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Bike recommendations that won't break the bank

SweetP27SweetP27 Member Posts: 196 Member Member Posts: 196 Member
My doctor recommended riding a bike to lessen the impact on my knees. I'm looking for a starter bike that will carry 300+ pounds. I live in the city. Any suggestions?

Replies

  • L1zardQueenL1zardQueen Member Posts: 8,642 Member Member Posts: 8,642 Member
    Hit up your local bike store. Don’t try to buy a bike from a big retailer, you won’t get a customized fitting for you.
  • SweetP27SweetP27 Member Posts: 196 Member Member Posts: 196 Member
    Hit up your local bike store. Don’t try to buy a bike from a big retailer, you won’t get a customized fitting for you.

    Great idea. I've been looking on Amazon and Walmart.
  • L1zardQueenL1zardQueen Member Posts: 8,642 Member Member Posts: 8,642 Member
    Walmart has low quality bicycles and no customer service. And Amazon may have more of a selection but returns are much more difficult. You may not like the feel or fit of a bike purchased online.

    I bought my bike from my LBS and it came with a lifetime tuneup. Sort of cool. YMMV.
  • concordanciaconcordancia Member Posts: 5,317 Member Member Posts: 5,317 Member
    I doubt you will find a bike for your weight at Walmart.

    Do some research on what other people your size find comfortable, then look on ebay and craigslist, etc. Once you have the bike, you will likely have to experiment a bit with saddles, but try the one it comes with for awhile to see if you adjust to it with time.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,270 Member Member Posts: 6,270 Member
    Oh.. 300lbs is a hefty weight for a bike! Most bikes in Europe at least have a max carrying weight including lock, clothes, and other stuff of 120kg - 264lbs. Look up some brands, check the max weight they can carry safely. I would avoid a bike with suspensions as those are really not made for really heavy people and might be the first thing to break. Also, if cost is your primary concert: suspension that actually does something on fork or saddle costs a lot. cheap suspension will just make you move up or down and eat up a lot of energy from your pedaling. I also suggest a bike with a somewhat sporty sitting position. If you sit a bit more bend over then your arms and legs carry some of your weight. If you sit upright though then your spine and bum carries all your weight.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,292 Member Member Posts: 10,292 Member
    You're going to have a hard time finding an affordable bike, period. Everybody wants a bike because covid. Right now is the best time because it's still not the weather people want to ride in, so demand is down a little. But because demand is bigger than supply, prices are up. Everywhere. Bike shops can't keep $400 bikes in stock, and they can't keep $15,000 bikes in stock.

    Don't buy a bike that doesn't fit you.
  • SweetP27SweetP27 Member Posts: 196 Member Member Posts: 196 Member
    Thanks - lots of good advice. I found a bike shop near my home and plan to go by there this week.
  • tbilly20tbilly20 Member Posts: 154 Member Member Posts: 154 Member
    @NorthCascades - Very true on the imbalance of supply and demand at bike shops this year and last year. Certain models have been pushed out until mid-2022 already. Now is the time to go! My oldest daughter is right on the edge of moving up to her next size (16 inch), so I bought her one today. It will be hard to find in a month.

    OP - consider a bike like the Trek Verve. Good starting pricepoint. Rigid fork and sturdy build for weight. Nice, wider tires and discs are big pluses for the city. This bike would be a good place to start. You also can’t go wrong with the Trek Marlin or FX series.
  • mjbnj0001mjbnj0001 Member Posts: 967 Member Member Posts: 967 Member
    I'm over 300lbs at this moment, and I've lost a bunch of weight. Cycling - with dietary moderation - has been vital to this progress. My family bought me a decent bike, Trek X-Caliber, for a retirement/Christmas gift December 2017. "Go ride," they said, "it'll be good for you." It has been.

    Now, as to advice. First off, as a few folks have mentioned, go to a decent bike shop that you feel you can trust and have a relationship with. They can guide you but you might need to help them do so. My shop, which I've been using for over 20yrs (for my previous bikes [my "past bike life" 25+ yrs ago] and the kids), frankly tried to steer me into a less-capable bike because, let's face it, I was not looking like a prospect to become the avid cyclist that I am. Once over that hurdle, I made a few mods to the stock bike. Mostly improved, bigger, most-surfaces tires (rather than thinner knobbies), a saddle suitable to my bulk, the slightly old-fashioned bar ends and ergonomic grips for my hands, etc., a few other tweaks.

    Tires and wheels (esp. with more spokes) are a good investment for the heavy rider. Every reputable bike sold in the USA has a "fitness for use" statement which describes their weight-carrying capacity versus the expected type of use. I am over the limit for my bike - now, and certainly when I started - but, consider: cross-country bikes are expected to be doing jumps and other things which I am not doing. Force = mass * acceleration, and by not jumping, I'm not accelerating as much and the force I put on the bike is less, and this strategy has so far worked out quite well.

    Good luck on your quest!

    mhqiq0p3ahwu.jpg
  • BruinsGal_91BruinsGal_91 Member Posts: 1,399 Member Member Posts: 1,399 Member
    tbilly20 wrote: »
    @NorthCascades - Very true on the imbalance of supply and demand at bike shops this year and last year. Certain models have been pushed out until mid-2022 already. Now is the time to go! My oldest daughter is right on the edge of moving up to her next size (16 inch), so I bought her one today. It will be hard to find in a month.

