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  1. #1
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    Newbie Purchase - Gary Fisher Wahoo / New / Craigs List

    Okay folks been reading online here for a few days now looking for some advice, thank you BTW.

    I am about 390 and would really like to get into a MTB for exercise.

    I was reading online here that a hard tail would be the way to go as well as trying to find an older bike.

    I went to a local bike shop and found a semi-beatup (lots of scratches) Gary Fisher Wahoo (said it was 2006-2008 not sure) but it has Mavic rims he said were really tough and what I needed?

    I was also told by another bike shop to go look at crags list and get a nice looking used MTB that looks like it was not ridden much and had been garaged. I could always add better rims later.

    SO.....

    I am pretty much confused now on what to do.

    I have a budget of about 500 to spend and would like a bike that I won't kill myself on from bending a rim. I am not going to be riding trails, I want to simply ride about an hour a day and lose more weight.

    On crags list I see a lot of Trek 3200 / 3500 or Giant Revel's.

    I was also told to get 26" rims due to the sturdiness of them.

    So... I would like a strong bike but one that I won't be spending another 300 on in a month due to maintenance of the rims.

    ANY advice would be appreciated...

    Thank you!!

  2. #2
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    Honestly, I'm not sure most newer mountain bikes in your price range are ideal for your needs. I mainly say this because of the proliferation of springy front shocks on bikes under $500.

    As a big guy myself, I've learned that cheap shocks: (1) don't really help nearly as much as you initially hope to make road or gravel trail riding more comfortable; (2) add additional weight to the bike you have to "carry"; and (3) often actually work against big guys when you try to stand to get more power to pedal up a hill, etc. So, especially if (as you stated) you're not going to be riding trails, I would stay away from mountain bikes with front (or full) suspension.

    Given that, I'd suggest either a steel cruiser-type bike or an old steel mountain bike (from before they started putting junky forks on everything). So, I'll toss these options out there:

    Cruiser bikes: Worksman Cycles (Cargo Bikes, Industrial Bicycles and Industrial Tricycles from Worksman Cycles Factory Direct Store) makes steel cruiser bikes that you could get in your range with a 3 speed hub and I'd add the front brake.

    Old Steel Mountain Bikes: I may catch some flack for this, but honestly I think an old steel workhorse mountain bike with a rigid steel fork like the Trek 800/Antelope, which are widely available on Craigslist in most cities for about $100-$150 in serviceable condition, would be a good strong bike for you. You'll have plenty of gears, and at that price you still have plenty of room in your budget to have a local shop tune it up, and you can change the saddle, pedals, grips, and add fenders and a rack if you want, and buy a lock, helmet, etc. and still have money left over.

    Hope this helps!
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
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  3. #3
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    P.S. -- In any event, making sure you get the proper size is a paramount issue. If the bike doesn't fit well, you won't be comfortable riding it and you may even get injured. What is your height and pants inseam (for stand-over height)?
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
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  4. #4
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    You could also get a bike with a front fork that has a lockout on it and eliminate concerns with suspension. The added weight of the locked out fork, while not ideal, shouldn't be too much of a concern if you are looking at biking as a fitness/weight loss mechanism. For what its worth, my wife's Wahoo is a '96 model and still going strong... If its cheap and the drive components are good its a small risk, if you lose the weight to the point that you want to ride trails you will likely be a completely different person (physically) and can then get another rise accordingly.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeginnerCycling View Post
    P.S. -- In any event, making sure you get the proper size is a paramount issue. If the bike doesn't fit well, you won't be comfortable riding it and you may even get injured. What is your height and pants inseam (for stand-over height)?
    Quote Originally Posted by youngstrom View Post
    You could also get a bike with a front fork that has a lockout on it and eliminate concerns with suspension. The added weight of the locked out fork, while not ideal, shouldn't be too much of a concern if you are looking at biking as a fitness/weight loss mechanism. For what its worth, my wife's Wahoo is a '96 model and still going strong... If its cheap and the drive components are good its a small risk, if you lose the weight to the point that you want to ride trails you will likely be a completely different person (physically) and can then get another rise accordingly.
    First and foremost, thank you both for the valuable feedback, I do appreciate it!

    After posting here, I had a day off so I visited literally 6 bike shops around town learning as much as I could about these bikes. I really do want to understand all this and know what I am getting myself into.

    Of all the shops out there, I did find one close to me that refused to sell me a bike. At first I was a bit taken back but as he explained he did not have any used bikes and he had already made the change over to all 29 inch wheel set bikes. So he was actually helping me. I appreciated this a ton and glad to know I can trust this guy... because everyone else was trying to sell me new Treks and Cannondale's, hard tails but they all had the loose from forks until you got in the 800+ range.

    So I went back to the original shop to get the specs on this Gary Fisher.

    It already had double wall wheels, Mavic's as well as lockout front after market shocks, they are not a cheap brand. They are by Minute and retailed for over 300 bucks, that plus the Mavic wheels made this bike a little more appealing. I offered them 300 and they took 380 (down from 500) with a new peddles and steel handle bars installed (had carbon before). They also re-tubed the wheels, aired the shocks to max and made sure it was ready to go out the door.

    I think I got a good deal here, would you agree..?

    I do love the bike, the scuffs add character. Cant wait to ride it

    Please let me know your thoughts.

  6. #6
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    did you ride her yet ? how you like it ?

  7. #7
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    Good luck!

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    So I took the bike to BicyclesPlus here in Allen, the shop I trust. They said I got a great deal on the bike, it was a complete custom bike, everything upgraded. Excited!!

    They did do a little work on the crank and read wheel but after buying a pump and the 35 dollar tune up I rode her yesterday for about 30 minutes before work.

    Looking forward to riding more today

    Thanks again everyone!!

  9. #9
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    Been riding the bike for almost a week now and loving it!!

    Thanks again got the help and suggestions.

    Loving the forums!!

  10. #10
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    Glad it is working out well for you, have fun!
    I ride at night - see my tips for Night Cycling
    My Blog: Cycling For Beginners

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngstrom View Post
    You could also get a bike with a front fork that has a lockout on it and eliminate concerns with suspension.
    While partially correct, there's more to it. A cheap fork will not work well for a heavy rider because the spring won't handle the weight. So yeah, locking it out making it essentially a rigid fork does work well for that problem. But the more pressing issue IMO is that cheap forks have thin stanchions which under a rider with some heft tend to be very flexy. So much so that in a curve it's very easy to have the fork flex causing the front wheel to wash out and down you go. Not fun. Happened to me more than once on a Dart 2 fork. Stopped when I upgraded to a Manitou Drake with 20mm TA. No more flex, no more washouts.

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