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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for new bike - Woman over 200lbs.....?

    Hi guys. Been out of biking for past 2 years. My husband and I both had Trek 29er bikes and loved them. Sadly sold because we had no time. Big mistake. I myself want to get back into biking the local bike trail here - (creeper trail) and few parks. I don't mountain bike just want to bike to lose some pounds and be out and about. I am debating which style bike to get again - 29er? Comfort style? Any pros or cons. I loved my 29er I had but the angle which I rode, pressure on my palms was sometimes a bit much for me. Either way will be changing to bigger seat whatever I get, I cant handle the little seats.

    Just looking for recommends! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Rolling roadblock
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    Are these paved trails? Packed gravel? Off road?
    With every ride, I get a little stronger. I gain a little stamina. I gain a little pride. And so I await the next ride...

    Riding slow is not a sign of weakness. Quitting is.

  3. #3
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Its unclear as to why your hands hurt and you can't handle the smaller seats... generally bigger seats are much more uncomfortable (more pressure points especially around the sitz bones).

    I think your problem is getting a good fit on the bike. Really, its very hard to just buy a bike off the storeroom floor and it fits. Minor adjustments are always needed. For instance as to your hands, you may need a longer or shorter stem. In addition where your prior handlebars - flatbars? Maybe a good regular handlebar with hoods and drops are what you need. The point is there are many places to move your hands around during your ride so they don't hurt. If for some reason you want a mountain bike make sure the bike has "riser" v. flat. Also make sure the handlebars aren't too wide. That will place pressure on your wrists. The shop can trade them out.

    As to the saddle - saddles are like shoes. It's possible the prior saddle was just not for you. It probably was not the width but the design.

    So you gave us all little to no information. What's your price point? What type of trails are you riding? What is your projected distance? Do you have any interest in becoming a cyclist or do you just want something to roll 1/2 hour on a bike trail? Also what is your height? If over 5'9" then you can consider a 29er wheel but why aren't you then just not thinking about a 700c? Why the mountain bike? Are you riding dirt trails?

    So really more info needed but bottom line go to your local bike shop and see what appeals to you. Your weight is not really an issue unless you are getting closer to 300 lbs or so...
    ______________________________________________________________

    Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    The number of bikes suitable for you is almost endless. It all depends on what you want and what your budget is.

    If you get a hybrid bike - 700c wheels and straight handlebars - get a bike with the tire size 700-34 or bigger. That is a plumpish tire, compared to the socalled "fitness bikes".
    A hybrid bike and a 29er have just about the same wheel size. The 29er tires tend to be a little fatter.

    If you find a bike you like but are worried about painful palms, get the bike store to put in a different handlebar stem. You want one a little shorter, and one that is on an upward angle to take some of the weight off your hands.

    Good Luck,
    and enjoy riding.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  5. #5
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    I think what I was saying was the angle of a mountain style bike versus a comfort bike. But a mountain bike is much more versatile. I plan on riding 2-3 times a week for 1-2 hours at a time. The trail I would ride is packed gravel - old railroad trail. I just wanted opinions on which would make a better bike for this situation. I prefer the more off road tires on a comfort or 29er versus hybrid.
    Budget is in the 500 or less range. Open to used as well. I am 5'6 height wise.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janda View Post
    I think what I was saying was the angle of a mountain style bike versus a comfort bike. But a mountain bike is much more versatile. I plan on riding 2-3 times a week for 1-2 hours at a time. The trail I would ride is packed gravel - old railroad trail. I just wanted opinions on which would make a better bike for this situation. I prefer the more off road tires on a comfort or 29er versus hybrid.
    Budget is in the 500 or less range. Open to used as well. I am 5'6 height wise.
    I am a little confused. Comfort bikes are hybrids. I am not a fan of comfort hybrids. They seem pretty limiting.

    Anyhow, IMO, there are two directions that might work for you, or at least that I would consider were I in your shoes. Either a steel framed mountain bike frame with a solid fork like the Surly Troll, with 26" wheels, or an aluminum frame bike with 700 c wheels but wider tires, and a suspension fork, like the Giant Roam series or the Trek DS series. Both are above your $500 budget, but perhaps you can look for a deal on a used one.

    If you had more money to spend, I would suggest taking a look at the Salsa Vaya, Specialized Tri Cross or AWOL. Either of those could more than handle some gravel, and a lot more. Or a cyclocross bike like the Kona Jake series.
    Last edited by MRT2; 09-02-13 at 04:35 PM.

  7. #7
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janda View Post
    Budget is in the 500 or less range. Open to used as well. I am 5'6 height wise.
    Since your budget is really limited and you plan on riding dirt trails then your suggestion of a 29er hardtail is probably a good choice. The problem I see is your height. I am not a fan of shorter people (less than 5'10") on 29ers because of the toe overlap. What may be better for you is a sports style bike (sometimes called "trekking" bikes). A rigid/HT mountain style bike with wider tires and a flat bar (although I would still consider a riser v. flat bar if your have hand problems). It is made not for real mountain biking but for off-road trails like "rails-to-trails".

