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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    1

    Cruiser or Mountain?

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    Hello All,

    I recently had weight loss surgery and I am down 125 lbs. I spend most of my free time at the gym working on weights and walking. I swim a few times a a month for cardio and toning but I would really REALLY love to get a bike.
    I went browsing for a bike a few months ago (back when I was still 350 ish) and freaked out. I couldn't figure out what I needed and I didn't get much guidance. I am now down around 300 lbs. and I am ready to try again.

    Quick Background:

    As a kid and a teen I as biking approx. 30 miles per week (my family didn't have a car) so I biked for groceries, transportation, etc.) I believe that biking kept my weight down as a teen and when I stopped my weight went up.
    I want to bike for fun and for freedom. I don't anticipate much trail riding though I would like that option. I mostly want to ride at slow to mid speed but on occasion go a bit faster. I see myself biking with a basket and a book and a blanket headed towards a park to read, etc.

    How do I figure out what bike I need and what bike will support my size?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Madison WI
    Posts
    280
    Way to go with the weight loss. I don't have advice on what type of bike to get - I have a trek navigator which is heavy and difficult to climb hills with. It is a very nice ride though - very comfy and upright.

    Best wishes finding a good bike that will work for you.

    Do you have many hills where you will be riding?
    Alison - mama of 2 (8yo and 6yo)
    2009 Independent Fabrication steel Crown Jewel SE
    1995 trek 800 steel MTV

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,082
    Quote Originally Posted by warneral View Post
    Do you have many hills where you will be riding?
    Her profile says "South Florida". I think there's an overpass and a speed bump.

    And welcome to TE.
    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/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    Hello and welcome!

    I'm just learning myself, so can't help a lot, but wanted to say well done on the weight loss and exercise. I'm sure plenty of people will be along to add their experience and advice to that already here. You might surprise yourself with how much you want to ride once you have a bike though, there's something addictive about it.
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    There will be lots of good advice from others here - I am a new rider myself. May I suggest that you also look at good hybrids as well, along with the others you are looking at. A hybrid also has an upright position and will give you more gears than a cruiser will, a mountain bike will as well. While you may not have much in the way of hills in South Florida, I can only assume that you do have wind to contend with and I've learned that gears do help with that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    I've been looking at cruiser bikes for the condo we are having built in Belize. I knew nothing of cruiser bikes before this, but that's all that is ridden down there due to the cobblestone and sand roads and riding on the beach. Discovered that cruiser bikes aren't all single speed. They also come in three speed and seven speed, which would probably be all you'd need for Florida riding.

    Google "Greenline beach cruisers" to see the ones I am looking at. There are also Electra Townies, which are a bit more money but very cool. The pedals are out slightly in front of you so the seat is lower, and you can put your feet flat down while seated. The down side of that is that you can never stand to pedal.

    There are lots of other choices too, and a hardtail mountain bike would surely work, but if you're riding on the flats, I'm not sure having all those extra gears makes sense.
    Last edited by emily_in_nc; 09-20-2010 at 05:41 AM.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Black Hills of SD
    Posts
    698
    I had a Cannondale comfort bike when I was re-learning to ride. I loved it. Lighter than a cruiser. Geared like a mountain bike but more upright. It was a wonderful little bike. Right now it's helping a friend of ours get back into biking.

    Deb
    2016 Kona Rove ST (M/L 54) WTB Volt
    Camp Stove Green Surly Karate Monkey (M) WTB Volt
    Kona Dew Deluxe (54cm) Brooks B67-S

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo
    Posts
    118
    I have a Globe Carmel and my daughter has a Trek Navigator...both are pretty much of hybrid of a cruiser and a mountain bike. We ride fairly flat trails and they're perfect bikes for our needs. They handle the terrain wonderfully and are very comfortable on long rides.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    If you're not planning on doing a lot of off-road stuff, i think you're better off with a cruiser. Be careful, a lot of them are heavy (hard to lift) so you might look at hybrids, they are the closest to what bikes were like when I was a kid. I don't know what your price range is like, but there is a woman who started a business producing bikes for larger sized people, her bikes are nice. I like her "news girl"
    http://www.supersizedcycles.com/inde...oduct_list&c=1

    good luck to you.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,192
    Go to a shop and just start riding bikes. Both cruisers and MTBs. Ask questions. In the end, though, get the bike that makes you smile. Life is too short to ride a bike that does not make you smile.
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
    (Sign in Japan)

    1978 Raleigh Gran Prix
    2003 EZ Sport AX

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    778
    Welcome zeviac!!

    I bought a Trek Pure (cruiser/upright style bike-- Electra Townie looks like a decent bike too) and I love it-- I bought the sport version with 21 speeds as I live near some pretty nasty hills. Now I have to admit I've been looking at the Hybrids as my next potential bike purchase, I am not one bit disappointed in the Pure. You don't mention if you have other health issues, like knees or back, but one of my main reasons for choosing a cruiser is my back. It allows me to bike longer without feeling like I as hit by a truck the next day.

    One thing you'll want to look for is something that's got wheels on it with as many spokes as possible. This means the wheels are stronger and able to support a little more weight. When buying my first bike, that was my main concern was that the bike wheels would be able to support me, so I'd look for something with at least 32 if not 36 spokes.

    I had a horrible (unrealistic) dread that I'd climb on one of those bikes at the LBS would just snap the thing in a zillion pieces. It only took a little reading to realize some people biked at 500lbs and completely turned around their lives with the help of the bike. It was sorta like that dream when your giving a speech and all of a sudden you look down and realize you've forgotten to wear pants to school and all the kids are now laughing at you... completely unrealistic, but it's still there in the back of your mind.

    I'd also try looking at Craigslist for a nice used bike as I'm willing to bet as your weight loss goals progress, you'll find you're wants/needs in a bike change, so in six months you may very well want a different bike. No matter what you get, just make sure you feel really comfortable on it as you won't want to ride if you're in pain.

    I found a really cool bike shop here that listens to me and tries every time I come in the door to help me with anything I've had issues with. Hopefully you too can locate a good shop close to you.

    Good luck and let us know of your progress!
    Shannon
    Last edited by Roadtrip; 09-20-2010 at 06:01 AM.
    Starbucks.. did someone say Starbucks?!?!
    http://www.cincylights.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    220
    I would recommend a hybrid, because it will give you the most versatility, especially if your riding goals change. A hybrid fitted with road tires will give you a nice ride (in a more upright position than a road bike) on paved surfaces (roads, paved MUPs). However, putt some cross tires on there and you will good to go on non-technical unpaved surfaces like crushed limestone trails, packed dirt, grass, etc.).

    A hybrid with a triple chainring will also give you gearing for pretty much any situation.

    Congrats on the weight loss and for starting your foray into cycling!!!! Have fun and keep smiling, even when it's hard!!!

 

 

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