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  1. #1
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    New uber clyde with a few questions.

    Hello! I've been lurking for a few days and I'm ready to jump in. I'm a big clyde, 365lbs 6'3", looking to get back into riding. At 42 the joint pains and back injuries are starting to become normal. I'm not ready to let that happen. I'm no stranger to losing and gaining back lots of weight. Time to take it off, keep it off, and regain flexibility and fitness.
    Enough about me. I want to ride on the road. Preferably create a hobby and lifestyle to keep things fun and interesting. My budget is up to $1000. I don't mind looking a little silly but I also dont want to crush wheels. I ran by my LBS but short on time didnt sit or ride. The sales guy was helpful and thought rather than a hybrid I should look at a Felt Z95. They have one in stock for $899 and it sounded like they will put me on a trainer and assist with fit.
    I also looked at the Specialized Secteur online and plan to go see it at another LBS this weekend.
    So am I dreaming to think I can get back in the saddle with what I see as a semi aggressive bike at my size and weight? Am I looking at this from the wrong angle? Or do I pull the trigger, work through the initial aches and pains, and never look back?
    Also, if there are any other bikes you think would fit my needs/wants better, please enlighten me and tell me why.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fangowolf's Avatar
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    What kind of joint and back pains? Can you stay bent over for an hour or two.

  3. #3
    Senior Member maidenfan's Avatar
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    I'd take them up on the offer for the fit and ride. Ride a few more bikes while your at it. There's nothing wrong with buying a mega bike if you want it man, I've been passed by big guys on fancy ones and crappy ones . The most important thing is that it works for you for the type of riding you want to do. If you want a do anything bike go the mtb route. I'd probably choose something like a Surly Crosscheck if I was going to do a road only bike (can do more with that one).
    "Others don't understand because I train every day of my life as they have never trained a day in theirs." Alexandr Karelin - the most dominating Greco-Roman wrestler - ever

  4. #4
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Whatever frame you buy will probably be fine but the wheels.... you'll need to pay careful attention to the wheels. if you can get the shop to agree to TENSION the wheels after a couple hundred miles you'll probably do OK, as long as they don't have some stupid low spoke count.

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    Fangowolf, I'm hoping to get there. I have a few injuries and unexplained pains that have shown up over the last few years. Had "tennis elbow" a couple years ago that now translates into a stiff elbow that is sore every morning. Lower back pain that is under control at the moment, starting to stretch and do core exercises hoping that counters it eventually. Sore hips. Last two weeks my right knee is sore everyday. And something is going on with my right ankle (but cycling doesn't seem to aggrivate it, treadmill sure does). Man, I sound pretty beat up to type it all out. And I guess I am to an extent, but I am determined that getting back in shape can reverse or at least slow down lots of it.
    Maidenfan (rock on) thanks for the surly suggestion. I'm not familiar with the brand and will look it up. I do want to stay on the road as opposed to the trail. Sounds like I need to get out there and put my butt on some seats. Probably answer my own questions. Ha. Always glad to listen to opinions while the shops are closed though. Thanks for the suggestions.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Whatever frame you buy will probably be fine but the wheels.... you'll need to pay careful attention to the wheels. if you can get the shop to agree to TENSION the wheels after a couple hundred miles you'll probably do OK, as long as they don't have some stupid low spoke count.
    Are you referring to them tightening the spokes? Parden my ignorance. What kind of spoke count should I not get under to play safe? The Felt dealer actually includes lifetime tune ups when you buy a new bike from them, would tensioning the spokes possibly be included in that?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Fangowolf's Avatar
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    I had a Varsity in the 70's and I road upright most of the time. I bought a hybrid and put an adjustable stem on it to raise the bars way up. Be sure to at least try a hybrid. My set up has not bothered my back at all. I have a bad disk that gets worse when I lose weight. I'm hopping there will be a point when it starts to get better again.SteelFred.jpg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangowolf View Post
    I had a Varsity in the 70's and I road upright most of the time. I bought a hybrid and put an adjustable stem on it to raise the bars way up. Be sure to at least try a hybrid. My set up has not bothered my back at all. I have a bad disk that gets worse when I lose weight. I'm hopping there will be a point when it starts to get better again.SteelFred.jpg
    I feel your pain brother. I was about 50 lbs lighter last April and had started doing two a day workouts when my back went out last time. I was getting ready to go to the gym and wound up on my back for two weeks after trying to put an ice pack on my ankle and twisting wrong while bent over. Started hitting the food and wound up back up here. I'm determined to get back to a fitter place. I'll definitely give the hybrid a try while I am checking out the other bikes.

