Best bike for big men? (1 Viewer)

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I'm a big guy, 6'1 350 and looking to get in better shape. I recently saw the actor Ethan Suplee(Louis from Remember the Titans, My Name is Earl, American History x) had lost about 200 lbs through biking. Now, I know most mtn bikes are designed for 200-250 lbs so does anyone know of bikes that can handle more weight. Will be street/dirt road riding...not going to go on downhills or jumps.
 

jlm43

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Good for you on wanting to take this step. Biking can be very addictive. Honestly, the first few rides won't be that much fun. Your whole body will hurt, especially your sit bones. As you go more, you'll get faster, your body will get used to it, and you'll start to enjoy each ride more than the previous ride. So don't get discouraged if your first few outings aren't what you thought they would be. Keep a realistic outlook on your biking progression.

A good bike recommendation will depend on your wallet. I would plan to stick in the $1,000 to $1,500 range and get a good quality hardtail. Rear suspension will just add unnecessary weight and you'll have to drop down in quality to stay in the same price point. At your size, a $250 Wal-Mart bike will not last long at all and it will suck to ride. Most of the name brand bikes in the $1,200 range will be durable enough to get you out and pedaling for a good number of years. One thing to remember is that you'll will wear out components quicker than a 150 pounder as there is greater load on everything. Contact your local shops and see what they have in stock. Covid has really chocked up the supply line so you may have to buy what's available rather than what you really want. Definitely take a test ride around the parking lot and see what fits you right. I'd say an extra large would suit you well but some larges may fit too.

I'm in and out of my local bike shop on a regular basis and they sell Trek, Otso, and Transition so I'll stick with those. Well, really just Trek as they have the bikes in the price range. Either the Trek Roscoe 6 or the X-Caliber 7 would suffice and both retail for around $1,100. The shop can help you set up air pressures in the tires and in the fork so it rides right and you'll want the pumps to keep them topped off. Another recommendation is to find local group rides and don't feel intimidated as a beginner. Before Covid, our local shop did Monday night rides at 6pm for all abilities. It would generally be between 5 and 18 people of all different abilities who just wanted to ride bikes. Those are the groups you want to gravitate towards, the ones that do not care what speed they are going or what terrain they are on, as long as they are riding bikes, they are happy.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
 
Joined
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Touring/Bikepacking bikes will have a higher weight capacity. I know Surly, Salsa and cannondale make some higher weight capacity bikes. I’d go to a local shop and start there.
 

greenbeast

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Being a full figured guy who has done my share of pedaling in the past getting sized up is very important.
I have had good luck with my Rocky Mountain carbon XL frame. Little pricy but if you don't have a nice bike in this community you will get run out.

Just kidding but consider what your pedaling. I made the mistake of buying possibly the heaviest Mountain bike from Giant several years ago. Don't think I will ever own steel frame bike again.
 
Joined
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Try a 27.5+. Pretty plush ride on a hardtail. The Rocky Mountain Growler and Santa Cruz Chameleon come to mind as being good picks.
 

Crush 4

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This is a great idea and has tons of benefits in addition to getting healthy. I too have used biking to lose weight as well as get mentally fit. biking, like other exercise really is great for the soul.
MTB specifically allows for a lot more exploration, ie various terrains, and imho keeps the motivation higher.
Couple thoughts
Read up and understand some of the terminology you will encounter. Things like wheel and tire size, frame types, gearing, etc.. not to necessarily over complicate things but it will give you some comfort knowing what folks are talking about
Visit your LBS= local bike shop. Generally they are owned by enthusiast and they will give you a level of comfort explaining the differences
Once you have knowledge you can also look at craigslist for a deal. Plenty of bikes sit in garages collecting dust and who knows you might stumble on a deal. You could even take it to the local bike shop for inspection make sure the gears and brakes work.

I highly recommend a helmet. Having broke a few in my lifetime I know for a fact they’ve saved me from serious injury. What’s your melon worth? Only you can answer that but I’m sure it’s a lot.

The next step is to just start paddling in one word of caution, it’s very addicting!
 

2mbb

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This is going to be your first bike. You don't need something fancy, light or fast. You don't even know if you are going to like it. I would try and find a used (maybe even something considered vintage) steel bicycle. You will want something with lots of spokes, steel ball bearings etc. I'm thinking something like a schwinn or Raleigh. Depending upon the riding terrain near you you could get a 10-speed (2x5) or 3 or 5 speed internal hub.

