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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Hello from a HUGE Noob....literally....

    Hi:
    I am Avi and I want to pick up biking as a way to get back in shape. I was 400 lbs in Jan 2013 and now I am down to 380lbs via mild exercise and no junk food. I am 6ft 2 in tall. I contacted a LBS and they suggested me a 2009 FELT Q520 with a XL Fram as a good bike for me (and my budget!). I wanted to know from your experiences if its a good choice or if you have any recommendations I am all ears. My budget is $350 (since I want to see how long I can continue without losing interest and hence not investing a lot on my first bike) max. Open for used bikes as well. Also, could you suggest me some budget friendly bike racks that would fit my 2010 Lexus RX 350? Thanks for your time and inputs and look forward getting to know you all, interacting and gain knowledge.

    Regards,
    Avi.

  2. #2
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    Good luck with the fitness, your LBS will guide you in the right direction. There is a classified section here as well and you could look there too.

    Mark
    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  3. #3
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    I'd look at something with a steel frame for your weight. I'm 290 and just found out I cracked yet another aluminum frame after 5 months of riding. No more of that crap.

    If you're going to be on the road a lot I'd look at the Surly line. You could order a Surly Ogre frame by itself and then build it up with strong parts. The complete bike is decent, but I'd like to get some real nice wheels right out of the gates.

    If riding a lot of trail the Kona Honzo is a real nice set-up as stock, but realize you are forever limited to one chainring up front as there is no room for a front derailleur with the dialled geometry of that bike.

    The Lexus RX I think has a trailer hitch, there's a number of carriers that work well but my local Costco has a hitch mount bike rack for $70 new, hard to beat that deal.

  4. #4
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    If your buget is $350 I would be looking for a used bike. You can find bikes that were $1,000.00 when new for $350-$400 used. You'll get a lot more for your money that way. I bought a 4 bike hitch rack for 50 bucks used as well. Craigslist is your freind!

  5. #5
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    Thank you all. After reading here and a few other places I have decided that I will invest a few more $ and get an used steel frame weight. What bikes do you recommend within my 350-400 budget? Also, I checked my vehicle does not have a hitch. Any suggestions for. Non hitch bike rack?

  6. #6
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    not too knowledgeable about steel bikes, but if you have a sedan/suv you can pick up used trunk mounted bike racks for like $25-50 usually on Craigslist. Good luck with the weight loss, my dad lost 40 lbs in 7 weeks while after he rediscovered biking to get back in shape.
    2009 Gary Fisher HiFi
    riding time is split between central NH and Hudson Valley, NY

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham77 View Post
    I'd look at something with a steel frame for your weight. I'm 290 and just found out I cracked yet another aluminum frame after 5 months of riding. No more of that crap.
    Either you have had faulty frames, ridden them to destruction (unlikely in the time) or abused them. Alu bikes are just as strong, if not stronger, than steel. I weight 260 and have never owned a steel framed bike since 1995 and I've never broken a frame yet - even the Gary Fisher Marlin that survived over 12 years of abuse before I gave it away. All those frames have to pass the same tests for strength, and I would argue that the bigger tubes you get with aluminium suit the bigger rider over steel.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    Either you have had faulty frames, ridden them to destruction (unlikely in the time) or abused them. Alu bikes are just as strong, if not stronger, than steel. I weight 260 and have never owned a steel framed bike since 1995 and I've never broken a frame yet - even the Gary Fisher Marlin that survived over 12 years of abuse before I gave it away. All those frames have to pass the same tests for strength, and I would argue that the bigger tubes you get with aluminium suit the bigger rider over steel.
    Agreed, I am 310 and have 1500 miles on my AL Carve, I trail ride and commute to work on it since May of 2012. I have had to re-tension my rear "stock" wheel once. The new Hydro formed AL frames are quite strong and stiff. Steel are strong but flex under stress. A steel frame is not a bad thing but it is a bit heavy and will be flexy on trails.

    Mark
    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  9. #9
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    Well picture a horse strapped into some pedals...

    Your experience is obviously different than mine. I ride fast and hard, and shredding is what I enjoy. I shift well and don't slam the rear wheel.

    Aluminum is more stiff but fatigues faster than steel. It is also much less forgiving for a "noob" rider who might just miss that pothole while sitting. Steel can also be re-welded much easier than aluminum. What you said about the larger tubes offering a more stable platform is true, but I'd rather have a bike that lasts longer.

    Quote from an article off BikeRaceInfo ~ "But the lifetime of an aluminum frame is not and will not be that of a steel bike. The rider has to accept that in his search for high-perfomance, compromises must be made. These are not lifetime bikes. They just aren't!"

  10. #10
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    From the way you are talking you'd never guess that most bikes are aluminium and most people never see a frame fail. There are far too many factors to take into account for that quote to have any meaning at all. Alu and stell and carbon bikes all pass the same tests in order to be sold, and they don't fail that often unless they are faulty or being abused beyond what they were intended for. 5 months is not normal for any material. You've never said what your frames or builds were.

    One set of test figures I found were as follows:

    Horizontal Loading Durability Fatigue Test:
    “The frame shall be tested and each
    must complete a minimum 100,000 cycles with a cyclic load of 600N tensile and 600N
    compressive.”

    Vertical Loading Durability Fatigue Test:
    “The frame shall be tested and each
    must complete a minimum 50,000 cycles with a cyclic load of 1200N to 120N load in
    the compressive direction.”

    Impact Strength Test:
    “The frame shall be tested with a drop height of 180 mm,
    and the permanent set of the frame and fork
    shall be less than 40mm. Note that ASTM
    F2711 specifies the impact mass to be 22.5 Kg.
    Last edited by TooTallUK; 03-23-2013 at 01:49 PM.

  11. #11
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    Thanks everyone for your time and suggestions. I went in my LBS today and he had a 2008 Felt 2008. Rode it for a few minutes and liked it. Bought it for $175. The gentleman was very helpful. I asked him buying a Giant Cypress would be a better choice, since it has a steel frame and 36 spoke and he advised me that Giant would be a step down from the Felt and I should go with it. So, bought it. Now to get the trailer hitch, hitch bike rack installed and I should be all set for Monday's trail biking. Apart from helmet, water bottle, what else should I be carrying on me (or with me)? A good pump (maybe) and is there anything like a bike emergency kit?

  12. #12
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    The beginners forum has a great thread on what to bring when you ride. You should check that out before you hit the trails.
    He who dares....wins!

  13. #13
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    Found the thread thank you! MODS, please close the thread.

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