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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    What am I looking for in an upright bike?

    OK, so in light of recent developments and my concerns about my tenderfeet it looks as if I'll be shopping for an upright bike.

    Unlike previous ventures, I am trying to keep the price down this time. the days of "money is no object" seem to have slipped away like the value of my house, my business, and the pounds I have shed.

    So what am I looking for?

    Suspension or no? Double? Front only? sprung seatpost?

    Disc brakes fore and aft, I kinda figure.

    Any suggestions on model, brand? Got pics?

    Any tips on how I can tell if it's gonna hold up under 388 lbs?

    Anything you think I ought to avoid like the plague?

    Thanks for any input,

    RD

  2. #2
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollerdave View Post
    OK, so in light of recent developments and my concerns about my tenderfeet it looks as if I'll be shopping for an upright bike.

    Unlike previous ventures, I am trying to keep the price down this time. the days of "money is no object" seem to have slipped away like the value of my house, my business, and the pounds I have shed.

    So what am I looking for?

    Suspension or no? Double? Front only? sprung seatpost?

    Disc brakes fore and aft, I kinda figure.

    Any suggestions on model, brand? Got pics?

    Any tips on how I can tell if it's gonna hold up under 388 lbs?

    Anything you think I ought to avoid like the plague?

    Thanks for any input,

    RD
    I suggest a mountain bike without suspension. You don't want a suspension system eating into your pedal stroke or bouncing you up and down on the saddle. By all means avoid a suspension seatpost!

    The "house" brand here among uber-Clydes is the Specialized Hardrock. It does have a disc brake model, but there's no need for disc brakes just because you weigh more. That said, there are a lot of good mountain bikes out there competitive with the Specialized Hardrock. Probably any one of them would work.

    The big concern with any bike carrying a weighty person is the wheels, particularly the rear. That's another reason to consider a mountain bike - the wheels on those things are tough!

  3. #3
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Did you have a budget in mind?

    The house bike is the hardrock, other great options include the Kona Hoss, Giant Yukon, Trek 4300, Surly LHT, or a used fully ridgid mountain bike of bike shop quality. I'm not sure how Craigslist is looking in your area but in mine these type of mountain bikes generally go around $100 and I see a couple each week.

    If you have concerns about fit then buying new is going to be your best bet. Also, I will suggest this: If you are hell bent on disc brakes don't stick with the cheapo mechanical discs that you find stock on lower end complete bikes (Hardrock disc, 4700 disc, Yukon, Rincon etc.). You best bet will be to upgrade them to either Avid BB5, BB7, or Juicy 7's if you want to go the hydro rout. Cheap disc brakes do not stop you any better than a properly adjusted rim brake.

  4. #4
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    What am I looking for in an upright bike?
    And now to be a smart arse:

    One with a seat, then can be rather uncomfortable without one.

  5. #5
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    We do keep pushing that Hard Rock. The thing is, what do you want to ride a bike for? Is it for the joy of riding or is it for cardio training?

    I have an idea here. I've been thinking that for training you want a fairly good, mechanically sound bike. Maybe what you don't need is a bike that does a lot of the work for you. A bike that forces you to work a bit harder and put in some honest work. Maybe what you need is .......a fixed gear bike. There is no cheating with a fixie. No coasting, and you have to work at improving your cadence.

    As for a fixie for a clyde, how about something like this: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/uno.htm
    Not trying to shill here but the more I look at this bike the more I like it. Cromo frame, simple, I can even put 29er tires on it, or even front and rear fenders and racks.
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  6. #6
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    My 2003 Giant Sedona DX has held up to my weight (365 or so when I bought it) and done well. I have replaced the suspension fork with a rigid fork, because I didn't like the suspension after the first year or so. I have also cranked down the seat post so the suspension is non-existent.

    Total maintenance (other than tune-ups) on the bike have been tires replaced, and one spoke broke on the rear wheel.

