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  1. #1
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    Clydesdale-specific bicycle models

    As a former Clyde who has lost 115 pounds with diet and cycling over the past 18 months, wouldn't it make sense in this day and age of rampant morbid obesity (saying this is why I had to qualify that I am a former Clyde too) that somebody at Trek or Giant or Specialized would put out an entry level model specifically tailored to the Clyde/Athena market?

    Hit the $500 MSRP price point, outfit it with the strongest 36 spoke wheels in mass production, gear it for loaded climbing rather than speed, and watch the units fly off the shop floors.

    No?

  2. #2
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    Trek makes the Shift 4 that's rated at 350#. A little over the $500 mark but it got me going and losing weight.

  3. #3
    Senior Member beakersbike's Avatar
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    I think they've got to be convinced that these will fly off the shelf. The sad reality is that many of us got to be Clydes because of lack of activity and poor diet. For an activity oriented industry, having a target market with a history of a lack of activity is a bit scary. There are those of us who are do start to go out and get active again, but are there enough to make it worth introducing a product line? I think the other problem is that a lot of people who want to get back into cycling are dabblers. They want to try it, sure, but do they want to try it enough to smack down $500 or more? They're the same people who will buy a $300 treadmill at Wally World but that's about the top of their commitment.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    The answer is, they have been trying, but frankly, overweight guys, and girls, won't buy a bike marketed for fat guys. We all have an image in our mind's eye of a thinner, fitter, version of ourselves. And we have a hard time seeing ourselves as we really are. Any marketing campaign that would force an overweight person to see himself as he really is will fail.

    Now, if you are asking why the industry can't sell bikes that are somewhat overbuilt with sturdy wheels and frames, I am with you on that.

    On a related note, Shimano and Trek tried and failed a few years ago to develop and sell a bike aimed at the 80% of the public that are not bike enthusiasts. Shimano called the program Coasting, and Trek's version of the bike was called the Lime. By most accounts, the bikes were pretty good and the technology worked as advertised. People are still trying to figure out why such an ambitious program to sell real bikes to non bike enthusiasts failed.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMo59 View Post
    Trek makes the Shift 4 that's rated at 350#. A little over the $500 mark but it got me going and losing weight.
    I would imagine they must be flying off the shelves.

  6. #6
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    Hardly any LBS even stocks the Shift 4. I had to drive over 100 miles to look at one then ordered it from my local dealer. That being said, I have no regrets getting this bike. It's held up great so far with 1500 miles on it so far.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    The answer is, they have been trying, but frankly, overweight guys, and girls, won't buy a bike marketed for fat guys. We all have an image in our mind's eye of a thinner, fitter, version of ourselves. And we have a hard time seeing ourselves as we really are. Any marketing campaign that would force an overweight person to see himself as he really is will fail.

    Now, if you are asking why the industry can't sell bikes that are somewhat overbuilt with sturdy wheels and frames, I am with you on that.

    On a related note, Shimano and Trek tried and failed a few years ago to develop and sell a bike aimed at the 80% of the public that are not bike enthusiasts. Shimano called the program Coasting, and Trek's version of the bike was called the Lime. By most accounts, the bikes were pretty good and the technology worked as advertised. People are still trying to figure out why such an ambitious program to sell real bikes to non bike enthusiasts failed.
    To really get the bikes to the non bike enthusiasts, they would have had to put the bikes in Wal-Mart, but that would devalue the brand...kind of like the way Diamondback has always been okay but low profile, and now that they're selling Diamondback at Academy, it's getting a reputation for being low-quality.

    There's a website called Zize Bikes that specializes in bikes for Clydes/Athenas. They used to be really super expensive but now they've got Worksman bikes for $800, which is a little closer to reasonable. I also used to see bikes on one of the plus-size websites, I think it was Brylane, but they don't seem to have them anymore.

  8. #8
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    Really if bike companies sold a cheap upgrade to 32/36 spoke wheelset for their stock bikes it would solve a lot of Clyde issues.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMo59 View Post
    Hardly any LBS even stocks the Shift 4. I had to drive over 100 miles to look at one then ordered it from my local dealer. That being said, I have no regrets getting this bike. It's held up great so far with 1500 miles on it so far.
    How do you know how many miles are on your bike?

  10. #10
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    Look for a secondhand Kona Hoss, unfortunately not manufactured any more.

    Here's mine which I fitted a rigid fork to plus some other bits, set up for light trail, road use.

