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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 02-11-15, 03:32 PM   #1
Vegatron
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350+ and ready to ride

Hey everyone, I am new to this site and haven't riden in a while. I feel every time i get on a bike, they feel way too small and all of the shocks sink down, Very disappointing. I am extremely interested in getting back to riding since I don't have a motorcycle anymore (just need to be on two wheels) and ready want to be able to ride with my wife.

I have heard good thinks about Trek and I am interested in the Trek Verve 3, but due to my weight, Trek recommends the Trek Swift 4. I want to start off with some comfort riding, but later move to more adventures biking (no mountains or steep hills in my area). Has anyone been in the 350+ range (6'3" & 30yrs) and found the Treck Verve 3 work for them?
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Old 02-11-15, 03:45 PM   #2
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Consider that you may wan't to lock out the travel on the front suspension fork. Shift 4 can do this. Not the Verve 3.
If you ride on good roads you could benefit from being able to lock out the fork travel. You will go faster without the bobbing of the shock absorbing fork.

The Shift 4 has 36 spoke wheels front and rear.
The Verve 3 has 32 spoke wheels rear and 21 spoke in the front.

So, if you are concerned that at your weight you will bottom out the suspension, the Shift 4 solves that issues with the lock out.
The Shift 4 has much stronger wheels with the higher spoke counts.

That is my $.02 worth, I hope it helps.
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Old 02-11-15, 03:55 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that at your current weight, suspension is useless. You'll bottom it out anyway.
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Old 02-11-15, 04:05 PM   #4
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forget about suspension....go heavy on spoke count and go ride.
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Old 02-11-15, 05:08 PM   #5
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Yup. Old, hardtail mountain bike or hybrid with a solid fork. And Touring or 29er wheels with at least 36 spokes laced to quality hubs. You don't need suspension, and cheap suspension forks won't really help at your weight anyway.
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Old 02-11-15, 06:29 PM   #6
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I bought a Shift 4 in December and have about 350 miles on it. I'm over 300 and the front suspension does just fine. It's pre-loaded which makes it very stiff and can also be locked out. Other than adding a little extra weight to the bike, I see no disadvantage to the front suspension. It seems like a very durable bike and fun to ride. It also has 13 gauge spokes and a larger seat post. I'd recommend it. I'm 59 and just got back into riding last July after 45 years of not riding. It may not be the best looking bike on the market but it works for me! Good luck in your search, Mo
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Old 02-11-15, 06:38 PM   #7
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I'd recommend an older used rigid (no suspension) mountain bike to start on. You can typically find them
in good condition on Craigslist for very reasonable prices. Look for brand names (Specialized, Trek, Raleigh, Cannondale). It's VERY important to get the right size, so get measured and take somebody along who knows bikes.
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Old 02-14-15, 12:58 AM   #8
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Consider that you may wan't to lock out the travel on the front suspension fork. Shift 4 can do this. Not the Verve 3.
If you ride on good roads you could benefit from being able to lock out the fork travel. You will go faster without the bobbing of the shock absorbing fork.

The Shift 4 has 36 spoke wheels front and rear.
The Verve 3 has 32 spoke wheels rear and 21 spoke in the front.

So, if you are concerned that at your weight you will bottom out the suspension, the Shift 4 solves that issues with the lock out.
The Shift 4 has much stronger wheels with the higher spoke counts.

That is my $.02 worth, I hope it helps.

I'm not opposed to the shift 4, but was looking for something with a larger tire for better overall pavement travel since most of my touring with be on road, boardwalks, etc. is the shift a bike that one can continue to grow into? That's my only real reason for looking at the verve 3. As of now, Craigslist and eBay have not been much help. There are some good bikes on there, but nothing in my size (height) range.
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Old 02-14-15, 05:41 AM   #9
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How about the Surly Ogre?
Ogre | Bikes | Surly Bikes
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Old 02-14-15, 07:10 AM   #10
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+1 for the Ogre! I did buy the Shift 4 and it is very adjustable and is what works for me now but, I did test ride an Ogre. That may be my next bike. I was just concerned about spending $1700 and worrying about the larger wheels with 32 spoke count.
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Old 02-14-15, 07:12 AM   #11
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+1 on a hardtail MTB. If you have the budget, that Ogre is a good bike. You could put some 32-35mm touring tires on it if you will be primarily on paved surfaces. If you are more into road riding than trails, you could look at a touring bike like the Trek 520 or a cyclocross bike like the Surly Cross Check. Either would be fine at your current weight. If your budget is less, look for something like a 1990s Trek 700 series bike. The 720, 730 and 750 are very comparable to modern bikes like Surly's Long Haul Trucker. The 700 is entry level, but still a fine bike and very versatile. They can be set up for touring, gravel grinding, winter riding or even off roading (within limits). I've even ridden mine with 28mm tires on a few charity centuries and B level group rides. Not a high performance bike, but a definite jack of all trades.
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Old 02-15-15, 07:34 AM   #12
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I started out at around 340 with a trek marlin 7. Great bike and held me no problem. It is a hardtail 29er. No lock out on front suspension but like most it is adjustable and you can just crank it up really tight until you drop a few pounds.

