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  1. #1
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    New Clyde needs help. Everyone please read.

    Help please.

    I am a Clyde. 58 280 pounds. I want to get back into biking and I want to do long distance touring and camping. I plan on using a trailer so gear weight and its frame stress are not a factor. Just my weight

    Im looking for something with a solid heavy duty frame I can work with and mod over time as I refine my needs and get back into shape. Hard tail or no shocks would be best. A high spoke count would be nice. I would like not to have to replace the wheels right off. I have been thinking of starting with a mountain bike as a base.

    Now for the tricky part. I have $0 in my bike fund and will have $0 for some time to come. But I have a large store credit at Sears that I can not transfer or cash in. All I can do us use it myself. So I find something at Sears I can work with or I am walking.

    I Know that Sears falls into the category of a big box store that has nothing but crap so please dont post just to tell me what a mistake not going to my LBS is. I have read pages and pages of posts on the subject. Unless you know a LBS that takes Sears store credit I am stuck.

    My other problem is I have been out of the biking world for about 30 years and Sears has lots of brands of bikes. The only one I know, is not the company it was in the past. Are any of these other brands worth looking at?

    Are any of the bikes Sears carries worth having? Think of them as all costing $1. Out of everything Sears has is there anything I can work with,

    Thanks to all who take the time to look in on Sears and help me make the best of this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sir-Loin's Avatar
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    Are you able to use the third party online site? If so you have a few good options. I saw a diamond back response that is decent. The website has really nice Ridleys and BMC's listed but they are through third party. Not sure if your credit works there.
    Sir-Loin
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir-Loin View Post
    Are you able to use the third party online site? If so you have a few good options. I saw a diamond back response that is decent. The website has really nice Ridleys and BMC's listed but they are through third party. Not sure if your credit works there.

    I'll check but my guess is no. That would have Sears sending a third party cash at some point. But thanks for trying.

  4. #4
    Neil_B
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    Hi RickBlane,

    Is your Sears credit good at KMart as well?

    Before we get into specific bikes, read this journal of a Bike Forums poster riding from SC to TX on a Walmart Schwinn Sidewinder:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/i...tml?doc_id=858

    Your circumstances aren't ideal. But we've had people on here who rode "big box bikes." RacetheNation started on a Huffy at 329 pounds. He no longer posts here, but he's kept a good chunk of weight off. And he eventually move on from the Huffy.

    My suggestion is that you aim for one of the higher end mountain bikes, and be prepared to make repairs, changes, and upgrades on your own. Don't assume the bike is correctly assembled by the store, or that any care was taken. I've not shopped at Sears in a decade. Their automotive department replaced the battery in my car with one designed for use on tractors. If their auto mechanics can do that, imagine what the guy who works in Lawn and Garden can do assembling your bike.

    I still recommend buying used or from a bike shop if you can. Have you considered asking friends and family to let you buy for them at Sears using your credit, and then they pay you? This could generate some cash for your bike fund. And you might need that cash at some point even if you get a bike at Sears.

    Come to think of it, have you asked around if any of your friends or family have an old bike you can use? Couldn't hurt.

    Welcome to Bike Forums, and I hope you stick around and continue to post. I tour with a bike trailer, although the bike isn't from Sears.

  5. #5
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I would check to see if you can use the third party sites but if not, here are some possibilities:


    http://www.sears.com/tour-de-france-...&blockType=G30

    http://www.sears.com/titan-pathfinde...&blockType=G13


    Or, find a friend or family member that needs something from Sears, let them use your credit and pay you back. Go buy a bike.
    Or, go buy something really desirable in your market from Sears, like some quality tools. Resell them and buy a bike.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I would check to see if you can use the third party sites but if not, here are some possibilities:


    http://www.sears.com/tour-de-france-...&blockType=G30

    http://www.sears.com/titan-pathfinde...&blockType=G13


    Or, find a friend or family member that needs something from Sears, let them use your credit and pay you back. Go buy a bike.
    Or, go buy something really desirable in your market from Sears, like some quality tools. Resell them and buy a bike.
    Wow, Goldfinch and I agree on something!

