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  1. #1
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    Uber clyde in need of assistance please

    I need help looking for my first bike in 15+ years. I have been looking at a lot of information on these forums, but it has been hard to find other posts with riders my size. My first concern is safety of course. I am 6'4" 375#'s and will be carrying about 14-20#'s of additional weight via backpack while riding most times (embarrassing I know, let myself go really bad a few years ago). I am looking for something to handle mostly flat riding and probably all hard surface till I lose a good amount of weight. My LBS (Spokes in Burelson, TX) carries mostly Giant cycles but it concerns me that they are all ALUXX aluminum alloy and I don't know enough about bikes at this point to know how sturdy those are. If anybody at my weight has rode a giant I would love to hear about it and how it rides for you. My budget is about 1400 bucks and from what I have read wheels and seatposts are the most important upgrades to get first. I was thinking about getting a mountain bike since I would assume they are the strongest frames, plus I can't stand the traditional road bike handlebars (the ones that curve around) but if a road bike would be better I guess I could get new handlebars. If Giant bikes will handle my weight can anybody recommend a model that you have experience with that you know to be especially sturdy, that is in my budget including the upgrades I need? Also concerning the wheels, the only handbuilt wheels I have been able to find via the google method have run 400+ and was wondering if there is a set of wheels that are handbuilt with 36 (or more) spokes that will run less than that?

    A couple other things, definitely don't want a coaster brake, and would prefer something with around 9-10 speeds at least.

    I weighed 470#'s less than 2 years ago so I can only assume the weight loss trend will continue as I stick to my current lifestyle, but man it would be really awesome if I could get on a bike again I am tired of waiting. I really miss it! I used to ride a 14 mile circle around here twice a day when I was younger and in infinitely better shape and it would be great to get back to that again. I always felt so free doing that, no interruptions, just me and my bike.

    I would really appreciate any info you guys can help me with. I know zized bikes offers a bike to handle my weight, but I really don't want to have to wait 6 weeks for a bike, also I really want to buy locally for maintenance packages with my purchase.

    Thanks for any help guys!
    Chris

  2. #2
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Check with your LBS. You may feel more comfortable on a mountain bike, but I don't see why, with a little help from the bike shop maybe beefing up the back wheel and seatpost, why you couldn't make something like an Escape 0 work for you.

  3. #3
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Welcome to BF and congratulations on your progress! There's several folks here who can give you good advice on bikes and wheels for your size.

    If six weeks is the difference between getting what fits/works and some other choice I'd rather wait.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Check with your LBS. You may feel more comfortable on a mountain bike, but I don't see why, with a little help from the bike shop maybe beefing up the back wheel and seatpost, why you couldn't make something like an Escape 0 work for you.
    So you don't think the aluminum alloy frame will be an issue at all?

    Also I just found out there is a trek retailer about an hour drive from me, of the two brands is there any reason one would be better than the other?

  5. #5
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    On the Escape series, I doubt the frame will be an issue. Rim strength may become an issue. Get something with 35mm tires or so for a smoother ride and make sure the shop checks the wheels for good, proper, spoke tension as you will be working them out a fair amount.

    I'd say get one that fits you well and you like, and ride it lots. If you break the spokes, you can have 36 hole or even higher spoke count wheels built out of stronger gear, but ride the one you buy until you break it...you may not even break it.

    Make sure you keep the tires aired up to something near their rated maximum to aid in supporting the wheel system.

    Giant Escape if you want flat bars, upright style, Trek 7.x or Cannondale Quick are all very similar types. Pick the one you like and can afford best.

    The top end Escape is the RX 0, they have pretty skinny tires...I'm not sure that's a great idea. The regular Escape line, a bit less pricey comes with heavier tires and rims, likely a good idea.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chr1s234 View Post
    So you don't think the aluminum alloy frame will be an issue at all?

