Old 12-30-20, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
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.

Thanks for your detailed reply. The thing is I went to two bicycle shops and there is no bike for my size in display to try them out. They told me that I might have to wait if I want to check the bikes first or I can place a order for the bike I'd like to buy and they would deliver it in January. I don't want to regret later for buying a bike that is not suitable for me. Is Trek 520 a good choice or is there any other bike that you can suggest if possible for city roads and trails. I am 29 years old and I do not have any underlying health conditions other than my weight. Thanks again for your detailed reply. Cheers.
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