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  1. #1
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Pedal-Forward Buying Choices, the Decision!

    This process started Saturday 09-19-09. At that point, I did not even know that a 370 pounder could even get back on a bicycle, much less have choices to choose from!

    So, after much discussion, price points, needs, new VS used, the reality of the almighty budget, and the too-real fear of will-this-too-be-a-project-to-sit-and-gather-dust-at-the-waste-of-great-expense? I landed on focusing on a New-only Bicycle of the pedal-forward design.

    flatfoot_text_bike.jpg

    Based on web searches, and forum discussions, I was leaning towards the ‘Electra’ Townie series of bike, and was willing to scope out some of the “off-brands” suggested by others (NOTE: based on my reading – it *seemed* that Electra had been the one to start this type of “pedal-forward” style of bike, and all others were simply copying Electra – yes, I know now that is NOT quite correct! I truly do not know who came out with it first, nor who copied whom- it’s actually rather funny, as different people are saying different stories – but as this weekend has progressed, the list has gotten longer!)

    As I was saying; the primary focus was the “Electra Townie 21D”, and I needed to see the “Giant Suede DM”, the “Trek Pure Sport”, and the “Fuji Saratoga 3.0”

    I am around Akron, Ohio. All the prices listed are today’s prices (non-sales) without tax, without any extra items (like fenders, or helmets, or locks – just the cost of the bike itself. None of this is “Car and Driver” quality mind you <grin> but I am trying to give a bit of a reference for others that may wish to use this information for themselves <shrug>.

    I did also go to Wal-Mart, and to Sam’s Club, and also to “Performance Bicycle”. I would not willingly buy a bike at any of these three places for myself, or for a gift. We all know what Wally-world is, and Sam’s is a big-box store that you must be a member of – so low pricing is a plus, but service is zip! The Performance Bicycle shop is a national bike chain (I am told?) that I am not impressed with at all – the kid I spoke to was moving back to NYC in 2 weeks – so in other words, had I made a buy from him, it would have mattered for nothing for in 2 weeks time, he would have been hundreds of miles away!

    So, the rest of the shopping was done in two places. Both were what I would consider the perfect place to buy! One, called “Ernie’s Bike shop” (A small 3 store local chain), and the jewel that I do hope to make my buy from called ”Bisesi’s Bicycle & Fitness” (a single store, 20yrs in one location selling the Giant brand – among others-for the last 20yrs) a small plug for the shop if I am allowed? www.bisesis.com Sam chatted with me for about 90 minutes today about Giant bikes, his shop, my upcoming knee surgery, and my plans and the pedal-forward concept. He had both a 2009 and a 2010 right there for me to try out, and was also kind enough to price out some of the options I thought I would most likely end up wanting to get.

    I love the personal attention you can get from a small business! The fact is, Sam builds the bikes! So, if I am unhappy, it’s *his* fault! He knows it, I know it, and you’d know it too! And since he’s been there for the last 20yrs, it’s fairly safe to assume, he’ll be around for a few more years as well! Plus, no shady sales tactics either! I tried to let him lead me into rushing me into a fast buy – gee, only one 09 left huh? So if I really like that color, I’d best buy it quick? His reply? Nope, I most likely won’t run out of the 09 units till February or so…

    So, here is what I rode, and what I learned today.

    • Fuji Saratoga 3.0 2009 $229.99 6/10 - rating
    • Fuji Saratoga 4.0 2009 $199.99 (3SP – coaster-brake only, total strip job) 4/10 - rating

    • Trek Pure Sport 2010 $449.99 6/10 - rating

    • Electra 21D 2009 $499.99 7/10 - rating

    • Giant Suede DM 2009 $449.95 8/10 - rating
    • Giant Suede DM 2010 $449.95 9/10 - rating


    I also “got on” 3 other bikes, but did not even pedal them, as I could not even balance or get comfortable on them, mores’ the pity! I was so hoping to see if I had more options to pick from, that I did try a few others, and simply going away from the feet-forward or pedal-forward (people called it different things) just plain seemed to send me into a tail spin! It really wan not in my head!

