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  1. #1
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    Overweight and returning to cycling. Buy high or mid end bike?

    Hi,

    First time poster, please be gentle .

    Former hard core road rider (200+ miles per week) who fell prey to overwork and medical issues. Haven't seriously ridden in about 7 years...and want to start cranking it up again. Before I stopped riding, I was getting read to retire my now old (and literally cranky) road bike and was thhhhhhiiiiiiis close to buying a custom Serotta.

    Well, how times have changed...both for me and sadly, the cycling industry.

    The question is...I'm debating between buying mid or high end bike now. I absolutely want something new...my old Specialized is pretty beaten up and has thousands and thousands of miles on it. I know folks say your geometry doesn't change, but I'm wondering if I will grow out of a mid-range ($2-$3k) bike once I lose this 100 lbs I need to lose. Or if the stiffness I may need for my current weight will become harsh once I am back to my 'fighting weight'. Once back into shape, I anticipate doing several centuries a season, likely some weeklong cycling trips (e.g. RAGBRAI, Cycle Oregon) and most likely an Ironman....and would likely want a serious, high end road bike (i.e. Seven, Independent, Litespeed, Cervelo). And maybe even a specialized Tri Bike for race days. If it helps, I tend to like steel frames...even when I was in fighting shape, I felt like Carbon had too much flex for my style of riding. Not crazy about Aluminum either, as I will never forget my first racing bike, a stiff as h%ll Cannondale.

    I would love to hear from folks, particularly those who have lost a significant amount of weight...and wondering if you 'grew out' of your bike once the weight was off.

    Thanks....

    PS...Geez, just noticed...my first post and already a spelling error in the title! Sorry

  2. #2
    Senior Member fa63's Avatar
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    Get the best frame you can buy with Shimano 105 or equivalent; then get a nice, sturdy set of wheels. If you get an itch for something different as you lose weight, you can upgrade your components.
    "Don’t argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience".


  3. #3
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    Spend what you can afford to spend on a bike that feels right after a thorough test ride. If the price tag is in your comfort zone buy it, if not the spend less. Find the one that speaks to you. Go in with an open mind and try a bunch,carbon, aluminum, and even steel.


    Mark

  4. #4
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Be present. Buy what ever you will ride now.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Silvercivic27's Avatar
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    Carbon has too much flex?! You should check out the BBright bottom bracket on my S5. It looks like the freakin' love boat. I'd suggest going high end. It will get you excited about riding, and will make you feel some sense of obligation when you've got thousands of dollars sitting in the corner collecting dust.

  6. #6
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Get a cross bike. It'll stand up to the extra lard now and still be useful once you've dropped the weight.

  7. #7
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    If you buy a "mid-range" bike, are you going to keep it and use it as a back-up/rain bike when you get a nice one? Or will you sell it for a loss? If you sell it, will that monetary loss be a regret or looked at as money well spent?

    If you buy a really nice bike, will the desire to keep it pristine keep you from the occasional messy ride? Will a really nice bike cement your commitment to riding? Will you want to buy a rain bike anyway?

    Also, not to contribute to indecision, but I wouldn't dismiss carbon so casually - I'm sure that there's quite a difference in the frames you rode back when and what's available now. Not saying that steel or Ti is the wrong answer, just recommending that you make an informed decision.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Silvercivic27's Avatar
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    Also, not to burst your bubble, but I thought Serotta was belly up last time I checked.

  9. #9
    Senior Member WhyFi's Avatar
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    I assume that that's what he was alluding to when referencing sad changes in the cycling industry and why it was not included in the list of prospects.
    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    I would wager that not riding in Minnesota is just as fatiguing as not riding in New York.

  10. #10
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Head over to the clydesdale board for weight loss commiseration.

    As for buying bikes, this place is like going to a bar and asking if you should buy two beers. Of course!

    Whatever gets you excited to ride again right now is the right bike for you, and if that changes to some other bike in a year or two, who are we to criticise?

    You seem to be dreaming big - so go get yourself a bike and start doing.

  11. #11
    King Hoternot bianchi10's Avatar
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    What does it matter, buy what you want/can afford. It doesn't matter what your weight or current condition is. If you can afford a high end bike and can pony up the dough, then do it. High end bikes are generally more than any of us need, but most of us desire to have top shelf items. Figure out your own budget and buy within that amount.
    Last edited by bianchi10; 03-29-14 at 08:59 PM.

