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  1. #1
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    Road Bike for a Clyde

    Well I am intereste din getting a road bike for the long rides and have started looking at the standard websites for bikes. I am noticing that almost every bike over 1K has a carbon fork or at least one peice of CF on the bike. I am worried this might be a problem for me.

    My stats:
    =300lbs
    -6'4"
    -34" inseam

    My questions:
    -What size bike should I be looking for
    -Is carbon a problem
    -What components should I be looking for at a minimum? Shimano 105s and up?
    -What brands provide the best bang for the buck?

    Thanks for the help.

    Steve

  2. #2
    Underskilled
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    Get a cyclocross or at least a touring bike, they will be stronger.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  3. #3
    Underskilled
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    For the record, I use my FS 29" bike for road riding. I put road tyres on it and have platform damping on the suspension. pedals like a dream. Sure it might have 20lb on other road bikes, but I have 100lb on other road riders =-)
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  4. #4
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    Tell ya what i did....I went craigslist hunting. Found an Peugeot PH10LE in a gargantuan size. Steel frame, swapped out to some 700c wheels. i'm 6'6" 255lbs. The steel is awesome, the bike was cheap, rides like a dream. I have no problem keeping up with my carbon buddies on our 50 mile rides.

  5. #5
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Surly...Long Haul Trucker or Cross Check

  6. #6
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    My $0.02:

    I have a 2004 Cannondale R500 road bike with a carbon fork. I'm 6'5" with a 35" inseam and have weighed up to 300lbs and it supports me just fine and is not overly harsh. It's actually a very comfortable riding frame, especially considering that Cannondale once had a rep as being a pretty harsh frame. I run either 23c or 25c tires with no issues either. 25c are a little more compliant for me, but I didn't like that I had to adjust the brakes with more space between the pads and rim braking surface to clear the tire when removing the wheel (even with the little brake caliper quick release lever opened up all the way), so I am on 23c Specialized Armadillo tires and haven't flatted in the two years I have been riding them.

    As for the brakes themselves, I would recommend Ultegra or better. They do make a difference in stopping power IMHO. As for the rest of the drivetrain, I'm not so picky. I am OK with Tiagra or Sora if that's what you can afford, but generally prefer 105 or Ultegra although I am not necessarily sold on the 10 speed stuff if you're not racing and feel the need to be able to match gearing choices with your competition as you're racing them.

    I actually like the shifting mechanism on the Sora shifters (which are now 9 speed). It is similar to the Campy Record shifters with the upshift triggered by a small thumb lever that is easily triggered when riding with your hands on top of the hoods. JMHO.

    As for frame size, I ride a 63cm and it fits me well. I would guess your frame size to be between 61cm to 63cm, but it's good to get at least a basic fit estimate as you spend a LOT of time seated and spinning in the same position and even small changes in road bike fit can make significant differences.

    I would avoid low spoke count (less than 32h) wheels in most applications. A mavic rim like an Open Pro, or even the CXP22 or CXP33 are good solid choices for us bigguns. I haven't had freehub issues with road bikes like I do with mountain bikes, so I see no reason to worry about going with more expensive hubs.

    As a 300lb clydesdale, if you have any sort of hills you'll have to ride, I would also recommend a triple chainring crankset, or at a minimum, a compact chainring double (34/50). No need to try to be a hero and killing yourself or walking just to spare any perceived embarrassment over having three chainrings instead of two.

    I would also encourage you to consider a flat bar road bike. Some people will rarely or never ride in the drops for a variety of reasons, so no need to have them if you won't use them, and it will always keep the brake levers where your hands are and easier to access than grabbing them from atop the hoods. Lots of well known brands have decent flat bar road bikes, like Giant and Specialized. They also have pretty value traditional road bikes to offer.

    JMHO.
    Last edited by jeffj; 04-20-2011 at 07:31 AM.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the info Guys!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj
    My $0.02:

    I have a 2004 Cannondale R500 road bike with a carbon fork. I'm 6'5" with a 35" inseam and have weighed up to 300lbs and it supports me just fine and is not overly harsh. It's actually a very comfortable riding frame, especially considering that Cannondale once had a rep as being a pretty harsh frame. I run either 23c or 25c tires with no issues either. 25c are a little more compliant for me, but I didn't like that I had to adjust the brakes with more space between the pads and rim braking surface to clear the tire when removing the wheel (even with the little brake caliper quick release lever opened up all the way), so I am on 23c Specialized Armadillo tires and haven't flatted in the two years I have been riding them.

    As for the brakes themselves, I would recommend Ultegra or better. They do make a difference in stopping power IMHO. As for the rest of the drivetrain, I'm not so picky. I am OK with Tiagra or Sora if that's what you can afford, but generally prefer 105 or Ultegra although I am not necessarily sold on the 10 speed stuff if you're not racing and feel the need to be able to match gearing choices with your competition as you're racing them.

    I actually like the shifting mechanism on the Sora shifters (which are now 9 speed). It is similar to the Campy Record shifters with the upshift triggered by a small thumb lever that is easily triggered when riding with your hands on top of the hoods. JMHO.

    As for frame size, I ride a 63cm and it fits me well. I would guess your frame size to be between 61cm to 63cm, but it's good to get at least a basic fit estimate as you spend a LOT of time seated and spinning in the same position and even small changes in road bike fit can make significant differences.

