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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 01-19-14, 06:10 PM   #1
anthonymek
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Any suggestions for a bike that can handle 300lbs and costs under $500?

I would consider a used bike if necessary..I know that there are big and tall bikes out there but since I haven't ridden in 15 years I'm not too keen on spending $900 for a bike that I can't try out first or have to pay $200 to return. I am looking to get back in the game and ride for leisure now and slowly build up momentum towards riding for exercise. Any suggestions would be very appreciated. THANK YOU...

BTW my colleague suggested a 29" bike...any thoughts on that too?
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Old 01-19-14, 10:07 PM   #2
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Same size - Same budget . . . Except I've picked up three over the past year (see profile box to the left.)

Each one from my local Craig's List and $400 or less (not counting after purchase extras - upgraded saddles, lights, etc.)

I've lost 35 lbs. since 9 months just by biking and trying to eat 'better' overall, but not necessarily on a special diet.

Just get a decent bike and start riding . . . Good Luck!
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Old 01-20-14, 07:21 AM   #3
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You didn't mention what kind of riding you were interested in. Are you looking for an all-rounder bike that will handle a variety of tasks and road surfaces? That's where a lot of people start. Others may be looking for a cruiser for leisurely rides in an upright riding position, or commuting with rack(s) for carrying things. Think of it like buying any vehicle, all have wheels and will get you from point A to point B but there are a variety of styles and capabilities to choose from so it helps to have some idea where your interests lie.

For years, I've recommended older steel rigid (no suspension) mountain bikes or hybrids in either 26" or 700c wheel sizes as the platform for inexpensive and durable general purpose bikes capable of anything from moderate off-roading, to commuting/shopping, to pleasure/fitness riding, to cross country touring. Models like the Giant Yukon or Boulder, Specialized Hardrock, or Trek 700 or 800 series bikes, or numerous others in that general category, were very popular in the 1990s and can be found for $100-$200 in decent riding condition. Parts are readily available both new and used. They have eyelets for racks and fenders if needed and can easily be reconfigured for a wide variety of tasks. My daughter has a Giant Boulder with fenders and rear rack that is her daily commuter 9 months out of the year. My wife has a Trek 820 that has been outfitted with a seat, handlebars, and tires to make it a more upright fitness bike. I've got two Trek 700s of slightly different vintages, one that is currently my winter/foul weather bike that also serves as a guest bike. The other is set up as a multi-surface touring/gravel grinder. The 700 series Trek Multitracks were some of the early "hybrids" and are very versatile bikes.





Here are some examples of the class of bike I'm suggesting as an inexpensive all-rounder for a larger rider just getting into cycling and who doesn't have a strong preference for a specific type of bike. BTW, 700c is the same wheel size as the 29er. The difference is that the 29ers usually have a wider rim to accommodate off-road tires.

Last edited by Myosmith; 01-20-14 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 01-20-14, 07:39 AM   #4
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I've picked a couple of Kleins for under $500 on CL, just had to add Vuelta HD wheels for strength. New, however, the Raleigh Misceo could fit the bill. Great reply above, also.
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Old 01-21-14, 09:05 AM   #5
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+1 on 90's steel bikes. When I started riding at 300lb. I rode a 90's trek 800 sport. I simply put some slick (non knobby road tires). On it, and got to commuting. As I rode around Chicago, where I lived at the time, I'd ogle all the hipster single speed and fixed gear bikes. When I moved I thought my trek was old and not worth the cost or trouble of shipping it to Florida. At the time I knew very little about bikes. I sold the trek, and bought a single speed bike when I got to Florida. The trek had no cheap 26 inch wheels which were problem free. The single speed had 700c wheels with Alex rims. I quickly began breaking rear spokes. After 3 or four broken spokes I came to this forum and started researching Clyde wheels (and went back to a geared bicycle). Now the deep V/tiagra rear wheel I had custom built has ridden true for two years now, and the front Alex rim has been stable, but the deep v wheel cost more than what I sold my trek for. And I miss that bike. It was comfortable, felt fast, and was fun to ride. I just bought an old mountain bike to fix up as a back up bike because after two years of riding my touring bike I still miss the trek. It is also my contention that while big guys can ride the right 700c wheels, when shopping the used market, 26 inch wheels seem more forgiving.
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Old 01-21-14, 09:30 AM   #6
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29ers are good. It is actually the same wheel size as 700c, it's how they differentiate between mountain and other. Most 29ers is the $500 range would have forks that are probably not the best for a 300lb guy. If you are going to do a majority of road riding the stock tires on a 29er will be off-road oriented.

I second the used bike market and older steel mountain bikes. They rock. If you are doing mostly road and light paths, I think Schwalbe Big Apple tires are the bomb. The 2.35" / 60c if the bike will fit them. Most mountain style bikes will.
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Old 01-21-14, 10:34 AM   #7
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or Trek 700 or 800 series bikes,
+1. I had a Trek 930 back in the day. Mostly used it for urban commuting/errands and unpaved trails, although it did go on one legitimate MTB ride. I abused that thing for over a decade and it kept coming back for more with hardly a complaint. I finally beat it into the ground after about 13 years. Put it put with the trash in the alley behind my house and someone picked it before the trash men came. SometimesI wonder if it's still out there being ridden.
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Old 01-21-14, 12:14 PM   #8
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I started riding when I was 330lbs and bought a Felt F95 brand new. You can pick up a similar used bike locally, for under 500. This bike has over 5000 miles on it now with nothing but minor tune ups.
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Old 01-22-14, 04:11 AM   #9
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I agree to look at used 90s MTBs. The gear ratio of a MTB will benefit a new rider. Don't limit yourself to steel. An old aluminum MTB would work as well. I still have my 90s Trek 7000 and it is a tank!
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Old 01-23-14, 12:32 PM   #10
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And don't forget to visit your local bike shop--there are plenty of close out 2013 model bikes out thee that would be more than suitable (Trek FX-series, Cannondale Quick's, etc) for under or around $500.
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Old 01-26-14, 07:13 AM   #11
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When I started riding again after too many years off the bike I weighed 365. My wife bought me a BikeE and I rode it like mad, it is not a fast bike, but it is a very comfortable bike, it is a recumbent. Between a change in diet and riding the bike I dropped 125 pounds and have kept 110 off for for more than 10 years. BikeE is out of business, but they are available on craigslist, if you can find one locally to test ride you might be pleased with its comfort. Today my BikeE is reserved for family rides, and I've picked up a much faster Bacchetta to to ride with the road club.
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Old 01-27-14, 11:28 AM   #12
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This could make some clyde a good starter bike, assuming it all works as it should. $80.