    002.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaLou2015 View Post
    How do you know how many miles are on your bike?
    At purchase, I had them install a simple computer that gives me total miles, trip miles and speed. About $30

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi View Post
    To really get the bikes to the non bike enthusiasts, they would have had to put the bikes in Wal-Mart, but that would devalue the brand...kind of like the way Diamondback has always been okay but low profile, and now that they're selling Diamondback at Academy, it's getting a reputation for being low-quality.

    There's a website called Zize Bikes that specializes in bikes for Clydes/Athenas. They used to be really super expensive but now they've got Worksman bikes for $800, which is a little closer to reasonable. I also used to see bikes on one of the plus-size websites, I think it was Brylane, but they don't seem to have them anymore.
    Thanks for the tip on the Zize Bikes website... seems like they should consider paying to advertise on this forum!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LindaLou2015 View Post
    How do you know how many miles are on your bike?
    LindaLou, I recall seeing from your thread in the other subforum that you are new to cycling?

    There are internet sites like Strava, EndoMondo, MapMyRide and many others that will track all of your rides and keep track of which bikes you did them on and how many miles each bike has. All have free and paid versions but free is really all you need. You can use any smartphone (Apple, Android or Windows Mobile) or a dedicated GPS bike computer for these sites. The social aspect for me is the best part, not with random strangers but with friends all over the country, we can see what the others are doing and offer encouragement and even occasional trash talk.

    I don't work for them or get any kickback but it seems to me that Strava has the biggest community.

    MapMyRide's community is large enough that UnderArmour paid millions to acquire them as well as EndoMondo, just to access their memberships.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    The answer is, they have been trying, but frankly, overweight guys, and girls, won't buy a bike marketed for fat guys. We all have an image in our mind's eye of a thinner, fitter, version of ourselves. And we have a hard time seeing ourselves as we really are. Any marketing campaign that would force an overweight person to see himself as he really is will fail.

    Now, if you are asking why the industry can't sell bikes that are somewhat overbuilt with sturdy wheels and frames, I am with you on that.

    On a related note, Shimano and Trek tried and failed a few years ago to develop and sell a bike aimed at the 80% of the public that are not bike enthusiasts. Shimano called the program Coasting, and Trek's version of the bike was called the Lime. By most accounts, the bikes were pretty good and the technology worked as advertised. People are still trying to figure out why such an ambitious program to sell real bikes to non bike enthusiasts failed.
    Interesting... I'm not in marketing, but it seems to me like Coasting and Lime are the wrong approach.

    I would think a better way to get at the marketing aspect would be to emphasize the toughness of the bike, not the intended audience.

    Sort of like Panasonic did with their ToughBook line or Otter or LifeProof do with their smartphone cases, they market the rough and ready aspect.

    Am entry level hybrid could be marketed the same way, no mention of obesity or weight limits in the ad campaign, just emphasize the tough aspect of the wheels and frameset. Show football players and other "athletic" type Clydes using them. Get endorsements from famous Clydes, like Shaq or Schwarzenegger.

    And most importantly name them something dynamic and rough and tumble, not Coaster or Lime. The goal would get the image to be the cycling version of Range Rovers or Hummers.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ColaJacket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortLegCyclist View Post
    LindaLou, I recall seeing from your thread in the other subforum that you are new to cycling?

    There are internet sites like Strava, EndoMondo, MapMyRide and many others that will track all of your rides and keep track of which bikes you did them on and how many miles each bike has. All have free and paid versions but free is really all you need. You can use any smartphone (Apple, Android or Windows Mobile) or a dedicated GPS bike computer for these sites. The social aspect for me is the best part, not with random strangers but with friends all over the country, we can see what the others are doing and offer encouragement and even occasional trash talk.

    I don't work for them or get any kickback but it seems to me that Strava has the biggest community.

    MapMyRide's community is large enough that UnderArmour paid millions to acquire them as well as EndoMondo, just to access their memberships.
    Agree, I use Strava on my Samsung Galaxy S4. I got an adapter, so I can strap it to my stem. I started using it on my 3rd ride, and I'm glad I did. It has helped me track my progress in adding mileage to my riding (I just wish the elevation information was a little more accurate). So, by using Strava, and tracking my rides in an Excel spreadsheet, I can tell that I've accumulated 488.2 miles on my bike (maybe a little more, because when my wife first started riding, I didn't track some of those rides, because they were pretty short and slow).

