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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 09-11-12, 10:03 PM   #1
jcorn427
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Clyde wanting to get fit and do some commuting.

So, I've been a long time lurker and haven't posted much. I'm in grad school now and figure cycling would be a good way to get into shape and a decent way to commute. I go to ASU and currently I drive 25 miles one way. It would only be 6 miles to their west campus where I could catch the free inter-campus shuttle. Riding a bike will end up saving me hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars each year.

The main obstacle for me is money. I want to stay under $400 for a new bike. So, I thought about this one from bikes direct:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_trail_x4.htm

What I'm unsure of though is how good the components are and if they'll hold up. Assembly shouldn't be a major issue since I used to help assemble bikes when I worked for Target and there is a bike co-op on campus where I can get help.

I guess what I'm asking is there a major quality difference between the $350 bike and this one that is a step up:

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

Any help would be great! Thanks.
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Old 09-11-12, 10:54 PM   #2
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To me, college campus says "beater" not "new bike" so you may wish to consider shopping on Craigs List. Go look around and see what's chained up outside buildings and make sure you don't get anything nicer than that.

Second, start with the 6 mile ride but work your way up to the 25 miler... (or just do it one way and shuttle the other). That'd be a nice workout.

Of course, it is hotter than the hinges of hades in Tempe for a lot of the year, so don't be unreasonable.
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Old 09-11-12, 11:10 PM   #3
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The reason I'm considering a new bike is because we have a safe closed in location for grad students and staff to store our bikes. Even if I do go used however, how would I know if the bike would hold up?

Also, I hadn't even considered doing the 25 mile ride... The streets here in Phoenix are actually very wide and pretty bike friendly... Not a bad goal!

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Old 09-11-12, 11:30 PM   #4
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I just picked up a Giant Mt Bike for $100 at a pawn shop. The shop owner is a rider and is even going to tune it up for me before I pick it up this Friday. I could never buy this nice of a bike with out finding it used.
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Old 09-11-12, 11:34 PM   #5
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Ok, then, let me ask, where have you (meaning anyone that reads this) go to find your used bikes? I know of the wonderful treasure trove that is Craigs List, but where else should I be looking?
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Old 09-11-12, 11:41 PM   #6
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Cool - secure lockup.

How big are you? If you're concerned about the bike holding up, I'd skip the front suspension altogether. Cheap front suspensions are cheap, heavy and not overly sturdy. I'd suggest something long the lines of a cyclocross bike or a flat bar hybrid like this trek - http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ss/fx/7_2_fx/#

Of course, you can find similar bikes in any model line including bikesdirect, just throwing that out as an example.

Another thing to think about is that the new model year is upon us! Exciting news for people who want a discount on last year's bikes.

Or find one that somebody bought because they were going to get in shape and never really used, like this one

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/bik/3184824995.html

(No idea if that size would work for you, sounds small)
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Old 09-11-12, 11:53 PM   #7
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Hmm, well, I'm 5'9", have a 29.5" inseam and weigh about 270, so I would be worried about the bike holding up in the long run. Also, a flat bar would be a must on a hybrid for me. I personally can't stand the way bikes with the adjustable stems and suspension seat posts look... Blea.

Would I be right in thinking that 15" bike would be too small?

Here's another bike I was looking at, however, I haven't been able to find info on the web as to whether I can mount wider (35mm) tires on it...

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/3239527761.html

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Old 09-12-12, 12:44 AM   #8
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Or, how about this one?

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/3109360559.html

Last edited by jcorn427; 09-12-12 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 09-12-12, 03:27 AM   #9
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Many bike shops take trade-ins to sell. You get something that's been tuned up and you can take it back if there are problems. That is one way to go if you want to buy used and don't know if you want to trust a classified ad.
Don't worry about the bike "holding up". You aren't that heavy and 6 miles isn't that long a commute. Wheels may need truing down the road, by which time you may have gotten the urge to get a nicer bike anyway.

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Old 09-12-12, 10:22 AM   #10
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Don't forget about fit. There's nothing like a fit by a pro but if that's not possible here's a free calculator that works for me. This should get you in the ball park.
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Old 09-12-12, 01:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the great replies! I asked around here on campus and I was told about a LBS that specializes in used bikes so I'll head over there after work. I also set up a meeting to go check out this bike:

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/3109360559.html

Is there anything in particular I should look for on it?
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Old 09-12-12, 03:00 PM   #12
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Unless you have some off-road stuff you plan on doing, you'd be best-served by skipping anything with a suspension system (front or back). At your budget, you won't get good, you'll just get heavy. Not worth it.


Disc brakes are nice, but aren't worth the extra attention they'd bring in a college setting (or cost upfront). I know you said that you had closed parking, but those things have a way of not always working out. One time you may absolutely have to park outside/in a common area, then...


