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Searching for the right bike

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Old 01-06-19, 06:48 PM
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DamnSam
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Searching for the right bike

I live in NYC and want to get a bike that will hold up on the streets and have the durability to be taken off road if I go riding out of town. The catch is Iím a big guy at 6í6, 275 lbs. Iím looking for recommendations on the type or brand of bicycle I should look for or what specs I should seek in a bike. Also any reca for stores in manhattan or Brooklyn with affordable pricing would be appreciated.
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Old 01-06-19, 10:36 PM
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Any modern hardtail mountain bike with a short-travel fork should be up to what you are describing. For some reason Giant comes to mind=---possibly because they make an "XL" frame ... but that is just a name. I am sure any modern short-travel hardtail would work.

Won't be cheap, though. Doesn't need to cost a huge amount, but you will need strong wheels and a real fork, not a bargain brand.Budget a grand or better still, $1500 ... actually, buying in NYC and in a shop, probably two grand. You will probably find a better deal---maybe much better---because it is the off-season ... look for leftovers from past years ... and sometimes shops might let an odd size go for cheap.

best bet is to do two things---check out the web sites of the big brands---Specialized, Giant, Canno0ndale, Trek---and compare models.

The look up bike shops in your area, and one weekend visit a bunch, take a few test rides, and don't buy anything. Just see what you see. if anything really catches your attention, you could come here and ask about it ... we love to tell people what to do.
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Old 01-06-19, 11:27 PM
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I would look on Craigís list for a bike with a 26Ē frame. You may find a nice one at a reasonable price. Lots of good bikes were made in the 80ís. Just look for one that has been well looked after. Lots of them have strong light cromolly
steel frames as well. I donít think there are many buyers for extra large bike so you could see some good pickings at good prices.
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Old 01-06-19, 11:55 PM
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An old road bike with a 26 inch (or 61 mm approx) frame would fit ... but that would likely be a road bike---not much fun off-road.

I didn't get the impression that you were particularly bike savvy, so i wouldn't recommend buying used unless you have a good friend to go shopping with you, and a good chunk of money for repairs. When buying used, count ion at least tires, tubes, a chain, and cables ... easily over $100 if you do your own work and twice that if you have a shop do it. plus you would probably want to lube whatever bearings, which is more tools and more expertise. if you have a friend who can examine the bike for you ... and a way to get the work done ... a Good used bike is usually a good value.

AI got the impression that you might be looking for a bike which was good on rough pavement and light trails (not hardcore MTB stuff with stunts and obstacles, but dirt, ruts, rocks ... ) and for that stuff, if you are a new rider and a big guy, you might not want a road bike.

That is why I suggested you go online and go to bike shops---to get an idea of what your options were.

For most people i would suggest buying something cheap and just riding until you figured out what you like ... but because of your height, getting a bike which fits will be possibly more difficult. But until you actually focus on what you want to do with the bike---what you find you really use it for, which isn't always what one Thought one would use it for---you cannot just buy "a bike" and use it for whatever with equal ease everywhere.
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Old 01-07-19, 05:04 AM
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There is a Clydesdale and Athena forum that might have better advice for heavy riders, just scroll down a few forums, or ask the moderator to move the post to that forum.
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Old 01-07-19, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DamnSam View Post
I live in NYC and want to get a bike that will hold up on the streets and have the durability to be taken off road if I go riding out of town. The catch is Iím a big guy at 6í6, 275 lbs. Iím looking for recommendations on the type or brand of bicycle I should look for or what specs I should seek in a bike. Also any reca for stores in manhattan or Brooklyn with affordable pricing would be appreciated.
I would look for a bike having no suspension that can fit relatively wide tires. Because suspension is discouraging on pavement, and the wide tires provide enough shock absorption to make it feasible to go on gravel roads and easy singletrack. For example, I ride the following bike that is somewhat more city oriented, but I do take it on our local singletrack:

https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/the600

At your height, a 29er wheel size might be more enjoyable. Surly's Ogre is an example:

