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From research to action... need advice

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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.

From research to action... need advice

Old 07-19-16, 06:47 PM
  #1  
Kinney
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From research to action... need advice

I'm looking to start riding for exercise and with my family, so I'm very serious about it. I've recently went down from 350 lbs to 338 lbs by eating less and swimming. I cant swim all of the time, my aunt and uncle would start charging rent. My wife and little girl would love to ride as a family as well, and I need to act now! I was going to pickup a treadmill and use it anytime I wanted to watch a movie, but recently with this PoKéMoN GO madness, my family is seriously begging me to get out and ride. Now you may be thinking what's he gonna do when the game dies down and he loses interest? Let me reply with, "I am motivated best when it involves other people". My best example would be my wife and I quitting cigarettes in Q1 2009. We both quit cold turkey and have not had a puff since. I used to smoke 1-2 packs of Marlboro Reds a day and it was not easy... So with that said, I'm in this for the long haul because I have to get down to 250 lbs (my goal was to lose 100 lbs).

Let me make it clear that I've been lurking on these forums for the past two weeks and have somehow relived part of my bike building years by reading so many posts. A lot has changed since 1997 and we now have the internet! I would think this would be easier with Google, YouTube, etc. but nothing beats personal word of mouth, opinions, and experience from other riders. So here goes...
  • I'm currently looking to start off on a mountain bike frame (UberClyde).
  • I would like to eventually work myself into a road bike weight range.
  • I plan to ride on roads, sidewalk, and bike lanes (no offroad, dirt, or rock trails).
  • I have decent roads in my area so bumps are possible but nothing I intend to worry about.
  • I am working on a budget of about $500
  • I've found a used Trek 850 on CL for $50 that had 36h rims (UberClyde)
  • See it here: https://images.craigslist.org/00F0F_...M_1200x900.jpg

So that leaves me with $450 to work with give or take.

TIRES:
I'm going to need road slicks and have a few options that i've tried to narrow down. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience with any of these?
GROUPSET:
I've heard that the Shimano SLX Groupset is the workhorse of mountain bikes but then I found out that it's a disc brake based groupset. So now I'm at a loss as to what to look for since the Trek 850 is uses older brake calipers. I think pieces of the SLX are available for individual purchase so the whole set does not need to be used, though a cheaper solution would be a better choice. I'm not sure what the older groupsets are called since I missed 15 years since I've last ridden. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

SADDLE:
I've seen "Brooks" a lot on bikeforums, but honestly i'm not sure that would be the best Saddle for me. It might feel nice, but I know my ass falls asleep if I sit on a hard surface for too long (that nerve down there...).

I'm not really certain what all else this Trek 850 may need, but I plan to check it out this Thursday when I meet the seller. The brakes may end up being ok, the rims may not need to be replaced, the cables might still be in good condition. Time will tell, but any advice from the more experienced members who've been where I'm at will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-19-16, 09:43 PM
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Find out what size of frame you need and do not buy a bike that isn't the correct size.
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Old 07-19-16, 10:40 PM
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I wouldn't buy that CL bike, needs another 100 bucks to get it rolling smooth plus what ever fit issues. Nor would I hang new parts on it.....

Take your $500 and get a new 350-400 bike from the LBS, warranty, service, new and it fits. If you get a 29er mtb, you can put 700c 32-42c road/touring tires on it and still have low gearing for hills/wind. Rims will be the next weak point.Tackle that as needed

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Old 07-20-16, 04:00 AM
  #4  
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Yep 29er mountain bike not full suspension though. The wheels are the only concern with bikes, 36 spoke work best but ride what is on it until they start breaking. MAKE SURE THE BIKE FITS.
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Old 07-20-16, 07:48 AM
  #5  
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I'd snap up that $50 bike if the frame is the right size for you, and the frame itself isn't damaged or cracked. 80/90s steel frame mountain bikes are a great starter bike for heavier riders.

Clearly that bike needs some money spent on it (looks like the drivetrain is rusted out), but for $50 what do you expect!

As for tires, I use Kenda Kwest on my commuter (a 90s steel frame mountain bike!) and they're fine and cheap.

If you really want a new drivetrain, I think Shimano Deore is good bang/buck, or Alivio if you want a bit cheaper. Honestly though, the stuff on that Trek may work fine with some TLC.

The 850 has Canti brakes, I'll bet with some new brake pads they'll be fine. Replacing them with new Tektro V-brakes if you want something easier to deal with.
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Old 07-20-16, 07:50 AM
  #6  
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Get the $50 bike and have the wheels checked before you ride it.

