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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.

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Old 09-09-17, 11:29 PM   #1
breakwater
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New Member With A Question About Something Or Rather (ok.. a bike)

All...

I want to purchase a bike... I am 5'9 and ~300 lb (don't tell my wife). In any case, I've been doing some reading and since I haven't been a regular bike rider in 20+ years, I thought I would start off with something sort of entry level and then hopefully get into something a bit more advanced. I've been reading and reading for the last few days and it looks like a hybrid might be a good way to go. However, as I look at hybrids, they have a variety of manufacturers and frankly it looks like some of the manufacturers kind of blur the line between hybrids, comfort bikes (which I have learned appears to be a subset of hybrids), and multi-speed cruisers (which until recently, I didn't even know was a thing). I think a hybrid (or maybe a comfort bike) would be a good start because you ride a bit more upright than on a mountain bike. I live in Houston, so there are heaps of bike shops, and I plan to go by a few of them soon, but would like to go in with a little knowledge.

I am thinking that I don't want to spend more than $500 because I suspect if this biking adventure goes well, I will want to upgrade in a year or two. I've seen many brands discussed in this forum (the entire forum, not just the Clydesdales / Athena portion), so I would appreciate some input from this group. Part of the fun is finding something that can handle my weight. (The previous sentence is dripping with sarcasm, BTW.) Based on some of the things I've seen, I should be looking for a bike without a suspension. (Please feel free to correct this assumption if I am wrong.)

Any thoughts on bikes by sixthreezero? What I don't like about them is that the handles are a bit more like a cruiser, so I am not sure how that will go over time, but it seems like the bike may be ok?? They have two that might work, one they call a hybrid EVRYJourney (no idea why they wouldn't spend the extra money to get the other "e' in "Every") and IntheBarrel (which they call a comfort bike). Also, I am guessing 7 speeds is better than 3, even for a starter bike, right? I admit, part of me is drawn to these bikes because they are in the right price point. I've seen some higher end ones that were really nice (Electra and Trek I think), but I don't want to spend that kind of money. (I will of course, do my due diligence to see if I can find a well priced slightly used model if needed.)

I'd also appreciate any recommendations for bikes that might suit me. With regards to my biking plans, it would essentially be for leisure and for a little exercise. The good thing about living in Houston is there are a good number of place you can ride a bike. I'd guess I'd start with a few miles and then work up to 15 or 20 mile rides (I'm thinking 30 - 45 minutes of riding when I start and the work up to 60 - 90 minutes over the time).

Thanks in advance.

P.S. I can't post URLs because I don't have 10 posts, but both bikes are on the sixthreezero website and can be accessed easily.
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Old 09-10-17, 07:39 AM   #2
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I was in your exact same position back in May. I wanted to start exercising again but I didn't want to walk anymore so I decided to take up biking since my father and brother are big into it. My father gave me some great advice that has worked out well. He told me to jump in with both feet, get a nice bike as well as all the needed accessories such as padded shorts, jersey, riding gloves, do-rag (I highly recommend a Halo) and a helmet with good ventilation.

I started out in the high 380's so I wanted to make sure I got the right bike. I ended up falling in love with the first bike I saw and even though the bike worked out, the LBS (local bike shop) not so much. Make sure you shop around, be frank and tell whoever you talk to to do so as well about your weight. Just about any good hybrid (meaning a real brand and NOT a department store bike) will hold your weight fine, the only thing that will probably need an upgrade will be your rear wheel, that is the weak spot for Clydes as spokes get broken on factory low spoke count wheels. As you shop around ask questions and see how they respond. You want to shop for an LBS just as much as a bike.

