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Bike advice for beginner

Old 06-29-15, 02:20 PM
  #1  
LindaLou2015
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Bike advice for beginner

Hi. I'm looking to start riding a bike. I am overweight and want it for exercise. Looking for something that is comfortable. I'm thinking of a 7 speed mountain bike.
Any suggestions or advice?
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Old 06-29-15, 02:40 PM
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Id suggest trying a hyrid. And nothing very expensive. Always hard to say what direction of a bike you may want later. A hybrid would be comfortable for road or bike trails and you can decide which you like better. Then next bike might be a roadbike or a mt bike. Or you may fall in love with hybrids.
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Old 06-29-15, 02:50 PM
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We would actually need a bit more information before we could make any suggestions.
You mentioned that you were considering an MTB, but you said nothing about the riding you plan on doing.
Are you looking at single track... doing all your riding on dirt/off road...do you plan on any road riding at all... MUT's? What made you consider an MTB and why 7 speed? What is your budget? You said you were over weight, what is your height and weight? Do you have any previous riding experience as an adult, or did you ride much as a kid?
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Old 06-29-15, 02:53 PM
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Where would you be riding this bike? Trails, roads, etc...?

I agree that buying an inexpensive bike to start out would be a good idea. When I started riding a few years ago I bought a bike only to find the type of riding I wanted to do quickly changed. First it was riding with my kids, then it was commuting, then it became an addiction. That resulted in my selling the first bike and the next thing I knew I had a collection of bikes.
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Old 06-29-15, 02:58 PM
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@hillyman has a good recommendation. Hybrids generally use road-sized rims (aka 700C, or 622 mm) with medium-width tires (like 32-40 mm), which is a great combination for riding pavement and fine crushed gravel rec paths. Hybrids have upright riding geometry, which is usually the most comfortable for new riders and shorter rides.

Mountain bikes generally have wider (2" or ~50 mm), knobby tires that are more competent off the trail, but slower on the trail. Mountain bikes almost universally have a front suspension fork, which you totally don't need for pavement/rec trail riding. (Seriously, cheap suspension forks are total dead weight on hybrids too).

You suggest a 7-speed mountain bike, which is either new and very low end, or an older model. If you mean new, then I suggest a rigid fork hybrid. If you mean old, then look for an old MTB with a rigid fork. With smoother tires, they can make pretty decent path cruiser bikes.

Hybrids, comfort bikes (aka, hybrid with 26" smooth tires but stupid suspension forks), and mountain bikes will all be competent at carrying a large rider; most manufacturers rate these model lines up to 350 lbs.
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Old 06-29-15, 03:22 PM
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I haven't ridden a bike seriously for about 20 years. Early 90's I use to ride a ten speed on a bike trail and I would ride for miles. I am 5'6" and weight 250. I need to
lose at least 100 lbs. I would mostly ride on pavement. I was thinking 7 speed in case I go uphill or downhill, but I don't live in a hilly area, so maybe I don't need one.
My next day off I will go to bike shop and ride some of the hybrids. Today I tested a schwinn 7 speed and it was $399. It had a big seat for my big you know what.
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Old 06-29-15, 03:26 PM
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If you are talking mostly pavement, then a hybrid like the trek FX series is something to consider...
and don't let the big seat fool you...bigger seat means more chaffing on longer rides...

Last edited by obed7; 06-30-15 at 06:22 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-29-15, 03:31 PM
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Hello! i have a trek mamba with 29 inch tires. I am only 5"2' and 125 pounds but i have had the bike for a year. I have been starting to go on more advanced trails and i have had alot of fun. I moved from a 26 inch to a 29 inch. i have had a little bit of trouble controlling the bike going off jumps and riding in general. Is there any tips that you can give me to have better control over the bike? strategies? exercises? etc...... thanks!!!
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Old 06-29-15, 05:08 PM
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I agree with the not that expensive Hybrid recommendation(s). And with the take a look at the Trek FX series as well.
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Old 06-29-15, 05:18 PM
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29" mountain bike with narrower tires. But just test ride until one fits you good
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Old 06-29-15, 07:06 PM
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trevor1968
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thanks!
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Old 06-30-15, 05:55 AM
  #12  
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Bike Size

