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  1. #1
    STO
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    More hippo than clydesdale. (UPDATE!!) I got my bike.

    First I'd like to thank everyone for their advice.

    I know it's not top of the line but money is pretty tight for me right now. I was able to get the bike a computer and helmet for $425ish. Pump and repair kit will come next but I have loaner ones for now. I figure it can be my 'learn how to fix stuff' bike if things break. The only thing I'm concerned about is the pedals. I'd like to get some metal ones asap.

    I'm also happy I went with the standard seat instead of the comfy one. My bum will just have to deal with being sore for a while.

    I rode 4.6 miles today but I had to dismount twice up some steep hills. I plan on doing 6-7 miles tomorrow but it will be all flat. Tomorrow will be better exercise because I won't be coasting like today.

    Don't mind the *****. I took the pic for my home forum and it's the only pic I have at the moment.

    So here she is....




    Hello all.

    I was referred here from my 'home' forum after asking some bike questions. I've been poking around and this looks like a great site.

    I just turned 23 and I'm in the middle of a big move. I'm moving to the 'big' city (Albuquerque) and I'd like to be able to bike to work and school.

    I have been exercising for the last few months and I think I've already lost 15-20 pounds. This sounds great but it's really a drop in the bucket. I'm a little over 6' but the last Weight Watchers meeting I went to I weighed in at 389 lbs. There is some good news though. I am actually very mobile for a guy my size. I walk 18 holes of golf at LEAST once a week and I was able to walk 6 miles the other morning because of to much (couldn't drive and wasn't going to sleep on hard wood floors).

    I've been looking at getting a cruiser/hybrid type bike. It is some what hilly around here so I think gears will be a good idea. I'm also really skittish about riding on the roads. Any tips on overcoming this fear?

    What kind of budget do I need to set aside for this? Any other gear I need to include in that cost?

    The last bike I had was a Mongoose something or other from Wal-Mart when I was in seventh grade. I'm a huge noob so don't be afraid of sounding condescending.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by STO; 07-14-09 at 02:30 AM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
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    STO:
    This thread might help. I started it about 7 weeks ago I'm in the same boat. 425 pounds and looking to start.
    425 pounder looking for a solid bike

    I'll recap for you here - Specialized Hardrock seemed to get a lot of votes. Make sure that the rear wheel has at least 36 spokes, or is a double-walled rim.

    I'm picking up my bike in 10 hours. A TREK Navigator 3.0. $499.99. After visiting a LBS 3 times, talking to the guys extensively and test riding the TREK 3.0, this is where I ended up.

    I'll let you know how it goes...

  3. #3
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    Nothing to be condescending about. Hey, you have a great start here. Just remember, "a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step."

    I will not know specific bikes for you to look at to much (Specialized will have some good hybrid bikes). I would definitely recommend gears though. So much better to get around on. I will leave the specifics to others on this forum.

    As for biking around town, I would suggest starting in some residential neighborhood or take your bike down to the Rio Grande and ride along the banks. Check out this link. This has a map of the bike paths/lanes/blvds and so on. http://www.cabq.gov/bike/. I took a quick look at the map and it seems as though you have a lot of good paths away from cars to ride on. After you get more comfortable, start expanding the places you ride. Just be sure to always stay aware of your surroundings. Never listen to music while riding on roads. Your eyes and ears are your best and first lines of defense to protecting yourself on the road.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. #4
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    Your story sounds awfully familiar. I think I just pointed you here from that other "home" forum.

  5. #5
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STO View Post
    I'm also really skittish about riding on the roads. Any tips on overcoming this fear?

    What kind of budget do I need to set aside for this? Any other gear I need to include in that cost?

    The last bike I had was a Mongoose something or other from Wal-Mart when I was in seventh grade. I'm a huge noob so don't be afraid of sounding condescending.

