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  1. #1
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    Big guy looking to ride...

    First of all I have spent a while reading through some threads on the forum and it really seems many of you relaly enjoy bike riding.

    I am considering getting a bike so my son (age 8) and I can ride together. My issue is , like many adults, I have not braced the seat of a bike in decades. Another major concern is my size. I weigh almost 300 lbs, and while I have good strength, my endurence sucks. My doctor is tickled pink about me riding for excercise, but could offer no insight into the right ride for me. I don't know what bike is right for me. Being 5/11 and 300 lbs , buying a bike just like when buying suits, is not as simple as just grabbing the first one on the rack.

    So I have the standard newb quesitons with the size factor tossed in for added complexity. What kind of bike should I be looking for for mainly street and light off road riding ( park and nature trails). What kind of money should I be ready to invest in the right bike? My son has a new bmx style bike...will this do for him for a while?

    I appriciate any imput. My hope is that my wife and I will both take up bike riding and our boys will be all the better for it.

  2. #2
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    Since you have been reading the threds I'm sure you've seen people reccomending to go to a local bike shop. That is what I would also reccomend. They really know what they are talking about and can size the bike real well for you. I would definately go there over a department store hands down. The equipment can also be better too. Just ask any questions you have of them. Most shops are very happy to help.

    I think that your son will be fine on the Bmx biek for awhile. I still have one in the garage. however the one gear thing might become a problem but until he complains about it don't bother with it.

    Hope that you can get out their soon and enjoy the wonderful world of cycling.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by raceon4
    Since you have been reading the threds I'm sure you've seen people reccomending to go to a local bike shop. That is what I would also reccomend. They really know what they are talking about and can size the bike real well for you. I would definately go there over a department store hands down. The equipment can also be better too. Just ask any questions you have of them. Most shops are very happy to help.

    I think that your son will be fine on the Bmx biek for awhile. I still have one in the garage. however the one gear thing might become a problem but until he complains about it don't bother with it.

    Hope that you can get out their soon and enjoy the wonderful world of cycling.
    Thank you for your reply. So will a retail store really be helpfull. I guess my hesitation is from previous experience with other things in the past. Like when I did a home theater. All of the info I got from the local specialty shops was terrible. It was not until I found a forum with enthusiasts that I actually picked up some good , reliable, relatively non biased info.

    I will go to the local schwinn shop tomorrow (the only bike shop I know of) and see what they can tell me. I just find that most of the time salespeople are more dangerous than helpfull with thier limited , but half correct info.

  4. #4
    Adios, Mofo J-McKech's Avatar
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    I have found all the Local bike shops in my area to be EXTREMELY knowledgable and very hepful. They arent out to make a sale just for a sale. They depend on the customers to support them. Maybe you could tell us what city or state your in and someone can help point you to a good LBS
    I am Signature-less

  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spek
    I will go to the local schwinn shop tomorrow (the only bike shop I know of) and see what they can tell me. I just find that most of the time salespeople are more dangerous than helpfull with thier limited , but half correct info.
    I am surprised that there is a Schwinn shop in town. Schwinn was bought out by a low-quality bike maker recently, and is now making *.mart style of bikes.

    Perhaps your dealer is no longer just Schwinn? Look for Trek, Specialized and other quality brands.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  6. #6
    Senior Member markm109's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I am surprised that there is a Schwinn shop in town. Schwinn was bought out by a low-quality bike maker recently, and is now making *.mart style of bikes.

    Perhaps your dealer is no longer just Schwinn? Look for Trek, Specialized and other quality brands.
    There are three lbs that still have the Schwinn logo on the outside of the building near where I live. They no longer sell the Schwinn brand, having switched to Specialized, Trek, Cannondale and such, but I, like many others still refer to it as the Schwinn store in Washington. Schwinn used to be a great company with quality products. Growing up I saved my paper route money for two years to buy my first new bike which was a Schwinn.

    That lbs Schwinn shop is now operated by the son of the owner and a very important part of the community.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spek
    So will a retail store really be helpfull.
    The folks in bikes shop both ride bikes and work on them all the time. If you don't feel comfortable with the first person you see when you walk in the door, the service manager or store manager can answer all your questions.

    Another thing to consider getting once you build up the miles is a decent pair of bike shorts. A good saddle (not too soft) and a good pair of shorts make all the difference in the ride.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kerk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spek
    Thank you for your reply. So will a retail store really be helpfull. I guess my hesitation is from previous experience with other things in the past. Like when I did a home theater. All of the info I got from the local specialty shops was terrible. It was not until I found a forum with enthusiasts that I actually picked up some good , reliable, relatively non biased info.

