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  1. #1
    Huge Bike Guy Person Man
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    real big clyde needs a road bike.

    the mountain bike's got me shedding the pounds, and my friends are all pushing for me to do a 150 mile charity ride in september.

    been commuting on the rockhopper, and that's all well and good, but this whole road thing, and fixie thing, has got me intrigued. looking for something in the 6 foot 9 guy range, about or under 1k, that i can ride geared for the event, and then turn into a flipflop for commuting/fun.

    any suggestions? and i'm not down for turning my hopper into a make-shift road bike with drop-bars and skinny wheels as has been suggested. i'd dig on the idea of having 2 bikes around

  2. #2
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    29er with slicks? ;-)

    sorry i know next to nothing about road bikes... www.roadbikereview.com would be a good place to look
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  3. #3
    Making fat cool since '71
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    Although 29'r isn't the answer to every question...it could be here unless you want true road bike performance in which case I would say: buy a cyclocross bike. They are (over simplified, but hang with me) kind of a "heavy duty" road bike. They come just a bit slacker (usually) than race bikes but with the more aggressive riding position and drop bars, skinny/high pressure tires, etc. I have a 'cross bike I used as a commuter/trainer and it's been pretty bomber. Mine is a middle of the road deal and truthfully the wheel set was the weak link. I ran them until the rear broke a flange and then spent a couple bucks to build myself a new wheelset that was more in line with my fatarse.

    The two weak links for big boys are the wheels and the fork. Many (most) have carbon forks and while they are strong as hell, I saw several come back during my days as a wrench. They were of several different brands and only from true racers, guys/gals that treated 'cross bikes as they were intended: crazy racing, but still. There are good steel forks out there for not a lot of dough.

    I like, trust and recommend a 'cross bike for a big dude that wants a road bike. Steel is real, but aluminum works also. Just get a ti post if you go that route. FWIW, roadbike review has been more of a PITA than it's worth to me.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

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  4. #4
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    CX frame is prob a good way to go... i'd love a surly crosscheck (can use both mtb and road hubs)... but i'm not a big fan of drop bars... maybe as i get more fit...

    this is my "road" bike 700x40 CX tires... slick in the center with knobs on the outside... work well for running though the grass and such... picked up 2mph vs my "smooth" rolling 29er tires.


    playing around with bar options right now...


    i've got some older XTR non disc hubs and canti's that I want to put on there eventually... just for fun ... i'll prob toss some skinnier tires on there if/when i plan for longer road rides... don't do over 30 miles at the moment
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  5. #5
    vegan cyclocross disco
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    Quote Originally Posted by djcornbread
    150 mile charity ride in september. looking for something in the 6 foot 9 guy range, about or under 1k, that i can ride geared for the event, and then turn into a flipflop for commuting/fun.
    generally: For $1k I'd look for a used aluminum road bike with 105 components. try to find something in the $600 range. And use the other $400 to buy a pair of mavic ksyrium SL wheels.

    the biggest problem you'll have is wheels and the K SL's are the only wheels I've found that are great quality and don't need any maintenance.

    I believe fuji makes some bigger sized frames. but at 6'9" it's going to be hard to find anything that fits decent. that's like a 64+ cm road bike. tough to find.
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  6. #6
    vegan cyclocross disco
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    Quote Originally Posted by djcornbread
    i can ride geared for the event, and then turn into a flipflop for commuting/fun.
    generally, it's not as easy as you think. 90% of the bicycles with gears will have vertical dropouts and 130 rear spacing. but 90% of the fixed gear are horizontal drop outs and 120 rear spacing. it's not as simple as just switching wheels.

    the surly cross check might be a good option for you. but I'm not sure if a 62 cm would fit you.
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  7. #7
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    and to add to the fun MTB runs 135mm hubs...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  8. #8
    @adelorenzo
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    Best bike for you would be something like the Surly Crosscheck. Strong steel frame, horizontal drops so you can run geared or SS/fixed.

    Problem is, at 6'9" you might be SOL. I am 6'6" and the largest frame size (62 cm) fits me, but not well. I should have a bigger frame.

