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  1. #1
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    Should I get a Hybrid or a Road bike?

    Hey guys, I'm new here and have recently started riding seriously. I started in at about 290 lbs have lost about 10 lbs so far. I've been riding 10-12 miles a day and the bike I am riding now is an old Walmart mountain bike called a Quassar. My LBS says that there is a bunch of stuff wrong with the bike and that it wouldn't be worth investing a bunch of money in it. When I get enough money saved up I would like to buy a new/used hybrid or road bike. I don't know which type of bike would be better for me at my weight though. I only have about 4 gears available to me on this bike and its a 21-speed. I need something that I can get into those gears that will make steeper hills more possible to climb. The bike I currently own is very heavy and I feel this slows me down even more. So if anyone has any suggestions about the type of bike or if you could link me to good brands of bike that would be great. Also I wont have a butt ton of money to spend on a bicycle lol.

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  2. #2
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    if you ride on the road allot then get the right tool for the job. Road bikes are more efficient at speeds and distance, it will allow you ride farther in the same amount of time it took before.

  3. #3
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    But will a road bike support my weight? I'm worried about getting a bike and then it breaking an me being out however much money because it couldn't support me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    can you further define your budget?

    As for hybrids ... personally, I hate them, and think you'd be better off with a road bike. But that's my personal opinion. Depending on your budget you could find an older, used bike on Craigslist if need be. At your weight you don't have some of the more pronounced issues that larger riders would have, but still need to be mindful.

    Whatever you choose is going to be a meteoric improvement over what you're currently riding, but congrats on riding!

  5. #5
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    But will a road bike support my weight? I'm worried about getting a bike and then it breaking an me being out however much money because it couldn't support me.
    The frame, provided it's in good condition, will be fine.

    Higher spoke count wheels could be a good consideration to make.

    At 290 pounds, you needn't worry too much about breaking things.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    A lot depends on the type of riding you plan to do. If you plan on going over 25 miles and on the road, a road bike is the way to go. If less miles, then the hybrid is OK especially if you might be riding on some rough rails-to-trails bike paths.

    If you get a road bike, I suggest 32 or 36-spoke wheels with 700x25 or x28 tires. You might even look at a touring bike.

    If a hybird, see if you can avoid any suspension. It's really not needed. A buddy of mine was about your weight when he bought a hybird. The only problem was when the suspension seatpost collapsed in about 3 months.

  7. #7
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    can you further define your budget?
    Well currently I am jobless lol. I'm just 20 years old and my current job as a tutor fell through due to budget cuts in the school system. I'm searching for a job and just had an interview this morning, fingers crossed!! So my budget is limited now but as soon as I get a job I'll be able to save up quite a bit because I'm in college and live with my mom, so there is no rent.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    Well currently I am jobless lol. I'm just 20 years old and my current job as a tutor fell through due to budget cuts in the school system. I'm searching for a job and just had an interview this morning, fingers crossed!! So my budget is limited now but as soon as I get a job I'll be able to save up quite a bit because I'm in college and live with my mom, so there is no rent.
    no shame in that

    Like I said, check your local Craigslist, post your finds here if you have questions ... we'll be happy to help out

  9. #9
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    any '70s steel near you?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  10. #10
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    bypass 70's steel and move up to mid 80's w/ down tube shifters and 700c rims. Should be about the same cost.

  11. #11
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    can you further define your budget?

    As for hybrids ... personally, I hate them, and think you'd be better off with a road bike. But that's my personal opinion. Depending on your budget you could find an older, used bike on Craigslist if need be. At your weight you don't have some of the more pronounced issues that larger riders would have, but still need to be mindful.

    Whatever you choose is going to be a meteoric improvement over what you're currently riding, but congrats on riding!
    Just had an experience with a friend getting into cycling... she went and bought a Hybrid. She quickly realized the bike is really only good for one thing... cruising bike paths/trails and not much else. She is now a proud owner of a Trek Domande 4.5 WSD and is out of control - I can't keep up with her!

