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Unsure about cycle brand to choose for 330+ rider

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Unsure about cycle brand to choose for 330+ rider

Old 01-03-22, 08:41 PM
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Unsure about cycle brand to choose for 330+ rider

Hi! I have previously used to bike casually for exercise until a wreck totaled it. Some decades later I've gained a little weight, 337 to be exact; I'm also 6' 5". So I've been doing some research on what to get and all I get is some bikes going for 2,300 to 3,000. If that's not all, I see so many recommendations for this Mongoose "Dolomite" style of bike. Been to cycle shops that always tend to recommend a hybrid.


So making the long story short, I get the idea about having enough spokes to keep the wheels' integrity, don't necessarily need shocks on a bike, can do hardtail. Just looking for something that can handle my said weight and up to 350 lbs.


As of this post I was also recommended bikes like Cannondale Quick 5, Giant Escape 2 and Momentum Vida.


In advance, I greatly appreciate any suggestions!
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Old 01-04-22, 02:45 AM
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Do you have a particular style of bike you would prefer to be on given you already have some riding experience?

My go to recommendation is a low end 29er MTB. IMO they’re the most versatile bike. Built MTB strong so should have less problems with your weight and their generally narrower MTB rims give you access to a truly wide array of tyres so you can easily and relatively cheaply change the ride characteristics going for road race slicks to MTB knobby tyres and everything in between.

To start with you can get away with the largest offerings from nearly all manufacturers, but if you get keen, a properly fitting bike won’t be cheap. I have lived this story being 6’5” myself.

On another note, I’d be cautious of Cannondale as some of their bikes use proprietary bits that I read of people having issues with when they start looking for alternative parts
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Old 01-04-22, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by brawlo
Do you have a particular style of bike you would prefer to be on given you already have some riding experience?
My go to recommendation is a low end 29er MTB. IMO they’re the most versatile bike.
I'd also go this route as well.

Consider what Trek has to offer - although their parts are inhouse, they are also generic sizing so you can swap out parts fairly easily, and they also have some good sizing options.
I would however stay away from dropper seatposts - they are probably more hassle for you at this stage.
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...rCode=greydark
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Old 01-04-22, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by brawlo
Do you have a particular style of bike you would prefer to be on given you already have some riding experience?

My go to recommendation is a low end 29er MTB. IMO they’re the most versatile bike. Built MTB strong so should have less problems with your weight and their generally narrower MTB rims give you access to a truly wide array of tires so you can easily and relatively cheaply change the ride characteristics going for road race slicks to MTB knobby tyres and everything in between.

To start with you can get away with the largest offerings from nearly all manufacturers, but if you get keen, a properly fitting bike won’t be cheap. I have lived this story being 6’5” myself.

On another note, I’d be cautious of Cannondale as some of their bikes use proprietary bits that I read of people having issues with when they start looking for alternative parts
Thanks for the heads up on Cannondale. I'm comfortable riding any type, as long the frame supports my height, so I have no particular style. Also forgot to mention my price range for now is anywhere from 700 to 900 range
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Old 01-04-22, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SquishyBiker
I'd also go this route as well.

Consider what Trek has to offer - although their parts are inhouse, they are also generic sizing so you can swap out parts fairly easily, and they also have some good sizing options.
I would however stay away from dropper seatposts - they are probably more hassle for you at this stage
Somewhat familiar with Trek. I'll check them out, might have to stretch my budget some though.
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Old 01-04-22, 06:47 PM
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I'd get a good, but older, rigid steel frame MTB. They are plentiful, lots of 26 tire choices. They are also cheap. If the goal is to just get out and ride, then an old school rigid frame MTB will do that just fine. MTB suspensions tend to not be made for someone your size.

And regardless of your budget, its OK to spend less! I've owned a lot of bikes, still own quite a few. My go to bike continues to be my 1988 Schwinn Cimarron.

Yes, you can spend $10,000 or even more on some bikes. But you don't have to. There are even some bike co-ops in Houston that can get you started!
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Old 01-04-22, 07:09 PM
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I'll second the older cro-mo mtb. Also, a good steel touring bike is a good training stand-in for a clyde road bike. My Surly Long Haul Trucker has been great for this purpose. I was somewhere north of 370 when I started riding some (hiked more, until I got closer to 300) and it held up great. The stock wheels, 36h Alex Adventurers, are still true even.

