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    Junior Member rxberg's Avatar
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    Help! I need a good bicycle recommendation

    I'm a big guy. (6'2" 315lb) and I need a recommendation for a good bicycle. I'd like to begin bicycling for leisure/fitness. I've done some research and feel like a hybrid would meet my needs. I've never spent more than $150 on a bicycle, and am thinking that is why I've never stuck with it. I've been looking at Trek FX models, and would like to stay around 500 or less. I may go higher if it would be worthwhile, but not sure where to start. Please help!

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    No Money and No Sense sillygolem's Avatar
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    Go to a bike shop. Don't worry so much about the brand - you might find something from a company you've never heard of that works great, and you'll find the shop is more important than the brands they carry. You should be able to get a good hybrid/city bike/urban bike for under $500 fairly easily. Moreover, since these bikes are designed for beating around town, carrying groceries, etc, they should have no problems with your weight.

    You are at the edge of the Ozarks which can get REALLY hilly. You're going to see internal gear hub 3-speeds and 7 or 21 speed deraillieur bikes in your price range. Avoid the former and try to get something with a Megarange gear (giant granny gear on the back) or a 21 speed, which will have a small inner chain ring giving you some low gears. If you stay in Springfield you shouldn't have much problem, but once you get into the countryside you may still find you have to walk some hills. Don't get discouraged.

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    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Be prepared for "Price sticker shock" when you go bike shopping.

    Good fit is the most important criteria in the final selection of a bike. If it hurts to ride the new bike, you won't stay with it very long.
    Try doing searches of "bike fit" in this forum and google it.
    You will be glad you did.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  4. #4
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxberg View Post
    I'm a big guy. (6'2" 315lb) and I need a recommendation for a good bicycle. I'd like to begin bicycling for leisure/fitness. I've done some research and feel like a hybrid would meet my needs. I've never spent more than $150 on a bicycle, and am thinking that is why I've never stuck with it. I've been looking at Trek FX models, and would like to stay around 500 or less. I may go higher if it would be worthwhile, but not sure where to start. Please help!
    For the "big guys" like you and me there is but one bike that will hold our weight and last a long time.

    http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../cruisers.html
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxberg View Post
    I'm a big guy. (6'2" 315lb) and I need a recommendation for a good bicycle. I'd like to begin bicycling for leisure/fitness. I've done some research and feel like a hybrid would meet my needs. I've never spent more than $150 on a bicycle, and am thinking that is why I've never stuck with it. I've been looking at Trek FX models, and would like to stay around 500 or less. I may go higher if it would be worthwhile, but not sure where to start. Please help!
    Except for some of the stupid light bicycles, frames should not be a problem, even a lot of the CF bicycles, if you ask the manufacturers if 300lbs would be a problem with the frame, will tell you no. Wheels on the other hand, can have issues, here is what it comes down to, if you take a 100lb rider and a 36 spoke wheel, the spokes simply need to be attached at each end, to be within optimum range, the top end of the range is manufacturing limits and maximums, it doesn't move. As the rider gets heavier and/or the number of spokes is reduced, the optimum spoke tension lessens, until it gets to the point that only a very seasoned wheel builder is going to get it right, probably by recommending a different wheel with more spokes. Another important fact is, fit, do not buy a bicycle that does not fit, if it doesn't fit it will be uncomfortable, and you will not ride it long, if you can't afford enough to buy a new bicycle that fits, then consider a pre-owned one that does.

    One thing that many riders who want leisure and fitness do not realise is that your not buying your last bicycle, your buying your first bicycle. If six months and 50lbs from now, you discover you like the open road, then you will want something more road oriented, then you add a road bicycle to the herd, and that's not a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    For the "big guys" like you and me there is but one bike that will hold our weight and last a long time.
    Isn't that a single speed? Would not be my first choice for a new rider on hilly terrain.

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    Any bike with 32 or 36 spoke wheels that fits should be fine for your weight. More gears is better with hills; however, you may well find that you need to walk the bike of some hills anyway, particularly in the beginning. When you get the bike make sure you get the stuff needed to repair flats (patches, tube, tire levers, and pump/co2) and that you know how to use it.

