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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-13-11, 02:04 AM   #1
Nicface
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Lurker needs a bike!

Hi all!

Firstly, I am so happy to have found this forum!! Over the past few months, I've gone from 312 lbs down to 264 lbs at the moment. However, I am still very much in Athena territory!

I'm looking for an awesome bike as I'm working towards a triathlon - one of my fitness goals. I went into the LBS yesterday, and they recommended a hybrid for comfort and stability.

I used to ride a MTB to and from university, but in the last few years, haven't ridden at all. My thinking is that maybe a hybrid would be good initially, I would ultimately want a road bike. My budget is $1,000, but am willing to spend more if I need to. My thoughts are that even if I got a hybrid, I would eventually want to go faster, so would upgrade quite quickly.

Having read your excellent posts, I'm thinking of a Specialised Dolce. My main criteria are finding something that will safely hold my weight, and will be ok for triathlon training and competing when I get there (probably not competing for another 6 months).

Can anyone comment on whether my thinking regarding getting a road bike rather than a hybrid sounds ok? Or whether the Dolce is a good choice? Can anyone recommend any other bikes I may have overlooked?

Really looking forward to contributing to this forum once I get back into it!

Cheers!
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Old 03-13-11, 03:08 AM   #2
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I'd look at bikes that can handle larger tires, like a cross bike.
The wheels are usually rugged, and when you get lighter, you
can get some road rims and tires and throw them on.

In the Specialized line, the Sirrus Comp comes with 28c tires, those
and the Zertz thingies will give a nicer ride. It has the same rims as the Dolce,
and they will take a narrow tire.

You can throw drop bars on it later if you like.

Speaking of ride, there is a lot of difference in ride quality between tires.
Something like the Ruffy Tuffy has a nicer ride than most Specialized tires.

There is another category, the Sport bike. I have a Gunnar Sport. There are a number of bikes
that are like that. They usually have long reach brakes and can take a 28c tire. I am running 32c tires on mine.
There's the Surly pacer. Salsa makes the Casseroll.

Frankly, I'd get a bike that won't beat the crap out of you. Then when you want to race, do your first race on it.
I think it's a great goal, but not a great way of life. You may wind up being a roadie, or decide to to try cross.
Get what suits your needs. Later, you can get an entry level racer, when you're ready.
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Old 03-13-11, 03:32 AM   #3
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I would go with the road bike right off the bat. Weight at 260 won't be an issue. I bought a Trek 7.2 FX (Hybrid) because of "weight concerns" and then less then a year later, bought a full carbon road bike.

Do yourself a favor, if you know you are going to want to go faster, don't screw around, just get what you will eventually use and what you actually want right now.
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Old 03-13-11, 03:43 AM   #4
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We see a lot of posts from guys that have one type of bike and then want to go touring on it (or something).

A Sport bike has a lot of flexibility, a tri bike? Not so much.
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Old 03-13-11, 04:10 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info!

I think I might go and test ride some more bikes and see where that gets me.

Some of the paths around here are gravel/compressed sand, so might not be great for a road bike.

I've been reading the tri thread and it seems like it's totally ok to ride a hybrid in a triathlon. Especially if I can add some more road-like features to it!

I'm amazed at the world that is cycling - I had assumed it would be an easy process to get a bike - not so! But it's a lot of fun
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Old 03-13-11, 06:01 AM   #6
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Sounds like a cross bike might be a good fit for you. Maybe a Trek Lane or a Salsa Vaya?
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Old 03-13-11, 09:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by late View Post
We see a lot of posts from guys that have one type of bike and then want to go touring on it (or something).

A Sport bike has a lot of flexibility, a tri bike? Not so much.
I'm of the camp that says that if the OP thinks she'll eventually want a road bike, she should get one at the outset. Her weight shouldn't be much of an issue if the wheels are good. And unless she gets one that's designed strictly for racing (which usually means spending considerably more than the OP's stated budget), it should be flexible enough for most other "sport" riding or training needs, with perhaps the exception of full-on touring since it probably won't have means for attaching any racks for panniers or packs.

I agree that tri bikes have no real useful purpose beyond tris, but I don't think the OP ever said she wants a tri bike.
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Old 03-13-11, 10:12 AM   #8
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Relaxed geometry road bike seems like what you want. A lesson I keep learning is that your wallet will thank you in the long rung if you get what you want from the beginning.
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Old 03-13-11, 10:12 AM   #9
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Welcome nicface. You're already contributing. Even though you have a budget of $1000 dollars, you'll want to spend money on things other than the bike itself to really get the best out of cycling. I think the $600 dollar range is where you get pretty durable componets. The $400 left allows for lights,helmet,saddles you'll probably go thru a few as you get in better shape. You won't wear them out your body will change in wonderful ways.Since you state a desire to eventually compete, a heartrate logging system will allow you to train more effectively. I use a garmin FR60 system with a bicycle cadence/speed attachment. It will download data into the computer for tracking purposes. I won't recomend what cycling clothes you'll need I'll let others tackle that.

Last edited by jethro56; 03-13-11 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 03-13-11, 01:16 PM   #10
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Since you are working towards a triathalon i would take CraigB's advice and look for a road bike to begin with. Just about every manufacturer has a WSD (Women Specific Design) type of bike so look around.

Visit some LBS and test ride as many as you can. It also gives you an opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for the place. You will also get an idea of what type of riding those shops specialize in and what kind of services they provide.

Also feel free to let us know what specific bikes you are looking at as we may be able to further help you with a decision.

Good luck and welcome!
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Old 03-13-11, 01:32 PM   #11
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A women getting a women specific design road bike doesn't always make sense. The wsd's are made for women with longer legs and shorter torso. If you don't fit into this catagory, get a regular sized road bike. If you need a wsd, the Dolce is a nice bike. A young lady that rides with me when she trains for her triathalons has one and it works great.
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Old 03-13-11, 01:42 PM   #12
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The problem is we don't know you.

I watched an old Top Gear last nite, and the guest was this women who had sailed
around the world by herself. Her determination was ferocious. If she said what you said,
I'd say get a Cervelo.

For most gals, I would suggest doing what I did. Get a nice bike.
With the bikes we have been talking about, the biggest difference is the rider,
not the bike.

But as Gary just suggested, the most important thing is fit.

You have the right idea, test ride some bikes. When you do that, find a hill,
get out of the saddle, and accelerate up the hill. You want a bike that can do
that without major effort. It's bad if it's too flexy, and just as bad if it's too stiff.
The stiffness will fatigue you.

So I will revert to my standard advice. Try a bunch of bikes, give them a good thrashing.
Then buy the one you love.
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Old 03-13-11, 06:52 PM   #13
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Two words: road bike.
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Old 03-13-11, 06:59 PM   #14
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Buy a cyclocross bike. They're as tough (at least) as hybrids and very VERY nearly as fast as road bikes - in fact they're often used instead of road bikes for the rougher stages of road tours. They'll take wider tyres than a road bike and go off road. When you're ready for your triathlon you can fit aerobars.

If you're lucky you'll find a 2009 model Kona Jake on sale for $800.
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Old 03-13-11, 07:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by late View Post
In the Specialized line, the Sirrus Comp comes with 28c tires, those
and the Zertz thingies
The main thing that zertz does is give bike store staff a chance for a good laugh.
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