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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 05-01-12, 09:06 PM   #1
REDBEARD_WS
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Need some reccomendations for my lovely athena

Hey everyone. Since I got into cycling bout a month ago to spend time with my woman we've tried to ride as much as possible together. Her bike is a schwinn sidewinder MTB. And we have realized its too tall for her. This is a bad thing as she was never allowed to ride on road when she was a child and is very scared of alot now. Tho I did just get her into shifting gears to compensate for terrain(small hills we are super flatland here.) Anywho we need to find her a nice comfy and properly sized bike.after checking her inseem and matching online it looks like we need a 54cm hybrid/comfort bike. We are tight on a budget right now so the$250 range is about what we can swing. Was thinkin bout just hitting target/walmart/dicks and tryin to fit her but I am open to all suggestions. She is 5'4 233lbs

Thanx in advance
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Old 05-02-12, 03:00 AM   #2
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I wouldn't get hung up on the size being 54cm. I am 5'5" and my comfort bike is a 16 1/2" Trek Navigator 2.0, and my hybrid is a 17"/43cm Trek FX. I can recommend either of those or the Trek 7000 series (only know Trek) for your wife, but new they are out of your price range. You might check a local bike shop (LBS) to see if they might have anything on close-out from last year at a super low price. Your wife needs to look at and ride several types and brands to see what fits and what she likes. If the the new price is too much, look for a used one.

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Old 05-02-12, 05:50 AM   #3
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For $250, I'd find her an older chrome moly MTB and put on some cruiser tires and a comfortable seat, maybe swap for a riser handlebar. My wife rides a 1990s Trek 820 antelope with hybrid tires, a cruiser seat and 2.5" riser bar. She likes the upright cruiser riding position and loves the bike. She rides strictly for light commuting and recreation so this works out perfectly for her.

I've had good luck buying used MTBs from reputable LBSs for anywhere from $75 to $150. A good LBS will give a used bike a good cleaning, basic service and adjust, and make sure that it is fit to ride. Craigs List, pawn shops, yard sales etc. are a crap shoot and you really need to know your bikes or you can end up buying someone elses problems.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:37 AM   #4
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Myosith, that is a good idea for buying used bikes. When I was bike shopping in Minneapolis I found a number of small business guys who would get used bikes, fix them up, and sell them. Some just did Craigslist but others had actual shops. Maybe your area has folks that do the same. I looked at some of the bikes, they had some great choices, just none that worked for me.

My husband last spring bought a low end Trek Navigator new from a bike shop for half price as it was a prior year model. That is also something to look for.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:44 AM   #5
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http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._sporterra.htm

I know its out of the price range but maybe if you save a little more shed enjoy this, or even find it used. My gf loves it becuase shifting a breeze with the internal gears and its really fast. If the price is to high id stick to CL. Im always seeing a bunch of those trek 7.1 and such for real cheap. good luck
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Old 05-02-12, 07:50 AM   #6
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If you decide to go the used route, you can post links to the ads here, in order get feedback on if it might be a good deal. I snagged a really nice GT Vantara hybrid earlier this year for $40 from a CL ad. I don't know how it was still available by the time I got to it. Usually the flippers get to those really great deals within hours.
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Old 05-02-12, 09:54 AM   #7
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What do you ride? Make sure whatever you get her is at least as capable as what you are riding. Going used will be your best bet. Should be able to pick up something appropriate and have enough left over to deal with whatever minor issues it may have. Lastly, my 5' 9" wife rides 18" MTB & comfort bikes and a 54cm road bike so you will probably looking for stuff closer to 16" for MTBs and 50cm for road bikes.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:54 AM   #8
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I'm currently on a giant sedona st with a extra wide saddle.(till I can get my buns measured). She was lookin at some of the schwinns at target....any reason to avoid them?
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Old 05-02-12, 01:01 PM   #9
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^^ yes.... the components will wear out and you'll have a throw away. Do the craigslist thing, and DO stick to her correct size.
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Old 05-02-12, 01:21 PM   #10
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Crank forward frame designs, like Trek Pure are good for many unsure riders,
because, they stop flat footed, but leg extension is as required for good ergonomics.

That design is not suitable for a Front derailleur, they come with 1 chainring..

but a rear wheel upgrade to a SRAM dual drive, a cassette + a internal 3 speed, makes that up.
Sturmey-Archer offers a similar hub these days..

you use the same 8 speed cassette.
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Old 05-02-12, 01:34 PM   #11
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I asked for and received my first ever not-mountain bike last year in February. It is a Target Schwinn Gateway. I rode it all over during my lunch breaks. We moved here to Oregon over the summer and I began commuting daily with it with the start of the school year in August. I'm proud to say that Zoomie has taken me through my first winter with only a few scrapes (I learn too late how to stud my tires- now I know for next year!). I've only had to tinker a little bit with it.

At around $150, you could have some money left over to get lights or a basket or something.

I have a green Sterilite crate bungeed to my rack. I have the Bell Radian light set, but be gentle with them- it is extremely easy to over-tighten the screws and rip the nuts right out of it. I swapped my lights to another bike once and now I need to figure out how to secure the headlight. They are bright and noticeable though. My headlight is mounted "sideways" like the rear one- i swapped the straight pads for the angled ones- my rear light is bungeed under the edge of the crate. I also have a bell and a handlebar cup-holder to hold my water bottle.