    I would actually lean toward the Cypress line if I was buying today, but the Sedona has been a good bike.

    Almost any shop will have similar bikes from whatever manufacturer they sell.

    These will generally give you a more upright posture than the Hardrock, or other mountain bikes...
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  7. #7
    Mass Mover takingcontrol's Avatar
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    I will put in my 2 I ride this bike, It is upright and very comfortable http://www.citybikes.coop/citybike.html I don't know where you live but there custom 2008 models are a nice price and they come with everything a clyde needs for under $400.00 I/E double wall 36 spoke rims metal pedals. It may be worth the shipping (not sure how much that cost ) but it is a good bike for the money. I started ridding at over 500lbs and the only problem i had was I knocked my front wheel out of true comming off a small curb (my bad) I currently have over 250 miles on it in 3 months so I have been ridding it. Good luck

  8. #8
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    OK, so what I'm getting here is "suspension=bad," that good rim brakes will do the job as well as the low end discs on the bikes I have been looking at and that one guy suggests a fixed gear.

    This flies in the face of everything I would have thought made sense before, but as I may have said in another thread "rationalizations" are not necessarily "rational" and I have not done too well with what I thought made sense before.

    So, setting aside my previous ideas, knowing that you've all been through this before, and that once I am where you are I too will "get it"; I hereby accept your wisdom.

    That's what I'm here for after all, not to have my own ideas echoed back to me right or wrong, so thank you very much.

    I WAS going to come in here and post a couple links to department store bikes I had been looking at, but what I've read has caused me to scrap them and I'll have to do some googling of the models listed above

    I DO have an old specialized Rockhopper that I could conceivably rebuild, but I kind of like the idea of shiny and new.

    I know that when i rode, I really needed those gears so I think a fixie might not be right for me at this time, but I am definitely grateful for the suggestion and that IS a mighty fine looking bike!

    My budget is $300-$400. I don't want to spend a LOT on this bike, I want to get fit and spend the big bucks on a top end road bike, and those of you who know anything about me know I will do it when the time is right.

    so, I will be googling:
    Specialized Hardrock
    Kona Hoss
    Giant Yukon
    Giant Cypress
    Trek 4300
    Surly LHT

    I will be specifically looking for "bike shop quality" which I still need a decent definition of, and "I/E double wall 36 spoke rims metal pedals."

    Oh, and a seat. Because I have it on good authority that a seat is a pretty nice feature.

    I'll be back later tonight.

    Thanks all.

    RD
    Last edited by Rollerdave; 07-17-09 at 02:29 PM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
    Full of Love and Meatloaf aidanpryde18's Avatar
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    Also look at the Trek FX series, the FX 1 is a nice fitness-bike in your current price range. No suspension, mountain gearing, high spoke count.

    Many brands make bikes like this, go and find what you can test ride in your area.

  10. #10
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    My suggestion was more from a training/fitness perspective. It's why I got an ss with a flipflop hub (when my new wheels come in I'll have the fixed option on my flipflop hub). I admit sometimes I'm weak and tend to down shift in a head wind or coast down inclines. I wanted to get stronger.

    Several thing would make a fixed gear bike impractical. Don't know where you live but if it isn't flat like Houston is I wouldn't get a fixed gear. Having knee problems would also make it impractical.
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  11. #11
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    Step 1) Get your feet checked out. I'm not convinced that an upright bike is going to solve this problem (in fact, it may be worse because your feet are well below your heart). Also, an upright _may_ cause additional problems (sore butt, sore wrists, sore upper back, etc.) that you have not yet experienced.

    Step 2) Closely examine your pedaling technique with your 'bent bike. Are you mashing the pedals or spinning (i.e. not a lot of down force on the pedals). Higher RPM will cause less pressure on the feet. Going clipless or adding clips to your pedals may help with higher RPM pedaling. Bonus: since you have a trike you are not going to fall down :-).

