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  1. #1
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    Looking to get into biking

    So I've been looking around for a bike. I made a post on the SoCal sub forum but I'm a big dude so I figured I may get better help here.
    I'm 6'3 350lb and I've been looking mostly at hybrids. My riding will probably consist of 80 road 20 trail. I checke out two LBSs and both recommended the Giant Roam. Trek also seems to have a similar bike in the 8.3 DS. Weighing 350 I'm kinda concerned. Should I be looking at differ t bikes?
    Also, I am able to use a walmart 29" mountain bike. Because of that should I look for a bike just for road riding?

  2. #2
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Don't even think about a WalMart bike. It won't hold up. My suggestion, being a big guy and a former even bigger guy, is to look at a 700c touring or cyclocross frame with 36-spoke wheels and fairly wide double wall rims that will easily take a 32+ mm wide tire (you will also have to check frame clearance for wider tires). Stay away from very narrow rims or spoke counts below 32. Touring and cyclocross frames are generally a bit sturdier and have more tire clearance so you can run wider tires appropriate for trail riding that will still be comfortable and reasonably fast on the road. If you really want to do more offroad then you might want to look into a 29r hardtail, but still stay away from the low end bikes sold at the megastores.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  3. #3
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    I'm closer to 400 and bought an older 2006 vintage Specialized Hardrock. It has 26" tires and the front stock suspension fork. It appears to handle me without much of an issue. I don't hammer it though and take it easy off of curbs and stuff. I'm not "mountain biking" with it and won't attempt to until i lose weight and hopefully get below 300 someday.

    I also just built a Redline R540 hybrid/road bike using 700c tires/wheels and rode it around yesterday. Rides really nicely but i am very careful due to the thin tires/rims.

    I would MUCH rather buy a "needs work" LBS bike on Craigslist rather than any brand spanking new Walmart/dept store bike, period.

  4. #4
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    I originally planned to buy one on Craigslist but I haven't seen many offerings for an XL size.

  5. #5
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    The Giant Roam has a suspension fork, doesn't it? I know a number of the larger riders here counsel against those forks or if the bike has one, to lock it out. You might look at hybrids without a suspension. Maybe someone who knows more about suspension forks than I do could chime in.

    Most of the larger riders mention that it isn't so much the frame that is the issue at higher weights, but with the wheels.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, the Roam has a suspension fork, but it does lock out. The two bike shops I went to recommended the Roam though. I think I'll be going back this weekend and picking up a bike, or at least test riding a couple. I plan to ask some more about the fork because I was somewhat concerned about it being a problem.

    Most of my initial riding will be on the road. Down at the beach or riding to my friend's house. Will I run into a problem with the Roam? I like the idea of being able to do some trails at some point later without having to buy another bike.
    Last edited by mojoe_24; 02-13-12 at 10:38 PM.

  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    The problem with a suspension fork is that it eats into the energy in your pedal stroke. Also, avoid a suspension seatpost for the same reason.

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojoe_24 View Post
    Yeah, the Roam has a suspension fork, but it does lock out. The two bike shops I went to recommended the Roam though. I think I'll be going back this weekend and picking up a bike, or at least test riding a couple. I plan to ask some more about the fork because I was somewhat concerned about it being a problem.

    Most of my initial riding will be on the road. Down at the beach or riding to my friend's house. Will I run into a problem with the Roam? I like the idea of being able to do some trails at some point later without having to buy another bike.
    Depends on the trail. I take my Trek 7.5fx on rail trails - paved, pea gravel, dirt. I don't do any hard core mountain biking with it, however.

  9. #9
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    I would MUCH rather buy a "needs work" LBS bike on Craigslist rather than any brand spanking new Walmart/dept store bike, period.
    +1 on that. I've gotten some fair deals on CL. Right now I'm fixing up a $55 pawn shop find for someone my wife works with. A late 80's Diamondback MTB. Needs some work to make it rideable and safe, but it's got good bones and decent components. Should end up with a good beginners bike for about $100 investment.

    If you are just starting out, though, you won't yet have all the tools or know how to fix up something in bad shape. There must be a thread here on BF with advice on what to look for in a used bike.

    A well made wheel is pretty strong. At my heaviest, I was getting close to 300 pounds and the wheels on my Bianchi road bike held up just great. A bike store quality MTB or hybrid shouldn't be any problem.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  10. #10
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    I have read here about a few clydes (including Neil B) having trek FX series bikes and enjoying them. The best way to get a new bike is to actually ride it so get yourself out and do some test rides. http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/fitness/fx

  11. #11
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    I'll have to check out the FX when I go back to the bike shop this weekend. Right now I'm leaning towards picking up the Roam, but I'll definitely check out some without the front suspension.
    Last edited by mojoe_24; 02-14-12 at 08:03 PM.