  8. #8
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Get creative. Find someone who wants to do some Christmas shopping at Sears and purchase the items they want in exchange for cash. If you're lucky someone will help you out even up, but you could sweeten the pot by giving them a few dollars more in Sears stuff than they pay you back in cash. Unless you know them very well, no items should change hands until you have the money.

    With the selection of tools and electronics available at Sears, you might even be able to trade a Sears gift card to a mechanic at your local bike shop in exchange for a used bike that is just taking up rack space over the winter. Bike shops like to get people riding, because even if you start out low budget, you'll get hooked on cycling and you'll be back over the years when the budget isn't so tight.

    Your best bets for low cost and durability are steel framed, rigid (no suspension) mountain bikes from the 1990s. Most came with 26", 36-spoke wheels and they will hold up to weight and heavy use. Many have mounting points for racks and fenders. Trek 800 series, Specialized Hardrock, Giant Yukon or Boulder, or several other name brands are available and you can often find them in good working order for less than $100. They accept standard parts and can be upgraded without much of a problem. Steel hybrid or touring bikes from the same era, like the Trek 700 series, are also a good option. You didn't say how much credit you had, but you might be able to come up with enough to get something like a used Surly CrossCheck or Long Haul Trucker, which make excellent clyde touring bikes.
    Last edited by Myosmith; 12-10-12 at 08:32 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Since you wanty to tour, whatever you buy should be properly geared. For hills/mountains, a 24x34 low gear is nice to have.

    Virtually nothing is more annoying on tour than persistent wheel trouble. Been there. Done that. (FYI, a B.O.B. or other trailer does put some stress on your rear wheel and frame. Keep in mind that a B.O.B. and dry bag weighs in at about 18 lbs. unloaded.) If you cannot aford a high-quality wheel set off the bat, save your lunch money for one in the future. And no offense to people who work at Sears, but I would absolutely have the wheels properly tensioned by an experienced mechanic.

    You are probably going to want a bike that willa accept bar-end so you can have multiple hand positions.

    Others have suggested ways to turn your store credit in to cash. I would explore those ideas to give yourself more flexibility. If you can turn that credit into $1,500, a new, stock Surly Long Haul Trucker should meet your needs. You might even be able to find a used one. (There are two listed on eBay right now. REI also sells two touring modles--the Randonee and Safari. Both are less expensive than the LHT. The Safari is significantly less expensive.

  10. #10
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum - hope it provides the inspiration you need...

    I am not so inclined to charge anything nowadays and if you have no money to pay the charge - just doesn't make sense; but it's your choice. To start I would keep expenses down as much as possible. I would start "garage sale" shopping. People always have bikes for sale; some really new and quite decent. Put in alittle effort of travelling around and save yourself the debt and pay back.

    Starting out any bike that fits you (key here) will do. Once you COMMIT (another key word) to the sport, then consider getting a better bike. Start putting money away now and hopefully when the time and opportunity (start looking now and know what's out there and how much it costs) you will be ready to get what you want; not just what you need.

    Really I think you will get a better quality bike; for less money; if you start garage sale shopping... just do alittle internet research and know what a good deal is... for instance, if you can find a nice vintage Specialized Hard Rock or Rock Hopper for say $25 - 40, that would be a blazing deal.[ see what Myosmith above says about older bikes - he is spot on]

    I get you have a store credit at Sears but why not save that for something more practical like clothing etc (since hopefully you will start losing weight). If not, then just buy a bike that fits ya... I don't think "quality" is an issue when speaking of Sears bikes...
    Last edited by Pamestique; 12-10-12 at 10:12 AM.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Sir-Loin's Avatar
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    If you give us a cash budget and the exact details of the sears options I am sure we can all pull our heads together and get you a good plan!
    Sir-Loin
    5'8 and 294 lbs of HUMILITY.....

