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Old 09-09-05, 01:18 PM   #1
bigrider
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Help with Raleigh MTB

Hi
I recently found an older raleigh M30 mountain bike at a thrift shop who basically gave it to me. It is a little scratched here and their and needs some minor fix up. The reason I took it was that it seems to have a pretty beefy frame. I am about 260 pounds, and want to get into a regular course of biking for exercise. I thought this frame might be adequate for me to get started on. Also, the budget is really tight right now.
Any thoughts on the quality of this bike, its long term suitibility, worth putting some money in to repair, and the availability of parts? I have asked this same question in the MTB forum. Thought I would post it here as well. In watching the forums, most people seem to recommend heavy duty frames for my present weight and size. These are pretty pricey, and just not within my reach at this point. So, any help would be appreciated. In my mid 50's by the way.

Thanks for your patience in advance of newbie questions.
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Old 09-09-05, 02:39 PM   #2
Little Darwin
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Hi BigRider...

My answers assume that you are talking about road riding, or gentle trails... For true mountain biking perspective I will abstain.

First, in case you haven't stumbled across my other posts, I weighed 365 when I started riding, and I am still at about 300...

Many people on the forums suggest beefy frames because they are compelled to buy themselves multi-thousand dollar exotic frames which are designed to be feather-weight and suit riders under 180 pounds... For us larger riders, almost any off-the-shelf type frame will be just fine for road riding. As long as you avoid the exotics, I think you will do fine.

I don't know the Raleigh M30 specifically, but I think any mountain bike will hold up great since they are designed to carry smaller riders across rough terrain. I ride a Giant Sedona DX. The front shock is tightened as tight as it will go (still some spring), and the suspension seatpost is cranked down to make it act as if it is solid. If the M30 has rear suspension, I would consider carefully its ability to work effectively with a big rider (I question the value of rear suspension for almost anything!).

I suspect at 260, if you are planning to ride on the road that any bike without rear suspension would work. My Sedona has 1900 miles in 3 years, and I have had virtually no maintenance except for a tune-up and switching to smooth tires (due for another tune-up now). I also have a Univega Custom 10 road bike that holds me just fine (older steel frame bike) except that my gut gets in the way when I am in the drops.

Are you able to determine what needs fixing on the Raleigh?

My only precaution would be to not spare on making sure the brakes are working well... For a large rider, the brakes are an issue that can not be taken lightly (pun semi-intentional). I avoid riding when it is wet strictly because I don't trust the braking power of wet brakes at my size.

A saddle is critical for any rider, but I do not belong to the school of thought that bigger people need extra big saddles. Ride a saddle for a while before giving up. I have heard that even the pros get saddle sores early in the season.

The standard seat on the Sedona is available in a LBS that sells Giants, and it has served me well. It has dual density foam, and I have never had any significant pain, although if I don't ride for a while, I don't ride two days in a row to allow recovery in the sitting area. I also have a hard leather saddle on my road bike (Brooks B-17) that with a pair of cycling shorts seems to do well, although I have limited time riding it so far.

What are your cycling goals? What sort of riding do you hope to do? How long has it been since you rode?
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Old 09-10-05, 01:16 AM   #3
taylor8
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Welcome to the mess.

I ride a MTB as a commuter. Your bike will work fine. If you want to go fast get some road tires for it, if you want to have a workout keep knobbies on it.

There is this stuff called Bag Balm, made for a cows udder when it get sore. The stuff works grate for saddle sores. Just lube youself up where it is needed before the ride.

Joe
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Old 09-10-05, 01:53 PM   #4
stapfam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigrider
Hi
I recently found an older raleigh M30 mountain bike at a thrift shop who basically gave it to me. It is a little scratched here and their and needs some minor fix up. The reason I took it was that it seems to have a pretty beefy frame. I am about 260 pounds, and want to get into a regular course of biking for exercise. I thought this frame might be adequate for me to get started on. Also, the budget is really tight right now.
Any thoughts on the quality of this bike, its long term suitibility, worth putting some money in to repair, and the availability of parts? I have asked this same question in the MTB forum. Thought I would post it here as well. In watching the forums, most people seem to recommend heavy duty frames for my present weight and size. These are pretty pricey, and just not within my reach at this point. So, any help would be appreciated. In my mid 50's by the way.

Thanks for your patience in advance of newbie questions.
Several, I wont say many but probably about 8 years ago, I rode a Raleigh "M" series bike and it rode well. This was only my first experience of an "M" Raleigh and I was pretty surprised . Only problem that I can see is with regard to the wheels. With the probable age of the bike, the wheels will need some attention to be able to take your weight. Just a retrue and retension of the spokes and will not be very expensive, but get it done before any distance or aggresive riding is undertaken.
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