NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: From Sarasota, FL sitting in front of a computer spewing random thoughts!
Bikes: Intense Uzzi SL, Masi Speciale, Trek 3700 Nashbar Single Speed, Old Cilo Road frame
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220 lbs, heck you're a lightweight by my standards!
We clydesdales are very abusive on our gear. The biggest problem as you have learned is the wheels. To avoid getting as many pinch flats, simply increase tire pressure. If that doesn't help, go to a wider tire. My guess is that your bike came stock with 26x1.95 or 26x2.1 tires. You could move up to about a 2.3" tire. The added volume will help reduce the dreaded "snake bite". That and of course getting better at bunny hopping, so you don't smack the edge of the curb.
As far as climbing goes, it has a lot to do with technique. Stay seated, move to the front of the saddle, bend forward at the hips and try to drop your shoulders towards the stem, keep your elbows tucked in and pull back on the bars. Shift into the gear you think you'll need before you start climbing to avoid mid-climb shifts (puts a lot of torque on the drivetrain).
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
"Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger