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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    Help I am overweight and would like to ride!!!!!

    i really need to get back to riding my bike. back about 10 years ago i used to right avidly, enough to tear up a lot of mountain bikes. i am looking to start up again and am wondering if i should go buy a cheap 55 dollar bike at wal-mart or start with a good bike that will last? i am 5'8" 375 lbs and will kill cheap bikes. since my last bike purchase i have learned that spending more money on a great product usually is better than spending little money on a crap product. this is where i have an issue i really cant stabd spending 60 bucks on a bike every few weeks because i killed it. so i am really hoping yall could help me figure out what to do.

  2. #2
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    My suggestion would be to buy a cheap bike for now until you get yourself in some sort of decent shape. With a cheap bike stay on mostly the fire roads, this will keep the bike running longer and allow you fitness time. When you feel your ready, venture onto the trails. Once your hooked (mountain biking is your passion) then I would spend money and get myself a good bike. If you don't mind me saying at 375 lbs you are going to suffer for awhile, and during this suffering period it is easy to get discouraged and give up, so if it was me I would make sure I really love this sport (which I do), before you spend alot of money on a mountain bike. You don't want the mountain bike just hanging in the garage not getting any use. Go with a cheap one and make it a goal to buy yourself a new bike when you get into better shape. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    depending on where you want to ride .. you can get a decent 'cruiser' bike that will work with your weight but won't hold up to major offroad trails .. but should do fine on dirt roads and 'fire roads' ...

  4. #4
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    First Thumbs up for doing something about it now :-)

    Secondly -don't go cheap. The only thing cheap has going for itself is that its cheap. You'll get minus on quality, frame, componenta, bikehandling ... which will lead to poor riding experience. And the chances of quitting will be that much bigger.

    In stead go with a beefy frame, crankset, wheels and fork. Those are the areas that will be extra stressed untill you're slim again. If you have the money spec your own bike from scratch and think burly components (freeride/DH stuff) on a good frame.
    Alternatively go with the Kona Hoss http://www.konaworld.com/08_hoss_w.htm

    As the other posters said -it's gonna be a hard beginning and its probably gonna be hard for a while but itll be worth the effort :-)
    I've seen it with a friend I persuaded to take up biking. He started out an a Giant Terago at 280 lbs some months ago. He's on 240 lbs now and counting. The first trip we made together was 3-4 km of singletrack before he had to give up. That was tough on him but also an eyeopener and he somehow kept the motivation. In the beginning he rode firetracks and road but now he has progressed onto singletrack.


    Best wishes from here
    :-) Kasper

    Edit:
    Another suggestion http://www.norco.com/bikes/mountain/...il/bigfoot.php

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Devil-
    you can get a decent 'cruiser' bike that will work with your weight but won't hold up to major offroad trails .. but should do fine on dirt roads and 'fire roads' ...
    That sounds pretty sensible to me:
    A simple, relatively low cost, bike that can handle some weight will get you rolling, although not on particularly rough surfaces.

    Such a bike would have uses later on too, even if you decide to get "nicer" bike(s).

    Now you just need a place where to ride it: a location that is not boring but is not too strenuous for your current level.

  6. #6
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    The Hoss and Bigfoot seem like good options to me.

    BTW, +1 on the thumbs up.

  7. #7
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    tha main thing to watch for on any bike you get ... is if it has suspension parts ... 99% of the time they are not going to be strong enough for someone that is in the 190 to 250 range .. so will be even worse ... a few can be adjusted ... but those are on the higher end bikes ...

    so a rigid setup, may be a little rougher off road. but will hold up a lot better...

    next thing would be the wheelset ... then the seat and handlebars ...

    and whatever you go with, get them to change out the pedals for ones that are solid metal

  8. #8
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    Specialized Hardrock is a good choice my clyde friend bought one, and its built up like a tank. And I couldnt see it breaking due to rider weight any time soon.

  9. #9
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    Well guys i know i posted this a while ago. I finally had some extra money about 2 weeks ago and bought a cheap 67 dollar bike at wal-mart and about killed myself already. the brakes don't ever seem to work right after many adjustments, no matter what the seat seems to always move after many tightening's, and the frame is too large and they only make 1 size. i rode a 26 inch frame 10 years ago and know i haven't gotten shorter. so i am returning it and am going to go for something a little more expensive. my question is does anyone know of a bike below 200 dollars that has some decent quality to it. remember this is still a starter bike i would love for it to have differing sizes so i can sit on it without worrying if i am going to be able to have kids later in life.

  10. #10
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    I hate to be rude, but you're really going to get what you pay for here. You might consider REI - they make an in house brand called Novara that is pretty good and comes with good component specs, especially for the price. I liked the idea of you getting a cruiser, but a hard tail mountain bike might be the way to go. I'm thinking bikes in the $300 range like the Specialized Hardrock. Most bikes can be had more cheaply now due to end of season deals.

    I hope you find something - just take it easy, start riding, cut your calories (that's key) and have fun. It will be hard at first, but it gets easier.
    :wq

  11. #11
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    here is the bike i bought, http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=8399256. , and am returning.