    I always believe the right tool for the task... if you plan on riding bikes on the road... get a road bike although you don't have to buy something with an aggressive stance - for instance the Domande is alittle more relaed (ie more upright).
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  12. #12
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more Pam ... they're just too limiting.

  13. #13
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    Well currently I am jobless lol. I'm just 20 years old and my current job as a tutor fell through due to budget cuts in the school system. I'm searching for a job and just had an interview this morning, fingers crossed!! So my budget is limited now but as soon as I get a job I'll be able to save up quite a bit because I'm in college and live with my mom, so there is no rent.

    Try to find a good used steel frame road bike like an old Nishiki or Myata or even a Schwinn. Just make sure the components are simple and you can maintain the bike. (i.e. keep the bike simple - all that suspension and other stuff costs money to maintain)

    BTW you should be paying Mom some rent especially when you find work--- just my old lady 2 cents!
    Last edited by Pamestique; 08-12-13 at 05:29 PM.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    A road bike might be nice if you need to get somewhere, or are interested in (advanced) training. For me, I know that being comfortable on my bike trumps getting somewhere two mintues quicker. Furthermore, road bikes (new) cost more. Certainly there are cheaper options, but as a general road bikes cost more.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ub_dlx_xii.htm

    That has 36 count spoke wheels, and would be plenty strong for you. Also it would be plenty comfortable, which may mean you are going to go a little slower (aerodynamic inneficiency) but that also means a better wworkout.


    The Only thing I don't like about that bike is the suspension seat post, I bet you could use the seatpost from your current bike to get around that though. The suspension fork is lockout capable which means you can make it rigid for most of your riding, and turn it to suspension if you are on a bumpy road/trail.

    I didn't look close at the tires, but you may want to allow a little bit of budget for new tires regardless of the bicycle you buy. I like schwalbe marathon plus for the flat protection they offer. Not the fastest tires, but pretty comfy, reliable and durable.


    Also, if you check out bikeislandDOTcom you can search for bikes by size. You may be able to find the same bike in the right size for cheaper.

    I have put a couple thousand miles on my bikesdirect hybrid bicycle I got last September and have enjoyed every pedal stroke. The 32 spoke wheels it came with lasted about 1200 or so miles before I started breaking spokes near every ride. I got some new wheels made up with 36 spokes and anticipate no problems. I started riding at about 320 or so pounds, at your weight with 36 spoke wheels you would be fine.

    Save the road bike for when you have some miles under your belt and some money in your pocket.

    Used craigslist bikes can be a good value too. Make sure you get the correct size, and give special attention to the wheels before you buy. I like Raleigh brand bikes, especially if I get used.

  15. #15
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    Road bikes generally cost significantly more than the same quality level hybrid. Also, I disagree with the folks recommending a road bike. A hybrid will be a lighter, faster, more responsive and all-around MUCH more pleasant version of what you are now riding. A road bike will be a completely different beast altogether. I'm not saying don't buy a road bike, it might be right for you, but do some serious test riding at local bike shops before even considering it. Take your current bike out "on the road" and ride 20 or 30 miles (or as far as you can). My first bike was a hybrid and I got the bug for a faster bike and "upgraded" to a road bike and found that type of riding bored me to tears. I quickly sold it and went back to my hybrid.

    If you go for a hybrid, avoid suspension. You might find one with a non-suspension fork but a suspension seatpost and that's okay, you can buy a new seatpost for $20. Spend some time on the websites of Trek, Specialized, Giant, Raleigh, etc... All of them have bikes that are the equivalent of the Trek FX line (the one I'm familiar with) and you can probably get a used one on Craigslist for about half the cost of a new one.

    If you haven't ridden an LBS quality bike you are in for a treat. Even the lower level ones will be a joy to ride compared to a department store bike that isn't functioning correctly.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  16. #16
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    If I were to get a road bike what speed should I look for?

