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I'm a 5'10, 300lbs rider looking to get back on a bike after many years and many pounds.

I owned a 1999 Trek 7700 Multitrack and road about 20 miles a day for many years before injuries, age and time took their toll. I want to get back on a bike - new or used - in the $400 range.

Any suggestions? I loved the hybrid, but I'm not sure the rims/tires can handle my current weight. My target weight is 220, which was my weight when I used to ride daily. Initially, I'll be riding about 10 miles per day on level pavement.

I was looking at some Trek 7.x fx bikes, but am open to any make/model/year.

closed as off-topic by Criggie, RoboKaren, Gary.Ray Apr 26 '17 at 21:02

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    If you put tough touring tyres on there they can take the weight, and can run at a higher pressure than similarly-sized everyday tyres (you want them fully pumped up). I ride on marathon plus (though fully laden probably don't quite reach a 300lbs including the bike), but people use them happily on tandems. You're also much less likely to have to worry about punctures. I'm sure there are other brands but my previous tough commuting tyres had a significantly lower maximum pressure. – Chris H Jul 13 '15 at 8:46
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    Please note that the many near duplicates of this question have additional information in the answers. – Móż Aug 21 '15 at 4:16
  • Product recommendation questions are generally a poor fit for a Q&A site since the answers quickly become out of date. There are a number of previous posts that will help you know what to look for when buying a new/first road bike, commuter bike and mountain bike. – Gary.Ray Apr 26 '17 at 21:02
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Your current weight is at the high end of the limits Trek puts on their bikes. Here's the relevant section from the Trek FAQ:

Rider weight limit of 300lbs:

  • Hybrid bicycles with 700c wheels, tires larger than 28c, and flat handlebars
  • City bicycles: hybrids with special equipment, cyclocross bicycles: with drop type handlebars, knobby 700c tires, and cantilever or disc brakes
  • Mountain bikes of all types including: standard, race, cross-country, heavy-duty, trail, all-mountain, freeride, and jumping bikes of both the hardtail and full suspension variety.

I suspect that other makers have similar limits. You don't say much about your riding style, so it is hard to be very specific, but there are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Take time to find a bike that fits you well, it will be much easier to keep riding if you are comfortable.
  2. Make sure your wheels are well trued and tensioned, the biggest cause of wheel failure is probably spoke breakage caused by spokes that are too loose.
  3. Find a frame that will take wide tires and use them – wider tires will be able to support your weight with lower pressures which reduce the chance of pinch flats and rim damage. Wider tires will also make the bike more comfortable and by running at lower pressure will reduce the stress on your rims.

Good luck! If you're starting with a bike in decent condition and aren't riding it too hard, I'd guess that if you take care of the items I mentioned above the bike will do just fine. Your weight is going down after all. I wasn't as heavy as you when I started riding again – but I was up there (on the far side of 260). I started on the bike I had – an old steel Trek 530 frame with 32 mm tires (the biggest I could fit into the frame). I'm starting to think I'll be able to break 200 this year.

If you're looking for ideas about getting started on riding again, I'd highly recommend Grant Peterson's book Just Ride. There is good thinking about riding for the joy of it and also some ideas to get you thinking about how to exercise effectively.

  • Since I have no scientific evidence to back this up I will leave as a comment. I would look for a used name brand mountain bike, Trek 3700,4300, etc or Specialized Hardrock or similar. My logic is that they are designed for a 180-200 pound rider that will abuse the bike to the limits. You will be on flat smooth surfaces. You rolling along is nothing compared to jumping the boulders and logs the bike was designed to do. As stated fit is important, you don't want to be injured or uncomfortable. The mountain gearing will be easier on your body as you become acclimated to riding again. – mikes Jul 12 '15 at 18:23
  • Despite they say any mountain bike will work, note that most suspensions will be heavily loaded with a 300 lb rider. – Batman Sep 17 '15 at 1:29
  • Can suspensions be tuned to rider weight without major expense and/or work – e.g., can you replace a spring or something like that? – dlu Sep 17 '15 at 2:34
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I have the same problem. My weight range from the time I started using this bike was from 425 to 325 pounds. I weight 375 pounds right now. I use a specialized hardrock mountain bike with a sun rhino double wall rim, 4130 steel frame. I got the bike in 1998,99 some time ago. The only thing I have changed is tires, chain and crank bearings. I use to be easy on the bike but got to trust it more and more. I live in new Orleans area and use it to ride on levee. I use to walk the bike up the levee so I would not break spokes but now I just ride it up. The bike has been good and I am not really easy on it. I put street tires on it and air them up to be real hard. I have blown the tubes because I like them to be hard. I am looking to get a new bike and am going to try a hybrid with stock tires and ri until they fail. I am going to be easy on them. I will see how strong these new bikes are. I don't trust the forks and axles and will keep an eye on them.

On another note I also have a (world sport schwinn) old steel frame and I ride it a few miles a month. It has been a strong bike. The rims are steel and not aluminum. They have worked good and I had no problems with them. I tend to be easy on that bike and check the forks regularly before I ride.

O by the way I been riding as much as 50 miles a week on the mountain bike. Just like anything the chain and bearing will need to be checked as you put miles on it.

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I'm 300 lbs, and I ride a stock Trek 7700 Multitrack 20 miles a day with no bike problems on hilly tar roads. This bike is also very comfortable for a larger rider

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