1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    FNG looking for advice

    I'm a disabled veteran, and starting to really put on weight since getting out of the Army. I'm wanting to start trail riding. None of the bike shops in my area have a used bike that will fit my size. I'm 6'4" and 265. So the price for bikes get pretty pricey. I started looking at bikesdirect.com, and they have prices I can handle. I'm being cheap only because I don't wanna drop a lot in a bike and hurt myself to where I can't ride again. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    A couple.

    Have you been using a saved search on Craig's List? Or just looked a couple times?

    Have you phoned around to your local shops? Everywhere I've lived has supported at least one used bike shop.

    If I were to go catalog, I'd be looking at Airborne and Fezzari too. You have to give bikesdirect specs a really close read.

    Finally, assume success. Don't hedge - get the bike you think you want.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    Yeah I've checked craigslist it was mostly Walmart bikes and smaller bikes, and there are only two bike shops in my area. Neither had a used bike and were wanting to sell me a new bike. They understood my reason for wanting to start cheap. I'll check out the two names you mentioned. I was sized up for a bike. At one of the shops, they were hoping that might help get me on a trail.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Be aware that catalog bikes sometimes run small. If you have a rapport with one of the shops, you might consider having them help you choose the right size and assemble it for you.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    So you can go to Tampa to get a good deal.
    https://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/bik/4852907766.html
    might fit although could be small.

  6. #6
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    Didn't even look in Tampa. I try to avoid that place like the plague lol!

  7. #7
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    Well I was able to get a good deal at one of the LBS here and got a specialized. Thanks for the help.

  8. #8
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    Is your disability one that would affect your riding? I ask because I know a couple of disabled riders who have had to make some significant modifications in order to ride.

    One of them rode a handcycle for a few years because he didn't think he'd be able to ride a regular bike. But just recently he got to spend time with a coach who felt like he'd do well one one, with the correct mods. So he's been working with a shop fitter, a prostheticist, and his doctor to make it happen. He's just riding pavement now, but I'm telling him that he needs to graduate to riding mt bikes next.

  9. #9
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    I was shot in the leg. And shattered my foot and ankle. My back is also pretty messed up with a slipped disc and two herniated discs. Idk how much it will effect me riding. I'm not planning on doing any hard core trails with big jumps and drops.

  10. #10
    Old Fart Swamper
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    OP, eat lean and get down to 200, 210.

    Put the miles down and go for the Intermediate trails, they give a real workout.

    Don't know what shape your legs are in but, Spinning 80-90 RPM's is better than mashing on the knee's.

    Work on filling your skills bag as you get stronger. Don't ride over anything you cant see all the way down, stop,get off and look, walk it.

    Get after it !
    Scott Spark 760
    I no longer clip In,
    got a better seat, and a dropper post.
    Other than It's Bone stock.
    It Just works :P

  11. #11
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    Thanks. That's why I got the bike. I can't run any more, so this is the next best thing. I'm not going to try and break my self off at first. But I will push hard.

  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I find MTB a lot more fun.

    Thankfully, I've never been shot or had a messy fracture of a bone. But my knees are a bit flaky, so I had to learn to train to get over that. People around here are often pretty down on training per se. And for most people, just going riding is fine - their aerobic systems tend to limit them until their joints are ready for more, so no harm done.

    Since your body's chewed, you can probably benefit from being a little more conservative to start. Try to go riding three times next week. Thirty minutes each. Don't worry too much about pacing - just try not to stop, but don't try to prove anything either. If you have decent access, ride trails. It's more fun. But it's not that important.

    The week after, ride 10% more.

    It's surprising how fast the volume goes up. Soon, it'll be about what you can fit into your life, not what you can physically handle. That's kind of a graduation.

    Good luck!
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    That's the plan. Start slow and work my way up. There are a few places to ride trails around here. And I will be riding those after a week or so of tooling around getting used to being on a bike. Seeing that I haven't been on one since I was a kid. I know about flaky knees as well. I beat mine up in airborn school. And running 10+ miles a day for over a year. I plan on hitting an easy trail first. And see how I feel before doing a harder trail.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Lawson View Post
    I plan on hitting an easy trail first. And see how I feel before doing a harder trail.
    Yeah, don't be afraid of the crawl-walk-run approach on this, just keep making positive progress until you can start really focusing on developing bike handling skills or fitness as independent items on trails.

  15. #15
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    There is one other aspect to all of this and that is to enjoy the surroundings. My wife loves to ride trails but for her it is really about the scenery and getting out into nature.

    She will never be able to handle some trails but when I ride with her she has taught me to slow down and appreciate how cool it is to get away from the cars and stuff.

    This is new to me because when I was younger I rode so many miles on my road bike and even though I was pre-strava it was still all about the numbers, even on vacations to Yosemite... Half Dome???

    John
    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
    1992 Serotta T-Max - 70mm Z3 Light
    1993 GT All Terra - 46mm Mag 21
    (STOLEN)

  16. #16
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    Re: FNG looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I find MTB a lot more fun.
    my knees are a bit flaky...
    Since your body's chewed, you can probably benefit from being a little more conservative to start. Try to go riding three times next week. Thirty minutes each. Don't worry too much about pacing - just try not to stop, but don't try to prove anything either. If you have decent access, ride trails. It's more fun. But it's not that important.

    The week after, ride 10% more.
    10% more a week is being conservative?
    You have much better knees than I ever did. l could never progress that fast.

  17. #17
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    FNG looking for advice

    Minor structural abnormality. Probably within the range of normal, actually. One of the lessons of endurance sports is that nobody's body is perfect.

    Another lesson is that there are no rules. Compared to knocking out 20 miles fast (road) and irritating my knees, waiting a week or two to recover, and then repeating, doing a half hour was very conservative. Really difficult for me at the time, actually, since I still had really good aerobic fitness from something else.

    So was 10%/week for me, and compared to a lot of what's out there. Since you bring it up, though, people definitely need to listen to their bodies. One can repeat weeks at the same volume until it stops "costing" so much or mix in rest weeks, for example. Or use a smaller proportion if 10%'s not working out.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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