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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,144

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckervill View Post
    I like to be left alone, but I still like to be greeted when I come in. Just say, "hi" or something.

    Karen
    +1. I know it's a fine line but I like it when they say "hi" but don't pounce. Acknowledge my existence, offer to help but let me look.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    1,365
    When I first got back into being on a bicycle, i didn't want the skinny wheels. I started back on a mountain bike, which got me comfortable riding again, and then bought an older (92) cross/touring/not sure what it is really bike on Craigslist. It LOOKED like a road bike, but the tires were fatter than a normal road bike, and had a little tread to them. It had these fat brakes, too. This bike made me feel SECURE. Once I rode that enough, it was no problem to "upgrade" to a skinnier tire.

    You know, you can always test ride. In fact, you should test ride as many models as possible before you commit. They might wince because they don't know you and you're a girl and you don't *look* like your typical customer, but you ARE a customer, and you deserve to have the same opportunity as that athelto dude they were helping in the second shop. Keep doing your homework -- keep shopping, and keep finding out what it is that you like when you picture yourself on a bike. Make sure you wear bike shorts and if possible good sturdy shoes to your shop so you can test ride in comfort.

    Don't buy until it is dreamy! You'll know it when you ride it!
    I can do five more miles.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The middle of North America
    Posts
    776
    Quote Originally Posted by aicabsolut View Post
    I didn't read all of the post, but the guys are absolutely correct about wheels. Wheels certainly have weight limits, and you don't necessarily have to weigh as much as 300lbs to start worrying about wheels. For some wheels, 200lbs is enough to cause concern. It will depend on the type of wheel to some extent (a lightweight race wheel for a road bike will have much lower weight recommendations than other types, for example). A thicker metal rim and a high spoke count will definitely be good for a skinny (but not super skinny), sporty wheel. Basically, it's a safety issue. You don't want to be breaking spokes and having maintenance problems with the wheel. The last thing you want is for a broken spoke to turn into a serious crash. I would listen to them on this point. Yes, more durable wheels may cost more.

    As for the frame and type of bike, go as sporty as you want. Faster will mean a skinnier wheel rim, a lighter frame, and straighter tube shapes (i.e., not a step-through bike).

    It's good to go in and learn about all the different types and make the information-gathering trip you did. Now do some homework and then go back ready to test ride some. Try out other shops and do the same.
    aicabsolut said very eloquently what I was thinking. I do a few tours in the summer and an overweight gentleman rides regularily on them also. He is a wonderful person and quite a stong rider but on every tour he is dealing w/ broken spokes. He is either sidelined until the repair can be made or ends up sagging in, thus taking all the fun out of the camaraderie.

    So I second the motion - go w/ the more $$$ wheels -I think you will be very glad in the long run you did.

    It was fun reading your "long" post. And it will be more fun seeing the picture of your new baby when you bring her/him home


    It's about the journey and being in the moment, not about the destination

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    Lots of touring bikes have wheels with more spokes than a regular road bike, to help carry the load of panniers. You could upgrade to touring wheels.

    Also, check out bikeforums.net and the Clydesdales/Athena folder. They are very very helpful folks over there.

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    18

    Point Taken...

    Quote Originally Posted by aicabsolut View Post
    I didn't read all of the post, but the guys are absolutely correct about wheels. Wheels certainly have weight limits, and you don't necessarily have to weigh as much as 300lbs to start worrying about wheels. For some wheels, 200lbs is enough to cause concern. It will depend on the type of wheel to some extent (a lightweight race wheel for a road bike will have much lower weight recommendations than other types, for example). A thicker metal rim and a high spoke count will definitely be good for a skinny (but not super skinny), sporty wheel. Basically, it's a safety issue. You don't want to be breaking spokes and having maintenance problems with the wheel. The last thing you want is for a broken spoke to turn into a serious crash. I would listen to them on this point. Yes, more durable wheels may cost more.

    As for the frame and type of bike, go as sporty as you want. Faster will mean a skinnier wheel rim, a lighter frame, and straighter tube shapes (i.e., not a step-through bike).

    It's good to go in and learn about all the different types and make the information-gathering trip you did. Now do some homework and then go back ready to test ride some. Try out other shops and do the same.

    I'll broach the topic of the wheels again with the LBS, when I make my final final decision, I've set my sights on a bike and that's the one I'll probably get, unless someone changes my mind(which probably wouldn't be that hard).

    My initial fear was not only the wheels, but the frame and everything else -- now I have a clearer understanding and from what I've gleaned from reading and talking to people, it appears I'll have to be very special indeed to crack a frame in half just by sitting on the bike and riding normally, I have no plans currently to go jumping things, I'll save that for next years obsession -

    The more I find out about my little neighborhood LBS, the more I like... they will provide free service, including all adjustments and full tune ups for the lifetime of the bike, yeah I'm sure there's an asterisk in there somewhere... but I take that to mean truing the wheel and so on... so it will benefit them to be totally forthright or they'll see my smiling face in there every few days...

