RE: Disabled Vet, out of condition and trying to buy a bike

I started biking back in 1985 and have been out of biking almost 20 years. I was fairly savvy on the equipment of the day. It's changed quite a bit. This is the question I put to BikesDirect: I need some help picking a bike. I began serious biking in 1984-85 and became very serious "touring bike" rider. I last owned a Trek and for various reasons I have not biked since that time. I always had problems with pinch-flats but MTB bikes of the time simply weren't made for distance riding. Now days I have put on weight 6'2" 255-270 lbs. From my reading I've decided a Hardtail 29er might best suit me. Something I can put a rather tight nob tubeless kevlar tire with a large footprint and 120TPI or higher. I thought only front fork suspension with my weight. Perhaps 30-spd with heavy duty derailleur and hvy duty crankset. The new very good hydraulic brakes seemed ideal. The area where I am ignorant is in frames . . . It seems AL remains the best choice (cost-effective) among materials but there are so many types or configurations with different types of buttressing joints --- Please help with what ya'll think are the top choices and if you agree with my choice of a "29er Hardtail" as well.

I was thinking of spending $500 - $700 but would go for $1000 if the ideal bike stood out. Also as a closing thought, I became attached to toe-clips and wonder what the current thought on their use is Their Answer:Are you going to be trail riding or pavement riding?

If you can have just one bike, make it a Motobecane Elite Sport/Trail/Adventure Dual Sport model...It's the perfect choice for the rider who wants a bike that’s fast on the road, capable of spirited off-road excursions, and ready for everything in between.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/elite_adventure_x5.htm So, what do you think of this equipment choice and how does it compare to the bike I found on BikeShopWarehouse for $299.00? Please take a look and offer your advice and criticism.

Thank you,

Bill Huckabee

Main Frame: Aluminum alloy 6061
Fork: 700C Suspension fork, Suntour SF11-M3010AL
Crank Set: Suntour CW9-XCC 28/38/48T
Bottom Bracket: Suntour BB10-XCT, Sealed Cartridge Unit
Pedals: MTB 9/16in
Front Derailleurs: Shimano FD-TX51M6 Top pull
Rear Derailleurs: Shimano Atlus RDM310DL Black
Shifters: Shimano ST-EF51 21-SP Black (21 gears total)
Free Wheel / Casssette: CHJ 13-32T 7 speed
Chain: KMC Z-51
Front / Rear Hubs: Formula DC19/25 Aluminum Alloy Black with Quick Release
Spokes: Stainless Steel
Rims: 32H DA17 Double Wall, Aluminum Alloy, 700c Black anodized
Tires: Kenda Kross Plus 700x42c
Brake Set: CS V-Brakes Aluminum Alloy silver
Brake Levers: Shimano ST-EF51 21-SP Black
Handlebars: Flat Bar w/ 6 degree rise
Tape / Grip: WTB Dual Comfort Density
Stem: 1.125in Threadless Aluminum
Saddle: WTB Speed V Sport SE
Seat Post: 300mm, Black
Seat Clamp: QR Aluminum Alloy Black Finish, 31.8mm
Colors: Screamin' Yellow, Sterling Silver
Sizes: SM(15.5in), MED(17.5in), LG(19in), XL(21in), XXL(23in)
  • I would also ask if you plan to ride trails or only pavement. If this is for on-road use, or perhaps the occasional dirt track, look at a bike like trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/town/dual_sport/crossrip/crossrip/# (Trek CrossRip), which will be built strong yet have drop bars for more comfortable road riding with multiple hand positions. A used one like that should fit within your budget (even the new one is $990, but no reason to splash out if you can find a used one). – John Zwinck Aug 3 '13 at 13:34
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    There is a TON of extraneous and unnecessary information in this question! Would you mind boiling it down so that it is a bit more useful to others? – WTHarper Aug 3 '13 at 15:03
  • In addition to @WTHarper comment, All questions asked here have been asked an answered previously on this QA. – mattnz Sep 11 '13 at 8:35

For the pinch flats all you really need is sufficient tire pressure. The first thing you should buy is not a bike but a good floor pump with a built-in pressure gauge.

Then keep your tires inflated to a minimum PSI of about 2500 divided by the tire width in MM. (Eg, 90 PSI for 28mm tires -- I actually keep my 35mm tires at 100 PSI.) If the tire's sidewall max PSI rating is much below that number, buy a different tire.

For the bike, buy (or borrow) a used one, for starters (perhaps an old unsuspended discount store "mountain bike"), then you can trade up when you're more familiar with what you really want to do.

For on the road a (steel frame) touring bike is still your best bet, if you can find one -- they're made for the weight and made for the road. Aluminum is maybe 5 pounds lighter (big deal!), but much more fragile (and of course carbon is a complete non-starter). For the road you don't need/want suspension at all, or if you have it it should have a lock-out.

(Out of your price range, no doubt, but have a peek at the Surly line, just for grins.)

Tires should definitely be Kevlar belted (not kevlar bead) and reasonably slick for road use. I'm not sure I see the point in tubeless, though, as it seriously limits your choices. At your weight hydraulic brakes might be worth considering, but are not a necessity (on the road) unless you'll be doing long downhills.

Toe clips are a purely personal thing. I had toe clips for years but graduated to "clipless" (a strange misnomer) about 15 years ago, and I'm quite satisfied with those.

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Just a thought, but maybe a recumbent would suit you better to get back into cycling. I'm thinking this strictly from not being on a bicycle saddle for a long time and your weight. If your intent is to get back into physical condition for biking and losing excess weight at the same time, perching on a bicycle saddle for a couple of hours would likely be "painful" for a lengthy period of time. The chair like seat on a recumbent would be far more comfortable for a person of your stature to get back into shape. A recumbent is a different type of bike than you're used to, so you may want to try one out to see if you like the feel of this type of bike. When you drop 50 pounds or so, a regular bike of your choice with a saddle should be much more tolerable if you're not so heavy. Bike saddles can be difficult to be made comfortable to ride longer distances for even people of normal weight. If it hurts to ride very far, then you'll soon find reasons not to ride! Just my thoughts to possibly offer a different possibility to getting back in the saddle again after many years. And by the way..thanks very much for your service to our country!

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  • However, you're unlikely to find a decent recumbent in his price range. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 3 '13 at 19:28
  • There are recumbents for sale in our area, both used and new, in the $400 to $800 price range. – user4975 Aug 4 '13 at 16:40

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