    Also I just found out there is a trek retailer about an hour drive from me, of the two brands is there any reason one would be better than the other?
    Probably no difference in quality between Trek and Giant at any given price point. If anything, Giant seems to have slightly better components for the money. I wouldn't anticipate a problem with aluminum frames handling your weight. That said, I personally favor steel, and that is what I ride. I ride a steel frame Salsa Casseroll. Though that bike is now discontinued, the All City Spacehorse is very similar to my Salsa, and All City and Salsa are owned by the same parent company, which also owns Surly. If you like the idea of steel, maybe consider a steel touring bike, like the Trek 520, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Jamis Aurora, or Salsa Vaya. I favor steel for the ride quality, which, IMO, is somewhat more forgiving than aluminum. Give it a test ride and see what you think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Probably no difference in quality between Trek and Giant at any given price point. If anything, Giant seems to have slightly better components for the money. I wouldn't anticipate a problem with aluminum frames handling your weight. That said, I personally favor steel, and that is what I ride. I ride a steel frame Salsa Casseroll. Though that bike is now discontinued, the All City Spacehorse is very similar to my Salsa, and All City and Salsa are owned by the same parent company, which also owns Surly. If you like the idea of steel, maybe consider a steel touring bike, like the Trek 520, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Jamis Aurora, or Salsa Vaya. I favor steel for the ride quality, which, IMO, is somewhat more forgiving than aluminum. Give it a test ride and see what you think.
    You're saying steel is more forgiving, in what way? If there isn't a real difference in weight capacity I think I might go with the Escape since, as you say, they have some good components, and the price point leaves plenty of room in my budget for adding a beefier set of wheels and a good seatpost and such. I'm gonna go take a look at the LBS on Thursday and I'll see if I like the fit. I just hate the way they use all the shorthand in the specs, not knowing anything about bikes anymore I can show the onsite compare between the Escape 0 and the Escape 2 and not know what the real difference is, guess I'll have to ask up there, was thinking if most of the difference is just gears and wheels I could go with the less expensive since I would likely be upgrading the wheels anyway.

  8. #8
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    Steel has a much higher tensile strength than aluminum and can be made with less rigidity and still maintain frame integrity.

    I rode a rental Giant aluminum road bike 125 miles when I was in Phoenix a few years back, I'm about 270 and was carrying a lot of extra gear since I was riding through the desert mostly alone so I'd say I had at least 20, maybe 30 extra lbs of gear with me between the extra water, food, colder weather gear for the morning (it was in early January) tires tubes and so forth. I never had a 2nd thought about the structural integrity of the bike even though I was rolling with somewhere around 300 lbs. What I did worry about was breaking spokes, but thankfully I didn't have anything like that happen.

    Your LBS can build you up a beefier rear wheel that would accommodate your weight fine. My wife and I just acquired a tandem and our team weight is in the 450-500 range. I don't have any worries about the frame, but I am getting a new wheelset together.

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    Steel is a much smoother ride, you don't feel every crack in the sidewalk like you do with aluminum. I've had both and the steel is a gentler ride. I haven't had any trouble with the aluminum frame of my current bike...I was riding it at 425lbs (which is difficult for me to even type) and I broke the rear axle, but the frame held up fine.

    One thing people told me when I was researching bikes was that if aluminum fails, it can do it suddenly and with no warning. I decided to risk it, for the lighter weight bike that would be easier to load in and out of my van. (and because my bike didn't come in a steel-framed version).

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    Thanks for all the info. I have been looking at 2 bikes now, the Giant Escape 0 and the Jamis Aurora. There are pros and cons to each, the Jamis I would have to get a new handlebar setup and have to put some money into a different shifter and brake grips to work with the new handlebars but I really like the fact it is steel and already has 36 spoke wheels, are the 700 x 32c tires going to be wide enough for my weight though? The Giant is a bit less expensive and is made from aluxx instead of steel and I feel a bit shaky about that at my weight, but it does leave room in my budget to add a stronger seatpost and have at least the rear tire replaced with a good wide 36 spoke wheel. What do you guys think between these two? Should I just go for the steel for the peace of mind of the extra weight capacity? If the Jamis wheels are not wide enough though it would probably end up going over my budget to add wider on front and back... Help me out here guys, what do yall think?