  12. #12
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    @ FA: I was already going to go Ultegra (more than likely), 105 if I get pinched. I've heard that I may need to beef up wheels..thanks for that!

    @Black wallnut: I know, things have likely changed quite a bit since the last time I purchased a bike so I should really shop around. It was odd, though. An old favorite bike store has dropped all their high end lines for just Trek and Specialized and they were giving me the hard song and dance around 'buy CF', 'avoid steel'. That is the last time I am going to that store! Thank goodness I am in a large city with 6 serious cycling shops and have a ton of options.

    @BigAura and WhyFi...this will be my 3rd bike (along with my 29er Specialized mountain bike) so I'm assuming I would keep my old Specialized as my beater bike for awhile. Roads and debris can be pretty crappy in springtime up here. Could my 2013 bike become my beater and I donate my old Specialized to a bike charity? Very possible. I'm surrounded by bike geeks, so having four bikes puts in me normal company for my old cycling club crowd . I had purchased my 29er after my 3rd major surgery, in hopes that it would compel me to get riding again (something different so as not to beat myself up for not averaging 18+ mph). Didn't work So not sure the expensive bike = urge to ride will surface. But who knows

    @Trojan...I wondered about posting over on the Clydesdale side. Next time I will.

    @Silver..I'm leaning towards high end. If all else fails, when I get back into hammering shape, I'll sell and take a small loss. It will be money well spent. And I did see those huge BBs now on CF bikes..3x the size of the old ones. I think I may have some old-timer bias on lateral stiffness

    Now I just need less expensive hobbies...between bikes, cars, scuba and watches...I'm surprised I still have enough for a roof over my head Thanks all!

  13. #13
    Speed is Life... UnfilteredDregs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechieTechie View Post
    Hi,

    First time poster, please be gentle .

    Former hard core road rider (200+ miles per week)
    You have experience. You know what you like. Research a bit and catch up. Run your ideas by others more current. Know what you can spend. Buy what is most sensible to you.
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/UnfilteredDregs
    Poetically vacant... -U.D.

  14. #14
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    You sounds like money is not an issue, but I suggest a mid range aluminum bike w/105. Then when you actually lose the weight splurge to your hearts desire.

    I suggest a computer w/a heart rate monitor, so if you ever plateau, you can see changes in your CV performance.

    Also a trainer (fluid) for those days you don't have time to hit the road, raining too hard, or just don't want to fully gear up.

    For me, money is an issue, so a mid range aluminum bike w/all this extra stuff goes MUCH farther than a high end carbon bike with out it.

    Also, aluminum bikes have come a long way and it would have to be one heck up an upgrade to make me let go of my caad10.

  15. #15
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechieTechie View Post
    Thanks all!
    no comment

  16. #16
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechieTechie View Post
    but I'm wondering if I will grow out of a mid-range ($2-$3k) bike once I lose this 100 lbs I need to lose. Or if the stiffness I may need for my current weight will become harsh once I am back to my 'fighting weight'. Once back into shape, I anticipate doing several centuries a season, likely some weeklong cycling trips (e.g. RAGBRAI, Cycle Oregon) and most likely an Ironman....and would likely want a serious, high end road bike (i.e. Seven, Independent, Litespeed, Cervelo). And maybe even a specialized Tri Bike for race days.
    You haven't even pedaled your first stroke and yet you want to do RAGBRAI and an Ironman? Buy a bike for what you're going to do today and don't worry about so far down the road.

  17. #17
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    If you've really got anything like 100lbs to lose, get a versatile mid-range bike that will help you do what you need to do now, namely ease back into riding and build mileage and fitness. The things you'll need and want, like wider tires, durable wheels, a more upright position, and a bike you can take out all the time, regardless of weather or type of ride, will be easier and less painful to acheive and do on a mi-range bike, because if if you could get fenders and 25s on, say a Colnago M10 (for no other reason than that they're ******' bad-assed and ******' high-end), would that be the kind of bike you want to put a high rise stem and sturdy alu rimmed wheels for a springtime dirt hammer? Probably not, but that's the kind of dedication to riding it's gonna take to ride off 100lbs; you gotta be willing to get out on the road and ride all the time.

