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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys-

I am new to the site, and even newer to mountain biking. Currently I am 6'1" and about 285lbs. I am down from 310lbs, but on a quest for more. I have changed my eating dramatically, but know that I need to introduce exercise into the equation. Part of my weight is muscle mass, but a noticeable amount is fat. Going to the gym is good, but I always feel the need to lift, which doesn't really get me where I want to be (leaner).

My question....I have 0 knowledge about mountain biking, so can someone give me a reccomendation for a bike for someone my size? My budget is sub 400 dollars, and the type of riding I will be doing is basical trails around a local lake, nothing too difficult, but want a bike I can grow with. Any reccomendations are greatly appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the club

First off, welcome to the forums, and kudos to you for taking the initiative to get some cardio workout into your exercise regimen. My recommendation to you is to read up on the "What Bike to Buy" Forum in addition to threads here. There will be some very good recommendations in these forums. Unfortunately, your $400 is not going to buy much of a bike, let alone a bike that will handle your weight. You might want to consider buying something used and save a few bucks that way. The reality of it is that for heavier riders like us, you need stronger components that will stand up to the abuse our weight puts on the bike and it's parts. To find something that is made for off-road travel and will handle your weight, you're looking potentially in the $900+ range. There are bargains to be had if you look hard, but it will take time and a lot of research on your behalf.

I'm sure others will come along and add their comments, too.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bob....I wouldn't have a problem spending the money if I knew this was something I would really get into. I just know myself and don't want to go drop 1k on a bike to have in hang in the shed. Thanks for the info, and it looks like I have alot of research to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I went out today and bought a 21" Gary Fisher Bitter. Hydraulic disk brakes, front suspension, etc. Got it out the door for 499.99. I will keep everyone posted, and hopefully can share a success story in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just did my first ride. Did about a 4mile ride with my roomie, which has been biking for quite awhile. I am definitely out of shape, but had a great time. My roomie is 230lbs down from 315, so he gives me motivation.
 

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I just started this year too, and the first few rides are really tough (so is taking a 3 or 4 week break, getting back on hurts all over again). I am overweight but pretty althletic, so my biggest challenge has been to not ride the bike like I am still a beanpole like in high school. I had a major full speed crash around a sudden switchback and landed on a bunch of logs. Hard to believe I barely got a scratch (thank got for full fingered gloves) but it taught me a major lesson:

CONTROL THE DAMN BIKE!!!

/ahem

Don't ride faster than your limits. If you have to skid your tires to slow down, you are out of control. Follow that rule and you should avoid most nasty speed-related crashes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info. I had not ridden any type of bike in probably 10 years, so it was a bit of an intimidating ride at times. I was hating life during the ride, but felt great after I was done and had a shower, noticebale amount of energy. My A$$ is killing me though....next purchase is some riding shorts
 

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Your rear will hurt for awhile! The shorts will help, but honestly don't go overboard with a new saddle, a seat cover, and whatever else I can't think of. After a couple of weeks of riding twice a week or more you won't get that feeling at all. If you are still sore at that time, then consider a new saddle. *Just trying to keep ya from buying all the crap I did cuz my a$$ hurt!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's damn good advice actually, I was just looking for a new seat =). I guess I will tough it out and hope I become used to the butt pain. ( Never thought I would hear myself say that)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have one other question.....I feel like I am bottoming out the front forks at times and there is no adjustment for stiffening them. Can I upgrade the forks? Again, the bike is a Gary Fisher Bitter 21". Thanks guys
 

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I'm not an expert...still a beginner, but on some forks there are different things that they can adjust/change to make them stiffer etc. that aren't the "on the fly" kind of settings. Like on my bike you can change the springs that are inside the fork to a stronger one. But I don't know about yours. The only down side is that you paid like 5 bills for your bike and some of the really good forks with lockouts are about that much... :( I'm sure there are some cheaper ones and that's where I'll let the guys with experience chime in!
 

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Well, there's the Specialized (a bike company) Assometer saddle fitting device at the Specialized dealer. Those are reported to get a pretty good guess at a saddle that fits.

Where was this technology before I started my saddle collection?

Also useful is having the rear-wheel re-tensioned for optimum performance. That way, it won't self-destruct.
When the wheel is both tight and even, it lasts, and you can put more power through it instead of just into it.
Why? When the wheel bears more rider weight, the spokes get droopy because wheels are pre-made to cushion a 150 pound rider. And, because droopy spokes absorb and do not transmit power.
 

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manitou splice super... who knows adjustments?

mmlx89 said:
I have one other question.....I feel like I am bottoming out the front forks at times and there is no adjustment for stiffening them. Can I upgrade the forks? Again, the bike is a Gary Fisher Bitter 21". Thanks guys
you should be able to get some heavier springs for that manitou splice super fork (which seems to be what you ahve from the fisher website, right?) or add air to keep it from bottoming... I doubt these forks are tuned for a clyde out of the box. Did it come with a manual??
i don't see it on manitou's website, so can't tell if it has springs or is an air fork, so you should ask the LBS. if it's got springs, you should get heavier wt ones.
you'll likely need to dial in the preload to max w/ it's current settings, as well.
 

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mmlx89 said:
Thanks for the info. I had not ridden any type of bike in probably 10 years, so it was a bit of an intimidating ride at times. I was hating life during the ride, but felt great after I was done and had a shower, noticebale amount of energy. My A$$ is killing me though....next purchase is some riding shorts
I'd suggest giving the folks at Mt. Borah a call. You can look at their Plus size clothing at Mt. Borah

I have a couple of pair of the Borah Plus shorts in 4XL that do a pretty good job. They also have a liner so you can wear regular shorts and still have the support and padding of bicycle shorts.

I also have two pair of custom Boure bib shorts, but they discontinued their custom program last year and I haven't heard if they have restarted it.

Regards,
Tom
 

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I've been riding for 10 months now. Bike shorts, helmet and full finger gloves have been the best acc I've bought. Giro helmet BTW has a good helmet replacement program, that's another thread. The saddle pain will gradually go away, unless you suddenly do an epic ride without prep. The full finger gloves may be warmer, but, your entire finger is protected. I started off at 230, now, I'm 230. Need to work on my intake next, the good thing is, I eat as much as I want and don't gain! But seriously, good luck, see you on the trail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well....been riding for about a month now. I have dropped about 13lbs, and lost a noticeable amount of inches. I need more though, so I am joining the gym tomorrow because I fear that as it gets darker earlier I won't be able to ride as much. Thanks for all of the help so far guys, hopefully my next update will include more weight loss.
 

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Hey mmlx89

Good on ya for getting out and getting active. I got back into things last year (6' 257lb) as married life and a good number of years having past from when I was in the Reserves had allowed a lot of lbs to creep on.

After almost 2100 km in the last 18 mo, I'm happy to say I'm down 23lbs and am in tons better shape. I was at the point of my blood pressure being 138/89 (which is pretty close to the high BP range) with a resting active pulse of 88. That has dropped down to 120/82 with a pulse of 62...big improvement. I'm not at the 180 lbs I was in the military, but I'm still losing weight. I'd like to be back to the 180lbs mark, but I know that I've got a few more years before that happens. It took 10 yrs of a few lbs a year creeping for me to get really out of shape but now I am getting and keeping the weight off, which is a heck of a lot better than yo-yo dieting.

Keep up the good work...it takes time, but it is well worth the effort. Good on ya!
 

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mmlx89 said:
I am joining the gym tomorrow because I fear that as it gets darker earlier I won't be able to ride as much.
Gyms are good for your muscles but not always ideal for losing weight. A lot, of course, depends on what exactly you do. When conditions are bad for riding, or I just do not feel up to riding the rocky trails, I often go for a walk (I do not like running or jogging).
 
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