Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Junior Member DoggieDaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Newbie needs advise

    Hi All,

    I’m new to the forum, somewhat new to biking, not new to 200+, and looking to get some advice on purchasing a bike. A little background: I stand at 5’8”, weigh in at 282 lbs. (for now) and have some periodic, but not chronic, back issues that are probably related to my level of fitness. Doctor recently diagnosed me with high blood pressure and put me on meds. He said that at my age, 41, he can most likely take me off of the meds and lower my risk for heart problems and diabetes if I lose weight.

    So, I’m looking to get back into it and buy a bike help with the weight loss and overall health and fitness. I used to bike some 15 years ago or so, but haven’t been on one since. The trails I would ride on are mostly established dirt/gravel trails and I’ll do some paved trail riding. Maybe in the future I would like to get off the beaten path and ride on more challenging technical paths, but that would be in the future. I’d like to ask you all for some recommendations on a good bike to get. More importantly, I’m looking for some guidance on what to prioritize in a bike to meet my needs. For example, how important are things like front suspension, saddle suspension, upright riding position, and frame material. My budget is somewhere in the $500 range, a little more is possible, a little less is always nice.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance.
    Last edited by DoggieDaddy; 06-26-14 at 08:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    In The Wind
    My Bikes
    GTO
    Posts
    26,774
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Start with a bike with 36 spoke wheels.

    Everything else is your choice.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Casseroll, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.
    Posts
    2,914
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you plan to ride mostly on dirt or gravel, I would think one of those dual sport hybrids, or maybe a hardtail mountain bike with a lockout fork might be the thing for you. Giant Roam, Trek 8.3 DS, that sort of thing. They push the $500 envelope, price wise, but maybe you can find a used one in your price range. A lot of folks seem to think they will need a trail capable bike when what they actually ride paved roads 99% of the time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Green Bay
    My Bikes
    2012 Kona Jake, 2009 Trek 1.2, 1997 Trek 6700
    Posts
    2,046
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hello and welcome

    We're the same age ... though I'm lucky in that I don't have the heart/diabetes issues (though I was on my way there a few years back).

    As was mentioned below, a higher spoke count wheel would be good, but at the same time, not entirely necessary. I'm currently 269, down from as high as 300 earlier this year and my wheels aren't anything special. My roadie is 24 spoke, and my CX/commuter bike is probably 28?

    From what you're saying it sounds like either a hybrid bike, or a used 90s mountain bike with an unsuspended front fork would serve you well. If you go used, you'll stay substantially under your budget, which is good, because you should plan to buy a helmet, a patch kit, extra tube, tire levers and maybe an air pump in case you get a flat while out riding. A quality used bike with a professional tune up would serve you for thousands of miles.

    And while riding all those miles and losing weight, you can see where you want to go with cycling. Stick to trails and bike paths? Ride more singletrack technical stuff? Commute? Long distance road rides? etc. Set a weight loss goal and reward yourself with a new bike when you reach it
    Last edited by ill.clyde; 06-26-14 at 08:56 AM.

  5. #5
    Bike Commuter
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Mt. Shasta - Capella
    Posts
    66
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    +1 on the high spoke count wheels. When I started biking years ago, I weighed more than you do and I had lots of issues keeping the wheels true. Once I invested in a high spoke count wheel from a good builder, those problems disappeared (as did a big chunk of me). I'd also recommend getting a seat with steel rails (not aluminum) as the aluminum ones have a tendency to fail. As for suspension (frame and saddle), I've never used it -- if you're riding relatively smooth paths and roads, you won't miss it. Steel frames are also your friend as they tend to handle bigger loads well and not fail in the way carbon (and to a lesser extent aluminum) can. As for position, that's up to you -- whatever makes you feel comfortable, I personally ride more upright. The big thing is to stick with it. The first few weeks will be really hard. But you'll see rapid benefits. Each day you'll get faster. Hills that were un-doable one week will be conquered the next. And the weight will drop off quickly. Within the first 2 months on the bike, I dropped 30 lbs (I bike commute) and I felt much healthier and happier, and indicators like blood pressure going back to normal backed that up. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Western Maryland - Appalachian Mountains
    My Bikes
    Motobecane Fantom Cross; Cannondale Supersix replaced the Giant TCR which came to an untimely death by truck
    Posts
    2,975
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    With a $500 budget you'll be limited in choices. I would root around in classifieds, bike shops and craigs list for possibilities

    - make sure I get a bike that fits. You could go to a LBS/big box store and see what sizes fit you.
    - good wheelset
    - I would say no suspension only for the fact that it would more than likely wear out fairly quick at that price point. I started with one. Shocks were shot in no time.

