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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 02-01-12, 06:21 PM   #1
jbancs
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Clyde coming back to biking

After a 5+ year absence from bike riding, I'm wanting to get back into the hobby for multiple reasons. When I got into highschool, because of my size I got sucked into powerlifting, and gained alot of weight (ended up lifting at 465# bodyweight). So far I've started trying to lose weight after injury has taken me out of lifting. I currently weigh 410 down 30 pounds in the last few months. I have been talking with a few local Bike shops trying to get info, but none of them seem to have any experience with a rider of my size, and basically told me I am relegated to a 26" wheel mountain bike because a 700C on-road wheel wouldn't adequately support me. My problem is now I get on here, and see numerous people relatively close to my weight are riding 700C wheels with minimal issues. I am only planning on riding on road with no plans of going trail riding ever, so I thought an on road bike would be what I should look for.


Sorry for the extraordinarily long back story, but my main question is actually a few questions.

1. Can I safely ride an on-road bike with on-road wheels?
2. What wheels would you suggest changing to, if the answer to number 1 is yes.
3. Possible suggestion for bikes to look into in the $1000 price range.


PS. Sorry if I am being "That Guy", but I wasn't able to find my answers after spending the last couple days searching.
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Old 02-01-12, 06:34 PM   #2
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IMO, I honestly couldn't say you'd be ok with a stock $1000 road bike. You'd need a special well built wheel. I'd say atleast $300 minumum for the wheel. Figuring you'd need a 36 quality hub, rim and spokes, plus the build.
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Old 02-01-12, 07:00 PM   #3
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So, a built road wheel would be able to hold me? And would I need to just have a built rear wheel, or front and rear?
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Old 02-01-12, 07:06 PM   #4
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My 2 cents. I have a wheel on my tandem supporting over 400 lbs combined rider weight. But it a Deep V 48 tandem hub.

I rarely think riders need anything that strong but you at your weight, I'm not sure I would recommend a 36 spoke wheel. (others may chime in with experience).

I'd say the rear would need replacement soon after the purchase, if not at the tme of purchase.

The front takes less abuse so I'd say you would be ok for a while rebuild funds. That is if you aren't bombing down mountains at 40 mph with switchbacks.

You "MIGHT" get by with a 36 DeepV but again, someone at your weight would have to chime in with experience.
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Old 02-01-12, 07:12 PM   #5
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Thank you, I appreciate the info. I have more than $1000 to spend, but I was just hoping I could get a decent bike for that much, and then buy/replace anything I need to make it work for me. I am mainly hoping to find a definitive answer, possibly even from someone my size (like you said) who can confirm this would be a wise purchase. If I have to go with what the LBS people told me, so be it, but I was just wanting to see if I can get the bike I want, rather than buying one I don't really like but have to since it is the one that can support me.
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Old 02-01-12, 10:27 PM   #6
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Consider a touring bike. Surly Long Haul Trucker, Trek 520, REI Novarra Radonee, etc. The Surly and Trek come with 36 spoke wheels designed to carry heavy loads and put the rider in a position so he can ride all day.
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Old 02-01-12, 10:36 PM   #7
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Yeah, well..touring bike makes sense..my vintage Voyaguer has a 40h rear wheel.

But honestly, I think a better option is to get a hardtail mountain bike or better yet ...a 29er, with strong wheels and big tires. You'd be surprised how much speed you can generate, and fun you can have, on a 29er with slick-type 2.0 tires. You won't outgrow the bike, and when you are back in tolerances you'll have dozens of sexy road bikes to choose from.

Besides, body proportion-wise you'll look more capable, natural on a 29er. Price-wise, you can grab one on bikesdirect.com.
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Old 02-02-12, 05:33 AM   #8
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Yeah, well..touring bike makes sense..my vintage Voyaguer has a 40h rear wheel.

But honestly, I think a better option is to get a hardtail mountain bike or better yet ...a 29er, with strong wheels and big tires. You'd be surprised how much speed you can generate, and fun you can have, on a 29er with slick-type 2.0 tires. You won't outgrow the bike, and when you are back in tolerances you'll have dozens of sexy road bikes to choose from.

Besides, body proportion-wise you'll look more capable, natural on a 29er. Price-wise, you can grab one on bikesdirect.com.