  11. #11
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chr1s234 View Post
    Thanks for all the info. I have been looking at 2 bikes now, the Giant Escape 0 and the Jamis Aurora. There are pros and cons to each, the Jamis I would have to get a new handlebar setup and have to put some money into a different shifter and brake grips to work with the new handlebars but I really like the fact it is steel and already has 36 spoke wheels, are the 700 x 32c tires going to be wide enough for my weight though? The Giant is a bit less expensive and is made from aluxx instead of steel and I feel a bit shaky about that at my weight, but it does leave room in my budget to add a stronger seatpost and have at least the rear tire replaced with a good wide 36 spoke wheel. What do you guys think between these two? Should I just go for the steel for the peace of mind of the extra weight capacity? If the Jamis wheels are not wide enough though it would probably end up going over my budget to add wider on front and back... Help me out here guys, what do yall think?
    The Aurora is built for loaded touring, so yes, the tires and wheels should handle your weight. If they don't, go with a bigger tire maybe a 35 or 38 c, but give the 32 c tires a try. Just make sure your LBS checks the tension of the spokes carefully before he sends you out the door with it. If you choose the Jamis, I would urge you to give the drop bars a try as they are FAR more functional and comfortable than flat bars for longer rides. I know that you probably don't feel comfortable riding in the drops now, but that may change in 6 months or a year if you stick with it. And it would be a shame to spend money to make your bike less functional, then have to spend a bunch of money to change it back in a year, or two. If need be, you could add an extra set of brake levers on the top of the bars for not too much money. The default hand position is the hoods and it is far more comfortable to ride than flat bars because your hands are in a neutral position in front of you, rather than turned to face the ground as it is with flat bars. I also ride on the tops sometimes, and the bend of the bar on long rides. And, though I couldn't reach the drops last year, I can today.

    The other thing nice about the Aurora is it comes stock with a rear rack. Mount a trunk bag, and you should be able to carry your stuff, rather than using a backpack. Not a huge big deal, but all things being equal, it will reduce shoulder strain.

    Edit: The other thing you could address with the dealer if the handlebars are too narrow is to swap them for wider handlebars, or even woodchipper bars, which flare out at the bottom. I didn't go the woodchipper route, but I did test ride a woodchipper equipped bike and found the hand position of the woodchipper bars very comfortable. One of the Salsa Vaya models comes stock with it, as Salsa makes the woodchipper bar.
    Last edited by MRT2; 08-06-13 at 05:28 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Here is what I had in mind for a second set of brake levers for the tops. I thought about putting a set of these on my Salsa, but after a couple of weeks of riding decided that I didn't need them. However, if I rode a lot in wet or muddy conditions, or lived in a hilly area, I might feel differently. http://www.bicyclebuys.com/bikeparts...FZFaMgodLksAxg

