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Another 400 pound plus Looking for a starter bike. Suggestions PLEASE

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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Another 400 pound plus Looking for a starter bike. Suggestions PLEASE

Old 07-01-16, 12:18 PM
  #1  
idude
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Another 400 pound plus Looking for a starter bike. Suggestions PLEASE

Hi. I have read through some of the posts about 400 pounders who were looking to getting into biking, and decided to join the forum to try to see how this big boy can get started.

A little about myself I am only between 5'10" and 5'11" but weight between 435-445 as of last time weighing 2 months ago during my last visit to a doctor. I am not diabetic, I have no major heart issues. (lucky so far) I do have high blood pressure, I know I need to fix things. I have tried in past and lost weight , and put it back on . The most I ever lost was about 40 lbs. As of the last 3-4 weeks after my doctors visit. I have changed my eating habits, I have not been weighed but I feel much better, and able to do more tasks without starting to feel tired or pain. Not sure if I have lost any weight yet or if its just from dropping the junk, and eating less.

I am hoping to double down and add some exercise (SOONER THE BETTER) to the mix. Walking for miles and miles is just not in the cards at the moment, because of a bum left knee, that limits me sometimes but doesnt stop me.

I have read posts on this forum about 400 plus pounders starting off on bikes that are rated for only 350 lbs. Right now I dont have $800-1500 for a bike. being new to the forum it took some time to learn some of the acronyms such as LBS = (that was the first puzzle lol) and hoping to catch up on some of the parts, and jargon listed. I am still searching for a LBS that isnt 30 miles away (because I will probably have to visit atleast once a month to repair something on whatever hunk of junk I can afford to get.)

I plan to do my riding in 2 large connected strip mall parking lots, (most of the stores are no longer occupied ) Its well lit, . not too much traffic, and there are a few inclines/ mini hills between the two lots. So i would not be riding on any rough trails or anything

I have heard names like Trek, Townie, Raleigh, Sedona and older 1980's and 1990's MTBs that others 400 pounders on this forum say they started with, and might be able to carry my weight without snapping as soon as I sit down on it. Like I said earlier i just dont have $800 to drop on just the bike alone, without any of the extras I would need, plus keeping a few dollars in bank to save for a repair. And although many say dont try any WALMART BIKE. IT would be great seeing I have a family member who can get me their employee discount. The most I could see paying "RIGHT NOW" for a bike alone is like $500. (but really rather not if there are any options that get me started) I have tried looking on my local craigslist to see if I could find some of the models people have suggested to others in my same position., and I find the brands. as far as the older bikes, I am not sure how to tell if its a 1980's or 1990's model, but would love some help. ANY BODY WILLING TO TELL ME IF ANYTHING IS LISTED IN ATLANTA, GA craigslist that would work give me a better idea of what Im looking for https://atlanta.craigslist.org/ . I need something that will last me at least 6-9 months as I am SURE that if i just get moving more in addition to better eating habits, that weight will start coming off me. I also feel that with being able to SEE and know that I am getting some type of results will help me continue , and justify me spending more to get something better. HECK if I see real results, after putting in REAL work, I will even use the credit card, or bite the bullet and ask the parents for a loan to get a bike in the future If I dont have enough to get it myself.

OK thats the END OF MY NOVEL ( I know its a lot of reading) Any suggestions?
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Old 07-01-16, 12:31 PM
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Go with this one.

have a bike shop check both wheels. and spokes.

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bik/5615622330.html
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Old 07-01-16, 12:43 PM
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Thanks. WOW. I have seen that brand name on craigslist, but hadnt gone that far back "29 days) because I figured anything that old would be sold. I just emailed to see if its still available.

Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Go with this one.

have a bike shop check both wheels. and spokes.

https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bik/5615622330.html
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Old 07-01-16, 04:56 PM
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The "skipping" might mean you need a new chain and freewheel. In the 90's many bikes used "freewheels"...it is a part that threads onto the hub in the middle of the wheel, with all the rear sprocket parts included in it. Somewhere in the 90's they went to a "cassette" where the sprockets slide onto a spline.

https://www.amazon.com/SunRace-7sp-F...peed+freewheel

There is a 7 speed freewheel so you kinda know what one would cost you, If you need a freewheel you need a chain too.
https://www.amazon.com/KMC-Bicycle-6...=7+speed+chain

Which will come overly long and needs shortened, a job for the LBS...they might sell you a freewheel too and set you up all good to go....I'd ask them first.