I love the bike - does what I want and I have put over 500km on it with no issues at all.
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Old 02-15-15, 08:53 PM   #13
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Thanks for all of the advice so far. I am really looking to stay in the hybrid category of bike, and also added the trek FX to my options list. So as of now, it's between the shift 4, verve 3, and the FX Serise while keeping the budget below 700. Shift is at the bottom for me since it does not seem to meet all of the needs that I want since I want to be able to grow into the bike more. Only reason I still have it is for the added weight limit and the stronger tires, thought I seem more interested in the 700cc series tires.

i also like the 25" option on the verve 3 and FX series. I also like that the verve 3 already comes with a comfort seat and adjustable stem.

Last edited by Vegatron; 02-15-15 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 02-15-15, 09:06 PM   #14
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Thanks for all of the advice so far. I am really looking to stay in the hybrid category of bike, and also added the trek FX to my options list. So as of now, it's between the shift 4, verve 3, and the FX Serise while keeping the budget below 700. Shift is at the bottom for me since it does not seem to meet all of the needs that I want since I want to be able to grow into the bike more. Only reason I still have it is for the added weight limit and the stronger tires, thought I seem more interested in the 700cc series tires.

i also like the 25" option on the verve 3 and FX series.
Any reason you are focused in on just Trek?
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Old 02-15-15, 09:34 PM   #15
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I'm looking at others such as Giant, surly, and looked a little into Bianchi, but to make things easier in choosing style, I'm sticking with trek. I am most interested in trek since I have researched there bikes the most
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Old 02-15-15, 09:37 PM   #16
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Plus I have not seen too many other brands with a wide selection of 25" frames.
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Old 02-15-15, 10:17 PM   #17
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I have done a little more research, and it looks like the trek DS is better overall then the FX serise for road and off-road use. So it is narrowed down to to the verve 3, DS serise, and Shift 4 (with shift being at the bottom of the list) for this 350+ guy (with plans of continuing to lose weight).
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Old 02-15-15, 11:14 PM   #18
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Started at 350# on a Giant Escape, have rode it hard and long, and have never experienced a weight related equipment issue.
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Old 02-16-15, 06:36 AM   #19
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I have done a little more research, and it looks like the trek DS is better overall then the FX serise for road and off-road use. So it is narrowed down to to the verve 3, DS serise, and Shift 4 (with shift being at the bottom of the list) for this 350+ guy (with plans of continuing to lose weight).
Out of interest, why are you focusing on bikes with suspension forks?
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Old 02-16-15, 06:48 AM   #20
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My main interested is a hybrids style bike for more of an upright seating position. I will most likely be riding 90% road and 10% very light trails (no step hills) I personnally have no need for suspension forks at my weight and riding needs. Just so happens all the bikes I am looking at have them. That why if they do, I want to make sure they have a suspension lockout. I just started looking at the giant roam 2 yesterday.
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Old 02-16-15, 07:04 AM   #21
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My main interested is a hybrids style bike for more of an upright seating position. I will most likely be riding 90% road and 10% very light trails (no step hills) I personnally have no need for suspension forks at my weight and riding needs. Just so happens all the bikes I am looking at have them. That why if they do, I want to make sure they have a suspension lockout. I just started looking at the giant roam 2 yesterday.
So is there a reason why you've ruled out the Trek FX series then? You said above something about the Trek DS being better for "road and off-road use" than the FX, but I highly doubt a DS is better for Road use than a rigid hybrid bike. Off road, maybe, but if you're planning on doing gravel paths, the FX with rigid forks will be fine and much better for road riding IMHO.
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Old 02-16-15, 08:23 AM   #22
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My main interested is a hybrids style bike for more of an upright seating position. I will most likely be riding 90% road and 10% very light trails (no step hills) I personnally have no need for suspension forks at my weight and riding needs. Just so happens all the bikes I am looking at have them. That why if they do, I want to make sure they have a suspension lockout. I just started looking at the giant roam 2 yesterday.
Hmm. It seems to me you are looking for confirmation that going for a comfort bike with a suspension fork is the way to go, and discarding the vast majority of responses here that suspension forks are not the way to go. And that is cool. I keep my own counsel when it comes to how I spend my money. But you might want to consider how after a couple of days of this thread, you are basically sticking with your intent to go with the Shift or Verve despite not getting the 100% confirmation you were hoping for.

