I am new to the forum and looking forward to meeting new people. I apologize if anything below reads like I have no idea what I am doing, as I can assure you that that would be an accurate assessment.
As the title says, I am 6'7" & ~350-360 Lbs ... not too much different than my playing weight, but I've definitely traded a lot of muscle for fat over the past decade. I kept eating the same after I was done playing, topped out at ~400 Lbs, dropped down to 325 around 2 years ago, tore a meniscus and the weight started creeping back up. I am in 'decent' shape, nowhere near where I was, but few are. Sadly, I can no longer dunk a basketball.
Got my old mountain bike from storage about a year ago to start towing the kids who are now 3 & 2. I have a 2002 Trek 4500 Alpha with a 24" frame. http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...4500&Type=bike
- 26" 'Clyde' wheels (typing this from work, not sure of the brand ... they say Clyde and were purchased 11.5 years ago)
- Hybrid tires
- Either SPD or steel pedals (with a power strap)
- Road bike seat
- Rusted front derailleur which is no longer functional. I am stuck on the 42 tooth chainring
I am basically using this as a road bike in a very flat part of the country. I think I am ready to either make the switch to a road bike or upgrade the crankset/chain/cog for a higher gear ratio.
Whenever the weather permits, I am getting at least one 15-20 mile ride in per week and 1-2 shorter rides. My average pace is 15 mph, it is closer to 16-17 mph on flat/straight/uncongested paths. I can easily get over 20 mph on flat ground during the first half of the ride. It is a 24-speed bike (as noted above, I only have access to 17-24 ... 11-32 teeth cogset if it helps). I rarely drop below 20. I frequently cruise at 24 and would like to have a set-up where a higher gear ratio was a possibility.
Option A) New Road Bike. I am clueless, the only road bike I have been on is some $5,000 Trek that is well above what I want to spend here. I've searched the forums and there is a lot of advice. I realize that my height/weight/activity/leg strength combo is a bit odd. Max I would be willing to spend is $1,500, but I would much spend less $ on a better used bike and upgrade as necessary. Given my size, I am not trying to shave ounces on anything that isn't me.
Option B) Continue to modify Mountain Bike. I want a higher max gear ratio. As noted above, component weight is no issue. Can I fit a larger Crankset on my bike? Would I need a new cogset & chain as well? Will i be able to transfer more power with this set-up?
Option C) Replace the front derailleur on my current set-up and continue doing what I am doing until I get closer to 300 Lbs, which I haven't seen since I was 15.
Thank you in advance for any help or advice you can provide!