Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-06-12, 03:08 PM   #1
cooperinchicago
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Bikes:
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Commuter bike for a big guy?

Hey everyone,

Now that the weather in Chicago has nice, I've been thinking about riding into work each day, but first I need a bike. I'm 6'4 and around 265lbs, so I'm looking for a bike that not only is comfortable for my substantial size, but a bike that handle the weight. My commute isn't very long, about 5 miles round trip, but I want to have the option to use it for longer rides. I'd also like to keep my price low, as I'm getting married and just got a new house, so a lot of expenses. My price range is probably around $300, but could go higher. I'd also be interested in getting a used bike. Any suggestions, things I should look for?

Thanks for the help,
Cooper
cooperinchicago is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-12, 04:24 PM   #2
Zrane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Bikes:
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a fellow big guy(6'7" 270) I can tell you this: Cheap wheels make life difficult. I have ****ty wheels, and they cause more problems than anything else. You can probably ride the typical L/XL frame without issue, but wheels are going to be the problem spot. And good wheels are expensive(I was quoted 400 for a basic set of decent, hand built wheels).

Other than that, find a bike you're comfortable on and ride it. You'll find things that work and don't work for you and either modify or replace them. Fenders and lights are pretty much the only things I consider essential.
Zrane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-12, 05:58 PM   #3
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX
Posts: 5,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Welcome To Bike Forums, Cooper!

It would appear that you have the following options:

1) Monitor your local craigslist for an old 80's styled chromoly steel road bike, that's in fair to good condition. You must be patient. At this time of the year everybody's trying to buy bikes. Make ceratain the you take someone with you who knows bikes. The frame should be straight and have no rust or weld issues.
Make certain that your expert partner inspects the bike both before and after your twenty minute test ride. Get his opinion about your fit onto the bike.

If the bike doesn't feel comfortable, then don't buy it! Always attempt to get the bike for less, no matter what!

* Once you get the bike off of CL, try to join a bicycle co-op. That way, you can learn to both upgrade and maintain your bike.

2) You can just join a nearby bike co-op and try to locate a frame that will fit you. Next, you begin to actually build your own bike from the stock pile of donated parts or bicycle components. You can even purchase your own components, independently. You will then install your components under the watchful eyes of veteran bicycle mechanics. Now that's what you call, building a bike!

3) You live in Chicago. Chicago is mostly flat. You don't have any major hills to climb! Therefore, you could just as easily buy a brand new chromoly steel single speed and be entitled to a warranty.

Here are just a few recommendations for single speeds:

The Schwinn Madison ~ $275
www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_540608_-1_202614

The Nashbar Hounder Single Speed~ $200
www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_504148_-1_202614

The Windsor Timeline ~ $300
www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/timeline.htm

Good Luck!

Last edited by SlimRider; 06-06-12 at 08:21 PM.
SlimRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-12, 07:37 PM   #4
no1mad
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke
Posts: 8,662
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Uh, I don't quite agree with the single speed for the OP.

1. Chicago may be flat (is there truly such a thing in Nature?), but it's also known as the 'Windy City'.
2. This bike is intended for both commuting (currently short distance) and longer rec rides in the future. OP might be planning on getting out of town to ride on terrain that SS gearing won't be the wisest choice for a noob to cycling.
3. While the SS isn't quite the same as a FG, the OP is a Clyde who is just starting out. He could wreak havoc on his knees without too much trouble while battling the headwinds.

I'm a Clyde and what Zrane said about the wheels is correct- and it's also one of the first things that manufacturers look at when building to hit a price point. Also, something else that I've come to understand is that heavier doesn't always equate with sturdier.
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-12, 08:41 PM   #5
radiantshadow
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
6'7 250ish here... i ride a surly LHT 62 cm, but i think they offer a 64cm now... got it because it is a touring bike so built to handle heavy loads - which is me.
radiantshadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-12, 11:32 PM   #6
bragi
bragi
 
bragi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: seattle, WA
Bikes: LHT
Posts: 2,911
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with radiantshadow about the LHT (Surly Long Haul Trucker). It's super sturdy, even tank-like; its wheels even have more spokes than most bikes, and the components that come with the bike, while not highest-end, are of very good quality. It's a bit pricey new, though, and I've never seen a used one for sale; people who own them tend to hold on to them.
bragi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-12, 11:48 PM   #7
ThermionicScott 
Gratuitous glib and snark
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)
Posts: 13,169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Buy something used that has lots of spokes on each wheel, and have them professionally trued.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-12, 03:17 AM   #8
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX
Posts: 5,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Alright Cooper!

