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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 04-21-12, 07:49 AM   #1
bwh318
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Already yearning for a new bike (3 weeks in!)

I got back into cycling three weeks ago and bought a used Schwinn MTB for a good price, but now that I'm getting into it, I'm realizing that having the heavy mountain bike probably isn't good for the rides I'm taking.

I'm leaning towards buying a lighter hybrid bike just because I've never liked the idea of drops and I'm not looking to race or do anything like that, but I'd like something that lends itself to nice road rides but that isn't going to feel like I have an anchor strapped to my waist on a 2% grade. Now, I understand that my engine needs upgrading (3 weeks ago "out of shape" would've been doing me some justice), but should I look at something like a hybrid or a road bike (giving the drops a chance)?

One of my primary concerns with getting a pure road bike is that where I live there are a lot of sketchy roads and some gravel, and I don't want to deal with a lot of flats. Any advice?
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Old 04-21-12, 08:18 AM   #2
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Ride a couple of each and see. And remember, having a drop bar bike doesn't necessitate skinny tires. My cyclocross bike has 700x32 all terrain tires that eat up gravel (and wider/knobbier than the tires on my hybrid), yet it's pretty darn quick on pavement. Also, you can get skinny tires that are extremely puncture resistant, so you have a lot of options. I commuted for a while on my skinny tire bike with no problems whatsoever, and a lot of people on BF do the same.

For me, my first adult bike was a hybrid, but I quickly started pining for a road bike...part of it was ego (hybrids don't have the same "cool" factor) and part was having what is, IMHO, more flexibility with drop bars. YMMV.
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Old 04-21-12, 10:07 AM   #3
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I was originally going to get a flat bar hybrid/road/multi-purpose bike and after testing a couple, I realized that you have a lot more hand positions options with the drop downs bars. I can ride sitting up with multiple hand positions, leaning forward, and dropped down. Go to your LBS and ride several different bikes and see what you feel most comfortable on.
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Old 04-21-12, 10:20 AM   #4
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Get the road bike. You can move your hands around in many positions.

No one likes flats, but guess what?
Wind and flats are part of bike riding.

Here is yesterdays pic, 52 miles on a 19 lb road bike.

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Old 04-21-12, 10:22 AM   #5
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I would not recommend a new bike for you at this time for a few reasons:
1-As you said, your engine needs upgrading. You are posting in C/A which means you are probably looking to lose some weight. Losing some weight before going to a lighter bike will save wear and tear on the new one. It should last longer that way.
2-Be your own mechanic. LBS can get spendy. If you keep riding your MTB it will need servicing, and you can learn yourself how to do it. You won't be perfect with your repairs, perhaps even messing things up the first try, but you will learn. If you stick with it you should be a proficient mechanic when you get your new bike and will be able to keep it tuned up yourself.
3-You have no idea how your interests will change in just 3 more weeks! I started with a comfort hybrid, then flat-bar road bike hybrid, then added drops to hybrid, now ride a fixed gear bike with touring wheels. That was a 2yr evolution, you might do the same thing so keep that in mind.

[Edit: You can do other things to add speed to your MTB like slick tires in the mean time]

Last edited by john4789; 04-21-12 at 10:26 AM. Reason: incomplete recommendation
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Old 04-21-12, 10:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by john4789 View Post
I would not recommend a new bike for you at this time for a few reasons:
1-As you said, your engine needs upgrading. You are posting in C/A which means you are probably looking to lose some weight. Losing some weight before going to a lighter bike will save wear and tear on the new one. It should last longer that way.
True, but I'm only 215 now, and I'll be sub-200 in no time.

I agree that my interests may change, and I'm certainly not going to go buy a carbon C-dale or anything soon, but I'm thinking about getting into a 2010-11 mid-level used or 2012 entry-level new bike. The more I read about them, the more I'm leaning towards a road bike with some drops. Who knows...maybe I'll run across the bike of my dreams this weekend.
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Old 04-21-12, 11:47 AM   #7
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I started last year on hybrid that was more road bike than path/mtn bike. I swore I would NEVER ride a road bike.

This year, I am riding....a new road bike.