I also built, later, what would be a fabulous Clyde Ryde out of an old Bianchi Ocelot with some 40h/36h Velocity wheels I bought a while back. As I'm a roadie and decided to use it as a Winter trainer, I mounted drop bars and bar end shifters. I like this bike a lot more than I thought I would. A neighbor gave me the original bike in exchange for a couple clean/tuneups, so the cost was mostly parts I had laying around, and the long pull brake levers.



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Old 01-04-22, 07:21 PM
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Touring bikes are built to carry a heavy load, so a touring bike, new or used, should be strong enough.
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Old 01-04-22, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by velojym
I'll second the older cro-mo mtb. Also, a good steel touring bike is a good training stand-in for a clyde road bike. My Surly Long Haul Trucker has been great for this purpose. I was somewhere north of 370 when I started riding some (hiked more, until I got closer to 300) and it held up great. The stock wheels, 36h Alex Adventurers, are still true even.
As a matter of fact, I was just looking at Surly Long Haul on their website. Found one shop in my city that possibly carries them. I'll definitely consider Surly.
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Old 01-04-22, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
Touring bikes are built to carry a heavy load, so a touring bike, new or used, should be strong enough.
Did come up on Surlys' website and they do look solid.
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Old 01-04-22, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JCS1971
Hi! I have previously used to bike casually for exercise until a wreck totaled it. Some decades later I've gained a little weight, 337 to be exact; I'm also 6' 5". So I've been doing some research on what to get and all I get is some bikes going for 2,300 to 3,000. If that's not all, I see so many recommendations for this Mongoose "Dolomite" style of bike. Been to cycle shops that always tend to recommend a hybrid.


So making the long story short, I get the idea about having enough spokes to keep the wheels' integrity, don't necessarily need shocks on a bike, can do hardtail. Just looking for something that can handle my said weight and up to 350 lbs.


As of this post I was also recommended bikes like Cannondale Quick 5, Giant Escape 2 and Momentum Vida.


In advance, I greatly appreciate any suggestions!
Surly Bridge Club would be a great bike for you.
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Old 01-04-22, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by brawlo
On another note, I’d be cautious of Cannondale as some of their bikes use proprietary bits that I read of people having issues with when they start looking for alternative parts
This is true of every brand and nothing particular to C-dale, also not a point of worry at the given price point.

OP: the surly isn't a bad recommendation. If you're just looking for fitness I'd be inclined towards the c-dale quick that you mentioned or a trek FX bike, both will be upright and comfortable and probably not ride much differently then the surly touring bike. Similarly relaxed geometry, longer stays, wider tires. The surly will have drop bars which I prefer for variety of hand positions but a basic set of bar ends will offer another grip on the hybrids. The surly will have a wheel advantage, that said I had a friend who's heavier ride his marlin hybrid for 4 years before the wheels became a problem and he put in plenty of miles every year. I built him a new set of wheels which can be a later, good investment on any bike, and he's been trouble free for the last 8 years now. Make sure any bike you buy has an 8, 9, 10sp cassette wheel. If its 7sp it'll be a different hub design that's old and weak and should have been abandoned over 20 years ago.

Regarding the dolomite, there's a desire to have heavier riders on fat bikes like the lighter bikes can't hold up. This is nonsense, worse, fat bikes are typically outside your price range unless its something like a mongoose dolomite and they won't be good for your weight. The rims are stronger but the cheaper versions are 7sp freewheel and those are weak.
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Old 01-05-22, 12:10 AM
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Whatever it is you get, get something with a freehub.

A freewheel tends to be found on cheaper offerings. You don't want it. A freewheel is just a poor design, even for people 1/3rd your weight. what good is 32 or 36 beautiful spokes if the axle bends or breaks constantly?

A freehub is worth the cost in avoided heartache alone.

While you're shopping, you might want to avoid single piston mechanical disc brakes. They fit awkwardly in the low/mid price point & may seem like a feature, but they're really there to put lipstick on a pig. Weak & not worth the hassle.