    Now... I have bike information overload... I'm exhausted, the last three days I've gone into 'gotta get a bike overdrive' -- I've been eating and sleeping bike and I haven't even got one -- I went over and read about a gentleman's wheel issues on bikeforum.net tonight and my head started hurting from just trying to process all of the variables associated with the most simple but functional design on earth, the wheel.

    Please continue with any suggestions or advice you might have, I'm reading -- I'm just going to slow it down a bit and try to calm myself down.(yeah, I'm one of "those" personality types )

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    2,024
    I just read your background on the other thread (too fat to ride?). You mentioned having a loaner bike in Colorado that you really enjoyed riding. What make, model, size is it? Can you contact the fellow that helped you there to get recommendations since he also seemed to know a lot about bikes?

    Congrats on trying to get healthier! Cycling is a great way to start. Have you been checked for medical explanations. I couldn't lose weight until I found out I have impaired glucose tolerance and dramatically reduced the carbs in my diet, using my blood sugar readings as a guide.
    Last edited by Triskeliongirl; 03-15-2009 at 08:49 AM.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,778
    Another Trek 7.2fx reference. I'm 5'5 with a 32 inch inseam and I ride a 17". Absolutely one of the best beginner bikes out there in my opinion. No suspension and it goes anywhere. Katy trail, roads, etc. You just aren't used to it. I started out on a big beginner Trek Navigator and was regretting it within a month. They always look smaller and skinnier when you are just looking at them. Why don't you test ride it? And you could have them put larger tires on it if you are uncomfortable with the size. I believe they come with 32c stock, but take much larger. More mountain bikeish.

    Let us know how it goes!
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,316
    How do you measure your inseam? Crotch to floor? Crotch to instep? And how do you measure your arm length? Is it like measuring a man for a suit, where you go to the middle of the back and run the measuring tape out to the wrist?

    I'm really learning a lot here. Thank you all, especially zeWoo for asking all those great questions and for that post. I liked reading it, too. It sure didn't seem long to me. It was really quite familiar.

    I've had the same experience in sports shops. I'm a shade under 5'5" and up until recently weighed around 250. This is for the last several years. I'm often invisible to very fit salespeople and fellow patrons in gyms, sports supply stores, and yes, my local LBS. I try not to take it personally, but you know, sometimes it's really hard not to. Just because I'm not a hardbody...argh.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing pics of your new bike, zeWoo, and good luck with your local LBS. I hope that guy really comes through for you.

    Roxy

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,309
    sigh... I wish these bike shops would GET A CLUE!!!

    Greet everyone, offer assistance, and give space if that is what is desired.
    It's really quite simple.
    I'm sorry that you had such and issue with shop B. But as a small lbs owner myself, I think shop A may be your best bet.
    All of the bike brands mentioned are fine bikes. Heck Giant MAKES most of the bikes for other manufacturers, so chances are the different bikes were made in the same factory!
    As for the bike, I do recommend double walled rims. And as for the big ol saddle- steer clear! I'm a big girl too, and my flat bar road bike has a wider saddle than I am used to. It chafes me after about 40 minutes on the bike! Not fun for us ladies with larger bottoms! I warn customers about that all the time. The adage I use is "sometimes less is more".
    I must also say KUDOS to you for hanging in there with shop b!
    I get people in the shop all the time worried that they are too big to ride. I do my best to get them going, because really most everyone can ride. Yes there are a few exceptions, but even those have options.
    Good luck in your search for the perfect bike! It is out there. But I do recommend riding as many as you can. AND get the bike that FITS! Fit is the key. Hopefully lbs B has some kind of system to measure you to make sure you get on the right size bike. (otherwise go to wrenchscience.com and go into their fit gallery and measure yourself).
    cheers!
    Denise

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,778
    Quote Originally Posted by channlluv View Post
    How do you measure your inseam? Crotch to floor? Crotch to instep? And how do you measure your arm length? Is it like measuring a man for a suit, where you go to the middle of the back and run the measuring tape out to the wrist?
    Channlluv- Another plug for wrenchscience here. That's where I first learned about myself and how I would fit on a bike. I kept plugging it all in, and I was totally surprised by my measurements. Never ever thought about inseam and arm length before. It will certainly give you a base to work from. And flexibility works in it too. I can put my hands flat on the floor when I stand and lean over, so I tend to fudge on that measurement as I don't want a long top tube. Actually, I didn't even know that top tubes came in different lengths before that.

    As for inseam, you just sort of shove a hardbound book up between your legs with as much pressure as a saddle would give. I always put a small level on mine to make sure my measurement is accurate, and then measure from the top to the floor with your feet slightly apart. Google bike fit and you will find a lot. Rivendell bicycle works has a few tips, and Andy Pruitt's medical guide for cycling is about fit also. The title is somewhat misleading.

    running mommy- I had a friend who just insisted that the wider the saddle the better. We rode the Katy Trail and after about 10 miles, she was hurting so bad she wanted to walk! She couldn't believe that riding on a couch was so uncomfortable, even though I had patiently explained that it's WHERE it hits, not how big and cushy it is. Someone on here once used the analogy about Brooks saddles, that they feel like your wooden kitchen chair. Those are comfortable yet they are wood. People just don't think about that. You can't seem to convince them, either, until they experience it

    zewoo. Hey, that was great advice given to you about bikeforums.net. There IS an athena/clydesdale category there. I bet you could get all kinds of advice and encouragement. Hang in there. You are on your way to feeling great!
    Last edited by uforgot; 03-15-2009 at 11:00 PM.
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    18

    Theories...

