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Advice for another biking newbie?

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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.

Advice for another biking newbie?

Old 04-04-09, 02:15 PM
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Advice for another biking newbie?

Hi guys,

I've landed myself a sweet summer job and I'm thinking about getting back on a bike. I used to bike a lot when I was a teenager, but I've been loathe to give it a try recently because I thought my current height/weight (6'4"/350ish) would make biking impossible... then I discovered this place.

I've spent a few hours combing through the forums looking at recommendations. Figuring out some of the language you guys use is a little tricky so forgive me if I'm talking nonsense at any point.

I live in Ann Arbor, so I'm looking for a bike that 1.) won't break down under my considerable weight, and 2.) is easily rideable on Ann Arbor's weird, pothole-filled streets. I can spend up to about $1200, but would prefer to spend less than my maximum.

Bikes I'm considering, based on my own research and other posts:

1.) SuperSizedBikes's Big 29er (https://www.supersizedcycles.com/product/29er) - seems like it's built like a tank and I'd never have to worry about my weight being too much for it. It's kind of pricey on a student's budget, though, and may well be overkill. Is a 29er a decent bike for an out of shape bike newbie?

2.) Kona Hoss - Seems to be almost universally recommended here. Isn't all that much cheaper than the 29er, but there are Kona shops in Michigan so I wouldn't have to send away and wait half the summer for it. Will it need wheel upgrades or would it be good to go right out of the box? Decent for city riding?

3.) Specialized Hardrock Sport - Seems cheaper than the above options. Same questions as about the Kona, does it need a lot of upgrades? Decent for city riding?

Anyway, even if no one responds to this you guys have been fantastically helpful. There's such a wealth of knowledge in this forum it's literally overwhelming. Thank you.
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Old 04-04-09, 02:40 PM
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First piece of advice:

Quit thinking abut it and just do it! It's fun, contributes to better health, and will slowly but surely whittle down that weight.

Second advice:

Pick the bike that makes you fall in lust. Ride all three of your choices above, any will do. The only real change I'd make woould be to put some 26"X2" slicks on for the street. The Hardrock sport has been a good choice, for our members, as has the Kona. The Big 29er is a great bike as well, but as noted, it's quite pricey. I know Joan with Supersized Bikes, though, and she does have the mission of getting Clydes and Athenas out riding.
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Old 04-04-09, 03:40 PM
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Definitely try out different bikes. I went in really looking at the Hardrock Sport & P. My problem was with torso length. I felt like I was falling over the handle bars. At the recommendation of Tim of Epic Bikes I tried out the Specialized Carmel 3 26. The seat post has a little more rake and was very comfortable. What every your choice remember it is your choice and don't let someone talk you into something you don't want. The folks on the forum here know what they're talking about and won't steer you wrong. I made my first real ride today on my Carmel 3 and loved it. Still need to tweek a few things but I'm happy with it and just need to ride more to get in better shape.
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Old 04-04-09, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
First piece of advice:

Quit thinking abut it and just do it! It's fun, contributes to better health, and will slowly but surely whittle down that weight.
I'm just waiting for that first paycheck! My job doesn't start until May, I'm just really excited about getting on a bike again so I want to be ready to go when I've got the cash.

Thanks both of you for the advice, I hadn't really given a lot of thought to test riding a bike. The Carmel 3 looks really slick too, I'll add that to the list.
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