In the end, you need to ride these bikes and make up your own mind. I would repeat my earlier advise to decide what sort of bike you want, than compare across brands and shops rather than lock in on just one brand. So what we have here are 3 types of bikes. Comfort bikes, Trail hybrids, and road hybrids. First the comfort bikes. My view is, the Shift and Verve models are fine for shorter rides but in the long run if this cycling thing catches on, you will find yourself looking for something a little sportier. I have seen this play out for years. And if buying two bikes within a year is your thing, then go ahead and buy a Shift or Verve now, then be prepared to shell out another $600 to $900 next year when you realize you want to ride longer and/or faster than you can go with a comfort bike. The DS series tries to split the difference between a flat bar road bike and a mountain bike. As far as I can tell, it is no more upright than the FX7x series, but rather is a trail hybrid. Consider one of these if your riding includes a lot of dirt, gravel, or crushed limestone trails. For example, in the Western part of my state, there is a huge network of unpaved trails. You can literally spend days riding these trails. If this were the majority of riding I did, then the DS series might be on my short list. The FX series is a road hybrid. if you ride 90% on paved roads and trails, the road hybrid should be on your short list.
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Old 02-16-15, 09:08 AM   #23
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The FX does just fine for gravel roads and trails....the wife rides an fx 7.5 and it can go anywhere you do not need a full blown mtb for...she would ride it anywhere I would take my cross bike. At your size, and the price range you are talking about, suspension is just a decoration that adds weight, does nothing.
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Old 02-16-15, 09:18 AM   #24
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Hmm. It seems to me you are looking for confirmation that going for a comfort bike with a suspension fork is the way to go, and discarding the vast majority of responses here that suspension forks are not the way to go. And that is cool. I keep my own counsel when it comes to how I spend my money. But you might want to consider how after a couple of days of this thread, you are basically sticking with your intent to go with the Shift or Verve despite not getting the 100% confirmation you were hoping for.

In the end, you need to ride these bikes and make up your own mind. I would repeat my earlier advise to decide what sort of bike you want, than compare across brands and shops rather than lock in on just one brand. So what we have here are 3 types of bikes. Comfort bikes, Trail hybrids, and road hybrids. First the comfort bikes. My view is, the Shift and Verve models are fine for shorter rides but in the long run if this cycling thing catches on, you will find yourself looking for something a little sportier. I have seen this play out for years. And if buying two bikes within a year is your thing, then go ahead and buy a Shift or Verve now, then be prepared to shell out another $600 to $900 next year when you realize you want to ride longer and/or faster than you can go with a comfort bike. The DS series tries to split the difference between a flat bar road bike and a mountain bike. As far as I can tell, it is no more upright than the FX7x series, but rather is a trail hybrid. Consider one of these if your riding includes a lot of dirt, gravel, or crushed limestone trails. For example, in the Western part of my state, there is a huge network of unpaved trails. You can literally spend days riding these trails. If this were the majority of riding I did, then the DS series might be on my short list. The FX series is a road hybrid. if you ride 90% on paved roads and trails, the road hybrid should be on your short list.

Thanks for al the help, your information really helped. I think I'm just stock at a cross roads. My biggest fear is getting a bike that doesn't support my weight. I think I was just trying to find the unicorn of bike. Something that has good comfort with more upright seating. A bike that is fast on the road while being decent on some light trails if I choice too go in that direction. Don't really have the funds to buy multiple bikes. but on the other side, if I were to buy a. Ore comfort bike to help me get back info right and help lose another 50-75 lbs before upgrading, the I would think it would be worth the purchase.
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Old 02-16-15, 09:21 AM   #25
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The FX does just fine for gravel roads and trails....the wife rides an fx 7.5 and it can go anywhere you do not need a full blown mtb for...she would ride it anywhere I would take my cross bike. At your size, and the price range you are talking about, suspension is just a decoration that adds weight, does nothing.

Thanks for the advice. I'm not really worried about suspension. I guess the Fx would work. I could always put a more aggressive tire if needed down the road.
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