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  1. #1
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    Questions from an Newbie Uber Clyde

    Hello everybody,
    Just found this forum and have been reading all evening. I will fully admit that I am an Uber Clyde. I started a new job 6 months ago where lots of my coworkers ride to work, or go on rides after work. I am going to talk to some of them about this, but thought I would post here as well. I'm interested in starting to ride again, it's been 10-15 years not to mention 150+ lbs since I last rode . I live roughly 5 miles from my place of work, I would like to be able to ride to and from every day, minus those days that are -20 and blowing snow/ice. I want to do this for my own health, to start taking some of this excess weight off. I'm going to list of what I'm trying to figure out, if anybody has any input I welcome it.

    • Ability to ride gravel roads (5 miles from work, 3-4 of those miles are gravel)
    • I want something that's going to be rugged, weight of the bike is not an issue. I'd rather it be heavy and strong.
    • I want something that is going to be quality and not fall apart on me 3 months down the road
    • What components do you consider an absolutely must have?
    • What do I need to be aware of as a heavy rider? Spokes breaking, flat tires, broken pedals, etc? (I've been reading about lots of potential issues for Uber Clydes)
    • How much is realistic for me to spend on a decent setup?
    • What other questions should I be asking my local bike shop?
    • I'm going to check with my local bike shop this weekend, see if they have thoughts/recommendations and I want to go in educated at least a little bit.

  2. #2
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    I think you're looking for either a mountain bike or a cyclocross bike. IMO, the Surly Ogre, Salsa Vaya, or Salso Fargo, suit you best. All commute-cyclists need to know how to repair a flat in the dark, before they venture out.

    Here's a few good links:

    http://surlybikes.com/bikes
    www.salsacycles.com
    www.bikesdirect.com
    Last edited by Cfiber; 04-25-13 at 05:43 AM.

  3. #3
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Not to put you off but there are a bunch of identical threads all over this forum. I'll tell you to search for them, not as a put off, but because there is a lot of information available in them and you would benefit from it.

    Item the second - I'd suggest a used mountain bike with NO suspension. Specialized hard rocks or whatever they were from the 90s fit the bill pretty well and they're pretty reasonably priced too.

    Item the third - you're in great shape with so many co workers riding! I know you'll probably feel self conscious but make sure you take advantage of their info and good will - Many, many cyclists are happy to see new people pick up the sport and are only too happy to ride with somebody "slower" so don't be shy.

    Numero quatro - your weight will not be "fixed" by cycling alone. You need to take a hard look at your eating habits.

    Good luck with it all! I'm sure people will chime in with current advice for you too.

  4. #4
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    I was an uber Clyde last September when I ordered a bikesdirect.com bike.

    I highly recommend an indoor trainer for winter time. I know summer is soon approaching, but the indoor trainer is invaluable to me during the colder months. You can also use it on a rainy day. Not only does it provide a chance to ride when otherwise you could not, but I feel it offers a better workout then road riding. I improved drastically over the winter, and I owe that improvement to my trainer(s). A fluid trainer is much better than a magnetic trainer in my opinion. Keep an eye on craigslist, maybe you will find a good deal.

    Weighing in at over 300 pounds, from a high of 330, but at approximately 320 when I got the bike; I am now 280 and still have a long ways to go.

    My advice is that you get something COMFORTABLE with strong wheels.

    I got an elite trail motobecane from the previously mentioned Internet dealer. It sits on 32 spoke double wall wheels. They held me fine at over 300 pounds, but I believe I was near the limit of what is smart to ask of those wheels.

    36 spoke double wall wheels would be adequate for you I believe.
    Larger tires protect your wheels and provide more comfort: 700x30 is my minimum, 26x1.50 is fine too.

    I wish I had gotten something with an Internally Geared Hub (IGH) but truthfully I have never ridden such a bike. My rationale is that my 24 speed bike can be a pain in the butt in regards to gears. My limited knowledge on the subject is that IGH bikes are worlds easier to use and setup.

    That said I am pretty good at using my gears, but I recognize that I am naturally mechanically inclined, and this aids me in becoming proficient at such things. Those unacustomed may have a dificult time using a triple chainring, especially if you get a bikesdirect bike (which will require some adjusting out of the box).

    GET BIKE SHORTS or even just liner shorts. I like pearl izumi liner shorts. Pretty cheap, fit my 44 inch waist (XXL) and provide adequate support and cushion. These short liners (read: underwear) were/are essential to enjoying my ride.

    That said, I will only suggest this more:

    Helmet
    Gloves
    Eye protection
    Appropriate footwear (some protection for your feet, definitely not thongs)

    Those items may potentially save you a lot of pain if (when) you go down. I don't want to scare you, but if you ride long enough it is very likely you will have some sort of "accident" eventually. Don't worry too much though, most likely it will happen at or near a stop, such as mounting, or dismounting.

    Check your tire pressure/pump them up every (other) ride.
    www.sheldonbrown.com is the best source for web based information archived available.
    Last edited by moochems; 04-24-13 at 10:10 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for the input provided so far. Really helpful to me. I'm going to chat with some coworkers and see if they have any recommendations as well. My LBS sells Surly bikes, so I may check out the Ogre.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessFields View Post
    Thank you all for the input provided so far. Really helpful to me. I'm going to chat with some coworkers and see if they have any recommendations as well. My LBS sells Surly bikes, so I may check out the Ogre.
    Great!

    Make sure that the component level is good. Shimano mtb groupset should be of Deore quality or better.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupset

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