I ended up going with a Jamis DXT Comp and it worked out great as a first bike. Setting myself up for success worked out fantastically and I quickly went from doing 2miles rides that wiped me out up to 8, then 15 and now I regularly do 30+ and have done as many as 54 miles in a single ride. I ended up buying a road bike because I could not get further than 35 miles on my hybrid. I was told back when I started that I should consider a road bike to start, because if I got serious I would want a road bike sooner rather than later and it ended up true. However, I still use my hybrid for riding crushed limestone because I don't want my pretty road bike getting all dirty or chipped on gravel. If you want to stick to one bike you might consider a road bike and have the LBS set it up so you are in an upright position to start out. I know it might seem like a stretch now, I know I thought it seemed insane that I would be riding 50 mile rides the same summer I started but it happened.

Good luck!
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Old 09-10-17, 09:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by breakwater View Post
All...

I want to purchase a bike... I am 5'9 and ~300 lb (don't tell my wife). In any case, I've been doing some reading and since I haven't been a regular bike rider in 20+ years, I thought I would start off with something sort of entry level and then hopefully get into something a bit more advanced. I've been reading and reading for the last few days and it looks like a hybrid might be a good way to go. However, as I look at hybrids, they have a variety of manufacturers and frankly it looks like some of the manufacturers kind of blur the line between hybrids, comfort bikes (which I have learned appears to be a subset of hybrids), and multi-speed cruisers (which until recently, I didn't even know was a thing). I think a hybrid (or maybe a comfort bike) would be a good start because you ride a bit more upright than on a mountain bike. I live in Houston, so there are heaps of bike shops, and I plan to go by a few of them soon, but would like to go in with a little knowledge.

I am thinking that I don't want to spend more than $500 because I suspect if this biking adventure goes well, I will want to upgrade in a year or two. I've seen many brands discussed in this forum (the entire forum, not just the Clydesdales / Athena portion), so I would appreciate some input from this group. Part of the fun is finding something that can handle my weight. (The previous sentence is dripping with sarcasm, BTW.) Based on some of the things I've seen, I should be looking for a bike without a suspension. (Please feel free to correct this assumption if I am wrong.)

Any thoughts on bikes by sixthreezero? What I don't like about them is that the handles are a bit more like a cruiser, so I am not sure how that will go over time, but it seems like the bike may be ok?? They have two that might work, one they call a hybrid EVRYJourney (no idea why they wouldn't spend the extra money to get the other "e' in "Every") and IntheBarrel (which they call a comfort bike). Also, I am guessing 7 speeds is better than 3, even for a starter bike, right? I admit, part of me is drawn to these bikes because they are in the right price point. I've seen some higher end ones that were really nice (Electra and Trek I think), but I don't want to spend that kind of money. (I will of course, do my due diligence to see if I can find a well priced slightly used model if needed.)

I'd also appreciate any recommendations for bikes that might suit me. With regards to my biking plans, it would essentially be for leisure and for a little exercise. The good thing about living in Houston is there are a good number of place you can ride a bike. I'd guess I'd start with a few miles and then work up to 15 or 20 mile rides (I'm thinking 30 - 45 minutes of riding when I start and the work up to 60 - 90 minutes over the time).

Thanks in advance.

P.S. I can't post URLs because I don't have 10 posts, but both bikes are on the sixthreezero website and can be accessed easily.
I would urge you to re think your plan. Why spend $500 on a bike you plan to replace in a year, or more likely 6 months? Why not just go for the bike you see yourself riding a year from now? Alternately, buy something used now with the idea of buying something you really want next year.

No opinion about sixthreezero. Looks like a cruiser, which, long term, isn't a good choice for someone loking to ride 60 to 90 minutes, several times a week for exercise.

Last edited by MRT2; 09-10-17 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 09-10-17, 09:27 AM   #4
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I would urge you to re think your plan. Why spend $500 on a bike you plan to replace in a year, or more likely 6 months? Why not just go for the bike you see yourself riding a year from now? Alternately, buy something used now with the idea of buying something you really want next year.
I would second that opinion. Nothing will turn you off of biking faster than pedaling around on a crappy bike.

