I Am Very Tall and Want a Bike
May 2, 2014 6:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm 6' 8'' tall and want a bike mostly for riding around the city or longer bike path/road trips. What bike should I buy?

I'm 6'8'' or so (2.03 meters plus or minus) and have a 34-36 inch inseam. I will most likely weigh between 200 and 250 pounds over the course of this new bike's lifetime.

I'm looking to buy a bike, and I live in Chicago. I have previously lived in more rural, hilly, dirt road-y kinds of areas, and have always ridden a mountain bike. My Giant Yukon was stolen last fall. I don't remember how big it was (I imagine the largest frame they sold), and it was stock, with disc brakes. I mostly plan on riding for pleasure, probably trips of 20-25 miles or less for the most part, mostly on bike paths, but occasionally on streets. Riding on the road may become more common depending on where in the city I move and work as time goes on. I also plan on camping (mainly car camping) and will bring my bike on those trips.

I went to the Rapid Transit location near UIC, and the employee recommended a few different bikes for me to check out, including various Surly models (Long Haul Trucker/Disc Trucker, Cross-Check, and Straggler) with their 64cm frames, and the All-City Macho Man/Macho Man Disc, with the advice that their 61cm frames are measured in some weird way that makes them equally suitable for my size.

So my questions are:

1. I would rather spend $1,000 or less, not $1,700. That said, if it will really be worth it, I could probably swing it after a little more saving up. Is it worth it?

2. Any other recommendations?
posted by papayaninja to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I have consulted my husband, who is a not-quite-as-tall-as-you cyclist (6'3", rides all over NYC daily). He says Surly is great in that price point and several of his friends have Surly bikes as their daily riders and love them. He doesn't recommend the Truckers because they have smaller wheels than the Cross-Check or Straggler. The Straggler is basically a version of the Cross-Check with disc brakes, and disc brakes are better in all weather and will give you more stopping power and will be more consistent in stopping power than the rim brakes on the Cross-Check. Basically, of all the bikes you mentioned, he recommends the Straggler over any of the others.
posted by bedhead at 7:12 PM on May 2, 2014

I am 6'3" and love my new 58 cm Trek Crossrip. I have the elite, but the mid-range models with discs are nice too, and closer to your price range. I actually prefer the snappier ride of aluminum, so that is what tipped me toward the crossrip from the previously mentioned steel options(surly, all-city)
posted by rockindata at 7:46 PM on May 2, 2014

bedhead's husband is incorrect: The Long Haul Trucker is sold in both a 26" and 700c/28" wheel version.

Personally, I'm 6'5" and 350lb. My everyday ride is this Long Haul Trucker (yes, those are 2" tires). It's the 60cm 700c one, but Surly sells 62 and 64cm frames as well.

All that said, check out the Straggler and Disc Trucker. Both great bikes, both will meet all your needs.
posted by jedrek at 10:35 PM on May 2, 2014

I'm 6'4" and I ride a mid-1980's Bridgestone road bike that I bought 10 years ago for less than $300. I'm just trying to say that if you want to spend far less, you can get a great used bike. Maybe look for a steel frame and steel cranks since you, like me, are over 200#. Maybe talk to these folks http://wptest.therecyclery.org/index.php/our-programs/sales/ or here

I'm confused about the part where you want to take it camping and ride. Would you still be riding on paved paths or roads when camping?
posted by fieldtrip at 10:40 PM on May 2, 2014

Response by poster: Regarding camping, I guess I just meant that the occasional field or gravel trail may come up in the course of a bike ride.

I appreciate everyone's help so far, and hope to hear more.

Also, bedhead, or anyone else who sees this, any thoughts from you or your husband about the Soma Double Cross?
posted by papayaninja at 9:13 AM on May 3, 2014

These bikes are huge with 32" wheels Big Bike it is only a one speed, but I suspect you could have a bike shop install a gear hub and still be way under your budget.
I have one of these bikes and I feel like a kid on my dads bike when I ride it, and I am 6'2".
posted by boilermonster at 9:46 AM on May 3, 2014

I have a colleague who rides a double cross disc and loves it- he is also a big guy- probably 6'4" and 220.
posted by rockindata at 1:34 PM on May 3, 2014

My friend is 6'2", 200lbs, and has had success making a slightly smaller-than-optimal frame work for him by using a seatpost with an angled setback. That might open some options for you.
posted by MonsieurBon at 10:57 PM on May 4, 2014

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