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    I'll take a look at the woodchipper bars then, I just really prefer a real heads up riding style. With my weight around the midsection it is infinitely more comfortable. And I can always go back to the standard drop bars later. Either way I will give it a test run to see if I can deal with the drops or not.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chr1s234 View Post
    I'll take a look at the woodchipper bars then, I just really prefer a real heads up riding style. With my weight around the midsection it is infinitely more comfortable. And I can always go back to the standard drop bars later. Either way I will give it a test run to see if I can deal with the drops or not.
    You should be able to set the Jamis so that when riding on the hoods or tops of the bars, you sit fairly upright. I still only ride in the drops only for short stretches either when accelerating or riding into a headwind. The other 90% I am on the hoods bends or tops of the bars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Probably no difference in quality between Trek and Giant at any given price point. If anything, Giant seems to have slightly better components for the money. I wouldn't anticipate a problem with aluminum frames handling your weight. That said, I personally favor steel, and that is what I ride. I ride a steel frame Salsa Casseroll. Though that bike is now discontinued, the All City Spacehorse is very similar to my Salsa, and All City and Salsa are owned by the same parent company, which also owns Surly. If you like the idea of steel, maybe consider a steel touring bike, like the Trek 520, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Jamis Aurora, or Salsa Vaya. I favor steel for the ride quality, which, IMO, is somewhat more forgiving than aluminum. Give it a test ride and see what you think.
    I took some time to look up these different bikes and found that the Surly LHT was in my price range if I didn't have to do any modding to it. Is there any real difference between the 4130 chromaly steel of the LHT and the reynolds 520 double butted chromaly of the jamis aurora as far as structural integrity? The LHT also has stock Alex Adventurer rims with 700 x 37 tires 36 spoke so would the wider tire be better than the 32 of the aurora? Also I have no idea what Kalloy means for the seatpost, would I need to replace that with a stronger material seatpost or is it one of the stronger materials? Sorry I'm asking so many questions but I really have no idea what most of the terms are here and want to make sure I'm making the right purchase since I will have to live with it for a long time. Basically I just want to know if I bought the LHT if I could just take off right out of the box with no worries. Thanks again for all your help.

  16. #16
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chr1s234 View Post
    I took some time to look up these different bikes and found that the Surly LHT was in my price range if I didn't have to do any modding to it. Is there any real difference between the 4130 chromaly steel of the LHT and the reynolds 520 double butted chromaly of the jamis aurora as far as structural integrity? The LHT also has stock Alex Adventurer rims with 700 x 37 tires 36 spoke so would the wider tire be better than the 32 of the aurora? Also I have no idea what Kalloy means for the seatpost, would I need to replace that with a stronger material seatpost or is it one of the stronger materials? Sorry I'm asking so many questions but I really have no idea what most of the terms are here and want to make sure I'm making the right purchase since I will have to live with it for a long time. Basically I just want to know if I bought the LHT if I could just take off right out of the box with no worries. Thanks again for all your help.
    Reynolds is a brand name. Frankly, I don't know if the Reynolds steel the Jamis uses is better than the Steel the Surly uses. They are probably very similar. Kalloy is a brand name. As to whether it is adequate or if you will need something better, I don't know. I do know people really like the Surly LHT for long distance touring and as it is another bike built to take loaded touring, the frame should hold your weight no problem. Also sounds like the 36 spoke wheels are more substantial, and perhaps heavier than the Jamis. Don't know if they are better, but a higher spoke wheel at your weight isn't a bad thing. I have seen both bikes up close at a bike shop and they both look like quality bikes. The Jamis comes stock with a matching rack and fenders, while the Surly does not. Don't know if that matters to you, but something to consider. The guy who sold me my bike toured the Pacific Northwest on a Surly LHT carrying, maybe 100 lbs of gear and really liked it.

  17. #17
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    I moved to a Giant Escape 2 last month from a Giant Suede (cruiser) and LOVE the Escape! I am 310 lbs. at 5'10" and was concerned about the factory 32mm tire width, but have not had any issues or flats - Even so, I plan to move to a 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire very soon, mostly for the noted puncture protection benefit. The Escape is like a sportscar compared to the Suede sedan!

    FYI - Each bike was acquired via a patient Craig's List search for about 1/2 of retail and under two years old of minimal (like new) use.
    Last edited by Jimbosays; 08-08-13 at 02:16 AM.
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  18. #18
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    So I went out and test rode a bunch of bikes today. The way I feel at the end of the day is that in general, drops are extremely uncomfortable to me. I think it's just due to the gut now. It's something I will revisit after I drop a lot of weight. Between the different bikes of Giant and Jamis I couldn't quite find one that screamed at me "RIDE MEH!" I went to the local Trek dealer and fell in love... After taking a look at a few bikes I was shown to the Shift 4, wow that bike is amazing! This bike is built stock for bigger guys (people up to 350 and you know that is conservative for liability issues). While it is aluminum, the tubes are oval shaped and they feel rock solid. The front fork has suspension, but it is built for heavy people and has preload and a lockout which I really like. It sits on 26 in wheels and big strong Bontrager hardcase ultimate tires which I feel better about in comparison to 29's since they won't taco as easy, and the rear wheel comes stock with 36h double wall with 13g ss spokes (first bike I've seen with over 14g spokes). Best of all this bike gives me that heads up ride I was looking for and is so well within my price range (~700) I will have plenty of cash left over to upgrade the fun stuff and not have to focus on tires right away! I know I am going to get a standard slim seat for long rides with bike shorts, it comes with a cushioned seat, which may be good for short rides who knows.

