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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 05-29-09, 03:34 PM   #1
dmbartender
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first bike...what to look for?

So I haven't had a bike in the last decade and a half, and this will be my first since my GT Mach 1 bmx bike...so I'm not hip to all the new thing in the world of adult bikes. From everything I've judged about by reading a few threads, it would be completely useless for me to ask you guys what exact bike to buy....so I'll ask this: what characteristics should i look for in purchasing a new bike? To help you guys out I'll give you a bit about me and the goals i have in biking...

Physical Characteristics:
6'1'', 245-255 lbs (kind of varies with the temperature and the activity level of the week). I consider myself fairly athletic. I play a lot of tennis and have pretty strong legs. I'd say my ideal weight would be 215-220...and that is my 2009 goal for which i still have 6 months to make good on. even with the extra weight, though, I sit comfortably on most standard bike seats i've sat on.

Riding goals:
I want to start slow....build up endurance and strength on the paved stuff before hitting the hills obviously. I also want something thats multipurpose that I can ride out a couple of miles to run some errands around town on. My work is only 4-5 miles away, so even commuting a couple time out of the week is something I may take up . Ultimately, I would like to go riding on some of the local mountain and canyon trails in Orange County, CA. I don't really plan on doing anything gravity defying, jumping from rock to rock, going out in the rain and kicking up mud just for fun or anything else hardcore. I envy those who can do that, but it's not for me.

That said, when I'm out at the bike shops this weekend, what kinds of things should I be looking for? any advice on types of frames, frame material, size or type of wheels, types of brakes, . any brands or models that others of my shape and size have found comfortable to use that I should test ride? basically anything helpful you could tell me would be much appreciated...i hate going to stores with no idea what i'm looking for...i always feel like i'm getting swindled


oh yeah, i'd like to keep it as close to 500 dollars as possible, and of course under 500 is even better
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Old 05-29-09, 03:52 PM   #2
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I rode when I was over 200 and I was not a fan of the seat on my bike. The bike itself was fine though. I ride a Specialized.

I found the best way for me to choose a bike was to leave my wallet in the car & go test riding at the stores. Then, when I had my favs I researched them & chose the one with the best reviews.

Best wishes!
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Old 05-29-09, 04:25 PM   #3
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Ironically, the answer is in the form of a question... What bike shops are near you?

Each manufacturer will have bikes that will fit your needs, and they will all be pretty similar in build at each price point, with a few different choices in components to make the price points.

If you walk into each bike shop and tell the sales person exactly what you have told us here, they will tell you what they have in your price range, and get you set up for a test ride.

For the price range you are looking at, I would personally look at hard tail mountain bikes... but the people at the bike shop should steer you that way also.

Another possibility is that many manufacturers have comfort bikes that lean toward mountain bikes... like the Giant Sedona line (a brand I know because I own one) It is basically a little more of an upright ride than a hard tail mountain bike, and the tires are a little less aggressive tread than a mountain bike, so it will ride a little more efficiently on the road. It can handle some easy off roading, but won't do off roading as well as a mountain bike.

The choice really will depend on how much of your time you plan to spend on road versus off... If you are leaning toward mostly off road, do a mountain bike, if you are going to mostly putter around on the streets etc, then go let the bike shop worker know that and see how they steer you.
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Old 05-29-09, 05:08 PM   #4
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I gather you live near L.A.? If so, they have hundreds of used bikes for sale on Craigslist(I am truly jealous of your opportunity!). You could get a good bike for $200-$300, and have cash left for a brand new wheelset. The combination, if you shop carefully, will be better equipped and last longer than anything you could get at the shop for $500.

If you make a "What about these 3 bikes?" post in here, with links to the ads, you'll get good, honest feedback to steer you in the right direction. Good luck.

Now I have to do some hard thinking about moving west to take up a career in bike flipping...
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Old 05-29-09, 05:17 PM   #5
c_m_shooter
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Sounds like you need a hardtail mountain bike. The Specialized Hardrock Sport is the house Clyde bike, but there is nothing wrong with other brands.
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Old 05-30-09, 07:39 PM   #6
dmbartender
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here are some models i've ridden and liked:

Specialized Hardrock sport - i know this is highly recommended around these parts

Cannondale CO2 F7 (08)

Gary Fisher Wahoo or Advance - i noticed that the suspension on the wahoo has a hydraulic lockout as opposed to the mechanical lockout on the Advance, F7 and the Hardrock Sport. Any difference between the two?
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Old 05-30-09, 08:09 PM   #7
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I would get the Wahoo, because I like the frame better than the new (humpbacked) Specialized. I find the new G2 geometry interesting. I will warn you that I have heard of many Gary Fisher frames breaking, but it seems to be mostly the full suspensions. The good news is they are very good at honoring the warranty.
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