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MrPinchers 07-10-12 08:11 AM

Good morning from PA
 
I posted this in the introduction and I am now re-posting here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I'm considering getting back into biking. It's been over ten years and more pounds than I want to count. I'm a big guy, 6'2 and like I said more pounds than I like two count. I want to start riding again to drop some weight.

I stopped at my local bike store and it really wasn't a great experience. The owner of the shop basically said anything I buy will be a waste, I'm going to tear up the components unless I spend over $2,000. I do not want to spend that kind of money.

A couple of questions.

Are the Trek 7.3 dx or trek 8.3 ds worth my money?

I want to start losing weight gained from a decade old back injury.

I prefer Trek. Bought a trek 20 years ago and rode it hard for 7 years before the injury.

Any other advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.

I plan on doing road and light trail riding. My back can't take the old wear and tear of mountain biking. I would enjoy dirt trail riding.

Thanks for reading.

BigUgly 07-10-12 08:27 AM

If it helps. I bought a leftover Lemond road bike about 4 years ago for $500. Had to replace the rear wheel with something a little more beefier because it kept popping spokes. All other components are fine. Have 3000+ miles on it and get it tunes up once a year. I am 6'2" 230 as well. Was up to 260 in 2010. Check a bunch of different bike shops, some have left overs from previous years they put on sale. Just make sure the bike fits you well and you can upgrade components as you see fit. Probably one of the first things will be the seat because most stock seats are not comfortable over longer rides. Good luck.

Yo Spiff 07-10-12 08:35 AM

He doesn't have much confidence in his bikes, does he? At my heaviest I was getting close to 300 pounds and I normally ride a Bianchi road bike. I've not yet had to get the wheels trued and I've had the bike for 12 years. A well made pair of wheels should hold up just fine, especially on a mountain bike or hybrid. Worst that can happen is you will need to get a new wheel built up at some point. I did pop a spoke on my mountain bike last year and the wheel wasn't fixable, but the wheel was 10 years old when that happened and a similar quality replacement was only about $35.

Yo Spiff 07-10-12 08:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrPinchers (Post 14461375)
The owner of the shop basically said anything I buy will be a waste, I'm going to tear up the components unless I spend over $2,000. I do not want to spend that kind of money.

Nonsense, unless you weigh some unbelievable amount and then I think you wouldn't even be able to try and ride a bike. This is my mountain/utility bike. You can easily find something similar on Craigslist for $100-200. I'd say to find a different bike shop.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7143/6...b6d2f51d_n.jpg
Galveston by Yo Spiff, on Flickr

MrPinchers 07-10-12 09:01 AM

I weigh a tick over 300lbs. I've always been a big guy. When I was my lightest and that was riding everywhere and lifting four days a week. I came in at about 230 and I was fairly lean then just build big.

At this point, I live in a small town in PA. There's only one bike store, the one I went too. I'm going to have to make a trip to the closest city about an hours drive away.

I had an idea what I wanted and he basically told me I was a boob for wanting those bike. The components would never hold - the cranks and wheels.

I would like to spend between $500-$700 on the bike. I was thinking something along the lines of an 8.3 DS Trek or a 7.3 DX.

I don't even really know where to start looking now. I would like to have an idea what I should look at when I go on Saturday.

I did a lot of research online of what I thought would work and he blew that right out of the water with his $2,000 dollar touring bike.

chefisaac 07-10-12 09:34 AM

Where in PA do you live if you dont mind sharing?

Yo Spiff 07-10-12 09:37 AM

I think he's just trying to move a pricey bike, but a new rider doesn't need a $2000 touring bike. You might have to drive a bit further to find other options. Or shop the used market. You can learn what to look for by reading through these forums. Here's some good threads that discuss what to look for in a used bike:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...brands-to-seek

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ting-condition

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...y-poor-quality

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...olks-I-blew-it

chefisaac 07-10-12 09:47 AM

I would add, DO NOT BUY FROM THAT SHOP. If they are judging you and telling you that stuff, that is now right and they are just looking for the short sale. Not good business!

PhotoJoe 07-10-12 09:57 AM

First, good for you for recognizing that you want to get back in shape and biking is a great part of that! DON'T let the idiot at the LBS scare you away. You have a ton of options.

