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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 11-28-06, 03:08 AM   #1
Bounty Hunter
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New Clyde...help choosing a Fitness/Hybrid

It seems there was some downtime and my previous thread was lost. Oh well...I made a new, more informed n00b thread.

First off a little background. I'm a 31 yr old Police Officer here looking for new ways to work out and stay fit (working out at the gym can become quite boring at times). I'm 5'11" 220 lbs with a stocky muscular build so I guess that makes me a Clydesdale. My goal is 200-210 lbs. My last bicycle purchase was a new '94 Schwinn Hurricane mt bike. It's outdated...and slow. After some research I've sort of decided on a fitness/hybrid in the $500-$800 range. I figured if I like what I'm doing then I can always buy another bike to add to the family (pure road or offroad...cyclocross or whatever).

Last week I test rode a Trek 7.3FX and 7.6FX. This got me thinking I wanted a 7.5FX. I was somewhat set on my decision until today...

I had the day off today and all I did was go to local bike shops. I think I went to 5 of them. Everything from larger shops with big city feel to small ma n pa shops. It was rainy and cold today so I wasn't able to get any test rides in. Here's my new short list of bikes I'm considering. If we get some good weather I'd like to test ride some of these. I'd like your thoughts on these...

-07 Specialized Sirrus Sport http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22268

-07 Marin Lucas Valley http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...as_valley.html

-07 Raleigh Route 66 http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=5&itemid=304

-06 Bianchi Strada http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_strada.html

I never thought I'd be intereted in the Bianchi (being basically a road bike with hybrid/fitness bike flatbars), but it's caught my eye. The local shop has a brand new '06 leftover. He said he'd sell it for 20% off which seems like a great deal. Basically it's a new twist on the hybrid fitness bikes I've been looking at. It's chromoly instead of aluminum, but the bike felt very light still. The salesman was trying to explain that the chromoly is stronger and will handle road vibration better than aluminum. It seems like a quality bike and the flatbar is adjustable. One thing I'm not sure about is the grip style shifters, but I haven't rode it yet.

I didn't look at the Marin or Raleigh too much due to time constraints. It looks like the Marin is more like the Bianchi. The Sirrus Sport seems like a high quality bike which is very similar to the Trek 7.5FX.

Anymore help would be appreciated. What do you recommend and why. Thanks.
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Old 11-28-06, 05:19 AM   #2
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Well, I haven't rode any of those so I won't be much help. I personally have a Trek 7200 which has given my 300+ pound butt nearly 4,000 miles of service this past year without fail (Well, I popped a spoke at mile 2,000). If I could change something, it would be the grip shifters. I hate them. Many times when I re-adjust my hands, or hit a bump I end up shifting into another gear. If you can have the shop swap those out before purchasing the bike, I'd recommend it.
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Old 11-28-06, 05:55 AM   #3
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The Bianchi has caliper brakes but these are long-drop variety so they shold have clearance for 28mm tyres + fenders and possibly 32mm.
The 23mm tyres it comes with are a bit narrow for everyday use, check the specs it seems unusual.
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Old 11-28-06, 08:28 AM   #4
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Hey i posted on honda-tech too but ill post here also since you gave more info here. Anyway I would recomend a touring or road bike.

Something like the bianchi volpe, lemond reno, trek 1200, scott speedster s50, fuji newest 1.0, ect...

but if you want the flat bars get the trek 7.3fx or 7.5fx or the specialized sirrus. But those bikes are essentially slower road bikes with flat bars. They may have slightly larger tires but a touring/cyclo bike will be able to fit wider tires and be much faster.

anyway good luck. i went crazy trying to get the right first bike and ended up with a lemond reno and couldn't be more happy.
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Old 11-28-06, 08:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turboem1
Hey i posted on honda-tech too but ill post here also since you gave more info here. Anyway I would recomend a touring or road bike.

Something like the bianchi volpe, lemond reno, trek 1200, scott speedster s50, fuji newest 1.0, ect...

but if you want the flat bars get the trek 7.3fx or 7.5fx or the specialized sirrus. But those bikes are essentially slower road bikes with flat bars. They may have slightly larger tires but a touring/cyclo bike will be able to fit wider tires and be much faster.

anyway good luck. i went crazy trying to get the right first bike and ended up with a lemond reno and couldn't be more happy.
I was told the Strada is the same bike as the Volpe with a few changes (tires, drop bars, etc)

