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Big guy needs bike...suggestions?(10 posts)

Big guy needs bike...suggestions?dontpanick
May 7, 2002 6:47 PM
How it happened is a long story. But in a former life I did a lot of riding, and quit. Now, I want back in. However, in the interim I've gained lots of weight.

So...I want to (slowly) work back up to the 20 miles or so a day, century or so on the occasional weekend. So what bike should a 320 pound, 6-2 (road) rider buy? Should I buy something now with the understanding I'll need to buy something else when I'm at 195? Aluminum or steel? Flat bar or dropped? Help!
Have you consideredszybki
May 7, 2002 7:08 PM
a mountain bike? They're more durable, frame and wheel wise, than an equivalent road bike. A mtb may be more comfy for a guy your size, cheaper too. Get a road bike as a reward for reaching your goal weight. Good luck and congrats on the lifestyle change.
re: Big guy needs bike...suggestions?weiwentg
May 7, 2002 7:09 PM
I've only been riding 8 months. but here is the little advice I have for you:
1) steel, or maybe ti. and probably straight gauge.
2) go for it! you're not going to regret getting back into shape.

good luck.
"Should I buy something now..."Ahimsa
May 7, 2002 7:10 PM
"...with the understanding that I'll need to buy something else when I'm 195?"

Hell no! (But you will buy something else then anyway, we all do!)

Go steel. Go with strong rims and 14 g double butted spokes. Go with 36 spokes. Go with decent size tires (like 28's). Go with a drop bar. Go with a higher stem. Get fitted.

That help?

A.
re: Big guy needs bike...suggestions?Alpedhuez55
May 7, 2002 7:43 PM
I am in a simular situation as you. I am happy with my Lemond Zurich. I think any of the Lemonds will work well. I think steel is the way to do for a bigger rider. I would go with a good 36 hole rim handbuilt wheels.

You may also want to consider a Cyclocross bike. They tend to be a little sturdier. The wheels that come on them will be a little stronger too. You can also take it off road. I like my Surly Cross Check too.

Good Luck!!
Mike Y.
Considering your size:Rusty McNasty
May 8, 2002 3:23 AM
You should stick to a good ol' heavy-duty ATB, at least until your @$$ gets smaller. Any road bike will likely collapse under your bulk.
Considering your size:bigcat
May 8, 2002 4:33 AM
dontpanick,

You should have no problem on a Cannondale frame or a Klein frame. Because of your size you will be able to flex those big tubes. You should worry about the fork on the bike you are going to get and the wheels. The strongest fork on the market right now is the Reynold fork but if you are not confident with a carbon fork you can have one made up out of steel. The Ouzo Comp turns out to be a little bit stronger then the Pro but the pro is much little and stronger then every other fork except for the Wound Up forks. Kestral makes a great fork but have limit of 300lbs on them. Serotta's F1 fork is also very strong but only fits 1" HT. Any good builder should be able to make you a very strong steel. True Temper (Alpha Q) makes custom road forks but I have heard good things and bad things about them. I would do some research on them before making them a option.

What every you buy you are going ot have to make changes to it. The parts should be fine on a road bike as long as you stay away from the really light weight stuff. Wheels have to be 36 spokes on a deep dish Aero Rim or a heavy duty touring rim . I would go for the deep dish aero rim, it will be a just as strong as the heavy duty touring rim and a little lighter. Mavic CPX 33 get great reviews from everybody. I run Ambrosio Focus rims on my old road bike (custom Marinoni) and on my new road bike (Custom True North) as well I run Rhyno lites on my Titus mountain bike. You should also run a larger tire which will take some abuse away from the rim which will make last longer.

I went through this same problem you are having now last year and it took me a about half a year to do all the research to make my final decision. My custom Marinoni is to big for me (shop screwed up the measurment) so I went straight to the builder this time for my new frame and now I am waiting. I wish you luck in your search.
Fit and how you feel on the bike has to come first.Spoke Wrench
May 8, 2002 6:04 AM
My guess is you aren't going to feel very comfortable with the bent forward position of a road bike at first. Without knowing you, I'd probably recommend a mountain style bike for the more upright riding position. You'll be slower, but my guess is you don't care about speed right now. Make sure the frame size matches your height.

Resist the temptation to go with the really low end stuff. I'd suggest something in the $500.00 to $1,000 range. You'll eat up the wheels that come on low end bikes. It's not the number of spokes, its the rim extrusion that makes the most difference. You are going to need "double wall" rims. Rhyno Lites would be perfect, but they may be hard to find on a new bike.

You might be a good candidate for a fully suspended bike, it will reduce the stress on both you and the bike. If you can find the right size, you might be able to get a good deal on a unified rear triangle design, like the Giant Warp, that the mountain bikers are avoiding these days. Take a pass if the frame isn't the right size and if the shop guy doesn't OFFER to upgrade the rear spring for a higher rated spring. Air springs aren't for you either. Don't worry about bio-pace bob, you'll be on the seat and won't feel it.

I doubt you will have any trouble talking the shop into trading you tires. Pitch the knobbies and get some slicks in the 1 1/2" to 2" width range that will take at least 85psi.

I'd look for a wider but firm seat. Super cushy seats with lots of springs are just going to compress until your butt rests on the hard framework. The bike shop will probably have a bin of seats you can choose from for no charge.

Almost all of the mountain bikes in this price range will be aluminum. They'll hold up fine as long as you don't try to jump them. Grip Shift or Rapid Fire shifters doesn't matter. Any Shimano derailleur you find in this price group will work fine. Avid or Shimano brakes are way better than Tektro or Pro Max.

Good luck, let me know what you decide.
Shouldn't be too hard.djg
May 8, 2002 6:42 AM
I'd stay away from superlights--scandium, U2, etc. are out. And even in steel and ti you'll probably want to avoid the lightest build options. But if you talk to a couple of builders and a knowledgeable shop or two I'm sure you'll find plenty of steel options (and likely some ti) that are up to carrying your weight but that will still be fun to ride when you drop the extra pounds. I'd think more about getting super sturdy wheels built. If you really drop the sort of weight you're talking about, you can subsequently upgrade the ride by getting some faster wheels.
Surly Crosscheck!Largo
May 8, 2002 8:47 AM
He!! of a good cross bike, indestuctable, decent on the road, and fun on the trails.
You'll never get rid of it.
Good luck dude.