Talk to your wife and tell her you're on the "not dropping dead of a heart attack" plan. The cost of a
decent bike is minuscule compared to triple bypass surgery. You will all be better off for it.
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Old 09-10-17, 09:48 AM   #5
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I would second that opinion. Nothing will turn you off of biking faster than pedaling around on a crappy bike.

Talk to your wife and tell her you're on the "not dropping dead of a heart attack" plan. The cost of a
decent bike is minuscule compared to triple bypass surgery. You will all be better off for it.
X3. For "around $500" you can get a decent bike like the Trek FX or similar offerings from Cannondale, Specialized, etc. The SixThreeZero bikes look heavy and are very much cruisers--great for riding along the beach maybe, but will be out of their element on longer or undulating rides...

As recommended above, i would seriously consider a nice used road bike or a new one from a reputable manufacturer.
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Old 09-10-17, 10:21 AM   #6
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I second the Trek FX or Cannondale Quick as great hybrid starter bikes that are affordable. I started on Trek FX and still have it. I got a road bike the following year once I started riding with a group and couldn't keep up on the hybrid.

Maybe see if the wife would like to join you getting fit and get matching hybrids?
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Old 09-10-17, 11:19 AM   #7
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if you want a road bike get one, if you want a gravel bike get one, if you want a hybrid or mountain bike get one.

Buy the bike you want to ride. Any bike can be made to fit you with the swapping out of a few components as long as the frame is the right size for you. A road or gravel bike can be fitted with a handlebar stem that has a more upward angle to get you sitting more upright... don't worry eventually you will change this part as your fitness and flexibility increase.

Most frames will hold you, the problem you will have is the lawyer limits some companies put on the max weight capacity on their bike frames. at 300 pounds you will need a wheelset upgrade on any bike other than a mountain bike.

Don't be afraid of Carbon fiber, or aluminum for frame and fork material as both will work well ... heck I ride carbon and rode aluminum and I am 50 pounds heavier than you.
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Old 09-10-17, 07:50 PM   #8
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I would urge you to re think your plan. Why spend $500 on a bike you plan to replace in a year, or more likely 6 months? Why not just go for the bike you see yourself riding a year from now? Alternately, buy something used now with the idea of buying something you really want next year.

No opinion about sixthreezero. Looks like a cruiser, which, long term, isn't a good choice for someone loking to ride 60 to 90 minutes, several times a week for exercise.
Thanks for your input. As with many, money is a somewhat finite resource and I'd rather make a relatively small investment and make sure I "get the biking bug" than spend $1,000+ for a fancy garage ornament. That being said, looking for a used one is a good idea and I'll search Craigslist a bit. I'm also visiting New Orleans for a few days and this a biking city, so I'm going to go see what they have here. Might find something that will make me splurge a bit.
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Old 09-10-17, 07:55 PM   #9
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I was in your exact same position back in May. I wanted to start exercising again but I didn't want to walk anymore so I decided to take up biking since my father and brother are big into it. My father gave me some great advice that has worked out well. He told me to jump in with both feet, get a nice bike as well as all the needed accessories such as padded shorts, jersey, riding gloves, do-rag (I highly recommend a Halo) and a helmet with good ventilation.

I started out in the high 380's so I wanted to make sure I got the right bike. I ended up falling in love with the first bike I saw and even though the bike worked out, the LBS (local bike shop) not so much. Make sure you shop around, be frank and tell whoever you talk to to do so as well about your weight. Just about any good hybrid (meaning a real brand and NOT a department store bike) will hold your weight fine, the only thing that will probably need an upgrade will be your rear wheel, that is the weak spot for Clydes as spokes get broken on factory low spoke count wheels. As you shop around ask questions and see how they respond. You want to shop for an LBS just as much as a bike.

