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Please Help!(27 posts)

Please Help!magnum
Jul 11, 2002 8:58 PM

I have a problem. I am wanting to get into road bikeing. I am simply craving the speed and the joy of scenery on rural country roads.

There is a catch however. I'm 6 foot 4 - 5 inches tall and 260 pounds ( i've attached a picture so you all don't think that I'm a cow - I used to play football so I'm fairly muscular i guess )

Would I look like a Gorilla Humping a Bananna or are there actually road bikes out there that are built to handle a little excess weight? Or should I just totally forget the Idea of a Road Bike?

Sorry for the long post.

Get out theremickey-mac
Jul 11, 2002 9:17 PM
I used to ride with a guy was about your size and played football at Univ. of Miami. He was a hammerhead on the flats and held his own on the climbs. You'll find plenty of bike choices out there and will be surprised how well a rickety looking road bike will hold up under your weight. Others will have more detail on what to look for, but you definitely shouldn't be deterred because of your size.
Go to a bike shop tomorrow!empacher6seat
Jul 11, 2002 10:07 PM
There's riders of all sizes out there! Don't be shy... go to a bike shop tomorrow, give them honest answers of your budget, how often you plan to ride, etc and they'll show you some options you can look at.

Hope you're riding soon!
Just make surefiltersweep
Jul 12, 2002 4:34 AM
Make sure you talk to someone at the bike shop who KNOWS about road bikes- not some stoned mtn biker who simply wants to sell a bike whether it fits or not (it happens).
LOL, that guy works at my LBSAztec
Jul 12, 2002 7:12 AM
Oh wait... I'm offended.
at your weight, get steelweiwentg
Jul 12, 2002 1:35 AM
and beefy wheels. the extra weight will mean nothing to you. take a look at Dean, Lemond, or one of the numerous custom framebuilders out there. I'm having a bike built by Tom Teasdale (, but I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum weight and height wise. you will certainly have options when it comes to road biking.
if you can splurge for titanium, there's Habanero, which uses straight-gauge tubing (at your size, likely better than double butted). a custom frame will run just under $1k.
you might want to give us an idea of what budget you have, and what type of riding you will be doing, eg racing, recreational riding, centuries, etc.
1. Figure out what you can afford to spend.dzrider
Jul 12, 2002 4:18 AM
2. Buy a helmet and bike shorts if you don't have them already. Helmets are a necessity and bike shorts add more to the pleasure of cycling than any item in their price range.

3. Go to a few reputable shops and try bikes in your price range. Buy the one that feels most comfortable without agonizing over frame materials or component groups. Spending a lot of money on a sport that you think you're going to enjoy neither commits you to doing it nor guarantees that you'll be happy with the bike you get.

4. Ride lots and have fun!
Do a little research firstKristin
Jul 12, 2002 6:32 AM
If you walk into a bike shop and say, "I want a road bike, and I don't want to spend more than $400." The shop will push you towards a hybrid. That's what happened to me and I ended buying a hybrid. You don't want that. The cheapest Bianchi or Trek road bikes are $550+. The next level of road bikes begin at the $1000-1300 range. Having just gone through this, I would recommend spending at least $1000. If you can spend more, awesome--go for it!

Other things you'll need that won't be included in the price of the bike:

*Clipless pedals and shoes.

(Don't skimp on shoes. It will cost $100-300
for shoes and pedals. Don't think twice about
the price, its worth it.)

*2 Replacement innertubes

*Tire levers

*Small tool with various allen wrenches

*Chain lube & some cleaning rags

(clean and lube your chain after every ride,
you'll be glad you did.)

*2 pumps: One CO2 or mini frame pump and

one floor pump (Again, don't pumps
suck. If you feel you must skimp, please let me
know. I will sell you the mini-frame pump I bought
with the bike real cheap. Only used once. Only
thrown once!)

*Padded bike shorts & Helmet (mentioned above)

*Either a cycling jersey with back pockets or a

small seat bag to stow gear, cell phone & credit card.

You'll quickly find yourself running out to buy more stuff after you get the bike (sunglasses, gloves, etc.), but the stuff above is necessary.
Oops, correctionKristin
Jul 12, 2002 6:33 AM
For both pedals and shoes, it will cost $200-400. Figure a base price of $100 for each.
First - read Kristins post!klay
Jul 12, 2002 11:44 AM
Excellent list of all the hidden initial costs. Nice one Kristin!

