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First Bike for a Big Bloke

stevep1968stevep1968 Posts: 10
edited April 2019 in Road beginners
Hi there

It has finally got to that stage..... 50 years old, about 20st, 6'3" and my GP telling me to change my lifestyle.

My wife got a bike for Christmas and has started to enjoy her trips so I thought it may be a good idea to join her.

Can anyone recommend a bike that I can start with that will carry my weight and sort a beginner? It will only be used on paths and roads and at this stage I don't envisage the London to Brighton.

This will be a birthday present so budget will be circa £200 - maybe up to £250.

Thanks in advance for any / all advice.

Steve

Posts

  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,961
    For that money you will only get second hand. I’d be surprised if you could find a road bike that was suitable for your weight for that money. You may well exceed the maximum weight for many stock wheels and potentially will need much stronger wheels with a higher spoke count.

    Sorry I can’t give you a specific model to choose.

    PP
  • What sort of bike do you have in mind?

    On here, when talking about "road bikes" we're broadly referring to drop-handlebar, @rse-in-the-air, go-fast bikes. Is that the sort of thing you're looking at, or are you after something a little more utiltarian?

    I'd be inclined to direct any first-timer towards Decathlon for good quality & value - their road bike range starts at £250 and there are drop-bar & flat bar versions of their starter bike.

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rc100-road- ... 77732.html

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-100- ... 54239.html

    This is as basic as road bikes get so do bear in mind you will get a better bike - and probably have a more enjoyable/rewarding experience - if you spend a bit more.
  • There is only one bike in that price range that would be more than suitable for you with no bike strength issues and that is the Carrera Subway One. It's a £300 bike currently but Halfords pricing often changes plus there are ways of getting a discount and cashback.

    It's pretty much a rigid mountain bike, very strong commuting bike. It has a total load capacity that must not be exceeded of 160kg but that includes everything including the bike weight which I would guess at about 13kg. I'd recommend that as the best option for you. I'm unsure of any decent alternatives for similar money to be honest. Many bikes are certified to a far lower weight limit some as low as 100kg total load. The reasons I recommend it is a) it's basically a strong mountain bike with strong mountain bike wheels and very strong rigid forks b) it has disc brakes which will be more effective than V brakes especially a heavier rider and c) it has a freehub based drivetrain which is superior to the lower quality freewheel based drivetrain on many bikes at this price level. I personally wouldn't recommend a normal mountain bike as suspension forks at this price range are quite basic and can be problematic for heavier riders and are basically un-necessary for most riders anyway.

    https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/ ... -22-frames
  • stevep1968 wrote:
    Hi there

    It has finally got to that stage..... 50 years old, about 20st, 6'3" and my GP telling me to change my lifestyle.

    My wife got a bike for Christmas and has started to enjoy her trips so I thought it may be a good idea to join her.

    Can anyone recommend a bike that I can start with that will carry my weight and sort a beginner? It will only be used on paths and roads and at this stage I don't envisage the London to Brighton.

    This will be a birthday present so budget will be circa £200 - maybe up to £250.

    Thanks in advance for any / all advice.

    Steve

    Get down to your local bike shop theyll have something.
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 344
    There is only one bike in that price range that would be more than suitable for you with no bike strength issues and that is the Carrera Subway One. It's a £300 bike currently but Halfords pricing often changes plus there are ways of getting a discount and cashback.

    It's pretty much a rigid mountain bike, very strong commuting bike. It has a total load capacity that must not be exceeded of 160kg but that includes everything including the bike weight which I would guess at about 13kg. I'd recommend that as the best option for you. I'm unsure of any decent alternatives for similar money to be honest. Many bikes are certified to a far lower weight limit some as low as 100kg total load. The reasons I recommend it is a) it's basically a strong mountain bike with strong mountain bike wheels and very strong rigid forks b) it has disc brakes which will be more effective than V brakes especially a heavier rider and c) it has a freehub based drivetrain which is superior to the lower quality freewheel based drivetrain on many bikes at this price level. I personally wouldn't recommend a normal mountain bike as suspension forks at this price range are quite basic and can be problematic for heavier riders and are basically un-necessary for most riders anyway.

    https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/ ... -22-frames

    Great advice.
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Yeah, that carrera is probably a good shout for the money - and just about in budget if you keep an eye on deals/get hold of some discounted vouchers etc.

