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  1. #1
    Junior Member Currierb's Avatar
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    400lb guy looking to turn life around

    Im looking into turning my life around and losing weight. I've been looking around the web for a good 2 weeks for bikes that can handle my weight but most of the forums that i find that talk about this type thing the links are broken or the bikes people recommend are 1000$+ which i can not afford by any means.

    If anyone could help me find a good looking bike that can handle 400lbs of weight for around 500$ that would be awesome.

    I was really into the surley pugsley until found out the price...if that helps any

    Many thanks to anyone that can help

  2. #2
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Welcome to BF.net. Glad to have you on board. This is a very friendly forum with supportive people who are either on the same journey or have been there at one time.

    How tall are you? That will help with local suggestions.

    I do recommend, though, that you change your criteria from "a good looking" bike to a "comfortable, reliable" bike. I think the Surly would do you well, and is definitely cool, but at a $500 budget, "cool" may have to take a back seat.

    I'd suggest you use www.searchtempest.com. It combines all the craigslists from a defined area into one search. It really helps if you have multiple CL's in your area.

    You want a bike that will make that Surly look anemic:

    Last edited by PhotoJoe; 05-01-13 at 10:23 AM.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  3. #3
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    If you (or a friend) know about bikes, used is a great way to go. If you don't have anybody who can help, head to the LBS (local bike store) and see what they can do for you.

    PhotoJoe is completely correct: Don't worry about pretty or cool. Find something that is comfortable to ride so you will ride it. Some bike stores have used bikes as well.

    Good luck and have fun!
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  4. #4
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Just get an old non-suspension mountain bike and put some beefy double walled wheels on. Late 1980's/Early 1990's Mountain bikes are plentiful and cheap-- like $150. Get a tune up for $75 or $80 and maybe $80 worth of fat, smooth tires.

    If the wheels start to give out before the pounds do, take the rest of the budget and get some beefy wheels from a reputable bike shop (ask on here for advice, too)

    You will want something that you can set the seat a little low at first, as I imagine at 400# being able to touch the ground with a tiptoe while still seated will be confidence inspiring. But as you gain fitness, you'll want to raise the seat so that eventually your bottom leg is almost straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

    26" MTB wheels are stronger than the larger hybrid and road wheels.



    This is the kind of bike I built up for my wife. Put large smooth tires on. Recommend Continental Town and Country.

    I found my old Giant MTB on the curb in my neighborhood on bulk pick-up day. Bikes like it are regularly for sale on Craigslist for $130-150.

    Good steel, quality bike-shop brand. Anything sold at Wal Mart or Toys R Us or even Sports Authority will not be up to the task. Check here if you don't know the brands well. Stay away from Next, Magna, etc.

    Definitely go non-suspension.
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  5. #5
    Senior Member epiking's Avatar
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    Welcome to The Bike forums. When I started at around 450lbs I rode an older "hard-tail" (no suspension) Mountain Bike. It worked out pretty good for me, I am down to about 380lbs now . Important to get a bike of the correct size. +1 on the craigslist related search, be patient. Also, if you are not mechanically inclined, you may want to hold back a little bit of the budget for repair/maintenance/fit related work. Good luck on your journey.
    1985 Raleigh Elkhorn
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  6. #6
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Here, not for jokes, but for inspiration, is a photo of a large guy on a basic MTB such as what I would recommend.



    Some might suggest a step-through "women's" frame bike with the seat kind of leaned back... but if you are going to really ride a lot and get more fit, a bike with more normal geometry that can go fast (eventually!) is a better bet.

    This is the kind I "don't" recommend... notice how the rider sits back. It's harder to get leverage up hills this way. A good bike for sidewalks and boardwalks and flat paved paths:



    Bicycling Magazine had an excellent article on a man who lost a great deal of weight. It came out in 2012 or 2011... does anyone have a link?

    Anyway, a good double-walled mountain bike wheel is strong enough-- tandems take two riders @400lbs. I don't think you need anything custom or special to start-- just decent quality, and upgrade as needed.

