As a newbie, I would appreciate some input on the following subject...
I'm a 6ft 290lb newbie commuting Clydesdale (sorta like a travelling wilbury sans the talent and with more weight! ) Three months ago, I decided to live as car-free as possible and went out and bought a budget bicycle which is used to get to work and also commute locally. Initially I was planning on getting a really descent bike, but decided to buy something cheaper because I'm in the process of finding a new apartment and my current one doesn't have a safe place to store the bike, secondly I wasn't sure I'd be able to actually become a commuter.
Here's the bike when I purchased it without all the extras.
Here's the question: After purchasing the bike, I've had to add a number of items deemed necessary for my convenience and safety. I know I'm pushing the limits of the bike with my 290lbs, but how much is too much when it comes to add-on's before the thing starts flying apart?
Here's a list of items added, or already on the bike itself...
Metal fenders (came with the bike)
Rear metal rack - / / -
Plastic chain guard - / / -
Reflectors/stock lights - / / -
Classic bell - / / -
Front xenon light along with led backup
Rear 9-led light
Budget frame mounted pump
Onguard Rottweiler bike lock
Dual 28-liter rear panniers mostly half filled with light objects
Frame pouch/pannier that hold some basic tools, wallet, cellphone
...also I would like to upgrade my lighting solution since I will be commuting during the night when winter comes; this along with the purchase of a AirZound.
So far the bikes stood up with minor repairs due to quality, and I've been an extremely careful rider (avoid potholes, never drop to the curb with my weight on it, etc). I' worried that even if I purchase a better quality bike when I eventually move, I'll still be pushing the bikes limits on weight. Except for tearing everything off, what would you suggest as an alternative (special bike, adding some sort of support, etc). Please keep in mind that I'm also loosing weight as well, but at a slow pace.