  12. #12
    Neil_B
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    General location would help too.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    Hi RickBlane,

    Is your Sears credit good at KMart as well?

    Before we get into specific bikes, read this journal of a Bike Forums poster riding from SC to TX on a Walmart Schwinn Sidewinder:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/i...tml?doc_id=858

    .


    Great read thanks for the point. I my trips will be much shorter as 28 days is a lot of time to be away from home and I hope to find a group to tag along with for the first few trips.

    I might have to put Schwinn back on the list but some of the other guys have me thinking yard sales.

    And I need to spend the winter getting into better shape and doing upgrades to any yard sale find I come up with. Some day trips might be in order.

    To answer some of your questions I am in the Atlanta area and while I can google plenty of LBS for the area the looks I get from the staff of the ones I have visited so far is the same as a wolf gives a lamb. If any of you know of a shop run by a sheepdog please let me know. Even if I hit a yard sale or CL find I will need help with certain upgrades and tuneups.

    As for a cash budget I have none. My toy fund has been crushed. My wife is into some major house upgrades that have all available cash tied up as far as the eye can see. She seems to think heat and a roof that won't leak trump my need for toys. Wives can be so unreasonable about such things.

    So a nice yard sale or CL find that is usable for day trips now and I can upgrade in small steps to gear up for spring trips is what I see as my best path. Steel frame mountain bikes from the 1990s look to be a good platform to build on. Some of you have given me some names to look for if any of you have other names to through into the hat please do so. I guess I would like to find something in rideing shape for under $100. My specs so far are steel frame, 21 speed, 26" wheels. As I understand everything else can be upgraded in stages. Other opinions or additions are welcome.

    As to the types of areas and riding I plan to do. I plan to do it all. I know that one bike can not be best at all things my aim is to have the best all round bike I can have. The only thing I have no interest in is racing.

    Someone once told me that if you want to know what kind of bike someone rides look at the car they drive. I drive a Doge 3500 disel pickup. I'm not into fast or flash or looking cool. A solid old workhorse would fit me fine.

    Thanks to all who have given their input so far and to those yet to come.

    I think you guys will be fun to play with.

  14. #14
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    If you have credit at Sears then you probably are able to get credit elsewhere. Find a high quality bicycle at an LBS and apply for financing, or apply for a MC/Visa at a bank. I agree with Pamestique that it's much better to use cash, but sometimes we're in a position where we can't. Another option is to apply for a Discover card through Sears - Discover used to be (and may still be) a Sears card. There's a lot of examples of people that have ridden Big-Box bikes successfully, but I know at least an equal number that try them out and quit cycling altogether, not realizing the huge difference in ridability and comfort between a bso and a higher quality machine.

    Another option: Save for a while and then use cash. Good, high quality bikes from Trek and Giant start as little as 4 bills and go up from there. (my current main squeeze was $420 retail).

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  15. #15
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Does the Atlanta area have any bicycle co-ops? Many co-ops are sources of good used bikes and may have an earn-a-bike program where you can exchange volunteer hours for a used bike and shop time to fix it up. My daughter did this and built herself up an early 1990s Giant Boulder with used Deore shifters and derailleurs and a mix of Altus/Alivio level brakes and crank. The only cash outlay was for a new seat and grips with bar ends. It's now her daily commuter/college bike and is in perfect working order. She should easily get a few thousand miles out of it before it needs any significant work outside of normal maintenance.

