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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 02-05-13, 07:03 PM   #1
Muttster
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Need your advice - should I sell or fix up.

I wanted to get your advice because I'm somewhat of a newbie. I am 58 years old, 6'5" 285 lbs. and I currently have a 95' Cannondale 300 ME L.E mountain bike which is in pretty good condition with an aluminum frame. Most of my riding will be on trails and I don't plan hopping over logs or any advanced riding any time soon. I'm looking more to get in shape and to enjoy being out in great scenery which beats the hell out of riding in subdivisions.

My question is what to do with my bike. The frame is in good shape but I think that it could use some updating. Being new to the sport and cheap, I don't want to spend more than $400-$500 on either fixing up the bike or buying a new or used on. My understanding is that I could probably get $75-100 dollars for the Cannondale. If I sold the bike, could I get something that would be an appreciable step up from the Cannondale at my price point? Does it make more sense to upgrade my old bike or should I just live with what I have. If I should get a new/used bike, given my size and needs, what should I be looking at? I know that it is a lot of questions but I really don't know what to do so I'm asking the experts.

I appreciate any advice that you could give me.
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Old 02-05-13, 07:42 PM   #2
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Prove to yourself your going to ride the one you have. A new bike or even new to you doesn't make you into a rider. Ride the one you have, do it consistently for a few months, then decide if a new(to you) bike is worth the expense.

my two cents anyway.
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Old 02-05-13, 09:00 PM   #3
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What needs updating?
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Old 02-05-13, 09:10 PM   #4
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Is there anything wrong with the bike you have? If it has knobby tires and you aren't riding on trails, getting slick tires is a cheap upgrade that makes a big difference.

Long-story-short: there's no reason to upgrade just to upgrade. If your bike has no problems, ride it a while, get into shape and then if after riding for a while, you decide you want something different, you'll have a much better idea what you want.

Good luck,
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Old 02-06-13, 01:38 AM   #5
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I'm still riding a 15 y.o. Cannondale mtb. It's been upgraded a fair bit along the way.

So, I'm going to side with the, ride what you've got crowd.
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Old 02-06-13, 07:58 AM   #6
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Agreed .. most of us all started this journey out on a cheap MTB from walmart that was 10 years old then as time went by and so did our skills then we upgaded.

And most of us still upgrading

Once you pass the honey moon stage of biking then you should start looking into a new steed
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Old 02-06-13, 09:54 AM   #7
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I can't find that bike listed on bikepdia.com, but typically Cannondale should be a pretty decent bike to start with.
You might "tweak" a few things to make it more suitable, but you probably won't find a better new bike for $500.

What DON'T you like about your bike?
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Old 02-06-13, 10:33 AM   #8
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+1 on fixing what isn't working and riding what you've got. As you gain experience, you'll start to get a feel for what is important for you and the places you ride. Then you'll be in a much better position to decide what bike will work best for you whether that is your current ride with some tweeks or something totally different.
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Old 02-06-13, 04:06 PM   #9
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There are really only three reasons you need to upgrade:

1) something is broken, worn out or cannot be made to work properly
2) you need to adapt the bike to you (ie. setback seatpost, different stem length, saddle causing hotspots etc.)
3) the bike or parts thereof have become the limiting factor in your riding

Get the bike you have clean and tuned up, replace anything that isn't working, maybe pick out some different tires if the ones you have don't suit the terrain, and ride the heck out of it. Once you have logged a lot of miles, you can decide if you really need, or just plain want something different.
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Old 02-06-13, 04:21 PM   #10
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If the bike is in reasonable, rideable condition, start riding it. if the bike currently is in need of repairs before it can even be ridden, clue us in on exactly what needs fixing. IF you have any pics to show, post them up as well. often times, repairing and making upgrades gets far more expensive than buying a new bike but not always. In the case of some older bikes, some of the modern standards may have changed which means you need to source old parts to fix it or do a serious overhaul that could get expensive. Lastly, $500 is not a very good MTB budget in my opinon for a new bike. yes you can get a rideable working MTB but if you remotely get into it you will rapidly find things that need upgrading that will cost you another $500+ that you probably could have gotten if you spent $750 upfront. However, there aredefinately deals to be had on the used market around that price point if you do some homework. One final thought, make sure you really want a mtb. I know not everyone is going to be doing serious mtb but if your just riding on glorified dirt trails, a hybrid or a cyclocross bike with proper tires may be a better bike. either of those will ride much better on paved streets.
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Old 02-06-13, 08:34 PM   #11
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I'm with these fellas, Ride the cannondale to make sure you are commited to riding before you drop coin on a new ride. Nothing wrong with an old bike, especially a reliable one, I would get a tune up and ride it as is repair/upgrade things as needed maybe get a new set of tires depending on where you're planning on riding.