What happens is the chain stretches, wears some of the sprockets on the freewheel, then it "skips" when you pedal in some speeds...so both the chain and the freewheel may be worn out.
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Old 07-01-16, 08:38 PM
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Get out there and get going! Good luck and good for you.
If you go with a flat bar style bike like that one, don't be afraid to tip those bush guards on the ends of the handle bars higher up to get you into a more comfortable riding position.
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Old 07-01-16, 10:29 PM
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hmm, i saw some new posts today,

any thoughts on these?

Vintage Univega Mountain Bike

Vintage Raleigh Bicycle
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Old 07-02-16, 01:48 AM
  #7  
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I would think about this one too https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bik/5612125754.html
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Old 07-02-16, 04:36 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by HauntedMyst View Post
If you flip the handlebar back up where it should be this is a well built bike.
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Old 07-03-16, 01:39 AM
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that is nice looking setup , but @ $700 not in my budget at this time

Originally Posted by HauntedMyst View Post
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Old 07-03-16, 01:51 PM
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Of the ones listed above, I'd go with the Univega.

Or one of these:
https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bik/5646417878.html
https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bik/5655023950.html
https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bik/5665483073.html

The most important thing: RIDE !!

Get some tires like these:
https://www.amazon.com/Kenda-City-Sl...kenda+tires+26
with Thorn Resistant tubes.
Get wider if they will fit. I have Kenda K-Rad 58-559 (26x2.3) on a 1984 Cycle Pro RAM - with fenders that are GREAT.

Plan on a new chain and freewheel or cassette (depending on what the bike has).
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Old 07-04-16, 12:57 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by idude View Post
Hi. I have read through some of the posts about 400 pounders who were looking to getting into biking, and decided to join the forum to try to see how this big boy can get started.

A little about myself I am only between 5'10" and 5'11" but weight between 435-445 as of last time weighing 2 months ago during my last visit to a doctor. I am not diabetic, I have no major heart issues. (lucky so far) I do have high blood pressure, I know I need to fix things. I have tried in past and lost weight , and put it back on . The most I ever lost was about 40 lbs. As of the last 3-4 weeks after my doctors visit. I have changed my eating habits, I have not been weighed but I feel much better, and able to do more tasks without starting to feel tired or pain. Not sure if I have lost any weight yet or if its just from dropping the junk, and eating less.

I am hoping to double down and add some exercise (SOONER THE BETTER) to the mix. Walking for miles and miles is just not in the cards at the moment, because of a bum left knee, that limits me sometimes but doesnt stop me.

I have read posts on this forum about 400 plus pounders starting off on bikes that are rated for only 350 lbs. Right now I dont have $800-1500 for a bike. being new to the forum it took some time to learn some of the acronyms such as LBS = (that was the first puzzle lol) and hoping to catch up on some of the parts, and jargon listed. I am still searching for a LBS that isnt 30 miles away (because I will probably have to visit atleast once a month to repair something on whatever hunk of junk I can afford to get.)

I plan to do my riding in 2 large connected strip mall parking lots, (most of the stores are no longer occupied ) Its well lit, . not too much traffic, and there are a few inclines/ mini hills between the two lots. So i would not be riding on any rough trails or anything

I have heard names like Trek, Townie, Raleigh, Sedona and older 1980's and 1990's MTBs that others 400 pounders on this forum say they started with, and might be able to carry my weight without snapping as soon as I sit down on it. Like I said earlier i just dont have $800 to drop on just the bike alone, without any of the extras I would need, plus keeping a few dollars in bank to save for a repair. And although many say dont try any WALMART BIKE. IT would be great seeing I have a family member who can get me their employee discount. The most I could see paying "RIGHT NOW" for a bike alone is like $500. (but really rather not if there are any options that get me started) I have tried looking on my local craigslist to see if I could find some of the models people have suggested to others in my same position., and I find the brands. as far as the older bikes, I am not sure how to tell if its a 1980's or 1990's model, but would love some help. ANY BODY WILLING TO TELL ME IF ANYTHING IS LISTED IN ATLANTA, GA craigslist that would work give me a better idea of what Im looking for https://atlanta.craigslist.org/ . I need something that will last me at least 6-9 months as I am SURE that if i just get moving more in addition to better eating habits, that weight will start coming off me. I also feel that with being able to SEE and know that I am getting some type of results will help me continue , and justify me spending more to get something better. HECK if I see real results, after putting in REAL work, I will even use the credit card, or bite the bullet and ask the parents for a loan to get a bike in the future If I dont have enough to get it myself.