I rode both the Bianchi Strada and Trek 7.5FX today. I tried to ride back to back, but it was about an hour in between due to distance. I had a longer ride on the Bianchi because of location (parking lot duty on the Trek). BOTH felt wonderful, yet different. The Trek felt like it handled a little crisper and tighter. The Bianchi handled bumps better and felt quicker...maybe it was my imagination. The Bianchi definitely stopped quicker and had a better brake feel than the Trek. Both shifted well...amazingly I enjoyed the grip shifters on the Bianchi. Both seemed to weigh about the same. The Bianchi has VERY small tires (which made me wonder if they could be dangerous to a newer rider). The Trek tires are wider and inspired a little more confidence riding. I really thought I'd be overwhelmed by either of them to the point I would pick one over the other. The Trek felt familiar in riding position (like a mt bike), but the flat roady Bianchi riding position didn't feel bad to me...just unfamiliar. I'm still confused and if I was a rider that knows bikes then I might know better what to look for when riding these. Everyone seems to say the Bianchi is closer to a true road bike and it's a natural progression to want to move into a road bike. Both salesmen told me that too. If this holds true the Bianchi could be converted if I choose to go that route. The Trek salesman said he loves his road bike, but likes the versatility of the FX bikes. He could see riding it on trails and commuting...going off curbs when needed, etc. Things he wouldn't do on the Bianchi. I'm primarily buying a bike for paved trails at this point. HELP me make a decision...I feel so indecisive!



I can get the Trek for 5% off retail (retail is $749.99 or $739.99 at another shop that doesn't have it in stock) OR 10% of the bike's value in accessories ($75 towards helmet, tools, bag, water bottle mount, etc).



The Bianchi is 20% off. Retail is $799.99 and the shop offered me 20% off (= $160 for those of you that hate math). That's approximately $640 for this bike. $100 less than the Trek.
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Old 11-28-06, 08:37 PM   #6
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Well, I got last year's 7.5FX, because that was the lowest model with serious upgrades on a lot of the components - and it just felt quicker than the 7.2FX. It also had pretty wide range gearing. The low gears are (26 front, 32 rear) - save those knees while you're losing weight! It came with Wellgo one-sided clipless pedals, so after a couple months of sneakers, I bought my first bike shoes and was astounded at the difference it made. I think it's an excellent choice for fitness rides, but I do 10-20 mile sightseeing on it, too. My wife, on the other hand, commutes to work, and has a Cannondale Adventure 400 hybrid, which she absolutely loves. I think it is very similar to the Trek 7200. I find it too upright - the fitness bikes seem to be a nice compromise in riding position, for my body. I think all the bikes you have looked at are high quality - you will be happiest if you get a good fit and a good riding position for your personal comfort.
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Old 11-29-06, 09:45 AM   #7
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I'm 250lbs and started out on a Giant Cypress hybrid I bought new for $289 in 2004. I've since switched to a roadie, but kept the Giant for short rides, low light conditions and/or rain. It has almost 2000 miles on it and has served me well.

Good luck with your pursuit of fitness and thanks for your service in law enforcement (been there, done that).
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Old 11-29-06, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Good luck with your pursuit of fitness and thanks for your service in law enforcement (been there, done that).
Thanks. I appreciate that.

I ended up deciding on a bike. No it wasn't the Bianchi or the Trek. Believe it or not I found a brand new '05 Lemond Big Sky SL on sale...cheap. I was at the Trek Store (same place I rode the 7.5FX) and I was reading their sale ad flyer and there it was in 55cm (same size as the Bianchi I looked at). I looked up everything I could about it on google today. Roadbikereview.com all perfect 5 out of 5 reviews. Hmm... so it's a roadie with a more comfortable riding position, adjustable drop bars. Sounds interesting. All the components are top notch. Nice wheels, good tires. Riding was believing. I did a short parking lot ride and I was thoroughly impressed with it. Not the lightest (but not heavy by any means)...but it just felt FAST and comfortable. I knew I had to have it. I opted for the 30 day layaway so I can still have money to buy Christmas presents for my family too. If you were wondering it was $749.99. Basically $300 off the retail price.

Some details for those of you that don't know...



Sizes: 47cm, 52cm, 55cm, 57cm, 61cm
Mainframe: LeMond butted 6061 aluminum sport
Fork: Bontrager Satellite Carbon
Headset: SlimStak Direct Connect
Bottom Bracket: Shimano 105
Crank: Bontrager Race triple: 52/42/30
Pedals Shimano M505, clipless
Front Derailleur: Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105
Shift/Brake Levers: Shimano 105 STI, plus Tektro cross
Cassette: Shimano HG-50 12-25, 9 speed
Chain: Shimano HG-73
Wheel System: Bontrager Select
Tires: Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase, 700x28c
Brakes: Alloy, dual pivot, cartridge pads
Handlebar: Bontrager Flat-top Select
Stem: Alloy direct connect, adjustable rise
Saddle: CRZ+ Road
Seatpost: Alloy suspension
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Old 12-01-06, 01:32 AM   #9
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BUMP, does anyone have feedback on the LeMond I went with?