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks.
    A mirror is a great tool for road riding. When you can see the cars are going around, tension is reduced. Also, try mapping routes creatively, through the side streets (if it's further, bonus miles!). Try this site, where you can see maps and satellite photos. You can often find a cheater route through a church parking lot, or a trail that you did not know was there.

    Mountain bikes are a good option(sturdy), but nothing wrong with a road bike, if you want to go faster(edit: You said it's hilly; mtn. bike gears will make climbing easier). Avoid rear suspension, and think twice about front, unless you want to ride a lot off road. Mongoose was taken over by Pacific--I broke my frame and they would not honor the warranty. They are not the good bikes they were years ago. If you buy new, go to a bike shop, not Wal-Mart. Better yet, a used bike, from Craigslist or a garage sale, is probably a much better value. Good choices would include: Trek, Giant, Specialized, Gary Fisher, any bike that you can't buy at Wal-Mart.

    Minimum, you can find a decent, working used mtn. bike(maybe not "pretty"), for $50-$100, and pick up a helmet at a yard sale for $5. For about $250-300, with patience, you can get a really good bike, barely used, that would cost $8-900 new. You can double that with accessories, though you don't need every option: helmet, gloves, mirror, shorts(if you want to go distances), a couple water bottles and/or a camelback, lights(if you ride after dark), some type of "luggage", like a frame pack, a rack and trunk bag, etc., a few simple tools, a couple spare tubes. Also, upgrading to flat resistant tires is well worth $80 or so, to me.

    Clydes should also have $2-300 in their pocket to upgrade the wheels. Even stock wheeels on a good bike can melt down on you. I would ride them for as long as they work well, but be ready to get some Mavics with 36 spokes, if they start giving you trouble.

    If you enjoy riding and make it a regular part of your life, it can do great things for you. Consider commuting to work, as a commitment to ride, and an easy way to get miles in less time. But find a way to ride almost every day, and work to get better, and it will pay off. I started with 3 mile rides around the neighborhood. Now, I can ride 24 hours straight, and I lost 115 pounds. There are many people in here with similar stories, and you can be one of them. Good luck!
    Last edited by chewybrian; 06-19-09 at 04:31 AM.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    First, welcome to the forum!

    Second, a lot of guys here will say buy used or buy from a bike shop and avoid X-mart bikes. We speak from experience -- too many of us have bought cheap gear and then been in a position to shell out more $$ too soon to upgrade.

    The numbers that chewy gave are reasonable. That being said, if you absolutely don't have $800+ around, then ride whatever you can get your hands on. Just ride.

  7. #7
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums STO!

    There are generally two trains of thought when it comes to a new rider buying his/her first bike. The first is to buy something used off craigslist/ebay/garage sale/thrift store (some killer deals here if you got the patients)/or building something up at your local co-op if one is available. Take this bike and ride it for one entire season. After one season you will have a good idea if you enjoy cycling and want to use it as a primary form of exercise, and you'll also get to asses the type of riding you most enjoy. Do you find yourself on trails, riding roads, or meandering down the MUPs and rail trails. Once you decide that you like cycling and you know what type you like best then go and drop a wad of cash on a new one that suits your riding style. I personally advocate this method because if you decide cycling is not for you then you aren’t out a grand. If you do buy a used bike make sure you take it in to a bike shop to have it tuned up and gone over for safety. It will cost you a few bucks but it is great for establishing a relationship with a shop.

    The second train of thought is to buy as much bike upfront as you possibly can. That's good advice too, don't buy the cheapest model thinking you will upgrade it as time goes on. You'll end up with a very expensive cheap bike. Ask me about my 700 dollar Mojave 2.0 (MSRP: $270). This method has a very strong motivation factor to it. That being you will convince yourself to ride the bike more often if you start thinking about all the cash you dropped on it. Also, new bikes tend to have the sex appeal that used bike tend not to have. Unless we're talking vintage bikes.