    FYI - the ratings - simply subjective on my part! Setup of the bike, how it felt, how *I* felt on it, was i relaxed on it, or feeling like I was going to fall off and have to buy it right then? Stuff like that? Nothing professional in my ratings...

    (Another plug for www.bisesis.com ) – I am a picky guy! Out of all of the places I went today, he was the only one to offer a Demo ride. It was rainy – off and on – He offered to dry the bikes off – he pointed out the changes between the 09 and the 2010 BEFORE I *asked* him what (if anything) they were. Just all sorts of details like that – made it a pleasure to speak with Sam! Only reason I didn’t feel too guilty was that no other customers arrived until I was leaving!

    Sam believes the bike will completely hold up to my weight, that there is no need for me to go to a mountain bike – that since the Giant comes with a heavy-duty rear hub, and he has never seen one fail – he is not worried, and he WILL be there for me to come to should he be wrong! <VBG!>

    Now to think on all this for a few days…
    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  2. #2
    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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    Sounds like you also found a great bike shop. Hey, the Suede is a great bike for it's purpose. Fortunately, Akron is pretty flat, so yeah, I think you'd do well with a Suede for sure.

    Don't be surprised if a couple years down the road, though, you find yourself thinner, faster, stronger, and lusting after a fast road bike. If it happen, don't worry, it's normal, and you get to discover the idea of N+1.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  3. #3
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    OK, I'll bite! What's "N+1"?

    And - If I drop 100lbs, and I need more bike, that'll just break my heart, right??? Like I said, time for plan B, which today is already http://www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_xpress_07.htm
    Peter_C
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  4. #4
    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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    N+1 is an equation from Statistics. N is the number of bikes you currently own (Concept of the N Group). N+1= The Correct number of bikes for you to own at any given time. I currently own 5.

    2 vintage bikes, 1 is a touring bike (1986 Schwinn Passage),, the other is a Fixed Gear(1971 Nishiki Customj Sport, converted to a fixed gear). Also a road bike (Criterium bike, a Specialized Allez, set up for endurance riding and TT/Triathlon with aerobars), A Recumbent trike, and a klunker I keep at the lake.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  5. #5
    Mass Mover takingcontrol's Avatar
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    Sounds to me you have made your choice. You have done your research and tried a few models and the giant is the winner <--*cheers* Might as well go with the 2010 since the price is the same. I have been looking at the giant defy myself. they make nice bikes.

  6. #6
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    Sounds like you have a solid decision. Only 2 things left to do.

    1. Get it.

    2. Ride it. Repeat often.

  7. #7
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    Peter, did you actualy ride the bike, if you did and you like it, purchase it and try some light riding before sugery. Your knee will let you know if you are pushing it to much. Remember if you don't get started what the options are. ECB1

  8. #8
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Peter, I'm curious, I see your ratings, but would like to know more about the features/feel that you got from the bikes you tried?

  9. #9
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    My input on pedal forward design:

    Pedal forward design puts all of your weight on your backside. It also does not work that well on hills regardless of how many gears you get. (read as knee pain) As you advance you will want more bike. An upright comfort bike will give you an upright riding position without carrying all of your weight on your bum. When you are comfortable enough with the sturdiness of an upright comfort bike you will be able to stand on your pedals to reposition or to power up a hill. This is near impossible with a pedal forward design bike. This is just my opinion from trying to ride my wife's Trek Pure which is very similar in geometry to the Townie and Saratoga.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  10. #10
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    I surprised myself very much yesterday! it was typical Portland weather, rainy from dry, to sprinkles to cats and dogs - so felt just like old home week! I did get actually on every one of the bikes listed above and pedal! Some for shorter distances than others though.

    Only one 'true', real demo ride... and, of course, it would be the bike I would least consider buying!

    I did (ride) much further and better than I expected that I would, but am pretty much crippled up like I expected I would be this day (way worth it though!!!!).

