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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 10-12-07, 12:38 PM   #1
Syclone
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What do you biggin's suggest?

First off, thank you in advance for this forum and your willingness to help

I need a bike with dual suspension, I have an arthritic lower back. Am definately a Clydesdale at 5'9" and 300 pounds, short legs (29" inseam) and long torso. Will be riding streets with potholes and rolling on and off curbs, occasional dirt and gravel roads but mostly flatland. Can't layout over the crossbar like a racer or MTB (20" neck don't give much to flexibility). Last bike I had was a Schwinn Crusier 20 years ago but don't want to sit totally upright either and would like to shift gears as I plan to burn up some pavement

Looking at spending $1500-2000....I'm serious about losing weight, 53 years old. Haven't seen much in dual suspension metro style bikes, any assistance is greatly appreciated.

It's not too late but it's getting later

Syclone
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Old 10-12-07, 01:04 PM   #2
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I am not aware of any dual suspension "Metro" bikes, what you see more commonly is cruiser style bikes with a light front suspension fork and a suspension seat post, something like a Trek Navigator. My dad has one of these and dispensed with the suspension seat post pretty quickly.

I would suggest you look at dual suspension Cross Country (often referred to as XC) bikes, downhill or all mountain style bikes have too much suspension travel to be effeciently pedaled on the road. XC bikes are relatively light, their suspension travel tends to be in the 3 or 4 inch range and their geometry lends itself well to pedaling on the road. All the major brand names have some models in this category ie: Specialized Epic, Giant Anthem, Kona Kikapu, etc. I know a guy that rides an Epic with thin slicks as his commuter bike, he is lots lighter than you but raves about the ride.
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Old 10-12-07, 01:10 PM   #3
Bill Kapaun
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I would seriously consider looking for a used bike until you are sure of what you want.
Fatter tires offer a degree of "suspension". You might really not want the rear suspension once you try it!
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Old 10-12-07, 01:57 PM   #4
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Dual suspension bikes come in different classes nowadays. At your size I'd stay away from the lightest class which usually the cross country class. On the other hand you don't really need a bike that's built for free riding or downhilling. Something like the Specialized Stumpjumper line would be a good compromise:



If you're doing mostly urban riding, a $1500 bike should be more than enough for you. The suspension reduces the stress on the wheels which is nice when you're a larger rider.
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Old 10-12-07, 03:29 PM   #5
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Just a question, I also have an arthritic lower back as well and have fairly extensive stenosis from L5 - S1.

Basically I have chronic back pain and have been doing what I can to keep from having surgery. My orthorpedic surgeon told me the best thing was bike riding because the bent over, stretched out position you normally take on a road bike, is good for the back. It takes the place of stretching exercises and i have to admit, the only time I don't have back pain is while riding my road bike. I'm not certain full suspension is what you need. I also ride mountain bikes and yes my fully takes the hits out of the trail but on the road, the more upright positin and the constant bouncing (even with lock outs) bothers my back.

I recommend 1) you go for a bike fitting with a specialist and 2) you consider a nice sturdy, steel road bike and put on it at least 28 tires and a suspension seat post. It's really hard to find a full suspension bike that will take your weight for under $1500. Foes makes a fairly sturdy bike but it's expensive. You might also consider a hardtail with a fork suspension fork and then add a suspension seat post. That way you can keep the price under $1500 and find something study and comfortable.
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Old 10-12-07, 03:59 PM   #6
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I agree with BCI....go to a reputable bike shop that "fits" bikes. Being fitted is cheap and well worth the time and effort. If you end up buying a bike from them, they probably wont charge you for a fitting. If you lived around me and was asking this question, I would say the same thing and actually I would probably take you to the bike shop myself. What you have to know is the fatter the tire, the more friction it generates. That means extra effort from you to roll with others on road bikes.