  12. #12
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    I'd say I'm surprised you had to return that piece of ****, but I'd be lying.
    :wq

  13. #13
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    i bought because of some advise of another thread telling me to buy really cheap because of my size.

  14. #14
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    Honestly man at your size I would just buy a cruiser bike to get some exercise until I lost quite a bit of weight and got to below 300 pounds before looking at a mountain bike. A cruiser bike should be able to hold you better and be more comfortable. I got an overweight guy I work with talked into picking up mountain biking after him seeing me drop 25 winter beer pounds this season in less than 2 months (from 210 to 185). He is 6ft2 and weighs about 270 pounds and the position of a mountain bike is hard on his wrists and joints.
    At 5ft8 and 375 you should just focus on getting out there on a comfortable bike and cycling. You can lose just as much weight on a beach cruiser as on a mountain bike and be a lot more comfortable on one. And I know Walmart beach cruisers are tough. I use to have one with pegs on the front and rear and would load up 3 of us on it for a beer run.

  15. #15
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    Jonny4.

    Buy a used sturdy good bike. Take it to a good mountain bike shop and have them go over it and make sure it will have parts on it and also the correct compression in shocks and forks.

    Then do these things: #1..stop eating so much. Your portion sizes are out of control to get that weight. It is amazing how little to body needs to eat but since it tastes so good we all eat way more then necessary.

    #2. Ride for time. What I mean is dont go try to ride up the local killer hill...get a quarter of the way up and quit as you are going to die. Rather go for a ride where your heart is pumping, lungs blowing but you can do it for 1-2 hours. Burn way more calories this way.

    #3. Start running. Sounds crazy but for the time put in running burns way more calories then anything else. Mix it up with a run followed by a bike ride or a swim. Make it fun.

    If you cut back on your eating and excercise at the same time...the pounds are going to fly off you. You will be buying new clothes and going up that killer mountain sooner then you think.

    Good luck to ya.

  16. #16
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    I don't know what kind of bike would work best for someone your size, but I can't imagine that full-on mountain biking would be easy.

    Biking is a great way to get some exercise since it is fun and low impact. Someone said to start running, but I think that might be pretty hard to do until you are in better shape because its so jarring and hard on the knees. I can ride for hours, but I can only run for a little while before my feet and knees are hurting and I'm wanting to throw up and go home. Plus, running isn't fun.

    I was 6'4" 215lb when I started biking a few months ago and have lost 15 lbs and 4 inches from my waist already and its been a total blast!

  17. #17
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    The only bikes that are purpose built for heavier riders are way more expensive than $200. I don't want to discourage you from biking but it's important to understand that even a light rider isn't going to get much bike for that amount of money. I'm not kidding when I say one of my bikes is worth more than my car! I believe most of the purpose built clyde bikes are gonna run you around a grand. Regardless, at 375 trail riding will probably be a little too much for you to start out with, Keith and Okie are giving some good advice. Best thing to do is to work on your fitness and make some lifestyle changes to get some weight off, then look into getting a good bike. If I were you I'd look into the cruiser or hybrid option. Hope to see you on the trails soon!
    Bike good, work bad.

  18. #18
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    Sure, get a cheaper bike while you are getting that fitness back, but cheap doesn't have to mean Wal-Mart rubbish, right? There are some good entry-level "serious" bikes around for not that much money - might be a good compromise between buying a junkheap that'll last 3 weeks and paying $10,000 for the space shuttle! I am sure there are some around more knowledgeable than me who can point you in the right direction.

    And if you are serious about getting that weight off then I say, "good on you" - it CAN be done. I began to balloon a bit after getting married (what IS that about, anyway?!), though admittedly nothing like your 375lbs, but said "no way", started eating less and cycling more and now I'm as fit as I have ever been. Just don't overdo it - bit by bit! No real trick to it.
    SPD shoes, pedals, cleats and the experience of going clipless. (a work in progress - let me know if I missed something!)

  19. #19
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    6'3" 345 - I just bought a Kona Hoss. You are going to need something like this. Otherwise the wheels and hubs are going to be trashed every time you go on anything other than smooth trails.

  20. #20
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    5-10, 400#, and I ride 3-4 times a week. Started doing all flat (not fat) trails and in 3 mo.
    was pulling some small hills and putting in 9-10 miles. I ride a flea market GT and like the bike alot. Those 23" mtb bars are awful. I put a 3" riser bar( at 26") on for comfort and stability. I'm good to go now. So don't give up and keep on pedalin'.
    Larry

  21. #21
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    craigslist. If you live in a major city of any kind, you should be able to find good quality 1990s chromoly frame bicycles for cheap ($65-$150). The WILL outlast a dept store bike.

  22. #22
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    I'm actually going thru a similar situation myself. I started out at the beginning of the year with a total lifestyle makeover. I quit drinking sodas (even diet) and started drinking endless amounts of water. Cut all the useless crap from my diet and expanded my normal eating habits to more diverse and metabolism enhancing foods. I wanted to get straight into mtn biking but honestly it just isn't possible. For you skinny riders, imagine putting 200lbs in a backpack and trying to peddle up even the smallest of single tracks.

