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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-04-13, 07:45 AM   #1
1975bestyrever
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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!
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Old 08-04-13, 07:55 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 08-04-13, 08:39 AM   #3
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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!
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Old 08-04-13, 09:01 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 08-04-13, 09:19 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 08-08-13, 08:57 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the advice!
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