    GH

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigMo59 View Post
    Hardly any LBS even stocks the Shift 4. I had to drive over 100 miles to look at one then ordered it from my local dealer. That being said, I have no regrets getting this bike. It's held up great so far with 1500 miles on it so far.
    Not only did my Trek-selling LBS not stock the Shift 4 (or tell me it existed), they didn't understand why, at 315#, I would want to upgrade the wheels if I was going to use my bike for commuting. However, my city's cyclists are mostly mountain bikers, so not having it in stock is understandable.

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    Many lbs employees don't inderstsnd (and often don't like) Clydesdales. When I decided to get a new bike I was totally honest at the lbs about my weight. I don't know if they didn't know what to suggest or simply figured I wouldn't ride it, but I tore that bike up pretty bad in its first 100 miles.

    I also think a lot of heavy people don't want to admit how bad their size has gotten. They will not consider it a factor in bike selection, and learn the second time around

  18. #18
    Senior Member TinyL's Avatar
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    I would like to see a front shock rated for 300 Lbs...my roads are terrible! I think it would be great to have a larger selection for those not willing or able to build one or have to remove the factory wheels to upgrade to a stronger set. Just hope they don't name them "Hepher" "Big Time" "Fattie" cause Clyde's are going to have to put up with the flack.

    I get comments at work where I am currently building my Surly Disc Trucker about the "FFF Fatties Fit Fine" decals on the chain stays. They keep saying 'Oh...I didn't know they made bikes just for fat people". I have explained it at least 20 times now that they are referring to tires...but luckily I have pretty thick skin.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyL View Post
    I would like to see a front shock rated for 300 Lbs...my roads are terrible! I think it would be great to have a larger selection for those not willing or able to build one or have to remove the factory wheels to upgrade to a stronger set. Just hope they don't name them "Hepher" "Big Time" "Fattie" cause Clyde's are going to have to put up with the flack.

    I get comments at work where I am currently building my Surly Disc Trucker about the "FFF Fatties Fit Fine" decals on the chain stays. They keep saying 'Oh...I didn't know they made bikes just for fat people". I have explained it at least 20 times now that they are referring to tires...but luckily I have pretty thick skin.
    TinyL, I don't know for certain but I think that is just a sticker... just go ahead and peel it off is my advice.

    Not worth having to explain that over and over again.

  20. #20
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    I was worried about weight limits too, but when I bought my bike about 3.5 months ago I weighed about 190 lbs, well under the 300 lb limit. I thought I was more like 230-240. So that was kind of awkward.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    On a related note, Shimano and Trek tried and failed a few years ago to develop and sell a bike aimed at the 80% of the public that are not bike enthusiasts. Shimano called the program Coasting, and Trek's version of the bike was called the Lime. By most accounts, the bikes were pretty good and the technology worked as advertised. People are still trying to figure out why such an ambitious program to sell real bikes to non bike enthusiasts failed.
    Because non-enthusiasts go to walmart with a budget of $200, not to a Trek dealer with a budget of $500.

    I was pretty damn certain I was going to ride (virtually) daily before I dropped nearly $600 on my bike (Trek DS). It has been well worth it for me, but most folks I know got their bikes at walmart for $150 (even if they could afford $1000). More importantly, they do not see the difference between an entry-level bike from Trek (or comparable) vs. a walmart bike. They see no reason to pay more for what they perceive as the same product: a bike is a bike.

    The above idea to use famous, athletic clydes such as Shaq to advertise is a good one, though.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Aladin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
    Really if bike companies sold a cheap upgrade to 32/36 spoke wheelset for their stock bikes it would solve a lot of Clyde issues.
    LOTS of bikes will handle the weight.. the issue usually is the WHEELS. Mostly the rear.... which preferably should be a hand built unit.. 36H. DONE by someone who understands the issues with heavy weight riders.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    I'm fortunate in that both of the main shops in town have Clydesdales on their staff and understand our needs. One even contacted Aerotech about becoming a stocking dealer after I showed them their website and brought in my bins and a jersey to show them the quality. I think they're still working on it, but Aerotech seems intent on being a direct mail order company. One of the shops is a triathlon focused shop that also stocks a lot of road, mountain and hybrid bikes and the other is a dedicated bike shop, though they have high end treadmills and elliptical machines as well. They both offered to do wheel upgrades at a very reasonable price and a good trade-up price on the stock wheels when I bought my bike too.