    I am really shocked with this bike being targeted to bigger folk that I don't see more talk about it on this forum, so I'm left feeling like, "what's the catch?" Has anybody looked into these bikes? Any reviews from fellow clydes would be great. I didn't buy it today cause I never buy right away, wanted to sleep on it for a couple of nights and get yall's take on it, but I am really impressed so far. Link to Shift on Trek site below.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...omfort/shift_4

    Let me know what yall think.
    Last edited by chr1s234; 08-08-13 at 01:57 PM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    I'll say it ... and I've said this before, I'm just not a fan of "comfort" bikes. To me they're too limited in what they can do.

    Granted, I've never been as big as the OP, and no offense, god willing and two wheels spinning I never will, so I don't quite know the unique needs of folks like that. But I just can't get my head around the whole idea of something like that bike. It looks like a mountain bike with fatter tires and an adjustable stem. What's the point? Strikes me as a gimmick. A marketing ploy.

    Looks great for what it is. But in the end you're going to (at least most people will want to) replace it with something racier as the pounds come off.

    I just think "comfort" "cruiser" and to a lesser degree "hybrid" bikes cause we athenas and clydes to sell ourselves short. If you want a cruiser or comfort bike, by all means get one, but in the end, don't kid yourself, you won't be doing really long rides with it.

    I'd give serious consideration to a Surly LHT and I neither own one nor have ridden one. But from what I've read and seen it's one of the most versatile bikes out there, and can be set up in many different ways/configurations. I'm not a big fan of steel bikes, particularly for big guys because something that "forgiving" seems like it would be inefficient compared to aluminum. But I'd go steel over a "comfort" bike any day.

    Just my opinion.

  20. #20
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    I started at weight heavier than yours, and it was difficult for me via the fact that they wouldn't let me try any of the bikes out. I had to order soley on their recommendations. As you loose weight you may find that "comfort" bike is not what you want any more. I have a hybrid and while I like it I have also been making "upgrades" to it. YMMV but I would look at the LHT, if i had known about it I would have gone for one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    I'll say it ... and I've said this before, I'm just not a fan of "comfort" bikes. To me they're too limited in what they can do.

    Granted, I've never been as big as the OP, and no offense, god willing and two wheels spinning I never will, so I don't quite know the unique needs of folks like that. But I just can't get my head around the whole idea of something like that bike. It looks like a mountain bike with fatter tires and an adjustable stem. What's the point? Strikes me as a gimmick. A marketing ploy.

    Looks great for what it is. But in the end you're going to (at least most people will want to) replace it with something racier as the pounds come off.

    I just think "comfort" "cruiser" and to a lesser degree "hybrid" bikes cause we athenas and clydes to sell ourselves short. If you want a cruiser or comfort bike, by all means get one, but in the end, don't kid yourself, you won't be doing really long rides with it.

    I'd give serious consideration to a Surly LHT and I neither own one nor have ridden one. But from what I've read and seen it's one of the most versatile bikes out there, and can be set up in many different ways/configurations. I'm not a big fan of steel bikes, particularly for big guys because something that "forgiving" seems like it would be inefficient compared to aluminum. But I'd go steel over a "comfort" bike any day.

