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Bike advice

Old 10-16-15, 03:42 PM
  #1  
Zweivoss
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Bike advice

Still looking for a bike, didn't want to bump up an old thread.
I wanted to ask, is it still not a good idea to get a bike with front shocks if it doesn't have any rear shocks? I kind of figure that most of my weight will be on the rear tire, so it wouldn't be as much of an issue for the front to have shocks, especially since I plan on riding on generally even ground.
Still checking out Craigslist, but it's surprisingly sparse for town with tons of cyclists and at least three LBS I know of. Most bikes I've found are too small, are not mountain bikes, or have shocks.
I'll admit, I haven't checked out my LBS yet. I have social anxiety so it's something of a process to work up the courage to go.
Is there a website I should check out that might be an alternative?
Sorry if there is a better place to ask these questions or if they seem stupid.
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Old 10-16-15, 06:07 PM
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Hello, and welcome. Not stupid at all.

It would help if we knew a little more to be useful -- how big are you, what are you looking to do with a bike, etc.

That said, suspension only really makes sense if you are going over rough ground. Most big folks will be heavier than the suspension is designed for, and -- critically -- it tends to sap energy so the pedaling power ends up making you bob up and down a little. Front suspension with a rigid back -- a "hardtail" mountain bike -- is generally designed so that when you hit a bump on a trail the front end stays on the ground so you get traction. The back end, when you hit that bump, will generally be "unloaded" as you lift your behind off the saddle.

Ask away. You've found a pleasant corner of the internet bike world. All of us were there at some point.
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Old 10-17-15, 08:36 AM
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Thank you for the welcome. I'm about 425 pounds and 6'2". I plan to ride exclusively on roads and paved bike paths. I was told that MTB are the way to go for someone my size. Especially since I set my budget at about $350.
Someone mentioned the energy issue with suspension, but I wasn't sure if it was as much of an issue as one with full suspension. The majority of bikes I've seen either have full or front suspension so...yeah.
I'm just worried about wasting my money on a bike I'll hate or losing motivation to go purchase one. ^_^;;
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Old 10-17-15, 08:59 AM
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They only make bikes with either just front sus or with both front and back. I've never seen a just rear suspension so that says something. An old (or new) mtn bike with no suspension would be fine. One with a front would be fine. If you do build up the courage to go to the LBS try not to be too outraged by their prices. They should have something around $450 and thats about as low as it goes. Compared to what we're used to as a child or as poor peoples it can seem outrageous. If you do the math though $1000 bikes can get you .05 cents per mile or .50 cents an hour for your recreation assuming you keep it 3-4 years and ride 1 or 2 times per week and enjoy it. You can try Jamis, GT, or Motobecane for something a little cheaper. You can find them sometimes at ski shops that also have skateboards and such or at a large possibly off brand bike retailer if there's something like that near you. Also, used or online retailer or come up with another $100 bucks. If you go to a big box store avoid the full suspension bikes. Mongoose is your best walmart bet and Diamondback's come from Dick's Sporting Goods both are in your price range. It's really worth another $100 though to get at least a Trek Marin, Specialized HardRock, or Giant Revel. And it's honestly worth another $300 for a Trek XCaliber, Specialized Rockhopper, or a Giant Talon but i wont push you too far.
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Old 10-17-15, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Zweivoss View Post
Thank you for the welcome. I'm about 425 pounds and 6'2". I plan to ride exclusively on roads and paved bike paths. I was told that MTB are the way to go for someone my size. Especially since I set my budget at about $350.
Someone mentioned the energy issue with suspension, but I wasn't sure if it was as much of an issue as one with full suspension. The majority of bikes I've seen either have full or front suspension so...yeah.
I'm just worried about wasting my money on a bike I'll hate or losing motivation to go purchase one. ^_^;;
Not sure why they would have told you that. Lower end mountain bikes are not that great and your best bet at your budget is probably a basic hybrid from one of about a half dozen major brands. You may need to budget an extra $100 or so for a handbuilt back wheel to accomodate your weight. Not saying the stock will will fail on your first ride but just being realistic.
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Old 10-17-15, 09:39 AM
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Thanks for the advice, Librarian, MRT2, I think I'll try waiting a little longer or seeing if a friend can loan me the extra so I can add another $200 to my budget.
I was also aware of the need for specialized wheels, but thank you for the thought MRT2.
I'm pretty eager to get into biking, especially since winter is coming up. Hopefully a light one.
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Old 10-17-15, 11:00 AM
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Try your local Craigslist and look for an older Trek MTN bike. Something like a Trek 950 or 970 from the early 1990's.
What town do you live in?
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Old 10-17-15, 03:17 PM
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Zweivoss
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If you check my original post, Midtown, you'll note that I mentioned checking Craigslist. I check it pretty much every day. I live in Moscow, Idaho. We share a Craigslist with Pullman, Washington since we're only like 8 miles apart.
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Old 10-18-15, 02:51 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Midtown View Post
Try your local Craigslist and look for an older Trek MTN bike. Something like a Trek 950 or 970 from the early 1990's.
What town do you live in?
This is good advice. I recommend a rigid, steel mountain bike. Craigslist is usually full of them, and many in good shape are $125 or so. I kept my old rigid, steel, Specialized Rockhopper from about 1997. It's a great all-around bike. I had 26"x1.0" slicks on it for a few years and it was a great ride.

