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  1. #1
    Photon-Ninja tjax's Avatar
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    Will you help a Noob, put in your $0.02

    I posted this in introduction, than I thought it might be more appropriate here? If not will you guide me to the best spot for this post?

    Hi my name is Tim, and I live in Colorado. Lone tree area to be more exact (south of Denver-Castle Rock).


    Please excuse me if I am being rude, or may have broken any rules, but I have joined this forum to seek knowledge from ALL of you awesome outdoor enthusiasts out there. Would you please read my story below and help recommend a Bike, and some starter trails in CO? I am seeking knowledge in something I know little about. Thanks for your kindness.

    I am currently 6' and 270LBS. YIKES THAT'S RIGHT A WHOPPING 2-7-0 POUNDS. I want to lose my extra weight this year and start taking appropriate steps to living a better life. Eating better, getting my heart rate up etc etc.

    Two years ago I had the unfortunate event of breaking my leg. It required a couple surgeries to put everything back together. I now have two anchors in my ankle and 9 screws, a 6.5" plate and a whole bunch of reconnected tendons blah blah blah. I spent 6 months in hard casts, 6 months in a boot and about 1 year in PT. After all this any kind of exercise that involves running, speed walking and etc brings a lot of pain to my ankle. Thus giving me the syndrome of avoiding pain. I have tried different shoes and etc. I have gained a couple pants sizes since the injury. Add this to an overnight cubicle job, and you can probably see why I need the change.

    It was recommended to me to start biking, as there is more of a gliding motion in the legs than there is a pounding motion, where all my weight (since I am a big boy) hits my ankle/foot during exercise.

    When I was a teenager I was a slender 165 pounds. I rode a bike EVERYWHERE as a kid. It was a cheap garage sale bike but it was my thing. I loved it.

    SO I am asking for you to help me figure out the best course of choosing a bike and what I will need to help accomplish my riding goals.

    My riding style will be the following:
    2.0 miles on pavement to and from work every day.
    A couple hours of biking every morning for exercise. I live next to a mountain trail, and may enjoy a casual ride through the neighborhood.
    Weekend riding at Garden of the Gods, To waterfalls, wherever my little Saturn will take me.

    Therefore I was thinking a Road-mountain bike Hybrid, Or should I stick to only one style of riding? What bike can handle carrying this much weight with little wear? I hope to abuse the thing all year and more.
    My budget is $1200 for everything.
    I notice some bikes in the $1k range don't come with pedals or grips, how does that work?
    ANY advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    If you want to ride both on and off-road, but aren't thinking of real mountainbiking, then a cyclocross bike mght be worth considering. About as much fun as a road bike on pavement, but with clearances for wider tyres to handle gravel, mud etc a bit better.

    Any decent bike will take your weight. The wheels are the issue for heavier riders. Make sure whoever sells it to you discusses this with you - higher spoke counts generally mean stronger wheels, but they must be properly tensioned. Get the shop to do that, rather than just relying on the factory build.

    Cycling, being a non weight-bearing exercise, will mean that you can exercise without impact on your joints, so that should be an improvement. But it is critical that the bike fits you properly. This is not just a matter of buying the right size, but of adjusting it so that you are in the right position. Once again, a decent bike shop should be able to advise you. Your ankle problem may mean that it takes a little extra care to sort out your foot position if you choose to go for clipless pedals, which (counterintuitively) clip your shoe to the pedal.

    And speaking of pedals, there are many different pedal systems so bikes are typically sold without them. The customer then chooses the pedal of their choice (or, if they're an established cyclist, switches the pedals from their old bike).
    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
    Photon-Ninja tjax's Avatar
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    OMGoodness, I just found the thread about biking in the stickies, I have SOOOO much to read.
    2013 Trek 1.2 Alpha Series

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    It sounds like you live in a very rural area to me, despite the fact that your job is only two paved miles away from your home. You say that you live next to a mountain trail. Well that would imply that there's at least one mountain nearby. Therefore, I would think that cycling on mountain trails would not only seem to be a very tempting occasional activity, but it might also prove to develop into major past time fun, as well.

