hello all. another big guy who wants to ride a bike. i'm 5'10" 350# and for now i'm only interested in riding around my neighborhood streets for fun. i went to a trek store and a trek 4300 was recommended with a frame size of 18". durability was a concern of mine because of the weight and this one was mentioned because of the double walled rims. i rode it in the parking lot and it felt ok. i didn't really know how it was supposed to feel since i haven't been on a bike in most of my adult life.
i started watching craigslist and found a 4300 with a 17.5" frame for $150. i went yesterday and checked it out. the bike was in storage and the tires were deflated so i could not ride it. i noticed right away that one of the suspension lockout knobs was missing and the fork had rust on it. i said this was probably not going to work for me and the seller lowered to $100. i ended up settling on $80 and took it home. i figured i would at least get a good idea of what i want in a bike after i spend some time with this one. if after some time i ended up disliking the 4300 i wouldn't be out so much money.
i took the bike home in the backseat of my car so i had to take the front wheel off. i ran into a snag when trying to close the brake mechanism. i aired up the tire first, then the brakes wouldn't close. it seemed i had to let air back out of the tire first to clear the brakes. and really i can't remember the order in which i did this but think i did it wrong the first time.
anyways, i got out and rode down the street. wow, that felt great! i rode faster than i thought i could. that brings me to another concern: the front and rear brakes are pretty noisy. being inexperienced, i don't know if this is normal or not. the pads are making good contact with the rim but it takes a little too long to slow down, and if i apply enough force i think it's maybe louder than it's supposed to be.
after that quick first ride i made a seat height adjustment and rode around the block trying out the different gears. at some point as i was pedaling it felt like maybe the chain was slipping? i was pedaling hard. then it would all lock up and i could not pedal. that happened a few times. one theory is that because the seat was causing me a lot of discomfort, i was putting more of my weight on the pedals.
i'm going to take it somewhere to get it checked out but i would appreciate any insight. overall the bike feels like a good fit and i would like to put on a new rigid fork and whatever else needs to be done to make it rideable for my purposes. new saddle...road tires?