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I'm brand new and need help picking a bike...please help!

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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.

I'm brand new and need help picking a bike...please help!

Old 10-07-13, 11:50 AM
  #26  
Jarrett2
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You have a received a lot of good info. I'll add one bit, if over 300lbs and your choices are bikes in the sub $1000 range from either Trek or Specialized, go Specialized. At over $1000 price point, I think Trek and Specialized are roughly the same in terms of quality; but sub $1000, Specialized is more reliable, imo.

Based on what you are saying, it seems like a good hybrid bike would be good for you. I have to say in saying that, I wish I would have skipped the hybrids and gone straight to road bikes, but I didn't have any way of knowing that before I put some miles on the road.

Last edited by Jarrett2; 10-07-13 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 10-07-13, 08:47 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
I question the wisdom of getting a bike that you grow into, one that may be too much for a beginner. You want a bike that you will ride now and feel confident on as you develop your skills. ...But get what you will ride now, not what you think you might possibly ride in the future.
+1. You aren't going to be married to your first bike, and you don't have to pay alimony if you divorce it.
Even if you decide to get a road bike later on, a hybrid is a useful hop-on-and-go bike for riding to the shops, the library, Canadian Tire to buy a battery charger for the car...
Okay, forget that last one. Unless you live in a very tiny apartment and absolutely can't have more than one bike at a time, you don't have to find one perfect bike for life. And you can do your first triathlon on a hybrid, I saw many people doing it in my first one.
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Old 10-13-13, 09:10 AM
  #28  
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I'm from upstate PA. I will suggest checking the Performance store in Paoli. I go to school in Malverne a lot. I stop in there when I'm there. I also reccomend a triple crankset(referring to the number of rings on the pedals). You are going to need the extra low gears at the start. There are plenty of hills in Bucks. Not as bad as Northumberland where I live. But enough that a beginner will need plenty of low end gears.

One thing to consider. When you get you're bike and begin riding. If hills are still too much. Consider changing the rear gearset to a mountain set up. A typical triple set up will have a 30 tooth sprocket in front and a 28 tooth sprocket in the rear. With a mountain derailieur in the rear(the rear shifter mechanism). You can go as far as 36 teeth in the rear. This will allow much easier pedaling up hills. I did this to my road bike. It works well for me.

As to what to get I'll throw my hat into the hybrid ring as well. It is a great place to start. Performance sells Fuji. They are a good bang for the buck. The venerable Trek FX is a good choice. The Specialized Cirrus is also a good choice. And lastly the Jamis Coda series is also a very good choice.

Buy from a store that treats you well. Many have alluded to this. But you end up buying the shop as well as the bike. My local shop is great. They treat me very well. The relationship between you and you're LBS(local bike shop) will be invaluable for you as a beginner. Be sure you can feel good about taking the bike back for service. Or just stopping in and asking questions.

Lastly you want to add a little into you're budget for a few things. You will need a small seat bag and some supplies. I mean a spare tube,patch kit,tire levers and an inflation device. I use a CO2 inflater with a few spare cartridges.. You will get flats,period. Riding a bike guarantees this. Also learn how to change a tube and tire. This is very essential. You don't want to be stuck somewhere with a flat and no way to fix it and get home. There are plenty of Youtube articles and threads here on this. That is the minimum of what you need at the start.

Good luck in you're search. Don't be in a hurry. Look around and find some bikes you think you like. Come back here and ask specific questions on specific bikes. We would be glad to help you find a bike you will really enjoy. So get out there and look and test ride as many as you can and report back here. We'll get you fixed up.

