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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 06-18-12, 10:16 AM   #1
jasonmg1981
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Help me pick a bike (originally posted in hybrids, didnt see the clydesdale forum)

Hello,

I want to know your thoughts on the following bikes.... I have already decided this is the style of bike I'd like based on riding one. I am 5'10" 307lbs (down 40LBS) and currently ride my pacific made mountainbike 8-12 miles per ride. I ride at roughly on average 10mph on my pacific. I ride neighborhoods and sidewalks. My butt an hands go numb on my current bike. I want something sturdy and comfortable. My pacific bike is old and terrifies my when I go downhill and reach speeds near 20mph. The wheel shakes and I start to see my life flash before my eyes!

Bikes I am checking into.

1) http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...ss/9019/48868/

2) http://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en/bikes...n/hybrid/7300/#

3) http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/s..._citizen3.html ....not available in US due to backorder

4) http://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en/bikes...n/hybrid/7000/#

5) http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/comfort/venture-4-0-12/

6) this bike was suggested to me by the bike shop that sells Jamis because the citizen 3 is out of stock
http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/s...lorer2_bl.html


Does anyone have any experience with any of the above bikes? What I like about this style of bike.....adjustable stem and handle bars, big seat. I like the idea of being able to go more upright or flatter, rather than buying a non-adjustable stem/handle bar and being stuck with it.
Questions...
The front shock.....will this save my rim by absorbing the shock of a pothole, or will the shocks fail on me because of my size? If I hit a pothole without a shock, (at my size) will the rim bend?

I am not a racer, just want some fitness and recreation


Thank you for your time
Jason

Last edited by jasonmg1981; 06-18-12 at 11:12 AM. Reason: links
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Old 06-18-12, 10:48 AM   #2
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Most of the links were broken, but the two I saw were front suspension bikes. Here is my boiler plate advice.

1. If you are riding strictly on the street, forget the shocks. The extra "comfort" (I don't notice it) is not worth the decrease in speed.

If you hit a pothole, you will likely strike it with both wheels. If you look at the weight distribution, there is about 2/3 of the weight on the rear wheel, and 1/3 on the front, depending on geometry. I had many more problems with damaging my rear wheel, until I had it professionally rebuilt with heavier spokes.

2. If you live where there are any kind of hills, especially if you are Clyde, get gears.

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Old 06-18-12, 10:59 AM   #3
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Jason,

I saw your thread over on the Hybrid section but I think my comments are more relevant here. I currently weigh 370 lbs and I've regularly ridden three hybrids at that weight, all relatively light and no suspension. My only bike right now is a mid-90's Trek Multitrack and it's absolutely fantastic. I even ride the thing off-road around our subdivision (none of it too rough but plenty of huge tire tracks from earth moving equipment) with no worries. I pay attention to where I'm riding and when i'm going to hit a rough spot I rise up slightly off the seat and absorb the shock with my knees and elbows.

For the past five years I rode a Trek 7.2 FX. This is a descendent of the Multitrack I now ride, but with much more road emphasis. It's aluminum framed, higher geared and a pleasure to ride. The only problem I had with it was after 15-30 minutes, my seat post slid down into the seat tube about 1-1.5 cm. I talked to the LBS and they said to bring it in which I never did because I sold it to finance an upgrade for my Multitrack.

For big guys, I think the biggest issue is going to be wheels. In five years, I never had a problem with the 32-spoke wheels on the 7.2. I've had the Multitrack since November and the front wheel is a little untrue with some loose spokes. However, this bike is 17 years old and that wheel probably hasn't been touched. For my own peace of mind, I am getting custom wheels built. Right now I'm looking at Velocity Dyad 40-spoke rims built by a guy with a really good reputation. I'll run them with 40 mm tires (max pressure on roads, min pressure on dirt) to provide some cushion for me and the wheels.

I think your concern about bicycle fit and position is very valid. You'll probably benefit from higher handlebars and it's important to make sure whatever you buy can accomodate that. My current bike's stem won't get the bars as high as I want so I simply bought some handlebars with a 2-3 inches of rise. I did have a set with 5" of rise but that was way too high. Saddles can be changed (and usually are changed by anyone who rides more than casually). Grips are easily changed as well. I would do without the suspension. I view my bike riding as a very fun way to build and maintain some level of fitness. I would be less likely to ride if my bike was heavy and mushy (that's suspension bikes feel to me). I'm going for the lightest, most responsive bike that will be durable enough for my weight and I think the Multitrack is the ticket.