    The Giants were the second-to-the-last-stop, and the Electra was the last stop - so in both of those cases, they were parking lot only rides - circling, shifting, coasting, braking - type stuff - but in all cases - we did tire checks for pressure, tried different seat heights (and angles) to determine comfort!!

    For those that want it, here is the blow-by-blow.

    At Performance Bike I rode the Fuji Saratoga 4.0 (fully-built) 3-SP coaster-brake stripper model - with knobby tires (noisy, and rough riding) - I wore a helmet, and signed this bike out (large mall area) and went riding truly non-stop for 10-12 minutes (guess is a bit over a mile) not flat area - not steep mind you, but not flat - right there decided a 3-SP is not enough gears for Peter! No Sir! - but while huffing and puffing - did not give up or take feet off pedals, or fall off!! Nice lilttle down-hill section to cool me off (rode the brakes - call me a chicken) made me grin! re-affirmed that I did not want coaster brakes! But it showed me I could go really cheap and still go new if I really needed to or wanted to! Bike felt strong, felt big enough for me, not too flexy or anything. Felt very encouraged about the pedal-forward design! So much so, that were I not going to have the knee surgery, I would still be getting a bike! SURPRISE!! It would be a really rough row to hoe! I kid you not! And, perhaps I would never get any real miles per day, but I CAN RIDE!

    Before taking this bike out, the kid in the shop tried to get me on a Schwinn that was on sale - forgot the model - city type bars, but a 21 SP, more of a typical frame, etc - I sat on it in the store, and tried pushing myself and felt all elbows and sore spots anddidn't fit and ouch this, and spinning that way and OMG I'm gonna hit that shelf and!!! In 30 seconds I could tell that in no way would it even possibly work, yet it *looked* to be a bigger bicycle than the 3.0 pedal forward - go figure!!!

    Of course, the 4.0 was only partially built, so could not ride it, but could tell it was simply feature changes, and price point differences. It was an OK bike - did not THRILL me at all - more like, hey, this would work, and it's fairly EZ on the $$, cool - that's a plus! Did not like the knobby tires at all. The kid stated, better a knobby on pavement, than a slck tire on tow-path - shrug? During the rest of the day, I saw many other choices that were much better and in my mind, just as safe, without the hassle of the knobby tire - thoughts anyone?


    I saw the Trek at Multiple shops (very popular around here) - Ernie's down-plays it. Treats it like the red-headed step-child of the Electra and flat out states that Trek copied Electra (I call this dumb - they sell both, right?) It was an OK bike - it's looks didn't really reach out and grab me in any special way. It seemed the most fussy to get adjusted to be comfortable for me? Plus the seat shock sank like 3/4 of the way simply by me sitting on it - quite depressing - my own little fat man gauge every time I sit on my bike? I do not think so - pass....


    The Electra was the last one I rode, and the bike I have spent both the most shop visits on (3), and the most reading time on. If I pick two modals that are basically apples to apples with the Giant Suede DM it would be the Townie 21D In that case, the 21D costs $50 bucks more, does NOT have a suspended front fork (am not sure I need/want the feature - but still it costs).

    I feel the shifters on the 21D are goofy (in layman's terms) you have shifters on each side, left side for for one hub, right side for the other hub - on the 21D, on the left side you have TWO shifters - one to shift up, one to shift down, on the right side you have TWO shifters - one to shift up, and one to shift down - in my book, a rather messy, cumbersome, and cluttery way to do it! So on each side, you have 2 shifters and a brake lever, on the Giant, one shifter, and one brake lever - more simple, less mess.

    If I were to go with the Electra, I would not want the Townie 21D modal, while I am not yet sure of the 2-3 I am thinking of, I am leaning towards the Townie Balloon 9D which has a pricetag of the princely sum of $869.99 (everything is extra!) Yet the Giant Suede DM "speaks to me" for the paltry sum of $449.95 (everything extra) - As you can see, I have just priced myself right out of the Electra!