    Co-ops are a great way to get a bike at a very reasonable price and to learn how to build and maintain them (prevents costly mistakes). When the cash flow is better, you can upgrade, sell or trade in to buy or build something better.
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  16. #16
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
    If you have credit at Sears then you probably are able to get credit elsewhere. Find a high quality bicycle at an LBS and apply for financing, or apply for a MC/Visa at a bank. I agree with Pamestique that it's much better to use cash, but sometimes we're in a position where we can't. Another option is to apply for a Discover card through Sears - Discover used to be (and may still be) a Sears card. There's a lot of examples of people that have ridden Big-Box bikes successfully, but I know at least an equal number that try them out and quit cycling altogether, not realizing the huge difference in ridability and comfort between a bso and a higher quality machine.

    Another option: Save for a while and then use cash. Good, high quality bikes from Trek and Giant start as little as 4 bills and go up from there. (my current main squeeze was $420 retail).

    Keep us updated
    I believe what he means is a credit for returned merchandise, not a credit card. The former is issued as compensation for the return of a (usually non-resalable) item.

  17. #17
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    Hi! If you haven't already, I'd check craigslist in your area. Sometimes you can find some real gems there, at low cost. I saw several less than 100 dollars that couls get you in the seat. You might want to get measured for a bike to know what size fram to look at. If you are successful at working on the engine this winter, there is a good probability that you will want to upgrade your ride at a later date..in 6 months to a year. And, by then you may be more liquid from a cash perspective. Years ago, I found and old steel sears name brand bike with simplex derailleurs on it, on the curb, in a pile of trash. The city was doing a city clean up day and residents could throw almost anything to the curb. I offered the homeowner 5 bucks. Took the bike home changed out the tubes and tires, bought a book on bike maintenance and put 10,000 miles on it over the next few years. Could happen to you, you may find a gem that is being discarded for free or at a low price. Good Luck. You might want to use the sears credit for some of your wife's remodeling! She will never suspect an ulterior motive when you buy a nicer bike next spring!..Also, the bike stores in our area have a great spring sale where they move older inventory, even last years models....just a thought.

  18. #18
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Good point... I have a friend who is also always cashed strapped - he got a used Wally World bike ($30 from a friend) and before it broke, rode it to death. He lost around 55 lbs and started looking so good his wife started to encourage him to look for a nicer bike. She really loves her "new" man - he looks good, has alot more endurance (if you know what I mean) and a renewed lease on life...
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  19. #19
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    I believe what he means is a credit for returned merchandise, not a credit card. The former is issued as compensation for the return of a (usually non-resalable) item.
    It would have been a good idea to read the post more carefully . . .
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  20. #20
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
    It would have been a good idea to read the post more carefully . . .
    Why be different from anyone else?

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=Myosmith;15037722]Does the Atlanta area have any bicycle co-ops?


    Great tip. I found a co-op in my area that looks good. If I find a CL or yard sale bike or build one on a co-op frame it looks to be a great source of tech support and a way to learn more about keeping a bike in tune.

    I will give my self till the 2nd week in Jan to find something in the wild and if no joy then go for a co-op build.

    I would think that CL would get a influx of older bikes after Christmas.

    Thanks for all the help guys.

    One last question. If I am hunting a 90s era steel frame no shocks MTB are there any brands or model I shood keep an eye out for? I have been told of a Stumpjumper and the Trek 700-800s. Others?

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    dupe post
    Last edited by RickBlane; 12-12-12 at 02:57 AM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    Does the Atlanta area have any bicycle co-ops? Many co-ops are sources of good used bikes and may have an earn-a-bike program where you can exchange volunteer hours for a used bike and shop time to fix it up. My daughter did this and built herself up an early 1990s Giant Boulder with used Deore shifters and derailleurs and a mix of Altus/Alivio level brakes and crank. The only cash outlay was for a new seat and grips with bar ends. It's now her daily commuter/college bike and is in perfect working order. She should easily get a few thousand miles out of it before it needs any significant work outside of normal maintenance.

