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  1. #1
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    Bike for overweight people?

    Hello. Back in December I changed my life I started exercising and eating healthy and since then I have lost around 45 pounds. Recently, I lost my winter exercise (ice skating/hockey) because of the weather and figured I better find something to do for the summer/spring/fall months and with the weather being absolutely gorgeous for late March I figure a bicycle would be a good activity.

    As of now I am 310 pounds at 6'5 but steadily losing weight (goal is around 220). The last bike I had was when I was around 16 at about 280 pounds and lets just say a really cheap Walmart bike isn't cut out for fat people. The crappy plastic pedal broke off the crappy plastic pedal arm causing me to fall hard on the seat and bent the seat post.... not a good feeling for a bike that was only two days old and an even worse feeling for the fat 16 year old who had to walk his new broken bike to the customer service desk at Walmart to get a refund. 10 years later and I haven't been on a bike since but I want that to change.

    It's my understanding that Walmart bikes are cheap and made cheap. So I figure if I spent a little more (hoping under $400) then I could possibly get a bike that would be able to hold my weight at this time. Just simply riding around the city for exercise mostly street riding with a little gravel trail riding in between. Have no intentions of hitting up trails with big bumps or jumps. Do you guys have any suggestions for what I should look for in a bike and even if such a bike exists?

  2. #2
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    To Bike Forums, Joe Salmon!


    At your pricepoint, you'd better go online to order a nice bike.

    Do you have any hills to traverse?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Check out the Clydesdale subforum. It's for larger riders, and you'll find some great info there. http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...00-lb-91-kg%29

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    To Bike Forums, Joe Salmon!


    At your pricepoint, you'd better go online to order a nice bike.

    Do you have any hills to traverse?
    There are a few hills. Nothing extreme though.

    Check out the Clydesdale subforum. It's for larger riders, and you'll find some great info there. http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...00-lb-91-kg%29
    I'll do that thank you.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Lots of good choices out there, the price point and your height are going to be the challenge. My suggestion would be to go used and have someone that knows bikes go with you. Personally I think a good starting point would be a non suspension mountain bike or a possibly a hybrid. Good wheels are going to be a necessity.

    Aaron
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  6. #6
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Take a look here for a good selection of quality bikes
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/comfort_bikes.htm


    Shimano Nexus, 8 Speed Express $449
    • Shimano Nexus 8-speed Internal Rear Hub
    • Spokes Stainless Steel, 14 gauge, 36fr/36rr
    • Rims Alex Double-wall Aluminum 700c Black
    • Tires Reflective Sidewall, Hybrid CST 700x40c
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_express8.htm
    Last edited by FlatSix911; 03-25-12 at 03:59 PM.
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
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  7. #7
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatSix911 View Post
    Take a look here for a good selection of quality bikes
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/comfort_bikes.htm


    Shimano Nexus, 8 Speed Express $449

    • Shimano Nexus 8-speed Internal Rear Hub
    • Spokes Stainless Steel, 14 gauge, 36fr/36rr
    • Rims Alex Double-wall Aluminum 700c Black
    • Tires Reflective Sidewall, Hybrid CST 700x40c

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_express8.htm
    That's probably a good choice. It is made even better by the fact that it has an internal hub (IGH). There are two advantages to the IGH, for the OP, first, it will probably be more durable in that it will require less tinkering to keep working right. The other is setup.

    One of the biggest detraction's from companies like Bikes Direct is that many people who order a bike can not set it up properly. The IGH greatly simplifies the setup.

  8. #8
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Perhaps consider purchasing an inexpenive craigslist bike. Once you are at your target weight, buy a really nice bike that will last.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  9. #9
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    if your bike mechanics chops and tool stash is adequate ,
    then the mail order bike in a box, may do,
    other than that, a proper bike shop will be there to help, after the sale ..

    go make friends.

  10. #10
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    I say either wait a few weeks for an extra large used chromoly steel mountain bike from Craigslist, or purchase online. OTOH, you could just go to your nearest Giant, Jamis, or Schwinn dealership and get a low-end, entry level, hybrid, or mountain bike.

