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360# 6'4 new rider needs advice

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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.

360# 6'4 new rider needs advice

Old 10-18-10, 10:51 AM
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one other thing i'd like to add to the op. I know your budget is around $500. there are "comfort hybrids" that are generally lower cost (around $300) that would be in your price range, by the time you upgrade a couple of things for your size, you can easily be around $500. If that is all that you can afford and it gets you started, go for it, however, I strongly recommend looking into a true roadbike/flat bar road bike for a couple of reasons.

1. Your only 23 years old, and while you are heavy, you probably have far fewer biomechanical issues and injuries than many of the others on here and are probably more flexible. You will be able to get comfortable on a road bike easier than others your size who are 20 years older (by comfort I don't mean the seat, I mean the general bike setup, pretty much no matter what, your butt is gonna be sore starting out and need a few weeks to get conditioned)

2. Many clydes start on a comfort bike, lose some weight, then want a true road bike because the bike CAN be somewhat of a limiter. Starting out with a road bike will save you the step of having to save money again for another bike down the road. You may want to see if you can find an older road bike in your size to keep this purchase within your budget. A true road bike is generally going to have better components than those "comfort" bikes and will also be more upgradeable. Again, you are limited somewhat by your budget but if you can save a bit more and expand your budget, by all means do it because if it means you start riding and shed a few pounds and start feeling healthier you will be glad you spent the extra $$
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Old 10-18-10, 02:50 PM
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I would look into used non suspension mountain bikes. You don't need to upgrade anything unless it fails. As long as you don't plan on any rough riding I wouldn't worry about the rims just yet. If problems do arise you can ask the LBS about options.
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Old 10-18-10, 03:32 PM
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im 6'5" 350lbs and i have a specialized hardrock sport disc 29" and a nashbar single speed 29" both are 21" frames (i have 34" inseam)

they are both great bikes if you're more into off road riding, with a tire change either would be good on road bikes. the single speed is also ridgid fork so it is its own type of monster and not for everyone but its a lot of fun and for the $279 i paid for it a really great deal

as far as the bikes holding up to your weight, i really wouldnt worry about it to much if you are doing strictly on road/pavement riding. personally i would probably lean more towards a mountain/hybrid style bike over a road bike simply for the wider tires but thats just me
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Old 10-18-10, 09:16 PM
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What's everyone's thoughts on cyclocross or touring bikes? I was reading another thread and it sounds like they are road bikes with wider tires usually?

I saw this one linked... thoughts? https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/ltcross_x.htm
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Old 10-18-10, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jefffred05
What's everyone's thoughts on cyclocross or touring bikes? I was reading another thread and it sounds like they are road bikes with wider tires usually?

I saw this one linked... thoughts? https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/ltcross_x.htm
A genuine touring bike will certainly hold your weight and probably be pretty comfortable for you, but you'll have a hard time finding one in your price range. If you can double your budget you'll have many more options, but honestly I don't suggest it. Save the big dollars for when you've decided you love riding and you know something about your own preferences.

Cross bikes make great all-rounders, and the build spec on that Dawes is pretty good for the price. You can expect to pay $75-$150 for assembly and tuning at a bike shop (do you have a budget for helmet, lock, and flat kit?), so that might put it out of your budget range. You might be ok on 32 spoke 700c machine built wheels, and you might not. If you buy that bike, DO get someone competent to re-tension (not just checking that they are true) them before you ride on them.
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Old 10-19-10, 12:18 AM
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https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._cross_cx3.htm has 32 spokes with double wall rims. Thoughts?

I'll be going to the local shops today to see what they have/price.
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Old 10-19-10, 09:04 AM
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https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm

Of the bikes direct bikes this one is probably your best bet for the following reasons.

1. It comes with 36 spoke wheels. You should still get the tension checked on them by an lbs but because this bike is truly designed for touring they will most certainly be stronger all around wheels

2. It comes with 32c tires which I mentioned in an earlier post. Clydes need to run tires at pretty high pressures to avoid pinchflats but finding tires that can handle extremely high pressures is tough. The next best option is to then go with larger tires however you get to a point on some road bikes where you can only go so wide. My dedicated "race" bike can't even take a 28c tire. 25c is as large as I can go. If you buy a cheaper bike with 28 or 30c tires, there is a good chance you will immediately need to spend another 50-100 bucks on new tires. Bikes direct puts good quality tires on their higher end bikes, but the cheaper bikes usually come with cheap tires. That is fine for a std size/weight rider but not good enough for a clyde.