Put some smooth road tires on it.
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Old 07-20-16, 08:30 AM
  #7  
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I'll note that the picture of that Trek shows a 1995 Trek 850 with tires on it that match the stock tires for that model. I'm not saying those are the original tires, but it might be a bike that just sat in a garage for the last 20 years.

For $50 I'd take a punt. Worse comes to worse you can WD40 the rust off it and sell it on CL for a profit.
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Old 07-20-16, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
Find out what size of frame you need and do not buy a bike that isn't the correct size.
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
I'd snap up that $50 bike if the frame is the right size for you, and the frame itself isn't damaged or cracked. 80/90s steel frame mountain bikes are a great starter bike for heavier riders.

Clearly that bike needs some money spent on it (looks like the drivetrain is rusted out), but for $50 what do you expect!

As for tires, I use Kenda Kwest on my commuter (a 90s steel frame mountain bike!) and they're fine and cheap.

If you really want a new drivetrain, I think Shimano Deore is good bang/buck, or Alivio if you want a bit cheaper. Honestly though, the stuff on that Trek may work fine with some TLC.

The 850 has Canti brakes, I'll bet with some new brake pads they'll be fine. Replacing them with new Tektro V-brakes if you want something easier to deal with.
I just realized this morning that the frame is 21" and would be too big for me. I'm 5' 8" with short legs (27.5" reach) so a 17" frame would be better based on the online calculators I've used. Kinda sucks because I was going for the older hard tail look with geometry that resembles a lot of the road bikes (rear support beams slope at a higher angle off the main triangle). I kinda prefer that look and all of the newer bikes out there have a different look entirely. Now I'm going to have to start over and look for a 17" frame, better safe than sorry. Thank you for mentioning the Deore, Alivio, and Tektro model names!! All of the research i've done on groupsets until now has pointed to the Shimano SLX, XT (mtn), and 105 (road).

Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
I wouldn't buy that CL bike, needs another 100 bucks to get it rolling smooth plus what ever fit issues. Nor would I hang new parts on it.....

Take your $500 and get a new 350-400 bike from the LBS, warranty, service, new and it fits. If you get a 29er mtb, you can put 700c 32-42c road/touring tires on it and still have low gearing for hills/wind. Rims will be the next weak point.Tackle that as needed

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Not gonna be an issue now since the frame is too big, I went to my LBS and told the rep I needed 36h rims on what ever I buy. The guy never heard of rims with 36 holes. Every Giant bike they sold had 32h rims, and he insisted that they would support 300-400 lbs just fine... is this guy blowing smoke just trying to make a sale or what?

What is the difference on 26, 27.5, and 29 rims? I saw a sexy 29er at the LBS, but it too had 32h rims...
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Old 07-20-16, 09:06 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Kinney View Post
All of the research i've done on groupsets until now has pointed to the Shimano SLX, XT (mtn), and 105 (road).
You probably don't need SLX parts if you're not going to be riding off-road. Shimano Deore is right where you want to be. If you need road bike components, look at Shimano Tiagra.
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Old 07-20-16, 09:14 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
You probably don't need SLX parts if you're not going to be riding off-road. Shimano Deore is right where you want to be. If you need road bike components, look at Shimano Tiagra.
Do people put road bike groupsets on mountain bike frames?
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Old 07-20-16, 09:51 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Kinney View Post
Do people put road bike groupsets on mountain bike frames?
Not usually, but you mentioned Shimano's 105 road gruppo so I thought I'd mention Tiagra just in case you were thinking about road bikes for some reason.

Occasionally, you'll see a mixture of road and mountain components on older bikes. Mixes are most common on drop-bar bikes, where you might see road levers and FD combined with a mountain bike RD. If you're looking exclusively at flat-bar bikes you probably won't run into Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, or other road component groups.
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Old 07-20-16, 10:22 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Kinney View Post
Not gonna be an issue now since the frame is too big, I went to my LBS and told the rep I needed 36h rims on what ever I buy. The guy never heard of rims with 36 holes. Every Giant bike they sold had 32h rims, and he insisted that they would support 300-400 lbs just fine... is this guy blowing smoke just trying to make a sale or what?

What is the difference on 26, 27.5, and 29 rims? I saw a sexy 29er at the LBS, but it too had 32h rims...
Depends how the wheels were built, most are by machine these days on complete bikes and have a set tolerance. If you buy a new bike, ask them to tru the wheels and check the spoke tension. This should help strength. And yes 32h is the standard, DH wheels are made with more thicker spoke and racing wheels are made with less spokes. If you start popping spoke every other week than a new wheel with either more spokes or stronger spokes are needed. Some stock wheels are decent, some are junk.

