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Suggest a Bicycle for 6'2 345 lb. Rider( Newbie to Geared bicycles)

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Suggest a Bicycle for 6'2 345 lb. Rider( Newbie to Geared bicycles)

Old 12-30-20, 09:49 AM
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aquafina
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Suggest a Bicycle for 6'2 345 lb. Rider( Newbie to Geared bicycles)

Hi everyone. I am new here and I am sorry if this has been asked before. I went through some posts in this forum & r*ddit to find a bicycle that suit my needs and I got confused. My primary goal is to reduce weight and I stay in Toronto. I would be riding the bicycle 80% in roads & pavements and 20% in trails. My budget is around 2000 CAD and I would like to buy a new bicycle if possible.

After going through the posts in this forum and r*ddit, I saw many people recommending Trek 520 Disc, Cannondale Trail 7, and Trek 1120( fat bike). I was interested in Specialized Allez Elite and Sport but many people mentioned Specialized bikes are high maintenance. Suggest me something that would let me ride in a upright, relaxed posture in roads for longer distances. I would like to ride more with increase in my stamina. Also suggest me if I need to make any changes to stock saddle to make it comfortable.

Also, I have one question off topic. I rode bicycles till I was 18 years but all the bicycles I rode were gearless. Is it going to be a problem to ride geared bicycles now? I rode geared motorbikes for many years but not bicycles. Thanks and cheers in advance.

Last edited by aquafina; 12-30-20 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 12-30-20, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by aquafina View Post
Hi everyone. I am new here and I am sorry if this has been asked before. I went through some posts in this forum & r*ddit to find a bicycle that suit my needs and I got confused. My primary goal is to reduce weight and I stay in Toronto. I would be riding the bicycle 80% in roads & pavements and 20% in trails. My budget is around 2000 CAD and I would like to buy a new bicycle if possible.

After going through the posts in this forum and r*ddit, I saw many people recommending Trek 520 Disc, Cannondale Trail 7, and Trek 1120( fat bike). I was interested in Specialized Allez Elite and Sport but many people mentioned Specialized bikes are high maintenance. Suggest me something that would let me ride in a upright, relaxed posture in roads for longer distances. I would like to ride more with increase in my stamina. Also suggest me if I need to make any changes to stock saddle to make it comfortable.

Also, I have one question off topic. I rode bicycles till I was 18 years but all the bicycles I rode were gearless. Is it going to be a problem to ride geared bicycles now? I rode geared motorbikes for many years but not bicycles. Thanks and cheers in advance.
OK, there are a lot of issues in your post. I will try my best as a larger guy (250 lbs plus, sometimes a little heavier) to answer your questions.
First, aside from learning how to shift, there should be no issue with a bigger guy riding geared bicycles.

Now for the tougher issue. Some bikes come with weight limits. Some will tell you not to worry about it, and in general, they might be right, but if a bike has a weight limit of 250 or 275 lbs and you weigh 340, that is something to consider. That is probably going to be an issue with any carbon frame bike, but expecially the Specialized Allez Elite, which, in any case might be too aggressive a geometry for you at this point in your cycling journey.

And speaking of weight limits, you should consider the issue of wheels and weight. Basically, a lot of stock wheels aren't great to begin with, but especially not for a rider weighing more than 200, and especially more than 300 lbs. Which is why a lot of people might be recommending a bike like the Trek 520, as that is a bike built for loaded touring, so likely comes with touring wheels with 36 spokes. You will hear some people say that spoke count doesn't matter, but I can tell you as a heavier rider, it does. So whatever bike you buy, make sure your wheels are properly tensioned, and you might even want to ditch the stock wheels and get yourself a set of hand built touring wheels to better accomodate your weight. A few extra grams of weight won't make a lot of difference on the road, but it will save your butt in terms of confidence in your wheels, because nobody likes to deal with popped spokes, which will make your wheels unsafe and unrideable.

Riding position. Upright and relaxed as opposed to aggressive and aerodynamic. More upright is easier for beginners, but less aerodynamic. As you get more fit by losing weight and strengthening your core, and flexible (depending on other factors such as if you already have back problems), you might start feeling more fcomfortable in a more aggressive posture which will be more aerodynamic as your body will catch less of the wind. See the problem? Riding too upright isn't great for long distances. But too aggressive might be hard on the back and shoulders if your core isn't conditioned. You will have to find the riding position that best suits you over time based on your weight, fitness, age, pre existing injuries and genetics.

