I think I have pretty much narrowed down my choice for my first bike on the Giant FCR line up. I am having trouble deciding on which model I should get though. I am 6'3" and 305lbs. I will be using the bike primarily as a commuter to lose weight and save money on gas and I would like to go on recreational rides after work and on the weekends for as many miles as I can build up to. My belly is too big for a road bike so I want to get the straight bar design until I can lose enough belly mass to fit comfortably on a road bike without my knees hitting my gut on the way up. If I could lose the weight I want to lose in about a year or two should I get the model with the cheaper components? Or since I plan on putting in some serious mileage over the next few years, should I invest in more quality components so I dont have to worry about breaking etc?
I love my FCR3. Had a higher spoke count and tougher wheels for my big self. Had it in for a checkup recently and no problems with wheels/tires. Granted lower-level components but I'm not racing yet I got it on the cheap since my lbs was dropping Giant as a brand in their store (Trek made them an offer they couldn't refuse). I can always upgrade later or get a roadie when my weight makes it more feasible.
I am 6' and about 350, and I ride a drop bar bike... I admittedly don't ride in the drops, but I will some day.
You can do everything you need on a modern drop bar bike from the tops, so you may not gain a lot by doing a flat bar bike if your ultimate objective is to be on a drop bar bike.
Also, a good place to learn/ask about bikes for large guys is in the Clydesdales and Athenas forum... There is plenty of good advice there in one of the stickies concerning bikes and equipment for us clydesdales. And some bright people to offer advice if you have questions not covered elsewhere.
I wouldn't worry about breaking the cheaper components. The more expensive components are not necessarily stronger, but they are lighter and smoother. Your weight also doesn't matter with components either. The shifter just moves the cable that moves the derailer that moves the chain. None of them carry any of your weight. The cranks just transfer your leg power to the chain. The only exception that I can think of would be the brakes. The brakes have to be strong enough to stop the more kinetic energy you have.
If you can afford the higher level components, things will be smoother which usually turns into more enjoyable which turns into more time on the bike.
That is exactly the response I was looking for! That makes it worthwhile IMO now to buy the FCR 1. And yes, this was a double post. I did not know where to put it so I made this post first and then realized I would probably get better responses in the C/A thread. Thanks for the responses though!