    Now, let's discuss my 'rides' of the Giants, shall we? They were not proper rides, small, rainy day parking lot turns. Not the shops fault, but mine. I was tired, my knee was barking pretty much constant by then, but I had found this shop by my GPS - knew nothing at all about it! I see it from the road, a small building with a large overhand, with a long row of bikes just stuffed side by side by side - in every space available in the front of this building with room to park maybe 6-7 cars and I'm thinking to myself, HEY! I like this place!

    As I park and get out, I see shiny new bikes, I see old battle-scarred warriors with many,many miles leaning against posts just waiting to be jumped upon for the next century or two. As I walk into the dimmly lit shop (too much shadow caused by all the bikes hanging from the walls and ceiling) I learn suddenly to walk carefully because I am too wide for the isles (this is not bad, as I am not the average size - space IS at a premium here - and there is so many goodies in this shop!) - I meet Sam, the owner, who as luck would have it (honest, I kid you not) had both the 09, and the 2010 standing outside just waiting to show me as if he had just gotten a call that i was coming??!!

    The 2009 is silver in color, the chain is rust-proofed (is not in the 2010 model), the seat has a suspension (does not in the 2010 model) but does not collapse when I sit on it, has adjustable neck for the handlebars (the 2010 does not - can buy extra though). Handlebars on the 09 are black, on the 2010 are chrome. the bike is satin-blue (darker-blue) in 2010 - so color choice is part of deciding which year to choose. The grips are neater (I think) in the 2010 model - the 'running gear' is the same between the models Sam states, other than the rust-proofing of the chain.

    Of all of the bikes I saw yesterday, the Giants *spoke* to me. It's Silly, but stuff like names, mean a LOT to me - I also like the name better! I do realise to many a shop is a shop is a shop, but to me, that can be a big part of the decision, and I LIKE this shop! I feel like I can talk to this guy - he's older than me! Beats talking to a kid all the time I'd rather speak to someone more knowledgeable than myself as well, and Sam is - it's very appearent!

    So? What's stopping me you ask? What else? $$$ Need to find me a sock for of the green stuff.

    BPJ - I hope this is what you were looking for?
    Last edited by Peter_C; 09-27-09 at 09:39 AM. Reason: spelling
    Peter_C
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/ <-- My Photos

  11. #11
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
    My input on pedal forward design:

    Pedal forward design puts all of your weight on your backside. It also does not work that well on hills regardless of how many gears you get. (read as knee pain) As you advance you will want more bike. An upright comfort bike will give you an upright riding position without carrying all of your weight on your bum. When you are comfortable enough with the sturdiness of an upright comfort bike you will be able to stand on your pedals to reposition or to power up a hill. This is near impossible with a pedal forward design bike. This is just my opinion from trying to ride my wife's Trek Pure which is very similar in geometry to the Townie and Saratoga.
    I agree with you completely Sir! No worries there at all! There are a total of three threads that comprise the total 'story' as it were - about myself, and my rather specific issues. It will be some while before I need worry about the ability or desire to stand on the pegs again, and if/when I am able to do so, I will most assuredly be following the N+1 principal, and going to plan B, or plan C.

    We are only at plan A at the moment, and the primary motives are simply to create the desire, nay, the great urgency and need to get ON the bike each and every day for any period of time, for any distance - whether it be flat ground or not.

    The point being which is better Sir? 30yrs of no bike whatsoever, or limited bicycling of a pedal-foward nature? Get the ball rolling, and the future can worry about itself, eh?
    Peter_C
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  12. #12
    Mystery Meat gitarzan's Avatar
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    Check these out, Specialized Globe Vienna 1 Deluxe...

    2009 model, but they are still in the food chain around here, at least.

    http://www.specialized.com/zz/en/bc/...=40433&eid=178

    Fat 700x38 tires, easy gearing 15-38, built in generator and lights, rack and fenders. A relaxed ride but not a cruiser, more of a fitness bike with lots'a add ons.

    I love mine. It's a great trekking bike. It's meant to be a tool. It can handle a measly 370.