On paved paths and roads, shocks only contribute mass and can make for a squishy ride. A MTB with 25" x 1.75" tires will provide plenty of suspension effect via those big tires. As you lose weight and get faster, you can swap them out for 26" x 1.5" or 1.0" slicks and go even faster.
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Old 10-18-15, 03:49 PM
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So, I finally worked up the courage to go to my LBS. Had a very helpful dude there, had me look at a few different kinds of bikes based on my needs. The one I really liked though was the Giant ATX, it's $450 brand new, was wondering what you guys thought of that? I'd also like to note that it comes with one free tune up and free services other than that for the first year.
I am still keeping an eye on Craigslist, but nothing decent seems to show up. I'd just like to know if I should set this as my goal for the time being.
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Old 10-18-15, 10:15 PM
  #11  
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I would recommend you go ahead with the Giant if you like it and you like the bike shop. From my experience, craigslist is good if you know how to work on bikes. I've bought a few and they all needed work. If you know how to do it and have the tools, it's a good way to get a nice bike for low cost. If you have to hire the work done, the cost advantage goes away. If you want to ride, buy the bike and ride the heck out of it. After a few thousand miles on your ATX, you'll learn a bunch about your bike. Along the way, learn how to do your own maintenance. You found bike forums, read a bunch and keep learning, and ride. Good luck!
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Old 10-19-15, 08:03 AM
  #12  
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Giant makes nice bikes. Take a look at their website and see if anything else sticks out to you. Your shop may be able to order it in your size.
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Old 10-19-15, 10:29 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by alfonsejr View Post
I would recommend you go ahead with the Giant if you like it and you like the bike shop. From my experience, craigslist is good if you know how to work on bikes. I've bought a few and they all needed work. If you know how to do it and have the tools, it's a good way to get a nice bike for low cost. If you have to hire the work done, the cost advantage goes away. If you want to ride, buy the bike and ride the heck out of it. After a few thousand miles on your ATX, you'll learn a bunch about your bike. Along the way, learn how to do your own maintenance. You found bike forums, read a bunch and keep learning, and ride. Good luck!
I would agree with this. But, when you buy/pickup the bike, check to see that there are at least 32 or 36 spokes on each wheel. Ask the bike shop if they made sure that the wheels were trued and evenly tensioned. Also ask them what the tension is on the different spokes (if they ask why, tell them that as you are a big guy, you want to occassionally check that the spokes are staying at the proper tension). The wheels, and particularly the spokes, are going to be the weak point on a bike for a Clyde. If the wheels have enough spokes, are trued, and properly tensioned (just not the ping test), then they stand a far better chance of lasting you for a long time.