https://surlybikes.com/bikes/ogre/bike_info

Or if you prefer drop bars:

https://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya/2019_vaya_105

Watch for terms like "all road" and "gravel bike". Right now we are enjoying an explosion of such bikes that perform well on and off pavement. Almost every brand will have some offerings in this category of bike. (BTW, there is singletrack to be had in the city. I've ridden it). Do visit some shops. Also think about whether you plan to leave the bike locked up in the city, because you might prefer a less expensive bike for that risk.
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Old 01-09-19, 07:26 PM
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Me, I'd build a bike on an MTB frame. Get one close to what you want in size from Craigslist and go from there. You can dump the cheap (useless) front fork and get a nice CroMo fork for less than a C note. A lot of the frames came with lugs for disk brakes, even if fitted with V brakes (which are lighter). Most will accommodate much bigger tires than most road frames. Most are as tough as nails. I'd go aluminum frame and work on the weight of the components. Put drop bars on if you wish. It'll be a "cross ~ gravel" bike mostly. But it'll handle any road conditions with ease

Rattle can odd paint here and there to make it not desirable to steal ... If QR axles, get security skewers w/o levers, and keep the little wrench on your key chain. Run puncture resistant tires with Kevlar belts and maybe Slime tubes ... It's about all you can do for broken glass and odd bits of steel, etc.

I agree with JG on fatter tires and loosing the suspension if mostly road and tended trails. If single track with rocks and roots, maybe go air fork with lock-out ...

A decent one is nearly as light as the CroMo fork (~1600 gms) and it'll take nearly any weight. Just add air pressure. Lock it for long stretches of pavement where you want to conserve energy while pedaling. Unlock it when it starts getting rougher
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Old 01-10-19, 12:12 AM
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With that size, get a strong 29er with plump tires, for sure. With a rigid fork likely better.
Try to find one with a closer to level top tube.
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Old 01-10-19, 12:41 AM
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Tried a Bike Shop Yet? NYC has a few...
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Old 01-10-19, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Tried a Bike Shop Yet? NYC has a few...
Read the post? He's specifically asking for recommendations on a good one. Perhaps you have a good option he could try?
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Old 01-10-19, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by DamnSam View Post
I live in NYC and want to get a bike that will hold up on the streets and have the durability to be taken off road if I go riding out of town. The catch is Iím a big guy at 6í6, 275 lbs. Iím looking for recommendations on the type or brand of bicycle I should look for or what specs I should seek in a bike. Also any reca for stores in manhattan or Brooklyn with affordable pricing would be appreciated.
As with most anything you can purchase, bikes come in varying levels of amenities and quality. List a budget and you will get more options. Also, a major missing bit of info is if you want a flat bar or drop bar bike. That alone will affect most all other components on the bike.
Its not helpful for a dozen people to recommend flat bar bikes if you want a drop bar bike.

In general, I would suggest a rigid frame(no suspension) bike with wide tire clearance. This could be a rigid flat bar mountain bike frame or a rigid drop bar gravel bike.
Be prepared for almost no in stock options due to your height. I am 6'5 and 230#- there are only a few bikes in stock at any one time in any of the shops around me that would even fit, regardless of type of bike and intended use. Even in somewhere like Manhattan, it may take a good bit of calling around before they have an XXL/effective 65cm frame for you to try in the style bike you want.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...=227310-154312 The diverge comes in a lot of models and prices and has a relatively tall stack height.

https://blackmtncycles.com/frames/mcd-frames/ The Black Mountain Cycles frame has a tall stack height and decently long reach in the largest frame size. It could be built up for you and shipped or shipped to a local shop and built by them. Cost would be anywhere from $1400-2000 depending on components chosen.

There are more too, but again- budget and bike style is needed.
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Old 01-10-19, 11:59 AM
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oops they have closed

I like my Brompton NYCewheels sold them , there .. you bring it in and so won't be subject to theft & vandalism, like bikes locked up on the street..

Bfold is an alternative, I hear still in Manhattan..





....

