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Confused - some help with the right bike

Old 04-28-20, 02:22 PM
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AD223
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Confused - some help with the right bike

I'm sure there is a topic like this - if so, pls excuse as I'm posting a new thread.

I'm 57 -
6 feet - 32 inseam
290 lbs.
I can walk briskly and am in decent shape for my size.

I would like to get the right bike for my current build, and also I can 'lose' into - as this is a start of getting some pounds off.

I don't want to break the bank, but I'm willing to spend a few hundred more for a bike that I can grow into with minor upgrades, etc. - or maybe it's just better to buy right for now, and then buy later ( upgrade ) if the hobby sticks.

Are there material, tires, or structural things I need be aware of when buying?

I'm thinking hybrid, but have read there are differences ( sub categories ) \?

1. Do I need disc brakes?
2. Type of seat to get?
3, Size of bike - I think I may be between a 54-56 in a road bike. What is the equivalent in a Hybrid?
4. Do I need 21 speed?
5. Are there gears and components I should / should not consider ?
6. Brands for value? I've seen a few online stores; possibly more bang for the same money as a retail store
7. A friend suggested Motobecane; I've also seen Diadoro and GT.
8. Type of handlebars? Do I need the type that adjust up & down for comfort?
9. What about forks?
10. Do I need any type of special suspension for seat or other?

I appreciate any feedback and guidance.

Thank you.

Last edited by AD223; 04-28-20 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 04-28-20, 02:49 PM
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That's a lot of questions, but there's some context missing: what type of riding are you looking to do? Just go out and cruise down the road? Are you wanting to go fast, or for very long distance? Is it very hilly where you're at, or mostly flat? A drop-bar road bike will put you into a different posture than a hybrid will, but if you want to cruise reasonably fast for long distances on the road you'd probably want a drop-bar road bike instead of a hybrid. It's all going to depend on what you want.

Nobody's advice would make much sense until they knew more about what you're wanting to do with the bike. And how much you were willing to spend. If you don't know what kind of bike you want, you might hit up some local bike stores and try out different kinds of bikes, and see if any of them inspire you. Once you've at least identified the style of bike you'd want (drop-bar vs. hybrid for example) you could start to get a feel for what types of components and such would be available to you in the price range you want to spend.
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Old 04-28-20, 02:55 PM
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follow up...

Thanks, SETHAZ

I live in FLA, so no hills, but I do see taking weekend trips further north. so possibly once in a while, but not for the daily rides.

I see a 'mid pace' for a while, and them doing 10-20 miles rides at a specified clip - monitoring cadence and time elapsed more closely.

I'm not looking for someone to say 'buy this bike' - but honestly going to the bike stores the people there treat you like you're a dummy. Everyone has an ego.

Budget is about $500; upwards of $700.

I had a Gary Fisher hybrid type bike, but when I moved I gave it away about 5 years ago. It was sort of heavy. It rode solid.
I do remember my back getting tight from leaning over.

Last edited by AD223; 04-28-20 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 04-28-20, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by AD223 View Post
I'm sure there is a topic like this - if so, pls excuse as I'm posting a new thread.

I'm 57 -
6 feet - 32 inseam
290 lbs.
I can walk briskly and am in decent shape for my size.

I would like to get the right bike for my current build, and also I can 'lose' into - as this is a start of getting some pounds off.

I don't want to break the bank, but I'm willing to spend a few hundred more for a bike that I can grow into with minor upgrades, etc. - or maybe it's just better to buy right for now, and then buy later ( upgrade ) if the hobby sticks.

Are there material, tires, or structural things I need be aware of when buying?

I'm thinking hybrid, but have read there are differences ( sub categories ) \?

