc.

    If you insist on buying something new make sure you go to every LBS and test ride every bike in your price range. Then buy the bike that meets the following three criteria (in order of importance)- A: A good feeling from the LBS, buy from the one that takes the time to answer every question you have no matter how silly you think it is; B: The bike that feels best to you; C: The bike that meets the above two criteria and has good sex appeal. You have to actually want to ride it you know.

    That said I would check into a Trek FX 7.3 which is in your price range and will be much friendlier on road.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    58545256

    I live down just outside of Albany , but I bought my last bike in Salem. Try Bike Peddler if you have not all ready. They offer the best service and are quite knowledgeable. I would love to put together a local Clyde ride with you and takingcontrol.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    +1 on what bautieri said and welcome to the forums!
    Julio (me)
    2011 Specialized Roubaix Elite
    2009 Specialized Sequoia Elite
    2009 Trek 7.3 (Red)

    Patricia (wife)
    2009 Specialized Sequoia Elite; 2008 Fuji Absolute 2.0

  11. #11
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    Hey!

    I picked up my bike on Thursday, (Specialized Hardrock, Rack, Fenders.). I have been cycling about 7 miles a day since then (except for yesterday, when I drove myself and my bike down to the coast and pigged out on some BBQ. (I am regretting that already.) I rode three miles that day.

    I have to say it is fun, and I am already tanning (and burning) quite a bit. ( I am incredibly pale! ). However I am absolutely pooped, when I get home I have no energy to do anything but veg out in front of my computer. In addition to that I get extremely dizzy, which I account for by considering that I haven't had any exercise in half a decade.

    I would be interested in some rides, once I'm not so weak! Maybe in a month or so
    Last edited by 58545256; 05-27-09 at 07:50 AM.

  12. #12
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    I am about to leave for work, and ride my route for the second time today (4:50-5:30). (I woke early and rode there and back, and now I am leaving to do it again.)

    Hopefully this will help to quicken the lethargy. (My butt hurts so much, ahch!)

  13. #13
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    This is fantastic to see you've really taken to it. Keep it up!

  14. #14
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Are you drinking enough when your riding? Make sure you are taking at least 2-3 big gulps of water every 15 minutes or so. Do this even when you don't feel thirsty.

    Oh, and post us a picture or else the puppy gets it.

  15. #15
    Pokemon Master Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
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    switch to maruchan. you'll never go back. : ]
    oh yeah, the hardrock is pretty awesome. i have one (see sig) and have had no trouble out of it since i got it a year ago. I put some slick tires on it, a rack, and a few other goodies, and it's a great commuter bike.

  16. #16
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    bautieri,
    I had my camera stolen from my bag last month, so no pictures until I decide to buy a new one. I spaced the bottle cage, so I just strapped it to my rack. I have been drinking a gulp or so at intersections where I have to stop, and it did help with the headaches. I guess before and after isn't sufficient.


    Darth_Firebolt,
    I have a big box of Maruchan, but I get the Ramen for ridiculous prices and I haven't gone through all of it yet. I do put veggies in the Ramen as well as a boiled egg, and I rarely use the salt packet (And if I do, I use 1/4), so that makes it bearable.

    ________

    I took a large and flat detour on the way home, (I calculated it a few hours ago at 11.2 Miles) so that makes around twenty miles in one day. I also learned a valuable lesson, don't go down hills you don't want to go back up. ugh.

    I also started shifting early and more often, which made it easier to pedal and overall increased my comfort. I still feel like I am going super slow. I haven't measured my speed, and I don't think I want to know for a while. D:

    My butt still hurts quite a bit, but still noticeably less than earlier in the week.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58545256 View Post
    bautieri,
    I had my camera stolen from my bag last month, so no pictures until I decide to buy a new one. I spaced the bottle cage, so I just strapped it to my rack. I have been drinking a gulp or so at intersections where I have to stop, and it did help with the headaches. I guess before and after isn't sufficient.


    Darth_Firebolt,
    I have a big box of Maruchan, but I get the Ramen for ridiculous prices and I haven't gone through all of it yet. I do put veggies in the Ramen as well as a boiled egg, and I rarely use the salt packet (And if I do, I use 1/4), so that makes it bearable.

    ________

    I took a large and flat detour on the way home, (I calculated it a few hours ago at 11.2 Miles) so that makes around twenty miles in one day. I also learned a valuable lesson, don't go down hills you don't want to go back up. ugh.

    I also started shifting early and more often, which made it easier to pedal and overall increased my comfort. I still feel like I am going super slow. I haven't measured my speed, and I don't think I want to know for a while. D:

    My butt still hurts quite a bit, but still noticeably less than earlier in the week.
    I've noticed that going down a nice gentle .5 degree decent about 25 feet will be followed by needing to make an accent that is 15 degrees with about 500 feet of climbing.

  18. #18
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    Just a little update, no photos.

    I've just hit 600 miles, which I suppose isn't much, but it really does feel like an accomplishment to me. After about two weeks the last plastic nub thing wore off, and it was very fun seeing that. About one month after I bought the Bicycle there was very little pain/tightness or soreness in my legs and butt, and it has been very smooth sailing physically since then.. The total commute is about 3 miles each way, but I've started taking an additional morning ride (starting at 5 A.M. 4-8 miles) just for fun, for the last two weeks.

