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BIG guy needs bike.

Old 09-13-07, 07:46 AM
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rerat
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BIG guy needs bike.

I'm 6'6, 260 lbs. I want to commute to school, the mall etc. by bike now that I live in the city. Growing up with kid's bikes I was always kind of emberassed by how awkward I looked on them. I need something strong, reliable, simple and comfortable. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-13-07, 07:49 AM
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BikingGrad80
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depends on the budget. At 260 I'd at least keep the rear wheel at 32+ spokes. 6'6 you will probably need the largest frame size, possibly custom. Perhaps the 25" Trek 520, a truly excellent all purpose bike.
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Old 09-13-07, 07:57 AM
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Start with the "29ers." (The wheels are about 29 inches vs the usual 26ish inch mountain bike wheel.)
I think that will help make the bike LOOK like it fits you.
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Old 09-13-07, 09:02 AM
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rerat,
I suggest you ask your same question in the Clydesdales/Athenas forum (although I'm sure you can get advice here as well). They specialize in biking issues for larger people and are aware of related biking issues we might not think about.

Also, if you look around/search that forum I'm sure there have been past threads with input on the very question you are asking as well.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:02 AM
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I'm 6'6" and working my way down from 265 pounds.

I ride a 1991 Specialized Stumpjumper (rigid frame/fork) and a 1991 PDG Series-5.

Both have 32 hole wheels, front and rear, and I have had very few problems with them. (I say very few, because I used to really abuse the Stumpie, and I put the wheels out of true all the time. My fault, though... not the wheels'.)

I see a lot of good comments about the Specialized Hardrock being a good bike for us big guys (weight, not height.) I don't know about the height sizing on it. For street commuting, it's easy enough to have the shop swap out the knobbies for some good city tires like Schwalbe Big Apple, Marathon Plus, or other low-rolling-resistance treads.

The Trek 520 would be another good option if you like the feel of a roadie-er bike (drop bars, larger wheels.) I ride with a guy who's over 260 and rides a Trek 520. No problems with it at all.
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Old 09-13-07, 10:29 AM
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Also, any of the major manufacturer's "comfort" bikes might do well for you. I am shorter (6') but heavier (350) and ride a Giant Sedona with a Large frame. Perhaps the Giant Cypress line (similar bike with the 700c wheels) with the XL frame would be good for you.

Other major manufacturers have similar bikes...
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Old 09-13-07, 10:48 AM
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The weak point of any bike are the wheels. With spokes wheels you need at least 32 spokes on MTb and 36 on larger 700c. Expert riders can make do with fewer spokes but more add strength and really dont weight much.
It may be wise to buy from a decent bike shop where they can do a proper check of the assembly. Most entry-mid level bikes have wheels that are spoked by machine. They really need a going over by hand to tune the tension. You cant expect a big discount from such a shop by in the long run, reliable wheels are worth a few bucks more. Pick your shop then see what brands they offer.
Most modern frames have big, fat aluminium tubes which are ideal for larger riders. Any mid-level hybrid style bike will get you started. MTBs will aslo work but make sure they have a full complement of threaded eyelets for luggage and fenders.
You have to see how comfortable you are in a low down position vs a more upright stance. I would advise to steer clear of extreme riding positions and start fairly easy.
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Old 09-14-07, 08:03 AM
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Your weight is not a problem for any good commuting wheel. However you will have a problem with fit based on your height. What is your budget and what kind of ride do you have?
If you are looking at under $500 a number of bike shop brands have comfort/hybrid bikes that come in x-large sizes. These are pretty decent commuters and alot of people commute on similar bikes. If you are looking closer to $1000 then there are a few touring bikes and MTBs that have large frames that will work well. I really like Surly bikes and the largest sizes should fit you well. The LHT (Long Haul Trucker) is an excellent touring bike while the Karate Monkey is a versatile 29er MTB. I ride a CrossCheck which is a little sportier than the LHT but still has plenty of tire clearance for wide tires with fenders.

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Old 09-14-07, 10:31 AM
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A friend of mine who's 6'5" 260 got a Giant Rincon a few years ago. The lbs changed out the stem, handlebars and seatpost. It was the largest factory spec frame they made(Giant). 2 mos later he tacoed the rear wheel @ Snowshoe Mtn in WV. The lbs built him a 48 spoke wheel.
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