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  1. #1
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    A wee bit north of 300#s needs bike suggestions

    I just found this forum today and I have a few questions... I think that I want a road bike but as of now I am looking at hybrids and this is why... I am about 300#s, 5'9" 28 inseam I have a long torso and short legs and bad shoulders and knees. I started looking at mountain bikes believing that they would be the only choice for a rider as heavy as myself... I hated them too sloped over the bars and the front forks were ... squishy. I visited a couple of local shops and one suggested either a Trek Fx 3 or 4 or a Specialized Sirrus elite. I tried the specialized today and really liked it and I am trying a Trek Fx tomorrow. I wanted to see if those bikes really could support me and that search led me to this forum. I spent the afternoon trying to read as much as I could but really came away with more questions and doubts about the hybrids as a good choice. I liked the upright or less aggressive riding position as it put less stress on my shoulders but I can see where different hand positions might be good as I build to longer distances. I also like the upright position when riding with my 4 year old at low speeds. Is there a good road bike for me that has a similar riding position to the hybrids that I mentioned that is close to $1000 or less? I read about needing 32 -40 spokes, so a min of 32 with the idea that I would change them out only if it was an issue.
    Thanks, Joe

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    36 spokes is the way to go from the start.

    Upright position bikes place all your weight on your bottom.

    The forward lean bikes place your weight on, legs, feet, hands, arms and the saddle.
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 05-12-14 at 05:08 PM.
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  3. #3
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    I can tell you that there are plenty of wheels out there that will not explode under 300 lbs. It's not cool for me to talk about my wife's weight, so I won't. What I WILL say is I see no reason why a properly-built wheel with lower spoke count won't work.



    This is PhotoJoanne's Cannondale Quick. She liked it a lot better than the Sirrus or the FX, however, YMMV. Go ride them all and see what speaks to you. Also, test-ride some "comfort" road bikes to see if that is the answer for you. Again, your weight is not a major factor here. I'll tell you I'd MUCh rather ride a road bike than hybrid. Again, YMMV. Good luck, and please report back.

    Whatever you buy, ask the shop to tension your spokes.

    EDIT: Billy has good advice. The more spokes, the more bulletproof they are. While I stand behind my post, I would also say the higher count will last longer. Lower count can treat you well, but I think it's safe to say they won't last "as long".
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    I don't know about bikes but I do know you will find many wonderful helpful people here.
    Welcome to the BFs; this place has saved my life.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member GravelMN's Avatar
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    Touring bikes like the Trek 520 tend to have a more relaxed riding position than many road bikes. You can also change the stem on a road or cyclocross bike to raise the bar to a more comfortable position. One nice thing about cyclocross or touring bikes is that they will take wider tires than most road bikes which can be a blessing for us larger than average riders.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    I saw the Giant Anyroad at a LBS the other day. The sloping top tube may suit your body type. While you could certainly be happy with a hybrid, IMO, the drop bars on the Anyroad make it somewhat more versatile than a hybrid.

    Anyroad 1 (2014) | Giant Bicycles | United States

    If you are up for it, the Salsa Vaya is pretty nice too, versatile, and steel.
    2014 Vaya 3 | Bikes | Salsa Cycles

  7. #7
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    My first bike I started riding on was a Walmart mountain bike, i made adjustments to that as i found things i wanted different. Eventually being a really upright cruiser style bike. After I rode that for about 6 months i found i really wanted to switch over to a road bike. I wanted to cover more ground in the same amount of time and be able to progress in the biking world. After visiting A LOT of bike shops, i settled on the Specialized Secteur Sport Disc. I am really happy with it, Its been great to me, it fits a little wider tires than some bikes. I would definitely recommend one to my friends. I am over 300 lbs, and have fluctuated back and forth. It's close to 2000 miles right now with basic maintenance only. Good Luck in your Bike Shopping!

  8. #8
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I started riding drop bar road bikes when I was about 340ish, I am now sitting at 208. It's really all about wheels at that size. I found a nice set of used Mavic Reflex 32 spokes wheels when I started riding and they held up just fine. While I have upgraded bikes along the way, I kept the wheels and only just recently did I have to say goodbye to them as the brake surface was pretty shot. However the Shimano 600 hubs are still in excellent shape.

