Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Kemah, TX (greater Houston area)
Bikes: Surly Disc Trucker, Klein stage comp, trek 560
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first... as a big guy who has been a long time MTBer (but not really into it any more)... that suspension fork on the c-dale is crap... under about $1000 MTBs i'd take a rigid fork over the suspension any day...
the same thing can be said of suspension seatposts... they are trash and not worth even looking at for riders of our weight
moving on past the cheap crappy suspension...
if you don't plan on doing trail riding there is no reason to buy a MTB...
if you plan to get more serious into weight loss and riding then i'd forgo the comfort bike of the raleigh.
that leaves the jamis you posted... but honestly at your budget there are a number of other options... most of the companies call them either urban or fitness bikes
you could move up to the jamis coda comp, in raleigh the alysa-i8 looks promising... I love a geared hub
... the C dale badboy looks like it might be just at the top of your budget...
whatever you do make sure to test ride a few bikes... don't just spin around a parking lot... run it down the street a bit, shift the gears, try to get a real feel for the bike, one bike might speak to you while the others just tell you no...