Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My Weapons of Choice

So you may be asking yourself, "Self, what kind of bike does a phatty ride?" I have anticipated your question and figure now is a good time to share my bikes with you. When I first fell in love with bike riding, I went out to a big bike chain and began shopping for road bikes. I was about 290 lbs at the time, so I was very concerned about getting a bike that would hold me. As luck would have it, the salesperson I had was bigger than me. The bike I was attracted to was a Giant OCR3 and the sales-guy told me it was the bike he rode. I suspected he may of been feeding me a line, but I took a shot and bought the bike anyway. I can't say I was disappointed in my choice. I've had the Giant now for going on three years and I've never had any real problems with it. I was having some problems with the rear wheel going out of true so I replaced the wheel with a 32 spoke Mavic Open Pro rim. I bought the Open Pro on the advice from a website called Big Men On Bikes. I've ridden the Giant as heavy as 315 pounds and as light as 260 pounds. I definately feel more confident on it when I am lighter, but I have never felt like my life was in danger. I can't wait to ride my Giant at 225 pounds ... I can only imagine I will be as fast as greased lightning!

As much as I like my Giant OCR 3, I wanted to get another bike for riding around town. The Giant is a road bike which means it has the skinny litte road tires, and I have added clip pedals (which means me feet are connected to the pedals when I ride). It's a great bike for the open road/trail, but a little difficult when riding around town. With that in mind, I bought my Gary Fisher Marlin mountain bike. I love my mountain bike. For one, it is rock solid. I was able to ride it at 300+ lbs without a second thought. Its fun to ride around town because I can actually hunt out mud puddles and gravel that would kill me on my road bike! I have spent more time on this bike than my Giant this year, if only because I am still recovering from last winter's set back (weight-gain) and I feel more confident on my mountain bike. I consider my mountain bike my "trainer." It weighs a lot more than my road bike, so I have to work a lot harder to go fast. I figure riding the mountain bike will eventually make me a stronger rider on the road bike!

As much as I love my bikes, when I get below 230 lbs, I have plans of buying a super-duper road bike! I can't wait!

My advice to any phattie who wants to shop for a bike is simple. Avoid Wal-Mart and similar stores like the plague. You get what you pay for. Department store bikes were put together with inferior parts by a teen-aged kid that has no clue what he was doing. They will fall apart under the weight of a phattie! Find a bike shop that is run by someone that seems genuinely interested in helping you find a bike that will fit your needs. If you enter the store and get blown off, find another one. At a bike shop, your bike will be put together by someone that knows what they're doing and will service your bike after the sale. I can't stress enough how important that is. The internet is also a great resource. Take note of what bikes other phatties ride, find a good bike shop, and make the best choice possible. You won't regret it.

Phattie

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