I ended up going with a Jamis DXT Comp and it worked out great as a first bike. Setting myself up for success worked out fantastically and I quickly went from doing 2miles rides that wiped me out up to 8, then 15 and now I regularly do 30+ and have done as many as 54 miles in a single ride. I ended up buying a road bike because I could not get further than 35 miles on my hybrid. I was told back when I started that I should consider a road bike to start, because if I got serious I would want a road bike sooner rather than later and it ended up true. However, I still use my hybrid for riding crushed limestone because I don't want my pretty road bike getting all dirty or chipped on gravel. If you want to stick to one bike you might consider a road bike and have the LBS set it up so you are in an upright position to start out. I know it might seem like a stretch now, I know I thought it seemed insane that I would be riding 50 mile rides the same summer I started but it happened.

Good luck!
Thanks for your input. Perhaps I'm being a bit short sighted so when I go back to the bike shop (I did make one trip), I'll open up the options a bit.

Perhaps I have to say that I should spend more now as opposed to two separate purchases. Also, I've read some good things about Jamis bikes, so thanks for reaffirming their capabilities.

Congrats on your success with biking and improving your overall health. That's inspiring to me, and frankly, I struggle with getting motivated, but your story helped me.
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Old 09-10-17, 07:57 PM   #10
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I would second that opinion. Nothing will turn you off of biking faster than pedaling around on a crappy bike.

Talk to your wife and tell her you're on the "not dropping dead of a heart attack" plan. The cost of a
decent bike is minuscule compared to triple bypass surgery. You will all be better off for it.
Lol. Well when you put it that way... The cost limit isn't from my wife, it is self imposed. However, your point is well taken.
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Old 09-10-17, 08:55 PM   #11
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Thanks for your input. As with many, money is a somewhat finite resource and I'd rather make a relatively small investment and make sure I "get the biking bug" than spend $1,000+ for a fancy garage ornament. That being said, looking for a used one is a good idea and I'll search Craigslist a bit. I'm also visiting New Orleans for a few days and this a biking city, so I'm going to go see what they have here. Might find something that will make me splurge a bit.
Fair point, but if you go cheap, you might not get the biking bug at all because you don't like riding all that much. Put another way, you will never know if you just don't like riding or if you don't like riding YOUR bike.

Or you get a $500 hybrid, invest another couple of hundred to upgrade the wheels, then realize you should have spent $1,000, or $1,200, at which point, you now have two bikes and have just spent $1,600 or $1,800 for TWO bikes when you could have bought what you really wanted in the first place, for $800, $1,000 or $1,200 (or whatever).

Last edited by MRT2; 09-10-17 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 09-11-17, 07:31 AM   #12
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Fair point, but if you go cheap, you might not get the biking bug at all because you don't like riding all that much. Put another way, you will never know if you just don't like riding or if you don't like riding YOUR bike.

Or you get a $500 hybrid, invest another couple of hundred to upgrade the wheels, then realize you should have spent $1,000, or $1,200, at which point, you now have two bikes and have just spent $1,600 or $1,800 for TWO bikes when you could have bought what you really wanted in the first place, for $800, $1,000 or $1,200 (or whatever).
Good point. Thanks again. I really appreciate your insight and willingness to help.
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Old 09-11-17, 07:33 AM   #13
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if you want a road bike get one, if you want a gravel bike get one, if you want a hybrid or mountain bike get one.

Buy the bike you want to ride. Any bike can be made to fit you with the swapping out of a few components as long as the frame is the right size for you. A road or gravel bike can be fitted with a handlebar stem that has a more upward angle to get you sitting more upright... don't worry eventually you will change this part as your fitness and flexibility increase.

Most frames will hold you, the problem you will have is the lawyer limits some companies put on the max weight capacity on their bike frames. at 300 pounds you will need a wheelset upgrade on any bike other than a mountain bike.

Don't be afraid of Carbon fiber, or aluminum for frame and fork material as both will work well ... heck I ride carbon and rode aluminum and I am 50 pounds heavier than you.
Dagray, thanks. I'll consider those frames as well. Like like whatever I get, it will come down to getting the right wheels.
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Old 09-11-17, 07:40 AM   #14
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I would recommend that a $500 for a first bike budget is more than sufficient for a hybrid/mtb/city style bike. You will have to be judicious and likely find a sale but it's very doable.

