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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 08-12-13, 10:06 AM   #1
codyhmrck
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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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Old 08-12-13, 10:09 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:13 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:14 AM   #4
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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!
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Old 08-12-13, 10:16 AM   #5
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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.
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.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:17 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:18 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:21 AM   #8
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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
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Old 08-12-13, 10:30 AM   #9
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any '70s steel near you?
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Old 08-12-13, 10:52 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 08-12-13, 11:20 AM   #11
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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!
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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Old 08-12-13, 11:22 AM   #12
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Couldn't agree more Pam ... they're just too limiting.
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Old 08-12-13, 11:22 AM   #13
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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!
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Old 08-12-13, 12:52 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 08-12-13, 12:59 PM   #15
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If I were to get a road bike what speed should I look for?
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Old 08-12-13, 04:25 PM   #16
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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
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Old 08-12-13, 04:28 PM   #17
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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?
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Old 08-12-13, 06:56 PM   #18
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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
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?
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Old 08-12-13, 07:06 PM   #19
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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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Old 08-12-13, 08:04 PM   #20
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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.
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Old 08-13-13, 05:55 AM   #21
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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.
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Old 08-13-13, 06:30 AM   #22
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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.
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Old 08-13-13, 06:39 AM   #23
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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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Old 08-13-13, 09:41 AM   #24
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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
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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?
fast typing.. meant to say "look on local craigslist, garage sales, bike co-ops and look for brands like brands like Nishiki, Pansonic, Bridgestone, Univega, Miyata
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Old 08-13-13, 10:00 AM   #25
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fast typing.. meant to say "look on local craigslist, garage sales, bike co-ops and look for brands like brands like Nishiki, Pansonic, Bridgestone, Univega, Miyata
ok lol thanks for the info. where would I go about finding bike co-ops?? I dont really know what they are.
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