At Target this bike is called the Schwinn Gateway. Cream and brown women's frame. Brown sparkly men's version (gorgeous!).
At Walmart it is a Schwinn Admiral. White with red. Never seen the men's version, though Schwinn claims there is one.
At Kmart it is a Schwinn Wayfarer. White with pink accents. The men's is black. I think these also come in gray.

Check
Schwinnbikes.com under the "cruiser" section- they should all be there, though the Gateway shows up as teal now.

I've used my bike very hard, in my opinion. I may upgrade to a more expensive bike later on, with components that are supposed to be better, but I don't regret getting this bike. It is wonderful to start out on getting into cycling.

Oh, and you can click on "My Bicycle" in my signature to see photos.

Last edited by redeyedtreefr0g; 05-02-12 at 01:35 PM. Reason: point to signature for pictures
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Old 05-02-12, 03:36 PM   #12
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If I had a budget of $250 and lived somewhere flat, this is what I'd get: http://easternshore.craigslist.org/bik/2975651532.html

I ride for fun and to get around and being able to put my feet on the ground easily when I stop is the most important factor for me when I'm picking a bike. I'm 5'4" with short legs and a long torso and the only department store bike that fit me was a feet-forward Huffy that I found at Academy for $140. It lasted six months before it broke beyond repair. Then I bought a Schwinn Suburban and it felt very nice and smooth after the Huffy, but it was just too tall and the suspension seat post was not my thing at all. After that I saved up and bought an Electra. I bought one with several speeds because I do ride on hills, but rarely find myself switching gears because I just don't need to. My daughter rides a Giant MTB and she can't keep up with her fat old mom on the hills

For a rider who is not very confident yet, wider tires and the ability to put your feet on the ground well is important.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:23 PM   #13
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For someone 5'-4", a 54cm frame seems very large. I'm 5'-8", inseam 31", and that's my size. (Or at least, it used to be when bikes had level top tubes. Now a lot of bikes have the "compact" frame design, with sloping top tubes, and it seems I now need a 51cm in some models.)
If at all possible, visit some bike shops to get an idea of sizes. I suspect she may actually need a smaller size. Top tube length is more important than stand-over clearance, but she'll want to have stand-over height at least 1" lower than her inseam measurement.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:41 PM   #14
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Her inseam is 28". She does want a multi speed bike. We do have some small hills here that we have to downshift for. No real climbs but enuff where we downshift. I'm loving all the opinions everyone and investigating all options....sadly the only used bike I found was a beat to death trek mtb
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Old 05-02-12, 08:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by REDBEARD_WS View Post
Her inseam is 28". She does want a multi speed bike. We do have some small hills here that we have to downshift for. No real climbs but enuff where we downshift. I'm loving all the opinions everyone and investigating all options....sadly the only used bike I found was a beat to death trek mtb
how badly beaten ? if the frame is still sold, the rest may just need some love.
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Old 05-02-12, 08:53 PM   #16
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Scratched and dented...alot
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Old 05-02-12, 09:15 PM   #17
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Myosith, that is a good idea for buying used bikes. When I was bike shopping in Minneapolis I found a number of small business guys who would get used bikes, fix them up, and sell them. Some just did Craigslist but others had actual shops. Maybe your area has folks that do the same. I looked at some of the bikes, they had some great choices, just none that worked for me.

My husband last spring bought a low end Trek Navigator new from a bike shop for half price as it was a prior year model. That is also something to look for.
To give a suggestion along the same lines as Myo and Golden have given, there's a bike co-op in Wilmington Delaware only a few hours from you that sells used bikes in good condition for good prices. Alot of the local mechanics volunteer time there and I routinely see people coming into the shop with bikes from there that they got for a great price. I belive it's called Urban Bike Project.
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Old 05-03-12, 04:52 PM   #18
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Hey guys I know someone said that a bike from target was crappy but we just saw a schwinn with shimano cassette, and derailer, quando hub, and wheels are 36 spoke. Front shock setup is "sr suntour" the bike is a schwinn clear creek womans comfort series....any reccomends.? Were goin to dicks now to check out some diamondbacks
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Old 05-03-12, 05:38 PM   #19
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Ok so at dicks we saw a diamondback sirene classic with shimano gearsing and shimano revoshift. . This one was just under 300 and schwinn was 200....sadly were trying to get a house and she just wants to do some 10 mile rides a few times a week. And honest reasons these bikes wouldn't hold up
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Old 05-04-12, 09:23 AM   #20
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I started on a Diamondback comfort bike from dick'ssporting goods a few years ago...I think it was on sale for $275. It was perfect for me in my first year of riding. Sure, it was kinda heavy, but it served my purposes well.
I still have it and use it occassionally on packed gravel trails.
Every now and then the rear derauilleur would need to be adjusted,and I would bring it in and they woudl adjust for me (no charge. I think technically the guy was supposed to charge me, but he was nice abuot it and it only took him 2 seconds).
I think this will be just fine for her short rides
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Old 05-05-12, 05:33 AM   #21
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From what I've seen there, the Diamondback/Nishiki's that Dicks sells seem a step above the other boxstores
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Old 05-05-12, 10:22 AM   #22
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My husband has a Diamondback. The quality is definitely better than the Walmart bike it replaced. He says it's a lot more comfortable, he can ride faster, and he's willing (sometimes) to go for longer rides on it because he knows he's not going to be sore for days after the ride. To me, the quality is similiar to the more expensive department-store Schwinn bikes. I bought his bike used at Goodwill for $40 and even though it's ten years old and had definitely been ridden a lot, everything was still in good shape and didn't require much adjusting at all.
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