    Don't be entirely afraid of Mongoose, just be afraid of the ones they sell in department stores. If you head over to Mongoose's website you will find that they make some top quality stuff. The only issue is that I have never found a Mongoose dealer with the exception of an odd bike or two in the Performance Bike catalogs I used to get. If you come across a used Mongoose look it up on bikepedia.com to verify it's year. A fully ridged steel bike from sometime before 2000 would be perfectly serviceable.

    Nothing but time will make riding in traffic any easier. You just have to get out and do it. Be predictable, wear a safety vest, signal your intentions, and if you don't impede traffic that much you won't have any issues. Try to ride in the right hand tire track and only take the lane when you absolutely must. Also, use your discretion. If an intersection looks to intimidating then get off your bike and walk it across the cross walk and down the street until you get to a point where you feel safe enough to get back in traffic. 99% of car drivers don’t want to hit you, but try to be considerate of them too. Yes you are a legal vehicle but understand that 4000lbs of steel vs. a guy on a bike is a loosing battle. Sometimes it’s best to pull over and let traffic by.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bbeck's Avatar
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    Good luck on your new found form of exercise. I was 350 or so when I started riding again last fall. I did not ride through the winter and got back on in March. Today I weigh in at 311 and ride between 9 and 20 miles a day on the local mup. When I first started looking at bikes I went with a Raleigh mountain bike. That bike was stolen so I went with a road bike. I am much more pleased with the road bike. There are several options out there Specialized, Long Haul Trucker and several others that can haul a good amount of weight at good speed. I know a lot of folks recommend buying used first and upgrading a few things then buying new. I don’t care to spend money twice so I went with a new last year model. I saved a few dollars and should not have to spend a lot of time in the garage working on it instead of riding. also if you buy a used bike that does not fit you with a wore out over sized seat and frame to large or small you may get discouraged with discomfort and aggravation and never get to experience the satisfaction of loosing weight, getting healthy and riding a bike.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
    Minimum, you can find a decent, working used mtn. bike(maybe not "pretty"), for $50-$100, and pick up a helmet at a yard sale for $5. For about $250-300, with patience, you can get a really good bike, barely used, that would cost $8-900 new.
    Good luck!
    Wecome...
    I would advise against a yard sale helmet.
    '09 Fuji Absolute <<< PIC..
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    "If you don't wear a helmet, maybe you don't deep down think you have anything to protect." http://www.bikeforums.net/images/smilies/wink.gif

  10. #10
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
    Wecome...
    I would advise against a yard sale helmet.
    Agreed, do NOT skimp on your noggin. I'm speaking as someone that has had his head hit the road crashing at around 30 MPH, and without a good, proper protecting helmet, likely wouldn't be posting this.

    A helmet is only good for one crash, and no more. You don't know if the yard sale helmet is a crash survivor, or how old it is, which is another factor. The Styrofoam loses it's ability to attenuate impact over the period of a few years.

    Here's Nashbars "Helmets on Sale" page. Look here.

    http://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/st...http:ClickInfo
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle16 View Post
    Nothing to be condescending about. Hey, you have a great start here. Just remember, "a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step."
    If I was going to start a journey of 1000 miles I would start with pumping up the tires that is a looong way to walk...

    Ruckin

  12. #12
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Agreed, do NOT skimp on your noggin. I'm speaking as someone that has had his head hit the road crashing at around 30 MPH, and without a good, proper protecting helmet, likely wouldn't be posting this.
    +1

    Haven't had a crash yet (thank Dog and knock on wood), but wouldn't wanna trust my head to a cheap helmet.

    If your melon is as big as mine, you might need to look into a bigger helmet, too. I found that the regular size helmets were just not big enough to fit properly or be comfortable. If you're like me and your fitted cap size is north of 7-3/4, then you might wanna check out the Bell Triton which is what I settled on. For a list of other helmets for largue craniums, look here.