Saddles: Saddles are personal. At first, almost any saddle will be uncomfortable as your posterior gets used to riding. Beyond that, a good pair of shorts with a chamois sewn into them that you wear without underwear can help with chafing. After that, it is trial and error. Don't go for a soft, swishy saddle. You need something with support, not soft a squishy like a couch. I am old school and I ride a Brooks B17 leather saddle. The leather is firm but after years of riding has a little give to it. They take some time to break in but I have mine for 10 years now and I find it very comfortable.
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Old 12-30-20, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
OK, there are a lot of issues in your post. I will try my best as a larger guy (250 lbs plus, sometimes a little heavier) to answer your questions.
First, aside from learning how to shift, there should be no issue with a bigger guy riding geared bicycles.

Now for the tougher issue. Some bikes come with weight limits. Some will tell you not to worry about it, and in general, they might be right, but if a bike has a weight limit of 250 or 275 lbs and you weigh 340, that is something to consider. That is probably going to be an issue with any carbon frame bike, but expecially the Specialized Allez Elite, which, in any case might be too aggressive a geometry for you at this point in your cycling journey.

And speaking of weight limits, you should consider the issue of wheels and weight. Basically, a lot of stock wheels aren't great to begin with, but especially not for a rider weighing more than 200, and especially more than 300 lbs. Which is why a lot of people might be recommending a bike like the Trek 520, as that is a bike built for loaded touring, so likely comes with touring wheels with 36 spokes. You will hear some people say that spoke count doesn't matter, but I can tell you as a heavier rider, it does. So whatever bike you buy, make sure your wheels are properly tensioned, and you might even want to ditch the stock wheels and get yourself a set of hand built touring wheels to better accomodate your weight. A few extra grams of weight won't make a lot of difference on the road, but it will save your butt in terms of confidence in your wheels, because nobody likes to deal with popped spokes, which will make your wheels unsafe and unrideable.

Riding position. Upright and relaxed as opposed to aggressive and aerodynamic. More upright is easier for beginners, but less aerodynamic. As you get more fit by losing weight and strengthening your core, and flexible (depending on other factors such as if you already have back problems), you might start feeling more fcomfortable in a more aggressive posture which will be more aerodynamic as your body will catch less of the wind. See the problem? Riding too upright isn't great for long distances. But too aggressive might be hard on the back and shoulders if your core isn't conditioned. You will have to find the riding position that best suits you over time based on your weight, fitness, age, pre existing injuries and genetics.

Saddles: Saddles are personal. At first, almost any saddle will be uncomfortable as your posterior gets used to riding. Beyond that, a good pair of shorts with a chamois sewn into them that you wear without underwear can help with chafing. After that, it is trial and error. Don't go for a soft, swishy saddle. You need something with support, not soft a squishy like a couch. I am old school and I ride a Brooks B17 leather saddle. The leather is firm but after years of riding has a little give to it. They take some time to break in but I have mine for 10 years now and I find it very comfortable.

Thanks for your detailed reply. The thing is I went to two bicycle shops and there is no bike for my size in display to try them out. They told me that I might have to wait if I want to check the bikes first or I can place a order for the bike I'd like to buy and they would deliver it in January. I don't want to regret later for buying a bike that is not suitable for me. Is Trek 520 a good choice or is there any other bike that you can suggest if possible for city roads and trails. I am 29 years old and I do not have any underlying health conditions other than my weight. Thanks again for your detailed reply. Cheers.
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Old 12-30-20, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by aquafina View Post
Thanks for your detailed reply. The thing is I went to two bicycle shops and there is no bike for my size in display to try them out. They told me that I might have to wait if I want to check the bikes first or I can place a order for the bike I'd like to buy and they would deliver it in January. I don't want to regret later for buying a bike that is not suitable for me. Is Trek 520 a good choice or is there any other bike that you can suggest if possible for city roads and trails. I am 29 years old and I do not have any underlying health conditions other than my weight. Thanks again for your detailed reply. Cheers.
Well, with this COVID 19 business, I imagine shops have less inventory than they did before, and that is a problem. I like to at least try a bike out before buying, so I would suggest you keep looking until you find a shop with something in your size you can actually try out.