http://www.buycyclesusa.com/trek-multitrack-720-1995/
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Old 01-27-14, 12:44 PM   #13
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Worksman.
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Old 01-27-14, 08:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by anthonymek View Post
I would consider a used bike if necessary..I know that there are big and tall bikes out there but since I haven't ridden in 15 years I'm not too keen on spending $900 for a bike that I can't try out first or have to pay $200 to return. I am looking to get back in the game and ride for leisure now and slowly build up momentum towards riding for exercise. Any suggestions would be very appreciated. THANK YOU...

BTW my colleague suggested a 29" bike...any thoughts on that too?
Good Idea!

The common advice is to find an used non suspension steel mountain bike...

One benefit of this strategy is that after a while riding, you'll change and want different things out of a bike...
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Old 01-28-14, 09:54 PM   #15
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Worksman.
THis would be totally great. Just remember whatever bike you pick now will not be what you want a year or two from now. It is really just to get your feet wet again and see if you'll ride regularly. Any bike will do for a starter.
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Old 02-10-14, 11:14 PM   #16
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Just purchased a new Specialized Crosstrail for $400. Very sturdy, and made for comfort. I've got 15 miles so far and am very happy. I wanted something my 61 year old bones and back could handle, considering the rough surfaces on many of the local streets, handle a little off road, and still work good on the road. So if I put 2000 on this bike and I want something lighter and faster, I might upgrade but for getting back in shape, I think this will work out just fine.
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Old 02-11-14, 01:14 AM   #17
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In 2011, I bought a Specialized Hardrock, new from an lbs, for around $360. My weight at the time was around 290. I rode it for a year before I finally broke a spoke and decided to upgrade the wheel set. Since the upgrade I haven't had any problems with it and my weight has fluctuated between 290 and 330.

Whichever bike you choose you will probably want to look into at least a rear wheel upgrade at some point. A steel or aluminum frame will certainly be strong enough for you.
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Old 02-11-14, 12:54 PM   #18
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THis would be totally great. Just remember whatever bike you pick now will not be what you want a year or two from now. It is really just to get your feet wet again and see if you'll ride regularly. Any bike will do for a starter.
+1. It makes sense to get a cheap starter bike, then upgrade quickly as you establish a preferred riding style.

When I started riding again 12 years ago, at >300 lbs, my first bike was a used Walmart bike that I paid $40 for. That lasted a couple months before I got a great hardrock (about seven years old at the time) for $125. Prices have gone up since then to around $200 (or more) for a rigid MTB.

I have discovered that I can live with both aluminum frames and suspension forks, as the old steel fully rigid MTBs are harder to find these days.

I also keep a road bike around for variety, but mostly use the MTBs for everyday riding.
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Old 03-15-14, 08:48 PM   #19
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Buying used steel MTB is not a bad idea if everything is in a decent shape, but you can easily buy brand new hybrid for that amount. Most, if not all frames will have no issues with your weight. The only issue with that weight will be wheels. They just may not last long, especially the rear one.
Generally speaking, more spokes = stronger wheels. 36 hole, or at least 32 hole double walled rims should last. Anything bellow that is asking for trouble, especially on cheaper, low end versions of the bikes.

You can choose from hybrids - Specialized Sirrus, Specialized Crosstrail, Trek DS, Giant Roam, Giant Escape to name a few. You will have a choice of front fork suspension like on MTB, or rigid one like on road bikes.
Or you can choose MTB bikes with front fork suspension with bigger, more volume tires for even better comfort.

Look for last years models which can be even up to 40-50% cheaper than a current models.
All new bikes will come with full warranty, right size, modern components and will be most likely much lighter than bikes from 90's.

I'm amazed what forum members are finding on Craigslist. My local page seems to be full of very overpriced vintage, and used ones from big box stores in a price of a new one or more lol Folks got little crazy in the last few years lol

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Old 03-15-14, 09:06 PM   #20
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1990 Bianchi "Volpe": 700x38C Bontrager Satellite Elite tires, 28/38/48 crankset, 11/13/15/18/21/24/28-sprocket freewheel.

Located in South Florida, for exactly $500 (local pickup).

I took it with me to Fairbanks, AK 11/2009 for the crappy roads and for my "increasing" physique (got to 325lbs); now back in South FL 5/2012, riding it, down to 250lbs. No popped spokes, bent wheels, or or or.
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Old 03-16-14, 06:44 AM   #21
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I bought a 2012 Specialized Rockhopper Comp off CL for $325.

Buy something like that.

Ride it and lose fat.

THEN.....

Buy a whole new rig for the whole new you.
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Old 03-17-14, 02:29 PM   #22
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It isn't the bike so much as the wheels..
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Old 03-17-14, 11:30 PM   #23
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How about something like this? A tad above your price range, but I think it's rated to 350lbs.

Frankly, you're not going to find something new at your LBS for less than a grand, and probably much much more.
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