    Just my opinion.
    So, educate me here cause I am still new to this, what makes a comfort bike different than a mountain bike if you replace the stem and forks at a later date? Will I still be able to buy and install different sets of gears and whatnot? I get the whole "I'll want something else later when I shed some #'s" but I also don't mind buying another bike a year or two down the road when I lose enough weight to feel comfortable on a standard frame. And what exactly is it about it that you say I won't be doing long rides with it? It just felt the most natural sitting and pedaling positioning of everything I have test ridden.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    It's a bike, you'll be able to do anything you want to it down the road But chances are you won't do that and you'll just replace it with a new bike.

    I guess it just frustrates me because I see so many clydes buying based on this mindset of "I'm too heavy to ride anything but X or Y right now" or what you said in your original post "I'm looking at mountain bikes since I assume they're the strongest frames" and it's simply not true. Road frames are just as strong. Reputable brands have lifetime warranties on their frames. Cycling isn't this "elite" playground of the thin or well-proportioned. Us big guys can ride too, and some of us ride better than those twigs.

    You say you're doing mostly flat riding on hard surfaces ... which means you don't need suspension of any kind truly. You'll also be carrying a backpack (14 to 20 pounds). I carry a backpack when I commute, probably in the neighborhood of that same weight. Ever sit "upright" on a bike carrying a heavy backpack? It pulls you backwards. I'd never experienced it before until I sat up to ride no handed briefly while commuting and about flipped over off the back of the bike.

    As for the long ride thing ... basically because this is a recliner on wheels. It's not going to teach you a proper pedalling stroke, it's not going to be efficient and ultimately you may end up frustrated or embarassed when you see or try to ride with other people on hybrid/touring/road bikes.

    In my mind a hybrid gets you close to what you say you want to do with this bike. Or even a modified cyclocross bike. Take a look at the Trek CrossRip ... pretty cool bike with lots of options. You could even swap out the bars if you wanted to. Or as I said above, the LHT, maybe with a flat bar set up instead of the drop bars.

    Sorry if I come off cranky or rude or whatever ... I just hate this mindset of "I'm too big to ride anything but a fluffy bike" Don't sell yourself short and don't limit yourself.

  23. #23
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    I'll say it ... and I've said this before, I'm just not a fan of "comfort" bikes. To me they're too limited in what they can do.

    Granted, I've never been as big as the OP, and no offense, god willing and two wheels spinning I never will, so I don't quite know the unique needs of folks like that. But I just can't get my head around the whole idea of something like that bike. It looks like a mountain bike with fatter tires and an adjustable stem. What's the point? Strikes me as a gimmick. A marketing ploy.

    Looks great for what it is. But in the end you're going to (at least most people will want to) replace it with something racier as the pounds come off.

    I just think "comfort" "cruiser" and to a lesser degree "hybrid" bikes cause we athenas and clydes to sell ourselves short. If you want a cruiser or comfort bike, by all means get one, but in the end, don't kid yourself, you won't be doing really long rides with it.

    I'd give serious consideration to a Surly LHT and I neither own one nor have ridden one. But from what I've read and seen it's one of the most versatile bikes out there, and can be set up in many different ways/configurations. I'm not a big fan of steel bikes, particularly for big guys because something that "forgiving" seems like it would be inefficient compared to aluminum. But I'd go steel over a "comfort" bike any day.

    Just my opinion.
    I am with you on the comfort bike thing. I hate them. My wife has a mid 2000s Trek 7000 but she hardly uses it. Her sister who lives overseas has ridden it more than she has the last 3 years. There is only so much you can do to upgrade them, so you wind up selling a $600 or $700 bike for $200 or just keep it around for out of town guests, as we have with my wife's bike.

    The problem is the upright riding position. It is extremely inefficient and eventually, uncomfortable for rides longer than a few miles. And, the suspension fork is frankly, ridiculous. They have a place on mountain bikes, but not bikes build for riding on pavement. And, it will be torture to climb on a comfort bike.

    Disagree with il clyde on the steel frame thing. A steel framed touring bike is almost tailor made for a 300 lb clyde.