  9. #9
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    I'm almost exactly your size but 20 years older. I was having trouble bouncing back after hip replacement surgery so I decided to try biking. I bought a Trek Navigator 3.0 this summer and I've been very happy with it. Biking was just the prescription I needed.
    Trek 520, Trek Navigator 3.0, Trek zx6000

  10. #10
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doubledown7d View Post
    Are you referring to them tightening the spokes? Parden my ignorance. What kind of spoke count should I not get under to play safe? The Felt dealer actually includes lifetime tune ups when you buy a new bike from them, would tensioning the spokes possibly be included in that?
    When some people true a wheel, they just loosen and tighten spokes until the wheel is straight. That's fine for 140# pencils but a properly built wheel will also have spokes that are evenly tensioned. Loose spokes are generally the ones that are going to break and overly tight spokes will damage the hub flange or the rim, so you need 'em all done right. You can pluck the strings like a guitar and listen to the tone... all similar spokes should sound similar. This obviously doesn't work if you have a tin ear.

    There are any number of rims these days that are suitably strong and 32 or 36 spokes are a solid bet for long term reliability.

  11. #11
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Just a thought? In 2009 I was 378lbs, currently around 294lbs. I started out like you, and bought a Giant Suede DX for about $400 bucks, and when the rear wheel died, the LBS covered it under warranty.

    My problem was I could just never get comfortable on a bike. In 2011 I bought a TerraTrike 'Rover' - a recumbent trike (3 wheels, a tadpole), and they start at $699 and go up from there. You may wish to do some reading, but the Rover has a 400lb weight limit and a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 wheels instead of 2, and 20" wheels instead of 26" wheels (smaller is stronger basically). I have some 1700+ miles on mine (no wheel issues). The BentRider OnLine website has a trike section here: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...splay.php?f=13

    Plus TerraTrike has a small forum as well. Just another idea to consider...

    Here is a shot taken while on tour of the GAP last summer:



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    Thanks for the info TH. learning more everyday since I started coming here and reading. Can't wait to start riding :-)
    Peter, I have to admit I have always been interested in recumbents. Even chased a guy on one down one time years ago to ask questions. Glad he understood lol. I'm open to suggestions and looking at anything right now that gets me peddling on a daily basis. I'll check them out.

  13. #13
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    The Felt you referenced should be a decent bike if the frame size fits you. It looks to come with 32 spoke wheels, wich should be okay, but don't be too surprised if you need to have a handbuit wheel on the rear. A lot of guys badmouth the Sora groupset, but take it for a test ride and see if the shifters work for you. I think the Sora's shift fine from the hoods, not so great in the drops, but if you are over 300lbs your legs will be hitting your stomach in the drops anyway. (they're still useful for getting the most out of downhills though).

    If you are planning to ride on the road, you are probably best looking at road/touring/or CX bikes. The drop bars give many hand positions so your wrists, elbows, and back can get some relief on long rides. It won't matter much in the begining, but if you start doing 50 or 100 mile rides with a club on the weekends it will. Most of the people I've rode with started out with mountain and hybrid bikes, but bought road bikes once they started putting in more miles. Test ride as many bikes as you can anyway, just to check out the differences.
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  14. #14
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Forgot to add a photo at my start~



    My first ride was a whooping 400 feet. This was my visit *real* ride a few months later - a whole 14 miles~!
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    The Felt you referenced should be a decent bike if the frame size fits you. It looks to come with 32 spoke wheels, wich should be okay, but don't be too surprised if you need to have a handbuit wheel on the rear. A lot of guys badmouth the Sora groupset, but take it for a test ride and see if the shifters work for you. I think the Sora's shift fine from the hoods, not so great in the drops, but if you are over 300lbs your legs will be hitting your stomach in the drops anyway. (they're still useful for getting the most out of downhills though).