My "city" bike is a GT Traffic I got on sale at Performance Bike. It cost sub $500, I added a rack and a comfortable seat and I ride it more than my $3K plus bike. It rides fine.
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Old 09-11-17, 10:31 AM   #15
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While the $500 budget should get you riding, as has been pointed out, you probably won't get the "biking bug" if you're on a cruiser. It's just not meant for exercise long-term. It'll get you riding, but you'll be looking for something else soon enough.

Used is a good idea.

Skip the cruiser ...
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Old 09-11-17, 10:33 AM   #16
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Lol. Well when you put it that way... The cost limit isn't from my wife, it is self imposed. However, your point is well taken.
Go to your doctor and have him diagnose you with "obesity." Because you're obese, that's gonna be OK. Then have him recommend "low impact exercise: ride a bike" as part of your treatment. Which will also be OK because that's actually pretty good treatment for obesity. At that point, money you spend to lose weight is a qualified medical expense for tax purposes, and you can write it off. If you have an HSA, you can use that money to buy the bike. Have him give you a "letter of medical necessity" and it's fully re-reimbursable.

I wrote down almost $6K in weight loss programs that way. If I was still obese I'd have written my new bike down, too. Being fat has a couple of perks.
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Old 09-11-17, 01:50 PM   #17
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Fair point, but if you go cheap, you might not get the biking bug at all because you don't like riding all that much. Put another way, you will never know if you just don't like riding or if you don't like riding YOUR bike.

Or you get a $500 hybrid, invest another couple of hundred to upgrade the wheels, then realize you should have spent $1,000, or $1,200, at which point, you now have two bikes and have just spent $1,600 or $1,800 for TWO bikes when you could have bought what you really wanted in the first place, for $800, $1,000 or $1,200 (or whatever).
But this way he will be well on his way to "N+1"
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Old 09-12-17, 06:55 AM   #18
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Hi. I just want to thank everyone who has replied so far. I'd like to reply to every one, but I am limited to 5 posts/day. I like the HSA idea and some of the other ones. Looks like the key will be working with the bike shop on the right wheels.

I'll keep everyone posted on what I finally end up doing. I'll shamefully ask even more basic questions, particularly if I end up starting with a used bike.

All the options are exciting, but a bit overwhelming since I'm not versed enough to know which way to go. Also, I can't recall if I said this, but the $500 limit was self imposed by me (I'm the cheapskate). I'll check out some of the other bikes mentioned and will pass on the sixthreezero or other cruiser like bikes. It is harder to pick a bike than a four wheeled vehicle lol. There appears to be something for every taste, which is a good thing, but some bike makers seem to strive to confuse new purchasers (like my myself with limited knowledge).

Thanks to everyone who is sharing their awesome knowledge. (Please keep doing so.)
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Old 09-12-17, 07:12 AM   #19
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But this way he will be well on his way to "N+1"
Do I even want to know what N+1 is?
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Old 09-12-17, 07:26 AM   #20
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But this way he will be well on his way to "N+1"
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Do I even want to know what N+1 is?
It is an inside joke in this, and other online cycling communities. N + 1 is the formula for the ideal number of bikes a person needs, N being the number of bikes one currently owns. So, one more.

Though there is a kernel of truth to the joke, I would urge you to avoid this pitfall if you can.

Better to be a cyclist who loves his bike so much he cannot imagine riding anything else, than to be a cyclist obsessively chasing down cycling Nirvana with the next shiny new bike.
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Old 09-12-17, 07:32 AM   #21
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It is an inside joke in this, and other online cycling communities. N + 1 is the formula for the ideal number of bikes a person needs, N being the number of bikes one currently owns. So, one more.

Though there is a kernel of truth to the joke, I would urge you to avoid this pitfall if you can.

