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Missbumble 05-26-08 02:43 PM

Road Bike Recommendations - Female 44yo, 215, 5' 7" $700 - $1000
Hi - My first post. Well I have decided that biking would be a ton of fun- Have been on a few rides with the ex-boyfriend and now have decided to buy a bike for myself - and go join some social group rides - or just get out on my own and ride on the weekends. (I am in other cities for work during the week- so this will be weekend only and my vacation coming up - 2 weeks of daily rides if my body can handle it!)

So my goals are to meet other people and have fun and lose weiight. Have lost 12 pounds so far - lots of workouts on elliptical and weights... I will continue this during the week - and ride on weekends.

So advice of a friend is to go to a LBS - Roswell Bikes. They advertise the following brands:


So far from this fabulous forum and others I have learned - that i need to make sure the wheels (pardon my terminology - hub/spoke/wheel - not sure the right words.... rubber part is a tire, spokey part is a spioe...what's a hub? and what's a whell...the rim thing? ) Anyway I am supposed to get 32 spokes int he front and 32 in the back??? Any other hints.... (Steel bike or aluminum or something?? Best saddle??? Type of handlebars.... oh dear... )

I guess I need a check list of stuff to tell the bike shop. Please note it is very embarassing as a woman to go tell some bike shop dude that i am fat (Hmmm maybe he will be able to tell????) Anyway - Let me know your thoughts. I thougth for the first ride on Saturday afternnon 6/1 - I would rent the road bike from the shop located along the bike path - just so I can get out and ride... Since I get home form my consulting gig on Friday evening.. Then later go bike shopping.... Do i just try a few out and poof by a bike?

OK - Tell me what to do! I am so excited to have found this excellent forum. I would love to here from more women as well... Though I have been very happy reading everyones posts - especially on the weight loss. THANK THANK YOU for being here!

Also is the whole bike rack thing easy?? I have a SAAB 9'3 from 1999 so i will need a rack that fits onthe back.... do they come with locks? Are they a real pain in the tush?

JugglingTye 05-26-08 03:02 PM

Well Hi there! I'm a newbie myself but, I can try to help ya out with what I know.

Yeh, make sure they have 32 spokes front + back... keep it near max PSI when you pump em up... You'll feel the bumps more but, less chance of flats due to our weight.

Steel = slower/heavier/more shock absorbing
Aluminum = faster/lighter/you'll feel bumps more
Steel vs aluminum is largely preference/opinion.

First, I'd say go to your local bike shop... Be frank with em and say, I'm overweight, what special considerations do you think I would need... If they give you a funny look or make you feel uncomfortable at all, then find a new LBS. There are plenty out there that are happy to see anyone riding a bike regardless of their size, we need to encourage success with the LBS that are quality to *everyone*. :)

I would think about other expenses too, if you don't already have all the accessories/etc...

Helmet/patch kits/bikers clothing (they will make a world of difference for butt pains. (so i've heard.)) :)

Long rides? - Extra Tubes, water bottles, frame/hand pump, maybe saddlebags or some kind of under-seat container.
Commuting eventually? - fenders/all weather clothing/rain poncho. :)

Here's a good site to read on saddles. EDIT - I forgot the link.. Here you go. :) (
Brief synopsis - Big cushy lookin saddles that you can squish down with your finger = not so great, you need something sized well enough to support your sit bones, and only time will ease the pain.
(excluding biking shorts with padding - cause those help a lot too.)

Anyways, I hope some of this info helps.. hopefully someone with more experience will chime in and make it clearer/give more specific advice if you need one. :)


cohophysh 05-26-08 03:29 PM

Welcome to the group. Don't settle on the first bike you test. Ride all of them in your price range and buy the one that fits or feels most comfortable to you. The LBS will be able to fine tune the fit for you. There is an Athena group here you might want post your introduction. It is a subset of the clyde forum.

