My nephew is well over 300#, and I promised I would help him find the right bike to get going cycling. I've sifted through the index threads to get a general idea of what is important, but am hoping for some specific brand/model recommendations. I'm thinking what most of the manufacturers are calling "Fitness" bikes is what he needs: flat bars, 3x9 gearing, able to take 35+ tires, built to last.
The tough part is of course the wheels. Having destroyed a wheel as I lost pounds, and knowing how much heavier he is than I was, I'm wondering if it is even possible to buy off the rack for him, without replacing the wheels immediately or having them rebuilt? The index threads point to rebuilding as a good approach. But I'm thinking of buying the bike, as a gift, and having it delivered direct to him. I would love to find an off-the-shelf solution that won't disintegrate out from under him.
So... any brands to focus on? Any of them known for providing solid wheels out-of-the-box? Any specific pre-made wheels that hold up well. As we all know, broken spokes and wobbling wheels really and truly suck. And of course just having 36 spokes doesn't mean it's a quality wheel. I had 32's when I got started, and popped spokes like popcorn. Replacement was also 32 (hand built using great components) and stayed perfectly true.
Thanks in advance for any specific suggestions.