  12. #12
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by iforgotmename View Post
    I have read here about a few clydes (including Neil B) having trek FX series bikes and enjoying them. The best way to get a new bike is to actually ride it so get yourself out and do some test rides. http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/fitness/fx
    You've even ridden with a clyde riding a Trek fx. Or have you forgotten already? :-)

  13. #13
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    You've even ridden with a clyde riding a Trek fx. Or have you forgotten already? :-)
    Come on Neil...you are unforgettable

  14. #14
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    If your looking to do more road riding now, but want the MTB, consider getting the MTB and having the LBS put on slicks (tires with no tread). They can explain the different sizes and plus/minuses of each. If you find down the road you want to do both, get a second set of rims. One for on road & one for off road. My guess is, if you get into biking, you will have not problem getting a second bike. It's a mindset that you will understand at a later date.

    When my kids were small and my riding was very limited. My mileage was low and so was my level of fitness. I had thin slicks on my MTB for road riding. I liked the triple because of the many gears. It kept me in the saddle for short rides.

    Good luck!!

  15. #15
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    You don't think the Roam would be a good option then?

  16. #16
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    Hard to answer, as you get into biking you will find that your needs and wants change. If road riding is what you'll do the most, the roam may be overkill......or you can get it and lock it out when on the road and have it available for off roading.

  17. #17
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lenny866 View Post
    If your looking to do more road riding now, but want the MTB, consider getting the MTB and having the LBS put on slicks (tires with no tread).
    I have something in between on my utility bike. About $15 apiece, so nothing fancy about them. Nice and smooth on the road and enough bite for gravel and light trails.
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    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  18. #18
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    It's been a while, but I plan on picking up a bike tomorrow. I was gonna get one last month, but ran into some financial issues. Just got my tax return though so I'm good to go, lol. Still undecided on the bike though. I'm still leaning towards the Roam 1, but I plan to ask the shop about putting slicks on a MTB (most likely a 29er). I'm also gonna ask to try out a cyclocross or road bike. Not sure how much I'll like the riding position though.

  19. #19
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    MoJoe
    I'm 6'3" and 380 at one time and currently 360.
    I started on a Giant Cypress DX and rode that bike without problem for about 5 years. I did lock out the front shocks. Eventually, it developed spoke issues and the back rim needed to be replaced with something more sturdy. I still ride it and have also purchased a 2012 cannondale cx caad 5. It has less spoke count per wheel but is a very sturdy bike.
    I like the Roam I and wish I had disk brakes. I would not worry about the durability of the bike unless you decide to ride it beyond its capability/design. My Cypress was around $300 and the wheels began giving me fits after trying to ride the bike across Kansas during consequtive 60 mile plus days. The bike clearly was not built for that type of abuse. What did I expect, the bike costs $300 new - some people spend that amount on a set of wheels.

  20. #20
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    The Roam 1 will be $580 which is a little more than I wanted to spend, but from what I've read the disc brakes are worth the extra money.

  21. #21
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Well, don't forget that once you have a bike, you'll need a helmet, tools (at least a few hex wrenches), spare tubes, patch kit, water bottles, blah blah blah. SO do leave some room in your budget for that kind of thing.

  22. #22
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    I've thought about that. The place I plan on going to said I it'd be about $650 out the door for everything I'd need.

  23. #23
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    I was stupid and didn't think about there being a withdrawal limit at the bank. The bike shop I'm gonna go to doesn't charge tax if paying with cash so I'm gonna have to go tomorrow to pick up a bike as the banks are closed and I have a $500 limit on ATM withdrawal.

    The more I look around at bikes though the more I think about getting a road bike. Is that an option for someone my size (and with my budget)? Budget wise it seems like it may be difficult to find a road bike. I was looking online and found this though: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../liberty_2.htm From what I could find the reviews for that bike seem pretty good, but I'm a little iffy about not being able to try it out before I buy it.

  24. #24
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojoe_24 View Post
    I was stupid and didn't think about there being a withdrawal limit at the bank. The bike shop I'm gonna go to doesn't charge tax if paying with cash so I'm gonna have to go tomorrow to pick up a bike as the banks are closed and I have a $500 limit on ATM withdrawal.

    The more I look around at bikes though the more I think about getting a road bike. Is that an option for someone my size (and with my budget)? Budget wise it seems like it may be difficult to find a road bike. I was looking online and found this though: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../liberty_2.htm From what I could find the reviews for that bike seem pretty good, but I'm a little iffy about not being able to try it out before I buy it.
    "Doesn't charge tax if paying cash"? Sounds like a tax dodge and probably an illegal one rather than simple avoidance. It's obviously up to you if you want to play that game but if you don't get a full receipt with your bike be aware they probably get to wash their hands of the situation if you ride it up the road and it breaks. If you're looking at 6-8% of $650 you're talking about saving maybe $50. For myself I think I'd take the warranty over a $50 saving, especially as a heavy rider.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  25. #25
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    Well, it's a trustworthy shop. It's been around for years.

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