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What kind of bike?

I've shed about 150lbs or better in the last 8 months. NOW I'm looking for a bike to ramp up the fitness. I don't know JACK about bikes, so looking around locally I found a Jamis Commuter II, which I like. Problem is, my wife has been battling breast cancer, and the $500+ is a bit out of a range I can spend at the moment. I'd like to find something in the $200-$250 range, without having to worry about breaking the bloody thing. I'm currently just over 400 lbs, so that will tell you some of the strain.

I also don't THINK I want a mountain bike, at least I don't want the fat knobby tires, as I intend to be riding within my city, and on pavement. SO... Any suggestions about brand / size or what else to look for when researching to make this purchase? I'd jog, since that's free, but it beats the living hell out of my knees still. I'm walking, but I want to do more.

Thanks to all!




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First of all, well done for losing so much weight!

As for a bike, I can't tell you models or brands, as I don't know what stuff costs in the US, but I can recommend a type.

If you can find a 29're single speed mountain bike, that would be perfect. The frame and wheels will be more solid to take your weight. The knobby tyres can come off, and 700c road tires will fit on 29're wheels.

Get a ridged frame and forks. It will keep the cost down, and you don't need suspension for city commuting.

The gearing on single speed mountain bikes is low. This means you will find it easier to get up hills, but just as importantly, your legs will be spinning much faster on the flats. This will have a more aerobic effect and keep your heart rate up, just like a spin bike at the gym. You won't be able to go as fast, but the weight loss benefits will be increased.

Get your bike just after the new models for the year have been released, but get the previous years model when they are on sale. You will be amazed by how much mark up is on bikes, and how much you can save buying last years model when they want to run them out. It might still cost you more than $250 for something quality, but you should get it for under $500.

Here is my GT 29're (which I have modified a bit.)

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How'd you shed the buck and a half?

Visit a bike shop or two in your area. Many deal with used ones and clear out last year's models. Get them to size you up and tell them your price range.
 
How'd you shed the buck and a half?

Visit a bike shop or two in your area. Many deal with used ones and clear out last year's models. Get them to size you up and tell them your price range.

The first 60 lbs was with a MOSTLY raw, mostly vegan diet. Juicing 2x a day, and then a small meal. After that I had surgery. Since surgery I've dropped about 10 lbs a week. All of this has been coupled with walking walking and more walking. I started out getting to the end of my street and being out of breath. Now, I've not made it to a place where I hurt or am out of breath. :)

The Jamis I found was at a local bike shop. They were super helpful, but didn't reccommend any other brands, etc. They look a LOT like the bike Legion shows. I'll keep looking around, as there are 2 more shops in town, and MANY down DFW way.
 
Before I bought a road bike I had 1 1/4 slicks on my standard size mountain bike. It did not ride as fast as a road bike, but it was sturdy and much faster/quieter than knobby tires. It is also the cheapest option to make a hybrid bike. Any bike shop/website will have road tires that will fit on the standard 26" rims for a mountain bike.
 
First of all, well done for losing so much weight!

As for a bike, I can't tell you models or brands, as I don't know what stuff costs in the US, but I can recommend a type.

If you can find a 29're single speed mountain bike, that would be perfect. The frame and wheels will be more solid to take your weight. The knobby tyres can come off, and 700c road tires will fit on 29're wheels.

Get a ridged frame and forks. It will keep the cost down, and you don't need suspension for city commuting.

The gearing on single speed mountain bikes is low. This means you will find it easier to get up hills, but just as importantly, your legs will be spinning much faster on the flats. This will have a more aerobic effect and keep your heart rate up, just like a spin bike at the gym. You won't be able to go as fast, but the weight loss benefits will be increased.

Get your bike just after the new models for the year have been released, but get the previous years model when they are on sale. You will be amazed by how much mark up is on bikes, and how much you can save buying last years model when they want to run them out. It might still cost you more than $250 for something quality, but you should get it for under $500.

Here is my GT 29're (which I have modified a bit.)


THank you.
I"m going to guess that the 29"wheels are going to help a lot with my height. (6'4") MY biggest concern by far, is that the wheels be able to withstand my weight. I'm half afraid I'm going to hop on a ride and it'll just scream in pain and drop my arse to the pavement.
 
THank you.
I"m going to guess that the 29"wheels are going to help a lot with my height. (6'4") MY biggest concern by far, is that the wheels be able to withstand my weight. I'm half afraid I'm going to hop on a ride and it'll just scream in pain and drop my arse to the pavement.

Yes, 29're are good for tall guys. I'm 6'3" and that was one of the reasons I went that way.