    Co-ops are a great way to get a bike at a very reasonable price and to learn how to build and maintain them (prevents costly mistakes). When the cash flow is better, you can upgrade, sell or trade in to buy or build something better.
    I agree with the co-op idea. Good quality 90's rigid steel frames are very easy to come by, Trade the co-op time to build up a bike or other labor. In return, you learn bicycle maintenance. Also, use sears credit to buy general tools for bike repair and possibly tubes and tires available at Sears.
    Old steel makes me squeal!

  24. #24
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RickBlane View Post
    Help please.

    I am a Clyde. 5’8” 280 pounds. I want to get back into biking and I want to do long distance touring and camping. I plan on using a trailer so gear weight and its frame stress are not a factor. Just my weight

    I’m looking for something with a solid heavy duty frame I can work with and mod over time as I refine my needs and get back into shape. Hard tail or no shocks would be best. A high spoke count would be nice. I would like not to have to replace the wheels right off. I have been thinking of starting with a mountain bike as a base.
    Unless you really want to go into hardcore mountain biking (which it doesn't look like) you're probably better off avoiding full suspension bikes. A suspension fork can add comfort, especially if the roads aren't very even, but look for a bike that lets you lock out the fork because otherwise you'll find the fork bouncing when you're trying to get some power down (it can be particularly bad going up hills when you really want your effort to push you forward rather than bounce the fork).

    When I started cycling I weighed in somewhere around 290 and found my 32-spoke wheels lasted just fine until I realised I could put down a lot of power by simply throwing my weight at the pedals. My weight coupled with a total lack of finesse saw me breaking four spokes in as many months, at which point I bought a new rear wheel. It also has 32 spokes but they are thicker. To date I haven't broken any of them. On my road bike I've broken a single spoke in some 3-4000 miles of riding (I weigh somewhere around 230-240 now) but that was shortly after my bike rolled backwards and strained a spoke against the lock - it might not have been the same spoke but given how the two happened so close together I suspect it was.

    Now for the tricky part. I have $0 in my bike fund and will have $0 for some time to come. But I have a large store credit at Sears that I can not transfer or cash in. All I can do us use it myself. So I find something at Sears I can work with or I am walking.

    I Know that Sears falls into the category of a big box store that has nothing but crap so please don’t post just to tell me what a mistake not going to my LBS is. I have read pages and pages of posts on the subject. Unless you know a LBS that takes Sears store credit I am stuck.
    Can't comment on the Sears range other than to agree with what people have said about not assuming they've done even a remotely good job on assembling anything. I've seen a few pieces of exercise equipment in their shops that wobbled so alarmingly I decided not to buy them, and only later came to realise that the problem wasn't so much with the product but the fact it was assembled by someone who didn't care.

    In terms of how to get at this store credit, I'd be surprised if a third party store would accept a credit at another store but you might be able to sell your store credit to someone else and turn it into real money? If family and friends want stuff that you can get from Sears, use your store credit to buy it and let them give you the cash. It might take a while depending on just how much credit you have there but sooner or later you get yourself a wad of pictures of dead presidents and can spend it anywhere you want.
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  25. #25
    Neil_B
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    [QUOTE=RickBlane;15041088]
    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    Does the Atlanta area have any bicycle co-ops?


    Great tip. I found a co-op in my area that looks good. If I find a CL or yard sale bike or build one on a co-op frame it looks to be a great source of tech support and a way to learn more about keeping a bike in tune.

    I will give my self till the 2nd week in Jan to find something in the wild and if no joy then go for a co-op build.

    I would think that CL would get a influx of older bikes after Christmas.

    Thanks for all the help guys.

    One last question. If I am hunting a 90s era steel frame no shocks MTB are there any brands or model I shood keep an eye out for? I have been told of a Stumpjumper and the Trek 700-800s. Others?
    Specialized Hardrock. For years it was the unofficial house bike of the Clyde Forum.

    And, to throw a curve ball your way, a steel touring bike such as the Trek 520 or Surly Long Haul Trucker might be worth considering. The Trek 520 has been around forever.

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