Originally Posted by trevor1968 View Post
Hello! i have a trek mamba with 29 inch tires. I am only 5"2' and 125 pounds but i have had the bike for a year. I have been starting to go on more advanced trails and i have had alot of fun. I moved from a 26 inch to a 29 inch. i have had a little bit of trouble controlling the bike going off jumps and riding in general. Is there any tips that you can give me to have better control over the bike? strategies? exercises? etc...... thanks!!!
I find it hard to believe that any bike shop advised you to go to 29" wheels at 5'2". My advice would be to go back to the 26" and wait until you've grown ~8" taller. Ride more.
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Old 06-30-15, 07:50 AM
  #13  
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thanks for the advice! i still have my old trek 3700 that i can revert back to
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Old 06-30-15, 08:04 AM
  #14  
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I would respectfully suggest a Giant, probably the Liv Alight 3 at $360 Alight 3 (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States

Or, the Rove Series at $460 Rove 3 (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States

Step thru will be slightly easier to start with.
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Old 07-01-15, 08:28 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I find it hard to believe that any bike shop advised you to go to 29" wheels at 5'2". My advice would be to go back to the 26" and wait until you've grown ~8" taller. Ride more.
That kind of shocked me as well. My wife is 5'3" and we went to an REI looking for a new mtb for her. (I had $500 in REI gift cards). I knew exactly what we wanted but the sales person wanted to push a M sized Mens 29er on her because it was a closeout. It was a nice bike and a great deal but it was clearly too big for her. Bad advice is given sometimes and a 29er for a person that is 5'2" is not the best advice.
Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
I would respectfully suggest a Giant, probably the Liv Alight 3 at $360 Alight 3 (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States
Step thru will be slightly easier to start with.
Excellent advice. If I did not have the gift cards to REI the Liv was the bike my wife was going to get. If the OP is 250 lbs the step through would be a great way to go. I would also recommend going rigid on the front. Suspension forks put more weight on the bikes and for a hybrid being used on the roads this is a better and less expensive alternative. The lighter weight just makes it easier to move around for storage. I bought a new 29er this year and converted my old 26er to a hybrid. Thankfully I kept my original fork from 1993. Taking that off and going with the smaller tires really makes it a fun bike to ride on the road but it is also easier to move around the garage and hang from the ceiling.
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Old 07-01-15, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by LindaLou2015 View Post
I haven't ridden a bike seriously for about 20 years. Early 90's I use to ride a ten speed on a bike trail and I would ride for miles. I am 5'6" and weight 250. I need to
lose at least 100 lbs. I would mostly ride on pavement. I was thinking 7 speed in case I go uphill or downhill, but I don't live in a hilly area, so maybe I don't need one.
My next day off I will go to bike shop and ride some of the hybrids. Today I tested a schwinn 7 speed and it was $399. It had a big seat for my big you know what.
As others have suggested, if you're not going to be doing off-road (and MUT/MUP's and hard packed gravel count more as road riding than off-road), than a hybrid or endurance road bike would be better for you.

I'm a 5'5" male, who weighed about 250#, 3 months ago, when I started riding, and I got an endurance road bike (Fuji Sportif 1.3 C - 2014). I got mine at a Performance Bike store (and since you live in Virginia, you may have one near you, especially if in NOVA, Richmond, or one of the other bigger cities).

Also, by 7-spd, I hope that they are talking about the rear cog, but you will probably want a compact double or triple crank with the front derailleur.

My suggestion would be to go out and road test a few MTB's, Hybrids, Cyclocross, and Endurance Road bikes in your size. Then after you figure out which bike geometry (or two) best suits you, then you can go out and road test more bikes until you find out which brand and geometry fits you the best.

I'd also go to several LBS's, so that you don't run across the problem of a salesperson trying to push a closeout bike that doesn't really fit you well. Or, at least, if they do, you'll be able to spot it easily, and go to a different LBS to buy.

Also, please join us on the Clyde/Athena group, for those of us riders over 200#.

The only thing you really need to be concerned with, at your weight, is the wheels. You'll probably want wheels with 28/32 spokes (front/rear). And make sure that the spokes are well tensioned. But any major brand bike should be able to sustain your weight without any issues. It would really be more about fit than concern about breakage.

GH

Last edited by ColaJacket; 07-01-15 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-01-15, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Shuffleman View Post
That kind of shocked me as well. My wife is 5'3" and we went to an REI looking for a new mtb for her. (I had $500 in REI gift cards). I knew exactly what we wanted but the sales person wanted to push a M sized Mens 29er on her because it was a closeout. It was a nice bike and a great deal but it was clearly too big for her. Bad advice is given sometimes and a 29er for a person that is 5'2" is not the best advice.


