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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 10-16-08, 04:32 PM   #1
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Picking a bike for a big guy?

Hopefully I'm posting in the right spot! I couldn't find a truly appropriate category. I'm 290 and 6'2" which isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. I'm trying to get back in shape for football and have never been able to ride a bike. My wife convinced me to give it a try, and amazingly I just took off and enjoyed it so much.

So onto the problem, the bike I was riding on belonged to a family member, female 5'4" and very light, as you can imagine the bike was not happy with me. I should also say, I'm a college student so I'm in the neighborhood of under 400 dollars. I've heard a lot of conflicting information, like frames being most important, frames not being important, tires, spokes, etc.

Ideally, if anyones been in the same market I am, links would be a great! I'm a complete novice to the biking world.
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Old 10-16-08, 04:52 PM   #2
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Check out the Clyde forum, you are not alone. The Clyde house bike is the Specialized Hardrock, you could get the base model new just barely in your budget or look used and save some money on craigslist. You will need a big frame. I'm short, so I can't say for sure, but probably in the 21 inch range for a mountain bike or 60cm for a road bike. Go to a bike shop and test ride some new bikes, even if you have to buy used, so you know what you are looking for in size.
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Old 10-16-08, 09:07 PM   #3
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Try a single speed with 36 spoke wheels.
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Old 10-16-08, 09:36 PM   #4
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1. Find a bike and see how it feels. I bought a bike from CL for $20.00 when I was commuting between to homes so I didn't have to transport a bike back and forth. It felt comfortable and rode great.
2. Spend as little as possible. Get a used bike.
3. Get a MTB.
4. Don't get caught up in components. As long as they feel smooth and function properly.
5. Once you ride a 1,000 miles total you will have a feel for the type of riding you want to do and what feels good to you on a bike.

By waiting to spend your money on a bike after riding the first 1,000 miles you will make a better decision. If you don't keep with cycling, you're out your 20 - 50 dollars. You will have other expenses when you start such as gloves, shorts/bibs, etc. Items you can continue on your new bike. By waiting you will also have lost weight, gained fitness, and flexibility. All of these come into play on getting a bike that feels comfortable. What feels comfortable today may not after the first 1,000 miles.

I was reading earlier today where one rider's first bike was $4.99. He says he has now upgraded to more expensive bikes and spends $20.00 on a bike.

So get a cheap bike as soon as possible and ride, ride, and ride ("ride lots"). During the first 1,000 miles don't worry about interval training, hill training. or anything else. Slow steady miles until you have built this base. Some say you need to ride the first 1,000 miles each year this way.
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Old 10-17-08, 05:13 AM   #5
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I am a similar build and had a similar budget. I followed a bit of the group think and bought a Specialized Hardrock Sport. I'm quite happy with it. Mine is a 2008 and they've changed a bit for the 2009 models, but definitely worth a good look: The base model retails for $390 now.
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Old 10-17-08, 08:51 AM   #6
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All the advice you have heard about frames, spokes, tires, etc is all true... except for the stuff that isn't

In general, the only things that will fail or work poorly with a bigger rider are the wheels and suspension forks. If you can, get a rigid (no suspension fork, definately no rear suspension for a sub $400 bike - they exist but are infinitely crappy) bike, as cheaper suspesion components are either cheaply built or not adjustable for heavier riders, or both.

Wheels can be a trickier subject... the wheels that come on most mass-manufactured bikes have poorly tensioned machine built wheels, and spokes will often start breaking after less than a year of riding. Spokes need to be properly tensioned and stress relieved when the bike is new - good bike shops know how to do this. If spokes still start popping after a few months, get the wheel relaced with good stainless steel spokes by a reputable builder and you will be good to go for many miles.

Tires are important, but there is no "right" tire for everyone... you should pick tires that are suited for the riding you are going to do - if you are primarily on pavement or relatively smooth gravel then road-style tires with minimal tread is best; riding in dirt requires more aggressive treat - the softer the dirt the larger the knobs. Whatever tires you have be sure to keep them well inflated - under inflated tires are the cause of ~80% of flats. Make sure you have a good floor pump and a pressure guage - it is a pain to have to walk to a gas station or bike shop every time you need air, and the mini pumps sold to be carried with you on the bike are really only good for emergencies.

Good luck, and welcome!
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Old 10-17-08, 02:11 PM   #7
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+1 Get a cheap used bike off Craigs List or a local thrift shop.

+1 The thousand mile rule detailed above.

You will be better off with a rigid frame mountain bike. Fortunately, good versions of that are on C/L all the time, at reasonable (low) prices.

Then if you get into riding a lot, you can easily trade up without worrying about eating the loss on your first bike.

The last four bikes I bought (I fix them up and resell them): $5, $5, $20 and $40. All were decent brands (no XMart junk). One was a donor bike (removed about $150 worth of parts for other bike rebuilds) the other three are good riders.
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Old 11-10-08, 11:38 PM   #8
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Great all around bike under $500.00

This is my se stout 29er SS Im 6ft 340 lbs comes with rigid fork i have rode mine all summer with no problems
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