Mark Shuman
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Old 10-13-13, 05:51 PM
  #29  
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Just a note on after you get your bike: your first ride, or first few rides, may be excruciating. Just take it as slow as you need to. It won't take long to be able to go out every day, or every day that you have time.
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Old 10-13-13, 06:49 PM
  #30  
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I would go with a used bike as a starting point. I took a quick look at the Philly Craigslist (don't know pricing in your area) to see if anything jumped out at me. I saw this Specialized Hardrock. Older rigid mountain bike and in a size that would likely fit you. I have used a similar bike for about 12,000 miles of riding over the past 5-6 years. Great all around riding experience, good for everything but winning a race.

https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4096384105.html

Or this:
https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/4105376454.html

I only suggest the used route based on my experience, which is you really don't know what kind of bike you really want, until you start riding something and get some mile on you.
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Old 10-14-13, 08:54 PM
  #31  
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Oh yea don't forget a floor pump. You'll need that to keep the tires inflated. You should pump up you're tires before any ride.

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Old 10-15-13, 08:52 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by ChubbyNurse View Post
Hello! I'm a 5'4", 30 year old woman who weighs 315 and I'd like any and all advice about buying a bike.
Edit: I'm in Pennsylvania, in Bucks County which is just outside of Philadelphia.
Hi ChubbyNurse. I am currently 310 lbs (down from 338 earlier this year) and 5'6" woman (57 years old). I currently ride a Electra Townie 7sp, which is a lot like the Trek Pure. While it is comfy, especially with my big gut, people are right saying you will outgrow it FAST if you start riding regularly. 10 years ago at 300 pounds, I was bicycling to work most days on a Hybrid bike. A round trip of 9 miles. It didn't take long to get fit enough that the gut was much smaller. Though, I didn't lose weight because I didn't change my diet. So, I recommend you go with a hybrid, also. It might seem uncomfortable and slow at first, but if you really want to be biking and you stick to it, it will get better. Definitely try out whatever you can at a bike shop.

I am still riding my Townie, but need up my miles. When I get to a point where the Townie is too difficult to ride the miles I want, I will switch to my hybrid which is hanging in my garage. I don't mind the slower bike because I always feel like, if I get a better workout on a heavier bike, that's okay with me. I used to train on my hybrid when I lived in Chicago, but on organized rides, I'd pull out my Fuji "road" bike for the speed. When I'm alone, it doesn't matter to me.

Have fun!
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Old 10-26-13, 08:02 PM
  #33  
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Hi Everyone -

Thank you again for all your great suggestions!! I ended up buying a 2010 Trek Pure (pink) from Craig's List. It looked new and the previous owner said it sat in their garage for 3 years. I paid $200. I bought a helmet (got a $25 reimbursement from my health insurance), and a pump with a gauge! I've been riding for about 30 minutes during my lunch time and have been enjoying it. I'm hoping to keep riding during lunch through the winter. I'm not trying to figure out how to best cloth myself and not freeze!! Thank you again!!
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Old 10-26-13, 08:34 PM
  #34  
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Congratulations on the bike. Post a picture!
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Old 10-26-13, 10:18 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by ChubbyNurse View Post
I'm hoping to keep riding during lunch through the winter. I'm not trying to figure out how to best cloth myself and not freeze!! Thank you again!!
I see they have a winter cycling forum right here with lots of helpful threads pinned to the top. I have been taking a peek there the last couple days.
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Old 10-31-13, 07:05 AM
  #36  
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I agree with Goldfinch. You may not be ready yet for the sort of bike you would need to train for a triathlon. So, maybe best to get a quality bike that can handle your weight so you can get started.

You might want to consider a used bike now for well under your budget and see what you like, and don't like about it. Don't know why, but I am seeing a lot of good, basic used women's hybrids and mountain bikes at LBS in my area for around $175 to $225. Talking decent Giant, Trek, Raleigh, and Specialized models anywhere from 4 to 10 years old in ready to ride condition with a 90 day shop warranty. Alternately, look for something on Craigslist for $100 or so, but plan to pay a shop for a tuneup. While none of these would be perfect, provided they fit, any of these would be more than enough bike to get started. You could probably ride something like that for a season, or even a couple of years and get most of your money back if you sell it, or just keep as a winter bike or an extra for emergencies or for visitors. That is assuming you become a biking enthusiast and get the itch to upgrade in a year or two. You may find that a basic old mountain bike or hybrid is as much bike as you need.