Since you are lucky enough to have access to a co-op, go talk to them and see what they have. If there is no luck there, I'd recommend a nice rigid mtn bike. Those are the clyde standard vehicle. They're usually cheapest and easiest to find on CL, and they make awesome commuters. For your budget, you could get something fairly decent, throw some good slicks and a rack on it, buy a good helmet pump and lock, and you'd be set-up quite nicely without spending an arm and a leg.
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Old 09-12-12, 03:35 PM   #13
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If I go with a rigid mountain bike, would you recommend a 29er? I would think the larger wheels would help increase my speed...
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Old 09-12-12, 08:48 PM   #14
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Boy am I glad I stopped by my local bike shop today! I walked in and let him know what I was interested in and he showed me this! Someone just traded it in and they are in the process of building it up. It is an older Trek 750 (I think) that has been converted to a cyclocross. It looks like a lot of the older road bikes around campus so I think it will blend in nicely. He had me try it and it fits perfect. I don't think I could have asked for a better bike! It already has some shimano STI shifters on it too. When all is said and done, after he builds it up, and tunes it, it will cost me around $350, just barely within my budget.
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Old 09-12-12, 09:33 PM   #15
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Nice score!
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Old 09-13-12, 04:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcorn427 View Post
Hmm, well, I'm 5'9", have a 29.5" inseam and weigh about 270, so I would be worried about the bike holding up in the long run. Also, a flat bar would be a must on a hybrid for me. I personally can't stand the way bikes with the adjustable stems and suspension seat posts look... Blea.

Would I be right in thinking that 15" bike would be too small?

Here's another bike I was looking at, however, I haven't been able to find info on the web as to whether I can mount wider (35mm) tires on it...

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/3239527761.html
I visited Scottsdale last year and talked with a company who does outdoor adventures like hiking, road riding, mountain biking, etc and they offer to rent bikes and they are new bikes. They sell all of last years models at a deep discount at the end of the year. Neat program!
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Old 09-13-12, 07:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jcorn427 View Post
Boy am I glad I stopped by my local bike shop today! ... When all is said and done, after he builds it up, and tunes it, it will cost me around $350, just barely within my budget.

That is a nice bike! That price seems marginally high, but not outrageous, depending on the components it is built up with. I'd assume they're going to use whatever parts are laying in their parts bins, but as long as they stand behind the build, I guess that doesn't really matter.

For a fully functioning bike, you could certainly do a lot worse than a Trek 7xx/8xx series rigid frame. They are outstanding bikes, IMO. Very comfortable utility/commuter frames. Very strong, too.




I have a '96 830 that I city-fied with fat slicks and a rack. Supremely comfortable and very stable under load. It's got 26" wheels and despite my 6'7" height, I have no issues with it... I don't find myself wishing it were a 29'er at all.
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Old 09-13-12, 08:02 AM   #18
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Boy am I glad I stopped by my local bike shop today! I walked in and let him know what I was interested in and he showed me this! Someone just traded it in and they are in the process of building it up. It is an older Trek 750 (I think) that has been converted to a cyclocross. It looks like a lot of the older road bikes around campus so I think it will blend in nicely. He had me try it and it fits perfect. I don't think I could have asked for a better bike! It already has some shimano STI shifters on it too. When all is said and done, after he builds it up, and tunes it, it will cost me around $350, just barely within my budget.
If that bike has a lugged frame then with those components that should be a good deal, and about as much bike as you could hope to get for the money!

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Old 09-13-12, 08:06 AM   #19
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That is a nice bike! That price seems marginally high, but not outrageous, depending on the components it is built up with. I'd assume they're going to use whatever parts are laying in their parts bins, but as long as they stand behind the build, I guess that doesn't really matter.

For a fully functioning bike, you could certainly do a lot worse than a Trek 7xx/8xx series rigid frame. They are outstanding bikes, IMO. Very comfortable utility/commuter frames. Very strong, too.




I have a '96 830 that I city-fied with fat slicks and a rack. Supremely comfortable and very stable under load. It's got 26" wheels and despite my 6'7" height, I have no issues with it... I don't find myself wishing it were a 29'er at all.
I had a 800 sport that I sold when I moved cross country. I still miss it, even though I now ride and love my late 80's Schwinn Voyageur which has 27 inch wheels.
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Old 09-13-12, 10:39 AM   #20
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By lugged do you mean spots for attaching racks? Then yeah, it has spots for both a front and rear rack, for now, I'm just having a rear rack put on but it is nice to know I have options! I went in and put a deposit down and they are starting on the build today. I'll post pics with the finished product!
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Old 09-13-12, 10:49 AM   #21
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Derp... I just looked up what lugged means... I'm not sure if it is or not. I believe this is a '96 model and I don't know if Trek was making lugged bikes then...
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Old 09-13-12, 11:13 AM   #22
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It is probably not lugged. It doesn't matter, in this case.

That should be a nice bike, good luck with it!
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Old 09-13-12, 11:13 AM   #23
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I can't wait to see pictures when it's done.
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Old 09-13-12, 07:46 PM   #24
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Lugs don't make any difference to the quality of a bike. Back when chromoly tubing had to be brazed because welding would ruin the tubes, lugs were the only way to make a frame. Steel technology has come a long way since, modern quality tubing can be welded with no loss of strength or increased brittleness.
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Old 09-13-12, 10:32 PM   #25
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That's good to hear! Based on bikepedia, it should have a chromoly frame with TIG welding. The anticipation of waiting for them to finish is killing me!

I'll be honest, this is my first non-walmart bike and I'm a little nervous because I have never ridden a road style bike before...
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