    Online option is here via Bikesdirect.com:

    The Motobecane 600 HT ~ $450
    www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/motobecane_600HT_xi.htm

    The Jamis Trail XR ~ $330
    www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/hardtails/trailx/12_trailxr_bk.html

    The Schwinn Frontier Men's ~ $330
    www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/mountain/2012-frontier-mens-14351

    The Giant Cypress.St ~ $350
    www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/cypress.st/9019/48871/

    The Giant Sedona.St ~ $350
    www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/sedona.st/9025/48885/

    - Slim

    PS.

    Joe, if you could swing the extra fifty bucks, that Motobecane would be just perfect! MTN bikes are designed to absorb stress forces. Plus with with the extra added protection of fatter tires, you stand a good chance of keeping this bike for quite some time. Just take it easy until you get down to about 260 lbs or so, and you should be just fine. This bike has great componentry, including a decent fork and disc brakes too! Many people commute with hardtail mountain bikes, so you won't look weird or anything while riding a HT MTB in the city.

    They don't have many left in your size, so you'd better act quickly, if you're going to act at all!

    www.bikesdirect.com/instructionhelp.htm
    (Watch the video as many times as necessary in order to assemble your new MTB)

    OR: You could join a bicycle co-op and assemble your bike under the watchful eyes of skilled bicycle mechanics.

    Bikesdirect.com bikes arrive already 95% assembled. You just have to place the finishing touches on it, after removing it from the box.
    Last edited by SlimRider; 03-26-12 at 12:50 PM.

  11. #11
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    In my searches I came across this and bookmarked them
    http://www.cyclingteam.org/

    And this http://www.localbiketrader.com/


    Another thing to look at http://www.bikesonline.com/products/...1-Black-M.html I have a Specalized bike called a Globe in an extra large. For this one you would definitely want stronger wheels. As I at 280 lbs., when i started, destroyed them on smooth concrete. I found a tandum set to use

  12. #12
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    what is considered "overweight" for biking? I have an '09 Giant Boulder that I ride mostly paved trails, but I goof around on it also. Late last year I tried to learn how to "bunny hop" it.......only successful in a getting a few inches off the ground. Plus I sometimes lean the bike pretty far into turns and such. I recently took it in for some work to find out the rear axle was broke. I'm wondering if my weight (240~, 5'-10") had to do anything with the broken axle?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
    what is considered "overweight" for biking? I have an '09 Giant Boulder that I ride mostly paved trails, but I goof around on it also. Late last year I tried to learn how to "bunny hop" it.......only successful in a getting a few inches off the ground. Plus I sometimes lean the bike pretty far into turns and such. I recently took it in for some work to find out the rear axle was broke. I'm wondering if my weight (240~, 5'-10") had to do anything with the broken axle?
    Little wonder there, buddy!

    Bunny Hopping at 240 lbs! It's a pretty safe bet that you were the culprit on that one!

  14. #14
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    New rider, big guy, strong. Best bet is as posted above a used 80’s 90’s high quality mtn bike with no suspension, and low gearing, high spoke count, strong pedals (take the toe clips off if they are still there) and stl frame. Change out the mtn tire for a road tire that takes higher pressure. Put a different saddle for more big man comfort. And possible change out the bars to something swept back a little and a couple inch rise if needed. Many of the old mtn bikes of high quality had a really long stem also. You will be riding more upright at first and most likely will want a shorter angle stem. I know this sounds like a lot of messing around but you will really end up with a bullet proof bike this way for not too much money, and it will get you into wrenching on the bike. Pay attention to frame size when looking and try and get something close to what you need. After you get going a while and if you want more of a road bike as a second step touring bikes are great for bigger stronger guys as they are made to take some weight and have wide range gearing.

    Here is what I got back into riding with doing such a conversion from a mtn bike.




    .
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  15. #15
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    You need 36 spokes on your rear wheel. Everything else should be ok.
    Bike riding New England gentleman.

  16. #16
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    Get an older Specialized Hardrock. Strong durable solid bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
    what is considered "overweight" for biking? I have an '09 Giant Boulder that I ride mostly paved trails, but I goof around on it also. Late last year I tried to learn how to "bunny hop" it.......only successful in a getting a few inches off the ground. Plus I sometimes lean the bike pretty far into turns and such. I recently took it in for some work to find out the rear axle was broke. I'm wondering if my weight (240~, 5'-10") had to do anything with the broken axle?
    That bike has a 7 speed freewheel, which is prone to axle failure.

