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  1. #1
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    New to Forum... in need of advice!

    Hello,

    I have been cycling since April 2012; before this time, I hadn't been near a bike in nearly 20 years! So far, I like it and am excited to be posting here.

    My current bike is a Trek Pure Lowstep. I love my cruiser and she is really nice to ride. The seat is literally a couch! However, after four short months, I am already eager to go faster and be zippy on my two wheels for longer rides.

    I am a true Athena (in weight: 290, not height: 5'3") and have test rode the 7.1 FX hybrid. It was nice; totally different seat position, so that was a little jarring. However, it was easy to maneuver and that is what I am looking for in my new ride.

    I poked around a bit to see if this was a question already asked. I am sure it has been, so I apologize if you're annoyed with me for repeating a common thread. Nevertheless, I would like to know what bikes (brands/types) are liked and used by larger riders especially those who moved from comfort bikes to hybrids/road bikes. Can you provide any advice for this curious newbie?

    Thanks!

    Li

  2. #2
    Super Moderator tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiJenn View Post
    Hello,

    I have been cycling since April 2012; before this time, I hadn't been near a bike in nearly 20 years! So far, I like it and am excited to be posting here.

    My current bike is a Trek Pure Lowstep. I love my cruiser and she is really nice to ride. The seat is literally a couch! However, after four short months, I am already eager to go faster and be zippy on my two wheels for longer rides.

    I am a true Athena (in weight: 290, not height: 5'3") and have test rode the 7.1 FX hybrid. It was nice; totally different seat position, so that was a little jarring. However, it was easy to maneuver and that is what I am looking for in my new ride.

    I poked around a bit to see if this was a question already asked. I am sure it has been, so I apologize if you're annoyed with me for repeating a common thread. Nevertheless, I would like to know what bikes (brands/types) are liked and used by larger riders especially those who moved from comfort bikes to hybrids/road bikes. Can you provide any advice for this curious newbie?

    Thanks!

    Li
    LiJenn, you are SO ANNOYING!!!! Just Kidding . . . . .

    Welcome! The 7.1 FX from Trek would be an ideal bicycle for you if you like it. The entire Trek FX series is pretty good. Some of us "big folks" are riding Giant Escapes, which are pretty good too. There is a monster selection of high quality fitness bikes that will fit your needs from a number of different makers, so your selection process should be enjoyable. My personal choice? Giant Escape 2, costs under $500, nice aluminum frame, longer wheelbase (makes it more comfortable), flat bars like the FX you're looking at, and yet is pretty maneuverable and "crisp" in its ride quality. To answer your "unasked" question (because everybody wonders) the bikes from Trek and Giant in this category have a 300 pound weight limit, so you're good there. Also, you should be able to easily move the "couch" on your Lowstep over to whatever new machine you get if you want to. Whatever bike you choose, it will change your perception of bicycling and turn it into a joyous experience. Weight loss becomes almost irrelevant to a Cyclist because the act of cycling is so enjoyable; weight loss comes as a surprising by-product. Go for it, and Ride Free!
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  3. #3
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    Isn't a seat as wide as a couch kinda hard to handle? Or is it literally as comfortable as a couch?

    As for your questions, you'll get as many answers as there are participants here, and some of those with multiple responses. Some will be adamantly pro-road bike (drops, "clipless" pedals that you clip in and out of, etc); some will favor hybrids; some will suggest mountain bikes in some variation or another. Many of us have a stable of bikes.

    My choice: The Black Pearl, a Trek Allant diamond frame ("men's" bike; as opposed to a step-through frame or "women's" bike) commuter, a totally upright ride with platform pedals, front and rear racks, and seldom seen without panniers.

    But I also have Radagast the Beige-and-Black, a Giant Cypress WSD (step-through frame), which is a comfort hybrid. And Orion, a Bianchi Premio, a diamond-frame road bike converted to an upright position. Both of these have handlebar bags, platform pedals, rear racks, and are also seldom ridden without panniers.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
    '07 Giant Cypress WSD "Radagast the Beige-and-Black" * '97 (?) Bianchi Premio "Orion" * '09 Trek Allant "The Black Pearl"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    I've no specific bike choosing advice but wanted to wish you welcome! Those that are annoyed can choose to go read the 41 instead.