    I'm slightly taller than you, similar weight, a few years younger but have a good few years riding experience.

    It is a tricky budget because while most people would be better off buying second hand at that budget, my experience is that whenever I buy a bike second hand sooner or later it fails and I'm left out of pocket - I've killed 7 bike frames over the past five years (although for context I do ride over 7000 miles a year) - knowing that I'm getting them replaced for free makes it much less annoying (and I've actually had some nice upgrades on a couple of bikes!)

    The first thing you are likely to struggle with though is wheels, cheap wheels are built by machines, badly, and under our weight the spokes will quickly come loose - you might be better off taking them to a proper local bike shop or wheelbuilder to get them tensioned and trued, it is unlikely that a halfords mechanic will be able to do more than the bare minimum.

    Anyway, good luck, it's a great way to keep fit, see the countryside and if you do get the bug, you'll soon be spending ten times that amount ;-)
  • timothyw wrote:
    Yeah, that carrera is probably a good shout for the money - and just about in budget if you keep an eye on deals/get hold of some discounted vouchers etc.

    I'm slightly taller than you, similar weight, a few years younger but have a good few years riding experience.

    It is a tricky budget because while most people would be better off buying second hand at that budget, my experience is that whenever I buy a bike second hand sooner or later it fails and I'm left out of pocket - I've killed 7 bike frames over the past five years (although for context I do ride over 7000 miles a year) - knowing that I'm getting them replaced for free makes it much less annoying (and I've actually had some nice upgrades on a couple of bikes!)

    The first thing you are likely to struggle with though is wheels, cheap wheels are built by machines, badly, and under our weight the spokes will quickly come loose - you might be better off taking them to a proper local bike shop or wheelbuilder to get them tensioned and trued, it is unlikely that a halfords mechanic will be able to do more than the bare minimum.

    Anyway, good luck, it's a great way to keep fit, see the countryside and if you do get the bug, you'll soon be spending ten times that amount ;-)

    That's a lot of frames destroyed, what model frames were they and where did they fail, I'm sort of assuming they were road bike frames for such a high failure rate. Chainstays?

    That's one of the good things about hardtail mountain bike frames as used by the Subway, hardtails get a lot of abuse at the rear and chainstays as there is no suspension there to take the impact of jumps and drops so they are overly strong which also helps massively for over-weight riders using the same frames just on the road.

    The Subway wheels are pretty strong even before any additional trueing and tensioning by virtue of being basic quality 27.5" double wall rims with 32 spokes mountain bike wheels, a much stronger wheel than basic 700c wheels although probably not as strong as the older Subway models that had 26" wheels.

    I commented on the bike radar review as well below. That is the Subway 2 which has hydraulic disc brakes but I personally think for many the Subway 1 which is near identical with mechanical disc brakes is better, much easier and cheaper to service and maintain than hydraulic and the mechanical disc brakes still have great stopping power.

    https://www.bikeradar.com/commuting/gea ... iew-51424/
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    This is rather off topic but my bike obituaries read as follows. They are all road/cross bikes.

    (Second hand)
    Trek 5000, carbon, failed at drive side chainstay probably due to chain suck incident a year or so prior.
    Benotto, steel, weld failed where BB meets seat tube.
    Trek second district, alu, sliding dropout failed, a common flaw with this model.

    (Owned from new)
    (Aluminium)
    Hoy Alto irpavi, weld failed where seat tube meets top tube, dead inside 6 months, returned for full refund.
    Kinesis crosslight pro 6, weld failed where BB meets seat tube, pbk stiffed me with store credit...was about 2 years old.
    Fuji sportif 1.1, weld where seat tube meets top tube, lasted four years - replaced under warranty.
    (Steel)
    Verenti isolation, weld failed on seatstay dropout, replaced with upgraded bike (I made a small contribution). Lasted about a year.

    I ride a lot (mostly stop start commuting), I weigh a lot, I have a lot of power. It's a bad combo for bikes.
  • cld531c wrote:

    Cyclocross bikes are a bit stronger than regular road bikes but I would say the Subway is as strong as a mountain bike, more so with regard the rigid forks compared to low end suspension forks. So the Subway is on a stronger level again. At 127kg/20st he is slightly above Halfords 120kg weight limit for riders but within the 160kg total load of the bike. As we can see from TimothyW who is a similar weight he has destroyed many road bike frames although states he is a very strong rider and that might mean more of a grinder/masher than spinner for his riding style and the way his frames has snapped/broken does indicate a strong twisting action from the saddle down to the bottom bracket typical of a grinder/masher.