  9. #9
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Raleigh Sojourn

    Both come in 62cm, not sure if that will work. BikesDirect sells several Windsor bikes in 64cm size

  10. #10
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    CX bike...

    I would suggest a pure cyclocross style bike. The wider frame clearance means you can run wider tires. I built a pretty cheap one based on Nashbar's X frame (Size Chart)

    I used a bunch of cheap parts from eBay and Chain Reaction to build a solid bike that will accomodate 700 x 42 Kenda Kross Plus tires. The parts mix is good, mainly Ultegra and 105. It is a lot of fun to ride, and I don't worry about damaging rims / pinch flats that I used to get riding skinny 700x23 roadie tires back when I was 200#. I probably have about $700 into this:


  11. #11
    President, CEO of Earth
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    The primary thing you should be concerned with is proper fit. Almost any off-the-rack bike is going to make you feel like a circus bear on a tricycle. I am only 6'5" and I have a hell of a time getting bikes to fit - my two good fitting bikes are custom geometry frames. I got a 24" hybrid frame to build myself a toruing/cross/commuter bike but 24" works out to 60cm and the bike fits like a 60cm, which is too small for me, really.

    What size rockhopper do you have?

    The only suggestion I have is to check out the Specialized Sequoia - I have not ridden one, but my research of bike geometry has led me to believe that this might be one of the largest-fitting bikes available. Better fit will do more to enable you to ride faster and longer than anything else.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  12. #12
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    I have an older 64cm merckx road bike with dura ace and campy components that might fit the bill. 180mm record cranks columbus steel tubing mavic tubular wheels 23 lbs total weight. it does have a few dings, but still a very sweet vintage ride for a large rider and built for long rides. I think it might work for you with a longer seatpost.

  13. #13
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    I don't own a cx or road, but I've been considering going with a cyclocross as my road bike (5'9, 260 lbs). From the reviews and posts i've read, I've somewhat landed on the Bianchi Axis with Tiagra parts. It comes from jensonusa at $939, right around your budget. The wheels are 32mm wide with tough mavic (i think) rims. I read somewhere about a 300+ superclyde on this bike with virtually no exchanged components due to weight. Like stated before, your major concerns are the wheels and forks. Carbon tends to be tough, but brittle. If you happen to be on a cx and break carbon forks, you might be in for a narly accident. But if you're using a cx bike for mainly road riding (like I am), I'm thinking it'll be fine. As for the wheels, the mavic brand seems to be good for clydes, but I have no direct experience with the mavic cx rims.

    Also, if you don't like drop bars, you could go with cow horns. pics/styles

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by roaringpanda
    I don't own a cx or road, but I've been considering going with a cyclocross as my road bike (5'9, 260 lbs). From the reviews and posts i've read, I've somewhat landed on the Bianchi Axis with Tiagra parts....
    The problem remains for the OP that he is a whole foot taller than you... Unless he is used to squeezing himself onto too-small bikes, the largest size of the Bianchi (or almost any other mass-manufactured bike) will not be suitable.

    For a rider closer to average height that Bianchi looks like a sweet machine, though! Oh! And carbon is generally not 'brittle,' but susceptible to breaking if the carbon has been compromised or gouged. Although the manufacturing process of carbon bike parts could make them brittle, if the manufacturer did a very poor job.
    "Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy" - Josh Billings

  15. #15
    Making fat cool since '71
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    Close...

    Quote Originally Posted by roaringpanda
    I don't own a cx or road, but I've been considering going with a cyclocross as my road bike (5'9, 260 lbs). From the reviews and posts i've read, I've somewhat landed on the Bianchi Axis with Tiagra parts. It comes from jensonusa at $939, right around your budget. The wheels are 32mm wide with tough mavic (i think) rims. I read somewhere about a 300+ superclyde on this bike with virtually no exchanged components due to weight. Like stated before, your major concerns are the wheels and forks. Carbon tends to be tough, but brittle. If you happen to be on a cx and break carbon forks, you might be in for a narly accident. But if you're using a cx bike for mainly road riding (like I am), I'm thinking it'll be fine. As for the wheels, the mavic brand seems to be good for clydes, but I have no direct experience with the mavic cx rims.