If you can't afford or find full-on hydraulic disc (best), you might find dual piston mechanical adequate/available depending on what bike you are looking at. For the money difference, hydro may be better.

They are out of fashion, but honestly at your budget, rim brakes brakes will still be a better bang for your buck than single piston disc & stop a million times better.

TL;DR: A wheel with a freehub & rim brakes is a good solid combo to save a few dollars
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Old 01-05-22, 08:11 AM
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A few years ago I started riding again at 330 lbs. I bought a Trek FX and lost 70 lbs riding (and dieting). I did pop a couple of spokes until I got under 300 but otherwise the bike held up fine. I still have it today.
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Old 01-05-22, 10:35 AM
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I would highly recommended Cannondale. they have frames that are or were higher rated then most big brands. Their CX bikes are good to 360 or used to be.
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Old 01-05-22, 11:00 AM
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There a re a few things to look out for as a heavier cyclist, but these are really long-term durability of parts like wheels and bearings and seatposts, and all these can be dealt with if/when they become problems. Really, just about any bike that fits will be acceptable, aside from some of the most superlight road racing bikes, and if you are prepared to make a couple modifications or repairs as moving parts not built for bigger cyclists begin to wear out.

At 6'5" your limiting factor will be that you need a very large bike frame that might not be available in all models or styles. Seriously, many brands sell what they call an 'XL' size that will likely be too small for you, and many brands only make sizes up to what they call 'Large', which is a sure sign it's not gonna work. If you get a bike that is too small it will not be properly comfortable and you are likely to get discouraged from riding. This is my experience as a lifetime cyclist who has at times been up close to/slightly over 300# and is also 6'5". Some modifications can be made, like stem risers and extra-long seatposts, but these are usually just bandaids to cover the root cause, which is a bike that doesn't fit.

Generally speaking, a 'flat bar' bike (mountain bike or hybrid) needs to have at least a 22" seat tube for a strapping lad such as yourself, preferably 23"-24". A 'drop bar' (road, cyclocross, gravel) frame with traditional road geometry needs to be at least 62cm, while modern sloping top tube bike might fit even if they call the frame size 58cm or 60 cm.... most companies have gone to S/M/L/XL sizing because it's not really possible to compare two bikes just because they both claim to have a 60cm frame size.

As for price, yeah, $2k is IMO a reasonable starting point for a bike that can actually last a few seasons of regular use. Cheaper bikes are available, but expect to need to start replacing moving and load-bearing parts soon after purchase. IF money is tight, there are lots of 2nd hand bikes around, but 2nd hand bikes aren't available in multiple sizes for you to try, so you have to know what you are looking for. Buying 2nd hand is also a good way to save some $$$$ so you can easily upgrade bits like the rear wheel to a sturdier model.
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Old 01-05-22, 11:10 AM
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Just looked on Houston CL and found an ad for a 'Soma Smoothie ES' in XL size. It's a drop-bar road bike, so maybe not what you ar elooking for, but the asking price is $475. That could be a good thing to check out.

There is also a trek 1200 road bike in 64cm on Cl

There is also an older Fuji road bike with a very large frame. THe rear wheel might need to be upgraded before you do any major mileage on that one, but Fujis are great bikes.

I didn't see any mountain bikes or hybrids with XL frames, but I only took a quick look. Check out Zuckerbergs Marketplace as that typically also has lots of activity.

NB, the first ad at the top of the 'bikes' category on CL was definitely an XL, and some folks would enjoy riding it, but it was NSFW and not bicycle related! You've been warned.
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Old 01-05-22, 11:14 AM
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If you want to stick to a tight budget this is available in 64cm:

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ng-bikes-v.htm

At $600 that leaves money for a new stem, handlebars, saddle, etc to dial in the fit.
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Old 01-05-22, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JCS1971
Hi! I have previously used to bike casually for exercise until a wreck totaled it. Some decades later I've gained a little weight, 337 to be exact; I'm also 6' 5" ...
Another route might be: acquire a decently strong frame+fork, then build up your own bike.