    +1 on wheel issues, too. Most common issue we seem to have to face. The stock wheels on my big box store bike weren't worth a darn, and I'm on a new set now. Higher spoke counts and double rims are good if you can get em.

    I've been commuting for a few months now and love it. I don't pay too much attention to the scale, but started around 300 or so. I know my clothes are starting to fit looser and that's always a good sign. Perhaps more importantly, I feel stronger and healthier most every day that I ride. My unsolicitied advice: set a goal for improvement. For me, it's trying to keep a good cadence and make it further and further up a couple of the overpasses before downshifting each day, or shaving a minute or two off my commute. Not every day is a victory, but over time, I see and feel the results. Hands down, cycling is the best form of exercise and transportation ever devised by man, IMHO.

    Welcome and good luck getting started!!!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
    Wecome...
    I would advise against a yard sale helmet.
    Yes, if you have a $5 head, then a $5 helmet is fine. I find that cheap helmets tend not to fit as well, and tend to have less ventilation then better models. You can get helmets at Wally World for $10, or you can spend more on a helmet then the price of an average bike.

    It's a balancing act, since helmets need to be replaced if crashed, I think the reasonable point is in the $40 - $60 range, expensive enough that they tend to be well vented and have good fit, while not being expensive enough that you want to cry because your $500 helmet is now worthy only of the dust bin.

  14. #14
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    Man, I drove the thread into a ditch with the helmet comment! What was I thinking? If I was 23, would I spend $50 on a bike, and $60 on a helmet? Probably not, but that does not mean that you should not get a good helmet. Of course, you should. I wear one now, but I'm older and wiser; older, anyway.
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  15. #15
    STO
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    Thank you very much for all the great replies.

    I'll be swinging by the bike store this weekend to see what they have locally.

    I've figured out LBS is local bike store. What does MUP stand for?

    I will be sure to check in with my progress. The first post with the link was a huge help.

    Thanks

  16. #16
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    MUP= Multi User Path
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STO View Post
    I'm also really skittish about riding on the roads. Any tips on overcoming this fear?
    A part is just do it. Well perhaps not. Thinking back to when I started I put in a lot of effort finding less traveled (by cars) routes. Perhaps I got overly lucky. There is a park 'near' where I lived, The sepulveda flood control basin with 5 or 6 miles of bike paths. But it was 6 miles to get there. I started driving to the park. After a while that seemed foolish so I found a route that except for crossing them avoided major roads. Abotu 6 miles, and 1/2 -1 mile of it I was really going to lengths to stay off the 'major' road. Then I started taking the 1/2-1 mile on hte major road and found it was not that bad.

    Oh that 'major' road was a 2 lane road, one lane each way (well most of of it, a little wsa 4 lanes). Seems like nothing now.

    So bottom line advice. Find a route of back streets you are comfortable with. Then add short segments of road that you are just a little uncomfortable with. Keep it up. You may soon find you are comfortable on that section. Then lengthen it and try to find somethign just a little more crowded and uncomfortable. You may find in 6 months to a year you are comfortable on streets that would have scared yuo half to death when yuo started.

    Oh and a couple of little tricks. Early morning on the weekends many streets are quite that have a lot of traffic other times. Ride then, you can get comfortable with the street, then ride it a bit later. No need ot deal with a new street when it is full of cars. It does make things easier to know hte street itself before yuo have ot deal with it and cars. Second trick. If you can find a nice social club it can help a lot. You can plearn stuff, including decent routes, but it also is less intimidating to ride a busy street if you are in a group. (as long as the group is sane, social group, not racing club).

  18. #18
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    Welcome to the fray ! I started at 371 lbs on a Torker boardwak 7 speed $390.00 at my LBS. I lost my firs 100 lbs on that bike and IMHO its a tank all be it a crusier I have sice moved to a diffrent bike a brand NOT popular here from my LBS a swhwinn World GS . Iam also 6ft tall and now about 220 lbs .