    Step 3) Once you have gone through the prior 2 steps then consider looking at upright bikes.

    Do NOT get a fixed bike right now. Save that until you are very comfortable riding an upright bike and can go up the hills in a medium gear.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tex_Arcana View Post
    My suggestion was more from a training/fitness perspective. It's why I got an ss with a flipflop hub (when my new wheels come in I'll have the fixed option on my flipflop hub). I admit sometimes I'm weak and tend to down shift in a head wind or coast down inclines. I wanted to get stronger.

    Several thing would make a fixed gear bike impractical. Don't know where you live but if it isn't flat like Houston is I wouldn't get a fixed gear. Having knee problems would also make it impractical.
    Tex, it was a fine suggestion, I understand.

    Yeah, it really isn't flat here at all, and my knees aren't the best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
    Step 1) Get your feet checked out. I'm not convinced that an upright bike is going to solve this problem (in fact, it may be worse because your feet are well below your heart). Also, an upright _may_ cause additional problems (sore butt, sore wrists, sore upper back, etc.) that you have not yet experienced.
    Well whether there was deficiency in th way I explained it I don't know, but I DO know that I experienced this foot tenderness from the get/go on the recumbent, and rode like a crazy person on the upright without experiencing it at all.

    I know it's empirical and anecdotal but the upright felt better on my feet.

    I used to ride all through my childhood and teens, i am more than passingly aware of the other additional problems that MAY crop up. I have experienced them all in spades a thousand times over, and I think they all may be well worth it compared to that sore feet thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
    Step 2) Closely examine your pedaling technique with your 'bent bike. Are you mashing the pedals or spinning (i.e. not a lot of down force on the pedals). Higher RPM will cause less pressure on the feet. Going clipless or adding clips to your pedals may help with higher RPM pedaling. Bonus: since you have a trike you are not going to fall down :-).
    I tried spinning on the 'bent, but I have a substantial amount of excess me resting on my legs. very annoying. I know, cycle shorts. but I just wasn't as comfortable as I thought I would be after a while and really stopped enjoying it.

    On the upright, I WAS able to spin, and conquered a few mild hill my first time out.

    It just felt like going home again to me


    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
    Do NOT get a fixed bike right now. Save that until you are very comfortable riding an upright bike and can go up the hills in a medium gear.
    Noted.

    Well, I headed out to my LBS, Erik's...

    The guy there steered me towards a Specialized Rockhopper comp disc in satin charcoal.

    He sized me up and suggested a size 17, and i took it out for a test ride.

    Let's see a department store let you take one out and test ride it!

    It was a little small, but once I cranked the seat post way up, it was a great ride.

    I see what you mean about how annoying the suspension is. i was delighted that I was able to lockout the front fork to keep it still.

    Then I insisted on trying the size 19 of the same bike, and it was a great fit!

    The cost? $629, which is a drop in the bucket next to Eagle...

    BUT; I did NOT plunk down cash and take it home, I wanted to come back here and do a little googling, check with you guys, and read some customer reviews on this product.

    That's when I noticed you guys all suggested the Hardrock, not the Rockhopper.

    A visit to Specialized's website informed me that the Rockhopper is one level higher than the Hardrock, with the price bump one would expect from such a difference in the model lineup.

    A bit more digging and I find Erik's HAS the Hardrock, it is WAY cheaper... and it even comes in BLUE!

    I guess I'll be calling around to set up another test ride, see if it has the same lockout, and see which store has it in blue.

    Looking like a Hardrock Base model, with rim brakes runs $389.

    Definitely worth a looksee!

  13. #13
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    idk if it's still there, or what kind of rims, but lookie lookie!

  14. #14
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollerdave View Post
    idk if it's still there, or what kind of rims, but lookie lookie!
    Head over and test ride it. Take an allen wrench set to adjust the seat.

    It looks like it will fit the bill quite quite well, and at that price, it's almost free.