3. It has better components. It has Tiagra shifters. Personally i absolutely HATE Sora shifters. I think the thumb tab they use to shift is terrible. I would go with Microshift shifters over Sora every day. The resale value of your bike will be higher with these better components and the cost of acquisition is only about $50-$100 more than the other bikes shown above

4. Gearing. The touring bike has an 11-32 tooth rear casette. I'm only 235 and there are many times I use my 32 tooth. The other cyclocross bike yo ulinked only has a 26 tooth cog on the back. even in the granny gear up front, there are a lot of hills you will struggle on with that gear combo and will probably find yourself changing the casette down the road which again is more money spent.

5. Frame is cromoly steel vs aluminum. Steel is regarded as being very very durable and virtually break proof. It's also regarded as more comfortable for big riders. Don't get me wrong, an aluminum frame isn't just going to suddenly break on you, however, a steel frame you will pretty much have forever, while an aluminum frames are considered to have a certain lifespan. plenty of people on these forums still riding steel frame bikes from the 60's and 70's yet many won't ride an aluminum frame bike from the early 90's.

Assembly of bikes direct bikes is really pretty simple and doesn't take that much bike specific knowledge. IF cost is an issue I would search your regional forum, I'm sure there are plenty of bf'ers in central florida with the skills to help you assemble your bike. I honestly think this bike gives you the best all around bike to start with and grow with and it will certainly have decent resale value should you choose to go in a different direction. Touring geometry is relaxed and should be comfortable for you and being a young guy, if you think the rack is dorky, simply remove it and it looks like anyother road bike. If you decide you do want to do a little day tour, commute to work, or full fledged touring you can leave the rack on.
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Old 10-19-10, 10:57 AM
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Seems perfect for what I need. How do you think this will stack up in price to LBS? Anyone else have thoughts on this bike?
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Old 10-19-10, 12:51 PM
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Since you have not ridden in a while and are not sure what you want or the fit of bike you need I reccomend against buying online. If you go to a bike shop you can sit on and/or try the bikes you are interested in.

Also... if you have little experience maintaining and working on bikes it will be a steep learning curve and possibly difficult to get an online bike set up perfectly. Most (including Bikes Direct) reccomend getting a shop to do assembly for you, which costs extra $$. Also, if anything goes wrong that could be covered under a warranty you will have to pay for shipping back to Bikes Direct... it is often more cost-effective to just buy a new part to replace the faulty one.

You will also have to get the wheels retensioned before you ride the bike - even with 36 spokes, cheap machine built wheels need a little extra attention before riding. THis could cost you a few dollars.

These are things are not impossible, but not everyone has the patience and determination to stick to it. And if you get it wrong, having a bike with constantly skipping gears or wheels going out of true or breaking spokes is a very easy way to get turned off cycling. A good bike shop is the easiest way to get a reliable bike, and 'easiest' is worth something in this situation.

You can get a similar quality bike for around $1000 at a shop, but you might find something cheaper on sale since it is the end of the season (although you live in FL, which I hear has warmer winters than we get in Canada, so the 'end of season' effect might not be as big).

If you decide to go the Bikes Direct route (or really with whatever you decide to get) you will almost definietly need the largest frame size available. In the cyclocross bike you linked to there is a 64cm bike in black only... the other colours only go up to 61 which is likely to make you feel hunched over and cramped between the bars and seat. There is also a 64cm in the windsor tourist bike. I have looked at and considered getting the Windsor tourist myself, I am also 6'4", and I estimate that would be a good size for me... the 61cm would definitly be too small for me. But everyone is different so what works for me might not work for you.

The other post I would like to comment on is by cappucino911...