    Also, if you don't like drop bars, you could go with cow horns. pics/styles
    Ex-wrench for a shop that sells Bianchi (amongst others). The Axis is what I have (it's an older one, 2005) with a wheel swap and better brakes (but the brakes only because I could...). It's a great bike for the money. The wheels are not 32mm, the tires are. They come with either Kenda Qwest or Vittoria or WTB, depending on year. Mavic rims are on the '08s and on for now. Alex on other years. They only make up to a 61cm. Not likely to work for the OP. I'm 6'3" and on a 59. A 6'5 buddy has a 61 and we had to put on a longer stem and set-back post.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TobyNobody
    The problem remains for the OP that he is a whole foot taller than you... Unless he is used to squeezing himself onto too-small bikes, the largest size of the Bianchi (or almost any other mass-manufactured bike) will not be suitable.

    For a rider closer to average height that Bianchi looks like a sweet machine, though! Oh! And carbon is generally not 'brittle,' but susceptible to breaking if the carbon has been compromised or gouged. Although the manufacturing process of carbon bike parts could make them brittle, if the manufacturer did a very poor job.
    Ahhh, I did not know that Bianchi did not make tall frames. I'm new to the brand and cx (hence my researching!).

    Carbon fiber is indeed brittle. It is tough as hell, but it has no tendency to bend/flex before fractures. So if you stress a carbon fiber fork enough to cause failure, you're looking at shattered carbon fiber heading straight for your chest. If you stress a steel/aluminum fork, you're more likely to bend it and immediately notice/repair. Of course, carbon fiber has more strength than steel/aluminum, so the stress point is much higher. Just a thought to consider if the OP buys a cyclocross and decides to go offroad with it =).

  17. #17
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    Carbon will flex. There are several artificial limbs that rely on carbon fiber's ability to flex; a few bikes that do as well and other things. Ride a carbon fork or seatpost and watch. They move a little. So do steel and aluminum; Al not so much, but it will. I've busted a carbon post (on the Axis) and it didn't "snap" and jam into my arse (thankfully). It did the classic carbon break though, but it still stood kind of upright when I wasn't on the bike. Also, I'm 260-ish and ride the hell out of the Axis. Mostly work-out ride, but as a 'cross bike as well and hop it, charge hard into corners, etc. As said in my original post the wheels were the weak link. Now with better (hand built...by me...) wheels it rides night and day better with the same carbon fork. The fork still flexes.

    Also as stated earlier: I've seen several carbon forks come into the shop post-break. All of them were during races or hard training rides by very dedicated racers. One was of a catastrophic nature (meaning a leg/crown completely separating/flying off). All were scary for the riders though. Things break under clydes, period. Having said all that...when I'm able to save up the scratch, I'm going to have a custom steel fork made for the Axis (disc tabs, fancy blades, etc).

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  18. #18
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by roaringpanda
    Carbon fiber is indeed brittle. It is tough as hell, but it has no tendency to bend/flex before fractures. .
    Edit: I may have originally missed your point.... Anyways, carbon does flex no doubt, but yes, when it fails, it sometimes does so catastrophically without notice. It is more difficult to inspect than metal parts which may bend permanently or develop a small crack before catastrophe happens.
    Last edited by rkj__; 01-28-2009 at 03:10 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaKlyde
    Carbon will flex. There are several artificial limbs that rely on carbon fiber's ability to flex; a few bikes that do as well and other things. Ride a carbon fork or seatpost and watch. They move a little. So do steel and aluminum; Al not so much, but it will. I've busted a carbon post (on the Axis) and it didn't "snap" and jam into my arse (thankfully). It did the classic carbon break though, but it still stood kind of upright when I wasn't on the bike. Also, I'm 260-ish and ride the hell out of the Axis. Mostly work-out ride, but as a 'cross bike as well and hop it, charge hard into corners, etc. As said in my original post the wheels were the weak link. Now with better (hand built...by me...) wheels it rides night and day better with the same carbon fork. The fork still flexes.

