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  1. #1
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    Big guy looking to get back on a bike but haven't ridden since my license

    Like the title says Im a big guy 5'5 and 250 have not been on a bike since i got my driver's license a while back (7 years ago). I wanna get back into it its seem like a fun way to get a little exercise and there is a nice paved 15 mile bike path that I can take back and fourth to work 3 times a week. the problem is that i dont know jack about bikes any more. I have a couple bmx bikes in the carport that im using to re-familiarize my self but I don't think those are gonna cut it.

    So what im asking is what bike should I be looking for I was looking into the trek 4500 disk is that a good bike for big guys???

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    250lbs isn't that heavy, you can pretty much buy what you like. Get some advice about wheels (superlight racing wheels with low spoke counts aren't going to cut it) but as far as frames are concerned, decide what sort of bike will suit you and go from there.

    The Trek 4500 looks fine to me, though I'm no mountain biker. Do you want a mountain bike? If the path you are riding most regularly is paved, you won't need the suspension fork, so unless you plan on doing real off-road stuff you might be better off with something more like a cyclocross bike or a touring bike. These will handle trails as well as pavement and will be more fun to ride on the road than a MTB.

    Whatever you choose, you're making a good decision. Commuting by bike is a terrific way to get fit without taking too much time out of your day.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
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    Do you plan on taking the bike off road?

    I think a lot of big guys want a mountain bike because it looks a lot stronger, but with the 4500, the tires are knobby which will slow you down on the road (although that is an easy fix), and the suspension will rob you of a lot of power. They are also heavier than road bikes and hybrids.

    I would look into a hybrid, something like the Trek 7.2 FX (also available in disc versions. The bike will be lighter, and the tires will roll easier. I believe Trek rates their hybrids for 300 lbs, and road bikes for 275 lbs, so you will be fine with either one. I'm also suggesting you try out a few different brands, but you mentioned Trek first, and its what I own and know, but I'm sure any hybrid (short of a few expensive ones with low spoke count wheels), will hold you just fine.

  4. #4
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    Give the Surly Troll a test ride.
    http://surlybikes.com/bikes/troll

    OTOH, with 15 miles of paved road, a road bike might be nice too.
    I like the GT Corsa 1.0. www.gtbicycles.com/2013/bikes/road/performance/corsa-1-0
    Last edited by Cfiber; 04-24-13 at 02:51 PM.

  5. #5
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    Get a road bike and never look back. It will make the commute a piece of cake and you will be trying to find other routes and planning long weekend trips.

  6. #6
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Since you're thinking about commuting, I think eventually you'll want a rear rack and fenders. Taking that a step further, If you want to be able to do light shopping on the way home then you'd add panniers to the rack. Something like the Trek FX series would be able to do all this. The down side is that it has an upright seating position. The upright seating position means that as you start going faster it takes a lot more power to overcome wind resistance.
    Some people put a rack on road bikes but unless you're < 180# I don't think it's a good idea. The reason is that they tend to have short chainstays. A short chainstay means the rear wheel is more forward. Putting more weight back there makes the steering twichy. If you want to carry anything then you're looking at a backpack or messenger bag. I don't want my back any more sweaty than it already gets. Haven't tried a messenger bag.

    Cyclocross bikes are kinda in-between and with touring type tires make a good commuter.

  7. #7
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    I suggest to NOT get a road bike. The main reason is that if you get to the point where you can do your 15 mile commute using a road bike will almost make it too easy. You want to burn the calories and you minimize that riding on a greasy fast road bike. I ride a hybrid, a Cannondale Quick 5, with better than stock tires and I love it. I can do an easy commute to work or I can turn it into a lung-burning power workout. Certainly you can do that with a road bike but the ride would be over too quick.

  8. #8
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    I suggest to NOT get a road bike. The main reason is that if you get to the point where you can do your 15 mile commute using a road bike will almost make it too easy. You want to burn the calories and you minimize that riding on a greasy fast road bike. I ride a hybrid, a Cannondale Quick 5, with better than stock tires and I love it. I can do an easy commute to work or I can turn it into a lung-burning power workout. Certainly you can do that with a road bike but the ride would be over too quick.
    No, it wouldn't. In the first place, the guy is just returning to cycling and it is going to be quite a while before he is anything close to fast. In the second place, a fifteen-mile ride to work is a decent commute even on a road bike. In the third place, the difference in speed between the hybrid and the road bike really isn't that huge until one is moving at higher speeds, when the more aero position on the latter comes into its own.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    I suggest to NOT get a road bike. The main reason is that if you get to the point where you can do your 15 mile commute using a road bike will almost make it too easy. You want to burn the calories and you minimize that riding on a greasy fast road bike. I ride a hybrid, a Cannondale Quick 5, with better than stock tires and I love it. I can do an easy commute to work or I can turn it into a lung-burning power workout. Certainly you can do that with a road bike but the ride would be over too quick.
    I agree that a road bike cannot go off road at all. Currently I have WonderMonkey's old mtb with no shocks on it it's a Cannondale from 1996 I believe, but I think that it's great because I can go off road (maybe not as well as a mtb with shocks) if I switch out the tires to knobby ones, but I feel like road bikes are just so fast that I don't get as good of a workout when I ride them. However, I am planning on getting my first road bike to take on really long excursions like when I did a commute to work (previous workplace) because the breaks went out on my ex wife's car and it was about 32 miles each way and I was pooped afterward, and would have welcomed a road bike for those kind of trips, but anything under 20 I think you can get a great workout with a hybrid or mtb with no shocks, but still be comfortable. Finally, since I have a 6 mile commute to work anymore I think a road bike would make it too easy, but I cannot judge on what a 15 mile commute would be on a road bike vs hybrid/mtb until I can take a road bike vs mtb test ride and see how I feel after each ride.
    I am Captain McAwesome....true story.
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  10. #10
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    No, it wouldn't. In the first place, the guy is just returning to cycling and it is going to be quite a while before he is anything close to fast. In the second place, a fifteen-mile ride to work is a decent commute even on a road bike. In the third place, the difference in speed between the hybrid and the road bike really isn't that huge until one is moving at higher speeds, when the more aero position on the latter comes into its own.
    I agree with this.

    To the OP, get whatever bike you like riding. 250 lbs may be bigger than you want to be, but isn't big enough to really limit your choice in bikes (I wouldn't go with a low spoke count wheel, but that's easily avoidable).
    http://Charles.Plager.net
    http://RecumbentQuant.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    What shop are you thinking of going to? My son lives in Kailua and he is pretty happy with his shop, they will be of great help also.

  12. #12
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    and not to mention one day you may want to ride longer than 15 miles, I would not buy a bike just so I could work harder on my ride.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the input guys now a good list of question to ask that bike shop people while getting fitted and shopping around!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by iforgotmename View Post
    What shop are you thinking of going to? My son lives in Kailua and he is pretty happy with his shop, they will be of great help also.
    I was looking to go to the shops that i hat i had seen around before like The Bike Shop, Bike factory, and Bikewerx. What shop does your son go too???

  14. #14
    Senior Member iforgotmename's Avatar
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    I shot him a message asking...he is pretty busy working long hours in AZ right now. I will let you know as soon as i find out.

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