I prefer to deal with my local shops over shopping on the internet. My local shop is a specialized dealer, so I would probably be looking at either the Hard Rock Sport Disc 29, or the Rock Hopper 29. I don't know too much about bike specs, but what is the main difference between the two to justify the extra 400 or so in price?
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Old 02-02-12, 07:46 AM   #9
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jbancs: I was at your weight 2 1/2 years ago. You didn't say for sure but I'm thinking you're in your early 20's. I'm 55 so I'm glad to see you "waking up" now and not spending much of your life as I did. Let me play the role of old fart and say that consistency is the first obstacle to overcome. I'm literally half the man I used to be and the road to that end is a long one. Many of us that have gone down the road you're choosing started by walking. I suggest setting a goal of 20 minutes/ 3 times a week. You may be thinking "But I can do so much more." The question is "Are You?" 2 or 3 or 30 years from now it will matter little how much you did the first 3 months or so. What will matter is that you didn't burn out and quit. Bikes are really cool don't get me wrong, but a good pair of shoes is the best first investment I made. I recommend Asics GT2170
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Old 02-02-12, 08:18 AM   #10
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jbancs: I was at your weight 2 1/2 years ago. You didn't say for sure but I'm thinking you're in your early 20's. I'm 55 so I'm glad to see you "waking up" now and not spending much of your life as I did. Let me play the role of old fart and say that consistency is the first obstacle to overcome. I'm literally half the man I used to be and the road to that end is a long one. Many of us that have gone down the road you're choosing started by walking. I suggest setting a goal of 20 minutes/ 3 times a week. You may be thinking "But I can do so much more." The question is "Are You?" 2 or 3 or 30 years from now it will matter little how much you did the first 3 months or so. What will matter is that you didn't burn out and quit. Bikes are really cool don't get me wrong, but a good pair of shoes is the best first investment I made. I recommend Asics GT2170
Thank you so much. I'm 26. With the knee injury I sustained my doctor told me that unless I make a big change I'm looking at a new knee before 40. I'm wanting to do everything within my power to keep that from happening.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:20 AM   #11
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jbancs: I was at your weight 2 1/2 years ago. You didn't say for sure but I'm thinking you're in your early 20's. I'm 55 so I'm glad to see you "waking up" now and not spending much of your life as I did. Let me play the role of old fart and say that consistency is the first obstacle to overcome. I'm literally half the man I used to be and the road to that end is a long one. Many of us that have gone down the road you're choosing started by walking. I suggest setting a goal of 20 minutes/ 3 times a week. You may be thinking "But I can do so much more." The question is "Are You?" 2 or 3 or 30 years from now it will matter little how much you did the first 3 months or so. What will matter is that you didn't burn out and quit. Bikes are really cool don't get me wrong, but a good pair of shoes is the best first investment I made. I recommend Asics GT2170
+1.
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Old 02-02-12, 08:23 AM   #12
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Thank you so much. I'm 26. With the knee injury I sustained my doctor told me that unless I make a big change I'm looking at a new knee before 40. I'm wanting to do everything within my power to keep that from happening.
As someone getting both knees replaced in five weeks, I can attest your doctor gives you good advice. Walking is excellent exercise. Swimming too.
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Old 02-02-12, 10:03 AM   #13
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I prefer to deal with my local shops over shopping on the internet. My local shop is a specialized dealer, so I would probably be looking at either the Hard Rock Sport Disc 29, or the Rock Hopper 29. I don't know too much about bike specs, but what is the main difference between the two to justify the extra 400 or so in price?
I don't know those two bikes, but disc brakes - absolutely. Ride 'em, and others, you'll find the one made for you.

Just be cautious about size, my suspicion is many buyers get a 29er a size larger than they should ... a big 29er is a sloppy ride. At your weight I think you also need to be certain the fork has enough preload to keep the geometry right on level ground. Or you could go fully rigid, but I think you will be looking at more expensive bikes. I suspect you will put on an aluminum 29er with a front shock.

A fully rigid 29er made out of carbon or steel...a truly fine ride.

Last edited by FrenchFit; 02-02-12 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 02-02-12, 11:32 AM   #14
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I went to a different lbs this morning before I had to go to work. I can honestly say every lbs should be like this one. Amazingly helpful, exceedingly knowledgeable. I told them all the research I've done, and my preferences, and they let me test ride a few different bikes, and I absolutely fell in love...with a Specialized hardrock. The 29er didn't feel a good to me, and I can't really describe it. I'll post pictures when I pick it up after work today.
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Old 02-02-12, 11:39 AM   #15
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I went to a different lbs this morning before I had to go to work. I can honestly say every lbs should be like this one. Amazingly helpful, exceedingly knowledgeable. I told them all the research I've done, and my preferences, and they let me test ride a few different bikes, and I absolutely fell in love...with a Specialized hardrock. The 29er didn't feel a good to me, and I can't really describe it. I'll post pictures when I pick it up after work today.
The Specialized Hardrock used to be the 'house bike' of the forum. It seemed everyone was riding one. Good choice.
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Old 02-06-12, 07:12 AM   #16
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Here she is after my short morning ride. I've found out I need a new saddle as the factory saddle is just too narrow. I'm going to hopefully measure my sit bones today and begin my search for a new one. Any recommendations?

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