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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    31

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    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    STPBound - Where are you, and do you need a bike shop? Just say the word, and TE can innundate you with recommendations!
    I'm in Seattle and have been using mainly REI to get all my biking gear. I bought my bike from Recycled Cycles (new). Are there better, more helpful places that you recommend?

    Also, if I do decide to get a road bike, is there a shop that will let you actually take the bikes out for more than a couple of blocks to test them?

    Thanks, Knot!

    stpbound

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenn View Post
    I'm also glad to know I'm not the only plus size, I'm 5'7" and 200, my Trek 1000 fits me great. The problem is I'm having a hell of a time trying to find riding clothes that don't cost a small fortune. They penalize you for being "larger". I actually have had to buy some mens jackets because my shoulders are just broad, I'm just a "big" girl! We wen't to the local LBS to look for a summer jersey for me and the XL would have fit my mother who is like 5'5" and weighs 117.
    Hi Jenn,

    You can also try Junonia. They have a few things. And, last night, I found terrybicycles.com here: http://www.terrybicycles.com/product.html?c=Plus

    But, yes, so far, I'm finding that these things cost lots of money. I'm just getting a couple things at a time right now so as not to completely break the bank!

    And, I also haven't found a LBS that carries plus sizes. If anyone finds one in Seattle, let me know!

    Good luck!

    stpbound

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    YES YES YES

    REI is an awful place to buy a bike. It's not even fun for bike PARTS. they are understaffed and very busy this time of the year.

    I love REI don't get me wrong.. but there are all these great LBS's ...
    (Local Bike Shops) there are the three I recommended for starters and MORE..
    any of them will let you take a bike out for an hour or so...

    for fit, i really recommend you go to R & E or Gregg's or Samm. They will charge you.
    but it's worth it.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by mimitabby View Post
    YES YES YES

    REI is an awful place to buy a bike. It's not even fun for bike PARTS. they are understaffed and very busy this time of the year.

    I love REI don't get me wrong.. but there are all these great LBS's ...
    (Local Bike Shops) there are the three I recommended for starters and MORE..
    any of them will let you take a bike out for an hour or so...

    for fit, i really recommend you go to R & E or Gregg's or Samm. They will charge you.
    but it's worth it.
    Thanks, mimitabby. I will go to Gregg's soon to make sure that my bike fits me. I've been there before, and they seemed nice.

    thanks again!

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    10,557
    Quote Originally Posted by stpbound View Post
    I'm in Seattle and have been using mainly REI to get all my biking gear. I bought my bike from Recycled Cycles (new). Are there better, more helpful places that you recommend?

    Also, if I do decide to get a road bike, is there a shop that will let you actually take the bikes out for more than a couple of blocks to test them?

    Thanks, Knot!

    stpbound
    Recycled Cycles are my guys! I love them with a wild and burning passion! When I bought my little $400 commuter from them, they were so wonderful and patient. I took that bike out for about 10 miles of test-riding. And they love my roadie as much as I do, and take good care of her. (I just got a compact double there yesterday.)

    Skip and Andy are my sales guys, we can talk about bikes and components for ages if they're not busy.

    Paul does most of the wrenching on my bikes. He understands how overprotective I am of my bike, and explains how things work (or don't work!) so I understand what's going on. He's calm and quiet and takes his time, even when it's crazy busy in there; but I try to keep my questions short when he's got a lot going on. There is another wrench (Brent?) who is also very good at explaining how things work, and is very patient with me.

    It's often quite busy in there (they are very popular). They generally assume that people who come in know what they are looking for, so don't pester you while you browse. However, if you ask someone for help they will bend over backwards. If you need help, ask them.

    Recycled Cycles doesn't do bike fits like R+E or Sammamish. There is a physical therapist who does a LOT of bike fits, his name is Eric Moen www.bikept.com

    I've thought about offering a free little beginning "fit it yourself" bike fit workshop at Recycled Cycles (maybe when they have the Flat Man workshops), but need to come up with a good proposal.
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 04-17-2007 at 08:43 AM.
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    pacific NW
    Posts
    1,038
    Hi stpbound,
    another plus sized rider chiming in here! I would definitely encourage you to go for a road bike, just based on my own experience. I started out with a hybrid, just because I thought that was my only option; I was over 250 pounds and a beefier bike just sounded like a good idea. Even at that size, I didn't experience too much seat discomfort, though. The discomfort I experienced seemed to lessen with time, so I just assumed you had to "break in" your butt.

    When I started losing weight, getting faster, putting in alot more miles, I switched to a road bike--a Raleigh sport. I could not believe the difference! My top (as in giving it everything I had) average speed on the hybrid was something like 13.3 mph, and on the road bike I can do 13.3 mph without really even breaking a sweat. It almost seemed like magic! The more upright position of the hybrid looks like it is more comfortable, but it really isn't if you consider all the factors. The road bike (at least mine) tends to tip your pelvis forward and align your legs in a position to achieve the most efficient, powerful pedal stroke. Lowering the torso to the handlebars reduces wind resistance a great deal, and if your torso is the size of a barn door--like mine-- that is a great deal of resistance! add in the reduction of resistance from skinnier tires and the weight reduction, and you are going much faster with much less effort, which is much more comfortable in the long run. As the others have mentioned, this all begins with a good fit.