I'm also going to look at getting an '03 Trek 820 for some offroad trails. I found one locally for $100 and the guy selling it said its in great condition...barely ridden in his neighborhood. I figured for that cheap I could buy it and even resell it to a friend or relative if needed.

Last edited by Bounty Hunter; 12-01-06 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 12-01-06, 02:38 AM   #10
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Comfort Road Bikdes

That thread seems to have some info on that bike. Just a tip the search function with this type of forum kind of stinks, but using "site:bikeforums.net whatever" works well in google.
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Old 12-01-06, 08:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounty Hunter
BUMP, does anyone have feedback on the LeMond I went with?
Great choice. I ride a Lemond Reno (same color) and love it. I like lemond bikes a lot. The full 105 is VERY nice. See if you like the suspension seatpost it comes with. Usually people over 180 say its no good but definately try it first for a while.
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Old 12-01-06, 08:30 AM   #12
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Fair warning about the Bianchi: owning one may turn you into a bike snob. Great Italian bikes have that effect on people.

In all seriousness, don't just shop the bikes, but shop the shops.(Assuming more then one shop is involved) Take in account the professionalism of both the shop staff and each shop's apperence. Little things to look at: quick-releases pointed the same direction, saddles straight and level, handlebars centered and angled uniformly and correctly, organized service area, consistant pricing on accessories, and an organized showroom. Those little things can indicate a shop that isn't just open because they want to make money, those little things show they care about bicycles, care about customer service, and know bicycles.
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Old 12-01-06, 08:42 AM   #13
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Great choice, BH! When I first opened this thread, I feared that you might be falling for the "hybrid hype." If you're riding for weight loss/fitness, mileage is the key, and I think you would have come to regret flat bars. Now I'm guessing that one of your first upgrades will be to replace that stem after you find a position that works. Can't go wrong with 105.

Last edited by GCRyder; 12-01-06 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 12-06-06, 05:00 PM   #14
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Ever try a Giant FCR?

Here's my two cents! At a reduced weight of 300 lbs I ride a Giant FCR4 that I've had for a lil over a year so far.The 700 X 28 tires that come with it are good. My LBS couldn't believe how long they have lasted. It's a flat bar fitness bike that thinks it's a roadie! The shifters are like a trigger shift, just push a button or lever. The rims are double wall with 32 spokes.Like I said, I was over 300 lbs and never have had a wheel problem. The bike tire if you wish can be replaced with a 700 X 30 Tandem bike tire which is heavier and thicker. Mine does real good. The FCR is $440 new.Other models vary! Hope this was a lil help?
Good luck and stay upright!
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Old 12-06-06, 05:15 PM   #15
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Forgot 1 thing.

One good thing, I think is that the FCR Giant uses 27X1 1/4 tubes with a shraeder valve instead of a presta. Should be easier finding a new tube in a small town without a LBSS ears,Western Auto should have one!
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Old 12-06-06, 07:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounty Hunter
BUMP, does anyone have feedback on the LeMond I went with?

I'm also going to look at getting an '03 Trek 820 for some offroad trails. I found one locally for $100 and the guy selling it said its in great condition...barely ridden in his neighborhood. I figured for that cheap I could buy it and even resell it to a friend or relative if needed.
You'll like that Lemond. I recommend swapping out the saddle for something a bit more comfy (I'm a Brooks guy myself) and swap out the suspension seatpost for a rigid seatpost.
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Old 12-07-06, 09:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounty Hunter
BUMP, does anyone have feedback on the LeMond I went with?
That's a nice bike to start your fitness riding with.

The one area that might present some problems is the wheelset. 20 spoke wheels and clydes usually don't mix too well. I'd suggest riding it as is and see how they hold up. For the first year or so, the shop where you bought it ought to do free tuning and/or get your wheels replaced if they really go bad.

After that period, if you are faithful to your riding commitment and are puttin on the miles, look at getting a 32 spoke set like Mavic Open Pro on some Ultegra hubs (about $200-250).
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Old 12-07-06, 08:15 PM   #18
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Thats a nice bike. The wheels look similar to the ones on the 7.5FX. I also test rode a 7.3 and a 7.5FX. There was no comparison. I intended to spend $200 or so and after I rode the &.5 I had to have it. Of course you have what looks like full carbon forks so that should soak up quite a bit of vibration, Enjoy. I actually look forward to riding as much as possible on my Trek. At 238, I hope to loose about 20llbs in the process.
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Old 12-27-06, 04:01 AM   #19
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I picked up my bike just before Christmas. They swapped out the seat and pedals no questions asked (the seat had some fraying on the back and they pedals weren't the original ones). I had a Trek Incite 9i wireless computer waiting to be installed that they did for me. I also got a water bottle cage.