OK thats the END OF MY NOVEL ( I know its a lot of reading) Any suggestions?
This is a tough call. Are there 400 pounders who have taken up cycling? You bet. But it is a much smaller subset who have done it on a tight budget.

You have a limited budget, which pretty much proscribes your prospects for a new bike, since you would probably have to budget an extra couple of hundred at least for some strong wheels. And that leaves you looking for a used bike. Don't get me wrong. There are deals to be had on used bikes if you know what you are looking for, and if you like to do your own wrenching. But a lot of times, a used bike can become a bit of a money pit unless you do a lot of your own bike repairs. And you still have to worry about replacing the wheels with some super strong tandem or touring wheels.

Part of me thinks you should just get a membership to a cheap gym like Planet Fitness or the YMCA and put in some time there riding a stationary bike and lifting weights, while watching your diet with the goal of losing 100 lbs or so and then revisit your plan to buy a bike, as you will have a lot more options at 300 lbs than you will at 400 lbs.
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Old 07-04-16, 01:44 AM
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Get the Specialized Hardrock Nigel listed above. https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bik/5655023950.html It's a bargain, is exactly what you need and looks to be in great shape too. It's a 19", so your size too. It already has 36 spoke rims that will easily take your weight so no need for new wheels. Fit some Schwalbe Marathons in a 1.75 x 26 or even better, if you can afford it, Schwalbe Mondials. Both these tires are heavy duty touring tires that will cope with your weight.
Get the bike serviced- ie re-grease as soon as you get it, it looks like it's been sitting for a long time, the grease is probably dry. Get them to check and re-tension the spokes correctly so you don't have to worry about buckled wheels.
You won't need to upgrade that bike for a long time.
Take it easy at first. But maybe try and ride to places once you've conquered the parking lot, that'd get boring pretty quick.
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Old 07-04-16, 09:20 AM
  #13  
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Raleigh makes some good bikes that are under $700.00 if you are willing to ride a mountain bike. At your weight I went and bought a Raleigh Talus (29er).

Don't be afraid to get a road or gravel bike at your weight as the frame will support you, but you will need to buy better wheels (32 or even better 36 spoke wheels).

Also don't be afraid to ask your doctor for a prescription of exercise as that can make your cycling purchase a tax deduction.
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Old 07-04-16, 11:32 AM
  #14  
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We need to have a sticky for bike recommendations for big folks.
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Old 07-04-16, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
Get the Specialized Hardrock Nigel listed above. https://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bik/5655023950.html It's a bargain, is exactly what you need and looks to be in great shape too. It's a 19", so your size too. It already has 36 spoke rims that will easily take your weight so no need for new wheels. Fit some Schwalbe Marathons in a 1.75 x 26 or even better, if you can afford it, Schwalbe Mondials. Both these tires are heavy duty touring tires that will cope with your weight.
Get the bike serviced- ie re-grease as soon as you get it, it looks like it's been sitting for a long time, the grease is probably dry. Get them to check and re-tension the spokes correctly so you don't have to worry about buckled wheels.
You won't need to upgrade that bike for a long time.
Take it easy at first. But maybe try and ride to places once you've conquered the parking lot, that'd get boring pretty quick.
At 300 lbs, 36 spokes will easily take the weight. At 400 lbs? If the wheel is built well, 36 spokes should hold, but 40 would not be out of the question. At 400 lbs, OP really needs to consider Tandem wheels, which are built to hold that sort of weight.
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Old 07-05-16, 02:12 AM
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36 spoke 26" rims should be OK, especially if the spoke tensions are done properly. There is a lot less leverage on a 26" compared to a 700/29 er. For $100 he can't go wrong... Worse comes to the worst he could re-lace the hubs to a pair of Alex Adventurers and use Sapim Strong spokes. That's a super strong economical combination. That still sees him under his $500 budget.
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Old 07-05-16, 07:18 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
36 spoke 26" rims should be OK, especially if the spoke tensions are done properly. There is a lot less leverage on a 26" compared to a 700/29 er. For $100 he can't go wrong... Worse comes to the worst he could re-lace the hubs to a pair of Alex Adventurers and use Sapim Strong spokes. That's a super strong economical combination. That still sees him under his $500 budget.
I generally agree. But I weigh nowhere near 400 lbs, nor even 300 lbs, and I have had problems with cheap stock wheels more than once that riders weighing closer to 150 or 175 never have to deal with. This could be a bigger issue the higher the weight of the rider. For sure, OP can do his research and find a low cost solution to his problem if he wants. That said, I did quickly look at the cost of tandem wheels and they are not cheap and could easily consume OP's entire budget.
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Old 07-06-16, 10:30 AM
  #18  
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Boom Yall.... https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bi...ssroads/106441

In your budget and a great bike. I am taller than you. I am a little less than you. It's brand new. Find a retailer close to you, most will throw in a bike fit and free check up. After my first 6 weeks of riding I had a tire rub. Took it back to the store, put a new spoke nipple on, trued the wheel and I am back at it.

