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  1. #1
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    Beginning rider asking for advice - PLEASE HELP

    To all,

    I have been going through the mtbr forums and this one seems to be the one I need to post on. I started 2008 at 315 lbs (5'10''). I am running and doing p90x and am down to 267. This is just the beginning of what I want to accomplish. My goal for 2010 is to run a full marathon (26.2). I am getting into all kinds of physical activities to cross train on my non-running days. Mountain biking has been my favorite so far. Im ready to become a weekend warrior and get my own bike. My question for you all is where would you suggest getting a used dependable bike???

    Right now I have been looking at craigslist but have had no luck. Is there specific websites that sell used bikes. I have approximately 500 to spend.

    Also, can you suggest a bike make and model? I have gone mountain biking twice and have both times have been on a 2008 17' specialized rockhopper. I loved it. Any more suggestions? I am still overweight but also very athletic for a 260+ pounder. Maybe that may influence the type of bike is for me. I dont know too much about it.

    Thank you guys in advance for all your help.

    Sincerely,

    Orlando Cano

  2. #2
    I'll take you there.
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    A nice hard-tail is in your price range. Call up all the local bike shops you have and visit them, people trade-in bikes all the time. You may also want to attend a swap meet sometime, I know a lot of biking organizations have em, and ask around.

    And dont forget to leave a Card with your Phone # on it, at all the shops, telling them exactly what you're looking for, so if the used bike you're looking for a "hard tail with good decent suspension and disc brakes, that can handle your weight on the frame, and is in the $500 price range" .. and its not in that day.. it could be traded in tomorrow, and these people know who to call first!

    This is how I got my 2008 Haro Escape Sport.. it was new and not a trade in, but I got the first call when the '08 models went on sale and the bike price fell from $690 to $450, and into my $350-$450 price range.
    Be excellent to each other.

  3. #3
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    i think hardtails (only front suspension) are good to start on
    make sure it has beefy wheels that will cope with your weight, if your heavy but athletic, they will hopefully be taking a pounding (you want really wide rims, wider usually means stronger)
    something that has beefy suspension too, cheaper forks such as rock shox dart have 28mm diameter stanchions (the upper tubes on the suspension), then others have 32, and some 36, i'd recommend you get something with 32 (e.g. rock shox tora, or most decent forks)

    most importantly make sure it fits you ok!
    a rockhopper would be good although im not sure the wheels would last long (anyone correct me if i'm wrong) seen as your a big guy
    if they dont, just use them till something breaks, then upgrade

  4. #4
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    AWESOME GUYS! thank you for replying so quickly! so hardtail it is... someone is offering me a 2000 Trek 8000 for about $150. Reviews seem ok enough. I figured maybe I could buy this bike and then spend $200 upgrading?? Sound like a good choice to anybody reading this?? Please advise..

  5. #5
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    also, what is the down side of starting off with a full suspension (other than the price)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by orlandocano
    also, what is the down side of starting off with a full suspension (other than the price)
    you may pick up bad habits; Relying on suspension instead of learning to absorb the terrain smoothly with your legs. A hardtail will teach you how to ride smoothly, making any possible later switch to full sus so much more rewarding.

  7. #7
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    If you have $500 to spend you could get a new hardtail no problem. Then you have a warranty and LBS support if something does break early on. Stretch it out another hundred and you can even get a 29er.

  8. #8
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    heres another vote for a trip to the local bike shop, i just bought my 2010 Trek 4300 disk for 580.00 3 weeks ago and just bought my wife a Trek 3700 today for 369.00. I would love to own a full suspention bike but buying a used bike is like buying a used car, you never know whats been done to it.
    Mine-2010 Trek 4300 Disk
    Wifes-2010 Trek 3700

  9. #9
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    A hardtail will teach you to ride better, and not let the suspension do all the work
    $200 isnt a lot to spend upgrading, have a look at the price of parts and you'll see you wont get a lot for 200
    The trek seems ok, but its fairly old, if its had a lot of use you'll probobly need to replace parts that you wouldnt if you got a newer bike.
    and yeh i agree with the other guys, get something decent from your local shop, (or whatever shop you can find it cheapest in if you prefer), you might find yourself upgrading to stronger rims to cope, if they bend easily or your damaging them a lot (even just coming out of true a lot), but rims arnt too expensive if you keep the same hubs

  10. #10
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    Side question, how is the p90x program? Looking into it and wanted to know how it was doing for you.