  15. #15
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollerdave View Post
    idk if it's still there, or what kind of rims, but lookie lookie!
    Head on over and check it out. It looks about the right size.

  16. #16
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    Just called the guy, he's got another prospect coming out in an hour, if they don't take it, it's mine.

    if they do, I'll just take my seven crisp hundred doaller bills back to the LBS and try to keep as many of em as I can.

    RD

  17. #17
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    OK, so the craigslist one sold, too bad too sad.

    Went back the the LBS and test rode the Rockhard, it had a suspension fork, and no lockout, but it was a lower end fork that the rockhopper, less travel, and much less annoying.

    I didn't want to get off it! Yes I felt the soreness in my tush, but I get to feel that anywhere I sit, so it really isn't an issue for me. My feet didn't hurt, and I really appreciated the need for a helmet!

    People gave me heck for riding eagle without, but it was pretty stupid with me laying back and barely getting up to any speed...

    But this? I was MOVING man! and my bare melon was sticking out in front...

    Felt REALLY vulnerable. I will definitely encase my konk.

    It wasn't however, the Sport, it was a base. It was a really awesome blue so I asked about wheel upgrades, and found out I could pay $389 for the bike, $200 for "bombproof" wheels, and since the wheels were disc only I would need brakes for $200.

    $789 for the lovely blue one with the less annoying fork brought up to par.

    But they only wanted $629 for the Rockhopper which already HAS the bombproof wheels, disc brakes, AND better components all around. It even comes in yellow.

    So I'm pretty much set on that unless an older model year that will do the job pops up for less.

    I'll have the money Tuesday. The cheaper alternative has until then to show itself or I am getting a new '09 Rockhopper Comp Disc in yellow.

    RD

  18. #18
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    $200 for disc brakes? Ugh. I just picked up a set of 700c wheels, 36 spoke, with discs. My plan was to build a 700c disc braked CX bike at some point. (Damn you Hill Pumper! )

    The Rockhopper sounds like a good plan for going new. One other thing you could ask is if they will swap out the suspension fork for a rigid fork. If it has a suspension seat post, I would be rather assertive in my request to switch that out.

    Yellow rocks. I spent almost an hour at a powder coater place anguishing over white or yellow for a frame. I eventually went with white and immediately regretted the choice.............

  19. #19
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
    $200 for disc brakes? Ugh. I just picked up a set of 700c wheels, 36 spoke, with discs. My plan was to build a 700c disc braked CX bike at some point. (Damn you Hill Pumper! )

    Glad I could help!!!! Trust me, you will love going to the 'Dark Side" with the CX.

  20. #20
    Senior Member TamaraEden's Avatar
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    Just curious why someone says to avoid a suspension seat post? I learned and understand about front suspension and how it can create a drag and make it rougher. But I personally love my seat suspension. I live in Hollywood. It's urban, the streets are rough and bumpy and after some of those worse bumps, that little left over bounce makes me happy.
    Be the change you wish to see in the world - Ghandi

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
    The Rockhopper sounds like a good plan for going new. One other thing you could ask is if they will swap out the suspension fork for a rigid fork.
    The fork has a lockout on it that seems to make it a non-issue, and my girlfriend who will also want her turn on it seem to like the front suspension.

    Quote Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
    If it has a suspension seat post, I would be rather assertive in my request to switch that out.
    No sprung seatpost, but I admit I'm with TamaraEden in wondering what the exact objection is to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
    Yellow rocks. I spent almost an hour at a powder coater place anguishing over white or yellow for a frame. I eventually went with white and immediately regretted the choice.............
    For me, it is down to matte black or yellow and neither is really that great for me, i would have preferred "Speed Orange" although i was referring to it as "road hazard orange" or maybe a nice blue.

    I've been known to go pretty far out of my way to get blue if I can.

    I can live with yellow, it's also pretty good.