The Trek 520 has been around for a long time, and should work for you. It is built for loaded touring, so likely will handle your weight. Surly makes a bike called the Long Haul Trucker, or maybe the Disc Trucker which is similar. On the other hand, a loaded touring bike has a lot of things you might not need, like places to attach racks, fenders, and other things you might need for loaded touring. Other categories of bike are light touring/adventure bikes, hybrids, and even so called urban adventure bikes. https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/sequel.html The fact is, every major brand, and a few niche brands make something similar.
I just sent you a link for the Jamis Sequel. Generally, you want something with a sturdy frame, 9 to 11 speed gearing, and clearance for 32 mm to 40 mm tires to help soak up the bumps of urban riding. Whether you go flat bars or drop bars is up to you. A lot of touring bikes come with drop bars, which I like even if I don't ride low in the drops all that often. But you might do fine with flat bars if your rides are less than 30 miles.
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Old 12-30-20, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Well, with this COVID 19 business, I imagine shops have less inventory than they did before, and that is a problem. I like to at least try a bike out before buying, so I would suggest you keep looking until you find a shop with something in your size you can actually try out.

The Trek 520 has been around for a long time, and should work for you. It is built for loaded touring, so likely will handle your weight. Surly makes a bike called the Long Haul Trucker, or maybe the Disc Trucker which is similar. On the other hand, a loaded touring bike has a lot of things you might not need, like places to attach racks, fenders, and other things you might need for loaded touring. Other categories of bike are light touring/adventure bikes, hybrids, and even so called urban adventure bikes. The fact is, every major brand, and a few niche brands make something similar.
I just sent you a link for the Jamis Sequel. Generally, you want something with a sturdy frame, 9 to 11 speed gearing, and clearance for 32 mm to 40 mm tires to help soak up the bumps of urban riding. Whether you go flat bars or drop bars is up to you. A lot of touring bikes come with drop bars, which I like even if I don't ride low in the drops all that often. But you might do fine with flat bars if your rides are less than 30 miles.
Thanks again for this awesome reply. I'll check out the bikes you mentioned i.e. Surly Trucker and Jamis Sequel. Also, I would enquire more with other bike shops if there is a bike that I can try as even I'd feel more comfortable in buying a bike that I checked out. If nothing works out, I'd have to go with one of the above 3 bikes you suggested and check out bikes with the features you mentioned above. Thank you very much. And Happy new year wishes is advance
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Old 12-30-20, 11:39 AM
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Check out Surly Troll too.
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Old 12-30-20, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Check out Surly Troll too.
Thank you. I would check out that bike too.
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Old 12-30-20, 11:43 AM
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Here is another one for your consideration. This is not an exhaustive list. If you find a dealer who sells, say, Giant, Specialized, Cannondale, or Fuji, or whatever, they will probably have something similar. So focus on what you want, and see if a bike shop can get, or build up what you are looking for.
https://konaworld.com/rove.cfm
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Old 12-30-20, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Here is another one for your consideration. This is not an exhaustive list. If you find a dealer who sells, say, Giant, Specialized, Cannondale, or Fuji, or whatever, they will probably have something similar. So focus on what you want, and see if a bike shop can get, or build up what you are looking for.
Yeah sure. I'll go through all these bikes, zero in on the one or two bikes and talk to the local shops near me and find out. You've given me a good number of bicycles and things/features to look out for in the bike. Thank you
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Old 01-02-21, 05:54 PM
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Well the question is are you talking to a Bike Shop or a Bike Dealer. Big difference... All in all its getting out there and riding. I usually tell people to get something they can afford and get out there and ride. Latter on you can pick and chose your replacement or upgrade.

I have agonised over the dangers of riding a delicate bike at over 300#/136Kg. I have a 1980s Columbus Tubing PR-10 that I won't ride when I'm over 250#/114Kg. I'm on the heavy side right now so I'm sticking with my old 1980s CroMo UNIVEGA.