Go For It! I weigh 240 and am 6'4". I have lost weight and I can hold my own with most riders.
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Old 10-12-07, 04:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Syclone View Post
First off, thank you in advance for this forum and your willingness to help

I need a bike with dual suspension, I have an arthritic lower back. Am definately a Clydesdale at 5'9" and 300 pounds, short legs (29" inseam) and long torso. Will be riding streets with potholes and rolling on and off curbs, occasional dirt and gravel roads but mostly flatland. Can't layout over the crossbar like a racer or MTB (20" neck don't give much to flexibility). Last bike I had was a Schwinn Crusier 20 years ago but don't want to sit totally upright either and would like to shift gears as I plan to burn up some pavement

Looking at spending $1500-2000....I'm serious about losing weight, 53 years old. Haven't seen much in dual suspension metro style bikes, any assistance is greatly appreciated.

It's not too late but it's getting later

Syclone
Dual or full suspension is best on technical MTB trails, where your looking at extremely rough ground, and don't really mind the energy losses (from dual suspension and the large knobby tires) when pedalling, because speed and distance are relatively minor factors on that kind of riding. A 4km technical trail, is just as much fun as a 400km single track trail. However when road riding, roads are smoother then trails, and there are fewer roots, rocks. mud holes and other hazards while riding. Speed and distance are more important then trail difficulty, because even the worst road is kind of smooth. Of course there is always the fact that a full suspension frame is going to be heavier, because of the added weight of the mechanism, the lightest full suspension frames are heavier then the heaviest road frames. While were at it, the frame will not be as strong, and many of the full suspension frames are intended for light weight riders.

When you take into account the above, there are no full suspension road bikes, because the cost in energy use, is greater then the benefits of a slightly smoother ride, on very rough roads. It sounds like what you really need is a hybrid, basically a road bike frame with mountain bike components. The trick, with road hazards is to avoid them, and to unload the saddle when you can't. Unloading the saddle, is where you lift your butt, just before hitting something, the rear part of the bike will bounce over the hazard without bending anything, within limits. Dropping off a 4" curb will not hurt anything, and bunny hopping the same curb is likely to not damage anything either. The wider, but mostly smooth tires of a hybrid, should be okay in a little dirt or gravel.

Dropping the 25' off the end of deadmans leap, is probably not a good idea, on any bike at age 53, things don't heal as well or as fast at 50 as they did at 25....
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Old 10-12-07, 05:04 PM   #8
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My suggestion, if you weigh 300 lbs, is don't even hop a bike over a curb. (It's not like that's a necessity of riding a bike). Even potholes are negotiable- you can avoid a lot of them!

In addition to your back, be prepared to start paying for some wheels if you elect to do so.
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Old 10-12-07, 05:08 PM   #9
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With back issues, frankly, I'd consider a recumbent. You can't curb hop, but a tadpole trike, for example, is like a sports car and truly fun and fast!


This is a Scorpion, for example.

They aren't boring either!
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Old 10-12-07, 06:48 PM   #10
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I haven't seen one of these before! I bet it's a blast going downhill!!!
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Old 10-12-07, 06:52 PM   #11
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I haven't seen one of these before! I bet it's a blast going downhill!!!
You can hit 80+ mph on a long hill
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Old 10-12-07, 07:55 PM   #12
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giant revive

I would suggest the giant revive. I am of similar proportions and love mine. I think it would be great for your back, you are sitting in a nice upright position while riding. It has a rear suspension and the front really isn't necessary because of the design. It is a great cruiser for town- it is not great for mountain trails or steep hills because of the long length and forward pedals, but it is an excellent platform for losing weight in comfort. I plan on using mine as a commuter too, because clothing is less cumbersome and you can dress for the destination and not just the ride. I have a dedicated mountain bike and road bike as well, but for the type of riding you described I prefer the revive.

It does take a little getting used to because it rides different than traditional bikes, but imo it is easy to adapt and a blast to cruise around on. Also safer imo in and around traffic because of the upright riding plus your head is naturally looking ahead and not down.

I am assuming you are looking at full suspension for the comfort aspect. If you want something to fit an aggressive riding style, this probably isn't for you. I call mine the cadillac, a porshe or jeep it is not.

Oh, a couple different versions available for 6-8 hundred.

best wishes, caleb
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