    I do think the manufacturers seem to have ignored us, especially those of us who need a frame larger than 60cm too. There are very limited bikes that fit 6'5" and taller riders who weigh over 225 lbs. I'd think the Kona Rove, Cannondale Synapse, Trek Domane, etc... Would be wonderful Clyde rides, but they don't come tall enough for me. If Kona offered the Rove in a 62/63 I'd be all over it. Sure I can make a 60 work, but with a longer stem, a few risers and some other fit considerations. But I'd rather have something that's made to fit right, so I'm orobably going Gunnar instead.
    Further, faster, harder.

  23. #23
    Senior Member PatrickR400's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShortLegCyclist View Post
    As a former Clyde who has lost 115 pounds with diet and cycling over the past 18 months, wouldn't it make sense in this day and age of rampant morbid obesity (saying this is why I had to qualify that I am a former Clyde too) that somebody at Trek or Giant or Specialized would put out an entry level model specifically tailored to the Clyde/Athena market?

    Hit the $500 MSRP price point, outfit it with the strongest 36 spoke wheels in mass production, gear it for loaded climbing rather than speed, and watch the units fly off the shop floors.

    No?
    I just bought a Ghost Panameo X3 at Mountain Coop (Canada) for $725. Given the exchange rate this is equivalent to about US$550. REI sells that brand in the US.

  24. #24
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassjones View Post
    I'm fortunate in that both of the main shops in town have Clydesdales on their staff and understand our needs. One even contacted Aerotech about becoming a stocking dealer after I showed them their website and brought in my bins and a jersey to show them the quality. I think they're still working on it, but Aerotech seems intent on being a direct mail order company. One of the shops is a triathlon focused shop that also stocks a lot of road, mountain and hybrid bikes and the other is a dedicated bike shop, though they have high end treadmills and elliptical machines as well. They both offered to do wheel upgrades at a very reasonable price and a good trade-up price on the stock wheels when I bought my bike too.

    I do think the manufacturers seem to have ignored us, especially those of us who need a frame larger than 60cm too. There are very limited bikes that fit 6'5" and taller riders who weigh over 225 lbs. I'd think the Kona Rove, Cannondale Synapse, Trek Domane, etc... Would be wonderful Clyde rides, but they don't come tall enough for me. If Kona offered the Rove in a 62/63 I'd be all over it. Sure I can make a 60 work, but with a longer stem, a few risers and some other fit considerations. But I'd rather have something that's made to fit right, so I'm orobably going Gunnar instead.
    One of the reasons why it wouldn't make any sense to get Shaq as a pitch man for off the shelf bicycles, unless they start selling frames larger than 62 cm, maybe as big as 67 cm. No off the shelf Trek or Specialized is going to fit a 7' tall, 325 lb former basketball player. Funny thing is, they used to. I have a friend who is 6'5" tall, and rides a 27" frame, which is 68 cm. He thought about switching to a modern bike and ordered a Jamis Coda in the largest size they had, 23" frame. It was tiny and he basically decided to just stick with his ancient 70s era road bike and replace a few components and wheels.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassjones View Post
    I'm fortunate in that both of the main shops in town have Clydesdales on their staff and understand our needs. One even contacted Aerotech about becoming a stocking dealer after I showed them their website and brought in my bins and a jersey to show them the quality. I think they're still working on it, but Aerotech seems intent on being a direct mail order company. One of the shops is a triathlon focused shop that also stocks a lot of road, mountain and hybrid bikes and the other is a dedicated bike shop, though they have high end treadmills and elliptical machines as well. They both offered to do wheel upgrades at a very reasonable price and a good trade-up price on the stock wheels when I bought my bike too.

    I do think the manufacturers seem to have ignored us, especially those of us who need a frame larger than 60cm too. There are very limited bikes that fit 6'5" and taller riders who weigh over 225 lbs. I'd think the Kona Rove, Cannondale Synapse, Trek Domane, etc... Would be wonderful Clyde rides, but they don't come tall enough for me. If Kona offered the Rove in a 62/63 I'd be all over it. Sure I can make a 60 work, but with a longer stem, a few risers and some other fit considerations. But I'd rather have something that's made to fit right, so I'm orobably going Gunnar instead.
    Ever check out Zinn bikes, just for us big and tall guys. What about some of the larger Salsa and Surly frames? Looking for drop bar only?

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