Good bike for overweight beginner?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by lobstar, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. lobstar

    lobstar New Member

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    Hi. I'm looking for advice on, as the header says, a good bike for an overweight beginner. I am not a techie by any stretch of the imagination, and what little information I can find online about bicycles for heavier riders discusses things in terms I don't quite understand and the writers apparently believe everyone reading knows how to build a bike from scratch. Um, no. Likewise, most of the rider weight limits I see for bikes online are significantly lower than my weight. I am 6'0" and weigh about 335-340 pounds. (I know, that's a lot, but it used to be more.) I've been exercising pretty regularly for a while now, including riding a stationary bike, but it's so boring. I want to be outside. Besides, I live in a big city and don't own a car and would love to avoid taking public transportation everywhere.

    Obviously, I'm not looking for diet or exercise advice or insults about my weight being so high, I'm just wondering if anyone knows of any specific bikes that would work for me and not cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I'm thinking no more than $250.

    All thoughtful and helpful responses appreciated.

    L
     
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  2. Rompinrhino

    Rompinrhino New Member

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    I'll give this a shot, lets see here.

    Get yourself a Mountain bike first off. The big beefy frame will take the weight. Its not so much the intensity of your work out, but how long your on the bike. I know someone who lost significant weight, arround 100lbs or so by biking, so your headed in the right direction. :) No more than $250 cuts down the selection a lot. It doesn't leave much room, maybee if you could spend another hundred youd be better off for a longer lasting bike. I dont know where you live, which also effects a lot of things. Arround here a lot of people ride giant, I work at a giant store, I'd go for something basic, thats all your going to get with the money, something like this:
    This Bike Right Here
    Most important though is to just get out and ride, eat right, and soon you'll be rackin up more miles and dropin pounds. Good luck to you, I hope I've pointed you in the right direction
     
  3. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    Agree a mountain bike from a bike shop is best. Key will be to get the sturdiest wheels you can for the price. If you have to spend another $100 to get good wheels on the bike, it will be worth it.
     
  4. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    I agree with other posters about mountain bicycles, except most now have at least a suspension fork. Most suspension forks aren't designed for your weight.
    Maybe you can find a good used mountain bicycle with a standard fork.
    Good - well adjusted brakes and well built wheels would complete the package.
    Keep up the good work. I agree that indoor training is booring.
    I think you will enjoy the outside aspect and find that it helps encourage your efforts. It's not a *magic potion8 but every year I find that loose about 25 pounds from March 20 - October 1.
     
  5. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    why is everyone saying mountain bike and not a hybrid, the latters going to be more comfy for a big man or anyone for that matter
     
  6. Rompinrhino

    Rompinrhino New Member

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    I think it's because of the weight. In my opinion, a bulky mtb bike will suport the weight better than a hybrid. The wheels are another issue, you need really sturdy wheels. Yes a hybrid would be more comfortable, but imo not practical at this point.

    Anyway, Good luck Lobstar:)
     
  7. bobby20

    bobby20 New Member

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    Lobstar, I can tell you that if you want to ride on the roads then get a road bike . I was 340 lbs. last year . I bought a new aluminum 2003 Specialized Sequoia in March of last year. I road on the Alex A. T. 400 wheels that came with it untill they became untrue. I had my bike shop build me some rear wheels out of Sun 36 hole rims ,Shimano Deore L X hubs ,and i dont know what kind of spokes he used. These rear wheels have been great . I then had my bike shop rebuild the Alex wheels and spoke prep the spokes . I have the put several hundred miles on the rebuilt Alex wheels with out any problems . Also got 32 hole front wheels made from Mavic C.X. P. 22 rims and shimano 105 hubs . I have not had any problems out of the built wheels that i can recall.I dont think you are going to be able to find any thing in the price range you listed but a big guy can ride on a road bike if things are built for him. I have gotten down to 280 and still going for the 250 range. hope to be there this summer . I am also on a 04 Specialized Allez now . Good luck in finding what you need. E-mail me if i can be of any other help. Later
    Bobby
     
  8. lobstar

    lobstar New Member

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    Thanks to all who responded. At least now I'll have a few things to look for when I finally head into a shop.