  8. #8
    A square going nowhere psalm's Avatar
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    6 feet 315 when I bought my CAAD8, it's above your price range, but don't limit yourself because of your weight.
    01:20:23:00
    05:23:59:00

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    Junior Member rxberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abdon View Post
    Isn't that a single speed? Would not be my first choice for a new rider on hilly terrain.
    I originally considered single speed bikes, but I don't think that's going to work for me. While I don't initially intend to go for the hilly rides, they're an inevitability in this area. I also refuse to walk a bike up a hill. I would either sweat through it, or turn around pick a different route. (I have that luxury as it won't be a point A to point B type of ride for me)

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    Junior Member rxberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm View Post
    6 feet 315 when I bought my CAAD8, it's above your price range, but don't limit yourself because of your weight.
    I don't think I can handle the riding posture with a road bike. I do like the Cannondale Quick and Quick CX. Also, the $ isn't a limiting issue, I'm just apprehensive to spend so much on a bicycle. Call it sticker shock, I guess. I was originally thinking I could get a decent bike for $200-$300.

    I have some friends who are biking now, and looking at upgrading to the Trek FX series. While I won't be riding with them frequently (they live in StL) I would like to be able to keep up when we do.

    I'm planning on going to a couple LBSs Sunday, but I hate not at least being somewhat informed before I go. Any other suggestions?
    Thanks!

  11. #11
    Senior Member exile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxberg View Post
    I've never spent more than $150 on a bicycle, and am thinking that is why I've never stuck with it. I've been looking at Trek FX models, and would like to stay around 500 or less. I may go higher if it would be worthwhile, but not sure where to start. Please help!
    Just because you spend more money on a bike won't necessarily mean you will stick with it.

    When shopping for a bike the most important thing is fit. The second most important thing is your willingness to ride it. The first part your LBS will be able to help you out on. The second part is all on you.

    If you are looking towards hybrids check out the Giant Cypress or Specialized Sirrus as well as the FX models.

    Since you are unsure of where to start, visit every LBS in town. Since this sounds like this is your first "real" bike, don't over complicate things. Get a bike in your price range that you enjoy riding.
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

  12. #12
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Last year @ 280 lbs I bought a Trek 7300. I'm also 6'2" If I had to do it again I would have gotten a FX 7.3 The 7.3 has 32 hole rims which should be OK.It also is a 8 speed which means the chain is stronger (wider) We're right at that height that we could go with the 20" frame or the 22.5" In town I like the 20" out in the country I wish it was a 22.5" Been down to the Bass Pro Shop there a couple times. Table Rock and Bull Shoals are a delight.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Aahzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post

    If you are looking towards hybrids check out the Giant Cypress or Specialized Sirrus as well as the FX models.
    I'd definitely suggest checking out the Cypress - specifically the Cypress DX. Mine is awesome. ANother to check would be the Cannondale Adventure.

  14. #14
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    You can buy a normal bike. I also have a Cypress DX like Aahazz. I had mine for approx 5 years before spoke issues with stock back rim. I weighed 350 -380 during those 5 years. Trying to buy a bike that will last you the rest of your riding days is unrealistic. Your riding preferences will probably change. You may start riding the trails around Springfield and enjoy that. Then you may try a short distance ride (20 to 30 miles) and enjoy that. It's a journey so enjoy yourself. Keep in mind that accessories will cost $ also - helmet, bag, water bottle, tire repair kit, bike computer etc.

  15. #15
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    I would suggest the Trek Navigator series. more comfy seat, upright riding position, etc.. The FX series are more aggressive ( hunched over ) and with a skinny seat. If you're not used to it, you'll be uncomfortable and not like it. You also need to budget for helmet, good floor pump, tubes, multi tool, patch kit, etc.. - Not a huge expense but you'll need them.

  16. #16
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abdon View Post
    Isn't that a single speed? Would not be my first choice for a new rider on hilly terrain.
    Well, not really. Worksman sells their cruisers with 1,3,7 speed internal hub gears. I have the 7sp with a 36 tooth front chainring. A nice combo........
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  17. #17
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    We're looking at the Giant Roam 1 and the Specialized Crosstrail/Ariel. We wanted hybrid bikes that were more for roads, but could handle some hard trails and gravel, and these are what we ended up looking at.