29er is the diameter of the rim which is also = to 700c. So you can use SOME roadie/touring tires on your MTB, starting around 32c. I won't go lower because the rims might not be designed for higher pressures used on 25-28c tire (near 100psi) Some mtb rim mfg limit the psi to around 60-70psi. I say 29er so you can use those other 700c tires since your mostly on pavement or hardpack dirt. Get some bar ends to help change up hand positions. 27.5 tires won't have anything skinny for road use and still very select # of models since this size is the new long travel all mt MTB niche. 29er/700 also roll easier than 26" wheels on the same surface, especially pavement.
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Old 07-20-16, 11:06 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Kinney View Post
Not gonna be an issue now since the frame is too big, I went to my LBS and told the rep I needed 36h rims on what ever I buy. The guy never heard of rims with 36 holes.


Seriously, what he means is "none of the bikes we sell have more then 32h wheels". If he's genuinely never heard of 36h rims, then he's clearly just a salesman moonlighting as someone who knows about bicycles, and doesn't actually know anything about bicycles.
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Old 07-20-16, 01:20 PM
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Google Sheldon Brown for a great primer on bicycle terms/history/general knowledge.
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Old 07-20-16, 02:33 PM
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Popped up a new thread, hope I'm not breaking any forum rules.
https://www.bikeforums.net/clydesdale...l#post18926370
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Old 07-21-16, 02:58 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Kinney View Post
I'm looking to start riding for exercise and with my family, so I'm very serious about it. I've recently went down from 350 lbs to 338 lbs by eating less and swimming. I cant swim all of the time, my aunt and uncle would start charging rent. My wife and little girl would love to ride as a family as well, and I need to act now! I was going to pickup a treadmill and use it anytime I wanted to watch a movie, but recently with this PoKéMoN GO madness, my family is seriously begging me to get out and ride. Now you may be thinking what's he gonna do when the game dies down and he loses interest? Let me reply with, "I am motivated best when it involves other people". My best example would be my wife and I quitting cigarettes in Q1 2009. We both quit cold turkey and have not had a puff since. I used to smoke 1-2 packs of Marlboro Reds a day and it was not easy... So with that said, I'm in this for the long haul because I have to get down to 250 lbs (my goal was to lose 100 lbs).

Let me make it clear that I've been lurking on these forums for the past two weeks and have somehow relived part of my bike building years by reading so many posts. A lot has changed since 1997 and we now have the internet! I would think this would be easier with Google, YouTube, etc. but nothing beats personal word of mouth, opinions, and experience from other riders. So here goes...
  • I'm currently looking to start off on a mountain bike frame (UberClyde).
  • I would like to eventually work myself into a road bike weight range.
  • I plan to ride on roads, sidewalk, and bike lanes (no offroad, dirt, or rock trails).
  • I have decent roads in my area so bumps are possible but nothing I intend to worry about.
  • I am working on a budget of about $500
  • I've found a used Trek 850 on CL for $50 that had 36h rims (UberClyde)
  • See it here: https://images.craigslist.org/00F0F_...M_1200x900.jpg

So that leaves me with $450 to work with give or take.

TIRES:
I'm going to need road slicks and have a few options that i've tried to narrow down. Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience with any of these?
GROUPSET:
I've heard that the Shimano SLX Groupset is the workhorse of mountain bikes but then I found out that it's a disc brake based groupset. So now I'm at a loss as to what to look for since the Trek 850 is uses older brake calipers. I think pieces of the SLX are available for individual purchase so the whole set does not need to be used, though a cheaper solution would be a better choice. I'm not sure what the older groupsets are called since I missed 15 years since I've last ridden. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

SADDLE:
I've seen "Brooks" a lot on bikeforums, but honestly i'm not sure that would be the best Saddle for me. It might feel nice, but I know my ass falls asleep if I sit on a hard surface for too long (that nerve down there...).

I'm not really certain what all else this Trek 850 may need, but I plan to check it out this Thursday when I meet the seller. The brakes may end up being ok, the rims may not need to be replaced, the cables might still be in good condition. Time will tell, but any advice from the more experienced members who've been where I'm at will be greatly appreciated.
I would suggest going straight for a steel road bike. I got a lovely 531c for about €250 a while back and needed nothing to get it on the road. If you get a mtb you probably long for the road bike anyway! You might not be able to use the drops on the road bars but if you cycle it enough you will eventually. My belly gets in the way! I love the speed of the road bike and if you're not into off road you'd be mad to get an mtb. Make sure the size is right.