    L
     
  9. zerokoo0l

    zerokoo0l New Member

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    Congratulations on your weight loss and continued succeess. Perhaps my experience might be of benefit. March 6th of last year I weighed well over 400 pounds (I am 5'7"). I was faced with a choice of a nearly immobile life (I could barely stand up) or Gastric Bypass surgery. I chose the latter. I hadn't ridden a bicycle since high school but in July (July 3 to be specific) I was down to 350 pounds and felt that I was ready to begin riding again to aid in my weight loss. I knew that I wanted to return to a road bike and had no interest in being offroad but wasn't sure if there was a biike which could eveen hold me. I went to my Local Bike Shop and was lucky enough to find a salesperson who LISTENED to my story and made a similar suggestion to what alot of people here have allready said. He suggested a Gary Fisher Tassajara Mountain Bike that had a front suspension and pretty sturdy Bontrager Wheels, they changed the seat to something a little bit more comfortable (at that time it was imparitive I have something wider), changed the tires to be less knobby and have less resistance and be better for the road, added some Shimano SPD pedals and I was on my way. The first day (July 4) I road 3 miles, on part of the ride I was headed up a small hill and a police car that happened to be passing by in opposite traffic turned around and waited at the top of the hill untill I got there to ask me if I was allright. I worked my rides and endurance up over the summer and fall by Octobers end I was riding 20-25 miles a day and well under 300 pounds. I purchased a stationary for the cold months. Between the stationary and the outdoor bikes I have not missed more than 5 days riding since July 3. In February I was 220 pounds. Using alot of the money I made selling my old 6XL shirts and 64 waste pants on ebay I went back to the bike shop and purchased a Trek 5200 road bike and got back to the road. March 8 I visited my surgeon for a 1 year check up, 206 pounds lighter than a year ago, far ahead of the avg. Gastric Bypass patient and a proud cyclist.

    The Tassajara I purchased is a little more than your budget but I think there are two things to remember. The first is that ultimately and at the critical stages of weight loss, it doesn't matter what you ride just make sure you do ride, in order to do that you will need a bicycle that you can put some real miles on and also grow with (or shrink with I suppose is a better way to look at it). The person who mentioned a hybrid had a good idea but I would submit that if you intend to put miles on this bike to the goal of fitness, almost any bike you buy will become a hybrid.

    Giant, Trek, Gary Fisher, Specialized some of the other larger brands all have entry level bikes that may be close to your price range. But in order to get a bike that is really great for your situation wht you might consider doing is this:

    Go to a few bike shops and tell your story and your objectives. Find one where there is someone who takes an interest in you and your story and will work with you to suggest something that will work for you, consider that dealer and that bike. At the lower and more moderate price points and from the larger more reputable brands I dont think you are going to find all thhat much different in the stock bikes but I think that a good dealer will make more of a difference.

    Once again good luck EAT RIGHT and RIDE!
     
  10. tcklyde

    tcklyde New Member

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    You're going to love biking. That, straight off. The feel of cruising down the road is magic.

    For your price range, I'm with fushman: get a hybrid. Real mountain bikes are not built for city riding. Specifically, consider checking out something like the Fuji Crosstown. It's about $250 and is solidly built, with plenty of gearing options. You'll get a good upright position and decent enough components.

    However, at this price, you will need to take care of the bike to keep the components in good form. You can learn a lot from a basic bicycle mechanics book or buy from a local bike shop that has a good deal on occasional tune ups.

    Most of all, I strongly recommend that you buy a bike from a local bike shop (LBS) and not from a Target or something like that. The LBS will help fit you to the right bike. They'll help you maintain it. And when you're ready to upgrade to that carbon fiber racer, you'll have some friends to get you going.
     
  11. Genetic

    Genetic New Member

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    I agree totally with this post. Good luck with your riding and congrats on loosing the weight. Finding bikes with 36 spoke wheels is a good idea, but difficult to find in the hybrid/comfort category. A hybrid will be your best choice.
     
  12. KingB

    KingB New Member

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    I aggree too.

    Something like http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/citybike/7100.jsp

    or http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/citybike/7200.jsp

    would fit the bill. Around 300 bucks, sturdy frame and wheels, comfy saddle and 35c tires, and good riding position.

