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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 05-28-12, 03:31 PM   #1
Jaegur
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It's one of 'those' threads. New person/Bike help from hell!

First off, hello! I just spent the last hour over in the the before/after and the embarrassed thread, and you guys all seem pretty cool, so figured I'd throw this thread up. I did search a few pages back, but didn't find what I was looking for, surprisingly.

My name is Ray, and I am currently around the 360lb mark. My wife is like.. 130lbs, and expressed interest again the other day in bike riding. We own two bikes, but we bought them at wal-mart five years ago and I've ridden mine once. (I was an over-the-road driver, so it was a great excuse not to have time to ride it.) Now, I'm afraid to get on it since I've gained, lost, and then gained back some weight, and I really don't want to risk killing some innocent creature when the bike turns into paper mache beneath me.

So I have been looking around at various forums and landed on here. As I said, I'm around 360, 6'3", dread bicycle shorts. I think my head is still spinning from looking up information on tire sizes, frames, seats, psi for tires, and such. In my mind I want a mountain bike, but I could be wrong. Our riding will likely be on a lot of trails, concrete and dirt, through the forest preserves of Chicagoland, so I'm sure I'd need at least a few gears to change into during rides.

I thought about going to my LBS, as you folks say, but the reviews I've read on it are all horrible. I'll probably steal all the information I can from here, then find a nice place in another town, or craigslist.

Help!


Hmmm... during all that rambling, did I mention that I am in desperate need of help in figuring out what bike would best suit me at my current weight and level of riding? Oh, also, money is a problem. I will have to talk my wife into letting me buy a bike, when I have one sitting in the storage at her parents condo. Sooo... under 500 would be ideal, if that's even possible.


Thank you in advance for any and all advice!
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Old 05-28-12, 04:16 PM   #2
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Sounds to me as though you might be looking for a mountain bike style? Mostly off road? At first I thought hybrid, but then re read. Does not seem full suspension would be needed, but shock fork would be nice. Under $500 will be tough at a LBS. I like the new 29rs,

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._trail_xii.htm

Or something similar. I think Diamond back has one as well under $500.
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Old 05-28-12, 04:28 PM   #3
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Maybe check REI and Performance Bikes as both provide some level of support and have bike mechanics. At least I think REI does.
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Old 05-28-12, 04:46 PM   #4
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A mountain bike might be up your ally really. You can change the tires to make it more road friendly when the time comes. I use a mountain bike when I commute to work daily.

Dont be discouraged. I started off at 360 pounds and by riding and watching what I ate, I am doing pretty well. Riding is not 100% of the answer.... eating right is VERY important but I just wanted you to know to not be discouraged at all. A lot of us are there/have been there and can help you along the way.

p.s. and yes, at 360 pounds I wore bike shorts. It is about MY COMFORT... no one elses!
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Old 05-28-12, 04:58 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info so far guys! I really do think a mountain bike is what I need, and I'm looking around the perfomance bike site right now, they have a memorial day sale going on, but one thing I can't seem to find most of the time is a weight limit rating. I see it on some of the sites that don't cater to just bikes, but it seems like on the sites that are all about biking they assume I know more than foot+pedal=go. Is there a formula or something to figure out if a frame I'm looking at will suit me?




This one for instance: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...551_1096075_-1



Also: Thanks Chef! I've been dieting for a few months now and am down about 20 pounds, but I'm to the point where I'd like to throw in some exercise, and since the wife hates tennis...

Last edited by Jaegur; 05-28-12 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 05-28-12, 05:13 PM   #6
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...p.s. and yes, at 360 pounds I wore bike shorts. It is about MY COMFORT... no one elses!
+1

To the OP, I might recommend that you definitely reserve some of that money to upgrade the wheels. Unless you get some great ones right off. MTB wheels will probably be more durable than roadie wheels, but you might not know...

Also, did the reviews specifically knock your LBS? Or were they knocks against LBS in general? If the latter, let me counter that:

My LBS is awesome. It's pretty much a 1-man show, and he really takes care of me. Gives me a 20% discount without me asking and sometimes doesn't even charge labor. Our relationship got to this point by me being a regular customer, even if I don't buy anything. My son & I stop by after a long ride and just hang out in the AC. He even lets us raid his Gatorade supply free-of-charge (I've only eve taken him up on it twice). I made sure last Christmas to get him a 6-pack of Fat Tire Ale to say thanks.

