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I'm 350 + lbs...is there a bike for me? Appreciate your time

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I'm 350 + lbs...is there a bike for me? Appreciate your time

Old 04-11-22, 10:34 PM
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robertariasjr
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I'm 350 + lbs...is there a bike for me? Appreciate your time

Hello all. I live in Los Angeles County and Iím looking to ease the pain in my knees through biking. I donít want to sell myself short and get just any bike and at the same time donít wish to overpay. Especially since Iím not going to be doing any wild riding. There was a great thread on here with my exact dilemma but sadly all the recommendations were from 2008 when the thread first originated. Maybe someone can point me in a good direction even if itís where to post this on this forum. Thank you
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Old 04-11-22, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by robertariasjr View Post
Hello all. I live in Los Angeles County and Iím looking to ease the pain in my knees through biking. I donít want to sell myself short and get just any bike and at the same time donít wish to overpay. Especially since Iím not going to be doing any wild riding. There was a great thread on here with my exact dilemma but sadly all the recommendations were from 2008 when the thread first originated. Maybe someone can point me in a good direction even if itís where to post this on this forum. Thank you
Surly Bridge Club or Surly Disc Trucker
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Old 04-11-22, 10:45 PM
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Welcome! Not only are there bikes for bigger riders, there's a sub-forum here for you, too.

If there's a bike for Shaq, there's one for everybody!

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Old 04-11-22, 11:04 PM
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Whats your budget? You could probably ride most bikes and just break the wheels faster. I don't envision the bike failing in a dangerous way, maybe get a cheap hybrid for like 400-500$. I think your back wheel is what will break
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Old 04-12-22, 12:20 AM
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Just to plant a bug in your ear - give a decent quality multi-speed recumbent trike a thought. I bought one when I was recovering from shoulder surgery and it was easy on the body (in my case, shoulder, but also knees, elbows, butt) and fun to ride, especially if flat terrain. Hills? not so great. I don't know what your price point is or mechanical inclinations, but you can get a Performer brand, in a box (needing assembly) for around $2,000 shipped. I live in a fairly out of the way small market city so there were absolutely no new or used recumbent trikes available locally. But most larger cities they'll show up from time to time. E-versions too.

Just a thought.
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Old 04-12-22, 05:50 AM
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When I was 360lbs, I started cycling on an older rigid steel MTB with 26" wheels and 2" tires. Look at some online size charts for different bikes to know your size. Then search Facebook marketplace for a suitable MTB. You should be able to find a good serviceable bike under $200 where you live. Surly is a good suggestion for new, but personally I wouldn't buy new until I knew exactly what I wanted and why I needed it.

I lost 190 lbs in 2 years by cycling and dieting. I was 50 when I started. I went from 6'2" tall 360lbs to 170 lbs. I went from riding less than a mile without giving out to nearly 200 miles a week. You literally can transform yourself in any way you want. Good luck.
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Old 04-12-22, 06:50 AM
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Ditto the Clydesdale/Athena forum; there's a lot of excellent information there. When I was looking into options while still heavy a bike shop owner told me that spokes are the main consideration, so you may want to consider having stronger wheels (with more spokes) built for you. Beyond that there are bikes designed for bike packing which can carry quite a bit of weight.

Personally I waited until I was under 250lbs to finally get back on a bike (I was 440lbs in May 2018), but I spent a lot of time walking/hiking and using an exercise bike before that. I've been between 200 and 220 for a couple years now (6'2" man). I'd like to get to 180-190.

If it helps, the thing that finally worked long term was getting the diet correct. Basically a healthy, sustainable diet without punishing/starving myself, keeping track of what I was eating (along with how I was feeling), making adjustments where needed, better learning to cook, and identifying and stopping bad habits (my worst was eating in front of screens).

Okay, that's not what you asked, but I hope it's of some use.
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Old 04-12-22, 07:10 AM
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If you're not planning on a lot of hills and long distances, you might want to try a beach cruiser to get started--I found big tires were best when I was 320+ pounds.. I'm inferring from your post that you've had issues with activity due to your knees, so you might see some pretty good results just from minimal riding to start with. I wouldn't worry about "selling yourself short" here because you really won't be able to pick a bike with any confidence that it will meet your needs in a year or two. I don't think you'll do yourself any favors by over-investing in a quality bike you might hate in a few months just because it's now too something for your needs (that could go in a lot of ways).