    Here's what I did. First off, find something even lower impact to get your body conditioned to exercise again. I started with walking and disc golf. After several weeks of that, I really wasn't feeling like I was getting much exercise from either so I decided to get start back into biking. I bought myself a Trek Pure Sport. This is a comfort bike that takes alot of stress off the back and knees and forces you to use more core strength while keeping you in a fairly relaxed seated position. This isn't a terrain bike so you'll have to find somewhere paved or very smooth packed dirt or clay to ride on. I'm lucky in that Raleigh has a great greenway system that's mostly paved. I ride about 10 miles 4-5 times a week and about 13-15 miles at least one of the weekend days sometimes both. After doing that all this year I feel like I'm finally ready to tackle some single track again. I did so some fire road stuff a couple weeks ago and the hill climbing was pretty humbling so I'm not expecting a great performance for awhile but I'm finally in good enough shape to at least start progressing. I'll basically start riding trail one day a week, then eventually 2-3, but will probably always keep the greenway rides in my weekly fitness regimen. As for what bike to buy for trail use, there are a fair amount of options. You're not going to be taking drops and heavy single track in your condition, trust me! With that in mind, just pick any bike you like because you're not really going to give it much abuse until you're in better shape and can handle tougher terrain. If you're set on starting out with mountain, then I'd look into a Gary Fisher Mullet. It's pretty bulletproof and holds my weight just fine, but again I'd seriously consider doing some flat-ground riding for awhile first.

    I started out this year at 6' 6" and 450lbs. I'm now down 78lbs at 372 and slowly falling. I feel a hundred times better and honestly can't stand rainy days when I don't get to ride my bike. Whatever you do, just DO something. I waited til I was 34 to start getting back into shape and I can attest that the longer you wait, the harder it is, but the reward is worth every ounce of pain and then some.

    Good luck! If you need any weight loss tips, feel free to PM me. One side note...I'd highly recommend getting some padded cycling shorts to where under your normal clothes. Even after riding for months, my ass still aches every single ride and in fact it's still sore right now from last nights ride. There is an online store that specializes in plus size riding clothes but I don't know how mtbr feels about linking other stores so PM if you want the address.
    Last edited by madboy; 09-03-2008 at 07:52 AM.
    Does this post make my ass look fat?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Okie Dokie
    #3. Start running. Sounds crazy but for the time put in running burns way more calories then anything else. Mix it up with a run followed by a bike ride or a swim. Make it fun.
    No offence to this poster, but please don't do this. Running at your size will cause irreversible joint damage and incredibly painful spine compression. I went from 6' 6" to 6' 5" and now have 3 protruding discs which cause a LOT of pain. Much of this damage was caused by jogging on a PADDED treadmill. It took physical therapy and a lot of downtime to get back to the point being able to start exercising again.

    Cycling causes a lot less stress on the body. If you have access to a pool that's the best way to get started but otherwise, walking and cycling.
    Does this post make my ass look fat?

  24. #24
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    This is my first post on the forum, I usually lurk, but I figured that since this topic was so near and dear to my own heart, that I would go ahead and throw my own advice out there. I also could stand to lose a few pounds (read: a lot of pounds) and I've tried every which way to stick with an exercise program. Finally, I decided on riding. It's fun, gets me the hell out of the house and gym and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

    I don't know enough about bikes yet to actually be able to give you any sort of advice on that, so I'll leave it to all these other much more knowledgeable people. I will say that I was bent on getting a Walmart Special, too, but a very wise friend steered me to my lbs where I got a much better suited bike, for the same price point, with all the benefits of patronizing an lbs. (like free tuneups and adjustments for a year).

    As far as dropping some pounds, I would suggest getting a gym membership of some sort and going to the gym on alternating days with your riding. I wouldn't run, because that will kill your joints, plus it's just a pain in the ass unless you're in tip top shape, and walking is boring. However, the elliptical trainer burns almost as many calories as running, and is much easier on your joints, and let's face it, your entire body. Swimming is great for cardio, too if you have access to a pool. And I would also suggest doing some sort of light strength training (especially in your legs). I, myself do Pilates 3 times a week, and it's been invaluable to getting me up some of the hills around here. Plus, any activity you do will only help you in the long run.

    Good luck, Hope to see your progress and riding stories soon!

  25. #25
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    One thing I didn't tell you on my last post was that I have already destroyed my knees. I have 2 total knee replacements!!! My last operation was March 17 of this year and I started biking on June 11 of this year. Like the last guy I stick to flat trails but am starting to pull some light hills. Yes all that and the weight problem too. It can be done and it is certainly depressing at times but stick to a plan. As for me I ride every other day soon to start every day. My mileage depends on how long my local trails are. I'm lucky in that here in Reading Pa. we have numerous trails to choose from the most noteable trail being the Schuykill River Trail System which goes from Reading to Philadephia.
    Larry

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