You already have a mtn bike in case you want to do any trails, or paths. Go for the road bike next! If you are not totally comfortable on it, look for one with a more relaxed geometry. Good luck!
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Old 04-21-12, 11:54 AM   #8
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SO buy a used road bike... use it for a year and then hawk it and buy another one that more closely suits your interests (when you figure out what you want). Don't be the guy that loses money on the new bike.
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Old 04-21-12, 12:06 PM   #9
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Best way I know of determining what kind of bike you want is to get over to the LBS and test ride some bikes.
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Old 04-21-12, 02:11 PM   #10
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Best way I know of determining what kind of bike you want is to get over to the LBS and test ride some bikes.
Yup.

I love my road bike and I love my hybrid bike. I ride my hybrid bike more. I hardly rode my road bike at all this winter because of the quality of the roads and the number of flats I was getting.

I am thinking of getting a mountain bike. I'll probably love that too.
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Old 04-21-12, 03:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bwh318 View Post
True, but I'm only 215 now, and I'll be sub-200 in no time.

I agree that my interests may change, and I'm certainly not going to go buy a carbon C-dale or anything soon, but I'm thinking about getting into a 2010-11 mid-level used or 2012 entry-level new bike. The more I read about them, the more I'm leaning towards a road bike with some drops. Who knows...maybe I'll run across the bike of my dreams this weekend.
Touring and cyclocross bikes offer drops, plus a bit more bad-road capability, durability and all-day comfort than road bikes provide. They also accommodate racks if you want to take some stuff with you, fenders if you might get caught in the rain, and fat, tough, comfy tires. You lose some speed and gain a ton of versatility. Cross brakes, standard on many CX bikes and some tourers, allow you to ride drop bars on top as if they were flat bars: handy in traffic or on the paths and trails. It only costs about $30 or $40 to add them if they don't come with your bike.
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Old 04-21-12, 06:03 PM   #12
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+1 to looking at Cyclocross and touring bikes. Though I've ended up somewhere else in what I like to ride distances, they're great all rounders. Plus they often take racks and fenders pretty easily. Surly, Soma, Salsa and Jamis all have some decent offerings. Don't be in a rush to buy a new bike unless it REALLY doesn't fit well, you're probably going to go thru 2-3 bikes before you start to figure out how you ride and what you like. But ride lots of different stuff and more than just around a parking lot. Shops will sometimes let you take a bike out for a bit. If you're looking at drop bars, be aware that there are lots of different kinds so what works for you may not be the one that comes on the bike you're looking at.

Personally I can't stand aluminum or carbon fiber bikes that I've gotten on, some people love em. Since I can't afford titanium, I stick with steel. I don't really like a bolt upright position due to having gorilla arms and prefer drop bars around 1 inch below the saddle height. Some love flat bars. But there's a wide range of bikes and geometries etc... Look around on Craigslist and at the bike shops in your area for deals on used stuff. You may end up loving a 20 year old Fuji more than a recent Trek. If you're looking for used stuff, some of the best deals are now (when people are cleaning garages) and early fall (August/September) when people get upgraditis and the new stuff tends to be coming out or at least announced.

New tires and switching out handlebars can be pretty inexpensive ways to try different things out. If you're streets on knobblies, switch out to smoother cyclocross or touring tires the resistance of the tires may be more of the issue than the weight of the bike. Continental, Panaracer, Vittoria and Schwalbe all have good offerings.
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Old 04-21-12, 06:37 PM   #13
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I did the smooth tires on the MTB for a couple weeks. Thought about going all out, but went for a cheap (the derogatory term around here is "BSO", Bicycle Shaped Object, for a Wal-Mart bike) aluminum road bike instead. Love it, because I love to fly, as much as a 245lb guy can, even on the MTB with knobbed tires. It's an appreciable difference with a road bike. But I find times I wish it could do what the MTB could do due to the state of the roads where I live.

Every bike has it's benefits and drawbacks depending on the circumstances and what you need and want out of a bike. I want more speed, so I'm sticking with a road for my next "real" bike. Looking hard at Masi right now. Next question is: Aluminum or steel? LOL

Honestly, I believe that you know what the limitations of a road bike are and that you're willing to accept them for getting out of a road bike what it's meant for. I think you're just looking for permission, so-to-speak. So, go for it!

Last edited by StrawHousePig; 04-21-12 at 06:41 PM. Reason: Clarity?
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