    Two miles is not a very long commute. That's especially so, since it's on a paved road. Since you're going to be cycling for a couple hours every morning on a mountain trail, that means that most of your cycling will definitely be on some mountain. To me, that spells pure mountain bike, plain and simple. Well that's cool, because mountain bikes are some of the most versatile bikes in the world! There are definitely places where a racing road bike dare not go, where a mountain bike will travel unchallenged, with relative ease, and thrive.

    Therefore, I'd recommend the following MTBikes:

    26er HT
    1) The Jamis Durango Race
    2) The GT Karakoram 2.0 @P
    3) The GT Avalanche 2.0 @P
    4) The GT Karakoram Hans Rey Limited Edition @P
    5) The KHS Alite 1000
    6) The Raleigh Talus 5

    26er FS
    1) The Giant Yukon FX
    2) The Jamis Dakar XC Sport
    3) The Dawes Roundhouse 2500 @BD
    4) The Motobecane 750 DS @BD

    29er HT
    The Diamondback Overdrive Comp @P

    29er FS
    The Diamondback Recoil Comp @P

    * These are all well within your budget.
    @P= at Performance
    @ BD= at Bikesdirect

    I think you'd do better to post this in the "Mountain Bicycling" subforum.
    Last edited by Cfiber; 05-06-13 at 08:24 AM.

  5. #5
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    congratulations for making the decision to get yourself in better shape. bicycling is a great activity to help you do that.
    a hybrid or a cyclocross would both fit your needs well and should fit in your budget.
    visit a cycle shop near you and ride both to help you decide. mountain bike could fit your needs also. be careful after you get 1 bike soon you might have 3 more.
    as said before get Heavy duty wheels with lots of spokes. nashbar sells a set of Vueleta HD wheelset for less that $200. they claim they are good for riders up to 300 lbs. they have great reviews with many satisfied users. i am one of them.
    another thing to consider is check the warranty. there have been several posts about the frames breaking from large riders. if you buy the bike new most major manufacturers will have lifetime frame replacement warranty to the original purchaser, save the receipt. some also have frame replacement if it gets wreaked in a crash, specialized has this thats why i bought by roubaix.
    good luck with your choice.

  6. #6
    Photon-Ninja tjax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cfiber View Post
    It sounds like you live a very rural area to me, despite the fact that your job is only two paved miles away from your home. You say that you live next to a mountain trail. Well that would imply that there's at least one mountain nearby. Therefore, I would think that cycling on mountain trails would not only seem to be a very tempting occasional activity, but it might also prove to develop into major past time fun, as well.

    Two miles is not a very long commute. That's especially so, since it's on a paved road. Since you're going to be cycling for a couple hours every morning on a mountain trail, that means that most of your cycling will definitely be on some mountain. To me, that spells pure mountain bike, plain and simple. Well that's cool, because mountain bikes are some of the most versatile bikes in the world! There definitely places where a racing road bike dare not go, where a mountain bike will travel unchallenged with relative ease.

    Therefore, I'd recommend the following bicycles:

    26ers
    1) The Jamis Durango Race
    2) The GT Karakoram 2.0 @p
    3) The GT Avalanche 2.0 @p
    4) The GT Karakoram Hans Rey Limited Edition @p
    5) The KHS Alite 1000
    6) The Raleigh Talus 5

    26er FS
    1) The Giant Yukon FX
    2) The Jamis Dakar XC Sport

    29er HT
    The Diamondback Overdrive Comp @p

    29er FS
    The Diamondback Recoil Comp @p
    I noticed those bikes have a disc like brake and some have a wheel type brake. I looked up Disc Brakes in the forum search bar and can't find what the differences are. Should I pick one over the other?
    2013 Trek 1.2 Alpha Series