Better to be a cyclist who loves his bike so much he cannot imagine riding anything else, than to be a cyclist obsessively chasing down cycling Nirvana with the next shiny new bike.
Lol. Thanks. I'll do my best. I'll know by this weekend I think which way I'll go.
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Old 09-13-17, 09:32 AM   #22
TheBlackPumpkin
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@OP

Do what is best for your budget, but if you have the extra money and are just being cheap, go ahead with the nicer bike. I personally grew up riding my bike miles every day and loved it. So I already had a underlying enjoyment for bike riding. If you aren't sure if you're going to like it, it might be better to buy a cheaper bike. Contrary to what some people have been saying, $500 is more than enough to get a very respectable bike. You don't need to spend over $1000 to get a decent bike. While the line of quality is massive between a $500 and $1500 bike, a $500 bike isn't as bad as it's being made to sound.

I bought a Specialized Hardrock (MTB) off of craigslist last year for $80, (blue book is something like 250 used, 500 new.) I love the bike, despite having to have a new front break put on and some basic realignment of the chain / gears. Even after accessories and what I had to pay to fix the bike, as well as a helmet, I spent about $250 - $300. (Oh, I also threw some wide(ish) road tires on it. In your price range, I think you're better off going with a Hybrid or a MTB with large wheels (26" - 29") as it'll easily support your weight. For me, the issue is that even $1500 bikes are risky at my weight (430lbs), so I'd rather use a cheaper bike, drop some weight and upgrade when I've lost some of the weight. That being said, I'm far from an experienced Cyclist, so my opinion probably doesn't really mean all that much, but in my albeit limited experience, you don't have to break the bank to get started.

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Old 09-13-17, 10:00 AM   #23
Aahzz
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A Trek FX2, Giant Escape 2, or the like are perfectly reasonable bikes in the $500-ish (just under, actually) price range. I'm approaching 700 miles on the FX2 I bought in June, and feel no need to "upgrade". It's a good, solid, comfortable ride - and it left me money left over for a better helmet, a rack, a new saddle (no stock saddle is going to be great, in general), pump, bike shorts....you get the idea. Remember to budget for the accesories!!!
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Old 09-13-17, 09:42 PM   #24
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Consider an ebike

I know, that's another forum. When I was, more or less, in your boat...I realized that they only way I was going to get enough miles in, was to replace my work commute (at that time about 7 miles each way) with biking. However, I couldn't take my 15-30m car commute and turn it into an hour+ (big hills) most days (not to mention old knee damage...). So I took a look at the ebikes available. Long story short, within a short time my bike commute was a consistent 25m. I slowly reduced the amount of power assist. These days, my commute is 13m each way...

I selected a Stromer ST1. Tastes vary, check out a shop with a broad selection. Brands like Haibike, Surface Boar, Stromer and/or perhaps a cargo bike if your daily needs involve carrying a bunch of stuff. A good ebike will be a *lot* more; but I found it much more effective for me. Indeed, last October I got rid of my car ... which admittedly I regret a little bit when it's 10 df and snowing ;>
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Old 09-13-17, 10:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aahzz View Post
A Trek FX2, Giant Escape 2, or the like are perfectly reasonable bikes in the $500-ish (just under, actually) price range. I'm approaching 700 miles on the FX2 I bought in June, and feel no need to "upgrade". It's a good, solid, comfortable ride - and it left me money left over for a better helmet, a rack, a new saddle (no stock saddle is going to be great, in general), pump, bike shorts....you get the idea. Remember to budget for the accesories!!!
Thanks. The accessories is what kind of changed my budget. I was initially thinking about $750 for a bike, but then learned I might need a new saddle, plus other things like a helmet, bike shorts, and a light because I will have to ride early mornings or late in the evenings based on my work schedule and family responsibilities. What I didn't think about was a rack, disc brakes (which I read might be the right answer), and fenders. Which makes me ask... do fenders really do a great job on keep the grit off of you?
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