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  1. #1
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    Worcester, MA Cycling Newbie - What should I look for?

    Hi, new to the forum and thinking about getting on a road bike....well actually I want to try a sprint triathlon and I need a bike to train/ride.

    Since January I have been working my ass off, I started this year at 306lbs and I am now 238lbs. and still working at it. I ran my first 5k last month in Boston at the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. I need another challenge (sprint triathlon sounds good to me, I have been swimming to train/lose weight also) to keep me motivated. I am 6'3", I don't have a lot of money to throw into a bike, hell I don't have a ton of money for the new clothes I need. Have you ever had your pants/shorts fall off while you were trying to put on a belt to keep them up? At least I can go to JCP, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx for sales, no so much for a bike.

    Anyhow, about a bike, I don't really know where to start. I can pick something from craigslist and get a road bike, but will I get the right thing for the right price? I have no idea. I think I need at least a 60cm or 25" because I have a 34" inseam, but what do I know? Just whats on the internet I guess.

    Maybe you can help, that's why I joined this site.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    The best thing you can do, knowing how little you do know right now, is find a shop and let them help you choose the right size frame, fit you to it, and then advise you on the gearing you'll need. Because Worcester = hills.

    It won't help if you buy the wrong bike blind, off CL or another used bike site, and wind up hating to ride it. You don't have to spend really big bucks on a used bike, and some shops carry used bikes, too.

    I would probably steer you to a triple crankset (three chain rings on the front) or a compact double with a wide range cassette.
    Last edited by mprelaw; 07-16-14 at 11:39 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptWiggly View Post
    Hi, new to the forum and thinking about getting on a road bike....well actually I want to try a sprint triathlon and I need a bike to train/ride.

    Since January I have been working my ass off, I started this year at 306lbs and I am now 238lbs. and still working at it. I ran my first 5k last month in Boston at the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. I need another challenge (sprint triathlon sounds good to me, I have been swimming to train/lose weight also) to keep me motivated. I am 6'3", I don't have a lot of money to throw into a bike, hell I don't have a ton of money for the new clothes I need. Have you ever had your pants/shorts fall off while you were trying to put on a belt to keep them up? At least I can go to JCP, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx for sales, no so much for a bike.

    Anyhow, about a bike, I don't really know where to start. I can pick something from craigslist and get a road bike, but will I get the right thing for the right price? I have no idea. I think I need at least a 60cm or 25" because I have a 34" inseam, but what do I know? Just whats on the internet I guess.

    Maybe you can help, that's why I joined this site.
    If you find a good shop in the Worcester area let me know. I'm looking to buy my first bike (since I was like 12 at least..). From looking around online it actually sounds like the shop in Southbridge may be one of the best places around to check out...

  4. #4
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    Hey Matty -

    I work in the Waltham area where there are a few bike shops like Farina's and Spoke and Wheel, so I might start there. If those don't work for me I will probably check out Fritz's Bike Shop which has a good rating on Yelp.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptWiggly View Post
    Hey Matty -

    I work in the Waltham area where there are a few bike shops like Farina's and Spoke and Wheel, so I might start there. If those don't work for me I will probably check out Fritz's Bike Shop which has a good rating on Yelp.
    I'm going to check out Southbridge Bicycles tomorrow, they had some really good reviews too. Let me know about the places in Waltham if you check them out. I just started a new job in Needham so I'm out that way a few times a week.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bicycle365's Avatar
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    Another shop that would not be *too* far out of your way is Assabet River Bikes in Hudson MA ( 2 minutes to RT 290 from the shop) Great guys and they take bikes on consignment so he usually has some good deals.
    Also I agree that getting a shop to fit you is paramount. There is a lot more to bike fit then standover height, you really will want to have the proper reach, saddle position, crank length etc.. The fitter at Assabet River is New England cyclocross veteran Tom Stevens, not a bad choice. I live in Lancaster and would be happy to meet you and show you where the shop is and introduce you to Doug and Tom, just ask !
    Last edited by Bicycle365; 07-18-14 at 07:30 PM. Reason: added fitting notes

  7. #7
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Try posting this in the Clydesdale Forum.
    Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)

    I would suggest getting a traditional road bike (or something similar like
    a cross or touring bike). These bikes will have relaxed geometry and larger tires,
    which will give you a nicer ride.

    With bikes there's a lot of you get what you pay for.
    If you luck into a decent cheap bike, you will wind up getting a better one.
    This is what I wound up with, and IMO, it's worth every penny and then some.


    Gunnar Sport ? Long distance riding in comfort from Gunnar Cycles USA
    Old Man Maine

  8. #8
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    I ended up getting a used bike from a friend.. but I've gone to a few local shops over the past week or so just to chat up the workers and see what I could learn and which I'd be comfortable buying from in the future.

    Southbridge Bicycles was great, the owner seemed nice and was helpful. I went to Fritz's I believe it was called, in Worcester and was helped by a young kid who was actually much more helpful and knowledgeable then I had expected (teach me not to judge a book by it's cover.. lol) I went to Barney's in Worcester and spoke with someone who was pretty helpful and took the time to answer some questions for me, based on location to my house and what they have they're the one's I'll probably deal with in the future, although if Southbridge was closer I'd probably choose them. I went to Bicycle Alley in Worcester and felt like the guy who I spoke to was annoyed that I was there and he kind of talked down to me when I told him what kind of bike I had and said that I was just getting into cycling. I definitely won't be going back there in the future, even though their prices were a little bit cheaper.

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