    From there is all what you want

  7. #7
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Very N and Very W Ohio Williams Co.
    My Bikes
    2001 Trek Multitrack 7200, 2104 Fuji Sportif 1.5
    Posts
    1,900
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
    With a $500 budget you'll be limited in choices. I would root around in classifieds, bike shops and craigs list for possibilities

    - make sure I get a bike that fits. You could go to a LBS/big box store and see what sizes fit you.
    - good wheelset
    - I would say no suspension only for the fact that it would more than likely wear out fairly quick at that price point. I started with one. Shocks were shot in no time.

    From there is all what you want
    From my POV I would suggest you ride on smooth pavement, pick some routes going out from home in every direction, that way you can choose to ride INTO the wind on the way out, and with it at your back on the way back, or if your a glutton for punishment do it the other way :-). You can also tailor it hilly on the way out and flat on the way back, etc.

    I have come closer to crashing into other people doing silly things on multi use trails than on good old surface streets.

    I may have just gotten lucky so far but this bike has served me well so far for 220 miles in June :-).



    I am SO glad when we bought those bikes we got that year because after that they had suspension forks.......suspension might be fine for some situations but I never ride off pavement.....and it would be contrary to what I am doing right now.

    Those wheels seem fine so far, but I WILL get off and walk if I have to if the situation demands it (had to yesterday....they were spraying liquid tar into some road cracks, had to walk the bike and lift over the good for about 1/10 of a mile).

    2001 Trek 7200 - BikePedia

    I started this month at 279.6 so I was in your weight range then.

    I like the 3x8 setup even though I almost always ride the middle chain ring, a so called "compact" 2x8 setup would probably actually serve you better overall, less shifting, you would probably start on the small ring up front and graduate onto the bigger one with more miles. I'm thinking of going to a compact setup up front.

    That trek is setup for fenders too which might be good if you want to be able to ride in the rain, or right after it rains.

    So that is my .02....I did not need any special wheels to handle my weight so far, we will see :-).

    Bill

  8. #8
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Very N and Very W Ohio Williams Co.
    My Bikes
    2001 Trek Multitrack 7200, 2104 Fuji Sportif 1.5
    Posts
    1,900
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That bike has a suspension seat post, but I have it cranked as stiff as it goes and then back out one turn, it really does not hardly move all ever. Debated changing it to a solid post just have not gotten around to that yet.

    I could be a retro grouch on suspensions maybe :-)....but to me they add up to lost motion, added complexity and weight, and take away from $$ in your price range that would be better spent on other more important parts of the bike :-). BUT the makers seem to think they need suspension forks on every hybrid :-).

    Bill

  9. #9
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Casseroll, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.
    Posts
    2,914
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Willbird View Post
    From my POV I would suggest you ride on smooth pavement, pick some routes going out from home in every direction, that way you can choose to ride INTO the wind on the way out, and with it at your back on the way back, or if your a glutton for punishment do it the other way :-). You can also tailor it hilly on the way out and flat on the way back, etc.

    I have come closer to crashing into other people doing silly things on multi use trails than on good old surface streets.

    I may have just gotten lucky so far but this bike has served me well so far for 220 miles in June :-).



    I am SO glad when we bought those bikes we got that year because after that they had suspension forks.......suspension might be fine for some situations but I never ride off pavement.....and it would be contrary to what I am doing right now.

    Those wheels seem fine so far, but I WILL get off and walk if I have to if the situation demands it (had to yesterday....they were spraying liquid tar into some road cracks, had to walk the bike and lift over the good for about 1/10 of a mile).

    2001 Trek 7200 - BikePedia

    I started this month at 279.6 so I was in your weight range then.

    I like the 3x8 setup even though I almost always ride the middle chain ring, a so called "compact" 2x8 setup would probably actually serve you better overall, less shifting, you would probably start on the small ring up front and graduate onto the bigger one with more miles. I'm thinking of going to a compact setup up front.

    That trek is setup for fenders too which might be good if you want to be able to ride in the rain, or right after it rains.

    So that is my .02....I did not need any special wheels to handle my weight so far, we will see :-).

    Bill
    The 7xxx series replaced the venerable 7xx series. (BTW, not a terrible choice if you can find one for cheap) Then they got more and more plush, with suspension forks and seatposts. Shortly thereafter, Trek introduced the FX line for hybrid riders who wanted somewhat better performance.

    I am not a fan of suspension forks either, but if OP plans to do mostly dirt and gravel trails, he might benefit from a suspension fork.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Very N and Very W Ohio Williams Co.
    My Bikes
    2001 Trek Multitrack 7200, 2104 Fuji Sportif 1.5
    Posts
    1,900
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The TREK 7.1 FX is a kind of cool looking bike to this old retrogrouch :-)......it is geared a lot like my bike but 7 speed not 8...same front rings......or go with the 7.0 and have enough cash to buy a seat pack and enough stuff to allow you to fix a flat on the road. It does come with 36 hole rims too. After you have a few hundred miles under your belt you might be looking to swap in a 12-25 or 12-26 freewheel instead of that 14-34.

    Eat a few ramen noodles and look at the 7.2 ($550), it has a cassette in back not a freewheel, and is 8 speed not 7, and is a lot sexier looking bike :-)

    Bill
    Last edited by Willbird; 06-26-14 at 10:32 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Casseroll, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.
    Posts
    2,914
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Willbird View Post
    The TREK 7.1 FX is a kind of cool looking bike to this old retrogrouch :-)......it is geared a lot like my bike but 7 speed not 8...same front rings......or go with the 7.0 and have enough cash to buy a seat pack and enough stuff to allow you to fix a flat on the road. It does come with 36 hole rims too.

    Bill
    Giant Escape 2 retails for just $420 and you get 8 speeds for that price. It doesn't make a huge difference, but the Escape 2 seems like a better bike for the money.

    The thing is, if OP is looking to ride gravel/dirt trails mostly, the Trek DS or Giant Roam (or an old Specialized Rockhopper or Trek 830 would do just fine as well.) might be a better choice.
    Last edited by MRT2; 06-26-14 at 10:43 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Very N and Very W Ohio Williams Co.
    My Bikes
    2001 Trek Multitrack 7200, 2104 Fuji Sportif 1.5
    Posts
    1,900
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Giant Escape 2 retails for just $420 and you get 8 speeds for that price. It doesn't make a huge difference, but the Escape 2 seems like a better bike for the money.
    Yea for $420 that is nice :-)......sealed BB too.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Ellensburg,WA
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Broadway, Specialized Secteur Sport(crashed) Spec. Roubaix Sport, Spec. Crux
    Posts
    2,314
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    High spoke count wheels will help. Properly tensioned and stress relieved wheels are more important than spoke count but when you combine all three attributes you should have wheels that last without trouble. I started with a Schwinn Broadway that cost me $200 so you can go that route however I had to within the first year replace the wheels and that cost me more than the bike. Given that you wish to ride paved and unpaved trails I'd suggest a hardtail mountain bike with a fork that can be locked out. Suspension will rob you of power but since you are after fitness and weight loss putting power to the ground might not be important to you. Resist the temptation to increase your eating to make up for your exercise. You can gain health and lose weight and it is worth doing. FWIW I started at 270ish, gained to 289 in first year of riding and now am at 214.4 and shrinking.
    Sir Mark, Knight of Sufferlandria

  14. #14
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Hammond, La
    My Bikes
    Wabi Lightning RE, Wabi Classic
    Posts
    1,420
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome to BF and congratulations on the decision to improve your health/fitness! Cycling is such a great hobby.

    I started with a similar situation as your's (height/weight/BP/back issues). For me, the weak back was a lack of core strength. Back issues are no doubt tricky and somewhat unique for each of us. I started, very slowly, doing planks and can now do 100 mile rides on my road bike without back issues.

    Enjoy your ride!

  15. #15
    Junior Member DoggieDaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank for all the advise and the words of encouragement! I started shopping around at some shops today. Armed with the info I gathered from here, I went to a few shops, some large, some small local shops. Got some different opinions from one shop to the other and test rode half a dozen bikes. I'll post what I found so far later tonight. Again, thanks for all the help.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Suburban Kansas City, MO
    My Bikes
    08 Spec Sequoia Elite, 98 Spec Hardrock Sport, 04 Spec Stumpjumper, 93 Burley Rock n Roll, 11 Trek Transport
    Posts
    223
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would avoid suspension. In my opinion, better no suspension than low end suspension. If I were you, I'd look for something like an old steel MTB with good solid wheels. At the very least, if you get an aluminum bike, get a steel fork or carbon fork. Get something with enough clearance that you can have some wiggle room on tire sizes. If you absolutely have to have front suspension, make sure it has a good lockout. At your price point new, I think any susp bike will be marginal, so back to my avoid recommendation. Good luck. You'll get plenty of advice here. Novara Buzz, Jamie Coda Sport, Raleigh Misceo come to mind.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •