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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Cool Looking for a bike to buy need tips

    I'm looking to buy a hybrid road/gravel bike to help me get into shape. i'm 6ft tall and about 275 lbs what would be a good starting bike to buy used or new in the price range of $200-$300 max looking to be able to upgrade parts as I start to go longer distances.

  2. #2
    Neophyte
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    It doesn't end up being cost effective to start that low and then upgrade parts, although that can be fun and educational. It might be better to start with a ~$1000 bike that you don't need to do anything to for a long time (or possibly ever).

    Never pay MSRP, there are always sales somewhere. Also, if there is a Performance Bike in your area with their going out of business sales you may find a great deal (or on performancebike.com or nashbar.com). I got a gravel bike that MSRPs at $1400-1500 for $850 at Performance.

    Used off craigslist or eBay you can definitely get good deals as well, but if you're new to the sport it may be harder for you to tell if you're getting ripped off or not, or if a bike has an issue.

    Also, while it sounds like you want to be able to ride on both pavement and dirt... in normal bike marketing terms, hybrid bikes and gravel bikes are totally different beasts. A hybrid usually has flat bars, is often on the lower end spectrum, and a gravel bike is more like a drop bar road bike with geometry and tire clearance design changes to make it fare well on "gravel".

    Anyway, back to my initial comment... if you have any inkling at all you will get serious about it, it's probably better to go higher than $300. You don't have to spend a ton to get a great bike, though.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I don't see being able to find a bike from a bike shop in your price range.

    Because of your weight, I would advise against a road bike with drop bars as I don't think you'll be able to get into a comfortable position over the bars.

    I would suggest a bike with straight bars. And because of your weight, I would suggest larger tires. My first suggestion would be a mountain bike such as the Trek Marlin 6, albeit with road-like tires. Many shops will swap out the tires for free, and you could ask for a narrower, lighter, 1.5" tire.

    If the weight comes off and stays off, THEN I would graduate to a road bike.

    I wouldn't advocate spending much more than that because should you stick with the program, your needs will change and you'll want to ride a more performance oriented bike. Besides, from the initial purchase you're going to add things such as cycling shorts, helmet, or other accessories the will quickly add up.

    I would not recommend you go the craigslist or eBay route unless you have a knowledgeable friend to help you weed out candidates and ensure you get the correct size. It's very common for new cyclists to buy a poorly fitting bike not designed for their task. I winds up being unenjoyable and the rider quickly loses interest.

  4. #4
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    There is a hybrid sub-forum over at Bikeforums.net. People over there probably know more about hybrids.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I would agree mostly with Peter P. here. I think at 275lbs., a hardtail mountain bike would be your best bet.

    The most important thing is to get a good fit. If you buy off Craiglist or eBay, it's a crapshoot at best. If you buy an ill fitting bike, it will hurt after not too long and you will lose interest. It can be the difference between quitting and developing a love for the sport. Go to a reputable bike shop where they will fit you properly.

    You don't need high end components, but if you buy a new entry level mountain bike, you will need to spend at least $600-700. I agree with swapping out knobby tires for smooth ones, but not necessarily narrower ones. Wide, smooth tires will roll well, yet will give you good shock absorbsion. Knobbies will slow you down and are useless unless you go off-road.

    Good luck!
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  6. #6
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    I'll offer a little different perspective here...

    As someone who is in about that same weight range myself, I wouldn't rule out a road bike. I was about 10-15 pounds lighter when I rode my first century on my Tarmac a few years back. No problem riding drop bars for long periods of time. I don't have my bars 4 inches below my seat or anything, but comfort isn't an issue.

    One of the biggest issues I have is parts durability. Knock on wood I have never had a problem, but I know I'm above the weight limit on my wheels and some other parts. I have about 15k miles on a set of Mavic Aksiums and they are still rolling nice and true. I broke a hub on a set of Neuvation M28's but I contacted the manufacturer and they said it was a manufacturing flaw and replaced it for free. About 5k miles on them since then with no problem. If you are riding in an area with rough roads it may be a different story however. So far durability has been something that worried me more than anything. But I know I'm flirting with disaster. It's a chance I take.

    I have my Tarmac, two Allez, and a Tricross. All with drop bars. No problems riding any of them any distance I choose. But not everyone is built the same. As a former pro hockey player and amateur speed skater, a lot of my weight is in my legs. That doesn't interfere with my position on the bike.

    Go try some out and see. Only you can determine if it will work for you.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    How long ago did you get those Mavic Aksiums? I doubt you would get 15K miles out of a recent pair of Aksiums regardless of weight.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  8. #8
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    Couldn't tell you for sure. I'm going to guess maybe 2011-2012?

    This is not my post but this is the same model wheels I have - https://forums.roadbikereview.com/wh...ls-345637.html

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