  13. #13
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    Absolutely agreed! I think you have the ball rolling and rolling in the right direction it is.
    Last edited by Mr Danw; 09-27-09 at 09:58 AM.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  14. #14
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Plan B

    OK - The secret is out - my "Plan B" is http://www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_x_09.htm (should I be able to get that far <thanks you-know-who>)

    Now - stop changing the subject

    plan-b.jpg
    Peter_C
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  15. #15
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Am starting to Drool!

    OK - the decision is getting closer! It's pretty much settled on the Giant Suede DX - either the 2009 in Silver, or the 2101 in Blue (leaning towards the 2010). I was at the shop again tonight bugging poor Sam, and I asked him about tires.

    The stock tires is a 26 X 1.5 that has a MAX 65 PSI. If I like, I can swap at point of purchase for 26X2.0 @ MAX 100PSI (I forget the brand,(OK - I remember now - *** They are "Schwalbe Marathon" - What does that tell anyone???) but heard them mentioned here many times, for $30 bucks total increase to me) - thoughts? Will it be worth it? Increased width and pressure for my weight? I am assuming yes?

    He is willing to give me these types of discounts on any changes I choose to make to the stock machine - same for the seat - rather than be forced into being the proud owner of the stock seat AND buying a new seat, if I wish, he will keep the stock seat, and simply charge me a small surcharge for the upgraded seat I choose.

    Plus - if there are any extra parts I wish to buy at point of purchase, I will get 10% off normal retail price (of course, compare his price to Amazon, etc - to see which is the best value)

    I am planing to buy:
    Fenders (Front and rear)
    Rack
    Helmet
    Cateye computer (with Cadence) wired (not wireless)
    2 water bottle cages + bottles
    seat bag
    Handle-bar bag
    bell (gotta have it)

    Am I missing anything that I must buy right away along with the bike itself? I will buy a lock (Amazon) - have I forgotten anything. Please feel free to speak up? It has been 31yrs since I have bought a Bicycle, and while I have been (and tend to) over-think the entire process, at times I fail to see the trees because of the forrest that I am in the middle of!

    I am sorely tempted to get this as well:

    horn.jpg

    2010 gaint_suede_dx.jpg
    Last edited by Peter_C; 09-28-09 at 10:23 PM.
    Peter_C
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  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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    Will it be worth it for the tire upgrade? YES!
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  17. #17
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    LOL - what are you doing - waiting to pounce on the next post someone writes?
    /grin
    Peter_C
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  18. #18
    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 Peter_C View Post
    LOL - what are you doing - waiting to pounce on the next post someone writes?
    /grin
    I'm the Site Admin, I know all.
    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.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  19. #19
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
    Pedal forward design puts all of your weight on your backside. It also does not work that well on hills regardless of how many gears you get. (read as knee pain) As you advance you will want more bike. An upright comfort bike will give you an upright riding position without carrying all of your weight on your bum. When you are comfortable enough with the sturdiness of an upright comfort bike you will be able to stand on your pedals to reposition or to power up a hill. This is near impossible with a pedal forward design bike. .
    There is an exception to this. The Rans crank forward bikes (as they call 'em) are excellent hill climbers. They're figured out a geometry which when the handlebars are just above your knees you can pull them to get leverage on the pedal. The seat is based on their recumbent seat designs, not on a regular bike saddle. They have two basic geometries, one is more semi-recumbent with a longer wheelbase and virtually no weight on your hands. You can't stand on this frame. Their other geometry leans you forward a little more and you can stand to pedal. I've ridden a Rans Fusion and it is a great bike. I want to eventually pick up a Rans Street for family/utility riding.