Originally Posted by cappucino911
5. Frame is cromoly steel vs aluminum. Steel is regarded as being very very durable and virtually break proof. It's also regarded as more comfortable for big riders. Don't get me wrong, an aluminum frame isn't just going to suddenly break on you, however, a steel frame you will pretty much have forever, while an aluminum frames are considered to have a certain lifespan. plenty of people on these forums still riding steel frame bikes from the 60's and 70's yet many won't ride an aluminum frame bike from the early 90's.
Steel does not necessarily make a stronger frame. I have broken several frames over the past few decades and every one of them was steel. I own and have owned aluminum bikes and never managed to break a frame. I currently ride a lightweight aluminum city bike and a lightweight aluminum touring bike and both have lasted for several years - the city bike was my old touring bike and stood up to thousands of kms of very abusive riding on rough roads and trails. The 'steel is less likely to break' statement is a myth. THere are many factors besides material that are more important than material. THe fact of the matter is: aluminum has a higher strength-to-weight ratio, so a 4 pound aluminum frame might be stronger than a 4 pound steel frame (although it is impossible to tell just by knowing the material). Aluminum has become much more common in good quality bikes over the past 10 - 15 years, and the number of broken frames has not gone up considerably that I know of.
Also, Check with manufacturers and ask if there is a maximum weight rating on their bikes... some will have one and this could narrow your choices down considerably. If they say the max weight is within ~20 or 30 pounds of your weight I would expect that would be close enough, but maybe don't do any stunt riding or backflips before you drop a few pounds.

-Kris
(6'4", 270lbs)

edit: read this article on frame materials by the late, great Sheldon Brown:

https://sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

His site is a mind-boggling warehouse of valuable information on bikes and biking. If it isn't on SHeldon's site, it isn't worth knowing (maybe an exaggeration, but it is a good site)

Last edited by LarDasse74; 10-19-10 at 12:57 PM. Reason: linky linky
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Old 10-19-10, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Jefffred05
Seems perfect for what I need. How do you think this will stack up in price to LBS? Anyone else have thoughts on this bike?
cappuccino911 beat me to the recommendation, and said it much better than I would. I haven't ridden a Tourist, but the spec looks right and it's well regarded by the budget minded touring folks.

You will pay more at a LBS than with BD, but you aren't only buying a bike from them, you are buying a relationship with them. Assembly, a fitting, some level of ongoing maintenance and consultation are included with the price. I chose an LBS over the savings of an internet bike, and I don't regret it at all. Over the last two years I have gotten much more than my money's worth. Visit the local shops and see what they can offer you. If you find one with a bike that will work for you and where the staff are knowledgeable and helpful, go with them. If you find yourself unimpressed by the shops you visit, or they can only offer bikes you can't afford, go with BD and start reading the mechanic's forum here.

Last edited by Boyd Reynolds; 10-19-10 at 09:24 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 10-19-10, 11:05 PM
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Anyone have any thoughts on the trek fx line? rode the 7.2 today.
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Old 10-19-10, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jefffred05
Anyone have any thoughts on the trek fx line? rode the 7.2 today.
How did you feel about the store? Will they stand behind those wheels or give you a deal on an upgrade? The bike itself is a fine first bike, very similar to the Jamis Allegro that I started on and still commute on.
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Old 10-19-10, 11:36 PM
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I didn't get into too price too much. Life time adjustments and 20$ off all services. He said I should be fine with 32 spoke but then again hes not 365 pounds. He recomended me using the tires and rims that it has and upgrading them later if I have problems. I rode a road bike at the shop that sells bikesdirect.com bikes... I dont know if I can handle the road position. But then again, that was my first time on a road bike.

I'm sorta thinking going with a flat bar bike... Need to test ride more...


P.S. LOVED getting on a bike again! What a rush.
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Old 10-19-10, 11:38 PM
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But now that I think about it, the one I test rode was a bit short for me. I have a longish torso so using the drop handles was a bit rough. I'll have to try a bigger road bike. (They didnt have the tourist in stock. I'll have to pay first if thats what i want)
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Old 10-20-10, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by LarDasse74
Since you have not ridden in a while and are not sure what you want or the fit of bike you need I reccomend against buying online. If you go to a bike shop you can sit on and/or try the bikes you are interested in.

Also... if you have little experience maintaining and working on bikes it will be a steep learning curve and possibly difficult to get an online bike set up perfectly. Most (including Bikes Direct) reccomend getting a shop to do assembly for you, which costs extra $$. Also, if anything goes wrong that could be covered under a warranty you will have to pay for shipping back to Bikes Direct... it is often more cost-effective to just buy a new part to replace the faulty one.

You will also have to get the wheels retensioned before you ride the bike - even with 36 spokes, cheap machine built wheels need a little extra attention before riding. THis could cost you a few dollars.

These are things are not impossible, but not everyone has the patience and determination to stick to it. And if you get it wrong, having a bike with constantly skipping gears or wheels going out of true or breaking spokes is a very easy way to get turned off cycling. A good bike shop is the easiest way to get a reliable bike, and 'easiest' is worth something in this situation.

