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  1. #1
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    Your Recommendations Appreciated

    Hello all,

    I'm new here, and I was hoping I might get some advice for bike selection.

    I'm 6' 1", 340 lbs and I'm looking for a decent bike -- primarily for road work until I can lose enough weight to do some light trail riding. I

    'm down about 30 pounds and have decided to keep moving in this direction through diet and exercise instead of gastric bypass.

    Any experienced advice on frame and component selection for a man my size is appreciated.

    Thank you all so much.

    Eric

  2. #2
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    I had a similar need and purchased a Salsa Fargo. I figured that as it was designed for heavy touring, a normal sized cyclist plus a lot of gear would weigh about the same as me. It's been great. The stock tires are more for dirt and gravel, but if you're doing mostly pavement you could replace them. Also the gearing is also biased toward the low ranges, but being big and not in the best shape, I find this a good thing.

  3. #3
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    Have to say that my redline monocog 29er has done we well. 315lbs down to 265lbs, and the bike is built like a tank....little upgrades here and there to customize it to my taste but all in all i love it.
    29er go big or go home.

  4. #4
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    First off... Welcome! There's a ton of wonderful resources on the Clyde forum (both people and threads).

    Secondly, congrats on your new commitment to a healthy lifestyle! It is so worth it! I was well over 300 lbs~310-320 (not certain because scale said error!). I dropped to as low as just under as low as 203.8 last year and am ~211 now working my ass off to get down to ~200lbs. I'm 6'5" and 49yrs old. You can do this through exercise and diet absolutely. Post a thread or PM me if you need any help finding resources.

    As far as bikes go it really depends on what kind of trail riding you plan on doing. There's two lines of thought on this. Get a decent used bike to start with and set your target on a great "step up" bike as reward for all your hard work when you've met a weight loss goal. The other line of thought is get a great bike now (more $ now) that will cover most anything you throw at it and use the guilt of having spent so much money on it as a motivational tool to get your ass on it. I used the latter (then used the same logic on a road bike ). In retrospect for me the $ were a capital investment in me rather than cardiologists and medical bills!

    Depending on your trail use will drive your decision process. If it's really technical and hilly terrain a single speed isn't the best option, especially if your not in great shape. If it's mostly flat then the options are pretty much wide open.

    Lastly, some people scoff at people riding full suspension bikes on the road. Don't worry about anyone else's opinion other than what is right for you! The same goes for clothing or anything else! Add into the weekly weight loss thread to as an additional motivational tool!

  5. #5
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    well said...
    29er go big or go home.

  6. #6
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    I wish I had something to add, but it seems Dadtorbn covered just about everything

    I am about the same size as you, 6'2" 340ish. I am using my old GT Zaskar to ride around while building a new bike that I am building up (Guess I used Dadtorbn's idea on this before I actually knew about it ). I don't do any trail riding yet, but eventually I would like to do some light trail riding.

    I've been slacking for the past couple of weeks due to some classes I am taking for work, but that ends next week so I will be back to going to the gym in the morning, walking during lunch, and riding when I get home.

    I also was approved for the gastric bypass, but I don't want my internals re-arranged and I think if I can do this myself, it will make me mentally tougher as well as having accomplished it without the surgery. I'm sure that will help me do anything I want to do in the future.

    Thanks for joining the clyde forum and I look foward to hearing about your success.

    On a side note, Dadtorbn (and many others), I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts in here, what you have done is an inspiration to me. You have shown that with hard work and perseverance, it can work.


    Jon

  7. #7
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    Thanks Jon! I'm so glad to return the motivational favor Your feedback reinforces my motivation as well. I've wondered when there's no other input on the "I think I'm in Love" thread that I should let it die, especially since I've plateaued in a major way (allbeit at an okay weight). However, I want to power through once I have more free time and share those results along the way at with others also.

  8. #8
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    Thank you so much for the welcome and for your perspectives.

    I think purely for practical reasons, I will be taking dadtorpn's first suggestion, and will initially get a moderately-decent bike. Aside from cost, the reason includes being unsure to what degree I will want to ride trails in the future. For now, there are some_ flat-ish trails in the seacoast area of NH I am interested in, but my primary reason for a bike is to work my way up to commuting the 6.5 miles to the hospital I work at. The ride is all paved and low-to-moderately hilly.

