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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 09-13-11, 06:58 PM   #1
Allen55
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New guy here...help me with bike?

Hey guys...First post here. Im just getting into running and want to start biking on my off days from running. A little about me - 5-7 281 pounds and losing. Im a type 2 diabetic and need the exercise for my diabetes as well as for my health. I am trying to lose 100 pounds.

I am also unemployed. I told you that to say this - i dont have a lot of money to put into a bike, but really want to get started.

When I started running, I went to a local running store and had my gait analyzed to get fitted with the proper shoes. I am going to assume that I will need to do the same sort of fitting with a bike.

Here is where I need advice...how much should I expect to spend on a decent bike that won't break the bank? Which ones would you guys suggest for a newb that has very little money? What equipment will I need to buy with it? I wish I knew more about this stuff, but I dont. Im hoping you guys can help.

Allen
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Old 09-13-11, 07:02 PM   #2
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Welcome Allen! Whats your ballpark budget? that is really gonna affect the kind of advice you get on this one.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:06 PM   #3
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250, maybe? Less would be better. A LOT on CL, but I have no clue what size I would need.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:12 PM   #4
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Also...I dont know if I need a mountain bike or some other kind. I just know I want to get on a bike and ride and lose this weight. I will be running as well and biking on the off days of running.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:19 PM   #5
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Can you visit a local bike shop? If so, go to as many as you can and try as many bikes as you can (even just sitting on them in the store or on a trainer if they will allow it) Find a style that fits and start looking on CL for something used. $250 buys a lot of bicycle used...not so much new.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:29 PM   #6
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WHere do you plan on riding? Paved roads? Gravel roads? Multi Use Paths (MUPs)? Rough and rocky trails?

Do you want to go out for 1/2 hour at a time or are you planning on circumnavigating Georgia over the course of a week?

Generally speaking, most riding, except for the extremes of terrain and speed, are handled easily by touring, cyclocross, or hybrid bikes. These generally have medium width tires to give some cushion, nut not so wide that you can't go fast. And you can fit different width and tread pattern tires on to match whatever riding you are planning on doing.

As for size, I would say between 16 and 19 inch as a start for mountain bike or hybrid frames, and maybe between 52 and 56 cm road frames, but this all depends on what makes you comfortable. And if you are planning to do rough off-road riding you usually should go smaller rather than bigger. Any bike you get should have enough adjustment of the seat post to get your leg almost perfectly straight at the bottom of your pedal stroke, and give you enough clearance so that you don't injure yourself in the *ahem* crotchular region if you have to dismount quickly.
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Old 09-13-11, 07:48 PM   #7
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WHere do you plan on riding? Paved roads? Gravel roads? Multi Use Paths (MUPs)? Rough and rocky trails?

Do you want to go out for 1/2 hour at a time or are you planning on circumnavigating Georgia over the course of a week?
Well, road mostly but there is a few trails around here that I have run on. But the main one would be the Silver Comet Trail and it is paved and only for runners/walkers/bikes. So, if I dont ride there, it will be on the road. I won't be cross stating it anytime soon, but I do want to build my endurance to as much as I can go. So, eventually, I would like to ride 25-40 miles at a time, but that is way down the road.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:19 PM   #8
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At your budget, the best bet is an older rigid mountain bike. For strictly road use look for 19", for off road probably a 16" or 17". They are generally tough as nails. Plan on putting slicks on it and your are set for your goals. Once you start riding 60-100 miles a day on weekends it will be time to step up to a road bike.
You will probably need to spend more on accessories and tools than on the bike itself gettin started. You'll need a floor pump, either a c02 inflator or a frame pump, tire levers, a multitool, and a helmet at least.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:22 PM   #9
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Craig's List is your friend. Don't just search your local Craig's List. Get a couple bike models in mind, and do a Google search with the model name and put "site:craigslist.org" on the end. I found my perfect bike at a great price like that.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:22 PM   #10
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Can you suggest some brands to look for? There are a ton on CL around here.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:25 PM   #11
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Here's one

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/bik/2596978636.html

Look for Specialized, Trek, GT, Kona...
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Old 09-13-11, 08:30 PM   #12
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Sounds to me like you would be better off with a touring or cyclocross bike, then. These types of bikes generally have large '700c' wheels which can be fitted with either narrow and hard racing tires, or relatively wide and robust soft touring or knobby off road tires. They generally have 'drop' style handlebars like a racer, which allow multiple hand positions and most people actually find more comfortable than flat or riser bars after you start riding for more than a few miles.