    I will go to the local schwinn shop tomorrow (the only bike shop I know of) and see what they can tell me. I just find that most of the time salespeople are more dangerous than helpfull with thier limited , but half correct info.
    Something to keep in mind. Given your size, in 6-12 months you will be wanting a new bike. Since you are going to be riding with your son, I assume you will stick with it. Your health, fitness and flexibility will improve and you will be soon be thinking about your next bike. Good luck and keep riding! It will make a difference and your son will be thrilled!
    2011 Raleigh International
    '73 World Voyageurs -
    Proud owner of all three colors made! Orange, Blue , Yellow .

  9. #9
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    I've just helped a friend of mine buy a new Specialized Hardrock. Its good value, practical and very strong. For a big guy, I would recomend a stronger set of wheels, as this is always the weakest part of a bike. You can get good bikeshops to build up wheels by hand, using a choice of hubs, spokes and rims. The resultant wheels are much stronger than the machine-built wheels which come with entry-level bikes.
    You dont need top-of-the range components to make a strong wheel, just sensible quality and a good mechanic to build them.

    I also recomended a set of semi-slick kevlar tyres that work on road and trial, and minimise the risk of punctures. They would be a good choice for your style of riding.

  10. #10
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    Well my trip to the Bike shop was fun. You were right, the Schwin shop was now re-named.

    The first person I talked to was very nice, but after talking for a minute she told me that she herself did not ride or work on bikes. She refered me to the owner, who I think was her husband. They were both very nice and offered me lots of advice.

    The final recommendation was for me to get a Trek Navigator 200 "Comfort Bike"
    I liked the larger shock absorber seat it offered as well as the adjustable handle bars.
    The retail price was around $329.00, but was negotiable. The rims had 36 spokes like has been recommended and the tire pattern was smooth on top and knobby on the side for light off road action.

    All in all I htink this would fit my needs. What do you all think? Any suggestions before I make the purchase? They also had the trek 3700 mountain bike there, wich was alittle less expensive, but not as comfortable to me. There was a base model Trek ( did not have shock seat or adjustible handlbars) that was around $229.00

    I also figured I would scout the papers tomorrow as I live near a military town and might be able to find a good deal on a used bike.

  11. #11
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spek
    First of all I have spent a while reading through some threads on the forum and it really seems many of you relaly enjoy bike riding.

    I am considering getting a bike so my son (age 8) and I can ride together. My issue is , like many adults, I have not braced the seat of a bike in decades. Another major concern is my size. I weigh almost 300 lbs, and while I have good strength, my endurence sucks.
    Welcome to the newsgroup and to cycling the are both GREAT!

    You got a lot of good advice already so I'll just add a little from personal experience. I started cycling 3 years ago - at 51 years and 300 + pounds. I lost 60 pounds and 50 blood pressure points the first year.

    The biggest problem caused by my weight was keeping the wheels true and preventing spoke breakage. Whatever you buy, make sure that you have the wheels trued by someone who knows how, and get a spoke wrench so you can fine tune it periodically. That will prevent a lot of trouble. I eventually had a rear wheel with a stronger rim custom built for me by the guy in the LBS and have not had a problem since (it was not all that expensive). Whatever you buy keep that option in mind for the future.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

  12. #12
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    I don't know much about the comfort bikes, but it sounds like a good fit for you. I especially like the price, sounds like a good starter bike.

    I was in your position last Oct. I found myself at 30 years old, 5'11", 290lbs and not doing any exercise. That is when I started myself on a diet... I chose Atkins, read the book, and stuck to it like glue. By March of this year I was down to 240, and as the temps warmed up I hit the LBS and walked out with a Specialized Sequoya. More bike than I needed, but I remember how much I loved biking as a teen, so I had a feeling I'd fall back into it. The first outings were rough... 5 miles would kill me. They were also fun.

    Jump ahead to now, I only get to ride on the weekends due to work travel, but I get out at least once a weekend. I'm now doing 30 miles rides at a time and having a blast. My first organized ride is this weekend (22 miles). Oh, and i'm down to 215 and still on Atkins. I've never felt better.

    So get a good pair of biking shorts, get out and ride! IF you are like me, go for the baggy ones, not the lycra. If your knees start to bother you, get back to the bike shop and have them adjust the bike (they should fit it to you when you pick it up).

    Enjoy

    --nw

  13. #13
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    I'm a big guy too, that's why I gave up on riding the diamond frame type bikes. I bought a recumbent. You should take a look at the recumbent (aka comfort) bikes before you make your decision.....they are the greatest thing since sex!!!!!

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