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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 06-20-11, 11:08 AM   #1
teresamichele
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Can a Clyde/Athena get a decent hybrid for under $1,000?

I'm currently riding a 15-20 year old mountain bike that weighs about as much as you'd expect. It works - I've had it safety checked and everything is in order - but it doesn't actually belong to me. A co-worker's wife is loaning it to me for the summer so I can train for a triathlon. A new bike just wasn't in the budget. Before then, I'd been riding stationary bikes at the gym!

That said, my 30th birthday is 9/25 this year and I want to get a decent bike. I do NOT want to stick with mountain bikes (I'm never anywhere I need one) but I'm not comfortable with a road bike yet. I'm too big (5'5", 270) and too much of a klutz at this point to not freak out at the skinny tires. I'm also sticking with platform pedals or toe clips for now - no clipless pedals till I stop falling all the dang time.

The bike will mostly be ridden in a park or on streets with triathlons thrown in every few months. Most of the ground will be paved, though I do hit gravel or dirt from time to time.

I basically don't even know where to start looking and what exactly to look for! I know I need sturdy wheels because of my weight and I've been told a 15-17" frame is best for my height. I'm not exceptionally long legged, if if matters - I've got a long (and round) torso! I'm "apple" shaped - I carry most of my weight around the middle, as opposed to in my rear or thighs.

Help please? Even just pointing me in the right direction would be lovely. Thank you!
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Old 06-20-11, 11:18 AM   #2
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First, you're not too big nor too klutzy for a road bike. It will take some time to get used to, but not very long.

For under 1000 dollars you can pick up a very nice hybrid. I'd suggest something from the Trek FX line up, or Specialized Sirrus.

Trek 7.5 FX: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ss/fx/7_5_fx/#

Specialized Sirrus Comp: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...01&scname=Road

Both are 900 and change. There are less expensive models from these bike families
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Old 06-20-11, 11:23 AM   #3
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The Giant Dash 2 would be another decent bike at about $950 or so.
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Old 06-20-11, 11:24 AM   #4
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For $1000 you can get a really nice bike in just about any flavor you want.
There is much discussion, but I think a hybrid is a nice place to start. But, I would not spend anywhere near your budget on one. The hybrid is kind of a compromise between MTB and a roadie--faster/easier riding on streets than a knobbie/suspension MTB but a little more 'posture' friendly than a roadie. That said, it IS a compromise. So, the hybrid is not really good at either end.
My advice is based on what you said you ultimately want and my own experience. Get a used hybrid if at all possible. They are all over the place. Bike shops sell a TON of them because they are fairly beginner friendly. And since so many beginners give up on biking, they are all over Craigslist or local pawn shops/salvage stores etc.
For doing a triathalon you really want a dedicated road bike. Yes, it is entirely possible to do a tri on a hybrid. But, since the hybrid is a compromise bike, you are going to be giving up some performance vs a road bike.
Again, after you get more comfortable on the bike I would look for a good used road bike. (Same thing as before, folks are sure they need a road bike as their first bike but then it collects dust so they put it on CL to get rid of it)
I would be SHOCKED if you couldn't find a nearly new / gently used hybrid AND a quality road bike for $1000 TOTAL--both bikes and still under your budget.
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Old 06-20-11, 11:34 AM   #5
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I just picked up a Specialized Sirrus Elite for 580.00
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Old 06-20-11, 11:35 AM   #6
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You guys rock! I'll look into your suggestions - and stalk CL. I'll make sure to test things out before I shell out any money, too!

I DO eventually want to commute to work, and from what I understand a hybrid is better for that (but correct me if I'm wrong) than a road bike. I don't carry a LOT of stuff to work, but a decently filled backpack.