Missbumble 05-26-08 03:58 PM

Thank you - Atklanta Clydes Group - How cool is That!
Thank you for the replies! I will take all your info with me to my LBS. Please let me know where i can find the Clydes Atlanta Group - i am ever so psyched!!!


Tom Stormcrowe 05-26-08 04:12 PM

Hi Missbumble, I think you might mean the Athena's, who are the female half of the Clyde/Athena Forum here. ;) There's an Athena Intro thread cohophysh was talking about. I also maintain a locater map on Google Maps, which I'll be pleased to add you to. Atlanta area?

Here's the Athena Intro thread, by the way

Here's the Google Locater Map as well.,14.765625&z=6

Missbumble 05-26-08 05:10 PM

Add me to the map - please

Tom Stormcrowe 05-26-08 06:28 PM

And you're on it. As it develops into a resource, I think it'll be highly useful. :D

It's already working well for the Colorado Clydes and Athena's. ;)

misterE0 05-26-08 09:44 PM

Tom, may as well toss me on it in Massapequa, NY

Missbumble: Depending on how much riding you've done, it may make more sense to buy a used or cheap bike to start. I started riding again last year and the bike I thought I wanted actually didn't suit my tastes at all after I figured out what kind of riding I was really going to be doing. I bought a cheap Trek for $300 and really hated it. But it was useful enough as a starting point and I knew which direction I wanted to go in after a few months on it. I just sold it for $150, so I had a bike for a year total cost of $150...minus the parts I trashed that had to be replaced :). Good luck, hopefully you'll find your bike and someone to ride along side as well.

Tom Stormcrowe 05-26-08 09:46 PM


zeroncali 05-26-08 10:19 PM

Yea, I might as well get on it also, Yucaipa, CA

dolcegirl 05-26-08 10:23 PM

I am in no way a bike expert, I bought my bike last summer on some recommendations from my sister who is somewhat of a fanatic.

I ended up buying a Specialized Dolce. I absolutely love it! The only thing I added that did not come with it and is a cheap and easy fix was to go clipless, around 40 for the clipless peddles.

c_m_shooter 05-26-08 10:55 PM

Giant and Specialized both make women specific bike models in your price range. It's hard to go wrong with any of them as long as you get fit correctly. Try to get on a range of bikes, in your price range the cheapest road bikes will have Sora shifters, next expensive is Tiagra, next expensive is 105.... They all operate slightly differently, so make sure they show you how they work before you take off down the road. You may find that you like the thumb buttons on the Sora the best and save yourself a few bucks. At your height you may be kind of between the small and medium frames from giant and Specialized, so try to ride both to see what you like best. Have fun, test ride a bunch, then come back with more questions. You probably don't have to worry too much about wheels, just try not to bounce off too many curbs and most any should hold up fine.

sstorkel 05-27-08 09:37 AM

In addition to what others have said, let me add my wisdom: the bike you think you want today may very well not be the bike you want 6 months from now. I made this mistake back when I first got into cycling and it wouldn't surprise me if it's a common one. Consider buying a used bike or spending a bit less money on your initial purchase. Once you're sure you like the sport and the type of bike you've purchased, you can step-up to a more expensive bike...

deraltekluge 05-27-08 11:34 AM

At your height and weight and budget, your biggest problem in choosing a bike is that there is such a multitude of suitable ones many different types and different brands that the choice becomes confusing and difficult. Just about anything can handle your weight (maybe some exotic road bikes made from unobtainium would be too fragile, but they'd be beyond your budget), and ordinary small to medium men's frames as well as WSD bikes are available to suit your height.

PS: Are you sure you want a road bike? And not a hybrid or comfort or mountain bike? Is the "head down, butt up" riding position what you really want?

Missbumble 05-27-08 05:13 PM

head down, butt up...