    RD

  22. #22
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    For me, my cycling spinal surgeon recommended I stay away from them due to increased hip rocking and the fact that bottoming them out is actually worse for the back than than a rigid post. The hip sway may not be a problem if you don't deliver a ton of torque to your pedals, but most Clydes have an overstock of torque.

    I'll let others who have ridden with them and switched share their perspective. I'm sure, as with any other "option" there are plenty of folks who have a differing opinion, but I wager the majority of previous users are glad they made the change.

  23. #23
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by TamaraEden View Post
    Just curious why someone says to avoid a suspension seat post? I learned and understand about front suspension and how it can create a drag and make it rougher. But I personally love my seat suspension. I live in Hollywood. It's urban, the streets are rough and bumpy and after some of those worse bumps, that little left over bounce makes me happy.
    Under a weighty rider the seatpost bounces, eating into the force you apply to the pedals. Once I got rid of the suspension seatpost I became a stronger rider.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollerdave View Post
    OK, so what I'm getting here is "suspension=bad," that good rim brakes will do the job as well as the low end discs on the bikes I have been looking at and that one guy suggests a fixed gear.

    This flies in the face of everything I would have thought made sense before, but as I may have said in another thread "rationalizations" are not necessarily "rational" and I have not done too well with what I thought made sense before.

    So, setting aside my previous ideas, knowing that you've all been through this before, and that once I am where you are I too will "get it"; I hereby accept your wisdom.

    That's what I'm here for after all, not to have my own ideas echoed back to me right or wrong, so thank you very much.

    I WAS going to come in here and post a couple links to department store bikes I had been looking at, but what I've read has caused me to scrap them and I'll have to do some googling of the models listed above

    I DO have an old specialized Rockhopper that I could conceivably rebuild, but I kind of like the idea of shiny and new.

    I know that when i rode, I really needed those gears so I think a fixie might not be right for me at this time, but I am definitely grateful for the suggestion and that IS a mighty fine looking bike!

    My budget is $300-$400. I don't want to spend a LOT on this bike, I want to get fit and spend the big bucks on a top end road bike, and those of you who know anything about me know I will do it when the time is right.

    so, I will be googling:
    Specialized Hardrock
    Kona Hoss
    Giant Yukon
    Giant Cypress
    Trek 4300
    Surly LHT

    I will be specifically looking for "bike shop quality" which I still need a decent definition of, and "I/E double wall 36 spoke rims metal pedals."

    Oh, and a seat. Because I have it on good authority that a seat is a pretty nice feature.

    I'll be back later tonight.

    Thanks all.

    RD
    Fixies are great, if you live somewhere like Saskatchewan, that is board flat. If however you live somewhere that has a lot of steep hills, Fixie loses it's appeal real fast. Suspensions are bad, most suspensions top out at about 180lb rider weight, some will not easily compress under more, but they sometimes will get soft with age, I have this problem right now, the fork suspension is getting soft, I will need to replace the fork at some point.

    Discs, I don't know why bike manufacturers have this all or nothing opinion about discs, that a bike needs to be either all disc or all rim brakes. The ideal may very well be a disc on the front and something else like a drum brake on the rear. Technically, although manufacturers argue other wise, a rim brake is a disc brake, the rim being the disc. What we call disc brakes are good when the weather is bad or conditions are muddy, grit from mud can kill brake pads in a single ride, and damage rims to the point of failure within a single season. This makes them ideal for off road bikes, for road racing bikes, where mud isn't an issue rim brakes are efficient and light weight.

  25. #25
    Senior Member TamaraEden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    Under a weighty rider the seatpost bounces, eating into the force you apply to the pedals. Once I got rid of the suspension seatpost I became a stronger rider.
    Interesting. I hadn't heard about this. Granted, I'm not that big though could lose some weight like so many of us Americans . I wonder if that seat suspension is affecting me at all. I guess I'll figure it out as I become a more solid rider.

    Thanks for the info.
    Be the change you wish to see in the world - Ghandi

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