I would suggest a CroMo Frame with Gravel Bike components for your start. Also don't get sucked in on fancy seats. Your going to need a WIDE SEAT. No extras padding! No springs! Just a wide simple seat. (Female seats are usually wider)

Supposedly there is a seat out there that is comfortable and will allow you to ride all day without any pain. But I think the elves snapped them all up to ride thier unicorns... Ha. Still the search is on...
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Old 01-11-21, 10:55 AM
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I'm sure there are better options, but when I was 330 lbs (6' 2") I bought a Cannondale Quick 5 and it worked great. I made sure to get the right frame size. I'll jot down some thoughts that I did or experienced.
- I thought that TYPE of bike did GREAT for me.
- I bent rims more than I would hope. I bought beefier rims, in a 28mm width. THAT really helped and made for a happier experience.
-- I put 25's up front.
- I added bar ends to give me an option for hand position. Amazed at how well that helped.
- I trained for and completed a 100-mile ride on this bike, and I'd do it again if needed.

As I lost weight, I rewarded myself with an endurance class bike. This class is more of a stretched out road bike and is designed for people who want to regularly do 40-60 milers. Though I like that distance, I got it because of my height and a weight I'd never get below (230 lbs is thin for me).

Like many here, I bounce on my weight. When I go up I get my Cannondale out and ride it until I done suffocate myself bending over for my other bike.
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Old 01-11-21, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Well the question is are you talking to a Bike Shop or a Bike Dealer. Big difference... All in all its getting out there and riding. I usually tell people to get something they can afford and get out there and ride. Latter on you can pick and chose your replacement or upgrade.

I have agonised over the dangers of riding a delicate bike at over 300#/136Kg. I have a 1980s Columbus Tubing PR-10 that I won't ride when I'm over 250#/114Kg. I'm on the heavy side right now so I'm sticking with my old 1980s CroMo UNIVEGA.

I would suggest a CroMo Frame with Gravel Bike components for your start. Also don't get sucked in on fancy seats. Your going to need a WIDE SEAT. No extras padding! No springs! Just a wide simple seat. (Female seats are usually wider)

Supposedly there is a seat out there that is comfortable and will allow you to ride all day without any pain. But I think the elves snapped them all up to ride thier unicorns... Ha. Still the search is on...
Any bikes you can suggest? I spoke with multiple bike shops and these bikes are in stock or can be delivered in 2 weeks. No Dealer has them in store for display and all are to be bought without any trial check. The dealers say that these bikes can handle my weight but cannot guarantee for sure.

Touring/Urban Bikes:
1. Kona Sutra 2021 - Available in 2 weeks
2.Kona Rove DL 2021 - This one is good but the tires are 650b. I am not sure if these tires can handle my weight. 1 month wait time. I really really like this bike and design but scared that 650b cannot handle my weight.
3. Surly Troll (Backordered) - This is suggested by one user above and it is expensive than all the bikes listed here. Is this an overkill for just urban use? I think this would be the option I'd have to choose as this bike is built like a tank.
4.Surly Disc Trucker - Possible delivery after March
5. Giant Escape 2 Disc/ Escape 3 Disc : These are backordered and cheap. I'd have to change the wheels but this is Aluminum frame.

MTB :
Kona Kahuna: One of the dealers has this in order and I really like the 29 tires. Even though its Aluminum frame, I feel like this bike can handle my weight, but I am not sure if this would be easy to ride completely on road.
Kona Lanai : Cheap MTB with 29 tires. Aluminum Frame. Not sure about the quality.
Specialized Rockhopper 29( Normal/Elite/Sport) : This is available to pick up immediately and the store is 100m from my place. If this Aluminum bike can handle my weight, I can go ahead and purchase this as the store is near to me.


Any suggestions are welcome. I'd have to make a blind choice and inputs are highly appreciated.

Last edited by aquafina; 01-11-21 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-11-21, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
I'm sure there are better options, but when I was 330 lbs (6' 2") I bought a Cannondale Quick 5 and it worked great. I made sure to get the right frame size. I'll jot down some thoughts that I did or experienced.
- I thought that TYPE of bike did GREAT for me.
- I bent rims more than I would hope. I bought beefier rims, in a 28mm width. THAT really helped and made for a happier experience.
-- I put 25's up front.
- I added bar ends to give me an option for hand position. Amazed at how well that helped.
- I trained for and completed a 100-mile ride on this bike, and I'd do it again if needed.