Second, I understand brand loyalty, including the awesome reason of "just because that's what I've had in the past". I was that way from the Specialized RockHopper that has treated me VERY well for a VERY long time. However, I think it is far more important to have a good LBS than to stick with a brand. Yes, Trek makes good bikes. They are not the ONLY good bikes to be found, though. Your LBS is clearly trying to make some money, and as the only trick in town, he probably gets away with it a lot, or he scares a lot of people out of riding! If you're willing to drive to a larger town, take a day and go hit up every bike shop you can find. Look at everything they have to offer. Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, etc. etc. etc. all make good bikes that will carry you around for many, many miles. Yes, you may have to have a new rear wheel built, but I doubt it. I would buy the bike you want and ride it. If something breaks, then fix that with a beefier part. I doubt you'll have to, though.

For your own piece of mind, maybe you want to look at mountain bikes. Think about the strains a mountain bike takes from a 200 lbs rider barreling down a hill, hitting ruts, rocks, roots, etc. I would say that can far exceed the stress put on it by a 300 lbs guy cruising down the street. I don't think it's mandatory, though. Seeing those wide tires may make you sleep a little better at night.

To help minimize the chances of breaking things, learn to ride "light". Avoid potholes. Try to take take some weight off the seat over bumps. You'll get the hang of it. This will help protect your wheels a bit. And always keep them aired up to max pressure, or near it at least. This will help prevent pinch flats. As a general rule, try to not be mashing hard up a hill and shift. That's hard on gears. Pick up a little speed, reduce your pedaling pressure, shift, then get back to it. That will help your gears last longer, no matter how much you weigh.

My wife is just under 300 lbs now. I know, I'm not supposed to tell, but I want to drive the point home. She rides one of these:

http://i798.photobucket.com/albums/y.../TREK11473.jpg

She has about 500 miles on it since April 15th and I can see absolutely ZERO sign of it. And, it cost somewhere right around your budget when we bought it a few years ago.

Get your bike and enjoy it! Make it a goal to put enough miles on it to wear it out. I doubt you'll break it, though.

Are you mechanically inclined? I ask for two reasons. One, with your local LBS already proven he's trying to upsell, I personally would question any work he wanted to do on a bike I brought there for service. You can learn everything you need to know on YouTube and do your own work, if you are so inclined. Sure beats driving the hour to another town every time you want to adjust a derailleur. Secondly, there are mail-order options (that some people love, some people hate the thought of) that could offer you more bang for your buck. If you had an abundance of LBS's locally to choose from, I would not recommend it. But, considering your scenario, I think this is a viable option for you. The biggest is www.bikesdirect.com. There are others. I know one guy 280lbs that bought one of their road bikes. Yup, 280 on 25mm tires. He had one wheel trued right out of the box, but since then, they've held great. CHEAP bike, too. Downtube shifters and all. You have to do some minor assembly, but nothing major.

Food for thought. Good luck and please let us know what you decide on. Oh, and when you get it, photos or it didn't happen!!! :D

Black wallnut 07-10-12 10:16 AM

I'm in agreement that you should find a different bike shop. There are plenty of bikes in the under $1000 price range that are suitable for larger riders.

MrPinchers 07-10-12 11:05 AM

chefisaac - I live about 60 miles southeast of Erie or so. It is between Erie, Warren, Oil City and Meadville. There are bike shops in Warren and Meadville that I can visit but if I'm going to make a trip might as well buy in Erie and have my first ride be around Presque Isle.

PhotoJoe - Thank you for all the information - I really appreciate it. If I go mountain bike, I have to get the lock-out on the front suspension. I have an old back injury and I learned about two years ago, I can't not ride with a front suspension. My front and back fork must be solid for me at least the "suspension" absorbing the bumps is worse then them jolting up my back. I liked the 7.3fx because it is a solid frame bike. I was looking at the 8.1DS but was told the components would never hold up for me that I should look at, at least a Trek 8.3ds.

Honestly my issue with brand right now - most of my information I'm gleaming from the internet. Researching bike brands online to know what shop to even visit has become daunting in itself. I had a good experience with Trek and there are several shops located within an hours drive of me. I know it's not the best reason but it is the one I got! :) Again thank you for all your info, I really appreciate it.

MrPinchers 07-10-12 11:05 AM

I will never step foot back in the first bike shop - ever.

PhotoJoe 07-10-12 12:01 PM

Hey, fair enough. You like TREK, buy a TREK. There is NOTHING wrong with it. It's a good bike. Just make sure you like the shop that you buy it from. Besides, the bike you like best tends to get ridden the most.