    As for bikes, 500 is enough for a hardtail. Look for a 08 model if you can. That way you might be able to pick up more for your money. Check out something like the Specialized Hardrock sport disc (althought the v-brakes vs disc isn't going to make a huge diff in the price range. Mostly for later upgradability).

  11. #11
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    Friendly advice.

    Some of this is from my own experience and the rest is form trusted experienced Clyds in my local off road group.

    Don't ride a suspension fork until you get down to around 250lbs. Unless you are very wealthy and have money to blow. Get a good rigid fork system. (this is assuming you are doing more xc than dh or fs). Get a solid frame. At your current weight don't worry about shedding grams here and there. Also, I would recommend getting 36 spoke wheels from a strong wheel manufacturer. You wheel find that this is an incredibly addictive sport. Once you get the bug this is a good setup ... fyi I am 6'6" at 340lbs I started at just over 400lbs in Jan. and I haven't broken anything yet .. well not on the bike. I am building per advice and lots of research a Surly Karate Monkey with rigid fork and 29ers. Unlike my lighter brethren, I am using a 9 speed cassette (many purist shy away from gears on 29ers). The 29ers give me ample suspension for roots and small jumps. I am running Salsa Delgado Gordo Disc rims and SRAM cassette ( it is a little tougher under torque than the shimano middle of the line) I like the truativ cranks but they get pricey. Anyway that is my 2 cents worth. I would by the first bike used as suggested and ride it till it drops. My first bike was an ironhorse maverick. I paid around $400 and it is now my casual cruising bike but its heavy frame served me well. I did end up having to replace components because they were a tad on the cheap side, but the frame was solid.

    This is just all my opinion and advice that others gave me when I started 10 years ago and then recently when I rejoined the ranks.

    Good Luck hope this helps or at least doesn't hurt.

  12. #12
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    WOW! i had no idea so many people would respond! Thank you all for the advice! I currently was made an offer I could not refuse. It goes against what most of you are adivising for a heavy rider. But let me know what you guys think:

    A good friend of mine who doesnt need the money recently sold me this bike for dirt cheap ($200) -- He also mentioned that a hardtail was better for me. But he let me know that I was getting a heck of a deal, and if this bike doesnt workout for me I could probably sell it on craigslist and still make a $100-$200 profit. He had it on craigslist and was getting $400 offers but he gave it to me because he knows I am getting into MTB.

    Jamis Dakar XLT 1.0 (2006)


    Frame Dakar multiple linkage design, 7005 aluminum,
    Fox Float R shock, 125mm travel.
    Fork Fox Float R, 130mm travel.
    Wheels WTB Speed Disc eyeletted rims,
    Shimano M475 disc hubs, WTB spokes.
    Tires Hutchinson Spider, 2.3.
    Drivetrain SRAM X-7 derailleurs,
    X-7 Impulse trigger shifters,
    TruVativ FireX SX crankset with Giga-X BB.
    Cockpit TruVativ riser bar, XR stem, and XR seatpost,
    WTB Laser V Comp saddle.
    Brakeset Hayes HFX-9XC hydraulic disc brakes
    with 7 V-cut front & 6 V-cut rear rotors.

    All the data above is pretty much greek to me but what I have done research about is the front and rear fox shox. I read that I can adjust them up to about 300 lbs so my weight should not be a problem.

    So did I make a mistake, guys? I road the bike in a little park behind my house and other than the bouncy shocks (its set for my 140 lbs buddy but I will adjust to my weight today!), the bike felt absolutely awesome!!

    Let me know what you think.

  13. #13
    I'll take you there.
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    you scored nice.. dont let it go to your head on the trail.. no amount of suspension can make up for a bad obstacle approach

    Oh and buy your friend a case of Sam Adams.

    Enjoy.
    Be excellent to each other.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by crbrocket
    Side question, how is the p90x program? Looking into it and wanted to know how it was doing for you.
    p90x is the most complete workout program I have ever gone through! BUT it is designed for people who are already athletic. I had trouble with it at first but I was losing weight really fast because of my diet, and I eventually became active enough to keep up with the workout.