As for doing a triathlon on a hybrid - I'm doing the one in August on the aforementioned mountain bike. ANYTHING has to be better than that!
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Old 06-20-11, 11:53 AM   #7
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You can do ANYTHING on ANY bike, it's just a matter of how fast/efficient you want to be. There is NO reason you can't do a tri on a mountain bike or a hybrid.
For commuting a hybrid is PERFECT. It's what they live for!!! Bigger tires help with road debris and the added load of all the gear you have to tote. But, the tires are smaller than a MTB so it is a bit more efficient. That said, you could also commute on a road bike--many do.
As you can see from my signature I have both a hybrid (Trek 7.3) and a road bike (Trek 1200). (I have no particular allegiance to Trek, it's just how things have worked out.) I bought the Hybrid as my first bike at 290 lbs. The road bike came off of CL a while later. I spent prolly in the 900 range for both combined.
I really like have the two separate bikes--they each have their own 'personalities'. The only thing I would do different if I were starting over would be to buy a used hybrid instead of a brand new one from the bike shop.
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Old 06-20-11, 11:55 AM   #8
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Since you are in St Louis, surely there is a forum member nearby that could help you look at a bike if you find one that looks interesting. Helps to have another set of objective/experienced eyes. (Especially if you are not real sure about 'fitting' a bike.)
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Old 06-20-11, 12:05 PM   #9
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What you have discribed is not a mountain bike or a hybrid.

What you discribed is a Cruiser!

That's right, a Cruiser that has fat tires, a relaxed frame geometry with an upright very comfy riding posture at a fairly low price for a 3 speed bike.

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...-speed_womens/

http://2009.feltracing.com/09-catalo...and-3-spd.aspx

http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../cruisers.html

http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...ml/page63.html
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Old 06-20-11, 12:09 PM   #10
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What you have discribed is not a mountain bike or a hybrid.

What you discribed is a Cruiser!
I got the impression those aren't meant to be ridden very hard, though. While I might not be looking to be Lance, I DO try to get my heart rate up.

While you CAN - as DTSCDS said - do anything on any bike - I'm not sure a cruiser is the best bike for a triathlon. Any bike that describes its ride as "carefree" is probably not the best bike for a triathlon.
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Old 06-20-11, 12:17 PM   #11
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teresamichele, Take a look at Specialized's Globe division. I really like the quality of these common sense bikes www.globebikes.com .

Brad
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Old 06-20-11, 12:33 PM   #12
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I got the impression those aren't meant to be ridden very hard, though. While I might not be looking to be Lance, I DO try to get my heart rate up.

While you CAN - as DTSCDS said - do anything on any bike - I'm not sure a cruiser is the best bike for a triathlon. Any bike that describes its ride as "carefree" is probably not the best bike for a triathlon.
Ride a cruiser in a triathlon and I guarantee your heart rate will be up!
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Old 06-20-11, 01:14 PM   #13
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Too bad St. Louis and Northern California are not closer!! I'm selling a "new", never ridden Cannondale Road Warrior with a step-through frame - fast and light - and because it's "3 yrs old" - I can only charge about 2/3 of it's retail price!

Posters above have good advice! Hybrids are "a plenty". Often people buy bikes new - and hybrids are very popular - then they find they don't ride enough and decide to sell on CL. So you can ideally get a "nearly new, hardly used", good quality bike - and with the money you save, you can accessorize! - to your needs and liking - which is the fun part!!
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Old 06-20-11, 01:47 PM   #14
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First, you're not too big nor too klutzy for a road bike. It will take some time to get used to, but not very long.

For under 1000 dollars you can pick up a very nice hybrid. I'd suggest something from the Trek FX line up, or Specialized Sirrus.

Trek 7.5 FX: http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ss/fx/7_5_fx/#

Specialized Sirrus Comp: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...01&scname=Road

Both are 900 and change. There are less expensive models from these bike families
Fx 7.3 or 7.5
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Old 06-20-11, 10:02 PM   #15
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I'm re-entering the world of bike riding courtesy of a Father's Day gift: a Trek 7300 hybrid. So far, I find the bike to be a very big improvement over my 20 year old Trek 720 hybrid. The 720 is in fine working order, and I had started riding it again a couple of weeks ago, but wow! What a difference 20 years makes!
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Old 06-21-11, 07:11 AM   #16
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You all have been so helpful! This site is so awesome.

What I think I will try to do is spend closer to 500-750 on the bike (either new or used) and use the money saved on a new seat (I LOVE the seat on my mountain bike - very smushy) and adding things like headlights if it needs it. It's illegal to ride where I live at night without headlights/taillights/etc.

