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Old 09-30-02, 12:51 PM   #1
EagleEye
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New to board, need guidance

Hi,

I'm new to this board and need some guidance 'cuz I'm not sure where to post this. I ride a road bike, but have a quesiton about bikes in general.

Here's the question:

What do I need to look for in fitting a 6'1', 300lb rider?

My father-in-law wants to get into biking, but he's a big, heavy guy. He weights about 300lb and wants to bike for excerise. He will be primarily biking on bike paths and roads. I think it's great that he wants to get into biking, but not sure where to guide him. Don't know what kind of bike he should get to support his heavy frame.

Can you guys give me some guidance as to which bikes he should be looking at?

Thanks.
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Old 09-30-02, 01:27 PM   #2
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Just my 2 cents worth. I am 5' 10" 300 (and a few) pounds. I ride a lightfootcycles Explorer, it seems to hold up to me just fine.
http://www.lightfootcycles.com/
I got back into cycleing for 2 reasons, I missed riding, and I needed the exercise. I usually ride between 5-10 miles on road and bike paths and have just loved getting back on a bike again.
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Old 09-30-02, 01:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response, fofa. So, you're recommending a recumbent over the other bikes? I was wondering if there were other reasons why you recommend a recumbent, other than you have one and are happy with it. I'm kinda looking for the pros and cons to present to my father-in-law.
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Old 09-30-02, 02:47 PM   #4
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You *probably* aren't going to top me --- 6'6" and 330 lbs.

(going down......believe it or not...just slowly.....)

I bought a Giant (not named for size ) Sedona DX and it has been fine for me. I am moving towards a road bike in fact, but I have not had any complaints with the Sedona.

I would recommend a comfort / hybrid bike for the beginner big dude - they have a more upright seated position that will be kinder on shoulders, hands etc for the beginner. They also come with fatter tires which if nothing else, give you a comfort level (psychological) that your weight is not balanced on two razor sharp tires. Furthermore, these bikes usually have suspension forks of some sort that will help dampen the shock of the road (which can be hefty when you are pressing down with a lot of weight).

For what it is worth, when I was looking at bikes, I emailed Trek with my size, and they never really blinked. I guess if you were going to get an all carbon bike, it may prove to be a problem

If the addicition sets in, once he has built up the requisite muscles and is used to more of the impact/shock, etc., then he can look towards a road bike.

IMHO of course, but I think jumping right into an agressive road bike might not be the best way to go. Comfort/hybrids give you more options too - if you get a hybrid, it gives you more off roading capabilities in case he finds that he wants to try that out.

I am by no means a bike expert - but this is what I have found out through personal experience, talking to LBS and reading this board.
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Old 09-30-02, 05:53 PM   #5
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I am 6'5 and sit around 250ish. I used to hit 300 pnds. Find a bike that fits nicely. At that size it will be all about comfort. If he likes recumbant bikes great, if not try a freeride geometry bike (slope top tube, compact cockpit and riser bars) It will be easier on the bakc. Basically it comes down to comfort. I like Kona, Giant and Norco for TOUGH bikes at a good price.
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Old 09-30-02, 08:53 PM   #6
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I would recommed a mountain bike as a good start because lower initial cost, excellent stength, good comfort.

A low investment at this point is a good idea, in case he decides he does not like it.

Consider upgrading the saddle to a big-un.
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Old 10-01-02, 12:47 AM   #7
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I am also a biggie. @5'10" 301#(down from 424):thumbup: I have found most bikes that I've tried pretty willing to hold me up. I think something with at least a seat-post shock will make his ride more comfortable. I started riding 2 mos ago on a $98 Roadmaster mountain bike w/ all rigid frame. I quickly learned that I needed to upgrade. I looked at a few comfort hybrids by Raleigh and Cannondale, but I found I was uncomfortable with the upright position since I was already getting used to the mtn bike. I ended up with a used Specialized road bike that I love so far. The skinny wheels seem to hold me just fine.
Best advice, take him to a few shops to ride a few different bikes to get a feel for what he'll be comfortable on. Don't worry so much about his size.

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Old 10-01-02, 02:04 AM   #8
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Just be careful with the seatpost shock - I was bottoming mine out, so it actually fit better when I removed it.

Since I was so heavy (sigh), when I sat on it, it immediately compressed, so I had to really jack the initial seat height up - to get the end height I wanted after compression.

Yikes - the seat was just about poking me in the back when stood over the frame.

So, LBS saw this and recommended we go to a regular seatpost -- which turned out to be much more comfortable.
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Old 10-01-02, 07:21 AM   #9
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Thank you all, for the your informative post(s). I will pass this on to my father-in-law. Like RollingGeek, I'm hoping that he will eventually get on a road bike. Thanks again, everybody.
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Old 10-01-02, 07:24 AM   #10
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Suspension seatposts can become slack and wobbly after heavy use, I dont think much of them.
A better alternative for large riders, if you want to reduce peak loading on your bike, or get a more comfy ride, is a sprung leather saddle from Brooks. They can take heavy loads, and are available in wide fittings.

If you decide on an MTB, make sure you get 36, not 32 spoke wheels.
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Old 10-01-02, 08:35 AM   #11
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I had CPS and it just was painful on my wrists the most, to have any weight on them at all. My back and butt suffered, but the wrists were the worst part for me. So I found myself NOT riding. After moving to the 'Bent, I look forward to it again. It is different, at first, but now I ride at least. I do like sitting upright when riding, I get a little more enjoyment out of the ride being able to look around easy. I think as others have stated, getting something that you are comfortable on is the biggest factor. if it hurts, you will not want to ride. I have friends that switched to hybrids for the same reason, but a little less initial cost (at the time), but 'Bents are getting cheaper. My bike is a little over 4 years old and still going strong. Mine happens to be a LWB ASS (see my icon). Good luck with what ever he decides on.
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Old 10-01-02, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by RollingGeek
You *probably* aren't going to top me --- 6'6" and 330 lbs.

(going down......believe it or not...just slowly.....)

I bought a Giant (not named for size ) Sedona DX and it has been fine for me. I am moving towards a road bike in fact, but I have not had any complaints with the Sedona.

I would recommend a comfort / hybrid bike for the beginner big dude - they have a more upright seated position that will be kinder on shoulders, hands etc for the beginner. They also come with fatter tires which if nothing else, give you a comfort level (psychological) that your weight is not balanced on two razor sharp tires. Furthermore, these bikes usually have suspension forks of some sort that will help dampen the shock of the road (which can be hefty when you are pressing down with a lot of weight).

For what it is worth, when I was looking at bikes, I emailed Trek with my size, and they never really blinked. I guess if you were going to get an all carbon bike, it may prove to be a problem

If the addicition sets in, once he has built up the requisite muscles and is used to more of the impact/shock, etc., then he can look towards a road bike.

IMHO of course, but I think jumping right into an agressive road bike might not be the best way to go. Comfort/hybrids give you more options too - if you get a hybrid, it gives you more off roading capabilities in case he finds that he wants to try that out.

I am by no means a bike expert - but this is what I have found out through personal experience, talking to LBS and reading this board.
Ditto
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