would love to see a pic of the old cannondale

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Old 02-07-13, 07:05 AM   #12
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Hey Muttster, are you still around?
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Old 02-07-13, 11:32 AM   #13
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Hey Muttster, are you still around?
Yes I am - given what people have said, it looks like I should keep the Cannondale. The components of this bike are average at best - would better components make a significant difference? For what I do, hybrids seem to be the way to go for me according to the prevailing advice in this group.
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Old 02-07-13, 11:47 AM   #14
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Yes I am - given what people have said, it looks like I should keep the Cannondale. The components of this bike are average at best - would better components make a significant difference? For what I do, hybrids seem to be the way to go for me according to the prevailing advice in this group.
Assuming the components on the bike now are in decent shape and adjusted properly, you won't see a significant difference by upgrading except maybe tires and contact points (grips/saddle/pedals). Just get a bunch of miles in and decide what they of riding you are doing.

When I got back into cycling 5 years ago, I put 1K miles on an old MTB while saving up for a new MTB. Many here on BF suggested I look at road bikes instead of MTBs when I asked for suggestions. That led to an old road bike. Which led to a new entry-level road bike. Which led to an Ultegra-equipped road bike.

Give yourself time to get used to riding and to see where you like to ride. It takes some time to figure it out what type of bike best fits your needs and style. May even find you decide to go in a whole different direction once you see what is out there.
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Old 02-07-13, 01:01 PM   #15
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What city and state are you at? maybe there is something on craigslist that might be better suited.
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Old 02-07-13, 01:52 PM   #16
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What city and state are you at? maybe there is something on craigslist that might be better suited.
Chicago, IL - I have been checking on Craigslist - its amazing what people ask for bike like the Schwinn Varsity
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Old 02-07-13, 02:32 PM   #17
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I wouldn't upgrade any of the drive train unless it isn't working right. And then, maybe it only needs tweaking.

Are you riding slick tires on that mountain bike? That can make a huge difference if you are not. I hauled a bike with me for my sister to ride. It had big knobby mountain bike tires. I just put on some 1.7 width tires with no real tread. Man, is that bike now easier to ride!

Anything hurt when you ride? If so, you should address that. For example, through different saddles or handlebar grips/bar ends.
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Old 02-07-13, 03:38 PM   #18
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Post some pictures of the bike and tell us what you don't like. I completely agree with the comment about getting rid of knobbie tires if that's what you've got on there and you're riding on the road.

Handlebars too low? Seat? These are both things that are easily fixable.
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Old 02-07-13, 04:06 PM   #19
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Hey Muttster, are you in the city, or one of the burbs? Near any of the MUPs?
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Old 02-07-13, 04:12 PM   #20
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I wanted to get your advice because I'm somewhat of a newbie. I am 58 years old, 6'5" 285 lbs. and I currently have a 95' Cannondale 300 ME L.E mountain bike which is in pretty good condition with an aluminum frame. Most of my riding will be on trails and I don't plan hopping over logs or any advanced riding any time soon. I'm looking more to get in shape and to enjoy being out in great scenery which beats the hell out of riding in subdivisions.

My question is what to do with my bike. The frame is in good shape but I think that it could use some updating. Being new to the sport and cheap, I don't want to spend more than $400-$500 on either fixing up the bike or buying a new or used on. My understanding is that I could probably get $75-100 dollars for the Cannondale. If I sold the bike, could I get something that would be an appreciable step up from the Cannondale at my price point? Does it make more sense to upgrade my old bike or should I just live with what I have. If I should get a new/used bike, given my size and needs, what should I be looking at? I know that it is a lot of questions but I really don't know what to do so I'm asking the experts.

I appreciate any advice that you could give me.
Another vote to ride what you've got and see how you like it. If in a few months you're riding every day and wishing your bike did something it doesn't do, look at bikes that will address the shortcoming (it may be you end up with a mountain bike and a road bike and ride whichever one of them meets your needs on the day). If in a few months you've got a few months worth of dust on the bike you saved yourself the expense of a new bike.

I also agree with the poster who said if the tyres are too lumpy you can swap them out for something smoother based on what you're likely to be riding on. That's a lot cheaper than swapping the entire bike.
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Old 02-07-13, 04:36 PM   #21
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I'm 6'5" 210#, when I first started riding I bought an entry level Cannondale MTB, with entry level components and used it primarily as a hybrid. Cannondales make great frames. As long as the drivetrain is in good order, regularly cleaned and kept in tune, it should suit you well.
If you find the shifting rough, slow and loud, it could just use a good clean and tune-up. Starting to upgrade components adds up very, very quickly.

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