    The diet plan is awesome but very expensive to keep up with. The workouts are really difficult. And from weeks 5 to weeks 8 of the program as just CRAZY! but it feels awesome to get through them. The programs are definitely designed for people who are already in shape and trying to get that ripped look and lots of muscle endurance. I kept doing the workout because most of my 270 lbs are muscle mass, but I did not want to get any bigger! P90x is perfect for me because it allows me to tone up while I continue to lose weight.

    One thing I must say to you is that this is not a workout plan on which you can lose 50 lbs. You will lose weight, but weight loss is not the purpose of p90x, its a side-benefit. The purpose of p90x is to create lean muscle and improve flexibility and cardio-vascular endurance.

    I renently developed my own workout plan that uses p90x. My real goal now is to complete a marathon and then a triathalon. Running is now the focus of my workouts so I can continue to lose tons of weight and get ready for my race.

    My workouts are now as follows:

    Monday - P90X Chest and back dvd + 15-20 mile bike ride (road)
    Tuesday - Run
    Weds - P90X Arms and Shoulder dvd + 15-20 mile bike ride (road)
    Thurs - Run
    Fri - P90X Back and legs dvd + 15-20 mile bike ride (road)
    Saturday - Run + 2 hours on mtb trails
    Sunday - Run + P90X Stretch x dvd (full body 1 hour stretch routine).

    Basically, I and removing all the cardio and high impact leg routines from P90X and I am replacing them with endurance running and biking cardio workouts. it works for me because I am not at my ideal weight (i want to get down to 205 or 200). But I still love the muscle weight training routines from p90x so I continue to do those on the days on which I dont run.

    If you are within 20 lbs of your ideal weight, then follow p90x to the tee and you will get where you want to be (ripped, and down to the weight you want). If you want to lose alot of weight while you begin to build lean muscle and flexibility, then add cardio workouts to the p90x routine as you see fit.

    My recommendation: Do p90x the way the program indicates. Follow all the workout instructions and as much of the nutritional instructions as you can. All it takes is 3 months. I guarantee you will feel better than you ever have IF (and thats a BIG IF!!!) you can complete the program. Once you are done with it (which is what I did), then you can modify the program to fit your life and your goals!

    Last thing: Prepare to spend some money (dumbells, yoga mats, yoga blocks, pullup bars, etc). If you use resistance bands it will be fairly cheap. But I dont feel like I am getting a good enough workout without the dumbells, so I paid for them!

    Have fun. And I definitely recommend you give it a shot!!

    good luck.

  15. #15
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    Hello all. I just joined the forum this morning. I too am a big guy...6'-0", 317. I need a bike as I need to get active again.

    I'm on a budget (my whole department was laid off at our local rag). I am a graphic artist so with my new freelance biz, I sit all day long and have recently started experiencing swelling of my feet and ankles. Doc recommends getting active and I loved riding years ago.

    I had a '92 StumpJumper that I let a coworker have in 2000 but I know I can't afford to replace it with the same bike. I'm thinking in the $200-$350 range. I guess $275 would be ideal pricing but I'm concerned about the components and frame carrying my weight.

    I'm just looking to start off slowly and get my wind back. I've been active all of my life but fell off and under the wagon about 2 years ago...working to help make golden parachutes for those who put my dept. out to pasture (sorry about that) but with a renewed investment in myself, I'm looking to hit the roads (primarily) and trails again.

    Lil help please...I thank you for your suggestions in advance.

  16. #16
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    look at the trek 3700. i just bought the 2010 model for 360.00 at the LBS for my wife.
    Mine-2010 Trek 4300 Disk
    Wifes-2010 Trek 3700

  17. #17
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    go new buy a trek 4300 disc is highly recommended i wish i had disc now, but you can get one for 500 or so plus you have warranty depending on your shop they will have service for free and replace stuff if it breaks so you can have the better then stock stuff w/o having to buy it. also i would suggest going clipless as well but thats about another 100-400 depending on brand and the type of pedal.

  18. #18
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    going bigger is always nice, but when you have no job a set budget is what you have to stick by. i should know, i lost my job over 3 months ago and have since had to file bankruptcy. im lucky we had the extra cash to buy new bikes when we did. stick to what you can afford NOT what everybody says you need to get.
    Mine-2010 Trek 4300 Disk
    Wifes-2010 Trek 3700

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