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Wheelin and Dealin'

Old 08-12-10, 01:14 PM
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Wheelin and Dealin'

OK, so after 3 1/2 weeks I am now at just over 300, 304 this morning, with a ride in 100+ heat index is coming up.

Went to highly recommend "kinda" LBS (35 miles) several weeks ago. I told the owner that I had read that most frames were for folks 220-250 and that based on my weight my readings indicated I should get some sort of sturdy MTB, rigged for the road.

But I said I did not know, what did he think. That is why I was there, for his expertise and advise.

He did not like the MTB idea and steered me to a Trek FX 7.5. This was primarily due to the wheels, Bontrager SSR, which are double, or something like that, and very strong.

This all made pretty good sense, but I was disappointed that Ihad to go to the TREK 7.5 to get the stronger wheels.

I am NEVER gonna be a speed merchant, I just want to ride long and comfortably, and at my weight, worry about a couple of pounds on the bike is ludicrous.

Please understand, I am not questioning his assessment, just possibly his solution.

Do I have to go to $900+ to get the strength in wheels of the 7.5?

If not, what is a good option?

Do you you have a contrary assessment to the opinion that my only real worry, at or near 300lbs is the wheels.

I went to the LBS for their expertise, I guess I am a little suspicious of the rather (in my world) expensive, first suggestion. I prefer to be offered less and let me up-sell myself (which I routinely do). But, if there are not stronger wheel alternatives, at a lower price, I guess he was spot on.

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Old 08-12-10, 01:41 PM
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I think the owner meant "double walled" rims.

vs. single walled

Maybe he suggested a 7.5FX based on what you told him you wanted in a bike and what you were going to do w/ it. For ex., if you said you were doing mostly on-road and some groomed gravel paths, maybe he figured there was no need for a mtb. A flat bar roadie w/ well built wheels would do the trick and still be fun to ride, w/o the additional complication of a suspension fork, extra weight and lower top speed. However, if you're planning on riding rough roads and going off-road, a mtb would suit you better. What kind of riding are you planning to do?
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Old 08-12-10, 01:57 PM
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Eh, in reality those wheels he recommended are probably going to be *just* good enough, so I believe they will last at least a year at your weight, and possibly more ,but that's open to debate. To get really good wheels you have to cash out about at least $250 on a pair of quality hand built wheels. That means sealed industrial bearing equipped hubs, quality spokes and nipples, and quality double walled eyelet-ed rims. Then you will have reliable wheels. In the start I recommend to most people that are heavier like us, to buy a quality bike (good fork, components, frame), with passable wheels. Then, after the warranty period is gone, to count on about $250 and up for a pair of quality wheels. And one of the main points is to get them hand built by an experienced builder, that's the key to longevity.

Because if you want to get such wheels with the bike, you will have to o up higher, more like at least $1300 and up. It is cheaper to get a quality bike with a bit lower end wheels and to replace them with more quality ones. At least that have been my experience.
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Old 08-12-10, 03:51 PM
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Ehh, there are a bunch of "urban" bikes being sold that essentially use heavy, durable MTB components. For example, look @ the Trek PDX (different than the Trek Portland). With most LBS bikes the quality of the wheel build is going to be more important than the quality of the parts. Find out who the best wheel person in your area is and have them go over the wheels after you've bought the bike. Either that or buy your own equipment and check the build yourself.

My recommendation is to test ride the Trek PDX and have the wheels carefully scrutinized (by the store if they have the expertise). The store should offer a free tuneup with the purchase of a new bike because the wheels and cables will break in over the first 100 miles or so. Be sure to take advantage of that offer! If the wheels start popping spokes then have an expert look things over & repair or upgrade at that time.
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