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  1. #1
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    bike purchase help

    Hello everyone
    I weigh around 280lbs and have already lost 100lbs. I really want to start riding a bike.

    My particular concern is finding a bike that can hold my weight and the cost of the bike. I've seen a few bikes and they are wayyy out of my budget which is $300 and that is firm. I kind of want to go to walmart, kmart or costco but something has held me back. Advice please!

  2. #2
    Senior Member bbeck's Avatar
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    Congrats on the decision to purchase a bike. I understand budgets but with bicycles you almost always get what you pay for.

    With your weight you can pick and choose. Are you wanting a mountain bike? You can probably pick up a good used one in your price range.
    Are you wanting a road bike?

    I would suggest to go do some window shopping. Stay away from the Big Box Stores and go visit a couple of LBS near you.
    Ask a few questions, test ride a few bikes and get an idea on what you like. After you know what size and style you need if the LBS doesnt have anything in your price range shop Craigslist and the like for a used version of what you test rode.

    Good Luck in your venture.
    Brandon Gallatin, Tn.
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/bwbeck

  3. #3
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    I ride an elite trail from bikesdirectDOTcom.

    I really like it, started riding at near 330 pounds. After maybe 500 road miles and 400 trainer miles I started breaking spokes on my rear wheel. I replaced both wheels with some my local bike shop built with 36 spokes each and halve had smooth sailing so far.

    I recommend that online retailer but caution that whatever bike you get the wheels will be perhaps poorly made. Wheels are the most important component and especially for heavier riders. You will find something in your price range, but
    Be aware some assembly is required, and the wheelset may be less than perfect.

    All in all if you got a bikesdirect bike with 36 spoke wheels you would probably be a-ok on them.

    Furthermore bikeislandDOTcom offers the same bicycles for reduced prices, usually because of cosmetic flaw. You can even search bicycles by size. Worth a look, but the limited selection may not offer what you are hoping for.

  4. #4
    Endangered Serotta Rider Lacumo's Avatar
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    Strictly personal opinions here...
    1---I think you're better off buying a bike from a store (preferably a LBS or Dick's rather than WalMart, etc) than from an online vendor. The store will have it fully assembled, reasonably tuned and adjusted (hopefully maybe even reasonably fitted to you) and ready to roll for you, which is something that doesn't happen with the online vendors. Having your new bike assembled, RTR, at least semi-tuned and hopefully fitted to you saves you a lot of possible headaches and a probable visit to and expense @ a LBS to get the bike RTR.
    2---Do some window-shopping at the LBS's. At least see where their bottom or low end is and what they have to say. They may have just the thing you need. You never know. If nothing else, they're almost always a good source of good advice and they'll let you do some test rides. Plus---they will be where you end up going for repairs/service, so you might as well meet them now, and... you'll get a better level of treatment (not to mention warranty service) if you buy your bike from them.
    3---WalMart/K-Mart/Costco bikes tend to be disposable. They're cheap but they don't have repairable/replaceable components. When something goes wrong, you put the bike in a dumpster and buy another one, which gets costly. At the very least, go to Dick's Sporting Goods---they're a reasonable mid-point in the zone between WM/K-M/Costco on the bottom and the LBS's on the top end. The bottom-end big box store route is a roadmap to an inferior, uncomfortable bike and bad experiences.
    4---You might be best off on a hybrid or a hardtail MTB.
    5---I bought a Diamondback Sorrento around 8 years ago at Dicks. It's a hardtail MTB that cost me around $225 then and I think it's just over $300 today. I bought it to be my bad weather-winter "beater." My plan was to abuse it until it fell apart and then put it in a dumpster. That cheap bike has endured the worst riding conditions, it's had almost zero care/maintenance, it's served me without letup for almost a decade now and it's still going strong. I wish I could say the same for my more expensive, high-end bikes! You might find good end-of-season prices at Dicks in the second half of August and luck into a "refuses to die" Cheap-O MTB. If you do, swap out the stock seat for a comfortable one.

    Whatever you do--good luck with your shopping and happy riding!

  5. #5
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    With your budget, I'd suggest a used hybrid or a hardtail mountain bike. I don't know how close you are to the New Jersey Bike Exchange, but if you aren't that far from one of their locations, you might check them out. I don't know anything about them, but such co-ops are often a good source for used bikes that have been put into good riding condition. You could also ask at your local bike shops whether they sell used bikes. It's important to have a bike that fits well (check out this article by Peter White for tips) and to have a saddle that's not too soft.
    Public accountability: my Beeminder weight loss graph.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, at $300, used is probably the only way to go for us Clyde's. Bike shops will often have used bikes. it may be tedious, but if you decide to go the Craigslist route, post some of your finds here--the guys n gals would be glad to give you pointers.

    Regarding BikesDirect or Bikeisland, i think this is a great way to go if you want to learn how to build/maintain your bike, or if you can have a buddy help you with assembly.
    "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..."

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone for the advice!

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