my experience and a few pointers for the clydes with commuters.
Let me start by saying I was 424....bought a bike....278 right now.
Now....when I started looking, I went off of feel of the bike more than anything. I have a tall upper body with short legs. I chose a hybrid. I being a clyde like many others who are have some back issues. This has all but gone away with weight loss. I might have a sore day here and there but no more than 3 times a year now. Anyway...The frame matters however be aware the most clydes actually void the warranty if over 300 pounds. I did with the Gary Fisher Utopia. It is still in tact. Not a big deal but keep it in mind. I wanted to be in an up-right position with disk brakes and suspension but also the size wheel of a road bike. The hybrid works for that as the mountain parts are more durable. When looking for a bike, I fell for the rear derailleur "bling" moment. It was an XT. Shifters sucked and crank and bottom bracket were terrible. Bottom Bracket needs to be addressed at the time of purchase. If it is not listed what is on it in the documentation, you do not want it as you WILL mash and not spin at first and will not last. As I started to drop pounds, I noticed my body changing. I noticed the wider seat did not feel as good. I noticed the stem was not at the place it needed to be. My body was changing. I noticed that the suspension on the seat post was no longer needed after time as well as the travel in the front. So....what I found out and what I learned.....
Body changes for clydes as you lose weight so get a frame that feels good and if you can find it, get cro-molly. It feels better. Aluminum is hype the industry wants you to think because it costs less than steel.
Address the Bottom Bracket as a possible trouble area as well as cheap hubs. Disk brakes are great but are not a necessity. Good V-Brakes gives good stopping power. Do not skimp on the brakes nonetheless and avoid hydrolic. Having suspension can help you back feel better after a ride. This can be adjusted later. Suspension on the seat post as also not a bad idea. When you are a clyde, the saving on weight thing is moot if you are over 230 lbs.
I wish I did this....
Tange Cro-molly Hybrid frame- mine came with aluminum
Sealed cartridge hubs(avoid most shimano) came with shimano
36 rear spokes and 32 front-bike came with 32 on both
V-brakes- bike came with disc
Adjustable stem-Bike came with standard
higher end bottom bracket-Bike came with cheap 4 dollar unit
high end shifters-Bike came with deore
front suspension -I had too much in front goal to not need them. Need them as a clyde. Seat post suspension felt good on the back
wider seat to start out with but keep the old on to transition
try to even out all components with their group's
-same derailleurs and shifters
good chain-The quality of the chain matters, get a good one for smoother shifting
larger tires....too thin and you will flatten them
I spent more upgrading and purchasing the bike. I was better off not buying it and going custom or better yet, buying a genesis from walmart and upgrade from there. remember....I bought the cheap parts on my bike for a premium. I should have known better.
Thanks for your post.
Im at 285 wanting to get back down to 230ish and needing all the advice I can get. I was able to buy a friends old Klein which is an aluminum frame but I have to say it seems to be a different breed of frame than most I have ridden (cheaper). It has mostly XT components and a RS Duke SL? fork which I am afraid I may need to replace or find a way to make stiffer as I bottom it out now almost while riding.
Grats on the weight loss. You are straight trippin on this one. I might not be a super clyde like you, but the difference between disk brakes and v brakes is one finger complete stop vs. two - three fingers squeezing to make the bike stop eventually. Not to mention with disks you can damn near taco a wheel and ride it out, good luck doing that with v-brakes.
Originally Posted by digitalayon
I have to assume your complaint stems from disk maintenance. Trust me, v brakes require tending as well.
I am 6'7" at 270 pounds with 5.7% body fat, I want to be back up to 300. Any ideas on that, I seem to only manage about 10-15 pounds a year, sux I know.
Re: my experience and a few pointers for the clydes with commuters.
^what's your goal in mind? I'm 6'6" and only 190. My brother who is taller then you and much more diverse with weights then myself, with same body fat as you, only weighs in at 240. Why you going for 300? Biking is not about mass...
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No biking is not building mass, just bringing me peace. Been living on my bike since 2004.
Originally Posted by Kevin_Federline
I would like to be back up to 300 pounds because that is what I was at in the Army before my Team and I had such a bad day. I went down to 186 pounds in just six weeks in a coma, when I woke so skinny I did not know my self. Lost 9 feet of intestines, two toes, broken jaw, two broken feet, head injury, neck injury.... It was just a crap day when I woke up. Then stayed in that hospital for four months after that, then spent six months busting my ass to qualify to get back on a Team only to find out that I was recommended for a medical retirement. Said I had a brain tumor.
So I can not get my old friends back, the time in the hospital back and I am not going to waste my life with treatment (already lived much longer than I should have without treatment), so I just want my weight back. I flew here to Europe after my retirement process to do nothing but ride, and have been doing since. Honestly, I would love to life again but I do not sit still long enough in one place to lift at a gym. I swim and do other exercises other than riding around but it is not enough to gain as fast as I would like. I am sure when my body wants to get back there it will, it has been a very long road to get this far but it is my only goal.
Congrats on your ability to lose the weight!
While I agree with a few of your learned lessons, I wish to share another perspective towards Commuting Clydes.
Before buying, try riding a steel rigid SS 29er. They are durable, simple, easier to maintain, and have disc brakes that stop when wet.
IME for most commuting swap out the tires for a set of Schwalbe Big Apples (29 x 2.35).
Prepare to be amazed at how easy they roll, and suck up bumps.
No need for a suspension fork that was designed for those <230#.
Read the SS forum to learn how to select gearing, as it may save you some $$ and a few headaches.
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