1. Do I need disc brakes?
2. Type of seat to get?
3, Size of bike - I think I may be between a 54-56 in a road bike. What is the equivalent in a Hybrid?
4. Do I need 21 speed?
5. Are there gears and components I should / should not consider ?
6. Brands for value? I've seen a few online stores; possibly more bang for the same money as a retail store
7. A friend suggested Motobecane; I've also seen Diadoro and GT.
8. Type of handlebars? Do I need the type that adjust up & down for comfort?
9. What about forks?
10. Do I need any type of special suspension for seat or other?

I appreciate any feedback and guidance.

Thank you.
1. Do I need disc brakes?
No, but a lot of quality bikes have them. It is probably where things are going so you might as well get used to it.
2. Type of seat to get?
Hopefully the bike you have comes with one. If that one does not support you, then you need to start looking. Everybody is different, but in general, you want something that will support your sit bones and not cause you pain when you ride.
3, Size of bike - I think I may be between a 54-56 in a road bike. What is the equivalent in a Hybrid?
At 6' a 54 cm would likely be too small for you though you should check with your local bike shop and test ride before you buy. In a hybrid, you might be a Large, but check with your local bike shop or the manufacturer website for sizing.
4. Do I need 21 speed?
Don't know. Bikes come with single, double and triple chainrings. Look for at least an 8 speed as 7 speed is pretty much entry level these days. I still like triples, but they are sort of on their way out, especially with 10 and 11 speeds, you really don't need a triple.
5. Are there gears and components I should / should not consider ?
Yes. Most quality brands feature Shimano or SRAM components. So look for that. Sometimes to save money, they will use tektro brakes and/or Formula hubs. this is ok, or at least not terrible. It is just a cost saving measure.
Stay away from anything with 7 speeds. also any bike with low spoke count wheels. (20, 24 or even 28 spokes isn't enough to support your weight)

6. Brands for value? I've seen a few online stores; possibly more bang for the same money as a retail store
You get what you pay for. Since you don't know much about bikes, best to go with a reputable brand from a local bike shop for your first bike.
7. A friend suggested Motobecane; I've also seen Diadoro and GT.
??? No comment, since it doesn't sound like a question
8. Type of handlebars? Do I need the type that adjust up & down for comfort?
There are two main types. Flat bars and variations of that. And drop bars and variations of that. I prefer drop bars.
I am not familiar with handlebars that adjust up and down. You can change out the stem to get your handlebars a little higher or lower, and there are other ways to do it, but an adjustable handlebar is something I haven't seen in 20 years.

9. What about forks?
Yes, you need a fork to hold your front wheel. What is the question?
10. Do I need any type of special suspension for seat or other?
No. Your legs are the suspension.
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Old 04-28-20, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by AD223 View Post
Thanks, SETHAZ

I live in FLA, so no hills, but I do see taking weekend trips further north. so possibly once in a while, but not for the daily rides.

I see a 'mid pace' for a while, and them doing 10-20 miles rides at a specified clip - monitoring cadence and time elapsed more closely.

I'm not looking for someone to say 'buy this bike' - but honestly going to the bike stores the people there treat you like you're a dummy. Everyone has an ego.

Budget is about $500; upwards of $700.

I had a Gary Fisher hybrid type bike, but when I moved I gave it away about 5 years ago. It was sort of heavy. It rode solid.
I do remember my back getting tight from leaning over.
That will get you a modern equivalent to your old Gary Fisher. Maybe a couple of pounds lighter. If you want to get into a basic road bike or gravel bike you might need to go up in price a bit.
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Old 04-28-20, 05:54 PM
  #6  
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I can tell you this---if you are a my-sized sort of gentleman (eighth of a ton and upwards) you do Not need 21-speed. Most 21-speed bikes have freewheels, which have weaker axles, which means eventually you will go off a high curb or hit a big pothole and bend the axle. (@MRT2 alluded to this, in a way.)

Look for bikes with multiples of at least 8, if buying a multi-speed bike.