    Good Luck.
     
  13. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    I'd stick with a hybrid as well-- I'm a long time rider and I'm thinking about getting a Fuji crosstown myself for riding to work and around town. Take $250 to $350 a hybrid costs out of the saved bus fare or driving exspenses and the bike pays for itself in a couple months.

    Your weight is a problem and might damage the bike. Just get it fixed and keep going-- you'll be so glad you did next fall.
     
  14. The Speaker Guy

    The Speaker Guy New Member

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    I have an older Specialized Hardrock, no suspension. I road it all the way up to 298 pounds. I am now 246 post gastric bypass (Feb 20th surgery). In the past year I destroyed 2 rear rims. I keep coming back to my Hardrock as it has never broke down. I replaced the knobbies with IRC slick-type tires which run at 75psi.

    I did my first longer ride today, having putted around the neighborhood this week at night. I covered about 8 miles.
     
  15. dartssnake

    dartssnake New Member

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    Ok, we've covered the new bike pretty well...now the hard part...

    My story is much like Zerokoo0l's...I have had Gastric Bypass and am down to 350, got the bike (Raleigh SC40) with a wider seat for my wider ass LOL.

    My question has been driving me crazy for some days...

    Where does an overweight person go to buy good shorts for cycling?

    I have been using light nylon swim trunks (the kind with a mesh liner and drawstring) and was wondering if there were any other options for us big guys (and gals!), along the lines of baggy MTB shorts or the like? Even standard cycling shorts that one could wear under loose, light, nylon/lycra...

    Any help would be appreciated, and if you don't feel like posting here, my e-mail address is:

    [email protected]

    Many thanks, in advance

    Dale
     
  16. flysolo1

    flysolo1 New Member

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    i weighed 300 lbs and now at 195 6 % bf i shut my mouth and rode my bike now i race

    you dont need an operation it can be done its been 2 years now and the weight is still off
     
  17. mjw_byrne

    mjw_byrne New Member

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    Interesting that many people recommended hybrids. I personally would recommend a mountain bike, for several reasons - the frame will be stronger, the wheels are likely to be stronger and designed for higher loads, and the fatter, squishier tyres on a mtb provide more comfort, which I reckon is going to be important if you are heavy and are therefore supporting a lot of weight on the saddle. If you can find a bike with 36-spoke wheels, so much the better, although the rather low budget might make that tricky.

    Someone recommended a road bike - I think this would probably be pushing things a bit. Road bikes tend to be aimed at sub-200 lb riders (e.g. Campagnolo's website, while stopping short of prescribing an actual weight limit for using their equipment, says that if over 180 lb, you have to be extra careful with maintenance and checking for wear and tear). Road bikes are not renowned for being comfy to ride, so if you are heavy, you may not find riding one an enjoyable experience. Also, you will really struggle to find a non-crap road bike at $250.

    Finally, as an aside: if you are looking to lose weight, long rides at medium intensity are much much better than short ones at high intensity. Covering, say, 30 miles at a medium pace is much better than doing 5 miles at full whack, even though you will feel more tired after the latter.
     
  18. Shump

    Shump New Member

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    Here is a link to big and tall bike shorts www.aerotechdesigns.com/bigsize.htm



     
  19. cali-largeguy

    cali-largeguy New Member

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    I just started riding in July, and I like you am a big guy. Hence the moniker. Anyway I am 5'11" and between 285 and 300lbs. I wanted a road bike since I am in training for my first century. I bought a great Giant 0CR 2 at Performance Bike for about $800. They have since gone on sale, damn, and are now around $600. The bike is a Medium frame size, and is awesome. I have over 300 miles on it now with no problems. I did swap out the tires for 26mm instead of 23mm on the suggestion from the LBS guy. No matter what you buy make sure you keep your tire pressure high. Being larger we have more of a tendency to pinch tires if the pressure is low. I keep mine at 125psi. Good luck.
     
  20. cali-largeguy

    cali-largeguy New Member

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    Check out Mt. Borah for alot of sizing options. Also check out this site for information about larger riders.
    http://bmob-bwob.tripod.com/rger riders.
     
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