As I lost weight, I rewarded myself with an endurance class bike. This class is more of a stretched out road bike and is designed for people who want to regularly do 40-60 milers. Though I like that distance, I got it because of my height and a weight I'd never get below (230 lbs is thin for me).

Like many here, I bounce on my weight. When I go up I get my Cannondale out and ride it until I done suffocate myself bending over for my other bike.
Nice. Quick 5 looks good but not available. Can you suggest any other Cannondale bikes like Quick 5 as Cannondale bike shop is 100m from my place. They deal with Cannondale, Specialized, and Giant bikes.

Thanks in Advance
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Old 01-11-21, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by aquafina View Post
Nice. Quick 5 looks good but not available. Can you suggest any other Cannondale bikes like Quick 5 as Cannondale bike shop is 100m from my place. They deal with Cannondale, Specialized, and Giant bikes.

Thanks in Advance
I'll take a look and see what I can see. I'm sure Trek also has a version (or close) of that bike.
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Old 01-11-21, 09:02 PM
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Check out the trek 8.2DS. I prefer road bikes but for general riding and fitness I'd start with something like a DS or the Quick. Lots of brands have these style of flat bar road bikes and many of them have taken on a gravel bike style which only makes them better.
Don't worry about 650b/27.5, it'll be slightly stronger then 700c owing to the smaller diameter and slightly shorter spokes.
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Old 01-11-21, 09:09 PM
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Trek's hybrids are their FX 7.X series. I started out with a 7.3 (which I still have) before migrating to road bikes. Hybrids are great. I think of mine as a quarter horse, and my road bikes as thoroughbreds.
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Old 01-11-21, 10:09 PM
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I got up to 370 or 380 (doc's scale wouldn't go high enough, so he guessed a range for me. I had to try to verify on a truck scale).

At first, I did mostly hiking and walking, but knew I needed to get back on the bike too. I was scared of folding up one of my already owned bikes, so I went with a Surly Long Haul Trucker. The only modification was swapping the stock wheels with 36h Velocity Chukkers.
Riding sucked at that weight. It sucked bad. But, I mixed a little riding in with a lot of hiking and walking, and as I dropped the weight, my cycling increased to replace the footbound exercise. Good thing, too... my dawgs were barking!
I also put heavier wheels on my Montague Paratrooper, and it served well from about 350 lbs, and I'm still putting most of my miles on those two bikes, without any real maintenance issues. It helps to have a high level of 'mechanical empathy', and you can ride lighter than you are (Grant Petersen goes into depth about that from time to time)

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Old 01-11-21, 11:15 PM
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Aquafina, there is a great resource out there. Lennard Zinn. Bike mechanic and writer for VeloNews (a racing magazine and website but don't let that stop you). He is tall and started building bike frames just to get ones that worked for himself. Realized quickly that all big people had that issue and took it further.

I'm not suggesting yo run out and spend several times your budget on one of his frames! But go to his website and read it. https://zinncycles.com/

His VeloNews column: https://www.velonews.com/byline/lennard-zinn/ (It's mostly about upper end gear now but he occasionally answers questions from heavy riders. One place he is a real resource is wheels for heavy riders. Making contact with him might be very beneficial if you stick this out and start running into wheel issues. He also had a line of :stock" bikes for heavier riders. Still more than you want to pay, but far less than his customs. (Maybe some day.)

I no longer follow him as I have not been on the VeloNews website for several years and it looks like quite a bit has changed, but Lennard Zinn has been at this forever. I knew of him from across the country 40 years ago. There is nothing you will ever encounter that he hasn't seen and dealt with.

