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  1. #1
    Senior Member glenghillie's Avatar
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    I have been doing research into buying a bike. I have not ridden in at least 15 years. So far I have ridden Hybrids and comfort bikes. I know of some makers, but not many. I did not enjoy the Fuji I road, and the Giants weren't bad once the handlebar was in the right position and the tire was not a road tire. I felt like I had the lbs guy remaking the bike for me. I really enjoyed the Gary Fisher Zebrano. I need to go back and try the Trek 200 and 7200. I am a little undecided on comfot versus Hybrid. I enjoy a more agressive style but at my size (very large right now ) I definately need the wider seat. I have found the 700c wheel versus the smaller mountin style wheel can be equally comfortable depending on the way the bike fits me. I am considering the lower end of the bike type and upgrading parts at my lbs as my health improves.

    Could anyone suggest other bikes to try on. I am only 5'4" so I am also dealing with needing no more than a 15" frame. I am not sure I want to look at a road bike. I live off a 4-lane country divided highway and that is where I will be primarily riding.

    Thanks for all your help.

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my latest, a 2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO
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    When I started riding I weighed a little over 240# (6'-0"). I didn't like the feel of a mountain bike or hybrid. When I was younger I rode only road bikes.
    I now own two road bikes (looking for a third ) and have been well below 200# for quite some time. BTW: I'm 59.

    Bite the bullet and get a road bike.

  3. #3
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    I just finished posting to another thread where I discussed my recent purchase of a Jamis Explorer 3.0. I'm not in terrible shape but until recently I hadn't been on a bike in over 20 years and it's turned out to be a good choice for me.

    You mention wanting a comfortable seat. Keep in mind that on most bikes you can change the seat if you like everything about your chosen model other than the seat. Then you can always go back when you general health improves...

    Andrew

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenghillie
    I have been doing research into buying a bike. I have not ridden in at least 15 years. So far I have ridden Hybrids and comfort bikes. I know of some makers, but not many. I did not enjoy the Fuji I road, and the Giants weren't bad once the handlebar was in the right position and the tire was not a road tire. I felt like I had the lbs guy remaking the bike for me. I really enjoyed the Gary Fisher Zebrano. I need to go back and try the Trek 200 and 7200. I am a little undecided on comfot versus Hybrid. I enjoy a more agressive style but at my size (very large right now ) I definately need the wider seat. I have found the 700c wheel versus the smaller mountin style wheel can be equally comfortable depending on the way the bike fits me. I am considering the lower end of the bike type and upgrading parts at my lbs as my health improves.

    Thanks for all your help.
    Hey, I was looking a few weeks ago and finally settled on a comfort bike from a local shop. They were great to work with and didn't blink once with my 'size'. I made sure I got a bike with really good rims and I upgraded the seat to a big cushy big butt seat. I used the other seat for a week or so, but when I switched, riding has been a joy ever since. I'm up to 5 miles a day with some light hill work and hope to be to 10 within a month or so.

    I ended up with a Motobecane as it rode the same as the trek, but had better parts. The LBS will tune it for free for life and replace parts for free labor for life. All the other shops had a 1 year deal. I thought about online purchasing to save some $$$, but the LBS is the way to go. You will need service at some point and they know what they are doing.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenghillie
    I have been doing research into buying a bike. I have not ridden in at least 15 years. So far I have ridden Hybrids and comfort bikes. I know of some makers, but not many.
    a few brands: Trek, Specialized, Giant, Felt, Jamis, Bianchi, Kona, Le Mond, Gary Fischer. All make quality bikes.

    I did not enjoy the Fuji I road, and the Giants weren't bad once the handlebar was in the right position and the tire was not a road tire. I felt like I had the lbs guy remaking the bike for me. I really enjoyed the Gary Fisher Zebrano. I need to go back and try the Trek 200 and 7200.
    It sounds as though your LBS is a pretty good one. If they are changing the stem position etc. they are really trying to get a good fit for you. That's half the battle. Actually, a good fitting bike is more like 90% of the battle.

    I am a little undecided on comfot versus Hybrid. I enjoy a more agressive style but at my size (very large right now ) I definately need the wider seat. I have found the 700c wheel versus the smaller mountin style wheel can be equally comfortable depending on the way the bike fits me. I am considering the lower end of the bike type and upgrading parts at my lbs as my health improves.
    I have a couple of comments here. First the seat issue. The primary reason you would need a wider seat is because your sit-bones (the two bones at the bottom of your kiester) are far apart. If you plan to do fitness riding, I'm assuming you will probably be riding at about 15 mph or so and not just tooling around. That being the case, I urge you to keep the narrow seat (subject to your sit-bone separation). Wider seats can cause rubbing issues, and when you are pedaling 40-50 times per minute on each side (cadence of 80-100), it won't take long to blister in a spot where you REALLY don't want blisters. Your rear will hurt for about a week of regular riding and then it will get better. Good bike shorts will help this quite a bit. Finally, if you still aren't sure, get a suspension seat-post to absorb some of the harshness of the road. The suspension seatpost is more important for comfort on aluminum bikes than it is on steel.