    Use the high-end bike as a carrot; lose the weight, get strong, and reward your accomplishment with a sweet new rig perfectly suited to the kind of riding the "new you" wants to do.

    That's what I'd do, anyway, and then the mid-range bike just becomes the winter/spring/touring ride, and the high-end is reserved for fair weather rides, fast training/racing/club rides.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    You haven't even pedaled your first stroke and yet you want to do RAGBRAI and an Ironman? Buy a bike for what you're going to do today and don't worry about so far down the road.
    This is great advice. When I started biking I was coming off a BAD (9month+) arthritis flare up where I was barely walking. I droolled over the race bikes but lbs convinced me for an enduro bike. I am very grateful they did that because that was one of the best purchases I have made ever made. Allowed me to ride comfortably which made me want to ride more.


    Someone who is overweight (100lb is a good chunk of weight) will not benefit from a high end road bike. That person will benefit from just plain riding, which is why I suggest everything I did in my previous post because it gives you the use of very little excuses for not hoping on the bike.

  19. #19
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    I'm a believer in buying the best bike you can afford without going into debt. If you enjoy cycling and stick with it, having a bike you are proud of feels good and motivates you to ride more frequently, harder and faster.

    But if you plan on losing 100lbs, the bike that fits you now won't be the same fit 100lbs later. You're better off getting a lower prices or used bike, ride it until you get close to your goal weight, and buy your dream bike as a reward
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  20. #20
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    You can get a lot of bike for $2k.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    But if you plan on losing 100lbs, the bike that fits you now won't be the same fit 100lbs later.
    How do you figure this? One typically don't lose height or inseam when you lose weight. Maybe a stem adjustment as your flexibility increases but I ride the same 54cm bike I did a year ago and I'm 87 pounds lighter.

  22. #22
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
    What does it matter, buy what you want/can afford. It doesn't matter what your weight or current condition is. If you can afford a high end bike and can pony up the dough, then do it. High end bikes are generally more than any of us need, but most of us desire to have top shelf items. Figure out your own budget and buy within that amount.
    Wrong. He said he needs to lose 100 pounds. He might currently be over the weight limit of allot of high end bike.

  23. #23
    Senior Member clausen's Avatar
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    If you need significant weight loss look at Cross bikes with road tires on it. The frame can handle your weight, wider tires for your weight and lower gearing to help you get over the hills. You can pick one up relatively inexpensive and it gives you allot of versatility. Keep looking at high bike and pick one up when the weight comes off.

  24. #24
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
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    I haven't read a thread filled with as much claptrap as this one in several days...some of you are treating OP like he's a total newb, and he's not...suggesting that "high end" bikes and components of the type he's considering have weight limits that impact his choices...the only good advice I see here is along the lines of "get the best comfortable "re-starter" bike that fits for around $3K" which for my money is probably a Giant Defy Advanced (ask for an upgrade to Ultegra and decent wheels if need be).

    Bottom line, if you're dipping your feet back into cycling, then it makes sense to get a mid-range bike in the $3K....it'll be good enough that you can enjoy cycling again, it may be upgradeable, so find a color scheme you can live with for the long term, and a LBS that you have a "relationship" with may take it back in trade after a year or so....

    All my statements here are purely the opinion of the author and have no basis in fact...
    "I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."

    "I understand. I just don't care"

  25. #25
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    I'm under the standard weight limit that I've read about for most road bikes (and just at the edge for Specialized's carbon seat posts), and I'm sure as h$ll not going to ride a hybrid or cross bike...I'm way beyond that in cycling ability, even in the shape I'm in. 2 years ago, I rode a 200 mile, 2 day trip on my current Specialized Allez (was I slow, yes, did I finish, absolutely). But even when I was in shape, I do love (and have no shame in riding) a triple up front. I like to keep a good 90 cadence (I try never to go below 85) going up even the steepest hills if I can help it (and it sure came in handy riding in the hills of Galicia and New Hampshire).

    Softrest..thanks for the comment. That's good to hear that you are still riding with the same frame. Helps me get my mind around this.

    GC...thank you...well said! And I agree with you. I'm looking in the $2-$3k range, enough to get a pretty decent ride, but one that I won't kick myself if I want to trade up.
    Last edited by TechieTechie; 03-30-14 at 09:29 AM.

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