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Old 01-10-19, 07:50 PM
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So I just picked up my wife's #2 bike from the shop. You can read the story here: Well spent

Obviously it is not a bike for the OP, but ...

I think I have between $600 and $700 in this thing with all the good used parts off eBay and the shop charges. Baring the wheels en route (nearly the same), and a rear rack, it is done. I would say that's been about my budget to build a rider from a CL chassis. I've done a few of these now, and they are usually very satisfying to ride - because I don't have to have any parts that were picked by accountants to make a price point. Just the stuff I want
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Old 01-10-19, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DamnSam View Post
I live in NYC and want to get a bike that will hold up on the streets and have the durability to be taken off road if I go riding out of town. The catch is Iím a big guy at 6í6, 275 lbs. Iím looking for recommendations on the type or brand of bicycle I should look for or what specs I should seek in a bike. Also any reca for stores in manhattan or Brooklyn with affordable pricing would be appreciated.
Imo stick with the big box brands giant, trek, spec
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Old 01-11-19, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BrocLuno View Post
Me, I'd build a bike on an MTB frame. Get one close to what you want in size from Craigslist and go from there. You can dump the cheap (useless) front fork and get a nice CroMo fork for less than a C note. A lot of the frames came with lugs for disk brakes, even if fitted with V brakes (which are lighter). Most will accommodate much bigger tires than most road frames. Most are as tough as nails. I'd go aluminum frame and work on the weight of the components. Put drop bars on if you wish. It'll be a "cross ~ gravel" bike mostly. But it'll handle any road conditions with ease

Rattle can odd paint here and there to make it not desirable to steal ... If QR axles, get security skewers w/o levers, and keep the little wrench on your key chain. Run puncture resistant tires with Kevlar belts and maybe Slime tubes ... It's about all you can do for broken glass and odd bits of steel, etc.

I agree with JG on fatter tires and loosing the suspension if mostly road and tended trails. If single track with rocks and roots, maybe go air fork with lock-out ...
A decent one is nearly as light as the CroMo fork (~1600 gms) and it'll take nearly any weight. Just add air pressure. Lock it for long stretches of pavement where you want to conserve energy while pedaling. Unlock it when it starts getting rougher
He mentioned affordable pricing. Building a bicycle is not affordable pricing.
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Old 01-12-19, 03:11 PM
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Can't offer any advice on a shop as I've never been to NYC. As a heavy rider I can tell you from experience that bicycle wheels are much stronger than people give them credit to be. As a general rule more spokes and smaller circumference are a starting point of what features I'd be after in wheels. I'd make sure whatever bike I picked out had 32 spokes or more front and rear. I'd also avoid any kind of suspension. They come from the factory built for 160 lb riders and at your weight getting suspension to work like it's supposed to is expensive. I personally own a Kona Sutra LTD and a Surly Karate Monkey and I think either one of them would be a decent choice depending on what you mean by off road. Neither of those is a cheap bike but being that you're in NYC I'm assuming that "affordable" means you have the dough for a good bike. I'm judging that off of the fact that my friend who lives there pays more monthly in property taxes than I do for my mortgage and taxes combined, for essentially identical properties. I'd also consider a flat bar 650B to be pretty ideal for what you're talking about doing. A Jamis Sequel or a Kona Dr. Dew may might be a good choice for you. I'd prefer to ride one of them on the streets than a mountain bike.
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Old 01-12-19, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
He mentioned affordable pricing. Building a bicycle is not affordable pricing.
It can be, if like BrocLuno, you're building 'new' bikes out of second-hand parts, and you have the time to seek out all the good deals and the know how to make them all work together. At the very high end, it can be, too, especially if you have a very specific spec that doesn't really exist off-the-rack.

I've done both, but if someone, as the OP, wanted reccomendations for 'type of bike' and 'specs' That's pretty general, and I'd presume he'd be better served by finding a specific bike (new or used) in a shop, buying it complete, and being able to ride it out the door.
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Old 01-12-19, 04:08 PM
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It really all depends upon what the OP means by "off-road."