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    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chr1s234 View Post
    So, educate me here cause I am still new to this, what makes a comfort bike different than a mountain bike if you replace the stem and forks at a later date? Will I still be able to buy and install different sets of gears and whatnot? I get the whole "I'll want something else later when I shed some #'s" but I also don't mind buying another bike a year or two down the road when I lose enough weight to feel comfortable on a standard frame. And what exactly is it about it that you say I won't be doing long rides with it? It just felt the most natural sitting and pedaling positioning of everything I have test ridden.
    You can upgrade components, but there is only so much you can do with a slow heavy cruiser. IMO, you were more on track before with the touring bikes and flat bar road hybrids. What was it about riding on the tops of the drop bars that you didn't like? It might be something that could be addressed with swapping out the stem to bring your hands more up and in, at least until you drop some weight and/or get stronger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    It's a bike, you'll be able to do anything you want to it down the road But chances are you won't do that and you'll just replace it with a new bike.

    I guess it just frustrates me because I see so many clydes buying based on this mindset of "I'm too heavy to ride anything but X or Y right now" or what you said in your original post "I'm looking at mountain bikes since I assume they're the strongest frames" and it's simply not true. Road frames are just as strong. Reputable brands have lifetime warranties on their frames. Cycling isn't this "elite" playground of the thin or well-proportioned. Us big guys can ride too, and some of us ride better than those twigs.

    You say you're doing mostly flat riding on hard surfaces ... which means you don't need suspension of any kind truly. You'll also be carrying a backpack (14 to 20 pounds). I carry a backpack when I commute, probably in the neighborhood of that same weight. Ever sit "upright" on a bike carrying a heavy backpack? It pulls you backwards. I'd never experienced it before until I sat up to ride no handed briefly while commuting and about flipped over off the back of the bike.

    As for the long ride thing ... basically because this is a recliner on wheels. It's not going to teach you a proper pedalling stroke, it's not going to be efficient and ultimately you may end up frustrated or embarassed when you see or try to ride with other people on hybrid/touring/road bikes.

    In my mind a hybrid gets you close to what you say you want to do with this bike. Or even a modified cyclocross bike. Take a look at the Trek CrossRip ... pretty cool bike with lots of options. You could even swap out the bars if you wanted to. Or as I said above, the LHT, maybe with a flat bar set up instead of the drop bars.

    Sorry if I come off cranky or rude or whatever ... I just hate this mindset of "I'm too big to ride anything but a fluffy bike" Don't sell yourself short and don't limit yourself.
    Oh, I get what you're saying, don't worry I'm thick skinned so I don't take it as rude when somebody speaks their mind. TBH the reason in my original post I said mostly flat on hard surface is because I will be peddling around the college campus most of the day, that aside I read all these posts that said stick to hard surfaces til you drop some weight for people my size. In all reality I liked this bike even more when I saw it because it had the suspension and was built for a bigger guy so I felt like I could try some other stuff. I won't really be riding with anybody other than my sister anyway and she has a walmart special, so I'm not too worried about keeping up with anyone, And the backpack issue was changed for me when I realized all the cool stuff you could do with trunk bags and such and this bike, like many others, is rack ready. I agree with you that from the posts on here a LHT is a great place to start but my budget would be blown on the initial purchase alone and if I needed to do anything to the bike or make repairs it would literally have to wait for 6 months and I'm nervous that whatever I get will end up having to sit and I'll get sidelined if that happens. Then I started looking at the bikes in the middle of my price range that had room to upgrade, but just to get good wheels it would put me right back to maxing my budget. That's why I was so pulled to this bike with it's tank back wheel. The crossrip looks nice but changing out the handlebar system would put me right back to the problem with the budget with the LHT. I'll go look at some hybrids tomorrow at the LBS's maybe I'll find something I like. If this bike is as fully modable as you say though, if I buy it I still have half my budget in the bank to change it up at any given point and don't have to worry in the slightest about tires. I'm not trying to sell myself short, just trying to get the biggest bang for my buck while taking into consideration my biggest worry, wheels. Thanks for all the info though, gives me plenty to think about.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad!

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