PS: Are you sure you want a road bike? And not a hybrid or comfort or mountain bike? Is the "head down, butt up" riding position what you really want?
Well... One day I decided to go on a 26 mile ride - and I rented a comfort that was a lot of work. My thought is the head down, butt up must be faster, smother and more efficeint. Also I woudl like to join people on rides...and I do not want to slow any one down - so I think a road bike will be more efficient.

The ex-beau had a road bike I borrowed and he road the mountain bike ... I was much happier on the road bike- it was lighter and felt more like a race horse.
So i think that is the way to go...

Tabor 05-27-08 05:36 PM

Can you still buy new road bikes with 36h rear wheels? I weigh LESS than you and I can still destroy a 32h Mavic OpenPro if the road is bad enough. They work fine on smooth roads....

st0ut 05-27-08 06:42 PM

Misssbumble welcome .

@ 215 is NOT that heavy for a bike frame. about the only bike off limits would be a Madone 6 or the like, which only have 7 spokes.

I just got a steel frame and did have a carbon frame. I am 210 (still) and 5'11''

I like the touring frame i have now. The wider tires are far more durable than my racing slicks and I dont give up that much speed. My son and I where clocked at 21 mph with him on a trail-a-bike. the other evening.

I would go with steel or Aluminum. But hell if you want Titanium or Carbon go for it.

wrk101 05-27-08 08:12 PM

+1 At 215, just about any good bike should be able to handle it.

Go with a friend you trust, and get a nice road bike. If you are really confident, go to Craigs List and get an even better bike used.

I would look at the women specific models, Trek makes several of their models as WSD. Others probably do the same.

Nola_Gal 05-28-08 10:48 PM

I'm a 45 yo female newbie. I rode my hybrid a little for a couple of years, mostly commuting to class a couple of times a week. It was close by but parking was a pain which is how I started with the bike. Late last year, I decided to ride more and took the plunge with a Cannondale R9. It's all aluminum and has a good component set for the price ($1299). I wasn't planning on spending that much but it really seemed like the best bang for the buck.

For a while, I was afraid I had made a mistake. I wasn't used to the skinny tires or riding with drop bars...well, it didn't take too long before I really started 'appreciating' my new bike. It feels fast and I can tell I'm getting stronger. I've never ridden a carbon fiber bike, and have heard that aluminum is harsh. I would call it responsive! I really feel like I'm in touch with the road and sometimes it feels like the bike is a part of me. It really feels good to feel so strong on such a cool bike!

If your budget allows, I'd definitely recommend taking the Cannondale R9 out for a spin!

Missbumble 05-31-08 06:45 PM

OK - Here's the update... I bought a bike... I really thought I would go in look, test ride and report back. Well I bought the bike! I bought a Specialized Dolce Elite ($1144)...and then all the extras...pedals, bike shoes, etc....I feel really special - and am looking forward to my first real ride tomorrow. Probably a short ride as my butt gets used to biking and as I get used to using the bike shoes.

It was a tad embarassing - as I was being shown how to use the bike shoes... I rode off all proud that I got my feet in the pedals... someone should have told me not to stop with my feet in the pedals...Boom! First fall. I got back up and rode and practised. I had previously only used bike shoes for spinning.... so I was unprepared or stupid.

Also the bike store forgot to tell me how to change a flat. I bought the little containers of air - and kit...but am not sure I can change a tire... I will be on the bike path - but perhaps there's a good article of how to change a tire?

Anyway thank you all for making me feel welcome here and helping me with all my questions... Maybe I shoudl post my first bike rode report?

Ok Thank you , thank you, thank you,


Tom Stormcrowe 05-31-08 06:56 PM

As requested: How to Change a Tire

Welcome to the zero speed, feet stuck in the clipless pedals fall club. It happens to all of us at least once.:innocent:

PLease do post a report, complete with pics, etc! :D We love pics.

Bone Head 06-01-08 04:42 AM

I'm 240# & ride a carbon frame Giant OCR. 20 & 24 spoke wheels. No problems so far.....

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