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Old 01-03-05, 04:56 PM   #1
kimo
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what bike for a heavy +50?

I need some feedback on bike selection. I used to race bikes and compete in triathlons. I was injured and because of other life issues developed a sedentary lifestyle. I purchased a Schwinn Sierra for fitness and rode it for years. Ended up selling my road bike.

I have had a knee replacement and need to get back into cycling. I don't intend to race and due to the knee, mountain biking is out of the question (falls, hard plants with the foot etc).

I intend to ride the Sierra until I drop weight to 275, now 325.

At 275 I intend to buy a new bike (as an incentive to continue)......would you recommend a hybrid, or cyclocross or road (with more relaxed geometry like a touring bike)?

When I ride I tend to ride hard (from the training days). and I ride on mostly pavement or hard packed earth. I live in WV where it is very hilly and probably need a triple chain ring or mountain gearing. I must say that riding the mountain bike hasn't been too enjoyable since I still have the memory of riding road bikes on the road. Seems like I can never get my speed up.

Which bikes do you think would be suitable for a heavy rider? (my goal is to drop down to 200...which is thin for me). I'll probably get a new bike at between 280 or 270 pounds.

I do like the upright position. The geometry of racing bikes is just too tight for my knees comfort. If the geometry is more relaxed, riding in a down position is OK as well.

I have been riding about an hour three times a week on the Seirra.

Thanks
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Old 01-03-05, 11:00 PM   #2
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Unless you will be riding for more than a couple hours a day, I would still consider a rigid or hardtail mountain bike. They are sturdier and (you say) more comfortable. You might be riding slower partly because you are heavier, and you haven't been racing or training for a triathlon, for gosh sakes. But the mountain bike being a little harder to push, you could make an argument that it is better exercize. The MTB is sturdier and (you say) more comfortable. Maybe you could buy one that isn't too expensive then get a nice road bike when you make your goal of 200 pounds. What kind of tires do you have on the Sierrra?
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Old 01-03-05, 11:17 PM   #3
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I started out 3 years ago at 275 and rode a mtb bike for one year. I found that riding more than 30 miles a day was hard on my lower back but I got down to 255. The next year I went to a hybrid (Gary Fisher, Nirvana) and put in around 40 to 50 miles a day (this bike weighs 44 lbs with 700X37 tires on it). Long rides gave me sore shoulders but I got down to 240.
The next year I bought a Trek 520 and rode it unloaded with 700X28 tires on it. Great ride for a heavy rider. I finished in November at 225 lbs. and was really in shape cuz the drop bars really worked my abs and biceps. The relaxed ride was much easier on my knees and back than either the mtb. bike or the flat handlebars. Also, a road bike is much more efficient. I've been doing 50 to 60 miles a day (wearther permitting) and it does not make me sore at all.
I've just ordered a custom fast touring frame and that should keep me happy for a while.
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Old 01-04-05, 07:15 AM   #4
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I have ridden a regular road bike successfully at up to 245 lbs.

You might want to consider a "custom" frame.

I think the ideal for you would be a touring bike - more relaxed geometry, built to withhold heavy loads, more comfortable, looks like a road bike. Also a cyclocross, built tough for tough competition.

Good luck and have fun.

By the way, I weighed 214.5 lbs this am, my lowest in a lloonngg time!
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Old 01-04-05, 10:04 AM   #5
Nightshade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox

I think the ideal for you would be a touring bike - more relaxed geometry, built to withhold heavy loads, more comfortable, looks like a road bike.
What DnvrFox said.
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Old 01-05-05, 05:57 AM   #6
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You will know the style of bike that will be comfortable for you, whether it will be road, mountain,hybrid etc. but I would suggest a steel frame for strength and comfort. However, although most frames will be strong enough for you, the let down will probably be the wheels. A better quality pair of wheels, or even getting a wheel builder to "tweek" the standard wheels will save a problem on this front.
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Old 01-05-05, 07:10 AM   #7
kimo
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Thanks, I like steel frames and thought that if I did get a road bike, touring geom would be the most comfortable. I am also thinking of a recumbent.

Can they handle the weight and pounding? I have read posts in the bent forum but wonder if any of you ride one. One down side is that no shop in my area carry them.

I like what I've read about bents so far but still have reservations.
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Old 01-05-05, 09:33 AM   #8
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Kimo,
Howzit ? (With a name like Kimo, I'm thinking you're from Hawaii !)
My experiences are similar to jimblairo's up to (but not including) the 40, 50 & 60 miles a day.
I used to road race & tri 20 yrs ago but didn't sell my road bike. Tried to ride it after a decade and found I couldn't push the 12-23 freewheel. Got a Costco mtn bike - 27 gears and rode intermittently. Got more serious a couple of years ago and put on 90psi, 1.5" slicks on the 26" rims and started riding more. Last fall, I had enough conditioning and dropped weight from 228 to 215 that I invested in a triple, clipless pedals, and light wheels with 9spd cassette for the road bike. This enabled me to train more - even tag along with local bike club. Now I'm looking for a good road bike.

For starters, you can't go wrong with a mtn bike; just invest in some road tires and an adjustable stem for more speed, comfort, and quiet. They are heavy, mine is about 28 lbs with a chro-mo fork but I look at it as an exercise machine. Even inexpensive mtn bikes come with SIS or other indexed shifters and 27 gears. In fact I upgraded the old road bike from down tube shifters to Deore LX brifters on flat bars. Much cheaper than road brifters.

At the point where I was able to pass some road bikers, I moved to the road bike.
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