New Uberclyde Introduction and lots of bike buying questions
*Please forgive the length of this post, as brevity isn't one of my strong suits.
Hi, I'm Adam, and I'm an uberclyde. I'm 25 year old living in Tuscaloosa, AL and I am in horrible shape. I don't currently have a scale, though I would estimate my weight to be near the 350-360 pound range. I have decided that it is time to stop being miserable with my size and do something about it. After having become a greater fan and followed cycling more this year than in years past I know what I want to do.
I have not ridden a bike since I was 14 or 15 years old, and after following races all summer and lurking these forums for the past week or two, I cannot wait to get out on the road. I'm much more interested in road cycling than mountain biking, and due to my real job being part time (20-25 hours a week) and my other "job" of playing poker best being done after the sun goes down, I should have plenty of time to ride. This luxury does not come without costs though, namely, I am poor.
After having looked over some of threads listed in the index thread and doing some digging to find early posts by some of you who started out as uberclydes, I have more than a few questions about bike selection.
At 360ish pounds will any of the road or hybrid bikes work for me, or am I limited to a mountain bike with road slicks?
What I gathered from the threads I read was that putting road slicks on steel framed mountain bikes with no suspension, such as a Specialized Hardrock or a Trek 800 series, seemed to be a popular choice for uberclydes. In addition to being concerned about the bike being able to handle my weight, I am also concerned that my body may not be in a good enough form to cooperate with a less upright riding position of a road bike. I carry most of my weight around my midsection, and I'm not entirely sure my gut would leave enough room for my legs.
I want to start riding ASAP, but because of my current financial situation, the less expensive the bike I get the sooner I can get it. Is it worth it to go for a cheap used mountain bike to get me on the road sooner, or should I just save that money for something more appropriate for the type of riding I want to do?
I think I already know the answer to this. I expect to hear "get something, get anything, ASAP!", and really, that's how I feel. There are a few Trek 800 series for sale on my local craigslist that appear to be in very good shape, and each is listed at $150. There is also an older Trek road bike for sale for $225, though it has a 19" frame and at 5'10" I'm not sure that it's the right size. Another option is out in the garage. My roommate has a specialized rockhopper that has two flats and some rust, and I'm fairly certain that it hasn't moved in at least two years. He'd probably sell it to me for very little, though I'm not sure it would be worth even that.
I've got more questions, but I'm pretty sure this post is already way past the point of anyone wanting to read all of it, so I guess I'll save those for a another post or thread. I'm so glad I've found this community, as the people here and the stories they have are absolutely inspiring me to get up off my butt and do something!