    Good luck!
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  7. #7
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standalone View Post
    Bicycling Magazine had an excellent article on a man who lost a great deal of weight. It came out in 2012 or 2011... does anyone have a link?
    I think this may be the article you refer to http://www.bicycling.com/training-nu...ds-riding-bike

    Excellent article, very motivating. This is the passage that stuck with me:

    he saw a man ride a bike past their house. The average-looking middle-aged guy rode a touring bike with two panniers. He wove through traffic as if he were a fish swimming up a stream, slipping past boulders and rocks with grace and ease. "I remember," says Cutshall, "he had the biggest smile on his face."
    Last edited by Yo Spiff; 05-01-13 at 11:28 AM.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  8. #8
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    This. This. This.

    Look for a mid-to-late 90's CRO-MOLY STEEL mountain bike (26" wheels) or hybrid (generally 700c wheels) with NO suspension. Find one that looks clean and in decent shape, have a local bike shop do a complete overhaul, maybe change the saddle and tires and you should still be well within your $500 budget.

    Some major brands to look for:

    Trek: TONS of these out there
    Giant
    Specialized
    Cannondale

    There are other good brands out there so just come back here and ask about any bikes you are considering.

    It may take a little time but you should be able to find a bike for less than $200 and maybe even closer to $100-125.

    I'm just south of 400 lbs and I ride a 1995 Trek hybrid with no problems.



    Quote Originally Posted by Standalone View Post
    Just get an old non-suspension mountain bike and put some beefy double walled wheels on. Late 1980's/Early 1990's Mountain bikes are plentiful and cheap-- like $150. Get a tune up for $75 or $80 and maybe $80 worth of fat, smooth tires.

    If the wheels start to give out before the pounds do, take the rest of the budget and get some beefy wheels from a reputable bike shop (ask on here for advice, too)

    You will want something that you can set the seat a little low at first, as I imagine at 400# being able to touch the ground with a tiptoe while still seated will be confidence inspiring. But as you gain fitness, you'll want to raise the seat so that eventually your bottom leg is almost straight at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

    26" MTB wheels are stronger than the larger hybrid and road wheels.



    This is the kind of bike I built up for my wife. Put large smooth tires on. Recommend Continental Town and Country.

    I found my old Giant MTB on the curb in my neighborhood on bulk pick-up day. Bikes like it are regularly for sale on Craigslist for $130-150.

    Good steel, quality bike-shop brand. Anything sold at Wal Mart or Toys R Us or even Sports Authority will not be up to the task. Check here if you don't know the brands well. Stay away from Next, Magna, etc.

    Definitely go non-suspension.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
    I think this may be the article you refer to http://www.bicycling.com/training-nu...ds-riding-bike

    Excellent article, very motivating. This is the passage that stuck with me:

    he saw a man ride a bike past their house. The average-looking middle-aged guy rode a touring bike with two panniers. He wove through traffic as if he were a fish swimming up a stream, slipping past boulders and rocks with grace and ease. "I remember," says Cutshall, "he had the biggest smile on his face."
    Fantastic article! But where's the picture of the bike?? Oh, and BTW, great advice on the old-skool mtb. Still, if your budget is $500, you can get a very decent entry level mountain bike at your local bike shop--that would get you a warranty, possibly free tune-ups, and it never hurts to have a good relationship with your LBS (local bike shop).
    Last edited by Erwin8r; 05-01-13 at 12:32 PM.
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  10. #10
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Currierb View Post
    Im looking into turning my life around and losing weight. I've been looking around the web for a good 2 weeks for bikes that can handle my weight but most of the forums that i find that talk about this type thing the links are broken or the bikes people recommend are 1000$+ which i can not afford by any means. If anyone could help me find a good looking bike that can handle 400lbs of weight for around 500$ that would be awesome. I was really into the surley pugsley until found out the price...if that helps anyMany thanks to anyone that can help
    Measure you cycling inseam:

    http://veloweb.ca/bike-fit/

    This will work for a 34 inch inseam.

    http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/3764998234.html

    Offer the guy $450

    Bike are like shoes: Do you wear a size 9 or size 14. They need to fit.

    http://houston.craigslist.org/bik/3742883683.html
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 05-01-13 at 12:46 PM.
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  11. #11
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    A picture of Scott Cutshall's frame is here.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30264143@N00/4698576633/
    Old steel makes me squeal!