Develop a relationship with a LBS--it can be worth it.
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Old 05-28-12, 05:19 PM   #7
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It was just that particular LBS. The review went like this:

Quote:
Everything in this store is so over priced. I actually wanted to support a neighborhood bike shop like this until I came here. Also that guy that works in the back was saying all kind of profanity at my decision I made he's the guy with the weird eyeballs and ponytail the owner was their and didn't tell him to stop his profanity. I mean why charge so much to put on a bicycle tube that should be cheaper if not a free service. Their products are cheap china ordered material I bought a light kit for my bike and it snapped of into pieces that same day. They did not want to give me a refund. PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS STORE IT IS A SORRY EXCUSE FOR WHAT WAS CUSTOMER SERVICE..... they are expensive and don't really take care of their customer's. The only thing you will feel leaving this place is broke.



It's the only one, so I may check it out anyway just to see for myself, but it's kind of off-putting, lol.
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Old 05-28-12, 05:27 PM   #8
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My advice is probably not what you want to hear and boring.
#1 - Start a diet. It doesn't have to be fancy, or on the NY Times best sellers list. Eat less food.

2# - Ride the bike you have until it breaks. If you get on it, and the wheels go out of round, have the spokes re-tensioned and the wheel trued. Your wife will gladly let you have a new bike (or a good used bike) when you've worn out the bike you have.
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Old 05-28-12, 05:40 PM   #9
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My advice is probably not what you want to hear and boring.
#1 - Start a diet. It doesn't have to be fancy, or on the NY Times best sellers list. Eat less food.

2# - Ride the bike you have until it breaks. If you get on it, and the wheels go out of round, have the spokes re-tensioned and the wheel trued. Your wife will gladly let you have a new bike (or a good used bike) when you've worn out the bike you have.


I've been on a diet for a few months, not a strict one, but one that cuts my 'needed' calories by about 1000, in which I eat whole grain cereal for breakfast, usually ham or turkey on whole grain bread for lunch, and either chicken breast, rice, or salad for dinner with koshi protein bar and nuts for snacks in between.


I really had thought to do as you say, wearing the one bike out, but it's been in storage for like five years and ridden a few times each year when she would go riding with her mom, or a friend, so I'm sure the tires themselves probably aren't in the best of shape. Besides, her mom uses that one... I'd hate to explain how I broke it, lol.
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Old 05-28-12, 05:47 PM   #10
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Might work for you:

http://chicago.craigslist.org/sox/bik/3034462574.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/bik/3043335415.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/bik/3043325673.html

http://chicago.craigslist.org/sox/bik/3004644361.html
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Old 05-28-12, 06:33 PM   #11
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Thanks 10 Wheels! I really like http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/bik/3043325673.html that one, it's got some good reviews.
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Old 05-28-12, 06:35 PM   #12
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Thanks 10 Wheels! I really like http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/bik/3043325673.html that one, it's got some good reviews.
Cool, hope you can go look at it.
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Old 05-28-12, 06:54 PM   #13
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It was just that particular LBS. The review went like this:




It's the only one, so I may check it out anyway just to see for myself, but it's kind of off-putting, lol. [/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]
I say go in and make up your own mind. You just don't know what sort of axe someone has to grind. Unless you develop your own bike repair skills, you will need to have a relationship with at least one LBS, whether you buy a bike from them or not.
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Old 05-28-12, 09:57 PM   #14
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There are so many negative reviews out there from cheap skates who want everything for free. LBS has rent to pay too...

I usually prefer to read negative reviews but I am also pretty careful about what I'm looking for and the "he made me mad" retaliatory reviews are worthless IMO.

Still, at your price point, craigs list is probably your best bet. If you can find a mountain bike with *no* suspension or cyclocross bike, I'd start there.
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Old 05-28-12, 10:02 PM   #15
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I've gotten in touch with the guy about this one: http://chicago.craigslist.org/wcl/bik/3043325673.html Just waiting to set up a time to go see it.


