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  1. #1
    LDB
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    5'8" / 215 what to buy?

    I'm 53 and need to get into better shape. I'm not really large but big enough I figure I better take size into account in bike selection. Besides my weight, there are so many types of bikes now compared to when I last looked at bikes, or at least so many more labels than before, city, hybrid, comfort, commuter, etc. and I don't know where to start.

    I used to ride in a prior lifetime but haven't for well over a decade. I want something with a fairly upright and comfortable riding position. My hero was the tortoise not the hare. I don't plan to race ever but would like to be able to hold maybe a 14-15 mph pace easily for up to a half century if/when I work up to that point.

    So, I'm looking for suggestions of what bikes to look at that are at least a little stronger than the average bear and in a budget of $750 or less. Thanks for all input.

  2. #2
    DON'T PANIC!
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    Similar situation to me. 5'6" and 200# when I got my bike. Wasn't sure what to get and ended up with a Fuji Absolute 4.0 for less than $500. It's listed on Fuji's site as a fitness bike and at the shop as a hybrid. Put some commuter tires and a rack on for back and forth to work and have ridden the heck out of it since the spring ( 1350 miles so far ). The only problem I've had is a broken spoke from going over one too many curbs. I would go to the LBS and give them your requirements of reliability, more upright seating, and $500 ( trust me, this way you have room to go up if you really see something nice ). If you feel comfortable with the shop they should get you into something nice. My biggest regret was not getting drop bars, the flat bars are hard on the hands.

    I've been using the bike to get in shape and am down almost 40 pounds and riding 30+ miles/day 6 days/week.
    Weight (April 2010) 200lb -> Goal (Nov 2010) 145lb Achieved -> (Aug 2011) 132lb 10%BF

    2010 Fuji Absolute 3.0
    2002 Steel LeMond Tourlamet

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    I want something with a fairly upright and comfortable riding position. My hero was the tortoise not the hare. I don't plan to race ever but would like to be able to hold maybe a 14-15 mph pace easily for up to a half century if/when I work up to that point.
    It sounds like you're wanting what I'm trying to get away from: a "comfort" bike. I have a Trek Navigator 200 and I'm trying to get away from the evil thing because it puts me in an upright riding position. For me, this is uncomfortable as I don't want to go slow. If I'm putt-putting along with my 8 year old daughter, we go slow enough this bike is fine as it's almost a casual lounging position/ride.

    Depending on where you live, I'd be more than willing to sell you mine so I can get a fitness/road bike (I'm in eastern North Dakota, though).

    Edit: I should probably give you ideas on my size for sizing the bike. I'm 5'9", weigh in just under 300, and the bike is an 18.5" frame. Other than that, I don't know details on equipment as I'm only just now getting into biking as a somewhat "serious" thing.
    Last edited by glyphrunner; 08-08-10 at 06:36 AM. Reason: Added personal and bike size info

  4. #4
    LDB
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    Back when I was riding, my longest ride was 55 miles and I usually rode at a 12-14 mph average taking into account stops at the banana table along the route. I don't necessarily want my back perpendicular to the road with swept back bars putting my hands near my lap but I don't want a TDF posture either.

    I also should have mentioned I need QR both f/r so I can carry the bike inside my van even if I have two 48x48x48 skids in there.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I'm about your size and when I was shopping bikes I was concerned that my back wouldn't tolerate a road bike. So I spent time looking at flat bar bikes and the so called "plush" road bikes. But I ended up buying a true road bike and setting it up a little, and have found it to be comfortable and very efficient on longer rides. If you want to do something as long as a half century that might be something you consider. You can get a decent used or entry level model in your price range.

  6. #6
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    A touring bike might be right for you, or perhaps a sports-touring model like the Trek 1.2. Both are designed for leisure/fitness riders rather than racers, and you can always have the stem changed for a more upright position before the bike leaves the shop. Or perhaps a lightweight hybrid, if you don't mind flat bars.
    Don't worry about component strength. You aren't all that heavy. I'm the same height and almost the same weight as you and I still ride my lightweight road bike from when I raced back in the 80s and was a lot lighter. I don't have any wheel problems as they were quality wheels to begin with.

  7. #7
    LDB
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    Anyone riding a Specialized Crosstrail variant? That line seems to speak to me in my online researching and the first 3 in the line are in my projected price range.

  8. #8
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    If your goal is more distance riding than I would look along the lines of road bikes. Touring, sports-touring, and comfort geometry bikes come to mind. I don't think your weight would make much difference.
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

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