    Channlluv and Running Mommy-

    I spoke to my BFF last night -- and after going on about all things bike for 15 minutes, as well as determining that at this moment I have more bike accessories than actual bike(I love to buy bike stuff, I've been collecting for 8 months now), she declared ' I see you have found a new obsession... I guess there are worst things to be obsessed about it' -- as the subject turned to the LBS and my experiences, she said she had the same experience with a LBS in Florida last year -- she walked in and was ready to buy that day, she just needed help... and no one ever came over to help her, despite doing everything to indicate that she needed and wanted help, including sitting on the bike, tinkering with the levers... making zvroom zvroom noises(ok, I added that bit)... still nothing. Finally, she got angry and left and this is coming from a very fit athletic woman -- so Channlluv, it seems 'hardbody' has no bearing... The good news is, thanks to my enthusiasm she said she'll probably try again on buying a bike...

    My friend came up with a simple formula for getting good service... 'find the old guy'... this seems to be the guy that is vested in getting you on the right bike... I'm sure it's not that simple but it's worth a shot -- the old guy in the second LBS I went to was the first one to acknowledge me and go tell the other guys to help me and after I think about what happened, no one came out and he walked over to those guys again and stood there with his back to me, so I couldn't see his face... and this is when someone jumped into action ...you would think I had the plague... so there might be something to 'the old guy' theory.

    Thanks again...and yes, the bikeforum.net tip is a good one.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    If I need help in a store and I see several sales people standing around doing nothing, I don't wait for them to notice me. I go up to them and ask for help.

    But in my LBS, they always greet me and ask if I need anything. It's one of the reasons I shop there.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    18

    I don't know...

    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    If I need help in a store and I see several sales people standing around doing nothing, I don't wait for them to notice me. I go up to them and ask for help.

    But in my LBS, they always greet me and ask if I need anything. It's one of the reasons I shop there.
    I personally feel that when I'm about to make a high ticket item purchase(over 500.00), that very fact, warrants me not having to go over and smoke out one of three guys standing in the bike shop doing nothing, but shootin' the breeze to come help me. Sure, it's passive aggressive, but that's just the way I see it. If it were a bike light or some type of small accessory and I don't see what I'm looking for right off the bat, than yeah, fine, they don't even have to move, just point me to the goods -- I'm probably asking before they have a chance to say anything... but when I'm standing there looking like a lost ball in high weeds for more than a couple of minutes, there's a reason, and that reason is I want you to come to me. -- As the customer, I would like to hold on to this tiny sliver of entitlement ... wrong or right, that's how I roll.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,151
    "find the old guy" ... snork!!!

    When I was making my first "real bike" buy, I test rode about a dozen bikes. At the very last shop, I rode a bike that felt better than all the rest... but then I was afraid that that was just because I was riding better. So I went and test rode the ones I had already tested.

    I went back to that bike shop because they didn't feel as good and... that bike had been sold, and it was a "last year's model," so they didn't have one I could afford... but I asked, "why would it feel better?" and the guy said it was because Bianchi stems have a different angle... and promptly took a stem from a Bianchi and put it on the Giant I had just ridden... and yea! it was great!

    It was a slow day and a small shop so I had two guys out there... and I asked about comfort for longer rides, since I had only ridden these things around the lot a few times. I was thinking back pain... and as the young guy kinda stared off into the distance, the old guy proceeded to tell me the importance of paying attention to whether there was pressure on the soft vaginal tissues... that you felt pressure on the bony stuff right away, but the soft tissues would really hurt you later.

    Welp, that wasn't an issue right then, but years later when I was trying out a new saddle, I realized "This is what that old guy was talking about!!"

    I still have that entry level GIant, with an Xtracycle Free Radical on it, and it gets 5000+ miles per year. (Everyhting but the frame's been replaced at some point or another, I b'lieve.) I also have a 7.5FX that I love for faster and longer rides.

    So! I also think you are awesome for sticking to your guns and persevering ... this *is* a sweet obsession that will pay off. TEST RIDE. See what feels good.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central NJ, a quick ride from the shore
    Posts
    195
    I live with in minutes of several very busy, popular bike shops and I have done business (bought bikes & gear) from all of them over the years. Then suddenly I found THE lbs which had the perfect (to me) combination of amazing bikes/gear, helpful (not pushy) staff and a genuinely kind, welcoming, interested and helpful owner regardless of your fitness & cycling interest. He's a former pro cyclist and knowing that intimidated me at first... til I got to know him.

    Reading through all these posts I feel SO lucky to have found this shop. I drive 30 min to get to it, passed all the others.. but it is so worth it.

    T.

 

 

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