    Definitely do some test rides - it made me feel better about spending so much on a new bike, and I noticed how great a nice bike that fits rides (as opposed to old hand-me-downs that don't fit my tall frame *at all*).

    I've also learned that in the price range we're in, it's not the brand of bike that matters so much as the fit, and the components (you'll get more/better components for less $ with some brands than others - apparently this can change from year to year).

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kerrvillian's Avatar
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    Not sure what the going rate for the model is today but I was just a little over the $500 mark when I purchased my Trek 7200, a hybrid model.

    I am 6'6" and have been as high up as 348 (down a little bit now). My LBS set me up with the 25" frame and have never had spoke trouble.

    The 24 speeds (you don't really use all the combinations) come in handy in Texas Hill Country and you'll thank yourself for having granny low there in Sprinfield (I was born in Missouri and used to drive ambulances into Sprinfield from Mountain View, MO).
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    Trek FX Series
    Gary Fisher Wingra
    Novara Buzz
    Specialized Sirrus

    These for path riding.
    Old steel makes me squeal!

  20. #20
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Everything said here has been good advice. Becareful not to let sticker shock stop you. These days the biggest jump in quality seems to be in the 5-800 dollar range. A bike in that price range will last a lifetime, if you spend less you might buy a headache. A hybrid with 7 or 8 X 3 gearing will be great for that terrain. Buy from an established shop not a department store. And finally, buy from a bike shop, not a big box store. One last word of advice get fitted and buy ata bike shop.

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  21. #21
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rxberg View Post
    I don't think I can handle the riding posture with a road bike. I do like the Cannondale Quick and Quick CX. Also, the $ isn't a limiting issue, I'm just apprehensive to spend so much on a bicycle. Call it sticker shock, I guess. I was originally thinking I could get a decent bike for $200-$300.

    I have some friends who are biking now, and looking at upgrading to the Trek FX series. While I won't be riding with them frequently (they live in StL) I would like to be able to keep up when we do.

    I'm planning on going to a couple LBSs Sunday, but I hate not at least being somewhat informed before I go. Any other suggestions?
    Thanks!
    Don't forget on a road bike, you can always have them adjust the bars higher, you don't need them setup where the saddle is a foot above the bars, you can get a bike shop to set it up where the saddle to bar drop is negative (bars are higher then the saddle). The most common hand position is on the brake hoods.

    As for getting a decent bike for $300, new your going to end up with a piece of %$#@ that your not going to be happy with, even the Trek FX is going to be more then $300, the MSRP is $450. Now when it comes to the pre-owned market, then there are a lot of options. Actually this time of year is good, people are cleaning out garages and lots of old bicycles get kicked to the curb, or put out at the garage sale, unless they are bent, most of them are still good for years and years of service, and just need a good tune up.

    Case in point, my road bike, neighbour was throwing it out, I rescued it, put about $100 worth of parts into it, and had a serviceable bicycle, I am putting a little more into it, just to make it better, then it's pretty much done, other then annual maintenance, until 2015 when it comes up for an overhaul.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post
    When shopping for a bike the most important thing is fit. The second most important thing is your willingness to ride it. The first part your LBS will be able to help you out on. The second part is all on you.
    Yup. That is really really really true.

    Another thing to be aware of is fit changes as you get stronger.

    Usually the first components on a bike to wear out are the brake pads and the chain. Making it a goal to wear those out is a pretty good start on the habit of biking.

  23. #23
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psalm View Post
    6 feet 315 when I bought my CAAD8, it's above your price range, but don't limit yourself because of your weight.
    6 Feet and 316lbs when I bought my all-carbon Spec Roubaix comp - thousands of miles later and zero issues with weight/frame/spokes...trust your LBS they know what they are doing (usually). I balked at putting my 316lbs on such a lightweight bike but the LBS insisted it would be fine and it was/is - even the carbon seatpost - that worried me the most

  24. #24
    Junior Member rxberg's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for your suggestions. After speaking with my LBS and test riding a Trek FX 7.3 and a Cannondale Quick 4, I decided on the FX. I bought it too late to ride it today though, so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

  25. #25
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Hope the weather is nice for you tomarrow.

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