One nice thing about that is you'd be able to spec out a good-quality, high-strength wheel set, and you might be able to use a number of other spare parts that you've got (or that can be found pre-owned at a nearby bike co-op or shop). It'd likely be more cost-effective to do it that way, in order to ensure it's strong enough both with the frame+fork as well as the wheel set. Otherwise, with most any off-the-shelf sub-$1K bike you're likely to find it's going to come with wheels that'll be highly strained at that load. You could have them rebuilt, or wait until they begin popping spokes (which I'd think is fairly likely). But going DIY starting with a good frame is one way around that.

Something like, for example, the Surly Bridge Club. Supports brakes with big rotors. Supports wheels in 26", 27.5" and 700c/29'er sizes. You could have the shop build it up with basic components and then install your own wheel set. Or you could piece it together as you pick up individual parts (or those taken from other bikes you've had or acquire as "parts" bikes). All told, it won't be a sub-$1K bike. But Surly's basic "built" price for the Bridge Club is $1200. But it's all but guaranteed to be stronger than most anything else you're likely to find at anything near that price.

JMO.
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Old 01-05-22, 03:19 PM
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JCS1971 I'm in Kingwood, TX (Northeast Houston). HMU if you want to get together for a ride.
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Old 01-06-22, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530
I would highly recommended Cannondale. they have frames that are or were higher rated then most big brands. Their CX bikes are good to 360 or used to be.
Just came from a local bike shop not too far from where I work. Looks like they have a Quick CX 4. Plan on going back on the weekend to see if they have it, but right now I'm leaning towards Surly Crosscheck.
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Old 01-06-22, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820
Another route might be: acquire a decently strong frame+fork, then build up your own bike.

One nice thing about that is you'd be able to spec out a good-quality, high-strength wheel set, and you might be able to use a number of other spare parts that you've got (or that can be found pre-owned at a nearby bike co-op or shop). It'd likely be more cost-effective to do it that way, in order to ensure it's strong enough both with the frame+fork as well as the wheel set. Otherwise, with most any off-the-shelf sub-$1K bike you're likely to find it's going to come with wheels that'll be highly strained at that load. You could have them rebuilt, or wait until they begin popping spokes (which I'd think is fairly likely). But going DIY starting with a good frame is one way around that.

Something like, for example, the Surly Bridge Club. Supports brakes with big rotors. Supports wheels in 26", 27.5" and 700c/29'er sizes. You could have the shop build it up with basic components and then install your own wheel set. Or you could piece it together as you pick up individual parts (or those taken from other bikes you've had or acquire as "parts" bikes). All told, it won't be a sub-$1K bike. But Surly's basic "built" price for the Bridge Club is $1200. But it's all but guaranteed to be stronger than most anything else you're likely to find at anything near that price.

JMO.
The Surly comes up quite a bit. So, I visited a bike shop not far from my job and was shown two bikes. One was a Surly Crosscheck and the other was Salsa Rangefinder. I'm leaning towards Surly after a test spin on it. Would love to know more about Salsa though, never heard of them.
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Old 01-06-22, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by JCS1971
The Surly comes up quite a bit. So, I visited a bike shop not far from my job and was shown two bikes. One was a Surly Crosscheck and the other was Salsa Rangefinder. I'm leaning towards Surly after a test spin on it. Would love to know more about Salsa though, never heard of them.
I commuted on a Surly Crosscheck for many years. I have never rode a Salsa, so this aint very helpful. But the Crosscheck is a great bike.
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Old 01-06-22, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JCS1971
The Surly comes up quite a bit. So, I visited a bike shop not far from my job and was shown two bikes. One was a Surly Crosscheck and the other was Salsa Rangefinder. I'm leaning towards Surly after a test spin on it. Would love to know more about Salsa though, never heard of them.
Salsa is under the same umbrella corp as Surly - Quality Bike Products. The 2 brands have different themes - Surly is basic, steel, utilitarian; Salsa is more modern carbon and aluminum.

Salsa Rangefinder is a plus-size-tired mountain bike. It can handle rougher terrain than a Crosscheck, but it will be less efficient on pavement.
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Old 01-06-22, 07:17 PM
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Well, that's it, Surly Crosscheck it is! Thanks to all for your help!
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