    I personally think go overly strong at the beginning with the Subway, lose the weight and make the next bike purchase if necessary a road bike. It's not great going back to the store all the time because a spoke has broke or the wheel has gone out of true or lots of other weight related bike issues. The Subway might be 1-2kg heavier but what does that matter for a heavy 127kg rider, he could lose that weight in a week easily just by riding regularly, a bit of fasting and reducing or avoiding processed sugars. The sure footed nature of the Subway with its disc brakes will be confidence inspiring for a heavy rider which means much more likely to use the bike.
  • Thanks for all the advice - it would appear the Carrera Subway is an option.

    However, one thing that also occurred to me is visiting a decent Bike Shop and trying a few out and getting the advice of someone with a bit of experience.

    I live near Uxbridge and was wondering if anyone could recommend a decent shop??

    A quick Google has come up with a shop in Twickenham called Moores - any good???

    Steve
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    'the bike shop' Harrow, home of quest bikes. Used to be my lbs (until I moved...)
  • stevep1968 wrote:
    Thanks for all the advice - it would appear the Carrera Subway is an option.

    However, one thing that also occurred to me is visiting a decent Bike Shop and trying a few out and getting the advice of someone with a bit of experience.

    I live near Uxbridge and was wondering if anyone could recommend a decent shop??

    A quick Google has come up with a shop in Twickenham called Moores - any good???

    Steve

    Be careful though, I've seen many forum postings in the past where bike shops have suggested and sold incorrect bikes for a heavy person which then had many issues. You are far better getting the advice of other heavy riders than a biased source of information like a bike shop especially since the Carrera Subway is actually a very rare type of bike, a decent quality rigid mountain bike although admittedly Halfords actually sell it as a hybrid despite not having a single component on it taken from a road bike. The point is they are unlikely to have a bike like a Carrera Subway so they might push you towards a mountain bike with suspension which you probably don't need unless you are intending to take the bike over rough ground or they will push you towards a road bike which is a much weaker type of bike. Alternatively they will suggest a hybrid bike with much weaker 700c wheels not the 27.5" wheels of the subway. Personally I think a local bike shop will make more sense for your second bike once you have lost some weight, then you can get a good bike fit in the process and perhaps move to a road bike.

    It will be interesting to hear what they suggest though I must admit.
  • Hi - I started cycling again 10 years ago when I was around your weight and I bought a Specialized Sirrus. Had a triple chainset for winching my weight up steep slopes, reasonably upright as my large midsection prevented me getting too low and reasonably comfortable to ride.

    Within a year I'd upgraded to a Secteur and the rest is history (I'm now 10 stone lighter than my peak weight of 23 stone and keeping the weight off). Good luck with the fitness drive.
  • Good point about the bike shops

    I have just done a bit of research and realised through my company I can get 10% off at Halfords so that makes the Subway 2 £315.

    From all of your comments and information it looks like it will be the Subway 2 - unless anyone can tell me a better option from Halfords at £350?

    Steve
  • edward.sedward.s Posts: 142
    Not far from Uxbridge - The Bike Shop, North Harrow. Malcolm has been in business for a long time, bought a bike from him in 1992. As mentioned above, maybe more a place for if you decide you like it and want a second bike, although I'm sure he could sort you a first one too..
  • stevep1968 wrote:
    Good point about the bike shops

    I have just done a bit of research and realised through my company I can get 10% off at Halfords so that makes the Subway 2 £315.

    From all of your comments and information it looks like it will be the Subway 2 - unless anyone can tell me a better option from Halfords at £350?