    I would avoid low spoke count (less than 32h) wheels in most applications. A mavic rim like an Open Pro, or even the CPX22 or CPX33 are good solid choices for us bigguns. I haven't had freehub issues with road bikes like I do with mountain bikes, so I see no reason to worry about going with more expensive hubs.

    As a 300lb clydesdale, if you have any sort of hills you'll have to ride, I would also recommend a triple chainring crankset, or at a minimum, a compact chainring double (34/50). No need to try to be a hero and killing yourself or walking just to spare any perceived embarrassment over having three chainrings instead of two.

    I would also encourage you to consider a flat bar road bike. Some people will rarely or never ride in the drops for a variety of reasons, so no need to have them if you won't use them, and it will always keep the brake levers where your hands are and easier to access than grabbing them from atop the hoods. Lots of well known brands have decent flat bar road bikes, like Giant and Specialized. They also have pretty value traditional road bikes to offer.

    JMHO.
    Based on all of your info Jeff I am looking online to get a better feel about road bikes and am using your info to narrow down the prospects.

    I have very little problems pushing hard to get up hills. I rarley take my Intense Spider off of the 2nd chainring now.

    I am looking at bikes with 105s or better and am pretty much sold on a 23c Tire with 32 spokes minimum.

    I do have a question about flat bars.... I see people riding in the drops where i'm from so why wouldnt I? Is it because it's uncomfortable or perhaps my belly will get in the way? Please help me understand this. Most of the higher end bikes I'm looking at have drops and i'd hate to sacrifice quality for handlebars. Also, can I fit flat bars on a bike that comes stock with drops or is that a road bike no no?

    Thanks again for the info Guys!

  8. #8
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    Re the chainrings, at least pay attention as to whether a double come with 39/53 (or similar) or 34/50 and get the one that works best for you. Cranking a 39t chainring with a 12-26 cassette can be a bear on a long steep grade for the gravitationally challenged among us

    It would be expensive to convert from flat bars to drops or vice versa, especially to convert to drop bars from flat as the brifters are pricey, even for inexpensive ones. Best to test ride a road bike with drops and be honest about how much time you'd actually spend in the drops and whether or not it's truly beneficial to you.

    I spend almost no time in the drops and am thinking I would prefer a flat bar set up, even at high speeds, but in the end, it's up to you.

    I also can't overemphasize the importance of a good set of brakes on your road bike, even if you have to upgrade later 'down the road'.

  9. #9
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    I was looking at a road bike also. I am 6'4" and 295 lbs. Cannondale road bikes have a weight limit of 275 lbs as per the owners manual. The cyclocross bikes limit is 300 lbs. Anyway,bought another 29'er. I am going to wait for a cyclocross bike with disc brakes.

  10. #10
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    +1 on flat bars. easier on your wrists, you get a better view of the enviroment (so ride is more fun) and doesnt squicsh your tummy =-)
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  11. #11
    @adelorenzo
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    I'll disagree: Flat bars on a road bike are a terrible idea. Proper drop bars give you a wide variety of riding positions, including on the tops and the brake levers (hoods). You don't need to ride in the drops if you don't want to.

    Also, the conversion is way too expensive: New bars, shifters and brake levers are required. If you are set on a flat bar road bike look at the Kona Dew series or something like it.

    You might not spend any time in the drops but eventually you might change your mind as you develop fitness, flexibility, and yes, lose some of the belly. (I've been there.)

    At your weight you should be able to ride any good quality road bike... My one recommendation would be to run 28mm or at least 25mm tires, that will make a WORLD of difference.

  12. #12
    Fueled by Tigerblood
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    I would also agree with anthony about the bars. Flat bars are terrible for the road. Drop bars have so many hand positions, which become nice after 50+ miles, I spend most of the time riding on the hoods, which is so much better for your wrists than being paralell with the bars like you would be with a flat bar.

    I also agree on the larger tires. Dont worry about riding 23's, 25's or 28's will make the ride soooo much nicer.
    Also, when buying, look into used bikes. You being so tall will make it harder to find ones in the right size, but on the flip side, if you do, there will be so many less people competing for it (if it was an ebay auction)

    I know some people hate on bikesdirect, but a buddy just got one of these and for the components and price, It cant be beat. He says it rides great. He just swapped the saddle with a selle italia, and the stem/seatpost with some thomsons, as well as swapped the bars. but thats all just optional if you want to do so.

    http://bikesdirect.com/products/moto...premio_pro.htm

  13. #13
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    I have a Trek 2.3 and have been very happy with it. Aluminum frame, carbon fork, 105 components. I go about 6'1" and 285. It has held up fine so far....haven't even had to true the rims yet, which I thought would be a big problem. Can't help you on size (I think mine is a 58 but I am not at home to check), you'll want to get fitted regardless.
    2010 GF X-Caliber
    2010 Trek 2.3
    1997 Ventana ECDM (tandem)
    1996 Mantis Pro Floater

  14. #14
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    As far as handlebars are concerned....I flipped and cut mine into bullhorns. All shifters/brake levers still fit, just had to retape my bar. I'll go snap a pic of my road bike later.

  15. #15
    @adelorenzo
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    On sizing: I am 6'6" and fit the largest stock sizes on all my road bikes (normally 61cm, 62cm or XL). You'd likely be looking at around 60cm but a good bike fitting is the only way to be sure.

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