  7. #7
    Photon-Ninja tjax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrt2you View Post
    congratulations for making the decision to get yourself in better shape. bicycling is a great activity to help you do that.
    a hybrid or a cyclocross would both fit your needs well and should fit in your budget.
    visit a cycle shop near you and ride both to help you decide. mountain bike could fit your needs also. be careful after you get 1 bike soon you might have 3 more.
    as said before get Heavy duty wheels with lots of spokes. nashbar sells a set of Vueleta HD wheelset for less that $200. they claim they are good for riders up to 300 lbs. they have great reviews with many satisfied users. i am one of them.
    another thing to consider is check the warranty. there have been several posts about the frames breaking from large riders. if you buy the bike new most major manufacturers will have lifetime frame replacement warranty to the original purchaser, save the receipt. some also have frame replacement if it gets wreaked in a crash, specialized has this thats why i bought by roubaix.
    good luck with your choice.
    Are the wheels warrantied as well? DO you think I could get one of each for maybe $1300?
    2013 Trek 1.2 Alpha Series

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjax View Post
    I noticed those bikes have a disc like brake and some have a wheel type brake. I looked up Disc Brakes in the forum search bar and can't find what the differences are. Should I pick one over the other?
    Disc brakes are more efficient under wet or slippery conditions. They are also better for downhill braking. Hydraulic disc brakes are generally considered to be preferred over mechanical disc brakes. Disc brakes work like the brakes in your automobile with the caliper piston pressing the pad against your rotor.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fangowolf's Avatar
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    I got a $240 rear wheel with 40 spokes at prowheelbuilder. I haven't worried about my backwheel since and I have ridden from 350 ish pounds. You will not NEED to spend that much on the wheels. You can spend that much if you want, just not required. I would be worried about the back wheel and how that ankle will perform on dirt trails when you have to mash down hard in the dirt. I would definately try someones dirt bike before deciding on an off-road model.

  10. #10
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjax View Post
    Hi my name is Tim, and I live in Colorado.
    I think there's a 12 step program available.

    I went into Google maps and turned the bicycle trails option on and you really have great choices for trails. I started with a Hybrid and for the flat country roads I have it wasn't the best choice. I think you need to look at this as a first bike purchase and ask yourself where you think you want to start riding. Living so close to Denver I'd google "Denver bicycle coop" this is where people volunteer their time to rebuild used bicycles and can help you find a used bicycle and learn how to maintain it. You may still decide to get a new bike but getting to know these people is a good idea.

    When you get into higher priced bicycles they don't come with pedals because the manufacturer doesn't what kind of pedal you need. Many of us choose to attach our shoes to the pedal and there are many types of pedals to do this. You have to have the correct cleat on your shoes to match-up with the type of pedal you have. When I go into a LBS to test ride a bike, I have to tell them I need SPD pedals on the bike. A friend of mine would have to say SPD-SL, still another would say LOOK and there's a lot more choices.

  11. #11
    Photon-Ninja tjax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fangowolf View Post
    I got a $240 rear wheel with 40 spokes at prowheelbuilder. I haven't worried about my backwheel since and I have ridden from 350 ish pounds. You will not NEED to spend that much on the wheels. You can spend that much if you want, just not required. I would be worried about the back wheel and how that ankle will perform on dirt trails when you have to mash down hard in the dirt. I would definately try someones dirt bike before deciding on an off-road model.
    I hadn't thought about that. DO you think it would be better to start road, and see how my ankle takes it?
    2013 Trek 1.2 Alpha Series

  12. #12
    Photon-Ninja tjax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    I think there's a 12 step program available.

    I went into Google maps and turned the bicycle trails option on and you really have great choices for trails. I started with a Hybrid and for the flat country roads I have it wasn't the best choice. I think you need to look at this as a first bike purchase and ask yourself where you think you want to start riding. Living so close to Denver I'd google "Denver bicycle coop" this is where people volunteer their time to rebuild used bicycles and can help you find a used bicycle and learn how to maintain it. You may still decide to get a new bike but getting to know these people is a good idea.

    When you get into higher priced bicycles they don't come with pedals because the manufacturer doesn't what kind of pedal you need. Many of us choose to attach our shoes to the pedal and there are many types of pedals to do this. You have to have the correct cleat on your shoes to match-up with the type of pedal you have. When I go into a LBS to test ride a bike, I have to tell them I need SPD pedals on the bike. A friend of mine would have to say SPD-SL, still another would say LOOK and there's a lot more choices.
    HAHA 12 step and I haven't had anything to drink yet today. Shucks

    I'm looking up the COOP right now. Also in regard to the comment above about my leg and harsh MTB riding, do you think it would be advisable to do a hybrid more geered to road?