  12. #12
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I was > 425 and the first lesson to learn is you can't out-ride a bad diet. I agree with the recommendation that a non-suspension Mountain bike is the way to go. Many LBS's will try to sell you one with a front suspension. Don't let them.

  13. #13
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    i just purchased a giant escape 3 from bay area schwinn off highway 3 and bay area blvd. I am 6'1, 375. I was going to get a bike with front suspesion, they recommended not to because i could bottom out the forks. i paid just above 400 for it. granted i have only had it 2 weeks and have only rode 15 miles. but it does have double walled wheels that everyone recommends for those our size

  14. #14
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogfather69 View Post
    i just purchased a giant escape 3 from bay area schwinn off highway 3 and bay area blvd. I am 6'1, 375. I was going to get a bike with front suspesion, they recommended not to because i could bottom out the forks. i paid just above 400 for it. granted i have only had it 2 weeks and have only rode 15 miles. but it does have double walled wheels that everyone recommends for those our size
    Good to know that they are friendly to big riders. Thanks.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  15. #15
    Senior Member craigrrr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
    I think this may be the article you refer to http://www.bicycling.com/training-nu...ds-riding-bike

    Excellent article, very motivating. This is the passage that stuck with me:

    he saw a man ride a bike past their house. The average-looking middle-aged guy rode a touring bike with two panniers. He wove through traffic as if he were a fish swimming up a stream, slipping past boulders and rocks with grace and ease. "I remember," says Cutshall, "he had the biggest smile on his face."
    Scott Cutshall was my inspiration, I had read his blogs " Large fella on a bike" and have even become friends with him on facebook.

    He got me into Dr. Furhamann "Eat to live" book It works, as for as Bikes do like everyone has said look on craigslist for a used older steel lugged mountain bike they will have stronger /double walled rims/ I chose an old 1989 trek 950 to start with.

    Good luck

  16. #16
    Junior Member Currierb's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for all the great advice

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    Edit: I just read the specs, the weight limit of the bike below is too low. Bah! Still - I leave the post in case it's of interest. I hope you find what you need.

    ---

    Instead of a Pugsley how about a Walmart Mongoose Beast. $199 !

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Mongoos...-Bike/22861845

    Here's a guy doing really well on one: http://mtb-central.co.uk/news/news-f...-otter-classic

    Just sayin - props to you for taking up riding. Stick with it.
    Last edited by jolly_ross; 05-01-13 at 02:23 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member SeanBlader's Avatar
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    I have 3 suggestions, but I was only 205 at my max, being of medium frame that was enough for me to do something.

    Suggestion 1:
    Expect the bike you get now to be replaced after losing between 150 and 200 lbs, then you'll want to get something more entertaining for what you find as your preferred riding style. By then you might find that mountain biking or touring is your thing.

    Suggestion 2:
    I've found I can realistically eat half of what I used to eat and still not be hungry. The trick is to not ever feel FULL. Reports are that it takes like 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full, and you've been eating for those entire 20 minutes! That's really rough when you eat fast in our crazy competitive society, and it's partially why Asian people are often thinner, if they're eating with chopsticks it takes longer to eat, so they don't consume as much in those 20 minutes.

    Suggestion 3:
    One last thought, don't eat at night. You should wake up hungry and make breakfast your biggest meal. This is especially hard, and even harder in the winter when the days are short. I find it hard because in the morning after I get up I feel like I'm supposed to be going to work, not relaxing and taking time to have breakfast.