    OP - consider a bike like the Trek Verve. Good starting pricepoint. Rigid fork and sturdy build for weight. Nice, wider tires and discs are big pluses for the city. This bike would be a good place to start. You also can’t go wrong with the Trek Marlin or FX series.

    I love my Trek Verve. I've got the 2 disk lowstep.

    u5xukt1ze9tv.jpg
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,270 Member Member Posts: 6,270 Member
    tbilly20 wrote: »
    @NorthCascades - Very true on the imbalance of supply and demand at bike shops this year and last year. Certain models have been pushed out until mid-2022 already. Now is the time to go! My oldest daughter is right on the edge of moving up to her next size (16 inch), so I bought her one today. It will be hard to find in a month.

    OP - consider a bike like the Trek Verve. Good starting pricepoint. Rigid fork and sturdy build for weight. Nice, wider tires and discs are big pluses for the city. This bike would be a good place to start. You also can’t go wrong with the Trek Marlin or FX series.

    I love my Trek Verve. I've got the 2 disk lowstep.

    u5xukt1ze9tv.jpg

    Wow, that looks cool!
    I think for TO the horizontal bar one would be better compared to the low step. Low step bikes tend to be a bit less strong, which makes sense as the horizontal bar is part of what keeps the two parts of the bike together. But TO needs to fit a bike properly anyway to make sure it's perfect for him. Everyone is different: some of us are giants when sitting, but not so tall when standing, and the other way around. I have ape arms and prefer longer bikes with a small overall frame (Put me on a Specialized bike, and I sit upright like on a Holland granny bike)
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,292 Member Member Posts: 10,292 Member
    FYI, most bikes can handle any weight people will actually put on them - bike meaning the frame, components, etc. The wheels will have trouble with heavier riders if they aren't built appropriately for you. You can ameliorate the issue by not hitting bumps and being the bike version of light on your feet. Since it sounds like you haven't bought yet I'd look for something that takes wider tires and 32 or 36 spoke wheels. (If the wheels become a problem you can address it later.)

    I've been using Garmin pedals for almost ten years. I've never been under their weight limit for even a day. They've also never given me a problem ever.
  • BruinsGal_91BruinsGal_91 Member Posts: 1,399 Member Member Posts: 1,399 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    tbilly20 wrote: »
    @NorthCascades - Very true on the imbalance of supply and demand at bike shops this year and last year. Certain models have been pushed out until mid-2022 already. Now is the time to go! My oldest daughter is right on the edge of moving up to her next size (16 inch), so I bought her one today. It will be hard to find in a month.

    OP - consider a bike like the Trek Verve. Good starting pricepoint. Rigid fork and sturdy build for weight. Nice, wider tires and discs are big pluses for the city. This bike would be a good place to start. You also can’t go wrong with the Trek Marlin or FX series.

    I love my Trek Verve. I've got the 2 disk lowstep.


    Wow, that looks cool!
    I think for TO the horizontal bar one would be better compared to the low step. Low step bikes tend to be a bit less strong, which makes sense as the horizontal bar is part of what keeps the two parts of the bike together. But TO needs to fit a bike properly anyway to make sure it's perfect for him. Everyone is different: some of us are giants when sitting, but not so tall when standing, and the other way around. I have ape arms and prefer longer bikes with a small overall frame (Put me on a Specialized bike, and I sit upright like on a Holland granny bike)

    I get so many compliments on it. I think it's the eye-popping color that makes it stand out. I agree that a horizontal bar would probably be better for the OP. My husband rides the Trek Verve with the horizontal bar and it's perfect for him. I prefer the step-through style because I'm short with short legs and find the step-through easier to manage.
  • MikePfirrmanMikePfirrman Member Posts: 2,493 Member Member Posts: 2,493 Member
    Last year I bought a Giant brand bike and the wife got a Liv (their female brand). Both of us are very happy with them. Personally, I liked the brand better than some of the other brands I tried and they were relatively reasonable. Both bikes were under $500 (maybe $600) from what I remember.

    But these are Hybrid/Comfort bikes, not something that I'm going to try to race on the road. Better for bike paths, casual/exercise riding.

    I did also like Trek as well but chose Giant instead.
    edited March 11
  • riffraff2112riffraff2112 Member Posts: 1,753 Member Member Posts: 1,753 Member
    Until I started cycling I thought there were basically two choices at various price points....10 speed road bike vs mountain/trail bike.

    Was I wrong! Super important to know where you plan to do most your cycling (the surface). Your height, weight and state of your joints (bad back etc.) are factors that any decent bike shop can help you with. Most box store employees, won't think to ask those types of questions.

    Some of the chain sport stores (where they kind of sell everything from hockey sticks, baseball equip, jerseys, shoes) can be a great place to find a moderately priced bikes in particular if they have a bike service shop. My nephew works in one of these stores and needed to apprentice for nearly a half a year before they let him even talk to clients about bikes, never mind work on them to get them set up.
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