(I'm a skinny guy but also an engineer and I love the challenge of making bikes do what I want them to do really well!)
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Old 01-12-21, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
I'll take a look and see what I can see. I'm sure Trek also has a version (or close) of that bike.
I don't see another Cannondale that is near the Quick series, however I see that some others have offered up Trek's version. I think that CLASS of bike may work for you, as it did for you.
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Old 01-12-21, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by aquafina View Post
Hi everyone. I am new here and I am sorry if this has been asked before. I went through some posts in this forum & r*ddit to find a bicycle that suit my needs and I got confused. My primary goal is to reduce weight and I stay in Toronto. I would be riding the bicycle 80% in roads & pavements and 20% in trails. My budget is around 2000 CAD and I would like to buy a new bicycle if possible.

After going through the posts in this forum and r*ddit, I saw many people recommending Trek 520 Disc, Cannondale Trail 7, and Trek 1120( fat bike). I was interested in Specialized Allez Elite and Sport but many people mentioned Specialized bikes are high maintenance. Suggest me something that would let me ride in a upright, relaxed posture in roads for longer distances. I would like to ride more with increase in my stamina. Also suggest me if I need to make any changes to stock saddle to make it comfortable.

Also, I have one question off topic. I rode bicycles till I was 18 years but all the bicycles I rode were gearless. Is it going to be a problem to ride geared bicycles now? I rode geared motorbikes for many years but not bicycles. Thanks and cheers in advance.
Started riding this bike at 350 lbs. 5 months ago, no wheel/spoke issues whatsoever thus far.
Able to put a foot down on the pavement while seated (a very secure feeling) and still get proper leg extension while pedaling.
Comfortable upright position, maintaining lower back Lodorsis. (Which is a great thing if you have back issues.)
Hills can be challenging (but fun) due to gearing, but mainly my weight.
Swap out the tires to the Kenda's so you can go seamlessly from pavement to trails.
Comes in "Tall" size as well.

GOOD LUCK!



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Old 01-12-21, 09:41 PM
  #21  
velojym
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I'd seriously considered the Townie or another crank forward bike, and would probably have had an easier time of it for a while.
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Old 01-14-21, 09:25 PM
  #22  
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These are actual bikes designed for Clydes and Athenas by someone who knows what he is doing (Lennard Zinn): https://bikeclydesdale.com
They are not super cheap bikes but they are reliable and durable bikes that aren't boat anchors but can handle big and tall.

The Rein: can handle up to 450lbs can run 40mm tires and has a nice reliable 1x11 drivetrain and handbuilt wheels which are quite important for a big and tall rider. It is 3450 for the model with Steel fork and looks to be quite a great option for upgrading over time. Certainly would top my list if I was tall and had a little extra to love (not that tall). Yes out of the budget potentially but seemingly one of the few options listed that is actually rated for Clydes. Most of the stuff will probably need a bit of modification to a lot of modification to be a reliable bike over time.
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Old 01-16-21, 02:56 PM
  #23  
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I woulda done this back in my heavier days, but I'll still enjoy it.
Bianchi Ocelot I got in trade for some work I did on a couple other bikes. My Velocity clyde wheels, Jake's old handlebar, and some other parts I had laying around.
Not done yet, but I have the parts for it. Hard to beat an older steel frame for a durable uber-clyde bike.

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Old 01-18-21, 11:54 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by taylorgeo View Post
Started riding this bike at 350 lbs. 5 months ago, no wheel/spoke issues whatsoever thus far.
Able to put a foot down on the pavement while seated (a very secure feeling) and still get proper leg extension while pedaling.
Comfortable upright position, maintaining lower back Lodorsis. (Which is a great thing if you have back issues.)
Hills can be challenging (but fun) due to gearing, but mainly my weight.
Swap out the tires to the Kenda's so you can go seamlessly from pavement to trails.
Comes in "Tall" size as well.

GOOD LUCK!
Townie Step Over Tall has an ETA of May to October. These timelines make me laugh and feel sad at the same time.
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Old 01-18-21, 11:56 AM
  #25  
aquafina
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Originally Posted by velojym View Post
I woulda done this back in my heavier days, but I'll still enjoy it.
Bianchi Ocelot I got in trade for some work I did on a couple other bikes. My Velocity clyde wheels, Jake's old handlebar, and some other parts I had laying around.
Not done yet, but I have the parts for it. Hard to beat an older steel frame for a durable uber-clyde bike.

Thanks for this suggestion. I'll check this out. I prefer steel frame bikes as well
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