    Steve

    Halfords do 2 Subway bikes the 'One' and the 'Two' the 'Two' is the deluxe version which has a slightly better drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes and the 'One' has a slightly worse drivetrain and only mechanical disc brakes. At one point it seemed like the One was slightly heavier with steel forks where as the Two had aluminium forks but don't know if that is currently true. Hydraulic brakes make great sense off-road but there is a case to be made for mechanical disc brakes due to their ease of maintenance and repair without special tools, they still brake very well. Both feature a strong freehub based rear wheel. You won't go wrong with either bike to be honest. I'd recommend going for the largest frame size you are comfortable with to give you an easier upright riding position and have less exposed saddle post. Also take time getting the tyre pressures right to give you the maximum suspension effect. You want the tyres set up so you get very minor sidewall deflection when you drop your weight on the bike instantly so that as you cycle any pot holes you fail to avoid doesn't cause pinch flats etc. Also don't be surprised if you have to change the saddle that is perfectly normal with a new bike getting the right saddle for you. Don't be ashamed to get off and walk up the steepest hills either if necessary, it can feel like a fail and dent your pride but its completely expected for a heavy cyclist and is less damaging to the bike.

    Perhaps when you start cycling you can post a picture here of you and your bike and then perhaps follow it up if you lose significant weight to inspire others.
  • Looks like there is some sort of promotion starting on Halfords bikes in a few days where you can you part exchange a bike, scooter or helmet for a 20% discount on a bike, scooter or helmet and you can mix and match. So some cheap helmet could get you 20% off a bike, so a Subway 1 could be £240 plus the cost of the part exchange item.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    At the same weight, but taller, I'd take the subway new over anything else in that bracket, for the reasons mentioned above.

    The only frame I've not destroyed is a Kona hoss, a Clydesdale class bike (300lb+), designed for number 8s & props, and the subway's frame has many similar design features.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • What sort of bike do you have in mind?

    On here, when talking about "road bikes" we're broadly referring to drop-handlebar, @rse-in-the-air, go-fast bikes. Is that the sort of thing you're looking at, or are you after something a little more utiltarian?

    I'd be inclined to direct any first-timer towards Decathlon for good quality & value - their road bike range starts at £250 and there are drop-bar & flat bar versions of their starter bike.

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rc100-road- ... 77732.html

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-100- ... 54239.html

    This is as basic as road bikes get so do bear in mind you will get a better bike - and probably have a more enjoyable/rewarding experience - if you spend a bit more.

    I don't think Decathlon are a good recommendation for a heavy rider they are rated and certified to a total load of 100kg which often makes their maximum rider weight around 80-85kg allowing for clothes, accessories fitted to the bike etc which is as much as 60kg less than some of its competitors. They also have a history of frame recalls. Once someone has lost the weight it makes sense to consider them but I would avoid the brand if you are a heavy rider. Don't get me wrong they do some great value budget bikes especially road bikes but they seem to use frames very similar to those sold on the Chinese market directly who are generally lighter. I keep checking btwin bikes to see if their weight limits have increased but they are still have the lowest rider weight limits of any brand. If someone rides a btwin bike at 127kg and the frame snaps in heavy traffic after 2 years of ownership and ends up under an articulated lorry you can hardly blame btwin their weight limits are clearly stated in their manual. In contrast if you are a light rider some of their frames provide more flexing which can make their bikes less harsh to ride than stiffer stronger frames but again only a good choice if you are within their low weight limits. Personally for a mountain bike I'd always want the strongest frame and the thick tyres and suspension can compensate for a harsh ride of a frame but for a road bike they make a lot of sense.

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/ecuk/static ... ctions.pdf
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    What sort of bike do you have in mind?

    On here, when talking about "road bikes" we're broadly referring to drop-handlebar, @rse-in-the-air, go-fast bikes. Is that the sort of thing you're looking at, or are you after something a little more utiltarian?

    I'd be inclined to direct any first-timer towards Decathlon for good quality & value - their road bike range starts at £250 and there are drop-bar & flat bar versions of their starter bike.

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rc100-road- ... 77732.html

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-100- ... 54239.html

    This is as basic as road bikes get so do bear in mind you will get a better bike - and probably have a more enjoyable/rewarding experience - if you spend a bit more.

    I don't think Decathlon are a good recommendation for a heavy rider they are rated and certified to a total load of 100kg which often makes their maximum rider weight around 80-85kg allowing for clothes, accessories fitted to the bike etc which is as much as 60kg less than some of its competitors. They also have a history of frame recalls. Once someone has lost the weight it makes sense to consider them but I would avoid the brand if you are a heavy rider. Don't get me wrong they do some great value budget bikes especially road bikes but they seem to use frames very similar to those sold on the Chinese market directly who are generally lighter. I keep checking btwin bikes to see if their weight limits have increased but they are still have the lowest rider weight limits of any brand. If someone rides a btwin bike at 127kg and the frame snaps in heavy traffic after 2 years of ownership and ends up under an articulated lorry you can hardly blame btwin their weight limits are clearly stated in their manual. In contrast if you are a light rider some of their frames provide more flexing which can make their bikes less harsh to ride than stiffer stronger frames but again only a good choice if you are within their low weight limits. Personally for a mountain bike I'd always want the strongest frame and the thick tyres and suspension can compensate for a harsh ride of a frame but for a road bike they make a lot of sense.