I think I've found the perfect way to ENJOY turning 30!
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Old 06-21-11, 07:20 AM   #17
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teresamichele, Well, it's almost a rule that you will need to post a pic of your new bike when you can.

Brad

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Old 06-21-11, 07:39 AM   #18
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Almost a rule?



And don't forget to shoot it from the drive-side.
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Old 06-21-11, 08:19 AM   #19
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I did the shopping thang for a month, asked lots-o-questions..... Hybrid?, Mountain?, Comfort?, Road?, Touring?.......

I "settled" for a new 2009 $1,200 touring road bike w/drop-down bars..... for a mere $600(!).
* My touring road bike came with wider 'skinny' tires, puncture resistant, to which I had $70 worth of mods performed to make them virtually puncture proof.
* Ignore the drop-down bars and ride on top of them..... VOILA!, the bike suddenly becomes a Hybrid, but with MORE places to position your hands AND room to grow if you become more flexible, serious, and swoopy doopy aerodynamic.
* I raised my drop-down bars to max', sitting more upright, and will be going to the wider Brooks B68 saddle for the more upright seating and increased comfort, but when I'm going 25 mph downhill I can reach for the drop-downs.....
* The "touring" version of my road bike has a 520 Chromolly (steel) frame for added comfort, absorbing vibration, and without all the added weight or rolling resistance of a "cruiser"/"comfort" bike. It also has 36 spoke wheels for durability to support my heavie'ness, not to mention a lugguge rack thrown in just to make it look the part i.e. 'touring' capable of carrying paniers.

Comfort bikes are for tooling 'round town at a speed not much faster than walking. Mountain bikes have increased rolling resistance and a suspension that absorbs/uses/wastes your energy (up & down) when all you want to do is motate forward. Hybrid is an upright seated version of a road bike, often with cheap(er) components, with no room to grow, appealing to the aged YUPPIE with money who wants to appear to get their heart rate up but without the commitment.....

Look..... I'm new to this bike stuff. Maybe I want to pretend that I'm an elitist, maybe my conclusions are off base. But so far I think I made a pretty good decision by going with this bike that just happens to be both too small and too big for me. At 5' 1" with broad shoulders, short inseam (24"), T-Rex arms, big belly/short torso...., my seating position has resulted in a low saddle (from which to reach the pedals correctly), and maxed height handlebars for my short arms; THUS given permision to get a wider more comfortable saddle for the resulting upright forward bent body position I ride in.

In short, find a touring road bike in your size that's been sitting on a showroom floor somewhere. You'll hafta search, but chances are they'll let it go cheap because they aren't very trendy. It'll offer you increased comfort by virtue of their design, with room to stretch, the ability to change your grip to one of SEVERAL positions, and they're usually made with quality components because they've been manufactured to LAST through miles of abuse while carrying heavy weight.
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Old 06-21-11, 08:59 AM   #20
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my wife was *exactly* your height and weight when she began training for her team in training triathlon (rev3 in knoxville). i bought her a trek lexa road bike:

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/sport/lexa

from our local trek dealer. i believe it was $800 and she loves it a bunch. she rides on top of the handlebar (doesn't use the drops yet) and has even transitioned over to clipless pedals! might be worth a look for you. the bike has been great and is much more efficient than her mountain bike i through slicks on.
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Old 06-21-11, 09:50 AM   #21
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I got the impression those aren't meant to be ridden very hard, though. While I might not be looking to be Lance, I DO try to get my heart rate up.

While you CAN - as DTSCDS said - do anything on any bike - I'm not sure a cruiser is the best bike for a triathlon. Any bike that describes its ride as "carefree" is probably not the best bike for a triathlon.
The steel framed Cruiser is very much under rated as bikes go. In fact, long before hybrids, mountain bikes et.al. were around the Cruiser is what there was to flog in all sorts of ways then.
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Old 06-21-11, 12:36 PM   #22
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I'd also consider a cyclocross bikes - for your purpose, I'd think of it as a road bike with clearance for wider-than-normal tires.

Besides craigslist, I believe stlbiking.com's forums are another good place to look - I bought my fixed gear off of there.
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