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  1. #1
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    Clydesdale friend on very tight budget...

    So a buddy of mine wants to get into biking and is looking for something "mountain bike-ish." He's going to start out on gravel paths but as he loses weight he wants to do more...

    He's on a really tight budget, probably no more than about $300-$400. I'm also going to guess he weighs between 330-350 lbs. Without offending anyone here, does he need to be worried about breaking a frame, wheels, or components like derailleurs?

    What should he be looking at?
    - Dan \m/

  2. #2
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    If one of you (or a friend) knows about bikes, craigslist is probably your best bet. Stay away from suspension forks if possible.

    After that, something that is (1) comfortable and (2) fun to ride. If you have hills, gears are a good thing.

    One comment: knobby tires on pavement eat a lot of energy. If he rides on smooth trails and roads, getting rid of the knobby tires can make the bike immediately a lot faster. If he's really riding off road, then knobby tires are probably called for.

    Cheers,
    Charles
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    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    If one of you (or a friend) knows about bikes, craigslist is probably your best bet. Stay away from suspension forks if possible.

    After that, something that is (1) comfortable and (2) fun to ride. If you have hills, gears are a good thing.

    One comment: knobby tires on pavement eat a lot of energy. If he rides on smooth trails and roads, getting rid of the knobby tires can make the bike immediately a lot faster. If he's really riding off road, then knobby tires are probably called for.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    Well, right now he's not riding anything, so anything would be an improvement. He'd probably want something with gears and I'm thinking maybe a cyclocross bike may be best, or some sort of hybrid. He's not exactly the "brightest" person when it comes to judgement, so I can see him getting a wild hair and trying to MTB, regardless what type of bike he had.
    - Dan \m/

  4. #4
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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    Well, then let him MTB... He could run slick tires on the road. I'd say the biggest issue then would be the correct sizing. I hope he's 6' at 330.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
    Well, then let him MTB... He could run slick tires on the road. I'd say the biggest issue then would be the correct sizing. I hope he's 6' at 330.
    He's more like 5'9 or so at 330 lbs.
    - Dan \m/

  6. #6
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    A Husky Industrial from Grainger. Listed at $339 but can be had for less if you have a business tax id number. It is a re labeled Worksman.
    Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

  7. #7
    Senior Member OneLessFixie's Avatar
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    Bikes Direct. It is your friend. I remember reading that their cyclocross bikes are rated up to 350lbs.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneLessFixie View Post
    Bikes Direct. It is your friend. I remember reading that their cyclocross bikes are rated up to 350lbs.
    I know a few people who have ordered from bikesdirect.com and they all seem to be pretty happy with their purchases. I guess the bikes are pretty decent for the money...
    - Dan \m/

  9. #9
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    A 29er hardtail mountainbike would be a good start, new or used.

  10. #10
    Senior Member OneLessFixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Tiger View Post
    I know a few people who have ordered from bikesdirect.com and they all seem to be pretty happy with their purchases. I guess the bikes are pretty decent for the money...
    I'm one of those people, that's why I recommended them. See my report with pics. My new ride that I paid $799 for would have cost me well over two grand from an LBS. No, I am not a shill, just a happy customer.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure."

  11. #11
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Tiger View Post
    So a buddy of mine wants to get into biking and is looking for something "mountain bike-ish." He's going to start out on gravel paths but as he loses weight he wants to do more...

    He's on a really tight budget, probably no more than about $300-$400. I'm also going to guess he weighs between 330-350 lbs. Without offending anyone here, does he need to be worried about breaking a frame, wheels, or components like derailleurs?

    What should he be looking at?
    Lots of spokes in the wheels (ideally 36 or more), and something chunky to support the weight. Then avoid banging the bike about too hard.

    When I started I weighed 280-290 or so and bought a Specialized Rockhopper. That's outside your friend's budget unless he can find a used one, and despite it being a mountain bike I didn't even ride it up or down kerbs for many months, until I'd lost some weight.

    Unless he gets a bike with a bad frame (or makes a bad decision and gets something ultra-lightweight) I'd reckon the most likely thing he's going to break are spokes.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    Lots of spokes in the wheels (ideally 36 or more), and something chunky to support the weight. Then avoid banging the bike about too hard.

    When I started I weighed 280-290 or so and bought a Specialized Rockhopper. That's outside your friend's budget unless he can find a used one, and despite it being a mountain bike I didn't even ride it up or down kerbs for many months, until I'd lost some weight.

    Unless he gets a bike with a bad frame (or makes a bad decision and gets something ultra-lightweight) I'd reckon the most likely thing he's going to break are spokes.
    That's what I told him. I told him as of right now I'd be worried more about ruining wheels than a frame, but that doesn't mean he should go jumping, either.
    - Dan \m/

  13. #13
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Mid-90s MTBs would be perfect for him. Guessing around an 18" frame size. Add some slicks or reverse-knobbies and he should be good to go.

  14. #14
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wooden Tiger View Post
    That's what I told him. I told him as of right now I'd be worried more about ruining wheels than a frame, but that doesn't mean he should go jumping, either.
    If he does overdo it the chances are the bike won't be the only thing he breaks. When I first got my MTB it was quite capable of absorbing bumps and dips, the rider much less so. Until I figured how to use elbows and knees as shock absorbers it just meant every bump hurt more than it needed to.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

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