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/ecuk/static ... ctions.pdf


    This. I've broken a Triban 540 frame in 18 months at the seatpost/top tube weld, although they did replace it free of charge ( I was explicit when I bought the bike that I wanted something for my weight, and they sold me that one, after I got an email confirming the weight limit wasn't going to be a problem)
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • What sort of bike do you have in mind?

    On here, when talking about "road bikes" we're broadly referring to drop-handlebar, @rse-in-the-air, go-fast bikes. Is that the sort of thing you're looking at, or are you after something a little more utiltarian?

    I'd be inclined to direct any first-timer towards Decathlon for good quality & value - their road bike range starts at £250 and there are drop-bar & flat bar versions of their starter bike.

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rc100-road- ... 77732.html

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-100- ... 54239.html

    This is as basic as road bikes get so do bear in mind you will get a better bike - and probably have a more enjoyable/rewarding experience - if you spend a bit more.

    I don't think Decathlon are a good recommendation for a heavy rider they are rated and certified to a total load of 100kg which often makes their maximum rider weight around 80-85kg allowing for clothes, accessories fitted to the bike etc which is as much as 60kg less than some of its competitors. They also have a history of frame recalls. Once someone has lost the weight it makes sense to consider them but I would avoid the brand if you are a heavy rider. Don't get me wrong they do some great value budget bikes especially road bikes but they seem to use frames very similar to those sold on the Chinese market directly who are generally lighter. I keep checking btwin bikes to see if their weight limits have increased but they are still have the lowest rider weight limits of any brand. If someone rides a btwin bike at 127kg and the frame snaps in heavy traffic after 2 years of ownership and ends up under an articulated lorry you can hardly blame btwin their weight limits are clearly stated in their manual. In contrast if you are a light rider some of their frames provide more flexing which can make their bikes less harsh to ride than stiffer stronger frames but again only a good choice if you are within their low weight limits. Personally for a mountain bike I'd always want the strongest frame and the thick tyres and suspension can compensate for a harsh ride of a frame but for a road bike they make a lot of sense.

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/ecuk/static ... ctions.pdf


    This. I've broken a Triban 540 frame in 18 months at the seatpost/top tube weld, although they did replace it free of charge ( I was explicit when I bought the bike that I wanted something for my weight, and they sold me that one, after I got an email confirming the weight limit wasn't going to be a problem)

    That's pretty unprofessional behaviour on their part. The sales team I'm sure aren't really connected to the design/engineering side of btwin bikes and that 100kg would likely have been dictated by the results of the certification tests allowing for a small tolerance/margin. The instruction manual is actually part of the certification process, as an ex-compliance officer myself many products require a manual stating any limitations of the product and safety. For the sales team to ignore that is reckless to say the least. What if you had been going down a hill at 45mph and the forks sheared off? Normally certification works around an expected lifespan for a product which I think is 7-10 years for a bicycle so they factor in the fatigue life of the frame. Aluminium frames always get weaker with time so they start off very, very strong but can be considering weaker a few years in, normally they are engineered to provide sufficient strength right up to their expected lifespan.