A bike I have been recommending people look at---https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/swift-flatbar-hybrid-8.htm and https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...atbar-road.htm

Both have aluminum frames and steel forks, which are more comfortable than aluminum and more durable than carbon fiber. I wouldn't hesitate to use CF, even at my weight, but .... you pay more for the CF forks. All the hybrid bikes in that price range on that site look to be suitable for a bigger guy who isn't looking to race.

And most hybrids are going to weigh in at 30-40 pounds. They are built to be bashed around , tied to the back of campers, ridden and abused by the grand kids, knocked over in the garage .... if you want a bike at the lower end of that range you will be looking at rigid mountain bikes .... and paying a bit more. Might be worth it, i cannot say.

I prefer drop bars but have commuted and camped on flat bars. You can sit pretty much upright with drop bars, as with flats, but the flat bars will tend to be a bit wider which can create a feeling of stability.

As for size, I'd suggest a minimum of 56, if you have a short torso and long limbs. Most people would recommend a 58 for an "average" six-footer See comment below about test rides.

No one can tell you what kind of bike to get ... but for people like you, towards whom I mean well but will never meet, so you can never get even .... I will make suggestions. If you aren't sure you want to ride, don't spend a lot. If you are .... then buy a bike you really will be able to ride for a decade or more. Spend a little more, and on every ride you will be glad, but the bank statement only comes once.

Because you say "If the hobby stick ..." I might advise spending less .... or buying a Really expensive bike and selling it to me really cheap next year after you haven't ridden it.

Seriously ... go to a local shop (if any are open) and test-ride a lot of bikes, if only to see what you think.
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Old 04-28-20, 08:43 PM
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thanks, Maelochs....

All good info; thanks for the insight.
These are good to know things a newbie like me would not know or probably be told at the bike store.

more like.. oh yeah, you need a 21 speed bike...

I was directed to BikesDirect by an Italian friend who is a very experienced rider. He told me a few years ago that you can get a really nice bike for a fraction of the cost of a store; maybe spend the same and get a super nice bike.
The truth is, the link you sent looks like a great deal. Probably what I should spend as a first bike; can always upgrade components on the same frame later on.

All good stuff.

thanks again.
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Old 04-29-20, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by AD223 View Post
All good info; thanks for the insight.
These are good to know things a newbie like me would not know or probably be told at the bike store.

more like.. oh yeah, you need a 21 speed bike...

I was directed to BikesDirect by an Italian friend who is a very experienced rider. He told me a few years ago that you can get a really nice bike for a fraction of the cost of a store; maybe spend the same and get a super nice bike.
The truth is, the link you sent looks like a great deal. Probably what I should spend as a first bike; can always upgrade components on the same frame later on.

All good stuff.

thanks again.
You could always try a used hardtail mountain bike. It will handle your weight and any road you want to take it on and will give you a chance to see what you do and don't like.
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Old 04-29-20, 08:51 AM
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I'll second the suggestion for a used bike--there's a thread on the site which shows many bikes that riders have altered into a "hybrid" For some ideas: Show me your hybrid-ized vintage mountain bikes!

If you find a good used bike, you may not need to do more than put some diff tires on it, but I'd start used until you ride some, and have a good idea of what is going to work best for you.

Last edited by freeranger; 04-29-20 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 04-29-20, 11:54 AM
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When I first started up again, my first 3 bikes were used road bikes. It was a good idea.
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Results matter
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Old 04-29-20, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by AD223 View Post
All good info; thanks for the insight.
These are good to know things a newbie like me would not know or probably be told at the bike store.

more like.. oh yeah, you need a 21 speed bike...

I was directed to BikesDirect by an Italian friend who is a very experienced rider. He told me a few years ago that you can get a really nice bike for a fraction of the cost of a store; maybe spend the same and get a super nice bike.
The truth is, the link you sent looks like a great deal. Probably what I should spend as a first bike; can always upgrade components on the same frame later on.