From someone who's been there (I had very bad feet before I lost almost half of my body weight), I wish you well. My basic advice is you've got to figure out what works for you, and if it's working, don't let anyone convince you you're doing it wrong.
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Old 04-12-22, 07:29 AM
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recumbent trike weight limitations and seat height

Few recumbent trikes are rated to withstand 350 pounds. Most are rated for under 275 pounds. One that does is the Sun EZ-3 HD but the price new is pretty expensive for most people https://www.utahtrikes.com/PROD-11617617.html The other limitation is seat height. The Performer brand mentioned above is a low seating trike which could mean great difficulty getting up out of the seat if you can get into it. I've had more than one person unable to get out of my Greenspeed GTO without having someone help them, A higher seating trike like the Sun trike is much easier to enter and exit. There is a Performer JC-70 on CL in the LA area for $1500 but the listed weight limit is 265 pounds and the seat is mighty low. https://losangeles.craigslist.org/la...467010565.html There really aren't any suitable trikes on that site today.
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Old 04-12-22, 10:24 AM
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For what its worth my former boss who was like 400 lbs bought a mountain bike from Walmart for people to use for delivery (we told him not to get the Walmart bike but whatever) and he took it for a spin in the parking lot. I really think any bike would work, you could even ride a drop bar road bike with 23 mm tires but it would be uncomfortable. I would get something like this https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/escape-3 and just be prepared for broken spokes. Talk to your local bike shop, they might have a strong rear wheel they could put on a cheap metal bike to get you rolling.
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Old 04-12-22, 10:52 AM
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I really do appreciate everyoneís time and advice. Iím new here so Iím not even sure exactly how to reply. But Iím going to keep coming back and trying.
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Old 04-12-22, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
Few recumbent trikes are rated to withstand 350 pounds. Most are rated for under 275 pounds. One that does is the Sun EZ-3 HD but the price new is pretty expensive for most people https://www.utahtrikes.com/PROD-11617617.html The other limitation is seat height. The Performer brand mentioned above is a low seating trike which could mean great difficulty getting up out of the seat if you can get into it. I've had more than one person unable to get out of my Greenspeed GTO without having someone help them, A higher seating trike like the Sun trike is much easier to enter and exit. There is a Performer JC-70 on CL in the LA area for $1500 but the listed weight limit is 265 pounds and the seat is mighty low. https://losangeles.craigslist.org/la...467010565.html There really aren't any suitable trikes on that site today.
I'm glad VegasTriker chimed in on my post- he makes points I didn't think of and need to be considered.
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Old 04-12-22, 01:58 PM
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I used to ride with a guy about 330, he was surprisingly fast on the plains. He often had problems with his rear wheel, breaking spokes, bending rims, etc. until he ordered a heavy duty custom one built, no more problems since.
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Old 04-12-22, 07:30 PM
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Personally, I would go with a sturdy bike with wheels, rims, and spokes, that can support your weight. I wouldn't want to invest too much $$ into this as there is always a chance that you won't like cycling for whatever reason. The other reason is if everything goes as planned and you start losing a lot of weight, you might be able to buy a better bike that will work even better for you.
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Old 04-12-22, 08:02 PM
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Thank you everyone for your help. Are there any specific models you could think of. I can still afford up to 500 easily. More then that and it better be something for many years to come. Ive looked up fat tire bikes. Mongooose Dolomites(500$) seems to be sturdy and talked about for overweight people. I did look up some older Specialized Hardrock(250 and less) models. Iím looking for something nice. I can always get something back in return and would consider it like a rental.
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Old 04-12-22, 09:29 PM
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I'm a small guy but recently got a Marin Muirwoods 29 in size small and it's a heavy duty steel bike that is pleasant to ride. Its wheels seem well built and strong like mtb wheels. I bought mine online from City Grounds in Orange County and it was delivered in 3 days. Maybe you can find a Marin dealer locally and take one for a test ride.
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Old 04-13-22, 06:03 AM
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(Just FYI: yes, riding a bike is just as much fun as you remember from when you were a kid.)
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Old 04-13-22, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
(Just FYI: yes, riding a bike is just as much fun as you remember from when you were a kid.)