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    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    I would suggest 8 speed or less On the cassette. If you are in a hilly area, a triple chainring is necessary. That would be 24 speed bikes, or 21 speed bikes. Perhaps a 18 speed bike, but I don't think you will find many options with 6 speed cassette.

    I suggest 8 speed or less because the chain is stronger and cheaper to replace than 9 speed or 10 speed.


    An internally geared hub bike might even be a better choice.

  18. #18
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    I'm at 270 and have no problems riding the following (all steel frames and 32 spoke wheels) the bike will not crumple.

    83 Nishiki
    84 Torpado
    89 miyata

    beyond that get a road bike.

    no bucks look on local craigslist, garage sales, bike co-ops brands like Nishiki, Pansonic, Bridgestone, Univega, Miyata
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  19. #19
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    If I were to get a road bike what speed should I look for?
    where are u located and max budget before having to eating top ramen for a month?

  20. #20
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    I'm at 270 and have no problems riding the following (all steel frames and 32 spoke wheels) the bike will not crumple.

    83 Nishiki
    84 Torpado
    89 miyata

    beyond that get a road bike.

    no bucks look on local craigslist, garage sales, bike co-ops brands like Nishiki, Pansonic, Bridgestone, Univega, Miyata
    what does it mean when you say co-op brands? Like they're not designated to a certain sex? and are there like brand web sites where i can check out there products?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Astrozombie's Avatar
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    The question for roadies is "Should i spend more for carbon fiber" and i can't answer that one for you. As they said a Hybrid will be waaaayy better than what you have now, but i would say get fitted for a roadie and keep that one as a commuter, if you need one.

    ^ Here
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  22. #22
    Senior Member tunavic's Avatar
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    Cody, since you're not in a hurry and are still in the saving money stage, I suggest you lurk around in the C/A forum, the road forum and the hybrid forum for a while. Read a lot of the posts. It's a good education. You'll learn a lot and you'll be well prepared when it's time to make a purchase.

  23. #23
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    Specialized and Giant make great affordable performance hybrids which will be more solid and faster than an old beat up road bike you can buy from any idiot on CL.

  24. #24
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    If I were to get a road bike what speed should I look for?
    It isn't so much the number of speeds, but the gearing range (particularly the lower range) you need to pay attention to. These days, you can get 3 x 8, 3 x 9, and 3 x 10. Or you can get a compact double, usually either 2 x 9 or 2 x 10 (or even 2 x 11).

    You need to get a bike with the useful gearing for your weight. My current bike has a relatively close ratio 12 - 25 tooth cassette, but a relatively relaxed 48 - 36 - 26 triple chainring, so the lower chainring offers a range of useful gearing. Whatever bike you get, make sure it either has a cassette with a large bailout gear (at least 28 tooth, preferably 32 or 34 tooth), or a small chainring with 26 teeth or fewer, or both. A lot of roadbikes from the 70s and 80s, even current ones have gearing not suited for bigger riders, like a 52 - 42 crankset, with a close range cassette or freewheel.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    Try to find a good used steel frame road bike like an old Nishiki or Myata or even a Schwinn. Just make sure the components are simple and you can maintain the bike. (i.e. keep the bike simple - all that suspension and other stuff costs money to maintain)

    BTW you should be paying Mom some rent especially when you find work--- just my old lady 2 cents!
    If you go with vintage Schwinn, make sure it is one of the lightweight ones from 80s, rather than 70s or 60s. Mid 80s Schwinn Tempo or Voyageur, perhaps, but beware those ubiquitous Varsitiy and Collegate. Durable for sure, but also very heavy. Some of those bikes weighed close to 40 lbs and came with steel wheels. If your budget only allows for something like that, you are better served with a hybrid, even an old hybrid from the 90s likely will have alloy wheels and won't weigh more than 30 lbs.

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