    I have to admit I'm a little overwhelmed with the choices available. Considering my immediate plans for a person my size, can anyone recommend a used (or even new), strong, road (touring-focused?) rig for <$1,000?

    Thank you all again. I look forward to posting my progress.

  9. #9
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    I'm no bike selection expert. However, given what you are describing, mostly paved commuting, some hills and light non technical trail use it should be pretty easy to find a good bike for your need under $1k.

    You will need to decide between new and used. One advantage of new is if you go to a good bike shop (I went to specialized... but there are many...) you can get "fit" for your bike. A proper fit is very useful. It will avoid many aches and pains associated from an improper fitting bike. Additionally, you'll have a bike shop to go to for waranttee work should you need it. Lastly, as you lose weight you may want to be re-fit for your bike. You can negotiate that as a condition of sale.

    By shopping around at bike shops you'll also be able to figure out what size frame you need. They'll do a rudimentary fit just to let you ride it around by the shop for a test ride.

    I would say you do not need rear suspension. But a front shock would be helpful.

    Good Luck and post up.

  10. #10
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    Depending on what you are considering light trails...I would consider even solid forks. That will save you some coin and really, IMO, a suspension fork is not needed on pavement unless you are on some really rough streets. Even light trails...if they are not littered with rocks and roots...a solid fork will still work just fine. Again...depending on what the trails you are considering...you might look at something like a cyclocross bike. If you really want a mountain bike...I would go with a hardtail and either a solid fork or make sure if it has a suspension fork, it locks out. At your weight and a bike $1000 or less, front fork options are not going to be great unless you get something used. It just seems that for the most part, good forks don't start showing up on bikes until they are over the $1000 mark.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  11. #11
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    Fuji Police is a sturdy bike built to stand up to what the cops put it through, not a super light build and moderately priced for an entry level bike.
    Flying the HiFi...Clyde style.


    SOMEBODY I LOVE NEEDS A HEART!

    I AM AN ORGAN DONOR, ARE YOU?

  12. #12
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    Exactly the thread I am seeking

    Like the OP, I'm a large guy (6' 310) and seeking a bike to aid in my weight loss and also provide healthier mindsets for my wife and daughter (6 yrs old ). Added plus is strengthening knees. I've already lost nearly 100 lbs., but have lost muscle and stamina in the process.

    I'm also seeking a bike with consideration to riding in parks (i.e. State Parks, etc.). Nothing 'off-road' (remember this is a family thing as well). Suggestions made concerning used bikes (for me) is interesting and I will seek such.

    Any manufacturer in mind?

    Thanks in advance,

    V

  13. #13
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    Pretty much any of the big name companies are going to be generally comparable at certain price ranges. Personally...I ride a Specialized and it has handled my weight as high as 320 without issue other than wheels going out of true. Just hit some shops and try out as many different bikes as you can and find out what is most comfortable for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  14. #14
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    Nubster,

    Thanks for the reply.

    So the main concern is wheels going out of true? The mountain bike I own is nearly 18 yrs old, hence the need for something else. I will do as you suggest and visit some shops.

    Thanks for the suggestion,

    V
    Last edited by VAC357; 05-16-2011 at 01:17 PM.

  15. #15
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    Yeah...at our weight...as you can imagine...we are hard on components, especially wheels. Now it may not be as much of a concern if you are just riding on roads and groomed paths with your family but if you do decide to venture off on some slightly tougher trails...rocks and roots and things like that can play havoc on a wheelset. I mean just daily riding can be tough on them as well...bumps and pot holes ect...

    Most stock bikes you are looking at wheels that are not stout, not enough spokes for our heft, and machine built rather than hand built. That is a recipe for wheels going out of true easy and often. Riding on wheels that are out of true leads to broken spokes and eventually a ruined or tacoed wheel if not corrected in time. The best solution is to buy an appropriate set of wheels...that can run anywhere from $250 up to ungodly amounts ($1000+). There are a number of threads on here talking about wheels sets that are clyde friendly with low priced suggestions as well as options that cost mucho dinero.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  16. #16
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    Gotcha!