The weather has been decent here so I finally had the chance to ride my new Lemond. It was a short 1 mile ride, but I love this bike. It's a lot of fun to ride. It's quite quick, but I'll have to get used to balancing with the drop bars...they feel different than the familar flat bars.

I got some bike related things for Christmas...gloves, small underseat bag, flat repair kit, flashing rear light and a security cable. On my short list is a helmet and a small tool kit. I also need to buy some clothing and dedicated shoes once I get better at riding. I'm kind of scared of the shoes until my balance is better on this thing.
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Old 12-27-06, 06:49 AM   #20
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The shoes are a non-isssue. One of the guys at the LBS had me convinced I was going to fall over at least once. I put the pedals on, put my shoes on and stayed in the garage. Using my wifes car for stability and entered and exited the pedals until I was confindent in the process. About 2 minutes of time. Just practice while riding somewhere where there is no traffic so if you need to look at your feet you can. You'll get the feel for your pedals pretty quick.

Congrats on the new bike.

Happy riding.
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Old 12-27-06, 08:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounty Hunter
I picked up my bike just before Christmas. They swapped out the seat and pedals no questions asked (the seat had some fraying on the back and they pedals weren't the original ones). I had a Trek Incite 9i wireless computer waiting to be installed that they did for me. I also got a water bottle cage.

The weather has been decent here so I finally had the chance to ride my new Lemond. It was a short 1 mile ride, but I love this bike. It's a lot of fun to ride. It's quite quick, but I'll have to get used to balancing with the drop bars...they feel different than the familar flat bars.

I got some bike related things for Christmas...gloves, small underseat bag, flat repair kit, flashing rear light and a security cable. On my short list is a helmet and a small tool kit. I also need to buy some clothing and dedicated shoes once I get better at riding. I'm kind of scared of the shoes until my balance is better on this thing.
does your Police Department have a bike unit?

I would suggest you add a front light to that list. You didn't mention a pump. Without it, the flat kit is of little utility.

The bike shoes can be worn with regular (platform or cage) pedals so before you commit to clipless you can still have the comfort of bike shoes.

Congrats. (I try not to be too preachy about it but I love seeing people "UP"grade from hybrid to road bike.)
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Old 12-31-06, 03:21 PM   #22
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I have a Jamis Coda Sport "Hybrid". I love it. I ride it to work. I ride it for fun. I also have a mountain bike, a steel framed road bike and a aluminum/carbon fiber Trek road bike. My Trek is much faster than the Coda (cost a great deal more also). I do not care. Sometimes I just want to go for an enjoyable, more upright ride. And the Coda is much better for a riding in traffic bike. Aned even though slower, it is a great workout.
As far as I can tell, those who look down upon hybrid bikes are apparently insecure in their manhood and place their selfworth on the value or preceived manlyness (I can't spell well) of their drop bar road bike. I am not saying one is better than the other. They are different bikes for different rides. If I had to have only one, I would have a mountain bike. Next choice would be a flat bar road bike. Other peoples choices would be different. So what. No need to look down on bikes that are different than your own.
Riding is good. Riding what you like and not caring what other people think is better. Having fun while riding what you like and not caring what other people think is even better. Listen to others for advice but make your own choices; it's your bike, your butt, and your back.
I think I need a single-speed, flat bar, road bike. It will be slow. People will laugh. I do not care.
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Old 12-31-06, 03:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peatbog
I have a Jamis Coda Sport "Hybrid". I love it. I ride it to work. I ride it for fun. I also have a mountain bike, a steel framed road bike and a aluminum/carbon fiber Trek road bike. My Trek is much faster than the Coda (cost a great deal more also). I do not care. Sometimes I just want to go for an enjoyable, more upright ride. And the Coda is much better for a riding in traffic bike. Aned even though slower, it is a great workout.
As far as I can tell, those who look down upon hybrid bikes are apparently insecure in their manhood and place their selfworth on the value or preceived manlyness (I can't spell well) of their drop bar road bike. I am not saying one is better than the other. They are different bikes for different rides. If I had to have only one, I would have a mountain bike. Next choice would be a flat bar road bike. Other peoples choices would be different. So what. No need to look down on bikes that are different than your own.
Riding is good. Riding what you like and not caring what other people think is better. Having fun while riding what you like and not caring what other people think is even better. Listen to others for advice but make your own choices; it's your bike, your butt, and your back.
I think I need a single-speed, flat bar, road bike. It will be slow. People will laugh. I do not care.
Why would we laugh? We aren't "Bike Snobs" here on this forum! I ride a drop bar roadie because that's my chosen "hammer" is all. I also have a cheap mountain bike I use as a commuter from Royce Union.....does it get much cheaper than that? Riding is riding whether you are on a $15,000 dollar Osmium/Scandium race machine equipped all Campagnolo or a 50 year old Schwinn Beach Cruiser!
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