I would Always recommend a rigid frame/fork for anyone who was planning to ride mostly on the road and who wasn't planning to do serious trail work. it is up to teh OP to define what "the durability to be taken off road if I go riding out of town" means.

From what I have seen of NYC, riding in the city is as harsh an environment as a bike should ever have to face. Any well-made bike should be well there, but as for Affordable bikes, something in the gravel-bike/endurance bike realm with an Al frame, CF fork, and 35-mm tires---Fuji Sportif, Fuji Yari, something like that ... might be about right.

Building an affordable bike takes a lot of time and patience and real love of shopping ... if the OP wants to be riding anytime soon, off-the-rack is a better idea.
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Old 01-12-19, 05:32 PM
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Part of the answer depends on how much riding you're actually planning on doing.

Something like the Dirty Sixer (32 or 36) might be fun, but I don't believe they are cheap, but something to keep in mind for your second bike.



I like to do keyword searches on Craigslist of there are too many ads. It will miss a few ads, but should pick up quote a few.

https://newyork.craigslist.org/searc...9er%7C29%2B%29

or
https://newyork.craigslist.org/searc...%7Cmountain%29

I'm not seeing anything that really strikes my fancy. But, keep looking. Perhaps expand the search some, and look at other online classified systems. Facebook?


Hmmm....
Perhaps this one. 26" wheels, but looks nice.
https://newyork.craigslist.org/fct/b...792005772.html

or

https://longisland.craigslist.org/bi...788804963.html

Of course, you could also go with a more of a "road bike" (which I wasn't searching for, but this popped up).

https://newhaven.craigslist.org/bik/...791418880.html

There would be a few similar bikes around.
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Old 01-12-19, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
He mentioned affordable pricing. Building a bicycle is not affordable pricing.
What, where did that come from ... First, what's "affordable" mean? $100 CL bike as the basis, and replace or upgrade with good used parts off eBay. You'll have a stellar bike in 6 months taking the lazy route

CliffordK is right on. Just his first search on CL netted me enough stuff to start 2 projects

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Old 01-13-19, 07:29 AM
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At 6ft-6, make sure you get an XL frame size, not some random size if you buy used. My bias is that you don't need a suspension (front or rear) for the street or for light offroad use like groomed trails and walking paths. Suspension adds cost, weight, and can soak up your pedaling energy too, but is needed for going over rocks and logs on rough trails. Another thing I don't think you'll need if you need to have good traffic awareness is a high seat and low dropped handlebars- keeping your head up and looking around to avoid crashes is easier if you're riding a little more upright.

If you're well north of 200lb, I think you should get some meaty tires - at minimum 1.5in /38C wide, and nothing wrong with 2.0in/50C or even 2.3in/58C on a bike that has the brake, frame, and fender clearance for them. Two other tire features to look for are smooth tread for efficiency on those big tires, and a smoothly curving (like a circle) transition from the top of the tread to the shoulder for secure cornering. Besides protecting your wheels from the occasional pothole strike, bigger tires run at 40-50PSI are more comfortable to ride than smaller tires run at 80-100PSI.

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Old 01-13-19, 01:05 PM
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Well, we'll have to agree to disagree. I'd rather run slightly smaller tires at 75 psi (say a 1.75 up front) and have some suspension - at least on the front.

I don't mean a cheap heavy spring fork like most RST's. But a good air fork with a lock-out like say a Manitou R7. It's about 1650 grams (a few north of a rigid steel fork), but will eat pot holes and pavement heaves like they are not there. Will take some of the strike energy away from the hit, so less broken spokes.

Locked with reasonably high internal pressure they do not bob much at all, even up on the cranks. Seated they don't move until you hit something.

Out back, sure run that Fat Frank as it'll give you ride and traction, and be efficient. But most road based frames can't accept a 2.50 tire. At at the op's mass, I'll take all the cross section I can get ... Schwalbe Fat Franks are one of the most popular touring tires around here. The LBS sells plenty of them

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