Browse back through the posts here. There have been several similar inquiries to yours in the last week.

I also agree with the stay closer to $1000. There are some decent bikes out there for $700 or so. I have yet to see a $400 bike I would want to put more than a few miles on.

One other thing...klay
Jul 12, 2002 11:50 AM
Go to several bike shops. Ask them all the same questions. You will find a few shops (or a few shop employees) that are consistent with one another. I would stick with them.

If I go to a shop and if what they say does not jibe with anyone else, I am more likely to doubt them (and their ability to help me out).

Good luck

Bibs, not shorts. You'll like them better nmcyclinseth
Jul 12, 2002 6:37 AM
Hey Big guy...Lone Gunman
Jul 12, 2002 4:57 AM
I might have a bike for you. The frame is a lugged steel Puch Astro Daimler. The seat tube, center of crank to top of top tube is 63cm and the top tube center to center is 60 cm. Take this information to a bike shop and/or figure out what size bike you need as this is a frame for a big person. The steel is Reynolds 531 and the color is smoked chrome. The only drawback is the components are Shimano 600 (older) and the rear spacing is 126mm. Spacing on frames now is 130mm. However, the frame is steel and the spacing can be "cold spread" to 130mm to accomodate modern components. This bike has been ridden 5 times and is in near new condition. You could sell off the components as a group and get more modern ones if you prefer but that is not necessary. The ones that are on there are excellent and have less than 100 miles on them.

The bike is at a small shop and the owner of the shop would like to sell it. If it fit me I would own it today, the frame is elegant, the lugs are beautiful. Needs lubricated and spit and polish to get on the road. I believe that the bike is 1982/83 era and in it's day was one of the best you could get your hands on. 531 steel was the gold standard in that time and I believe that Rivendell (high end bike) still uses 531.

If interested, contact and ask about the Puch.
as others already saidishmael
Jul 12, 2002 5:51 AM
get strong wheels, they seem to be the part that takes the most abuse, popping spokes and loosing there true. Good shorts, or better yet a bib by Deffinately get clipless pedals, cages suck and are more dangerous, speedplay are a great choice. and if you cant find a comfortable seat switch it out, wtb makes a lot of nice ones, the comfort zone thing they have works well for me. I'd get the shoes, seat, shorts, and pedals first if I did it all over again.
oo and one more thingishmael
Jul 12, 2002 5:54 AM
if you get fitted by a store or someone tells you what should fit you take it with a grain of salt no matter what. Go with whats comfortable, switching the stem length and height helps a lot.
re: Please Help!steve-z
Jul 12, 2002 6:12 AM
Thanks a lot for the permanently burning the "gorilla humping a banana" image my mind.

But seriously, start riding, you'll love it.
Here's my recipe for successGator
Jul 12, 2002 7:02 AM
Dude, no worries, there are plenty of frames that can handle a guy your size. You should get something pretty beefy, though. I'd suggest:

1. Big, stiff aluminum frame: I think steel or ti would be WAY too flexy at your size. I think a nice CDale or Klein would be just the ticket.

2. Strong wheelset: You're too big for any flyweight dainty racing wheelset. I'd get some Open Pros laced with the biggest gauge spokes you can find and some workhorse hubs. Run some 25c tires and you're good to go.

3. Solid post, bar and stem: Again, something that can handle some abuse. I'm thinking Thomson post, maybe Deda Newton bar/stem.

4. Seat with some gel in it: Not a gel seat, per se, but something that gives a bit; you'll be puttng a lot of pressure on that puppy.

5. A helmet: Because you need one.

6. The rest: I woudn't worry too much about the rest. Get some decent components (105 is a good option) and you should be good to go. Have fun.
re: Please Help!magnum
Jul 12, 2002 7:28 AM
Thanks for all the wonderful replies guys.

I have about a 2000 - 2500 (US) Budget

This bike's main use will be on campus for the most part - but as soon as class is over - I'M GONE!

Basically I'm deciding on whether or not I want a Road Bike or Mountain Bike. I know I'm comparing apples to oranges here but It's a big decision as well as a lot of money for a College Student.

I know I can drop the Pounds around the stomach when I start riding - I think 230 would probably be very very lean for me.

I have a lot of leg strength so my main concern is a bike that will hold up to me out of the saddle really pumping it.

I'll check back later to see what else you all have discovered.