    I would also caution you not to get shorts that are too roomy. I've lost a lot of weight, so my shorts are getting baggy. I can testify that this is extremely uncomfortable, as the loose fabric bunches and forcibly deposits itself in your most tender crevices. Ouch!

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    423
    Fat girl doing the STP? That's me! (Sorry, I'm allergic to "plus-sized". I know that some people are really sensitive to the word "fat", but it's just how I describe myself...because, um, I am fat.)

    My best bike shop experience in Seattle was at Gregg's Greenlake. They were helpful and patient, and didn't even blink an eye when I asked the "Am I too fat for a road bike?" question (I worked with Ed when I was bike shopping there. I think he's the floor manager, and he's incredibly nice). And despite my admitted newness to the notion of road bikes and shifting anything with more than three gears, they explained how the shifters worked and sent me on my way to test ride for as long and as far as I felt like going. I thought that was pretty cool, too. Oh, and as far as saddles go, I know they have a trial policy, though the particulars escape me at the moment. (I remember the girl helping me pick out shoes and gloves telling me about it, but I was so excited about taking my bike home that my ears were buzzing a little.)

    Interestingly, my worst experience was at Recycled Cycles. I really wanted to like Recycled Cycles, because I'd heard such great things about them from so many people, also because I liked the notion of getting a used bike that still had plenty of life in it and just needed a new home. I really *tried* to like Recycled Cycles...I went back there three times. Once, I was looked up and down an pointedly told, "I'm sorry. I don't think we have anything for you." And twice I was just completely ignored, even though I tried to get someone's (anyone's) attention for a good twenty minutes. *shrug* I don't know what that was about (my friends speculate that it was my fatness, but who knows really), but they didn't leave a great taste in my mouth...so despite the relative convenience of the shop to my house, I don't know that I'll ever go in there again (which sucks, because I kind of wanted to go to their flat fixing workshop thingie).

    At any rate, good luck!

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    Interesting... almost every time I've been in Gregg's I've found the atmosphere to be pretty rude and dismissive....(but when Aurora was still open they were always very nice and friendly even though both shops had the same owner and were only a few miles apart) I guess it just depends on when you are in a shop and who is behind the desk at the time.
    Last edited by Eden; 04-17-2007 at 02:20 PM.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    Eden,
    they have a guy working at Gregg's (and I cannot remember HIS name either (starts with a C?)
    who was so kind, so helpful, and mild mannered that I almost cried because
    at the time I was clueless and just knew stuff was hurting. he adjusted my handlebars and did not even charge me. It depends who's working when you're there; but we have had amazingly good fortune at that store (except for once in the service dept) but it's not very convenient for us to get there.
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    423
    I guess it just depends on when you are in a shop and who is behind the desk at the time.
    I think that's absolutely true. It's why I went back to Recycled three times. I wrote the first experience off as just encountering one jerk who was having a bad day or something, and gave them another shot because I didn't want to write off the whole store because of one experience. (Then again, I'm the kind of person who will try food I don't particularly like a few times, just in case I had a faulty impression or a not great batch the first time.)

    They can't be horrible, because I know so many people who have had great experiences there. They're just wrong for *me*.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    276
    Hiya,

    Yup, finding the right gear can be tougher for us big 'uns. Team Estrogen is great for jerseys and shorts- I particularly like the Shebeest plus size jerseys, and the Sport Hill Infuzion top:

    http://www.teamestrogen.com/products.asp?pID=22298.

    I also got a good windbreaker that someone on the board recommended:

    http://mtborah.com/index.asp?CompID=...&ProductID=352

    Rain gear is hard. I got mine from junonia.com on sale. Rei online also has plus sized rain gear. Definitely share if you find good plus size biking stuff!

    -Amy

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    When I was fat, it was Gregg's that treated me like sh*t and Recycled Cycles who were good to me. And I went to Gregg's a couple more times, because I just couldn't believe they had changed so much to the rude in 20 years.

    If you are looking specifically for a used bike at Recycled Cycles, and they don't have one that will fit you, they will tell you that. There is a huge turnover in the used bikes, and right now they have very few at all. And when they are busy, they are VERY busy.

    I'm sorry your experience at Recycled wasn't good. Would you go to the Flat Man workshop if I went, too?
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    276
    I also got dissed at a bike shop last year, treated with maximum attitude, and I really think it's because of my weight. I just think that's crazy for a retailer...what do they care about how much I weigh? My money's the same color. And I'm a single, childless woman with a bunch of disposable income to spend on my new hobby...are they stupid, or what???

    I ended up spending a lot of money at the bike shop that treated me with respect. Sheesh. Voting with my dollar, I guess.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    423
    Quote Originally Posted by KnottedYet View Post
    Would you go to the Flat Man workshop if I went, too?
    Sure...I'll just make a note to have a beer or three to mellow myself out before I go. Heh.

    No, really. I'd probably go if I didn't have to face it by myself.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    I am also not a big Gregg's fan---don't like their customer service and think they neglect bike fits. The PT Knott mentioned, Erik Moen, did my bike fit and did a great job--cyclist, coach, former racer, all around nice guy. He met me at Gregg's, actually, and did the fit right there. WELL worth it.

    Also, REI will let you test ride saddles and return them after significant miles. Gregg's is less generous about that. I wouldn't buy a bike at REI because I don't like the selection, but their customer service for gear is great.
    Last edited by salsabike; 04-17-2007 at 06:42 PM.
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

 

 

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