    I highly recomend the Torker Boardwalk 7 speed the rims a take a beating and so will the bike .Good luck and stay with the forum here its a big help IMHO .

  19. #19
    Senior Member moose67's Avatar
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    If your interested in a hybrid/comfort look at the Specialized Globe Carmel 3. I looked at Hardrocks and found with my dimensions it wasn't comfortable. The Carmel 3 is the better choice with better shifters and more gears. Being a big guy gears are important. If you're wanting to ride alot get some tool like everybody says. I popped spokes on two different occasions because of low air pressure in the rear tire. I have a little tool bag for basic stuff and a pump mounted on my bike. Another good site to figure out a ride is http://www.mapmyride.com. You can figure out about how far the ride you're going to do is. I am what you would call an uber-clyde. At 450Lbs it was very tough for me to start. I get around extremely well for someone my size. My first rides were 1 to 2 miles. With the exception of work, weather and other things in May I have accumulated a total of 94.81 miles since April first. I'm now riding 5+ miles at a shot and hope to be at 15+ by the end of the summer but more like 10+. I get excited now everyday as it gets close to time to leave work because I know I'm gonna get to go ride.
    To go back to what bautieri said, yes a guy on a bike is at a disadvantage against a 4000lb automobile. Back when I did aircargo work at the airport in Atlanta I learned a very important lesson. Always give the right of way to vehicles that are bigger than you are. (ex. airplanes, trucks and cars.)
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by STO View Post
    I've been looking at getting a cruiser/hybrid type bike. It is some what hilly around here so I think gears will be a good idea. I'm also really skittish about riding on the roads. Any tips on overcoming this fear?

    What kind of budget do I need to set aside for this? Any other gear I need to include in that cost?
    Roads, there are 5 rules:

    First is be visible, that means you don't ride dressed all in black at night with no lights. What some riders do is get one of those orange construction vests, yes they look tacky, but safe and tacky beats dead fashionista, any day.

    Second rule, be predictable, that means you ride on the road, in the legally required place, you signal your intentions. You stop for stop signs and red lights. On busy streets remember that you can box corners. Instead of going across 3 lanes of car traffic, to turn left you go straight through the intersection, then get off, turn your bike to face the way you want to go, get back on, when the light turns you go straight again. Be familiar with the rules of the road, and obey them.

    Third Rule, remember that some car drivers don't know what to do with bicycles, and sometimes you need to help them along. That means use the signal for slowing and stopping, many car drivers forget that bicycles have an unobstructed view. Which is enhanced by having a mirror, cheap mirrors that work are available.

    Forth rule, ALWAYS have an escape plan, the easiest way to get this, is to stay about 1m/1yd away from the curb, that space allows you room to get out of the way of a motorist that is concentrating on something else instead of the road.

    Fifth rule, think like a cyclist, not a motorist. A motorist will usually take the arterials and highways to go anywhere. A cyclist tries to avoid those as much as possible. Keep a map or use route design sites like Bike Route Toaster and Map My Ride to plan routes.

    Other stuff you need, a spare tube or patch kit and a pump or CO2 inflator and a set of tire levers, know how to change a flat, remember that flats usually occur when the weather is bad and your running late.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bbeck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post

    Other stuff you need, a spare tube or patch kit and a pump or CO2 inflator and a set of tire levers, know how to change a flat, remember that flats usually occur when the weather is bad and your running late.
    this is very important a couple of months back i was riding on the mup at mile 6 of a 9 mile round trip i had a flat on the rear with no gear at all. it was a nice 3 mile walk to the truck i had a full size pump there but nothing on the bike and no spare tube.

