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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-12-16, 08:29 AM   #1
Podagrower
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That pesky N+1 bug

Got bitten by the urge to improve my commute. I thought about upgrading my current commute/back up bike from 8 speed to 10 speed (have a spare derailleur and cassette) and getting a better set of wheels for it, but then I thought about getting a really good wheelset for the main bike and putting the wheels currently on the main bike on the back up bike...by the time I was done, I was going to invest a lot of money and still not have the bike I wanted, so I decided to rethink what I wanted in my commuter. I decided to look for something steel, disc braked, rack capable, drop bars that I could use for commuting, road rides, dirt roads, light touring.
I wound up zeroing in the Jamis Renegade lineup, and took the Exile model for a test spin yesterday. The Exile is the aluminum version of the Renegade line, Claris groupset, mechanical disk brakes, so it isn't the version I'm looking for, but it's what they had in stock. I was very surprised at how good it did feel compared to my memories of my last aluminum bike (the bike store has some nearby brick streets), and I was surprised how good the Claris groupset shifted, the front derailleur is a little clunky, but the rear shifts were very smooth.
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Old 02-12-16, 10:19 AM   #2
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In my experience, riding on a 700x30 or larger tires mitigates aluminum's legendary harshness. My touring bike is aluminum. It rides just as nicely as a steel bike, but unlike cheap steel bikes it doesn't flex like a wet noodle when I stand to pedal...
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Old 02-18-16, 09:58 AM   #3
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Check out this gem I've had my eye on - it's in your price range and has all the features you're looking for. Steel frame, drop bars, triple crank, Tiagra, canti brakes, even comes with a rack! I know people have strong feelings about buying from an LBS but I personally have a Nashbar bike right now and LOVE IT. Bang for the buck there is nothing better.

Nashbar TR1 Touring Bike
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Old 02-18-16, 10:02 AM   #4
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Check out this gem I've had my eye on - it's in your price range and has all the features you're looking for. Steel frame, drop bars, triple crank, Tiagra, canti brakes, even comes with a rack! I know people have strong feelings about buying from an LBS but I personally have a Nashbar bike right now and LOVE IT. Bang for the buck there is nothing better.

Nashbar TR1 Touring Bike
Ask @Jarrett2 about this bike before buying. He had one and returned it.

EDIT: Or read this thread: So I bought a Nashbar Touring bike today...
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Old 05-27-16, 05:51 AM   #5
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Well, it's NBD (almost). I had my eyes on the Jamis Renegade Exploit-Reynolds 613 steel, 11 speed 105, disc brakes-but they are not available in my size until the '17s come out in Aug/Sep. The bike shop asked about the Niner RLT and it was on my list, but beyond what I was willing to spend. They made me a better offer, and with the RLT having a Reynolds 853 frame, I went for it. Bike is on order, hopefully to be here by the end of next week. The Exploit did have cable operated hydraulic brakes, where the RLT are cable only, and the Exploit comes with a 50/34 compact while the RLT has a 46/36 compact (I think the 36 won't be an issue, but I know the 46 is too small for my uses so it will have to be changed).
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Old 05-27-16, 07:11 AM   #6
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... while the RLT has a 46/36 compact (I think the 36 won't be an issue, but I know the 46 is too small for my uses so it will have to be changed).
Don't be too sure. I have a 46/36 compact on my Trek and thought the same thing at first but actually ended up loving the setup. I can use the whole cassette now. I was never using my 12T cog before. I find I use the front shifter much more because the narrow gap is much less of a disruption in my cadence.
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Old 05-27-16, 07:32 AM   #7
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Well, it's NBD (almost). I had my eyes on the Jamis Renegade Exploit-Reynolds 613 steel, 11 speed 105, disc brakes-but they are not available in my size until the '17s come out in Aug/Sep. The bike shop asked about the Niner RLT and it was on my list, but beyond what I was willing to spend. They made me a better offer, and with the RLT having a Reynolds 853 frame, I went for it.
Sweet. That looks like a great bike.

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Bike is on order, hopefully to be here by the end of next week. The Exploit did have cable operated hydraulic brakes, where the RLT are cable only, and the Exploit comes with a 50/34 compact while the RLT has a 46/36 compact (I think the 36 won't be an issue, but I know the 46 is too small for my uses so it will have to be changed).
I've ridden Centuries on a 46/36T crankset, in group rides, it's not as much of a handicap as you might thing it is. Consider how much time do you expect to spend riding 50/11 configuration? If the answer is "not much" then a 46T will be fine. The fact is that 50/12 is the same as 46/11. So you're only really losing out on your very highest gear by sticking with a 46T front ring.

That said, changing the 46T to a 50T pretty easy.
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Old 06-07-16, 05:57 AM   #8
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Yesterday was NBD. Drove thru some tropical weather to pick it up last night (cause I wasn't going to wait). My garage looks a bit like a bike shop right now, my 3 bikes and my wife's 2 plus all the new and old parts spread around. Of course, the weather forecast calls for rain for most of the week so I may be testing out disc brakes in the rain sooner than I intended.