    Don't put a drop bar bike out of mind because of your size. A properly built and maintained set of wheels, you should be able to find the bike that will work for you.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2003 Trek 7300
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    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  9. #9
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    thanks for the replies and keep them coming... I am looking at the Specialized Secteur Sport Disc now looks good and also the any road


  10. #10
    Senior Member decotriumph's Avatar
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    Most manufacturers (Trek, for instance) list a max weight for their bikes at 300, so you should be fine. I am 285 and have a 2013 Cannondale Quick hybrid similar to PhotoJoe's posted pic, same low spoke count, and have had no problems. I also just got a Trek Domane road bike that I'm planning to ride the heck out of this summer when I ride by myself. It is what is described as a "comfort road bike," higher stem than a racer-type, but still a bent-over riding position. It's comfy to me. It has 18/24 spokes (F/R). My wife has a Cannondale Adventure ladies hybrid so I'll ride my hybrid when riding with her.
    Last edited by decotriumph; 05-13-14 at 07:11 AM.
    Alan M.
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  11. #11
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Also ck out their Cross bikes. More relaxed, and able to take larger tires.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  12. #12
    Tar is not a toy. WonkerJaw's Avatar
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    I concur on the Mavic Reflex 32 wheels. I had a lower spoke count rear wheel and never could keep it true... Until I ruined it. Bought a Mavic 32 spoke wheel and it worked like magic.

    If you're new to riding you're going to want to ride more upright to start. I started out at 315 lbs. and until I developed enough core strength I was pretty miserable on my traditional road bike.

    I will say a proper fit is the most important thing. KEEP AT IT and RIDE SAFE!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
    I started riding drop bar road bikes when I was about 340ish, I am now sitting at 208. It's really all about wheels at that size. I found a nice set of used Mavic Reflex 32 spokes wheels when I started riding and they held up just fine. While I have upgraded bikes along the way, I kept the wheels and only just recently did I have to say goodbye to them as the brake surface was pretty shot. However the Shimano 600 hubs are still in excellent shape.

    Don't put a drop bar bike out of mind because of your size. A properly built and maintained set of wheels, you should be able to find the bike that will work for you.
    This ^^

    I too started riding road bikes when I was around 140kg/310lb. It was an aluminium framed bike with 28/28 spoked wheels. I had just started reading into bikes and assumed I'd be looking for another set of wheels sooner rather than later. After 3 1/2 years a spoke started to loosen. I purchased a spoke tension meter, adjusted the spokes and shelved them after another 6 months for Velocity A23 rimmed wheels. In my now more experienced opinion those original wheels were just plain well built. They still live in that original bike of mine in a trainer in the shed.

    Basically any frame will take your weight, road/flatbar/hybrid/mountain. The wheels will be the defining factor and 32 and up spoke counts that are well built will last longer than most others. Irrespective of what bike style you choose, get the wheels checked and adjusted for your weight.

    Have fun!

  14. #14
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    I started out at 282 lbs this spring and I purchased a Trek 1.1 and I really like it. It has seemed to do fine with my weight. I am now down to 260 lbs and last night I brought home a Trek FX 7.3 to compliment my road bike.
    For $1300 I now have both style of bikes to choose from when I go out to ride and really have no excuses for not hitting the road. I know $1300 is a fair amount of money but if you have looked at bikes much at all you have seen single bikes that cost much more.
    Just something to think about. Good luck and happy cycling.

  15. #15
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    Go to www.performancebike.com and get either the GT Corsa 2, or the GT GTR Series 2 road bike. Next, install some interrupter brakes and ride it all on the hoods, just like a hybrid. When you need to get more aerodynamic, the drops are always there!

    OTOH, you could just go to www.bikesdirect.com and order the Motobecane Fantom CX3 bike. After installing interrupter brakes on this one, you'd have a nice Tourer, Commuter, Racer, and MTBike.
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-13-14 at 04:36 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    I'll echo the advice about either a CX bike or a road bike ... with a hybrid, you'll ride it for awhile and then you'll be itching for a roadie/CX bike. Happens all the time.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ray Dockrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    I saw the Giant Anyroad at a LBS the other day. The sloping top tube may suit your body type. While you could certainly be happy with a hybrid, IMO, the drop bars on the Anyroad make it somewhat more versatile than a hybrid.

    Anyroad 1 (2014) | Giant Bicycles | United States

    If you are up for it, the Salsa Vaya is pretty nice too, versatile, and steel.
    2014 Vaya 3 | Bikes | Salsa Cycles
    I have the Anyroad 2 as I wanted the triple. Fantastic bike for the money and super comfortable.

  18. #18
    Senior Member decotriumph's Avatar
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    Your real local bike shop (LBS) is your best friend picking out a bike. No way I'd order a bike online that I planned to ride nor would I get one at Walmart, Kmart or any big box store. The bike needs to fit you, not you trying to fit the bike you saved 30 bucks on. Visit more than one shop and look at several brands and find a bike you like and that fits you. A LBS will help you get the right seat, right reach, seat to pedal dimensions, etc. They'll also be there when you need to upgrade, get a repair, etc. Buy from a store you feel comfortable doing business with.
    Alan M.
    Tullahoma, TN

  19. #19
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    I'll echo the advice about either a CX bike or a road bike ... with a hybrid, you'll ride it for awhile and then you'll be itching for a roadie/CX bike. Happens all the time.
    Yup, though a hybrid is just versatile enough that if you have room, you will find a use for it even after you upgrade to the bike you really want.

