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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 05-18-09, 02:31 PM   #1
FortressMaximus
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I'm pretty positive you guys can help.

Here's my story.
I'm 7 feet tall, roughly 320 pounds, and pretty out of shape.
Right now, I have a p.o.s. Mongoose mountain bike my mom got at a yard sale that has problems out the a**.
I do have a birthday coming up, and a new bike is number one on my wish list.
I'd like to seriously get into riding, because so far, it's had a lot of positive impacts,
such as me eating less, getting out more, and obviously it's offered a readily available mode of transportation.
I live in a small town in central Florida. There is plenty of potholes, dips, and gravel to deal with, so keep that in mind.
I would like to be able to eventually do long distance biking.
The chances of me needing to ride off road or on mountains or any other adventurous terrain is 1 in 10000.
I live within a 15 minute ride of the local bike shop, pretty small but it gets some good stuff in,
and the owner is 6'5 so he gets some larger framed bikes ordered in.
I also live within a ~25 min drive of a Sports Authority.
I am extremely skeptical of buying a bike online as I would like to be able to ride it before purchasing.


ok, there's my story!
Now then, what should I do?
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Old 05-18-09, 02:34 PM   #2
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Let me ping mazama on this thread. he's your size, and before he went custom, he did a lot of modifications on a stock largest available frame. Welcome to the herd, by the way! we'll be happy to help you out!
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Old 05-18-09, 02:35 PM   #3
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Are you riding a bike now? Are you looking for a bike recommendation or just generic suggestions on what to consider when bike shopping? A bit more info on what info you are looking for would be informative for us to inform you properly.
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Old 05-18-09, 02:40 PM   #4
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Let me ping mazama on this thread. he's your size, and before he went custom, he did a lot of modifications on a stock largest available frame. Welcome to the herd, by the way! we'll be happy to help you out!
Thank you for your consideration. If any mods are to be done, I'll leave it up the guy at the bike shop, he's an awesome dude.

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Are you riding a bike now? Are you looking for a bike recommendation or just generic suggestions on what to consider when bike shopping? A bit more info on what info you are looking for would be informative for us to inform you properly.
Yes, I am currently riding. Usually just in two - six mile bursts for now, trying to build up my stamina.
And yes, I would like both bike recommendations and just generic suggestions on what to consider when shopping for ANYTHING bike related.
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Old 05-18-09, 02:58 PM   #5
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Let me ping mazama on this thread. he's your size, and before he went custom, he did a lot of modifications on a stock largest available frame. Welcome to the herd, by the way! we'll be happy to help you out!
Don't forget Barndoor either. He's pretty tall.

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Old 05-18-09, 02:59 PM   #6
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Mainly that the bike actually fit you. Being as tall as you are, you might have some difficulty. It's not unachievable, though, and definitely watch Craig's List for some of the older really big frames from the late 80's early 90's. Something in the 70cm range. You can always put on a modern wheelset with higher spoke count and deep section wheels, and the spacng isn't that big an issue with a stel frame, as it can be cold set for a wider spacing easily enough.

If you have the budget, you also have the option of a Zinn custom, or a CoMotion custom, or a Gunnar custom.

Matter of fact, here's Mazama's Comotion Mazama right here......

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Old 05-18-09, 03:08 PM   #7
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Wow.

Tom... at first glance that bike looks like a folder since the wheels are so puny compared to the frame.

I have a few friends with the same issues (six foot five plus) and have managed to find 25 inch frames and even a few nice 27 inch frames (Nishiki) to accommodate them.
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Old 05-18-09, 03:18 PM   #8
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I don't really think a custom is in the cards right now.
The bike shop I live near has NO walmart brand bikes, they're all really nice looking bikes from companies i've never heard of. I could just ask the guy what they have that would fit my size in my price range, or have him order something.
Does that sound good?
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Old 05-18-09, 03:46 PM   #9
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Whatever you consider buying you will definitely want to be able to test ride it. If you feel comfortable with the bike shop and owner (you said he was a big guy too) then I would guess he could get you something decent. Maybe ask him for some recommendations and then you could run those by the other tall fellows here before plunking down your cash. I have seen a few larger sized bikes on Craigslist nothing in the 70 range but plenty of 61, 63, 65's if you are patient.

Best of luck and keep us posted. Plenty of good folks here to help.


Here's one I found that might be a good one to use as a starting point.

http://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/1175553426.html

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Old 05-18-09, 03:57 PM   #10
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I don't really think a custom is in the cards right now.
The bike shop I live near has NO walmart brand bikes, they're all really nice looking bikes from companies i've never heard of. I could just ask the guy what they have that would fit my size in my price range, or have him order something.
Does that sound good?
Take a peek at this bike....