I did manage to throw the RLT9 on the postage scale (balancing on one wheel) and by that extremely scientific method it weighs 19 lbs 4 oz without pedals. Not a lightweight in a world where 14 lb carbon bikes are pretty common, but for a steel bike that can have front and rear racks and fenders, I'm happy. I'll be adding several pounds of fredness to it tonight while watching the weather.
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Old 06-09-16, 05:28 AM   #9
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Yesterday was NBD. Drove thru some tropical weather to pick it up last night (cause I wasn't going to wait). My garage looks a bit like a bike shop right now, my 3 bikes and my wife's 2 plus all the new and old parts spread around. Of course, the weather forecast calls for rain for most of the week so I may be testing out disc brakes in the rain sooner than I intended.

I did manage to throw the RLT9 on the postage scale (balancing on one wheel) and by that extremely scientific method it weighs 19 lbs 4 oz without pedals. Not a lightweight in a world where 14 lb carbon bikes are pretty common, but for a steel bike that can have front and rear racks and fenders, I'm happy. I'll be adding several pounds of fredness to it tonight while watching the weather.
Have you put up any pics of your Niner RLT9?
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Old 06-09-16, 01:20 PM   #10
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Have you put up any pics of your Niner RLT9?
Haven't started taking photos yet. I know where the first photo is going to be taken, but I've been a little busy.
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Old 06-09-16, 01:30 PM   #11
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Haven't started taking photos yet. I know where the first photo is going to be taken, but I've been a little busy.
Did you get the Red & White frame or the Orange and Grey?
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Old 06-10-16, 05:59 AM   #12
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Did you get the Red & White frame or the Orange and Grey?
They did not have the Orange/Grey in my size. The Red and White is pretty damn sharp, but it's a little more cream than white (so my bottle cages are a little too white-I may go OCD and get some paint to match exactly).
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Old 06-10-16, 12:28 PM   #13
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They did not have the Orange/Grey in my size. The Red and White is pretty damn sharp, but it's a little more cream than white (so my bottle cages are a little too white-I may go OCD and get some paint to match exactly).
That Red & White/Cream colour is absolutely gorgeous.
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Old 06-12-16, 05:58 AM   #14
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Well yesterday (after 2 12 mile commutes) it was time for a long ride, so I set out with 3 water bottles, 1 spare tube, and unknown expectations. I mixed up parts of routes I know well that would keep me entertained (and relatively close to home should an issue arise). I had hopes that with this bike being only a couple of pounds heavier than my road bike that I would have options for long rides, and I was not disappointed. I know steel rides well, so no surprise there, but those 35mm tires just soak up all the unevenness of the few chip seal roads we have. The first 40 miles have 7 Strava segments, all were PRs or 2nd fastest (it was good). After mile 50, there were some issues (some expected, some not), the stock Niner saddle isn't bad, but asking my butt (which is used to a Spech Romin saddle) to do 50+ miles on a different saddle led to discomfort and I started having hot spots (foot numbing, ride stopping hot spots), I put on a set of Shimano PD M540 pedals, but I usually ride Shimano PD A530 which have more surface area, so looks like those need to be swapped.

The bike is fantastic, that new 105 groupset shifts so smooth, brakes for days, the tops and drops on the handlebars are amazingly nice to ride. Even with 36x32 being the lowest gear available, it feels like it climbs easier than my road bike with 34x36. The one upgrade it needs soon is a front fender, I expected the bottle on the bottom of the downtube to be dirty, but I didn't expect the bottles inside the triangle to have road dust on them, and when I got home and took a shower, my legs were filthy.

I wound up doing an impromptu century, my first of the year. I've been riding metric centuries most weekends to keep in shape, and I've been itching to ride a century, yesterday was mostly overcast so I don't think the temp got over 90. I bonked really hard at mile 94, contemplated just laying in the grass beside the road an taking a nap.
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Old 06-28-16, 07:11 AM   #15
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After putting about 250 miles on the Niner, I rode my road bike Saturday for the first time in 2 weeks and can now make comparisons between 2 bikes made for different purposes. The road bike was fresh out of the shop, so it was as clean/crisp/lubed as it gets.
Brakes are the first difference, discs have way more modulation (we all know this), but jumping on the road bike felt like the brakes had a switch and on or off were the only available options, it really surprised me. I need to ride both bikes in the rain, since I put KoolStop dual compound pads on the road bike and I'd like to see how they work in the wet.
Gearing differences are massive, the road bike is set up 50/34 chainrings with an 11-36 cassette. The Niner is set up 46/36 chainrings with an 11/32 cassette. The Niner will most likely wind up getting a 50 tooth big ring when they come out for the new 105 group.
Shifting differences are subtle (and I'm going to have to talk like an electrician for a minute), the 105 group on the Niner feels like throwing a heavy duty commercial switch with that crisp snap while the Ultegra group on the road bike feels more like a smooth residential switch. Neither feels bad, but they do feel different.
Speed wise, there is no comparison, the pure road bike wins. Going downhill, the Niner runs into a aero drag or rolling resistance issue around 30MPH (I have a set of 28MM Conti GP4000SII that I intend to try on the Niner) where the road bike keeps picking up speed to 36 on the same hill. The road bike is lighter, more nimble, quicker, faster, but on anything other than the smoothest pavement, the Niner rides better.
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