    Mark

  5. #5
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    The FX is a great choice. There are several other major bike brands that make similar bikes at a similar price point. You may want to try them out to see what you like best. The Specialized Vita base model lists at $500 and my LBS has it for $450. That also is a nice bike. The Cannondale Quick 6 is listed at $469. Giant has the Escape, base model at $470.

    All decent and somewhat similar bikes. Try riding a few and see what you like the best.

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  6. #6
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    I've no specific bike choosing advice but wanted to wish you welcome! Those that are annoyed can choose to go read the 41 instead.
    Translation for LiJenn - the "41" is the "Road Cycling" forum, which does tend to be a little more high strung, less patient and more sarcastic. The C/A forum is a far more encouraging place to be!

    And welcome! Please let us know what you decide on and how your journey goes. We're all on it together!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  7. #7
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Welcome to the most encouraging forum on BikeForums. You will find lots of support and answers to questions you may have. People here genuinely want to help you on your journey.

    Test ride bikes from various manufacturers that fit your budget and the style of riding you plan to do.

    You may want to invest in bike shorts as I wouldn't recommend moving the seat from the Pure to whatever new bike you get. The new bike will have a less padded saddle most likely and bike shorts will help with that. Have your sit bones measured and make sure the seat that you get with the bike is sized accordingly. That too will help with comfort level. It sounds odd but the more cushy a seat on a bike is...the more pressure points it creates and thusly is LESS comfortable not more.

    As you are just starting out, I would maybe stick with stock platform pedals for now and invest pedal/shoe/clip combo that suits your abilities and riding style down the road. On my hybrid I use a shimano pedal that is platform on one side and MTB clip on other...so can ride clipped in or not depending on what type of ride I intend to do. Being clipped in helps with getting the most out the pedal stroke and for hills. But they are not absolutely necessary at this point for you.

    Make sure you wear a helmet. Also carry at least one spare tube, pump, patch kit, tire levers and maybe a multi-use tool in a under seat bag (note pump would fit on frame typically...not in the bag). You may not know how to change a tire, see if your LBS has clinics to help you learn that skill. But don't fret...if you are out riding and get a flat and are not able to change it yourself....MOST of the time another cyclist or several will ask if you need help as they approach...if you truly need assistance...say YES. We are a community and we help each other out.

    Keep us posted on your journey!
    Last edited by Beachgrad05; 08-21-12 at 11:09 AM. Reason: spelling
    Move along....nothing to see here....anymore.

  8. #8
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    As another newbie, I've got no advice to offer, but just wanted to second that this is a great community, with lots of info and advice.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rthomse's Avatar
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    Trek is a great choice you cant go wrong with any of the recomended one's.I just purchased a Specialized Sirrus elite ,because I couldn't go the extra cash for a Cannondale Quick which was 2 levels higher in components. But a few years ago on the MS 150 ride a tiny Asian lady in a skirt rode a beach cruiser 80.4 miles.She does it every year!
    06 Cannondale R1000. 08 Gary Fisher Marlin.2012 Specialized Sirrus Elite

  10. #10
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiJenn View Post
    I would like to know what bikes (brands/types) are liked and used by larger riders especially those who moved from comfort bikes to hybrids/road bikes.
    I went from a beach cruiser straight to a road bike. But i have rode a friends Fx 7.2 and it is a sweet ride. Those trek fx's seem to be very popular and from my one ride can see why.

    Any bike brand/model holds us larger riders, I usually sugest dont shop for a bike shop for a Local Bike Shop as they will take care of anything that does go wrong so you want a good shop to work with you and steer you to what you need. once you find a great LBS just pick from what they have the best looking bike that is comfortable for you to ride, as a sexy bike will make you ride it and a comfortable one will keep you on it.

    that said there is a comfort learning curve going from a cruiser to a sport hybrid or road bike. You will learn that hamstrings and glutes are used pedaling, and speed is addictive.

    btw get a Bianchi its just better

  11. #11
    Neil_B
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    Writing with my new title as the Person Who Drives People from the Clyde/Athena Forum, I went from a Trek Navigator to a 7.5fx for precisely the reasons you state.