A quick search gave me:

[TABLE="class: sestoreinfotable"]
[TR="class: sefirstrow"]
[TD]Competitive Gear
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: sestoreinfolocations"]3501 West 12th St., Erie, PA 16505[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: sestoreinfolocations"] Phone: 814-833-8274 [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: sestoreinfohours"]Hours: Mon/Tues 10-7, Wed/Thur 10-6, Fri 10-8, and Sat 9-4

[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

It's worth a call at least. See if they have the bike in stock and in your size. Let them know your height and weight. See what their attitude is. If you like it, make the drive.

I'm bored at work today, so here's a longer list of places to call.

Competitive Gear

Emig's Bike Shop

Jamestown Cycle Shop

Bike World Of Warren

The Bicycle Store

Thumm's

Tommy White'S Source For Sport

The Bicycle Shop-Brantford

If it were me, I'd look at the 7.4fx over the 7.3fx because of the carbon fork. It will absorb the road buzz better than the alloy fork, yet is still the rigid fork you need. Just my opinion. I'm not on commission and I'm in no way saying the alloy won't work for you. I just think you'd be happier with the carbon fork.


http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ss/fx/7_4_fx/#

MrPinchers 07-10-12 12:46 PM

PhotoJoe: Does the carbon fork make that much of a difference? I've read reviews and I was hoping to find practical experience and not "online" review. I have a joke I tell about online reviews - if you ever need a bluray review go read dvd player reviews online. It is so hard to get decent information from reviews some one loves it someone hates it. The guy that loves it tells you about a special flower he found on his ride. The guy that hates it tells you about the flower he rode over not the bike.

PhotoJoe 07-10-12 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrPinchers (Post 14462910)
PhotoJoe: Does the carbon fork make that much of a difference?

I'm only regurgitating what I've read MANY times here. Since 1997, I've been riding a RockHopper with shocks. I just got my first real road bike since high school and it has carbon forks. I don't have the experience to answer that truthfully or with any first-hand experience. I could say "Yes, absolutely. Oh, and the alloy won't carry anything over 250 lbs.", but then I'd be qualified to work at the first LBS you went to! My guess is yes, carbon would help, but would not be a night and day difference.

My approach is to spend as much as you can on the bike, if you think this is a bike you are going to keep for a long while. If this is just an entry point to see if you like it and you would upgrade bikes soon anyway, no, don't spend the money.

Hope this helps...a little.

ChrisM2097 07-10-12 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrPinchers (Post 14462377)
PhotoJoe - Thank you for all the information - I really appreciate it. If I go mountain bike, I have to get the lock-out on the front suspension. I have an old back injury and I learned about two years ago, I can't not ride with a front suspension. My front and back fork must be solid for me at least the "suspension" absorbing the bumps is worse then them jolting up my back. I liked the 7.3fx because it is a solid frame bike. I was looking at the 8.1DS but was told the components would never hold up for me that I should look at, at least a Trek 8.3ds.

I've had a 2012 7.5FX for about 6 months. I'm 6'2" and weigh about 270lb. I've had no issues with this bike. The 7.5 even has the 24 spoke wheels, where the 7.3 has 32 spoke. I took the wheels off after 500-600 miles of commuting and hill climbing, and the rear was only out of true by about 1mm in one spot. It's been a great bike so far...no complaints.

MrPinchers 07-10-12 02:13 PM

I really can't thank everyone enough for all the help. I really appreciate it.

I've read about the carbon forks and read what you've said but then I read reviews of the 7.5fx that it is just a terrible bike.

My plan isn't to upgrade. I want a bike that I will be riding years from now. It is really not a cost issue just a value issue.

I want to make sure I get the best bang for my buck. I want to spend between 500-750 and if it is better to spend an extra 60 bucks now from the 7.3 to 7.4. I'd rather spend it now than later.

Really the only reason there is a price limit is because I don't want to spend $2,000 for a new bike. I'm not sure if I'll have a bed to sleep in if I go that high of a budget.

What are the advantages of fewer spokes between the 7.5 and the 7.3?

chandltp 07-10-12 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrPinchers (Post 14462377)
I live about 60 miles southeast of Erie or so. It is between Erie, Warren, Oil City and Meadville. There are bike shops in Warren and Meadville that I can visit but if I'm going to make a trip might as well buy in Erie and have my first ride be around Presque Isle.