It doesn't matter that the bike will be heavy by today's standard. I think that is what you want. It could be stronger. You will burn more calories pushing it around. Fix it up...rebuild bearings, true the wheels, etc. put on new tires. get a new saddle. If you work on your truck, you will enjoy working on your bike. And then ride the snot out of it. Once you start to loose weight, then you can treat yourself to a better bike and you will deserve it!

Here where I live craigslist has a bunch of bikes, but also in college towns there may be used bike shops or police auctions or even garage sales.
 
Joined
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Nashua, NH
Thank you for the responses. I have owned a Trek 820 in the past and actually have one that my son used to ride but wasn't sure if chromoly was the best way to go?
 

jlm43

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Thank you for the responses. I have owned a Trek 820 in the past and actually have one that my son used to ride but wasn't sure if chromoly was the best way to go?

Any material should be fine for the type of riding you plan to do. As you progress, then you can upgrade the bike accordingly.

Question of the day: What does a Wal-Mart bike and a improperly tuned fancy bike have in common? They both suck to ride. Seriously. A $2,500 bike that hasn't had a tune up or has been severely neglected for years, or a 45 pound Wal-Mart bike will take the fun out of it REALLY quick. If you think you will struggle to find the motivation, get something that is comfortable and properly tuned or you're setting yourself up to fail. I've seen many people come and go from the riding groups, rarely do the ones bombing around on heavy, noisy, poorly functioning bikes return for round 2.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
766
Location
Nashua, NH
Any material should be fine for the type of riding you plan to do. As you progress, then you can upgrade the bike accordingly.

Question of the day: What does a Wal-Mart bike and a improperly tuned fancy bike have in common? They both suck to ride. Seriously. A $2,500 bike that hasn't had a tune up or has been severely neglected for years, or a 45 pound Wal-Mart bike will take the fun out of it REALLY quick. If you think you will struggle to find the motivation, get something that is comfortable and properly tuned or you're setting yourself up to fail. I've seen many people come and go from the riding groups, rarely do the ones bombing around on heavy, noisy, poorly functioning bikes return for round 2.
I was thinking of upgrading the stem and bars, going single sprocket and ditching the grip shifts for thumb shifters. A front suspension and disk breaks would be cool but I think at sone point it might be more money than worth putting on that frame.
 
Joined
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Alaska
I was thinking of upgrading the stem and bars, going single sprocket and ditching the grip shifts for thumb shifters. A front suspension and disk breaks would be cool but I think at sone point it might be more money than worth putting on that frame.
Of all that I would probably just start with wider bars, wouldn’t do much more then that and anything that is requires. Older bikes are getting harder and harder to get parts for since the bike industry keeps changing some of the standards like hub widths, wheel sized, head tubes, bottom bracket standards. Ride it for a while and then decide if you want to go newer.

as for weight, doesn't matter much on mountain bikes. My teenage daughter who weighs 110 lbs races enduro (and dominates) on a 29 lb bike.
 

jlm43

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I was thinking of upgrading the stem and bars, going single sprocket and ditching the grip shifts for thumb shifters. A front suspension and disk breaks would be cool but I think at sone point it might be more money than worth putting on that frame.

With a Trek 820, you will be limited on what you can upgrade. Wider bars would definitely help, something over 750mm wide would be preferred. Front suspension and disk brakes would be tough due to the bikes head tube size and available brake mounts. As for the shifter, it will depend on the number of gears in the back and the manufacturer of the rear derailleur. The brand of shifter has to match the brand of derailleur as the cable pull ratio's are not uniform between companies. If you have a 7 (or more) speed rear cassette with Shimano rear derailleur, then there are some shifter options for under $30. Now on to the front chainrings / sprockets. A lot of the lower end cranksets have 3 rings that cannot be removed or separated so you need to get a whole new crank.

What I'm getting at is that your theory is sound but not really cost effective on an 820. If you're mechanically inclined, Park Tool has a lot of great videos on YouTube. Watch those and figure out how to do your own work. Bikes are pretty basic, you just need to learn the tricks to get them working smoothly.
 

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