    Also as stated earlier: I've seen several carbon forks come into the shop post-break. All of them were during races or hard training rides by very dedicated racers. One was of a catastrophic nature (meaning a leg/crown completely separating/flying off). All were scary for the riders though. Things break under clydes, period. Having said all that...when I'm able to save up the scratch, I'm going to have a custom steel fork made for the Axis (disc tabs, fancy blades, etc).

    Brock...
    Kudos for your hand-laced wheels. I would never muster enough courage to lace my wheel and actually test them out. Only if an experienced person trained me first...

    Perhaps the OP and other clydes would appreciate some more details on what kind of wheels to run on a cx. I've always heard that the skill in lacing is more important than the individual components, and it seems to be rightly true in your case.

    As to the carbon fiber discussion, I just wanted to bring light to some of its characteristics. When you see carbon parts post fail, would you think it would be safer to have run alu or steel? Meaning, would there have been a middle ground in the failure to minimize/prevent crash, such as noticing bends? Clydes break parts, but the manner of failure is important to safety. I'd much rather give up weight and rigidity for some safety.

    Some links for carbon fiber failures:
    Alu vs CF vs Ti tube (Note the snap in failure vs alu bend then fail)

    Fork Failure

    On a side note, I think CX has different rakes than pure road bikes? Maybe this will play a role into the OPs research into bikes?

  20. #20
    Making fat cool since '71
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    I'll take fatboy performance over weight savings all day, everyday as well.

    Wheels: I "taught" myself using Sheldon Brown's "method" and then had a couple of guys that have been bike shop owners/wrenches for at least a combined 50 years help me refine my ability (or lack thereof...). I'm several hundred wheels into my wheel building and to me I'm still a total newb or "intern" as far as wheel knowledge goes. I agree that the skills of the builder can improve the sum of the parts, but I still think us fatties need to go with solid hoops *and* a good craftsman/builder. My choice for hoops with CX bikes for heavy dewds: Velocity Fusion or Blunt. There are other decent ones as well (Sun Equalizer) and there have to be others I've not built/ridden. I'm not a fan of the pre-built sets that Alex (A-Class) makes.

    Anyway, a cross fork is going to have a slightly different rake/offset than a road race fork and it will have bosses for canti brakes versus the road style (caliper) hole in the crown.

    My opinion (the little it's worth!) on covering your arse for the "just in case" fork failures? Steel or Ti.

    Keep the rubber side down.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  21. #21
    vegan cyclocross disco
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    Yo Cornbread,

    If you've got the coin you could get a Rivendell. They go up to 67 or so.
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  22. #22
    Fat guy on a bike
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    Yeah at 6'9" I think the usual largest main stream bike size (63cm or so) might be too small. A custom steel would be ideal!

    And then I can suggest some Mavic Aksium wheels, they are very sturdy for the weight.

  23. #23
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    Try taking a look at the KHS bikes, I think they have larger sizes this and last year in their line up. I have not had one of their bikes in 10 years, but the ones I have looked at were pretty nice for the pricepoint, not that different then the Surlys, Fuji, trek etc. something like this http://www.khsbicycles.com/05_flite_tr_101_09.htm looks plenty stout and will have decent utility as well, good luck

  24. #24
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    Don't forget Gunnar! I have a roadie and love it...rides great and don't have to worry cause it is steel!!!! Although I am on the other spectrum of size (super short) they have been a great company to work with....can't wait till i need a new hard tail mtb...Gunnar is on my list!!!

    not that you need to have a custom True Temper OX Platinum built...I just think it is a great story!
    quote from an article
    YO! -Yao Ming’s Custom, 80cm, 29” Wheel Gunnar Rockhound!

    Built in conjunction with West U Cycles in Houston, TX for the 7'6" center of the Houston Rockets. It is one of the largest frames to leave our Waterford, WI factory and features a custom True Temper OX Platinum air-hardening tubeset. Super strong and complete-it weighs only 27 pounds!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  25. #25
    Making fat cool since '71
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    Good lord that thing is tall. For as tall as it is though...does the "effective top tube" look kinda tight, relatively that is?

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

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