    Second, the wheel issue. The diameter of the tire is much less important than the tread and the width of the tire. A 700-38 tire is quite large and can provide just as soft a ride as a 26" tire in 1.5" width. I would say make sure your 700 tires are not narrower than a 28 on any bike you try.

    Finally, the cheap bike, upgrade later comment. Upgrading components later is significantly more expensive than just upgrading the bike at purchase. If you are dedicated to continue biking, up your budget by 200-300 (to the $800 range) and you can get a much better bike than you can get at the 500 range. To upgrade your 500 bike to the 800 range, you might have to spend another 500, giving you a 1000 bike that you could have had for 800. If you aren't sure you are going to continue biking, get the cheaper bike, but make sure the FRAME is good. Most of the larger companies make good frames, but avoid the *mart bikes.

    Could anyone suggest other bikes to try on. I am only 5'4" so I am also dealing with needing no more than a 15" frame. I am not sure I want to look at a road bike. I live off a 4-lane country divided highway and that is where I will be primarily riding.

    Thanks for all your help.
    Okay, now you've got my interest. If you plan to ride roads primarily, why not get a road bike? I know, you're thinking they are uncomfortable. To give you a little assurance, I was 240 @5'11" when I started biking, and I hated my road-bike and loved my trek hybrid. After I started riding more than 20 miles a pop, I started riding my road-bike almost exclusively. Eventually, I got to the point that I hated my hybrid and loved my road-bike. So much so that I got rid of my hybrid in favor of a touring frame road-bike to function as my commuter-bike. I'm now down to 215 and still losing slowly. So, at least hop on a few more road bikes before you make your decision. Perhaps look for some frames that are designed for more "comfort" riding than racing. Specialized sirrus I think is one of those. There are others, but most I can think of might be out of your price range. Cannondale T800, Trek 520 (both about $1000). Bianchi Volpe is pretty decent also (I think its around 850).

    If after riding a few road-bikes you still don't like them, go for a hybrid. Since you'll be riding primarily on roads, don't get a mountain bike, and avoid suspensions (other than seatpost) as they just rob you of climbing power and add weight. Also, don't get knobby tires as they just increase rolling resistance on roads. Most hybrids have tires that are okay, but if you need to replace them, go for slick treads.

    My last comment to you is that you should find a better place to ride than a 4-lane hwy. It isn't that pleasant to have the noise and fear of cars zipping past you, especially as a beginner. Depending on where you are, there might be some lower traffic volume county roads that could make your ride much more plesant. Get a detailed map of your county and try to scope out some better roads and ask at your LBS for better routes. If you can't find lower volume roads, then get a couple of the bright-yellow cycling jerseys to improve the driver's ability to spot you. There are a few brands that make jerseys for non-skinny-cycling folk like us. Borah is a favorite of mine. I also have 1 peral-izumi that fits well. Try them on until you find one that fits. They are way better than cotton t-shirts when you are really sweating up a storm on a high-effort ride.

    Make, to include the cost of a helmet, a flat-kit (learn how to use it too), bike shorts and good biking gloves. (in that order of priority). Now, go have fun shopping for a new bike!
    Last edited by DogBoy; 07-20-04 at 08:28 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member glenghillie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akulakat
    Hey, I was looking a few weeks ago and finally settled on a comfort bike from a local shop. They were great to work with and didn't blink once with my 'size'. I made sure I got a bike with really good rims and I upgraded the seat to a big cushy big butt seat. I used the other seat for a week or so, but when I switched, riding has been a joy ever since. I'm up to 5 miles a day with some light hill work and hope to be to 10 within a month or so.

    I ended up with a Motobecane as it rode the same as the trek, but had better parts. The LBS will tune it for free for life and replace parts for free labor for life. All the other shops had a 1 year deal. I thought about online purchasing to save some $$$, but the LBS is the way to go. You will need service at some point and they know what they are doing.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks, that does help. One more name to look at. My LBS is horrible. They tried to put me on a Schwinn that wouls change gears of you just barely pulled on the grips. I chnaged myself and almost threw myself off just getting used to the feel before I really tested it.

    I do like rapid fire changing over hand grip changing. I have found it smoother and more precise.

    It looks like my LBS will be 45 min away. Probably a good thing since they are in a semi-metropolitian area.

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