You can get a similar quality bike for around $1000 at a shop, but you might find something cheaper on sale since it is the end of the season (although you live in FL, which I hear has warmer winters than we get in Canada, so the 'end of season' effect might not be as big).

If you decide to go the Bikes Direct route (or really with whatever you decide to get) you will almost definietly need the largest frame size available. In the cyclocross bike you linked to there is a 64cm bike in black only... the other colours only go up to 61 which is likely to make you feel hunched over and cramped between the bars and seat. There is also a 64cm in the windsor tourist bike. I have looked at and considered getting the Windsor tourist myself, I am also 6'4", and I estimate that would be a good size for me... the 61cm would definitly be too small for me. But everyone is different so what works for me might not work for you.

The other post I would like to comment on is by cappucino911...



Steel does not necessarily make a stronger frame. I have broken several frames over the past few decades and every one of them was steel. I own and have owned aluminum bikes and never managed to break a frame. I currently ride a lightweight aluminum city bike and a lightweight aluminum touring bike and both have lasted for several years - the city bike was my old touring bike and stood up to thousands of kms of very abusive riding on rough roads and trails. The 'steel is less likely to break' statement is a myth. THere are many factors besides material that are more important than material. THe fact of the matter is: aluminum has a higher strength-to-weight ratio, so a 4 pound aluminum frame might be stronger than a 4 pound steel frame (although it is impossible to tell just by knowing the material). Aluminum has become much more common in good quality bikes over the past 10 - 15 years, and the number of broken frames has not gone up considerably that I know of.
Also, Check with manufacturers and ask if there is a maximum weight rating on their bikes... some will have one and this could narrow your choices down considerably. If they say the max weight is within ~20 or 30 pounds of your weight I would expect that would be close enough, but maybe don't do any stunt riding or backflips before you drop a few pounds.

-Kris
(6'4", 270lbs)

edit: read this article on frame materials by the late, great Sheldon Brown:

https://sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

His site is a mind-boggling warehouse of valuable information on bikes and biking. If it isn't on SHeldon's site, it isn't worth knowing (maybe an exaggeration, but it is a good site)
I agree with you 100% I think beginning riders on a limited budget are always in a tough spot because you certainly pay a premium for lbs assembly and service however you may end up with a bike that you dont' absolutely love and not want to ride it. If you buy bikes direct, you save a ton, get a bike you love, but then if you can't assemble it properly it's gonna break and your SOL. Finding a happy medium is key. This is why I suggest looking for other BF'ers in his area. Bikes aren't that tough to work on and the tougher mechanical issues aren't things you normally face with a brand new bike.

Regarding Frame materials, you are correct, Steel does break. However, it is pretty well documented that if anything, steel tends to BEND, not break. Aluminum and carbon fiber are where you have catastrophic snapping where a crash can get ugly. Regardless, the op shouldn't have reservations riding on a new modern bike.


Back to the OP. A lot of people like the Trek 7.x series bikes, they are similar to the Giant Rapid that I mentioned previously. I do NOT like what the shop told you about the wheels and tires. Of course he is going to tell you to replace them later because he will charge you full price for them. If you go back, take a notebook and write down what brand, model and size they are and report back to us and we can look up the specs on them.

A good shop will let you swap stuff out for a cheaper price. For example, a Continental Gatorskin might sell for $60 in a store. You ride the bike for 2 weeks and struggle with the tires and go back and they sock you full price for them. If you ask for the swap up front, they will be more inclined to give them to you for lets say $30 a piece in exchange for the original tires which they will just markup and sell or use for something else. Lastly, you mentioned that the store didn't have the Tourist in stock? Bikes direct is an online seller but I thought I've heard people say they are based out of Florida and Texas and actually have brick and mortar stores there. Was this actually a store that sells bikes direct bikes in house for the same price as online? if it is and they will assemble it without additional fee, you could be in good shape.

Glad you enjoyed the feel of the bike, It was the same thing for me last february when I got on a bike again and now I'm addicted!
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Old 10-21-10, 09:47 PM
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Thanks for all the help guys! With your help I've been able to narrow it down to two bikes, Trek FX 7.3 and Specialized Sirrus Elite. Please help me figure out which one in this thread ----> https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...5#post11661135

Thanks again!!!
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