Again thank you all so so much!

Come back and tell us what you get! (nm)Kristin
Jul 12, 2002 7:49 AM
If you are looking to drop weight. . .czardonic
Jul 12, 2002 9:12 AM
You burn more calories on a mountain bike. They are less efficient, so you do more work. It may also be easier for you to find one that can handle your weight, and mtb shoes, pedals etc. are generally cheaper.

Road bikes are fun, don't get me wrong, but a mountainbike is more versatile. You can throw on some slick tires and still enjoy the roads (albeit not quite as fast), you can hit the trail and be in the scenery instead of flying past it, and you can have fun on campus after hours riding staircases and ledges.

For 2500 you could probably buy a decent entry level road bike and a mountain bike. But it is worth considering what you are trying to accomplish, and what kinds of terrain is going to be most accesible to you. If you live anywhere near some decent trails, I think your best bet is spend half of that money on a mountain bike, and put the rest in the bank.

Whatever you do, don't let anyone talk you into a hybrid.
Sounds like.....muncher
Jul 12, 2002 9:46 AM
A pretty good argument for a CX and two sets of wheels to me?

If you are looking to drop weight. . .magnum
Jul 12, 2002 10:34 AM
I have a [i]few[/i] trails around here. Roads are mainly what's accessible. I am going to school at the University of Kentucky which is in downtown lexington.

I really just don't know what to do. I don't mean to confuse you all. But, I'm having a hard time deciding which would be more fun and worth while.

Can you imagine me in a pair of stretch shorts???? Oh dear Lord.

If you are looking to drop weight. . .czardonic
Jul 12, 2002 11:14 AM
I'd say buy whatever you will get the most use out of. In general, you burn more calories on an mtb. They are heavier, less aero, and trails are harder to ride. As such, the workout is better (That's why they don't make aero, carbon fiber free-weights!)

However, this is all moot if you don't have any trails to ride. It's all about your environment, and what kind of riding it will motivate to you.

I'd still consider a mtb because you can do everything until you decide what is the most fun for you. With a road bike, you are limited to roads.

However, if getting out of town and seeing the scenery (or just going really fast) is what motivates you, go for the road bike.

Football players wear pretty tught pants, don't they? You shouldn't feel like too much of an oddball. Plus, you can always go with baggies until you get used to the idea. Anyway, who is going to crack wise at a 260 lb. guy?
If you are looking to drop weight. . .magnum
Jul 12, 2002 11:27 AM
I guess you're right about that.

Going Fast is what gets my blood boiling. I like speed.

I've spent some time looking at some frames. I like some the Klein stuff very well.

I have one local bike shop though. They carry Trek, Fisher, GT (riiiiight) and a few others that I can't think of right now. I don't know

What do you all think? I've always loved biking in general but my main concern is that I don't want to buy a bike that will only last 1 - 2 years (mtn bike for example) I've posted on some mtn bike forums and everyone's like WHOOOA you're huge - you're "the crusher" and frames are hard to come by for a big guy.

oh well - get back to me everyone!

Jul 12, 2002 11:56 AM
If you like to go fast, a road bike is probably a good choice. You can go much faster, and even at equivalent speeds, you feel faster on a road bike due to the way that they are designed.

You should be able to find a road or mountain bike that will last you many years. If you are trim at 230, a sturdy 30# bike with a steel frame is going to feel as light to you as a 20# bike to a 150 pound guy. As a bonus, you don't have to obsess over super-light, super-expensive frames or compnents.
If you are looking to drop weight. . .magnum
Jul 12, 2002 11:20 AM
I have a [i]few[/i] trails around here. Roads are mainly what's accessible. I am going to school at the University of Kentucky which is in downtown lexington.

I really just don't know what to do. I don't mean to confuse you all. But, I'm having a hard time deciding which would be more fun and worth while.

Can you imagine me in a pair of stretch shorts???? Oh dear Lord.

Based upon what you just told us...Lone Gunman
Jul 12, 2002 1:24 PM
Look at it this way, bike shorts are no worse than football pants, no big deal.

Buying a $2500 bike to ride around a college campus IMHO is a waste, most likely to be stolen or have the components stripped. Again, figure what size you need and go used in a road bike. You could get a great deal more of a bike used than new, meaning better components and have alot of money left over. The Puch I mentioned will go far less than you think. Again, 531 steel is a great frame and if it fits your size range, it is a real looker.