It's in the Tampa Bay area, and might be worth a lookisee.

http://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/bik/1175635504.html

Or this bike in Orlando

http://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/1176031121.html
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Old 05-18-09, 08:32 PM   #11
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woodie, i love it.
Tom, i really really like that last one.
but guys, do you really think those will work and perform normally with a 320 lb guy sitting on top?

you guys posting these craiglist links makes me think.
would it be best to get one of these used bikes with a larger frame and take it to the guy at the local shop to have him set it up for me
or buy one new/fairly new from his shop?
i guess that's the area where i'm currently stuck, and i'm also really worried about my bike suddenly crushing under me when i go over a curb.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:03 PM   #12
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woodie, i love it.
Tom, i really really like that last one.
but guys, do you really think those will work and perform normally with a 320 lb guy sitting on top?

you guys posting these craiglist links makes me think.
would it be best to get one of these used bikes with a larger frame and take it to the guy at the local shop to have him set it up for me
Bingo! Ride it as is, if it fits you well enough and save up for a new set of wheels when the stock wheels fail, but have those wheels checked and trued and rensioned properly as well would be my suggetsion. Those old Schwinns are tanks.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:14 PM   #13
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i see, i see i see.
so really? one of those old schoolers will fit my specs?
that's crazy.
im really excited about this.

i wonder though,
how hard is it to change gears with a set up like this?
http://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/1176031121.html

do you get used to it after a while?
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Old 05-18-09, 09:21 PM   #14
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i see, i see i see.
so really? one of those old schoolers will fit my specs?
that's crazy.
im really excited about this.

i wonder though,
how hard is it to change gears with a set up like this?
http://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/1176031121.html

do you get used to it after a while?
Riders got used to it easily when they had no other choice. Seriously, stem shifters with friction shifting aren't that much more difficult than modern index shifting. Think of it as manual vs automatic shifting on an automobile.... wait, you're fifteen, you've probably never seen a stick.

As for the bike, those old Schwinns are heavy and sturdy.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:23 PM   #15
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i see, i see i see.
so really? one of those old schoolers will fit my specs?
that's crazy.
im really excited about this.

i wonder though,
how hard is it to change gears with a set up like this?
http://orlando.craigslist.org/bik/1176031121.html

do you get used to it after a while?
Maybe, it's worth a look see. Those are the biggest I could find relatively close to you.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:31 PM   #16
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well thank you, i appreciate you looking, Tom.

is it really as hard as shifting with a stick shift?!?!
and yes i may not be that old but i've been enough places
and known enough people to have a seen someone driving with a stick.
it looks impossible.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:32 PM   #17
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I was suggesting the craigslist idea because big guys (tall or stocky) seem to have to upgrade wheels and seat posts and other stuff even on new bikes. I figure if you can get a used bike decent priced near your size then you can use the money saved to have the shop set it up right to fit you and to hold up. I would have done the same but I was offered graduation money towards a new bike and I couldn't pass it up. It was so, well so shinny But I am already saving for a hand built wheel set. So a sub $300 bike off CL would have run me what I plan to put in wheels. If I hadn't had the $ towards the new bike I would have went the route suggested here. Mind you I am not tall, I just have expanded horizons

I still find myself longing after "project" bikes on CL every few days.

Cycling my new addiction!

As to the friction shifters, I think more than a couple Tour de France races were won with them.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:34 PM   #18
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I was suggesting the craigslist idea because big guys (tall or stocky) seem to have to upgrade wheels and seat posts and other stuff even on new bikes. I figure if you can get a used bike decent priced near your size then you can use the money saved to have the shop set it up right to fit you and to hold up. I would have done the same but I was offered graduation money towards a new bike and I couldn't pass it up. It was so, well so shinny But I am already saving for a hand built wheel set. So a sub $300 bike off CL would have run me what I plan to put in wheels. If I hadn't had the $ towards the new bike I would have went the route suggested here. Mind you I am not tall, I just have expanded horizons

I still find myself longing after "project" bikes on CL every few days.

Cycling my new addiction!
Why a handbuilt wheel SET? It's the rear one that handles the bulk of the weight, correct?
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Old 05-18-09, 09:39 PM   #19
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well thank you, i appreciate you looking, Tom.

is it really as hard as shifting with a stick shift?!?!
and yes i may not be that old but i've been enough places
and known enough people to have a seen someone driving with a stick.
it looks impossible.
Naw, friction shift is easy, you just slide it into the gear you want, and stem shifters are very easy to use. That's what I started out on before I went to downtube shifters eventually and then got me a modern road bike with indexing. I also ride fixed gear, by the way (One gear, and no coasting, because the rear hub is direct, no freewheeling)

As flat as it is there in Central Florida, you might also look at single speeds as an option. The simplicity is wonderful, and the wheels are stronger because there isn't any dishing of the rear wheel to allow for the gear cluster on the back.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:40 PM   #20
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Why a handbuilt wheel SET? It's the rear one that handles the bulk of the weight, correct?
For the most part,but its not much more money to get the set and far less than getting a front built up later and buying the two separate. I figure in for a penny...

And then I have a solid wheel set for most of my riding and a sportier set for back up (or I may sell them and buy some more bike stuff ) Hmmmm, maybe a project...
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Old 05-18-09, 09:44 PM   #21
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well thank you, i appreciate you looking, Tom.

is it really as hard as shifting with a stick shift?!?!
and yes i may not be that old but i've been enough places
and known enough people to have a seen someone driving with a stick.
it looks impossible.
Stick isn't impossible. It does take practice. So does friction shifting. See this discussion thread at Yahoo:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...8181254AADBeXF

The late Sheldon Brown describes friction shifting while suggesting index is better:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_e-f.html

Kent Peterson gives some good arguments in favor of friction:

http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2008/0...-friction.html
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Old 05-18-09, 09:45 PM   #22
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Check out Shaq's bike.

http://boonebike.com/Gallery/albums/...ried_twice.jpg
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Old 05-18-09, 09:52 PM   #23
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Is the tiny one an Oompa-Loompa model?
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Old 05-18-09, 10:00 PM   #24
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Is the tiny one an Oompa-Loompa model?
No, that's for the Minishaq clone.
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Old 05-18-09, 10:02 PM   #25
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Ahh. I was just thinking it would look good with my short bus.
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