The Motobecane Steel Mirage ~ $330
www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mirage_xi_steel.htm

It's got nice strong wheels too!

* I would strongly suggest that you join the nearest bicycle co-op, in order to upgrade and customize this bike, within the year. Like maybe, next winter, upgrade and repack the bottom bracket. Also upgrade the crankset to at least, Shimano Tiagra. Perhaps next spring, upgrade the derailleurs and cassette to Tiagra.

PS.

Always keep an eye out for a great deal on even better wheels on eBay.

Make certain that you have a really nice floor air pump, a NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock, and a helmet.

Last edited by SlimRider; 06-07-12 at 05:42 AM.
SlimRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-12, 04:05 AM   #9
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX
Posts: 5,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Buy something used that has lots of spokes on each wheel, and have them professionally trued.
+1

This is excellent advice! Especially, if the OP can find a nice used chromoly steel frame.

PS.

Some co-ops teach you how to true your own wheels!

Last edited by SlimRider; 06-07-12 at 06:51 AM.
SlimRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-12, 05:37 AM   #10
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX
Posts: 5,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Uh, I don't quite agree with the single speed for the OP.

1. Chicago may be flat (is there truly such a thing in Nature?), but it's also known as the 'Windy City'.
2. This bike is intended for both commuting (currently short distance) and longer rec rides in the future. OP might be planning on getting out of town to ride on terrain that SS gearing won't be the wisest choice for a noob to cycling.
3. While the SS isn't quite the same as a FG, the OP is a Clyde who is just starting out. He could wreak havoc on his knees without too much trouble while battling the headwinds.

I'm a Clyde and what Zrane said about the wheels is correct- and it's also one of the first things that manufacturers look at when building to hit a price point. Also, something else that I've come to understand is that heavier doesn't always equate with sturdier.
I still contend that the OP will be just fine on an XL chromoly steel framed single speed bicycle. As long as the wheels are strong and the tires are filled to their optimum capacity.

Last edited by SlimRider; 06-07-12 at 06:51 AM.
SlimRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-12, 05:56 AM   #11
curbtender
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Bikes: Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Schwinn Speedster, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina
Posts: 3,853
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Good starter bike. Should hold it's value if you upgrade. http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/bik/3061679928.html
curbtender is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-12, 07:12 AM   #12
Zrane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Bikes:
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
I still contend that the OP will be just fine on an XL chromoly steel framed single speed bicycle. As long as the wheels are strong and the tires are filled to their optimum capacity.
As someone who live somewhere mostly flat, with high winds, I'm going to say that IMHO you're completely wrong. A strong headwind(Or anything other than directly behind you, really) is more than enough to make you want at least a few gears.

Though I just looked it up, and OKC is on average a good bit windier than Chicago. Whodathunkit.
Zrane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-12, 07:37 AM   #13
cooperinchicago
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Bikes:
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for all the responses! I stopped into my local bike shop yesterday, and the owner pretty much said the exact same thing you all have said. He suggested the Surly LHT, but unfortunately, that is going to be well outside my price range. There are a few co-ops in the area that I think I might hit up this weekend.
cooperinchicago is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-12, 08:27 AM   #14
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX
Posts: 5,804
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperinchicago View Post
Thanks for all the responses! I stopped into my local bike shop yesterday, and the owner pretty much said the exact same thing you all have said. He suggested the Surly LHT, but unfortunately, that is going to be well outside my price range. There are a few co-ops in the area that I think I might hit up this weekend.

Hey there, Cooper!

It's great that you're going to checkout the co-op option. Many co-ops have bicycle frames alreay available to start building upon. They may even have one in your size. If they do, you might consider having it powdercoat painted before you start your build. If they don't have a frame for you, another option that you might consider, would be to purchase a bicycle frame online. Building a single speed and maintaining it would be a lot easier than having a multi-geared bike.

Chicago is just perfect for single speeds as the gentleman below advocates:

http://voices.yahoo.com/single-speed...ago-57492.html
SlimRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:23 AM.