https://www.google.es/url?sa=t&sourc...vsDlQTzpmxx6bg
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Old 07-21-16, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by breadbin View Post
I would suggest going straight for a steel road bike. I got a lovely 531c for about €250 a while back and needed nothing to get it on the road. If you get a mtb you probably long for the road bike anyway! You might not be able to use the drops on the road bars but if you cycle it enough you will eventually. My belly gets in the way! I love the speed of the road bike and if you're not into off road you'd be mad to get an mtb. Make sure the size is right.

https://www.google.es/url?sa=t&sourc...vsDlQTzpmxx6bg
I thought about going straight to road but considering I've not ridden in 15 years might be a huge jump since I've never ridden road before. After reading this forum for two weeks saw a number of big guys going with a mountain bike frame with slicks to condition thier butts and stamina before making the jump. Have many large (300+) guys gone straight to roadies before?
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Old 07-21-16, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Kinney View Post
I thought about going straight to road but considering I've not ridden in 15 years might be a huge jump since I've never ridden road before. After reading this forum for two weeks saw a number of big guys going with a mountain bike frame with slicks to condition thier butts and stamina before making the jump. Have many large (300+) guys gone straight to roadies before?
If you are not getting a road bike because you don't feel ready for one that is a mistake. They are often more comfortable than a hybrid or mtb IMO. Your behind is gonna need conditioning and stamina with either type of bike. Save money and get what you really want.
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Old 07-21-16, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jesspal View Post
If you are not getting a road bike because you don't feel ready for one that is a mistake. They are often more comfortable than a hybrid or mtb IMO. Your behind is gonna need conditioning and stamina with either type of bike. Save money and get what you really want.
On my other thread, my eye is currently on this 95' Univega:

Originally Posted by Kinney View Post
Thank you everyone for helping me steer clear of that giant pothole
Here's another Craigslist ad ... I don't know if the brand name is reputable but it seems more fair than the last one. I remember hating Rock Shox in 95' so I'd probably need to replace the fork with a rigid fork. Does anyone have a suggestion on an Ebay replacement?

Wonderful condition --- 1995 Univega Alpina 602-S

Rock Shox Quadra 5 Front Fork --- Completely disassembled, serviced, and lubed
New cables & housings --- brakes and gears
New Shimano SL-RS45 Revo Shifters
New KMC Z51 Chain
Shimano AceraX Hubs, Araya VP-20 Rims
New Kenda K193 Kwest Commuter Tires 26" X 1.50" --- High Pressure version up to 100 psi
Formula 969 Race Lite Double Butted Chromoly Frame --- 17" Frame Size
Shimano Alivio HyperDrive-C, 24/34/42 teeth triple
7-speed, 11-28 teeth rear cogs
CONCEPT Alloy Handlebars, 1" Threaded Headset

Beautiful example of a top of the line mountain bike from the mid 1990's. Headset and bottom bracket were completely serviced. New chain, seat, tubes, and tires were installed.

$175 FIRM
Picture 1: LINK Picture 2: LINK Picture 3: LINK
Picture 4: LINK Picture 5: LINK Picture 6: LINK
Picture 7: LINK Picture 8: LINK Picture 9: LINK
Picture 10: LINK Picture 11: LINK
What type of road setup would you recommend with this frame or would you recommend I start from scratch with an actual road bike? I was under the impression some of the older mountain bike frames like this were road bike frames and could fit a older road setup.
(the CL guy has not contacted me yet to setup a meeting)
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Old 07-21-16, 05:29 PM
  #20  
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I would say trying to convert a bike from one type of usage to another will be expensive. Get a hybrid or get a roadie IMO.
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Old 07-22-16, 02:30 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Kinney View Post
I thought about going straight to road but considering I've not ridden in 15 years might be a huge jump since I've never ridden road before. After reading this forum for two weeks saw a number of big guys going with a mountain bike frame with slicks to condition thier butts and stamina before making the jump. Have many large (300+) guys gone straight to roadies before?
Well I suppose it's up to you if you try a road bike and don't like it. You want to get a bike that makes you want to cycle it! I know for me the drops were and still are a no go area but the upper bars have plenty hand positions. Try a few bikes in a shop or go to different shops and try different bikes. Dont bring any money though and decide for yourself you're just going for a look! Let us know how you get on! Did you day you built a bike before?

Edit: it's messy and expensive putting mtb parts on a road frame and vice versa. It can be rewarding in the end but for example brake levers for road bikes pull different amounts of cable to mtb. I only found this out when I changed road bars to flat bars that even the gear shifters pull different amounts of cable! So it worked out quite costly to change just the bars! Worth it though in the long run!

Last edited by breadbin; 07-22-16 at 02:37 PM.
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