    Whats the purpose of a shoe mount? I would go to the bike shop and ask all these but Im afraid I'll be talked into more than I want to handle.
    2013 Trek 1.2 Alpha Series

  13. #13
    Photon-Ninja tjax's Avatar
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    Also can I ask, is it easier (distance wise) to put more miles on your bike in one trip on Road or MTB? So If I want to take a 20 mile trip which bike is more likely to accomplish that goal?
    2013 Trek 1.2 Alpha Series

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    Photon-Ninja tjax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjax View Post
    Also can I ask, is it easier (distance wise) to put more miles on your bike in one trip on Road or MTB? So If I want to take a 20 mile trip which bike is more likely to accomplish that goal?
    Oh good idea. I'll look up places to rent bikes and maybe a couple of them out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjax View Post
    Also can I ask, is it easier (distance wise) to put more miles on your bike in one trip on Road or MTB? So If I want to take a 20 mile trip which bike is more likely to accomplish that goal?
    This all depends upon the terrain. If it's all paved road, then a road bike will suffice. OTOH, if its all rocks, roots, and crevices, then its a mtnbike. If it's partially dirt trails with gravel, and partially paved, then it's a hybrid you'd most likely want.
    Last edited by Cfiber; 05-06-13 at 03:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjax View Post
    Oh good idea. I'll look up places to rent bikes and maybe a couple of them out.
    After renting a hybrid and a mountain bike, decide upon which type of bike really will suit your needs most of the time. If it turns out to be a mtbike, then determine if the hardtail or the full suspension mtbike is your best suiter. You just might want to rent both of those.

    If all of these bikes cause you any pain at all, you just might have to abort the idea of cycling, altogether.

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    Since you have had an injury and are wondering how your ankle is going to react to cycling, I suggest that before you buy a bike that you go to a gym and ride a spin cycle. This should let you know if you are going to be having trouble biking due to your injury. Once that you know that you are able to cycle then take others advise about which bike will suit your needs.

    After you get fitter your biking interest may change and you will be buying another bike. To start I have seen many suggest an inexpensive mountain bike. I agree that a mountain bike would suit you well at this point and used ones are available. This would allow you to keep your big money for the next bike.

  18. #18
    Photon-Ninja tjax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim p View Post
    Since you have had an injury and are wondering how your ankle is going to react to cycling, I suggest that before you buy a bike that you go to a gym and ride a spin cycle. This should let you know if you are going to be having trouble biking due to your injury. Once that you know that you are able to cycle then take others advise about which bike will suit your needs.

    After you get fitter your biking interest may change and you will be buying another bike. To start I have seen many suggest an inexpensive mountain bike. I agree that a mountain bike would suit you well at this point and used ones are available. This would allow you to keep your big money for the next bike.
    There is a lot of wisdom here. My PT is half done with a recumbent type of stationary bike. A year ago it was terrible, but now I can sit there for the whole half hour and browse the web on my phone without much thought. I don't know if the recumbent type setup would suffice as a regular setup for experience, but assuming I can piggy back as a visitor on one of my friend's gym passes to try a regular cycle. I have a freind that goes every morning (in about an hour) who has offered many times to use a guest pass. SO I can maybe call him up here and take that offer.

    You know I think that the used bike is some sound advice. I think I will rent a couple and pick one from CL. I have plenty of time, so I can give all these a wirl. It's really important to me to walk in wisdom when approaching something new. Hence I ask questions, try things out. Thanks for your suggestions.
    2013 Trek 1.2 Alpha Series

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    Since you do have time on your hands, the idea about the Denver bicycle co-op, should be fully exploited. I would suggest that you locate a mtb frame and begin to build your own mtb. You can then modify it to suit your own physical needs.

    Some bicycle companies make steel frames. Frames that are strong enough to take the heaviest of loads.