    Most semi-recumbent, Fusion/Cruz setup:


    More upright setup, stand to pedal, the Dynamik/Zenetik setup:


    You can get 'em by mail built to order at: www.spincyclz.com
    old steel Specialized Hardrock

  20. #20
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Cod - Thank you for your suggestion. Sadly, perhaps you have not read the entire thread, or the other related threads. I currently weigh in at 378lbs or 103lbs OVER the weight limits on ANY of these fine bicycles you have suggested above. As plainly stated on the links provided. Plus, all of these are way out of my price range for my first bike. Perhaps down-the-road for plan B or C - either when I have more funds and/or I have lost more weight, but sadly, not iat this current time, or the near future. But thank you for sharing!
    Peter_C
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  21. #21
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    You have all the important stuff on your list. The Schwalbe Marathon plus tires are just about bullet proof, so definately go for those if you want to put a lot of miles on. Don't go too wide even at your weight unless you're planning on mountain biking (obviously not with that bike). Something in the 1.5" range should be a good balance for all around neighborhood riding. Now go get the bike already! You've posted more in the last week than most members do in a year.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  22. #22
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Very Cool! thanks for the rundown on what you liked/disliked, it makes a lot more sense to me than just an overall rating.

  23. #23
    karma is my higher power w00die's Avatar
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    Congrats! I am happy to hear that you are out looking at bikes and actually riding them! My mom has a replaced hip and bought a Suede and enjoys riding it. The bike is solid and will hold up to your weight just fine. I look forward to seeing the, "My new bike" post and then ride reports.

  24. #24
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    In your list of additional accessories I see that you have listed the seat bag but no flat repair supplies. Walking you bike for a few miles back home is no fun. You will need a patch kit, and/or a spare tube, 2-3 tire levers (cheap), and either a CO2 set up or a pump.

    I also just remembered I promised you my perspective on riding whil living with chronic pain. As you already know we can adapt to some level of pain on a near constant basis. Each of us have different tolerances. Your concerns and apprehensions with the degree of relief you will find after the replacement makes total sense, but remember it's going to be significantly less no matter what.

    Chances are, once you complete the rehab you will be basically pain free once you get your muscles and range of motion built back up. The stationary bike will be your first test, along with plain old weight bearing and walking. However, even if it's 80% - 90% pain free the dramatic difference will make the remainig pain seem almost trivial.

    This is where I think you and I share some personality traits. We plan and analyse as much of every endeavor as we can. After looking at all the angles, considering each input and output, we come up with a list of risks and a list of benfits, or successes if you will. This is where it get's a bit psychologically tricky if you share these traits. You have to learn to reevaluate how you measure success against your original goals if things don't go as originaly planned.

    Think of it as a metric in a new Service Leval Agreement with a customer. When the first reporting period comes around if some of the numbers don't reflect what you and the customer expected and agreed on, the first thing you do is review the manner in which you measured as well as the items you measured. We don't immediatly rush to ammend the process or discard it all together.

    You will most likely encounter this when you first start riding. There will be the beginner steps of making it around the neighborhood and feeling as it you just rode accross the county. Legs will burn, lungs will be expectorating strange looking material, sweat may be dripping, and the area around your knee will likely feel it. Congratulations, you have just found your first improvement opportunities. Celebrate your success you just achieved and move the bar when you are ready. The rate of advancement isn't nearly as important as the continually improving.

    About soreness and riding with pain. One thing you have to have learned by now with the knee is the difference between hurting and being injured. Folks who have chronic injuries have a pretty good idea of when things are progressing from chronic to acute. Listen to your instincts when your body is telling you someting. If you have to take some time off of the bike to let the body catch up to your heart, no bigee. It sucks having to stop, but it's only an interruption, not a set back.

    I'm bone on bone in my left knee and have been for several years. Over the last 15 years I have had seven orthopedic surgeries rangin from pinning my toes back together on my left foot, titanium cages inserted into my spine, and repairs to my shoulder. I recently decided to trash the begeebus out of my right knee and leg so I could get some balance in my knee world as well . Wehn I get back on the bike I know ther will be days when it takes me 4-5 miles or sometime 10 to get every thing to stop snap, crackling, and popping and to get stretched out. Some days I may never reach that point of getting warmed up. Other days I can hop right on and go for 30 before I feel anything at all.

    I suspect I have lost a mountain of fitness over the last 3 months but I will find it again when the time comes. The point is, you can game plan all you want but you have to be ready to make adjustments depending on what the days game plan gives you.

    Best of luck.

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