    We can probably work out quite easily how much you overloaded the frame simply because the total load is 100kg so if you were 125kg the bike was 11kg and your clothes and accessories were 5kg lets say, that is 141kg so you overloaded the bike by 41% and managed to accelerate the fatigue rate of that frame by a factor of 5x (18 months x 5 is 7-1/2 years) with 7 years being about the expected minimum lifespan of the frame. Obviously you'll need to provide the real figures that is just an example. It might help people estimate how much they can overload their frame although it wouldn't be a straight scale, someone 10kg over the weight limit wouldn't do 1/4 of the fatigue damage of 40kg over, I would expect the frame to last well over 5 years in such a situation but it really depends on how you ride, where you ride, how thick your tyres are, how often you brake rapidly etc.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    That's pretty unprofessional behaviour on their part. The sales team I'm sure aren't really connected to the design/engineering side of btwin bikes and that 100kg would likely have been dictated by the results of the certification tests allowing for a small tolerance/margin. The instruction manual is actually part of the certification process, as an ex-compliance officer myself many products require a manual stating any limitations of the product and safety. For the sales team to ignore that is reckless to say the least. What if you had been going down a hill at 45mph and the forks sheared off? Normally certification works around an expected lifespan for a product which I think is 7-10 years for a bicycle so they factor in the fatigue life of the frame. Aluminium frames always get weaker with time so they start off very, very strong but can be considering weaker a few years in, normally they are engineered to provide sufficient strength right up to their expected lifespan.

    We can probably work out quite easily how much you overloaded the frame simply because the total load is 100kg so if you were 125kg the bike was 11kg and your clothes and accessories were 5kg lets say, that is 141kg so you overloaded the bike by 41% and managed to accelerate the fatigue rate of that frame by a factor of 5x (18 months x 5 is 7-1/2 years) with 7 years being about the expected minimum lifespan of the frame. Obviously you'll need to provide the real figures that is just an example. It might help people estimate how much they can overload their frame although it wouldn't be a straight scale, someone 10kg over the weight limit wouldn't do 1/4 of the fatigue damage of 40kg over, I would expect the frame to last well over 5 years in such a situation but it really depends on how you ride, where you ride, how thick your tyres are, how often you brake rapidly etc.

    There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing prior to the buy whereby the bike team lead at DC and I discussed, understood and agreed the risks involved, and I accepted the risks subject to them confirming that they would replace the frame/fork if it failed.
    Then, as with now, there literally isn't an off-the-shelf road bike or gravel bike in the UK where I fit into the design envelope, and that's after going to the head of bike design at each company - Trek, Specialised, Cannondale, Giant, as well as the inhouse brands of decathlon/wiggle/boardman/evan/merlin/ribble etc, and I've had numerous chats with OTS wheel builders too.

    I did have a huge look at touring bikes, but most of those top out at 125kg, such as the trek 520. through to surly's long haul trucker at 136kg (300lb).

    So I knew that I was taking a risk, but felt that the risk was worthwhile, given that I've targeted my riding at below the expected level for the bike, acknowledging what's likely to fail, and ensure that I do monthly inspections of the frame to catch them early, however the rate at which the seatpost weld failed on the 540 did, and continues, to worry me, despite this.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • I don't think it's difficult to get back into cycling as a heavy person though because using a mountain bike on the road pretty much gives you the extra strength you need for a heavy person, in this instance instead of the the additional strength of the mountain bike being used to deal with jumps and drops and all the abuse of riding off road it is used purely as a overly strong bike on the road. You can configure a mountain bike as a road bike if you require and many of the best touring bikes are fairly similar to mountain bikes in many ways including use of overly strong 26" wheels so the bike can be extremely well loaded. When I got back into cycling about 10 years ago I just used a cheap high tensile steel mountain bike and was over 26 stone at the time. It was a bike called the Pagan Arrow.

    $_86.JPG

    It was a heavy bike at 15-16kg but the frame and forks too my weight without issue. The first issue I had fairly quickly was the front wheel ball-bearings needing replacing and then after I'd hit a few potholes by mistake I bent the rear axle, that was replaced with a solid heat treated chromoly axle. I put in thousands of miles on that bike and it's still in the back of the shed somewhere, I'd happily keep riding if I had to. The main reason I went with steel is in the event that the frame or forks started failing I should get some indication of this by the metal stating to bend and go soft but it never did. I wouldn't recommend the single wall rims of the bike, they were overall pretty strong due to 36 spokes but pot holes would knock them out of true which is time consuming correctly.

    That's why the Subway is such a good bike it's pretty much the standard Carrera mountain bike frame which is an overly strong and heavy frame anyway combined with either steel or aluminium overbuilt forks depending on model (my preference would be the heavier steel forks) and strong double wall rim mountain bike wheels. If you wanted to configure it as a road bike you could.

    CX and gravel bikes are pretty much in the middle ground between road bikes and mountain bikes so they could be an avenue for someone just over the maximum rider weight limit who was purely going to use on the road.