    Here's a couple of steel frame sources, should you decide to go that route:

    www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_546016_-1__202388
    The Breezer MTB Frame

    http://store.somafab.com/mtbframes.html
    SOMA- MTB Frames
    Last edited by Cfiber; 05-06-13 at 10:02 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    My .02? I would have gone with a cross bike, your weight is distributed evenly over the bike/more aero/more suited for longer distances/fatter tires. (Started at 240lbs) Unless you are going to do some serious trails, bunnyhopping all over the place I don't think a MTB is really necessary. NTM most of the new ones come with front suspension (overkill for the road)

  21. #21
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Attaching your shoe to the pedal is called "clipless" I like doing this because I can forget about whether my foot will slip off the pedal. My feet are always in the best position to transfer power to the cranks. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone the first year riding. Everyone sooner or later has a zero speed fall. Someone just starting to ride has enough to learn without adding that in.

  22. #22
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    My advice... do your research, take your time, before spending any money know what you want.

    That said, first thing you need to think about where you ride and how you plan to ride. Pick the right bike for that situation. Don't neglect to look for a used bike - many people have very nice bikes they sell in order to upgrade. Of course it is helpful to know something about bikes, before buying used. If you have a friend who cycles, don't be afraid to ask for their help in looking at bikes, especially used.

    You will get alot of great advice from this group so keep posting your questions. I will add this:

    If you are not all that mechanically-minded, don't know the first thing about bike maintenance, then stay away from alot of "moving parts" if you don't need them - like suspension, disc brakes, pricey wheels etc (all parts that can be affected by weight). A good simple road bike, with a nice solid steel frame might be the perfect bike for you. Spend some money (and $300 max really) on having the wheels relaced to support your weight. And then just get out and ride. Cycling should be good for your leg and ankles. Just remember, take it easy and build up slowly. New enthusiatic folks tend to overdo it initially and then lose interest in the sport when they get all "hurty" and stuff.
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  23. #23
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    Attaching your shoe to the pedal is called "clipless" I like doing this because I can forget about whether my foot will slip off the pedal. My feet are always in the best position to transfer power to the cranks. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone the first year riding. Everyone sooner or later has a zero speed fall. Someone just starting to ride has enough to learn without adding that in.
    Buy nice flat platforms something wide if your feet are wide. Do not ride with the temp pedals that sometimes come with a bike. After you learn the biomechanics of getting on and off a bike properly (this is the key) then consider buying a pedal system and shoes. Note pedals can run between $50 - $200 and shoes upwards to $300. Need to consider that in your budget along with a helmet, tools, tubes, pump etc. ALSO - at some point consider a bike fitting - this ensures everything is the right height and length and position to avoid any strain injuries and riding discomfit. Those cost around $100 - $300. Make sure you understand how to buy the right size bike. If the bike is too big or small, basically no amount of adjustment works.
    Last edited by Pamestique; 05-06-13 at 12:34 PM.
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  24. #24
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cfiber View Post
    ....then it's a hybrid you'd most likely want.
    And that is a hybrid between road and mountain; not the same as a comfort bike which is only suited for paved bike paths and road. My philopsophy is buy the right bike for conditions... hybrid and comfort bikes are only fair for some things, they are not good for anything.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member clarkbre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    My philopsophy is buy the right bike for conditions...
    I agree with this. However, seriously look at the realistic riding conditions and especially the condition of the motor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    ... hybrid and comfort bikes are only fair for some things, they are not good for anything.
    I agree with exception...

    While a hybrid isn't a true road or offroad bike, it fills a huge void as a great beginner platform.

    Want to ride for fitness?
    Want to put a rack on it and commute?
    Want to take it on a gravel path?

    A hybrid is truly the Honda Civic of bikes. It's not the fastest, it's not meant for offroad, but it works well at getting you from point A to point B.

    A road bike is like a corvette and a mountain bike is like a Jeep. People buy these cars made for specific driving but more likely than not, 90% of the vehicle's life is spent driving around from point A to point B. Exactly what a Honda Civic can do.

    I am not saying don't buy a certain type of bicycle. If your interest is offroad, buy a MTB. If your intersted is fast road riding, buy a road bike. But, from what I read, the OP wants something for commuting and general fitness, a hybrid would suite him quite well. And, once he loses some weight, builds some endurance and muscle, he will then start to figure out where exactly he wants to ride.

    My $.02.

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