    Not certain the shops you have nearby but here is an example of what I mean from Performance Bicycles... on sale in your price range:

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400310__400310

    Bottom line considering your budget just find something you like that fits well (key element). If you stay with the sport you can upgrade to something else...

    Comfort with hands and seat: make sure you are using a good gel padded cycling glove for your hands. Also if you are not wearing with a good bike short (I suggest the Terry T-Short or anything by Shebeest) and a chamois cream, no doubt any seat will be uncomfortable. Like anything it takes time to build up a tolerance of the saddle... just need to spend time riding the bike. Again I would resist putting a wide saddle on any bike...
    Last edited by Pamestique; 09-03-13 at 10:07 AM.
    ______________________________________________________________

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  8. #8
    Senior Member BaseGuy's Avatar
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    Lots of good suggestions above. Here's my take:

    1) Due to budget, go used.

    2) For the way you ride, I'd suggest a rigid mountain bike (no suspension, front or rear). There are LOTS of these on Craigslist and at many garage sales. $150 should get you a great, name-brand bike that's in good, well-cared-for shape. Just look till you find a great one. There are TONS out there.

    3) 26" x 1.75"-2.0" MTB tires will work fine for packed gravel, dirt, or some pavement. Play with the air pressure to make it comfortable (less pressure for bumpier gravel, more for smoother stuff).

    4) Accept that a small seat and straight bar will provide the most comfort once you're accustomed to them!

    These so-called "comfort" bikes are the devil. On the show-room floor, they put you in an almost standing up position, which feels safe and easy. But after 30 minutes in the saddle, you realize the problems:

    > All your weight is on your tail, none on your hands;
    > So your tail hurts!
    > Being straight up sucks if there is any wind or if you generate any speed, because your upper body is now like a big sail.
    > That big saddle is too wide, and is chafing your inner-legs!

  9. #9
    Senior Member BikinPotter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaseGuy View Post
    Lots of good suggestions above. Here's my take:
    These so-called "comfort" bikes are the devil. On the show-room floor, they put you in an almost standing up position, which feels safe and easy. But after 30 minutes in the saddle, you realize the problems:

    > All your weight is on your tail, none on your hands;
    > So your tail hurts!
    > Being straight up sucks if there is any wind or if you generate any speed, because your upper body is now like a big sail.
    > That big saddle is too wide, and is chafing your inner-legs!
    I have to agree. Last time I went bike shopping I got online & made a list of all the bikes in my price range...either mtb or hybrid.( I wasn't interested in a road bike.) Then I went out & test rode as many bikes as I could. I found the hybrids far less comfortable than a good mountain bike, so that's what I got, and I love my bicycle. Really, it felt like an extension of my body the minute I hopped on. I made few adjustments. Got some street tires. A better saddle.

    Women's bikes are so much better than when I began riding back in the 80's. I'm a squatty-body with short legs so I had trouble. But there's lots of choices, now, so find what feels most comfortable and safe for you. Good luck!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    I am a little confused. Comfort bikes are hybrids...
    The term hybrid covers a lot of different bikes, but when I think of a hybrid I think of something like a Cannondale Quick or a Specialized Vita, not a comfort bike.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BaseGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodabike View Post
    The term hybrid covers a lot of different bikes, but when I think of a hybrid I think of something like a Cannondale Quick or a Specialized Vita, not a comfort bike.
    +1.

    To me, a hybrid is like an old mountain bike, before suspension forks, and with 1.5" wide tires. They typically have a straight bar that's about the height of the seat.

    A "comfort bike" makes me think of one of those "standing up bikes," with an upward-sloping top-tube, a super-tall stem, and a riser-bar, so that the hand-grips end up a foot above the seat. The riding position is almost vertical. Many have radically wider seats, too, and some have also shifted the bottom bracket forward a bit.

  12. #12
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    You have many, many options. Maybe look on Craigslist for mountain bikes and hybrid bikes with maybe a 16 inch frame? Try a bunch out and see how they work for you.

    I bought my spouse a Raleigh M-40 mountain bike with no suspension at all for $60. I replaced the mountain bike tires with slick tires. I replaced the flat bar with a bar with a rise, to help with hand pain. He won't wear bike shorts so I bought him a well broken in Brooks leather saddle (which cost as much as the bike). Now the bike is perfect for dirt trails and around town riding for only a couple hundred bucks.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Podagrower's Avatar
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    There's lots of good advice here, and for a ladies used bike craigslist can be a great friend. I've seen some great deals while looking for a better ride for my wife. I use bikepedia.com a lot when looking at deals on craigslist, you can find out a lot more about the bike with a site like that.
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