Hi all, I am 6' 4'' and 340 lbs with bad knees and a bad back, I'm 45 years old and decided to finally do something about my weight I have always been athletic,played baseball in college, and boxed and kick boxed until I was 32, so I some idea of what it is gonna take to get back in shape. Just dont know anything about cycling, my question is this I am picking a new specialized sirrus tuesday what are some of the things i need to start cycling and stay with it? clipless pedals, shorts. will the stock wheels hold my weight or should I upgrade before I leave the (lbs) anyway I would appreciate any and all info. thanks
My personal opinion after starting out much the same 4 months ago is
get bike fit to you as well as can be by bike shop
buy medium seat bag, with two tubes, tire levers and a multi tool if you feel that's required.
get a pump...some use co2. I like the pump...some use one tube and a patch kit...I like two tubes...it's all good whichever way you go
Dont upgrade anything until you have 500 miles on it...
If its set up for you properly then you will need time to adapt to the riding position and gain some strength. Things are going to hurt....new parts aren't the answer day one.
Get some time on the bike, get used to riding, then decide what needs upgrading
Oh...pedals...I went clipless from day one. After my long ride yesterday, I simply can't imagine riding without them.
If you have the cash, speed play are the bomb. Of course clipless means pedals and shoes...so if budget is a concern, then get cheap platforms and get riding...can always add pedals
I wouldn't sweat the pedals just yet - as vesteroid mentiones, they're not particularly cheap. platform pedals with toe clips will be fine for now. If you search for any of the clipless pedal threads you'll find any number of responses with alternatives to clipless pedals.
Interesting, the more expensive Sirrus' look like a flat-bar Roubaix. Which one are you getting?
The wheels on the lower one look like they'd be OK if you take care of them - ask the shop what kind of warranty service they'll provide on the wheels. Ideally, they'll TENSION them for you now and then again after about 200 miles. By tension, they'll check the individual spoke tension to make sure they're all pretty close. The thing that kills wheels fastest for big guys is wheels that are true but have wildly varying tensions - loose spokes break. Anyway, you can also check the tension by plucking the spokes like a guitar string. Similar spokes should sound the same. Spokes that cross under another spoke will sound different than spokes that cross over a spoke, and drive side spokes on the rear should be much higher tension than spokes on the non drive side... etc.
I would definitely get a nice pair of cycling shorts (don't skimp) and probably a jersey or two to go with it. If people look at you sideways because you're a big guy in tight clothes, just beat 'em up. That's one of the advantages of being 6'4" 340. amirite?
Two good online sources for large cycling clothes - feel free to email them for sizing questions.
86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.
I'm about 5" shorter than you with a bad knee & back also.
"Bad back" is too generic to know what kind of riding position you need.
I have to stay VERY upright, while others CAN'T ride that way. You should find out what position YOU need.
My R knee doesn't have full range of motion. I've found that a shorter (165MM) crank made a world of difference between constant knee pain and riding VERY few miles to being able to do a 50 mile day.
175MM crank = constant pain
170MM crank = some pain at times and just riding for errands.
165MM crank = no limits knee wise.
Im getting the base sirrus model, and good advice on tensioning the spokes, I was thinking about swapping the rear wheel but I may just see how it goes with the original wheels it comes with 35mm tires im hoping that will help.