GH
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Old 10-19-15, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Zweivoss View Post
So, I finally worked up the courage to go to my LBS. Had a very helpful dude there, had me look at a few different kinds of bikes based on my needs. The one I really liked though was the Giant ATX, it's $450 brand new, was wondering what you guys thought of that? I'd also like to note that it comes with one free tune up and free services other than that for the first year.
I am still keeping an eye on Craigslist, but nothing decent seems to show up. I'd just like to know if I should set this as my goal for the time being.
I hate to be the one to rain on your parade, but IMO, the ATX is maybe a better choice as a first mountain bike for a 12 or 13 year old kid, and not for a 400 pound adult looking to get started on roads. For riding pavement, the Escape 2 would be better. The components on the ATX are pretty much entry level, where as on the Escape because it has a solid fork and rim brakes, the rest of the components are a step or two above entry level. For the same money, you get a better drivetrain, 8 speed instead of 7 speed, and a lighter weight. And those things matter when you are riding on pavement. And even at $450 retail, you need to budget for a better rear wheel eventually.

Last edited by MRT2; 10-19-15 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 10-19-15, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ColaJacket View Post
I would agree with this. But, when you buy/pickup the bike, check to see that there are at least 32 or 36 spokes on each wheel. Ask the bike shop if they made sure that the wheels were trued and evenly tensioned. Also ask them what the tension is on the different spokes (if they ask why, tell them that as you are a big guy, you want to occassionally check that the spokes are staying at the proper tension). The wheels, and particularly the spokes, are going to be the weak point on a bike for a Clyde. If the wheels have enough spokes, are trued, and properly tensioned (just not the ping test), then they stand a far better chance of lasting you for a long time.

GH
The ATX are 32 spoke wheels. Though the number of spokes is a valid concern, I would be at least as worried about the 7 speed freewheel for someone OP's weight. I would look for a bike with at least an 8 speed freehub. I know this is the sort of thing that is not readily apparent for the newbie, which is why OP came here for advice.

Last edited by MRT2; 10-19-15 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 10-19-15, 12:03 PM
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No worries, my parade is still pretty dry. It'll be about a month before I have my expenses in order anyways, so I'm plenty open to new information and suggestions.
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Old 10-19-15, 12:46 PM
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Given where you live I doubt you will find much on Craigslist that will fit you or that is in your price range. For some reason CL bikes in the PNW are priced high. An entry level bike form a LBS seems the way to go.
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Old 10-19-15, 01:22 PM
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Figure out what size frame you need first. Probably a 20" MTB or a 60cm road frame.

An extraordinary deal on a classic Trek 520 tourer, buy it for $150, sell it for $300.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6cy6xuqn1k...21403.JPG?dl=0

930 MTB
TREK 930 mountain bike, trade or sell, best offer

Hardrock
large SPECIALIZED HARDROCK CRUZ BIKE BICYCLE

Schwinn SS - bargain and one of my favorites
https://pullman.craigslist.org/bik/5235478731.html

Nice KHS
https://pullman.craigslist.org/bik/5263427373.html

Mongoose IBOC - may be a bit small at 58cm
https://pullman.craigslist.org/bik/5264590447.html

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Old 10-19-15, 02:33 PM
  #19  
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I was in your shoes not to very long ago. It had been more then 20 years since I had rode a bike or even though about purchasing a new bike.

One of the most important things I could recommend is to get fitted so when you finally decide on a bike whether it be a new bike or used you will
be able to get a bike that fits you.

I decided to bite the bullet and purchased the 2016 Trek X-Caliber 9.
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Old 10-19-15, 02:34 PM
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Nobody recommends bikesdirect?

I think you have lots of options for a mtb under $500 at bikesdirect. I saw this one and it looked pretty well spec'd for $400.

29er Mountain Bikes Up to 60% Off - MTB - Motobecane 529HT

I think what I like most is the fact that it has a lockout suspension fork. It also has hydraulic disc brakes. No, the components aren't going to be top of the line... but you get a lot of bike for your $'s.
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