I live about 6 blocks from Competitive Gear in Erie, and they'll treat you right. They treated me like a good customer even though I was buying their cheapest bike (Trek 7000). The like the racers buying the expensive bikes more, but I've never had them be rude to me.

Adams Cycle (might be John Adams, I don't recall) is about a mile from them and they sell Schwinn and Specialized as I recall. They're pretty good, but I've only ever used them for parts.

When I lived in Franklin there was a shop that sold Cannondale.. but they might not exist anymore. Judging from your description of where you live, that might not be a bad stop either.

I hover right on the border of clyde-dom, and the only think I've had to replace on my Trek 7000 is the rear wheel (after 4 broken spokes and 3000 miles I decided it had paid its dues). I doubt that very unusual though with a lower end bike, even from a LBS.

If there's anything I can do to help with your search in Erie, let me know.

ChrisM2097 07-10-12 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrPinchers (Post 14463303)
I've read about the carbon forks and read what you've said but then I read reviews of the 7.5fx that it is just a terrible bike.

What are the advantages of fewer spokes between the 7.5 and the 7.3?

The 7.5 has been a great bike for me. I picked it up used for $350 with a couple minor scratches in the paint.

The only advantage that I know of for lower spoke count is weight savings and aerodynamics. And reducing the weight of rotational mass is probably where it counts the most. Basically, it makes the bike very slightly faster. Overall, a 32 (or even better, a 36) spoke wheelset will likely last much longer, take more abuse, and need less maintenance.

WonderMonkey 07-10-12 02:50 PM

I've been as heavy as 280lbs on my Cannondale Quick 5 and I love it. I have the extra large frame (I'm also 6'2") and it fits me well.

Whatever bike you get make sure the frame matches your height, etc.

MrPinchers 07-10-12 03:19 PM

I've stopped a couple of times at Competitive Gear when I've been in Erie. They've been extremely nice. The only plus for the local shop that treated me so poorly. I could ride the bike home. I don't think I'm ready to ride home from Erie. But like I said above, I could ride around Presque Isle. For those who don't know, it's a nice inlet in Lake Erie.

Thank you for all the help! I really appreciate it.

goldfinch 07-10-12 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrPinchers (Post 14463303)
I really can't thank everyone enough for all the help. I really appreciate it.

I've read about the carbon forks and read what you've said but then I read reviews of the 7.5fx that it is just a terrible bike.

My plan isn't to upgrade. I want a bike that I will be riding years from now. It is really not a cost issue just a value issue.

I want to make sure I get the best bang for my buck. I want to spend between 500-750 and if it is better to spend an extra 60 bucks now from the 7.3 to 7.4. I'd rather spend it now than later.

Really the only reason there is a price limit is because I don't want to spend $2,000 for a new bike. I'm not sure if I'll have a bed to sleep in if I go that high of a budget.

What are the advantages of fewer spokes between the 7.5 and the 7.3?

The 7.5 is really a different kind of bike from the 7.3 and 7.4. It is a flat bar road bike. It has a compact crank, geared for the road. It has skinnier tires, 700 x 28, and lighter wheels. The 7.3 and 7.4 are triple crank bikes, with the 7.3 having an eight speed on the rear and the 7.4 a nine speed. Their tires are 700 x 32. The 7.4, as Joe noted, has the carbon fork. I would favor the 7.4, I think the extra's are worth the price. I have a similar bike, the Cannondale Quick 4, also with a carbon fork.

goldfinch 07-10-12 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WonderMonkey (Post 14463472)
I've been as heavy as 280lbs on my Cannondale Quick 5 and I love it. I have the extra large frame (I'm also 6'2") and it fits me well.

Whatever bike you get make sure the frame matches your height, etc.

Someday I want to do a Quick race with you. It would be amusing, me at 4'11" with the smallest framed Quick, and you at 6'2" with the largest framed Quick. :)

MrPinchers 07-11-12 07:00 PM

I'm going to be in Warren tomorrow. They have two bike stores. One carries a variety of bikes and the other is primarily trek. Hopefully my meeting ends in time to hit them both.

cmrtn7 07-11-12 07:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Between my wife and I, we have bought 6 bikes from Competitive Gear. Her first "real" bike was a 7.5 fx, and she loved it. (Weight is not an issue with her, though.) She ended up riding a Metric Century in Cooks Forest with it. She has since moved up to Lexa SLX (?) Road Bike. Competive Gear has always treated us well.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=261015

If you want some one to ride PI with, let me know. I'll bring the 29er.


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