    I'll more than likely upgrade wheels, NYC streets can be unforgiving. What about forks? Think I read stiff is sufficient rather than shocks.

    Your help is appreciated,
    V

    Like to apologize to OP for hijacking the thread. Didn't want to start a similar topic.

  17. #17
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    I'm in the same boat as a few of you in the thread. As for a rigid fork, I've gone w/ a Vicious Cycles rigid fork w/ disc tab. I thought about going to IF for the fork but they wanted 475$ compared to the 250$ for the Vicious. I plan on buying a suspension fork once I lose enough weight where I feel like the stifness won't be affected too much.

  18. #18
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    Yeah...a rigid fork is fine if you don't mind it...they can be a little rough but not bad. I mean anyone that rides a road bike is on a rigid. Most suspension forks have a lock out so that you can ride it like a rigid. Like wheels...most companies use really crap forks to keep prices down on sub $1000 bikes. For pavement/light trail use...these forks will work but once you start hitting trails they can become pretty detrimental. I know the Dart 3 that was on my bike was like wet noodles under my weight out on the trails. I upgraded to a MUCH better fork with 20mm TA and now I have no issues at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  19. #19
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    And I'm off...

    Well, I visited my local bike shop (which has a great reputation) and presented my needs. After much deliberation, I opted for a MB over a hybrid. I got a Giant Revel 2 -- an entry-level hardtail with a suspension fork. The frame is aluminum and the wheels are 32-spoked with double-walled rims. The tires can be pressurized to 80 psi. Everything is stock except a bigger saddle. With bag, lock, cage & bottle, it was under $450.

    Fully adjusted, the fork is only "pre-loaded" about 1". I plan on staying on the pavement until my weight goes down, then some light trailbwork. When I'm at a place where I feel like I'm ready to tackle anything remotely technical, I'll look to upgrade. The only thing I'd like to do soon is put some road tires on it.

    It felt exciting pedaling a bike again...It's been almost 15 years.

  20. #20
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    Big Apples are good road tires for the mountain bike. Also...pics of the new bike are required...lol...congrats on the new ride and best of luck on your journey.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  21. #21
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    Here's a pic'...

    ...of my new ride. I wish it would stop pouring here in Southern New Hampshire so I can attempt a commute.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Your Recommendations Appreciated-bike.jpg  


  22. #22
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    Is that a kick stand? I forgot bikes even had those...lol...if you plan to ever hit any trails you'll want to remove that...it will cause you problems. Otherwise...nice looking ride.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

  23. #23
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    Yes it is, I know- - it's a convenience for now, though. Getting Fat Boy road tires (100 psi) today, along with a rear rack and bag for commuting...I love this.

  24. #24
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    Looks great! It should do every thing you need it to do presently!

    From post #4
    Quote Originally Posted by dadtorbn
    First off... Welcome! There's a ton of wonderful resources on the Clyde forum (both people and threads).

    Lastly, some people scoff at people riding full suspension bikes on the road. Don't worry about anyone else's opinion other than what is right for you! The same goes for clothing or anything else! Add into the weekly weight loss thread to as an additional motivational tool!
    Mix your riding with a healthy diet and you are on your way! Lastly...

    Be certain to learn which way your derailers shift up and down and do not under any circumstances shift while your drive train is loaded. At your weight the drive train shock will damage chains, hubs, chain ring and the cassette. Thus downshift early before climbing!

    Enjoy your new ride and inspiration and get out there!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Roach
    Yes it is, I know- - it's a convenience for now, though. Getting Fat Boy road tires (100 psi) today, along with a rear rack and bag for commuting...I love this.
    FYI...I wasn't making fun of the kickstand...it's just been a very long time since I have seen one on a bike...especially in a pic of one on this site. But yeah...it will be convenient for your use...they are just not good to have on the trails as the tend to catch on obstacles.

    And those tires on the bike now...they look very similar to what I have on my bike...they actually do very well on pavement in case you wanted to save some money and forgo the road tires. Just pump those up to 55-60psi (if they can handle it..should say on the sidewall) and you will be good to go. Otherwise...the road tires would be a good idea...I thought about getting some myself but not until my current tires wear out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycle151 View Post
    Friggin' coward. Give me a red chiclet instead of debating like a man. You don't deserve your green blocks.

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