Probably the closest thing to my Multitrack would be the Jamis Coda series of bikes. I don't know how long their steerer tubes are from the factory but the LBS was able to put the bars on my Trek FX higher than the saddle. If I was starting from scratch, the Coda would be at the top of my list of bikes to try.

Here is my Multitrack. Plenty strong, plenty light and a hell of a lot of fun to ride!

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Old 06-18-12, 11:29 AM   #4
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corwin....thanks for the info

The front suspension is not absolutely necessary, but it was included on all the bikes I found at that price range. All I want is a sturdy frame and wheels, a cassette instead of a freewheel, and index shifters. Most of these bikes just happened to fit my specs. I rode a trek 7.2 fx last week. I loved the speed of it compared to my mountain bike, but hated the seat and the forward position, as my hands felt bad after a 10 minute ride. Maybe I should look at a set of handlebars like on your multitrack. The coda sport is in my pricerange and is cheaper than the 7.2 fx.....here is a link to the bike . will the stem on the coda accept a handle bar like yours? Thanks for the reply and the idea.... I am open to suggestions
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Old 06-18-12, 11:56 AM   #5
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corwin....thanks for the info

The front suspension is not absolutely necessary, but it was included on all the bikes I found at that price range. All I want is a sturdy frame and wheels, a cassette instead of a freewheel, and index shifters. Most of these bikes just happened to fit my specs. I rode a trek 7.2 fx last week. I loved the speed of it compared to my mountain bike, but hated the seat and the forward position, as my hands felt bad after a 10 minute ride. Maybe I should look at a set of handlebars like on your multitrack. The coda sport is in my pricerange and is cheaper than the 7.2 fx.....here is a link to the bike . will the stem on the coda accept a handle bar like yours? Thanks for the reply and the idea.... I am open to suggestions

I'm just learning the mechanics side of bicycling but I'm pretty sure that for the most part, flat-bars (as opposed to drop or curled bars like on a road bike) tend to all be the same diameter and to be interchangeable. The one thing on that bike is that you could replace the level stem (the part the handlebars attach to) with one with a lot of rise. That would bring the stock handlebars higher and would probably be the easiest modification. The LBS should be happy to do this for you at the time of purchase.

Here is a photo of the Trek 7.2 that I owned. Note how the stem attaching the handlebars angles up, significantly raising the stock handlebars.
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Old 06-18-12, 12:03 PM   #6
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I don't have any experience with any of those bikes, but if you get straight bars, I highly recommend bar ends. Corwin has them on his bike shown above. These allow you to change your hand position which can be a great help in the numbness department. Also, build up your core muscles. You do not want to be supporting much of your weight on your hands. The hands are only there to steer and work the controls.
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Old 06-18-12, 12:28 PM   #7
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Here is a photo of the Trek 7.2 that I owned. Note how the stem attaching the handlebars angles up, significantly raising the stock handlebars.

I still have my 7.2FX. I use the stock handle bars, but I'm also fine going into the drops on my road bike. I notice you still have the stock spring loaded seat post. That's the one thing I didn't like about it and mine now has a solid alloy seat post. (mine is also a lot dirtier )
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Old 06-18-12, 12:35 PM   #8
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I still have my 7.2FX. I use the stock handle bars, but I'm also fine going into the drops on my road bike. I notice you still have the stock spring loaded seat post. That's the one thing I didn't like about it and mine now has a solid alloy seat post. (mine is also a lot dirtier )
Actually, I took the spring out of the seat post back in 2007!

Also, I just put the bar-ends on the multitrack last week. I went to five or six bike shops before I found what I wanted: Rubberized, ergonomically contoured, medium length. They are Specialized P2 Over Endz and so far, I like them.
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Old 06-18-12, 08:52 PM   #9
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I don't have any experience with any of those bikes, but if you get straight bars, I highly recommend bar ends. Corwin has them on his bike shown above. These allow you to change your hand position which can be a great help in the numbness department. Also, build up your core muscles. You do not want to be supporting much of your weight on your hands. The hands are only there to steer and work the controls.