    I'm not a nutritionist, or dietician or anything like that, just another schlub trying to figure out how to lose and then keep it off. So don't take these as any kind of official advice.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Currierb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogfather69 View Post
    i just purchased a giant escape 3 from bay area schwinn off highway 3 and bay area blvd. I am 6'1, 375. I was going to get a bike with front suspesion, they recommended not to because i could bottom out the forks. i paid just above 400 for it. granted i have only had it 2 weeks and have only rode 15 miles. but it does have double walled wheels that everyone recommends for those our size
    I drive past that place twice a day...I guess it's time to pay them a visit

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanBlader View Post
    I have 3 suggestions, but I was only 205 at my max, being of medium frame that was enough for me to do something.

    Suggestion 1:
    Expect the bike you get now to be replaced after losing between 150 and 200 lbs, then you'll want to get something more entertaining for what you find as your preferred riding style. By then you might find that mountain biking or touring is your thing.

    Suggestion 2:
    I've found I can realistically eat half of what I used to eat and still not be hungry. The trick is to not ever feel FULL. Reports are that it takes like 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full, and you've been eating for those entire 20 minutes! That's really rough when you eat fast in our crazy competitive society, and it's partially why Asian people are often thinner, if they're eating with chopsticks it takes longer to eat, so they don't consume as much in those 20 minutes.

    Suggestion 3:
    One last thought, don't eat at night. You should wake up hungry and make breakfast your biggest meal. This is especially hard, and even harder in the winter when the days are short. I find it hard because in the morning after I get up I feel like I'm supposed to be going to work, not relaxing and taking time to have breakfast.

    I'm not a nutritionist, or dietician or anything like that, just another schlub trying to figure out how to lose and then keep it off. So don't take these as any kind of official advice.
    Sean, you bring up some good points, but I have to take issue with your reasons for "Asians" being skinny... I am neither Asian nor skinny, and I eat most of my meals with chopsticks. And I can guarantee you that I can grab more with a pair of chopsticks than you can scoop up with a fork--hence my reason for staying away from any Asian food places for the time being...
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  21. #21
    Senior Member SeanBlader's Avatar
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    Sorry Erwin, that's beyond my comprehension level in being able to use chopsticks like that! :-) I was recently in Thailand, and their custom of using a fork to put food on the spoon and putting that into their mouth seemed like a sure way to excess to me. Maybe without capitalist portions they're better able to limit the amount?

  22. #22
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Currierb View Post
    Thanks everyone for all the great advice
    We wish you the best of luck and inspiration -- and perspiration! I got back on the bike after not commuting for a while, and had to push through feeling very slow and sore.

    As far as riding advice, if you read the Bicycling Magazine article, you'll see that one way to get serious about riding is to make it part of a routine.

    I got back into riding by deciding to ride to church choir. Then to work. Then going on dates with my wife (though she hates to mess up her hair and all that) Then to pick up the kids, then for shopping, etc. This takes it out or the realm of carving out time for "exercise," making it more likely that you'll do it.

    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standalone View Post
    We wish you the best of luck and inspiration -- and perspiration! I got back on the bike after not commuting for a while, and had to push through feeling very slow and sore.

    As far as riding advice, if you read the Bicycling Magazine article, you'll see that one way to get serious about riding is to make it part of a routine.

    I got back into riding by deciding to ride to church choir. Then to work. Then going on dates with my wife (though she hates to mess up her hair and all that) Then to pick up the kids, then for shopping, etc. This takes it out or the realm of carving out time for "exercise," making it more likely that you'll do it.

    Awesome advice! Thanks!
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  24. #24
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    My kid brother just got a 2012 Jamis Aurora for $450... It's a Clyde friendly steel frame touring bike. A guy rode it about 50 miles and his ex-wife sold it after the divorce... Pissed off ex-wife deals are the best LOL. Keep an eye on Craigslist.

  25. #25
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Check out this thread

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...fter-Pics-here!

    Note the first post.



    that was me, in 2005.

    This is me oin 2013




    I ride a recumbernt trike now because of arthritis, but I still ride.



    Note the "Geezer" look, rocking the tie dyed shirt and plaid Bermuda shorts.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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