From experience--when I weighed about 320 pounds and tried getting back on the bike after several years, I was depressed by how difficult and slow it was in comparison to when I was lighter. I just mention that because that expectation of instant fun led to immediate disappointment and discouraged me for quite a while. I actually gave up on it while I lost a bunch of weight through diet, then came back to it, now riding something like 1000 miles a month during the New England bike season. And yeah, that is as fun as it ever was.

We all have different paths, sounds like OP is being realistic about their expectations, so the ramp up to fitness at whatever level can be fun and not disappointing.
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Old 04-13-22, 03:00 PM
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Hit up the Clyde forum in BF lots of good info in there from people in your same situation.
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Old 04-13-22, 04:19 PM
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May I recommend finding yourself a broader saddle (seat) if the one that comes with the bike feels.. a little small. Oh, and for most of us, getting back onto a bike after time off, months to years, there will be some soreness on the nether regions. Over time your connection to your saddle will become more comfortable. Just take your time and enjoy what you can in the beginning.

If you want to start out with little investment, check out Craigslist. Look at the older diamond frame mountain bikes. They're built solid. A lot of them will have 36 count spoked rims versus 32 count spoke rims. They're very upright and quite often, they look hardly ridden.

Just get out there and pedal around. Check out the block you live on. Then, the neighborhood. Just have fun and respect your limits.
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Old 04-13-22, 08:26 PM
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You will want to put some money towards the bike, lower initial cost bikes tend to be more expensive and certainly if you have a lot extra to love. Certainly in whatever bike you look at find a good wheelbuilder and have them build you a good set of wheels ideally 36 holes 3 cross and I would find a bike that can handle smaller wheels like 650B and wider tires and put the widest tires on there you can. If you are going for a geared bike you will want a cassette and ideally something with a steel or titanium freehub. White Industries doesn't make cheap hubs but they make reliable and durable hubs you could also look at the DT Swiss 350 Hybrid hubs which are designed for heavy duty usage like cargo e-bikes. I would stick with Sapim Strong or DT Swiss Alpine III Spokes with brass nipples ideally something like the Secure Lock nipples from Sapim those spokes are butted. Of course though you want to make sure the entire system will work together if some part is strong and one part is weak it won't really do the trick well.

Certainly find something that is comfortable for you and easy to ride but again put some money towards it or stick with something single speed and look at more durable parts on that front.
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Old 04-14-22, 03:35 PM
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Op....has you looked at the Workman line of bikes? A bit over your budget new but you may find a used one.
Their designs intrigue me even tho I have never seen one in person....
https://www.worksmancycles.com/
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Old 04-15-22, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Speedway2 View Post
Op....has you looked at the Workman line of bikes? A bit over your budget new but you may find a used one.
Their designs intrigue me even tho I have never seen one in person....
https://www.worksmancycles.com/
I was going to make the same suggestion. They are great bikes. I have been thinking of buying one for myself, and I am all of around 170 pounds.
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Old 04-15-22, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I was going to make the same suggestion. They are great bikes. I have been thinking of buying one for myself, and I am all of around 170 pounds.
I'm looking at the Newsboy with a front drum brake. You've got me beat by 5lbs
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Old 04-15-22, 01:52 PM
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There is an e-assist electric version of the Workman trike for sale in a nearby town (close to me, not to you). The price is $950 down from his original asking price of $1,250 for a trike that cost the owner $2500. Pretty big loss if it doesn't work for you. You can look at the specifications for a similar e-assist Workman model https://electricbikereview.com/works...lectric-trike/. Look at the weight for this trike - 128 pounds. This is the "stretch" version so the regular one might be a tad lighter but not much. With a 10 - 20 mile range for the e-assist, you sure don't want to run out of juice and have to pedal that up a hill w/o the e-assist. I sure as hell couldn't lift it into a truck bed. It's already unwieldy to lift a trike due to the size and that much weight makes it far more difficult to lift. Most of the weight is in the frame, not the e-assist. Motor and battery together are ~22 pounds.
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