    1 month ago i thought i was ready for anything had my spare tube, tool kit, new specialized armadillo, co2 inflator beautiful day riding in the tour de cure in springfield tn at mile 29 of 34 the tube blew out. evidently i had inflated at a cool 55 degrees that morning and around 11:30 the 125psi i started with had increased to the failure point. while installing my spare tube the tire slipped off the rim in one spot so i had to let some of the air out to seat the tire. bad thing was i only had the one co2 cartridge so i couldnt air back up. had to call the sag in to rescue me.

    also just thurday as i was pulling in the the park where the mup starts i picked up a cyclist he had a flat on the rear. he had picked up 3 nice pieces of glass and was about 4 miles from his car through the mup but it was 15 miles by road. i took him to his car and pointed him to the closest lbs. he was from out of town and not in the best part of town. with all that said if you are not prepared........just be prepared.

    i now carry 2 tubes and 3 co2 cartridges and will soon buy a small pump for just in case.
    Brandon Gallatin, Tn.
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/bwbeck

  22. #22
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbeck View Post
    this is very important a couple of months back i was riding on the mup at mile 6 of a 9 mile round trip i had a flat on the rear with no gear at all. it was a nice 3 mile walk to the truck i had a full size pump there but nothing on the bike and no spare tube.

    1 month ago i thought i was ready for anything had my spare tube, tool kit, new specialized armadillo, co2 inflator beautiful day riding in the tour de cure in springfield tn at mile 29 of 34 the tube blew out. evidently i had inflated at a cool 55 degrees that morning and around 11:30 the 125psi i started with had increased to the failure point. while installing my spare tube the tire slipped off the rim in one spot so i had to let some of the air out to seat the tire. bad thing was i only had the one co2 cartridge so i couldnt air back up. had to call the sag in to rescue me.

    also just thurday as i was pulling in the the park where the mup starts i picked up a cyclist he had a flat on the rear. he had picked up 3 nice pieces of glass and was about 4 miles from his car through the mup but it was 15 miles by road. i took him to his car and pointed him to the closest lbs. he was from out of town and not in the best part of town. with all that said if you are not prepared........just be prepared.

    i now carry 2 tubes and 3 co2 cartridges and will soon buy a small pump for just in case.
    My preferance is a pump, you can run out of CO2, you can't really run out of air, and if you do, you have bigger problems, like uh, um breathing I carry a pile of stuff.

    At least one tube, 2 is more likely, 3 if my wife is along. Tire levers, chain tool, spoke wrench, a short hunk of florists wire, needle nose pliers, allen key set, a couple of screw drivers, and there is an adjustable wrench on my wifes bike (bolt on rear wheel), mini-pump. A few links of chain from the last time I changed it are also along for the ride. All this fits in a pocket of the panniers (I always have at least one). The reason for all this, I like to keep the stuff I need for field repairs handy. The florists wire can be wrapped around a broken cable to keep the end in place, can also be used to secure a broken part to the bike.

  23. #23
    STO
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    I'm still here BF.

    I'm in the middle of a huge move so I'll update my progress when I can.

    Today was my B-day so I'm pretty busto. It may be a few weeks until I can get a bike.

    The front runner is looking like a Specialized Carmel with a reinforced back wheel if I need it. Does this sound like a good bike?

  24. #24
    Senior Member moose67's Avatar
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    What are you going to have done to the rear wheel? Are you going to use the original and have different spokes put in or jump to a totally different wheel?
    Specialized Carmel 3 26
    'A thought that often makes me hazy, is it I or the others that are crazy?'

  25. #25
    Its a Mountain not a Hill Big Lug's Avatar
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    I can tell you man I know you can do it and you will do it if you stick with riding! I weighed in at 452lbs when I started. I am now down to 340lbs. I ride a Trek 2100 (road Bike), Kona Hoss Dee-Lux (what i rode when i weighed 452lbs) and jsut yesterday my GF got me a Trek Remedy 7. I did have to upgrade the Rims on my Kona to hold me at 452. It is the best feeling in the world!!!
    2005 Trek 2100 ; 2008 Trek Remedy 7 ; 2002 Trek 2000 (Backup Bike)

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