questionschallenge: bike for a fat guy

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That's a great idea and all but what happens in the winter? You are going to end up spending a lot of money buying gear to keep warm while you bike those three miles.

Is there a carpool you can look into?

Not knowing whether you walk the majority of the way after you get off the bus or going to the bus can change my recommendations on how to get to and from home in the best way possible.

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I hope this doesn't come across as cold, but I'm just trying to understand: is it the seat/pedal relationship that has made bikes a challenge for you in the past? If so, have you looked into any recumbent options? It may feel more natural. My parents recently got into cycling, but were wavering because of back issues.

You'd be investing a bit more in a recumbent bike, but it might be a better investment in the long run being easier on your joints. If you're handy, my dad was telling me that he got one for my mom for ~$1200 (if memory serves), but it arrived in boxes (cheaper shipping) and required "some" assembly.

All of that was at least a year ago; maybe longer. I don't personally know much about bikes, but if you're not ruling out that option based on price, I could ask my dad where he was shopping and what features to look for.

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My thought is to really do it just in the summer for for the next 3 months or so. That's part of the low break-even point. Carpools have been rough to come by. Also in Utah we have some of the highest gas prices right now and that's part of the cost I'm running into. Especially with an 82 miles a day commute. It gets much better in the winter. I just paid off my car so I don't want to go get another payment going on hybrid either so ....

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@perkalicious11: Do you know how easily recumbent bikes are loaded onto the bike rack in the front of a bus? I think the racks are meant for the regular ones and might not be able to hold a recumbent one due to the design of the bike.

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As to the issues I have had in the past. One is gears and chain dropping. Since its really a street commuter bike I think I have this problem solved by not buying a mountain bike or 10 speed whatever. Even when I did have those I never really used them anyway. The issues I have had with petals is the peg poking through the pedal. ie. the plastic petal will break and I'll end up with just pegs.

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@sgoman5674: that's a good point. My parents use theirs primarily for biking as a form of sport/entertainment/afternoon-filling fodder and not for commuting. I guess when I thought about it, I envisioned biking from home to the Park & Ride/bus stop, leaving the bike there, and being dropped off by public transit within a short walk of the final destination. I didn't even know that bringing your bike with was an option.

(n00b)

[edit] again flexing my lack of knowledge: maybe there are recumbent bikes designed with bike rack transportation in mind? I'm envisioning something where the seat may twist and fold flat. If that doesn't exist, someone should invent it...

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@perkalicious11: If it does exist, I'd bet it destroys the budget :(

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@perkalicious11: I think that there is. I am also a n00b when it comes to bikes.

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@djbowman: You can buy metal pedals.

What I meant by carpools is if the bus drops you off a mile from your office on the way to work, maybe someone who is coming that way can pick you up from the stop and on the way home drop you off there. Like @perkalicious said, you can lock your bike up at the bus stop when they pick you up.

I assume that you mean there are more people willing to carpool in the winter than in the summer by the "it gets much better in the winter" comment. So what do the people who are carpooling in the winter do during the summer?

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You can probably pick up a decent bike off Craig's List.
Let me say this - Get yourself a wide bottom gel seat instead of those skinny rump eaters. Your backside will thank you.

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@klutzyruth's suggestion of looking on Craig's list is perhaps on the mark. I don't know much about biking for the heavier set; however, what I have been told is that you'll typically want to avoid the Huffy's and go for a better quality make (Trek, Giant, Specialized, ...). Be sure that the frame is the right size!

After that, you can see what components you'll want to upgrade. As has been suggested, you may want to upgrade your seat or pedals. The component that I have heard has given heavier people the most trouble is potentially the wheels. Unfortunately, wheels are one of the most expensive. As far as seats go, you can look into the gel seats or these "anatomically correct" seats.

Don't forget that a bike comes with a lot of ancillary costs: locks, helmet, lights if you are driving around at dusk. These can add up quickly.

Also, make sure your anticipated route is safe for biking and check for a grade.

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You will want to go to a bike shop and get fitted for a bike to fit your height. That is the bigget issue. I am short, I still ride kiddie bikes basically because my legs don't quite reach the pedals on adult bikes.

YOu will also want a frame that is durable for your commute, not your size. The roads are tough on bikes so unless you want to be replacing the bike every 6 months get something good that can last you a long time. Trust me a decent bike from a bike shop won't cost you a lot of money. I think my fleet bikes cost us about 500.00 and the only reason I replaced one is because it was run over by another car.

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@hobbit: How did your bike get ran over by a car ? Not to self be careful where you park...

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@djbowman: well it wasn't mine. It was a co-worker's, but I am responsible for all fleet vehicles and the bikes fall into that category. He was out riding it around our Arena and directing traffic for a large event when a school bus took a curve too tight ran through the barracade and ran over his bike. He rides a nice bike like the bike cops do, that poor thing was toast. The bus broke the frame, the wheels were all bent up, and his seat was bent too, we kept that because it was so funny looking.

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Thanks for all the great suggestions. After looking at several things online and visiting a bike shop or two my conclusion was not to purchase.

Short reason ROI. A decent bike that was sure to hold up would be about $600 bucks. To get ROI on that I would have to bus for 3 months. I really only planned to do 2 months so that plus the time extra it added to my commute being 4 hours each day rather than 1.5 driving I have decided that it didn't pay off. So for now will be commuting via car still. Any I-15 Drivers out there that would be interested in a Davis County to 90th south carpool ?