    I am riding my Salsa Casserol now for two years and find it incredibly versatile as it could be set up for touring (already comes with a small front rack and you could add a back rack for loaded touring), or stripped down with lightweight wheels and tires for fast club rides. I am sort of in the middle, as mine still has the stock wheels that held up when I was almost 290, and still holds my 250 something weight, along with any gear I bring with me. Closest thing Salsa makes to the Casserol these days is the Colossal 2, which has disc brakes and 105 components (rather than the Casserol's Tiagra components and canti brakes), but that bike costs $2,000. But worth checking out if you can justify spending $2k for a new bike. All City makes the Spacehorse, which looks pretty sweet.
    Last edited by MRT2; 05-13-14 at 07:27 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by decotriumph View Post
    Your real local bike shop (LBS) is your best friend picking out a bike. No way I'd order a bike online that I planned to ride nor would I get one at Walmart, Kmart or any big box store. The bike needs to fit you, not you trying to fit the bike you saved 30 bucks on. Visit more than one shop and look at several brands and find a bike you like and that fits you. A LBS will help you get the right seat, right reach, seat to pedal dimensions, etc. They'll also be there when you need to upgrade, get a repair, etc. Buy from a store you feel comfortable doing business with.
    +1

    This is actually the best route to go, provided that you're dealing with a reputable bike shop, and that you have enough disposable cash to support the venture.

  21. #21
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    Many of the Raleigh bikes are made in the Giant factory according to my LBS. That said I tried a Raleigh road bike and purchased a Raleigh Talus 29er and both held my 380lbs (am now down to 368), I also then restored my vintage Centurion Le Mans 12 speed. I ride the Raleigh and the Centurion depending on whether I want to ride steady or do sprints. That Raleigh road bike was super smooth and was an aluminum frame.

    Dave

  22. #22
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    I'm almost exactly your dimensions. stubby legs and all.

    if you haven't been biking much, you may find it hard to lean over enough for a road bike. I started off with a Giant Cypress "comfort" bike and then moved on to a hybrid/road bike (both are about the same on your back).

    I'll second (third?) what everybody else said about wheels. I"ll just add that if you get a road bike, you may want 25mm tires instead of 23.

    good luck
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  23. #23
    Let's Ride! Jimbosays's Avatar
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    Over the course of a year starting with a comfort cruiser . . . After a few months of building general stamina, I wanted to go further/faster like all the other kids - So a hybrid road bike joined the mix. A few more months passed (down to 300 lbs.) and I wanted to pedal even further/faster/easier like some of the other kids . . . And now, thoroughly enjoy a Specialized Secteur Elite (105 drive train.)

    Don't think the first bike is your final end-all ride, just find a simple machine and start riding. It won't be long until you'll have a natural feeling of which genre of riding you want to explore. I've appreciated my 'bike progression' and most likely would have never been able to realistically start with a full road bike from the very beginning.

    Pick-out a few desirable models, then keep a regular eye on Craig's List or other local sales sites. All of my bikes were pre-owned by mature owners who shared much same story I tell here - In each case they upgraded and I reaped the benefit. (Why can't I seem to be able to get rid of one???)

    With all of that bloviation . . . A NEW Spec. Roubaix (w/ model year-end discounts happening soon) might be calling my name!
    Work Some - Play MORE!
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  24. #24
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    I tried a lot of bikes out yesterday almost all of the suggestions given... The bike that I really enjoyed riding was the Specialized Sirrus Comp with the normal brakes and the carbon fork. I found the road bikes too small for me and though the the stores could add a stem to extend out the handlebars and wider handle bars (I also have very broad shoulders) I didn't enjoy the ride as much. I am looking at a closeout deal on a 13 right now and hope to be riding within a week. In the end, I have the resources to take the financial hit later on if I do decide to go to a road bike so I am going with what felt the best to me now. Thanks for all of the advice and suggestions.

  25. #25
    Senior Member decotriumph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkelley View Post
    I tried a lot of bikes out yesterday almost all of the suggestions given... The bike that I really enjoyed riding was the Specialized Sirrus Comp with the normal brakes and the carbon fork. I found the road bikes too small for me and though the the stores could add a stem to extend out the handlebars and wider handle bars (I also have very broad shoulders) I didn't enjoy the ride as much. I am looking at a closeout deal on a 13 right now and hope to be riding within a week. In the end, I have the resources to take the financial hit later on if I do decide to go to a road bike so I am going with what felt the best to me now. Thanks for all of the advice and suggestions.
    Sounds like you're going the right route. Welcome to the club. Have fun!
    Alan M.
    Tullahoma, TN

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