Excellent advice. If I did not have the gift cards to REI the Liv was the bike my wife was going to get. If the OP is 250 lbs the step through would be a great way to go. I would also recommend going rigid on the front. Suspension forks put more weight on the bikes and for a hybrid being used on the roads this is a better and less expensive alternative. The lighter weight just makes it easier to move around for storage. I bought a new 29er this year and converted my old 26er to a hybrid. Thankfully I kept my original fork from 1993. Taking that off and going with the smaller tires really makes it a fun bike to ride on the road but it is also easier to move around the garage and hang from the ceiling.

Thank you everyone for the advice. I am going to test ride the hybrid trek Fx and Live Rove 3. Shuffleman, what do you mean by step through and going rigid on the front.
I am not familiar with bike terminology.

ColaJacket, thanks for the link for riders over 200#. I will check it out.
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Old 07-02-15, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by LindaLou2015 View Post
Thank you everyone for the advice. I am going to test ride the hybrid trek Fx and Live Rove 3. Shuffleman, what do you mean by step through and going rigid on the front.
I am not familiar with bike terminology.
ColaJacket, thanks for the link for riders over 200#. I will check it out.
Rigid refers to the front fork. In this case, it would not be a suspension fork or shock. Shocks weigh a lot, especially on the less expensive bikes. In this situation, a heavy bike is more difficult to move around the garage and etc.
A step through is more of an open bike or women's specific bike. This enables you to step though the frame as opposed to throwing your leg over the seat. You do not have to straddle the bar between your legs. The conditions that you describe for yourself and your entry into biking seem to fit perfectly for this type of bike. Your LBS will know exactly what to show you. I know the Liv series from Giant as that is what my wife looked at recently. I think that I saw Trek equivalents at the same shop.
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Old 07-03-15, 11:02 AM
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Thank you. I just came back from riding a few bikes. I tried the Giant Liv hybrid, and it was nice, but the seat uncomfortable. They are going to put
together a Giant Cypress W, which is a comfort hybrid, for me to try. Hopefully they will have it put together tonight.
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Old 07-06-15, 06:45 AM
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Here is my Cypress W. I rode it yesterday evening with my brother and sister. The bike is nice, but my butt hurts after riding it
it for over 30 minutes. Hopefully I will get used to it. I'm going to ride this bike everyday.


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Old 07-06-15, 07:34 AM
  #21  
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Way to go! Riding a little bit every day is a great way to get started.
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Old 07-06-15, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by LindaLou2015 View Post
Here is my Cypress W. I rode it yesterday evening with my brother and sister. The bike is nice, but my butt hurts after riding it for over 30 minutes. Hopefully I will get used to it. I'm going to ride this bike everyday.
Looks like you picked a good starter bike. That bike has what you need (gears, comfy geometry) and nothing you don't (like suspension).
Regarding the seat, comfort is a challenge. A wide seat like that is comfy for the first 10-15 minutes, but stops being comfy for longer rides because the cushioning bottoms out and the width causes chafing. A narrower seat may be less comfortable at first, but won't get any worse on a long ride.

Seat comfort improvements:
1) find a seat that works best. It may take a couple tries. We routinely do a seat sample switcheroo at my shop for new bikers; they try out three and pick the best one. A medium width saddle with some suspension in the frame (like elastomers or springs underneath) may work for you. Extra thick foam just compresses eventually and then you're back to discomfort.
2) get shorts with a padded chamois. They do make them in larger sizes. "Baggy" mountain bike shorts have a padded liner and larger outer short, for modesty (and pockets!).
3) just keep riding. Your butt will get more used to the bike seat, but it takes a while. The first couple months of riding are the hardest.
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Old 07-06-15, 10:01 AM
  #23  
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That's a solid bike. Also, I would definitely buy a used bike when you're ready to buy another. You can find a $500 bike for $250 on craigslist if you look for a week or two.
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Old 07-06-15, 06:15 PM
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I'll wait to see if I can get used to this seat. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 07-06-15, 06:44 PM
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Any seat will cause soreness at the beginning, your body needs to adapt. Give it several weeks and if it is still bothering you then you might consider replacing it. But I bet the issues will just go away after a while. Padded shorts help a lot too.
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