All good stuff.

thanks again.
You probably won't be upgrading components except for wear items ( e.g. tires, tubes, brake pads, chain, cassette) and back wheel, which you might find yourself replacing sooner rather than later if you do much riding at all. But other than that, a decently spec'd bike should be OK for years and often times, upgrading drivetrains on a bike is cost prohibitive.

One of the hidden expenses of buying a Bikes Direct bike is assembly and routine adjustments. Generally, a new bike should be looked over for routine adjustments after a couple of weeks or months of riding. And it isn't just some BS bike shops say. It is a real thing. If you buy a bike from a local shop new, that and usually a year or two of routine adjustments and service are included. Obviously this is something you have to DIY or pay a bike shop to do if you buy from Bikes Direct. You still might come out ahead, but it is something you should know.
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Old 04-30-20, 05:11 AM
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Hello AD223,
To get started I would find a good used recumbent bike with 16” to 20” wheels. This size of wheels are very strong. The seats are very comfortable and have good support. They have a very wide range of adjustment to fit you just right. In my area I see nice ones going for $200 to $300 sometimes less.

I owned this one
https://bicycleman.com/sun-ez-1-recumbent-bike/

My buddy has owned this one for about ten years
https://bicycleman.com/sun-ez-1-lite-recumbent-bike/

I rode one for two years when I was your body weight and a buddy of mine is around 330 to 350 and has had no problems. When you buy one make sure you get it fully serviced by a good bike shop that will probably tune up your wheels.

1) Do I need disc brakes? NO, they are nice in the rain or going down long descents. Property adjusted rim brake are just fine. I commuted twenty miles a day in the hilly rainy NW of the USA for many years with rim brakes, no worries!

2) As for the best kind of seat, recumbent seats are the best bar none. Regular upright bicycle seat will soon make you feel like you are being cut in half even if you get a wide gel padded one at your weight. I know I’ve been there and done that!

I hope this helps.

Last edited by tim24k; 04-30-20 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:04 AM
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follow up...

I'm considering a $300-$400+ Motobecane Hybrid - having a local store assemble, and be done with it. I just hope that whatever I buy that the aluminum frame supports my 290lb weight.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by AD223 View Post
I'm considering a $300-$400+ Motobecane Hybrid - having a local store assemble, and be done with it. I just hope that whatever I buy that the aluminum frame supports my 290lb weight.
I'd be more concerned about the wheels than the frame. If your local store has a good wheelbuilder he can help you if need be, first by checking the tension on the wheels that come on the bike and building a strong replacement rear wheel if you should crack yours.

Having broken many wheels a good wheelbuilder is my most important source of professional help with bikes.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:26 AM
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I know some of the wheels I've seen have a described 'double wall' or something like that, which is supposedly stronger.
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Old 05-11-20, 11:40 AM
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Even though the data is often hard to find, many manufacturers only certify their bikes to a rider weight of 220 lb. (100 kg). That is not, by any means, universal—just something to watch for. There is one company in particular that rates their bikes to 400 lb. ( https://zizebikes.com/bicycle-weight-limit-400-lbs/ ). I did point one of my gravitationally enhanced friends to them, and he is soon going to buy a different bike, having lost 180 lbs.
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Old 05-11-20, 02:48 PM
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It doesn't sound like you're going in the direction of a road bike, but if you are, I would recommend a 56cm - 58cm frame. I am also 6' with 32" inseam and in bike fittings at my LBS, they always put me in a 58cm. But, I discovered that I could tolerate a bit more lean angle than reach so I've now moved to a 56cm and prefer it much more.

Since you mentioned that part of reason of getting a bike is weight loss, I would choose the bike that will most motivate you to use it! Not sure if Florida is back open yet, but I would venture in to your local bike store and try several bikes like the Motobecane to make sure it meets your comfort expectations. This will determine the proper frame size for you as well. My son has a Trek FX 7.1 and it's a great bike for just tooling around.
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