    When I purchased the bicycle I was 245lbs, and I have lost 15 lbs, which is a trite amount considering I have fluctuated between 230 and 250 for the last two years, however considering I haven't really modified my diet in any meaningful way (other than drinking much more water), and that I feel much stronger, it is quite amazing to me. I hope to make it to 210-220 by the end of the year.

    I've had to replace the tubes in each tire, and I am starting to become wary of the bike slipping gears. For example; Front sprocket in gear 2 (of three), Rear sprocket in gear 6 (Of Seven), I will be climbing a small hill (no more than 4 feet over 30 feet), and suddenly there's a snap and it shifts into 7. It's very frightening at high speeds, and I really don't know what to do about it. In addition to this when the front gear is in 3, there is a constant rubbing against the derailer that shifts the chain over. In order to keep it from rubbing I have to hold it in place.

    Think I need to have these readjusted?

    EDIT: I nearly forgot; The grips are beginning to slide off, and I have to shimmy them back into place after every ride.

    Wear and tear ? Oh dear!
    Last edited by 58545256; 07-26-09 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Quick edit:

  19. #19
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    slipping gears I'd say derailluers need adjusted...
    .
    super spooky you bet!!!
    .
    best fix for loose grips is spray paint... slip em off squirt inside the grip and the end of the bar wait a second or two and slid em on...
    .
    old motorcycle trick that one is...
    .
    ps my trek 850 has "gripshifts" i have to gear and a half em sometimes to get it to change... i think true levers would be best...

  20. #20
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58545256 View Post
    Just a little update, no photos.

    I've just hit 600 miles, which I suppose isn't much, but it really does feel like an accomplishment to me. After about two weeks the last plastic nub thing wore off, and it was very fun seeing that. About one month after I bought the Bicycle there was very little pain/tightness or soreness in my legs and butt, and it has been very smooth sailing physically since then.. The total commute is about 3 miles each way, but I've started taking an additional morning ride (starting at 5 A.M. 4-8 miles) just for fun, for the last two weeks.

    When I purchased the bicycle I was 245lbs, and I have lost 15 lbs, which is a trite amount considering I have fluctuated between 230 and 250 for the last two years, however considering I haven't really modified my diet in any meaningful way (other than drinking much more water), and that I feel much stronger, it is quite amazing to me. I hope to make it to 210-220 by the end of the year.

    I've had to replace the tubes in each tire, and I am starting to become wary of the bike slipping gears. For example; Front sprocket in gear 2 (of three), Rear sprocket in gear 6 (Of Seven), I will be climbing a small hill (no more than 4 feet over 30 feet), and suddenly there's a snap and it shifts into 7. It's very frightening at high speeds, and I really don't know what to do about it. In addition to this when the front gear is in 3, there is a constant rubbing against the derailer that shifts the chain over. In order to keep it from rubbing I have to hold it in place.

    Think I need to have these readjusted?

    EDIT: I nearly forgot; The grips are beginning to slide off, and I have to shimmy them back into place after every ride.

    Wear and tear ? Oh dear!
    First off , great job on hitting 600 miles, it all adds up. As far as your gear slipping, has the bike had its first tune up yet? If not, get it in to the dealer, it sound as if it is due. If you bought your bike at Peddler, you have 2 free years of tunes ups coming, so take advantage of them.

  21. #21
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    It has indeed had its first tune up, but I think I'm gonna bring it in for another, it's in pretty rough shape I think, especially after today.

    I left at about 12 A.M. for my trip to Albany and back (50-65 miles all together.)

    I just got home about 30 minutes ago and I am DEAD.. SO TIRED. I decided to do something more extreme, and this was indeed extreme for me. Total 25-35 miles each way, hot-hot weather.

    I am very proud of myself

    Gonna go lay down now, lol.

    Fake edit: If this is incoherent, I am sorry, but I am so tired my arms are shaking.

  22. #22
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    you should be proud. Kudos.

    How hot hot hot? If it is really hot....slow down a bit. Also make sure you hydrate and in realy hot weather and longer miles you might need gatorade or somithing of that ilk. Did you eat on the ride? on a ride like that you should eat a little..... bananas are classic....
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  23. #23
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    It was 80-85 when I left and it peaked at around 97, but this is Oregon, so that is very hot for us.

    I drank two bottles of water each way, and I had a light lunch in Albany. No food on me. I probably could have done with more water.

  24. #24
    Pokemon Master Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58545256 View Post
    I probably could have done with more water.
    words to live by.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58545256 View Post
    It has indeed had its first tune up, but I think I'm gonna bring it in for another, it's in pretty rough shape I think, especially after today.

    I left at about 12 A.M. for my trip to Albany and back (50-65 miles all together.)

    I just got home about 30 minutes ago and I am DEAD.. SO TIRED. I decided to do something more extreme, and this was indeed extreme for me. Total 25-35 miles each way, hot-hot weather.

    I am very proud of myself

    Gonna go lay down now, lol.

    Fake edit: If this is incoherent, I am sorry, but I am so tired my arms are shaking.
    You went out in that stuff I did a ride about that long last weekend, but I got up early and was done before 10 AM. If you can do that distance, you should be able to do the Clyde ride that I am putting together. It looks like September 5th is the planned day so far and it will be a 40-50 miler. Send me a PM if you are interested. Great good on the mileage.

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