I think the thicker wheels and frame on the mountain bike might be better for a heavy guy. Most of these road bikes look pretty fragile to me. Get something with a butted cro-mo frame.
 
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BigFoot

The Real Beast of Bray Road!
All I can recommend is a Harley Davidson. That won't help your cause.

Mainly I just wanted to say congratulations. :thumbup: That is a hell of a feat.
 
Also regarding the Jamis:

Is there a weight limit to a JAMIS bicycle frame?
While we don’t post weight limits on our bike, when you exceed the average weight of an adult rider compared to its size, you need to exercise caution when riding and may require some different components to help the bike endure the additional weight.

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/contact/faq.html
 
Thanks Bigfoot, had one, will again, I'm sure when my kids are fully grown. :-D ( you cannot see it on my leather hat, but I got my Sturgis 91 and 92 pins.
M80: Funny, I hadn't looked at their frame weight recommendations, only based it on the word of the local bike shop. (fairly highly regarded in this 2 university town with loads of riders) A point they made was the double walled rims, etc. That Worksman classic may well be a good move. I've bookmarked the page. Thank you!!
Legion: Thank you again. I'll look for butted Chromolly (SP?) on the frames as well.
 
good job, one of best friends has lost a ton of weight by biking and preparing for an iron man triathlon. We used to train all the time back when we were in college.
Anyway, my suggestion would be to try out a couple pawn shops, I know the one near my house typically always has a road bike or two that someone has pawned. You should be able to find a pretty decent second-hand bike in your price range.
Craigslist might also be another viable option for you. The key thing would be to try to ride it before you buy it, much like a car, you want to check it out and make sure it will work for you.
But good luck and yes, riding a good bit is a great way to shred some pounds and eat a good bit the whole time, great exercise!
 
Oblique, Yes, and that last pic is about a month and a half old, HA! JClifton, I tried to hit some pawn shops today, but they were closed. The problem with Craigslist, so far in my experience, is the inaccuracies, and if you don't know exactly what you're looking for, it can turn into a heck of an ordeal. I've been keeping an eye anyway on the few brand names that I know of, such as the Jamis, Electra, etc. zizebikes seems to really make a decent one, but the prices are out of this world new!

Thanks again to all for the moral support. With the wife fighting for her life, I kind of came to the realization that I had to take far better care of MINE.
 
I am sorry to hear about your wife's ill health. It must be incredibly hard for you and your son. I wish her a quick and full recovery.
 
You might want to search for a used bike. Bikes cost a fortune these days, and in your price point, you'll likely get an entry-level bike with an aluminum frame. If you're worried about your weight putting pressure on the bike, it could be worth looking into an old lugged steel bike, which will be virtually indestructible. Do a little research, and take it to a bike shop so they can replace the cables and tear it apart to make sure everything is properly lubed. IMHO, you can get a better bike for less money that way.

I agree that Craigslist can be a bit a of a crapshoot. Are there any independent bike shops near you that sell used bikes? That could be a good option, as you can pretty much guarantee that they've checked it out and done the work to make sure it's in good condition. I got my bike that way.

Either way, read the bike fit guidelines on Rivendell: http://www.rivbike.com/kb_results.asp?cat=23. A lot of people at bike shops will set you up in some ridiculously uncomfortable racing position because they assume everyone wants to be like Lance Armstrong. For your riding style, though, that just doesn't make sense. Rivendell has the best bicycle fitting guidelines for people who just want to enjoy their bikes.
 
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Oblique, Thank you, The prognosis is actually good, and both my kids (son and daughter) are teenagers, and have been wonderfully helpful and supportive. The initial diagnosis was really what rocked me into the realization that I was rapidly becoming worthless for handling my obligations to the family. The weight loss thus far has been a huge help, just in being able to care for her, do the grocery shopping, etc! :)

dFigz: Hey that's cool! I may be able to find one that works.

Ronwell: Thanks for the fit guide information! I've gotten more useful info in a day or two on here than my searching all over the internet. Everyone says "cycling is great!" and then touts only their own brands... I am, in fact, perfectly willing to get a used bike. There's such a plethora of brand names and brand specific information that it's just turned into a real challenge to do the research well.
 
You may want to check the websites/forums/Facebook sites of DORBA and Greater Dallas Bicyclists for bikes and social group rides. Or your local bike shop might be able to find something for you.

Even though you live in flat TX I think you'd still want a few gears. Single Speeds are fun but may not be the best for a new cyclist.
 
Nanna; I've pretty well decided it's going to need to be at least a 6-speed. Thanks for the additional resources there, I didn't know anything about DORBA.
 
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