The reason I say this is, I agree with goldfinch that if you are uncomfortable or intimidated, you won't ride. That is why comfort bikes and hybrids are so popular with beginners, not so much with enthusiasts. But, it is painful to think about buying a basic hybrid for $500 or so that will depreciate 70% in a year or two.

Edit:

I missed the update. I should read the whole thread before jumping in. Sounds like you took my advice before I gave it.

Last edited by MRT2; 10-31-13 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 11-03-13, 06:52 AM
  #37  
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one i found real nice is a touring bike. It is built for long distance riding, and so therefore is quite comfortable for short rides.
I got the Novara safari from REI. If you wait till their spring sale, it is 20% off. I added a brooks saddle from ebay.
Im 55 and lost 12 pounds on it this summer
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Old 11-03-13, 08:45 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by ChubbyNurse View Post
Hi Everyone -

Thank you again for all your great suggestions!! I ended up buying a 2010 Trek Pure (pink) from Craig's List. It looked new and the previous owner said it sat in their garage for 3 years. I paid $200. I bought a helmet (got a $25 reimbursement from my health insurance), and a pump with a gauge! I've been riding for about 30 minutes during my lunch time and have been enjoying it. I'm hoping to keep riding during lunch through the winter. I'm not trying to figure out how to best cloth myself and not freeze!! Thank you again!!
Ride the wheels off it... Congrats..

the best bike is the one that gets you out on it.. seems pretty simple.. and a year from now if you upgrade you can sell it for what you have in it.. (maybe more) or keep it if you upgrade.. having a spare bike that is easy to ride will help a lot with the friend that says "I would LOVE to go with you.. If I JUST had a bike.."

I started on an FX.. now its my 'third' bike

and. post a pix.. bike and rider..
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Old 11-03-13, 09:17 AM
  #39  
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research the Surly Troll
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Old 11-04-13, 04:49 AM
  #40  
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Nice to hear the nurse got a bike instead of just spending time trying to figure out which one. As you ride more you'll come up with a different bike you'll want better. It happens all the time. Glad you picked something good like the Trek. All of them over all the years have been great riding for me.

-SP
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Old 11-04-13, 05:50 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by moochems View Post

I got my bike weighing 320 pounds or so.
Let me see if I understand you.
You got a bike weighing 320 pounds. That's about 300 lbs heavier than your average road bike.

Just having a little fun. Not a serious poke at moochems.
Have a good day.
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Old 11-05-13, 07:58 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
Let me see if I understand you.
You got a bike weighing 320 pounds. That's about 300 lbs heavier than your average road bike.

Just having a little fun. Not a serious poke at moochems.
Have a good day.
Hey, have fun, this section of the forum is such a pleasure to read because it is not only great info, but us fat guys seem to have a great sense of humor over other sections of the forum. Heck, I just read a thread that I was going to call out on because the guy says he lost 70 pounds since Thanksgiving 2013. That is ultra impressive since Thanksgiving 2013 is still 2+ weeks away (US, I did look to make sure he wasn't listed in Canada ) I didn't call it out for humor though, but the cat's out of the bag now. I'm sure you now know which thread so no need for injecting the humor there for fun.
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Old 11-05-13, 09:18 AM
  #43  
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FYI, my girlfriend just went looking at bikes and rode several including multiple models from Trek, Specialized and Electra. She liked and purchased a step through Trek Verve 2 that looks like this:

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Old 11-07-13, 01:48 PM
  #44  
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I bought a bike that was more expensive than smart. After that, I couldn't afford food and my weight went down. I didn't ride much, but I kept the bike in my living room. Everytime I'd notice it, I thought to myself, Cool bike. I must be a jock. I have a cool bike.
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