    If you are planning to ride on the road, you are probably best looking at road/touring/or CX bikes. The drop bars give many hand positions so your wrists, elbows, and back can get some relief on long rides. It won't matter much in the begining, but if you start doing 50 or 100 mile rides with a club on the weekends it will. Most of the people I've rode with started out with mountain and hybrid bikes, but bought road bikes once they started putting in more miles. Test ride as many bikes as you can anyway, just to check out the differences.
    i had to look up hoods and drops, lol. I'll get the vocabulary down soon. The LBS said there was a two year warranty on the components so I was hoping to at least get a little time for my money before having to start investing more money on stronger parts. I am a heavy dude right now though and understand these components aren't really built to be under that kind of stress. I figure if I can really get the bug and make this a part of my life I'll probably get all excited about another new bike in about a year after I've dropped some significant weight. Invest some reasonable money and get some really good components.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
    Forgot to add a photo at my start~



    My first ride was a whooping 400 feet. This was my visit *real* ride a few months later - a whole 14 miles~!
    Thanks for sharing the before after shots Peter. That's pretty motivating, and the fact that you have stuck with it. Question about the trike; how's the speed and handling on something like that? Does it seem more dangerous when riding on the road being that low?

  16. #16
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Lights, flags, and the width *generally* folks tend to swing wide for a trike (perhaps they think the rider is handicapped in some way?) On a trike, you will generally be 2-3mph *slower* than you'd be on a road bike, and a fair bit slower going up hills - but, on a trike there is no minimum speed needed either, you can go up a hill as slow as you like (or need to) without any balance issues.

    Trikes are more about comfort than they are about speed. You spend less time with your headed angled at the ground, more time to look around, etc... They are great for touring, very easy to carry heavy loads, etc.. I tend to go on 6-10hr rides all the time, stopping where and when I like, and I am never sore at the end - it's just usually too dark to keep riding. But, if speed is your thing, triking may not be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
    Lights, flags, and the width *generally* folks tend to swing wide for a trike (perhaps they think the rider is handicapped in some way?) On a trike, you will generally be 2-3mph *slower* than you'd be on a road bike, and a fair bit slower going up hills - but, on a trike there is no minimum speed needed either, you can go up a hill as slow as you like (or need to) without any balance issues.

    Trikes are more about comfort than they are about speed. You spend less time with your headed angled at the ground, more time to look around, etc... They are great for touring, very easy to carry heavy loads, etc.. I tend to go on 6-10hr rides all the time, stopping where and when I like, and I am never sore at the end - it's just usually too dark to keep riding. But, if speed is your thing, triking may not be.
    Sounds like I may want both in the long run. Eventually I'd like to hug the curves and go as fast as possible on the flats and downhill, it is part of what I enjoyed so much about riding when I was a child. And part of this is about recapturing some of that. But I also love photography, and it sounds like a trike would be a fun way to combine two things that make me happy as well as lose weight.

  18. #18
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of touring bikes for clydes as they generally come with 36-spoke wheels on HD hubs and are built with a slightly more relaxed geometry and tough frames designed to handle the stress of a heavy load. If you are looking for something more aggressive, a cyclocross bike might be a good choice.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member 99Klein's Avatar
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    Don't want to hijack this thread but how fast do these thing go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
    Just a thought? In 2009 I was 378lbs, currently around 294lbs. I started out like you, and bought a Giant Suede DX for about $400 bucks, and when the rear wheel died, the LBS covered it under warranty.

    My problem was I could just never get comfortable on a bike. In 2011 I bought a TerraTrike 'Rover' - a recumbent trike (3 wheels, a tadpole), and they start at $699 and go up from there. You may wish to do some reading, but the Rover has a 400lb weight limit and a lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 wheels instead of 2, and 20" wheels instead of 26" wheels (smaller is stronger basically). I have some 1700+ miles on mine (no wheel issues). The BentRider OnLine website has a trike section here: http://www.bentrideronline.com/messa...splay.php?f=13

    Plus TerraTrike has a small forum as well. Just another idea to consider...

    Here is a shot taken while on tour of the GAP last summer:



    When you argue with an idiot, from a bystanders point of view, it may be hard to discern which is the idiot. (dis·cern: Verb - Perceive or recognize)

  20. #20
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    I would be very leery of any bike that doesn't provide you a decently upright riding position. At your height and weight and with a history of aches and pains, you are probably just asking for back and hand problems. This may not be the case as there are large guys riding road bikes but I'm guessing they aren't the norm.

    Definately spend some time test riding different bikes to get a feel for how comfortable you are on them. I'm a bit heavier and a few inches shorter and the only way I could ride drop handlebars would be if they were about an inch above my seat level and I don't think that's possible with 99% of the bikes out there.