I will check out some bar ends..... as for the core muscles....I have one large ab, It is a work in progress. Trying riding with a bag of morton softner salt on your lap.....you will use your hands for support

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Old 06-18-12, 08:54 PM   #10
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corwin.... i will be checking out a few bikes tomorrow, including the coda sport. I will ask about replacing the level stem.. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 06-19-12, 05:16 AM   #11
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I started with a 7300. I don't ride off road and the front suspension was a waste. An adjustable stem for a beginner is a good idea as your body is changing pretty quickly (months not weeks) Here's an example http://www.ebikestop.com/kalloy_adju...318-SM4101.php I'm not saying this particular stem will fit as the clamps must be the correct diameter and the length correct for your reach., but as you can see it's something that can easily be changed. I'd vote for a regular fork as you see a lot of threads of people wanting to replace a suspension fork but none wanting to add suspension.
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Old 06-19-12, 07:27 AM   #12
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I agree that the suspension must be a waste based on the opinions of everyone on the forum. However, the style of bike that I was originally looking at only provided bikes with a suspension. It seems that the comfort hybrid style, with the adjustable handlebars, all support the suspension fork unless you get their very cheap model with junk components. So...thanks to your help, I have decided to look into another market of bike and change the handlebars and seat. Its nice to know there are other options, however, I feel like I am starting over with the bike search. I will have to try to find a LBS that will let me echange a stem and ride the bike to see if it is something I like. Thanks again for the comments.
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Old 06-19-12, 10:45 AM   #13
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I rode this bike today and liked it alot.....

http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/s...egrosport.html

The LBS shop stated they would switch out the wheels on the allegro with a coda sport, due to the allegro's low spoke count on the front wheel and pattern.

[TABLE="align: center"]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Jamis Coda Wheels
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]: Alex ID-19 double wall alloy rims with GSW sidewall, 32H, Formula alloy hubs with QR and 14g stainless steel spokes
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


Anybody see any issues with a bike like this for a guy my size? I was shocked that this bike felt pretty comfortable to me vs the hybrid comfort style. They also are going to give me 10% off since they dont have the color I want. What do you think?
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Old 06-19-12, 11:15 AM   #14
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I like it!
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Old 06-19-12, 10:01 PM   #15
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I like it!
I dont think I will even need a handle bar modification at this time.....

I havent heard from anybody who knows anything about this bike. I guess I will have to take the plunge.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:32 PM   #16
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corwin....thanks for the info

The front suspension is not absolutely necessary, but it was included on all the bikes I found at that price range...
What is your price range? You should be able to find lots of non-suspension hybrid bikes in the $400 to $500 range, which is what one of the bikes on your list seems to cost.
e.t.a.: The Jamis you linked to is a decent quality bike. In that price range you're not likely to find an absolute piece of junk, so if you like it, go for it.

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Old 06-20-12, 10:58 PM   #17
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What is your price range? You should be able to find lots of non-suspension hybrid bikes in the $400 to $500 range, which is what one of the bikes on your list seems to cost.
e.t.a.: The Jamis you linked to is a decent quality bike. In that price range you're not likely to find an absolute piece of junk, so if you like it, go for it.

My price range is 600. I finished the tour de LBS today and found a 2011 kona dew plus on sale for 529. It feels pretty solid and has a few better components than the jamis allegro. I sit almost completely upright (on the dew plus), which is originally what I wanted, but now am thinking I like a slightly forward lean. I am sure I could adjust the handlebar. Either the Jamis Allegro sport or the 2011 Kona dew plus are my two final options. I am out of LBS's. I hope to make a decision by the weekend.

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Old 06-20-12, 11:41 PM   #18
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I rode this bike today and liked it alot.....

http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/s...egrosport.html

The LBS shop stated they would switch out the wheels on the allegro with a coda sport, due to the allegro's low spoke count on the front wheel and pattern.

[TABLE="align: center"]
[TR]
[TD="class: basictext"]Jamis Coda Wheels
[/TD]
[TD="class: spectext"]: Alex ID-19 double wall alloy rims with GSW sidewall, 32H, Formula alloy hubs with QR and 14g stainless steel spokes
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


Anybody see any issues with a bike like this for a guy my size? I was shocked that this bike felt pretty comfortable to me vs the hybrid comfort style. They also are going to give me 10% off since they dont have the color I want. What do you think?
That is a sweet looking bike! Jamis is a new brand to me (although they have been around for a long time) but everything I've read online was positive and the few I've seen in shops impressed me. The Allegro looks to be equivalant to the Trek FX series, which I think are great bikes. The whole "flat-bar road bike" category is my favorite. If it's comfortable for you, I don't think you can go wrong with the Jamis. I'm not familiar with Kona but I've heard of it and generally, if an LBS sells it, it's likely a good bike.
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Old 06-22-12, 11:19 AM   #19
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After riding the jamis and the kona again, I opted for the kona. It shifts and brakes smooth, is durable, and just feels right. Thanks for all the help. If it wasnt for your assistance, I probably would have ended up with a bike with 9 shocks. thanks again
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