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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 02-02-13, 04:59 AM   #1
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Beginner road bike for heavy person?

Alright I'm new to the whole biking scene and I need some advice from people who may have been in my position.

First of all I'm 19 years old, 6'3" 280 pounds, and I'm looking for a nice bike that I can ride around to lose weight. Currently I have a diamondback sorrento mountain bike that I ride around on but I'm wanting to try something built for smooth roads rather than off roads. I've heard that riding at a higher psi with smooth road tires can make a difference coming from aggressive knobbed tires, but I'm not sure whether or not to buy a pair or just keep the MTB and upgrade to a road bike? What I'm worried about if I do get a road bike is whether or not it will be able to support my weight. Would there be any significant difference between riding a MTB and a road bike for someone my weight? Also, what kind of road bike should I look for? I was looking at a cheap 149$ takara kabuto on amazon, but I saw a post here saying I should spend a little more for something higher quality. I'm in college and don't have a lot of money to spend, probably max around $300. I was also thinking of buying one off of Craigslist. I saw a 25$ cyclone racer but I've never heard of the brand.. Right now I'm really just looking for a nice short term road bike to get into cycling and to improve my healthy.

Sorry if this is a little long, I'm just kind of clueless right now.
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Old 02-02-13, 05:23 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums.

Given your budget, I'd advise just swapping out the tires on your Diamondback and call it good for now.
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Old 02-02-13, 05:40 AM   #3
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I'd second that opinion, if you have been riding around on your MTB with knobbed tires, you will find a huge difference in just swapping out the tires for some smooth road tires.

Having said that, if you have a chance to pick up a complete bike for $25 that is good for your height, you're not gonna lose much by giving that a try!
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Old 02-02-13, 07:52 AM   #4
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Trac agrees. Go with (for example) a 26 by 1.5 Continental SportCONTACT tire (80 psi) on your current bike, the difference in how the bike feels will surprise you. As far as weight goes, most big bike manufacturers (Trek, Giant, Cannondale, etc.) list 300 pounds as max weight on most of their bikes - the exception being very specialized light-weight bikes that you probably wouldn't be interested in anyway. There are a lot of people here in C/A that are quite a bit heavier than you that ride stock machines with no problem.

Hey welcome to the C/A and congratulations on your desire to get healthy and lose weight!!!!!!!! You're among friends and there is a lot of support here!!!!!
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Old 02-02-13, 08:04 AM   #5
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It looks like the diamondback sorrento comes in four sizes - 16" Small, 18" Medium, 20" Large, 22" Xlarge .... You could get away with riding a medium but a large or maybe an XL is really the size that you need in that bike. As has been already suggested, buy the road tires and put them on - the size is on the sidewall, probably 26"x1.95" or something like that... The 26" in the really important number as it's rim size. The second number 1.95" in the tire width. A smaller number = narrower width tire. Try to find the same size but realistically 26x1.75 to 26x2.125 or so will probably work just fine. Inflate them to the upper end of the mfg range and adjust for the ride that feel good. Raise the seat up - probably a bunchand maybe need a longer post ... road bike rule of thumb is about 120* angle behind knee (femur & tibia) but you will probably not get that high. Nor will you want to on this bike. You will feel more comfortable with a bit more knee bend when the foot is on the pedal and the pedal\crank arm is pointing directly to the ground (bottom dead center) - Too MUCH knee bend is really hard on the knees, and too STRAIGHT causes you to reach, rock on the saddle, and chafe or press and numb your genitals, and can make bike control more difficult when you are not used to it. Then the next concern is how far you are reaching to get to the bars and whether the seat is smashing, pressing, or rubbing your genital area (numb packages are not fun)....You might need to trade off parts - stem\bars to get a comfortable position, but I wouldn't go wild.... Realistically, you want to spread everything out so that you are balanced between the seat and bars, not "squatting" on the bike, or puffing a lot of weight on your hands...... In essence, you are changing the setup to something closer to a Hybrid style designed for more upright riding.

$300 is a very low budget, I would suggest that you put the minimum needed to make your current bike a bit more comfortable to ride . Put in some base miles on it while you save your beer money and search for your next bike. IWhen you are looking at road bikes, look for frames that are a not smaller than 26" (60-63cm) frame size - not wheel size - the frame size is measured along the seat tube from the center of the crank spindle to either the center line of the top tube or the top of the top tube. Referred as "Center to Center" or "Center to Top"... Different mfg will use one of these two and usually note how they measure..... if you got to look at a frame or bike and the owner has no clue on the size you can always stretch a tape measure from the BB to the top tube to check. Scan ebay, craigs list, (Do they have the classifieds here?) for possibilities then check back in here with the details and we'll advise you further....
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Old 02-02-13, 08:14 AM   #6
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I would just get some slicks for your mtn bike. You could ride on those for a year while you research your new road bike.
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Old 02-02-13, 02:03 PM   #7
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Thanks a lot for the help everyone. Given my budget I guess I'll just get some new tires to upgrade my current bike and look at some of the more expensive road bikes later on. Thanks a lot everyone. Hopefully I'll be able to she'd these pounds!
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Old 02-03-13, 03:56 PM   #8
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Mrs. Zoxe rode an Electra Townie with 26x1.75 (or was it 2.0?) slicks as her daily rider for almost 2 seasons. At the time, that meant 15mi per ride, 3-4 days per week. She rode it at Tour de Cure and other charity events. I was on skinnier tires and she'd often kick my butt. You should do fine on them.

Feel free to watch Craigslist for an upgrade. Or keep your eyes open for other venues -- my brother bought a vintage Peugeot steel frame road bike at a police auction for $25. But in the mean time, just keep pedaling.
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