Good luck.
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Old 07-06-16, 06:49 PM
  #19  
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Wheels

Or, if the OP gets comfortable with it - he can build their own wheels like I do.

My go to hubs are Wheelmaster Tandem 40H and 48H - the rears are 135mm OLD, the fronts 100mm OLD. They are sealed bearing hubs, the rear is a copy of a Phil Wood, even comes completely apart with 5mm hex keys.

My go to spokes are Wheelsmith DB14, on 559 rims, I like DB15 on the NDS rear, DB14 everywhere else. On 584, 590 and 622 rims, I use DB14 everywhere.

My go to rims are Velocity: Aeroheat, Dyad, NoBS, Cliffhanger. For the MTBs under discussion with wider tires, I would go with Cliffhanger, 559, 40H. For 40-559 rear tire, I went with Aeroheat 559 40H.

I got into wheelbuilding because a LBS did not stand behind the wheels on the Raleigh Venture they sold me, and charged me $25 to replace a broken spoke......
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Old 07-26-16, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by arex View Post
We need to have a sticky for bike recommendations for big folks.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:41 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Willbird View Post
The "skipping" might mean you need a new chain and freewheel. In the 90's many bikes used "freewheels"...it is a part that threads onto the hub in the middle of the wheel, with all the rear sprocket parts included in it. Somewhere in the 90's they went to a "cassette" where the sprockets slide onto a spline.

https://www.amazon.com/SunRace-7sp-F...peed+freewheel

There is a 7 speed freewheel so you kinda know what one would cost you, If you need a freewheel you need a chain too.
https://www.amazon.com/KMC-Bicycle-6...=7+speed+chain

Which will come overly long and needs shortened, a job for the LBS...they might sell you a freewheel too and set you up all good to go....I'd ask them first.

What happens is the chain stretches, wears some of the sprockets on the freewheel, then it "skips" when you pedal in some speeds...so both the chain and the freewheel may be worn out.

You are right except for one thing - by the mid 90s every decent bike had freehub and not freewheel. Freewheels were only found on the cheapest bikes by about 1992 - maybe earlier.

I actually think a freewheel hub is one of the few components that would not survive moderate use by a 400lb rider - especially a 7 or 8 speed freewheel - the axle would bend if the bike were ridden near a bump.

While that bike looks like a good deal, I would recommend finding one without suspension because, even though it will notbreak under a very big rider, it will immediately bottom out and be useless.
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Old 07-26-16, 10:44 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by NYSteve View Post
Boom Yall.... https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bi...ssroads/106441

In your budget and a great bike. I am taller than you. I am a little less than you. It's brand new. Find a retailer close to you, most will throw in a bike fit and free check up. After my first 6 weeks of riding I had a tire rub. Took it back to the store, put a new spoke nipple on, trued the wheel and I am back at it.

Good luck.
I recommend against that bike - the rear wheel has a freewheel and not a freehub which severely limits its durability. A used bike of better quality is probably a much better idea.
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Old 07-26-16, 09:54 PM
  #23  
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You'll also want to know about this site for your own self-sufficiency:
Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information
Very easy to read, very accessible for any level of technical skill.
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Old 07-27-16, 07:11 AM
  #24  
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https://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bik/5667177334.html
https://atlanta.craigslist.org/sat/bik/5657643931.html
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Old 07-27-16, 07:50 AM
  #25  
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I have not seen that you have made a purchase yet so I would like to chime in.

I am 6'4" @ 383lbs, I recently purchased a Raleigh Venture 4.0 XL from the LBS. I got a great deal on it (400.00) new but I have seen smaller used ones on Craigslist and other bikes stores for a greatly reduced price (found a medium Venture 4.0 for 150.00 on Craigslist locally). The LBS checked the spokes after the first 10 hours of use and found that they needed only slight adjustment and checked again after the next 10 hours and found that the spokes were good to go. The great thing about buying new is the support from your LBS but buying used and having it checked over is also a great way to get into the hobby.
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