What should I look for in particular as far as wear/tear, missing parts, things that shouldn't move or be loose?
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Old 05-28-12, 10:16 PM   #16
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Jaegur, dont know where about you are in chicago land but this bike is nice, but the Bike shop is awesome. Great service and no salesmen type of thing. they have been around a long time and for a good reason.

http://www.rudysbikes.com/schwinn/20...terrasport.php

But as a few said hear, you can ride what you got. a $75 tune up it will be good to go.

I started last year on a $70 single speed beach cruiser from walmart. which i still have and use to commute to work.

nothing wrong with bike shorts on big guys. that said them make bike shorts "underwear". thats what i wear and i toss some soccer shorts over them. (soccer because bball shorts are too long)

Biking is great exercise, fun as all heck, fresh air, seeing you neighborhood, its all around awesome. BUT its exercise and it will help get stronger and healthier BUT its not what is going to take the pounds off. an Eating change is 80% of what will. Thats my biggest issue, i cant break my bad eating habits.

remember you cant out-train bad eating. believe me i tried many times.

good luck and when you get an itch to go to a road bike (trust me it will eventually happen), i am in your area and you are welcome to test mine.
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Old 05-28-12, 10:42 PM   #17
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Jaegur, dont know where about you are in chicago land but this bike is nice, but the Bike shop is awesome. Great service and no salesmen type of thing. they have been around a long time and for a good reason.

http://www.rudysbikes.com/schwinn/20...terrasport.php

But as a few said hear, you can ride what you got. a $75 tune up it will be good to go.

I started last year on a $70 single speed beach cruiser from walmart. which i still have and use to commute to work.

nothing wrong with bike shorts on big guys. that said them make bike shorts "underwear". thats what i wear and i toss some soccer shorts over them. (soccer because bball shorts are too long)

Biking is great exercise, fun as all heck, fresh air, seeing you neighborhood, its all around awesome. BUT its exercise and it will help get stronger and healthier BUT its not what is going to take the pounds off. an Eating change is 80% of what will. Thats my biggest issue, i cant break my bad eating habits.

remember you cant out-train bad eating. believe me i tried many times.

good luck and when you get an itch to go to a road bike (trust me it will eventually happen), i am in your area and you are welcome to test mine.


Oooo hey, that is only seven miles from me, more or less. (I live in Franklin Park) That bike you linked, it would be strong enough to keep me afloat?
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Old 05-28-12, 11:16 PM   #18
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Look for a used chrome-moly steel fixed (no suspension) mountain bike from the early 1990s. There are lots of them around. The Trek 800 series, Specialized Hardrock, Giant Yukon or Boulder, and many other major brands are out there and they can be had inexpensively. I've purchased a Trek 820 Mountain Track in excellent condition and an 800 Antelope in decent condition for under $100 from the LBS. These older chro-mo frames are virtually indestructable and very comfortable to ride. Many came with 36-spoke wheelsets which is another bonus. Unless you know your bikes, you might do best looking for something used from a reputable LBS. There were also some 700c sorta hybrids (what might be considered the first cyclocross framesets) like the Trek 700 series out at the same time. Be aware that there are some years/models that are all chrome-moly frames and forks, some that are chrome-moly main triangles and maybe forks, and some that are mostly or completely hi-ten steel. Hi-ten isn't evil or anything, just slightly heavier and doesn't ride as nice. Even with a few updates like seat, road/hybrid tires, comfort grips, etc. you should come in under the $300 mark easily and have a very tough, comfortable and serviceable commuter/fitness bike. Understand that these will never be fast road bikes, but they are great general purpose transportation and your weight will not be an issue.
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Old 05-29-12, 05:55 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jaegur View Post
It was just that particular LBS. The review went like this:

Everything in this store is so over priced. I actually wanted to support a neighborhood bike shop like this until I came here. Also that guy that works in the back was saying all kind of profanity at my decision I made he's the guy with the weird eyeballs and ponytail the owner was their and didn't tell him to stop his profanity. I mean why charge so much to put on a bicycle tube that should be cheaper if not a free service. Their products are cheap china ordered material I bought a light kit for my bike and it snapped of into pieces that same day. They did not want to give me a refund. PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS STORE IT IS A SORRY EXCUSE FOR WHAT WAS CUSTOMER SERVICE..... they are expensive and don't really take care of their customer's. The only thing you will feel leaving this place is broke
It's the only one, so I may check it out anyway just to see for myself, but it's kind of off-putting, lol. [/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]
Read a few more reviews before giving up on this store. Someone who expects a bike shop to remove a tire, put in a new tube, put the tire back on, inflate it, and put it back on the bike for free is out of touch with reality. No, it doesn't take them very long to do it, but it's taking them away from other repairs for other customers. Sounds like this reviewer wants something for nothing.
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Old 05-29-12, 05:58 AM   #20
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I've been on a diet for a few months, not a strict one, but one that cuts my 'needed' calories by about 1000, in which I eat whole grain cereal for breakfast, usually ham or turkey on whole grain bread for lunch, and either chicken breast, rice, or salad for dinner with koshi protein bar and nuts for snacks in between.

I really had thought to do as you say, wearing the one bike out, but it's been in storage for like five years and ridden a few times each year when she would go riding with her mom, or a friend, so I'm sure the tires themselves probably aren't in the best of shape. Besides, her mom uses that one... I'd hate to explain how I broke it, lol.
Walmart bikes don't have the best components, and they aren't often put together by people who know what they're doing, but it's highly unlikely that you'll break the frame. Besides, shouldn't her mom and her friend bring their own bikes?
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Old 05-29-12, 07:44 AM   #21
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Read a few more reviews before giving up on this store. Someone who expects a bike shop to remove a tire, put in a new tube, put the tire back on, inflate it, and put it back on the bike for free is out of touch with reality. No, it doesn't take them very long to do it, but it's taking them away from other repairs for other customers. Sounds like this reviewer wants something for nothing.
I would be suspicious of any review that criticizing staff for their physical appearance. Makes the reviewer sound like the jerk, not the store.
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Old 05-29-12, 07:58 AM   #22
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Thanks for the info so far guys! I really do think a mountain bike is what I need, and I'm looking around the perfomance bike site right now, they have a memorial day sale going on, but one thing I can't seem to find most of the time is a weight limit rating. I see it on some of the sites that don't cater to just bikes, but it seems like on the sites that are all about biking they assume I know more than foot+pedal=go. Is there a formula or something to figure out if a frame I'm looking at will suit me?




This one for instance: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...551_1096075_-1



Also: Thanks Chef! I've been dieting for a few months now and am down about 20 pounds, but I'm to the point where I'd like to throw in some exercise, and since the wife hates tennis...
The frames will be fine. I resumed riding at right at pounds, and had to wear Oxygen to ride.



^^^This was 2005




This is 2009
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Old 05-29-12, 10:47 AM   #23
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The frames will be fine. I resumed riding at right at pounds, and had to wear Oxygen to ride.



^^^This was 2005




This is 2009
You rock, dude!
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Old 05-29-12, 02:29 PM   #24
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Oooo hey, that is only seven miles from me, more or less. (I live in Franklin Park) That bike you linked, it would be strong enough to keep me afloat?

I dont know, but rudy at Rudy's bike shop can help you. I also found Get a Grip cycles to be great, but they cater to the high end bikes for selling. they take care of me and my 80's beater road bike as well as the guy on a custom seven road bike, Good people.

i haven been yet but there is from what i have heard a good bike shop in oak park on chicago ave just east of harlem.

reason i am pushing bike shop more than a bike is I think a good LBS will get you on a bike the will work for you and will stand by anything that will go wrong (due to weight or regular use).

also many will knock the walmart bike (big box bike), but to me its a good starting point if low on funds and just want to test to see if riding is something you want to do. there is no resale value with them, so just pass it along to somebody else starting out when you progress.
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Old 05-29-12, 05:45 PM   #25
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Hey man i'm the same weight as u. I went with a comfort bike (giant sedona st) but am looking damn hard at a trek 3500p mtn bike. I rode one and oh man.......droool. needs a diff seat but awesome and 400 at my lbs 470 everywhere else
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