Another type of bike that might be suitable would be a 'hybrid,' which are usually bikes with more upright riding positions but the same mid-width tires that can be swapped between narrow road slicks and knobbies.
Mountain bikes can also be suitable on the road, if they are fitted with street or slick tires.
Hybrids and mountain bikes generally have handlebars that are almost stright, or have a slight rise. THese generally only have one hand position, and are generally considered not-as-good for long distance riding. Bar-ends (extensions on the ends of the handlebars) and different types of bars that allow more hand positions are common.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:31 PM   #13
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Here's another

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bik/2592529154.html
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Old 09-13-11, 08:32 PM   #14
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That's a nice looking bike.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:37 PM   #15
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This is all so confusing. LOL.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:40 PM   #16
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Here's a good priced road bike, they don't come up much around here. May be a touch small though, hard to tell in pictures.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/atl/bik/2591892777.html
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Old 09-13-11, 08:46 PM   #17
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This is all so confusing. LOL.
I feel your pain, I went through it just recently. What I did was think about the riding I'd most likely do, which was road and packed gravel with my kid's trailer attached to the back on the gravel portions. At first I was contemplating a hybrid, but I lurked around here for a while and got tempted by the touring "steel is real" versions of bikes. Lighter like a road bike, stronger like a hybrid, no cheap suspension--I'd rather put my money in quality than cheap crap suspension. That narrowed it down quite a bit, and I found a Jamis Aurora close by. My wife found a Trek hybrid at a good price, also on CL. I won't tell her this, but I'm glad I got the touring bike.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:58 PM   #18
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does the 19 inches mean wheel size?
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Old 09-13-11, 08:58 PM   #19
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If you want to get your hands dirty, also think about looking for a local bike co-op. There you can not only learn how to work on the bike yourself (and save a load of dough), but you may also be able to work towards a free bike.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:11 PM   #20
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does the 19 inches mean wheel size?
No that means frame size. Measured from the center of the cranks to the top tube. Basically, Wheel size is either going to be 26" for mountain bikes or 700c for road bikes. Hybrids sometimes have either size.

That purple Specialized is a hell of a deal if the color doesn't offend you. Add slicks and it will be set. I had a white on just like it and rode it a lot until I bent the rear triangle in Palo Duro canyon.
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Old 09-14-11, 08:10 AM   #21
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This bike is still available...
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Old 09-14-11, 08:30 AM   #22
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Allen, I shopped Craigslist quite a bit for bikes for relatives. I found that a lot of the bikes I saw were very poorly maintained. So, you might end up either learning a lot about bike maintenance fast or bringing the bike into a shop for some help. For example, many of the bikes had brakes way out of adjustment or worn out or both, often not working properly on at least one wheel. The derailleurs almost always needed adjusting as the bikes often did not shift through all the gears. A deal breaker for me was if the wheels were cockeyed (out of true). If you are willing to learn there are many tutorials online about how to work on your bike.

Just don't get a crappy brand. That Specialized is a good, hardy bike. Jump on it!
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Old 09-14-11, 09:26 AM   #23
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Allen, I shopped Craigslist quite a bit for bikes for relatives. I found that a lot of the bikes I saw were very poorly maintained. So, you might end up either learning a lot about bike maintenance fast or bringing the bike into a shop for some help. For example, many of the bikes had brakes way out of adjustment or worn out or both, often not working properly on at least one wheel. The derailleurs almost always needed adjusting as the bikes often did not shift through all the gears. A deal breaker for me was if the wheels were cockeyed (out of true). If you are willing to learn there are many tutorials online about how to work on your bike.

Just don't get a crappy brand. That Specialized is a good, hardy bike. Jump on it!
I second the comment about do it yourself work. Get a used mountain bike or hybrid. Avoid brands like Next, Kent, etc - they are Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and other big box store brands, and often poorly made and put together. The only discount department store bike I've seen that's sturdy is the Schwinn Sidewinder, but the Specialized listed is a better ride.

When searching, don't overlook garage sales, asking friends and relatives, etc. There are a surprising number of bikes gathering dust in garages and basements.
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Old 09-14-11, 09:53 AM   #24
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Gonna go take a gander at some of the bike stores today to see what they have going on. I just want to feel a few of these bikes.
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