    My current bike came with a freewheel and I broke the rear axle approximately every 4000 miles in normal use. If you break it again I would recommend looking to change the wheel for one with a freehub.

  18. #18
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    I'm 6'5", currently 250lbs, down from a high of almost 300, have been riding for >25years. There are plenty of quality bikes that will be able accomodate your weight. However, your budget will pose a slight challenge. One of the more critical components for a bike to successfully serve you will be the wheels. Mountain bikes come with 26" wheels, which can be more durable than comparable road bike wheels (without getting into specialty tandem or touring wheels). Double wall aluminum rims and 32 or 36 stainless spokes laced in a 3X pattern should be the basics of your search.

    Your second challenge, may be your height. Depending upon your "cycling inseam" and other body metrics, you may or may not have a decent number of frames to choose from in your size. At the same height as you I ride 63cm road frames and 23" mtb frames. There are only a few manufacturers that make stock frames that fit me. However, I have visited numerous bike shops where salesmen have been more than happy and even adiment that they could "fit" me onto a frame that is way too small for me. Be aware, get measured, or measure yourself. Start by determining your "cycling inseam". Then calculate what your "saddle to bottom bracket" or "saddle to pedal" height should be. When looking at any bikes, start by determining if you will be able to achieve that height on that frame.

    At our height body dimensions can vary considerably and you may be lucky enough to fit on more average sized frames. Check a few of the online sizing guides, provide those measures to us in the clydes forum and maybe a photo or two and you'll get as much assistance as you ask for and maybe more.

    Hoping you find a love for cycling,
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    You want a steel frame, which should reduce the price of the bike. You should find a good LBS and talk to the people there.

    I have not seen any steel wheel rims, but if they still exist you should consider them. More spokes per wheel the better for you. Smaller diameter wheels are in many ways stronger than larger so you could also go with a 20" dia wheel bike. You might post on the folding bikes board to see what advice you can get there.

    Phil Wood makes a hub that has an extra large axle, which would be good for you. Phil Wood is more expensive. The phil wood web site seems to be down, but I am pretty sure they are still in business.
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  20. #20
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    Take a look at "Worksman". May be a little more than you want to pay, but my understanding is they are built like a tank and offer various options. Made in NY NY USA

  21. #21
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    At 6'5", bike size will be a problem. 23" is the largest common size but you may find 25". Cannondale used to do some good XXL sizes. Finding something big and cheap is impossible, big and used a possibility.
    Some high end custom frames have been made for tall guys, again these are rarities. The goto guy for big, custom-bikes is Leonard Zinn but his informative website seems to be malfunctioning.

    If you get a decent 23" you may need to add an extended seatpost, the strongest you can find, nothing lightweight, and a longer and/or higher stem, the fattest you can find. You can bodge it to fit you and live with any handling issue till you can afford a $2000 custom frame.

    You will need tyre clearance for some fat tyres, it wont make a big difference whether you use 26" MTB or 700c for you riding. I like Schwalbe Big Apples, they are fat but slick and efficient.
    Suspension for a heavy rider is more to protect the bike than the rider. If you slam into a pothole or bump, suspension will distribute the impact over time, reducing the peak load, saving your frame from a beating. Cheap suspension is not really up to the task so its better to let fat tyres do the job.

    I like disc brakes, they are grippy and work in all conditions. This is not a deal breaker.

    I like steel bikes, but again, it is not a dealbreaker for big guys. Big frames are naturally bendier than small ones but you need extra stiffness, all you can get. Aluminium frames are built stiffer than steel which is a Good Thing for you. Mid-market, factory Alu frames are strong and reliable.

    Wheels are always the weakest link on a bike so get the strongest you can. 36 spoke with heavy duty aluminium rims on a midrange MTB hub will be enough. Any more spokes is a fancypants specialist item. Any less is less than you need.

    If you get a bike that fits a bolt-on luggage rack and fenders you can use the bike for shopping, errands, commuting ass well as fitness. You will ride more, pay less for gas and enjoy your journeys more. The budget then becomes a bit more flexible when you add in the utility.

  22. #22
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    geo8rge, you serious? Steel rims are not stronger, they had the worst braking surface ever. 20" wheeled folding bike? I'm 6'4" and 230, already maxing out on them for weight and height.
    So, Joesalmon, mt bike with smooth tires +1. See if there is a bike co-op in your area, that might be a good pace to start.

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