    It's also worth pointing out some of the cheapest bikes have the strongest frames, they may be fitted with the worst possible components which are weak but while many of the big brands are obsessed with lightness and performance the entry level stuff is purely about price and their frames are often overly thick and heavy with a lack of butting of the tubes. They still have to pass all the same certification for strength and lifespan etc and they tend to do it simply with very basic heavy frames. If you read many bicycle forums you will have people that tell you a light frame can also be a very strong frame and spending more is the best thing to do but that is a long way from the truth. Most of that engineering is about reducing weight without reducing strength too much or in critical areas.

    I guess my point is if you want to get back into cycling with a road bike as a heavy person it can be a bit more difficult but there are plenty of cheap bicycles fit for purpose that will perform well cheaply. Despite using the Pagan Arrow to lose about 10 stone at the time when I bought a better quality much lighter bike I didn't think it was much better than the Pagan Arrow although thinking about it the Pagan Arrow had been customised/changed to suit my needs so was a very good fit at that point.
  • Looks like there is some sort of promotion starting on Halfords bikes in a few days where you can you part exchange a bike, scooter or helmet for a 20% discount on a bike, scooter or helmet and you can mix and match. So some cheap helmet could get you 20% off a bike, so a Subway 1 could be £240 plus the cost of the part exchange item.

    This looks like a great deal - I have a couple of my kids old bikes that are too small for them.

    So assuming I could push the boat out a bit - any advice (From Halfords) on what to get if my upper limit was £500 (£400 after the offer)??

    Also - not that its a huge loss but after a bit of careful eating I am now down below 20st and more like 19st 10lb

    Thanks in advance

    Steve
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,220
    Dont forget to set aside a bit of the budget for helmet, puncture kit, a few tools etc.
  • One thing no-one has mentioned is "the bug". You may get this, and then you will want a better bike, and better gear. Then you will want an even better bike and so on.
    I used to be a good roadie/tester years ago, but gave up for a variety of reasons. Two years ago I had a new knee. I was becoming a couch potato so bought a cheapy £250 fixie 2nd hand. The bug caught me. I bought a £1200 mixed surface bike so that I didn't need to ride too much on the road. Then the bug twisted and I finished up with a £3,000+ carbon fibre jobbie. Plus all the gear - clothing, computers, workshop tools etc. I've lost 2.5 stone and 4" off my waist. Wifey is happy with that - less so with regular 4 hour rides.

    It really depends on how far OP wants to take things. Riding a bike is a great way to loose weight, but like anything it won't be easy. You've got to WANT to do it rather than "would like" to do it.
  • stevep1968 wrote:
    Looks like there is some sort of promotion starting on Halfords bikes in a few days where you can you part exchange a bike, scooter or helmet for a 20% discount on a bike, scooter or helmet and you can mix and match. So some cheap helmet could get you 20% off a bike, so a Subway 1 could be £240 plus the cost of the part exchange item.

    This looks like a great deal - I have a couple of my kids old bikes that are too small for them.

    So assuming I could push the boat out a bit - any advice (From Halfords) on what to get if my upper limit was £500 (£400 after the offer)??

    Also - not that its a huge loss but after a bit of careful eating I am now down below 20st and more like 19st 10lb

    Thanks in advance

    Steve

    It's really down to what type of bike you actually want. It still feels a hybrid might be a good option for you but perhaps a slightly lighter duty faster rolling 700c model but there is still many pluses with the Subway because its effectively a rigid mountain bike so you can take it fully off road to take rough terrain you just can't do the drops and jumps so much. The Subway for me is the most versatile bike going, very strong and requiring minimal maintenance, a great option for many people. If you want a bit more speed, a bit more style then perhaps this one?

    https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/ ... -20-frames

    It benefits from being lighter and having a higher quality 1x drivetrain so is both simplier to ride and on faster wheels. It is unlikely to be quite as strong as the Subway and you'd probably want to lose a bit more weight before you consider doing anything much off road with it.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,132
    OP, also From Halfords, £50 over your budget, try Top cash back and BC for money back. The Voodoo Marasa
    https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/ ... -20-frames
  • Just wanted to say THANKS to every one for your input.

    I ended up buying a Carrera Subway 2 (got a great bargain - with combining a couple of deals etc I paid £258)

    Been out and about 5 or 6 times now and am loving it.

    Steve
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