Old 12-30-20, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by aquafina View Post
Hi everyone. I am new here and I am sorry if this has been asked before. I went through some posts in this forum & r*ddit to find a bicycle that suit my needs and I got confused. My primary goal is to reduce weight and I stay in Toronto. I would be riding the bicycle 80% in roads & pavements and 20% in trails. My budget is around 2000 CAD and I would like to buy a new bicycle if possible.

After going through the posts in this forum and r*ddit, I saw many people recommending Trek 520 Disc, Cannondale Trail 7, and Trek 1120( fat bike). I was interested in Specialized Allez Elite and Sport but many people mentioned Specialized bikes are high maintenance. Suggest me something that would let me ride in a upright, relaxed posture in roads for longer distances. I would like to ride more with increase in my stamina. Also suggest me if I need to make any changes to stock saddle to make it comfortable.

Also, I have one question off topic. I rode bicycles till I was 18 years but all the bicycles I rode were gearless. Is it going to be a problem to ride geared bicycles now? I rode geared motorbikes for many years but not bicycles. Thanks and cheers in advance.
OK, there are a lot of issues in your post. I will try my best as a larger guy (250 lbs plus, sometimes a little heavier) to answer your questions.
First, aside from learning how to shift, there should be no issue with a bigger guy riding geared bicycles.

Now for the tougher issue. Some bikes come with weight limits. Some will tell you not to worry about it, and in general, they might be right, but if a bike has a weight limit of 250 or 275 lbs and you weigh 340, that is something to consider. That is probably going to be an issue with any carbon frame bike, but expecially the Specialized Allez Elite, which, in any case might be too aggressive a geometry for you at this point in your cycling journey.

And speaking of weight limits, you should consider the issue of wheels and weight. Basically, a lot of stock wheels aren't great to begin with, but especially not for a rider weighing more than 200, and especially more than 300 lbs. Which is why a lot of people might be recommending a bike like the Trek 520, as that is a bike built for loaded touring, so likely comes with touring wheels with 36 spokes. You will hear some people say that spoke count doesn't matter, but I can tell you as a heavier rider, it does. So whatever bike you buy, make sure your wheels are properly tensioned, and you might even want to ditch the stock wheels and get yourself a set of hand built touring wheels to better accomodate your weight. A few extra grams of weight won't make a lot of difference on the road, but it will save your butt in terms of confidence in your wheels, because nobody likes to deal with popped spokes, which will make your wheels unsafe and unrideable.

Riding position. Upright and relaxed as opposed to aggressive and aerodynamic. More upright is easier for beginners, but less aerodynamic. As you get more fit by losing weight and strengthening your core, and flexible (depending on other factors such as if you already have back problems), you might start feeling more fcomfortable in a more aggressive posture which will be more aerodynamic as your body will catch less of the wind. See the problem? Riding too upright isn't great for long distances. But too aggressive might be hard on the back and shoulders if your core isn't conditioned. You will have to find the riding position that best suits you over time based on your weight, fitness, age, pre existing injuries and genetics.

Saddles: Saddles are personal. At first, almost any saddle will be uncomfortable as your posterior gets used to riding. Beyond that, a good pair of shorts with a chamois sewn into them that you wear without underwear can help with chafing. After that, it is trial and error. Don't go for a soft, swishy saddle. You need something with support, not soft a squishy like a couch. I am old school and I ride a Brooks B17 leather saddle. The leather is firm but after years of riding has a little give to it. They take some time to break in but I have mine for 10 years now and I find it very comfortable.
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