Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Minnesota/Arizona and between
Bikes: Trek Madone 4.7 WSD, 1969 Schwinn Collegiate, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Terry Classic, Serotta Classique, Giant Liv
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Someone should make a list. Or at least a list of threads.
I must say, congratulations on the weight loss. You have come a long way!
My husband bought an inexpensive bike last year as he wasn't sure he wanted to ride. He bought a Trek Navigator. He weighed just a bit less than you at the time. The bike has been sturdy enough for him, though he did need to change the seatpost clamp. He got a prior years model and ended up paying a little more than half of the list price. THe bike is a tank. Now that he is riding more he is thinking about upgrading to a lighter bike, though still a hybrid design.
What the guys here say is that the major limiting factor for heavier riders is not the frame of the bike but the wheels. Weight may cause them to go out of true and to break spokes. You may end up having to upgrade wheels at some point to one with a higher spoke count. My husband's Trek Navigator has 26 inch wheels with pretty large tires, though not with a lot of tread. They have held up well.
You can also try Craigslist in your area and run some possibilities past the guys here.