    Also, check out the so-called "flat bar road bikes". Most of the major brands sale them and for TREK it's the "FX" series of bikes. These things allow a much more upright riding position and they aren't too shabby on speed. These fall under the "hybrid" umbrella but they are not the heavy, suspension-toting things that are often labeled as hybrids.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
    I would be very leery of any bike that doesn't provide you a decently upright riding position. At your height and weight and with a history of aches and pains, you are probably just asking for back and hand problems. This may not be the case as there are large guys riding road bikes but I'm guessing they aren't the norm.

    Definately spend some time test riding different bikes to get a feel for how comfortable you are on them. I'm a bit heavier and a few inches shorter and the only way I could ride drop handlebars would be if they were about an inch above my seat level and I don't think that's possible with 99% of the bikes out there.

    Also, check out the so-called "flat bar road bikes". Most of the major brands sale them and for TREK it's the "FX" series of bikes. These things allow a much more upright riding position and they aren't too shabby on speed. These fall under the "hybrid" umbrella but they are not the heavy, suspension-toting things that are often labeled as hybrids.
    Corwin, thanks for the advice. Yeah, I'm definately going to do some test rides of different style bikes before I just go with the drop bars. The last thing I want to do is drop the coin it takes to get back on two wheels only to have it sit in the garage, and me back on the chiropractors table. Time to start looking though, craigslist paid off this week and my "bikeroll" is almost there :-)

  22. #22
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
    Lights, flags, and the width *generally* folks tend to swing wide for a trike (perhaps they think the rider is handicapped in some way?) On a trike, you will generally be 2-3mph *slower* than you'd be on a road bike, and a fair bit slower going up hills - but, on a trike there is no minimum speed needed either, you can go up a hill as slow as you like (or need to) without any balance issues.

    Trikes are more about comfort than they are about speed. You spend less time with your headed angled at the ground, more time to look around, etc... They are great for touring, very easy to carry heavy loads, etc.. I tend to go on 6-10hr rides all the time, stopping where and when I like, and I am never sore at the end - it's just usually too dark to keep riding. But, if speed is your thing, triking may not be.
    This is great advice from Peter. Ive always had a passing curiosity for triking and Peter sure shows it works for fitness and works well! That's an awesome amount of weight you lost Peter. You should be proud of yourself. I remember reading your posts back in early 2010. Hard to believe you've lost all that weight in that time. Good for you! I know where my 'Clyde of the Year' vote will be going

    Many write about riding - you actually ride. Great job!

  23. #23
    Drink my Koolaid MadProphet's Avatar
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    Good to see you here, PeterC! I was in much the same shape - though about 4" shorter. 365 and 5'10". I had gastric bypass last August and now at 225. I had a trike, but both legs problems (sciatica) and major back problems convinced me sitting down and putting the weight on the worst part of my back was the wrong move. I got the Trek last month and I've been trying to ride every two-three days. I can get 8 miles now - half up a pretty decent hill (about 400' per mile of travel). My goal is 10 mile trips by the end of this month. That will pretty much take me down and up and back through town on the bike trail. Once I can do that, I'll start looking for more trail. Did 6.3 miles today and I can finally do it without too much pain in the rear.
    Looking for 190-195 by Feb next year.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99Klein View Post
    Don't want to hijack this thread but how fast do these thing go?
    That depends on the motor.

  25. #25
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    This is great advice from Peter. Ive always had a passing curiosity for triking and Peter sure shows it works for fitness and works well! That's an awesome amount of weight you lost Peter. You should be proud of yourself. I remember reading your posts back in early 2010. Hard to believe you've lost all that weight in that time. Good for you! I know where my 'Clyde of the Year' vote will be going

    Many write about riding - you actually ride. Great job!
    Thank you for your kind words!

    The key in my mind, is finding what is comfortable for you, and then start riding. For 2012 I'll finish the year with bout 1800 miles. In 2010 it was 650 miles. Yes, the trike *IS* slower, but it's not like I don't have the time. The difference is, when I was riding my comfort bike, after around 20-30 miles, I was done for the day. I hurt and felt sorta beat-up. On the trike, I often ride for 4-13hrs at a time, and usually stop due to darkness, rather than soreness.

    I still have a long way to go, but the difference is I know it will happen in time. My trike (cheapest one on the market when I bought it) is wonderful for me. And I do think it's a viable way to go when you are an uber-clyde.
    Peter_C
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