    Oh, and welcome!

  12. #12
    Senior Member ahandley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
    Welcome to the most encouraging forum on BikeForums. You will find lots of support and answers to questions you may have. People here genuinely want to help you on your journey.

    Test ride bikes from various manufacturers that fit your budget and the style of riding you plan to do.

    You may want to invest in bike shorts as I wouldn't recommend moving the seat from the Pure to whatever new bike you get. The new bike will have a less padded saddle most likely and bike shorts will help with that. Have your sit bones measured and make sure the seat that you get with the bike is sized accordingly. That too will help with comfort level. It sounds odd but the more cushy a seat on a bike is...the more pressure points it creates and thusly is LESS comfortable not more.

    As you are just starting out, I would maybe stick with stock platform pedals for now and invest pedal/shoe/clip combo that suits your abilities and riding style down the road. On my hybrid I use a shimano pedal that is platform on one side and MTB clip on other...so can ride clipped in or not depending on what type of ride I intend to do. Being clipped in helps with getting the most out the pedal stroke and for hills. But they are not absolutely necessary at this point for you.

    Make sure you wear a helmet. Also carry at least one spare tube, pump, patch kit, tire levers and maybe a multi-use tool in a under seat bag (note pump would fit on frame typically...not in the bag). You may not know how to change a tire, see if your LBS has clinics to help you learn that skill. But don't fret...if you are out riding and get a flat and are not able to change it yourself....MOST of the time another cyclist or several will ask if you need help as they approach...if you truly need assistance...say YES. We are a community and we help each other out.

    Keep us posted on your journey!
    +1 (which means I gree)

  13. #13
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    If any of your local bike shops carry Rocky Mountain, check out some of their hybrid offerings. They aren't much different from other makes in terms of frames and equipment, but the wheels are great. I've been clattering over railway crossings, gravel "patches" (something unique to Saskatchewan road repairs, apparently) potholes and frost cracks for three years on my Metropolis and have only ever broken one spoke. Amazingly, that wasn't even enough to put the wheel out of true.

  14. #14
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    A bike like a Trek 7.nFX is a good choice. Giant Rapid, Jamis Coda and others also fit the bill. My suggestion is to find a bike shop you like, and who you feel comfortable with. If they sell Trek, get the Trek. They may also sell Specialized or some other brand, like Fuji, or Raleigh. At that price point, most will be decent quality, and if you test drove them all, you would see differences between them, but IMO the quality of the shop you will deal with is the most important factor. As a beginner you might not really be able to discern which "Feel" works best. You will notice that all the bikes like that roll easier, and will be faster than what you are riding now.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  15. #15
    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    LiJenn, you don't happen to live in Decatur, GA do you?

    Oh, don't mind Neil, he is going for the martyr of the month award. I will agree though, that a bike like the Trek 7 series, or Specialized Sirrus, Felt Verza City and the like are great bikes to use for varied purpose riding. They are available anywhere from wide tired machines much like a fixed suspension MTB (hybrid) all the way to flat bar road bikes with tall gear ratios and skinny tires for speed. The pricing and features make them available and accessible to a wide cycling demographic.
    Last edited by punkncat; 08-24-12 at 07:35 PM.
    One Foot Less

  16. #16
    Senior Member loneviking61's Avatar
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    Frames are part of it. The other part is the wheels. Look for double walled rims and at least 36 spokes.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    I just bought a Trek 7.3 WSD (women specific design)....I love it (even the seat)which is way more comfortable than I thought it would be. Welcome from another newbie....Karen

  18. #18
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    Thank you for the great advice. I am totally digging this forum!

    I have found a shop that I really like; they carry Trek, Specialized and Scott. I am still doing some research so that I know what to ask. There are so many cool bikes. Tough decisions!
    Last edited by LiJenn; 08-26-12 at 08:42 PM. Reason: Adding update

  19. #19
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    I went with the 7.1fx. It is a really nice ride, but I have to get used to the new position. Quite different from a cruiser! I switched out the brick-like seat for something more cushiony and changed to a handlebar and stem with dampening. So far, so good! Thanks for your help.

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