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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 06-26-07, 10:16 AM   #1
gaudentius
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CrossCheck or Limbo?

For a while now I've been looking at DF (diamond frame) bikes, but what gave me the bicycling bug was bents (recumbents).

At 280, I thought I was a bit to big to actually be able to ride a typical bicycle which is why I was looking at bents. After finding this forum though, I decided to break out my old StumpJumper and take it for a spin. The bike seemed to handle ok and I didn't see tires go flat or the rims get bent after a few jumps from the curb, but I was completely winded from taking a spin around the block.

Before trying out my DF, I was looking at bents. Actually I was looking at homebuilt bents, the kind you piece together from other bikes after chopping them up. I actually went so far as to build up an Inter-7 Nexus 36" (three foot) wheel for sh!ts-and-giggles.

It's still sitting in my room looking pretty and all, but no frame to go with it.

I found an old Redline BMX cruiser on Craigslist a while back that was going to be for my brother. He didn't want it, so I built it up as my commuter/cruiser (long story short: It has apes, FAT tires and an Inter-4 Nexus). It's my in town bike and my "fun" bike.

It's also been my primary form of excercise. I take it out at the least three times a week on an average of six miles round trip. Once in a blue moon, I go to the Monterey Bay and take it on a twenty mile RT jaunt.

It's a great bike and all, but I think I need a "real" commuting bike.

Here's the deal:
I live in Salinas and work in the Prunedale area (major hills). I can't ride on the highway, but there are backroads available to me that make the commute 26 miles RT. There is no way in HECK that I'll be able to make it to work on my modded Redline in any condition to actually do any work. I could convert the SJ into a commuter, but my dad seems to have taken possesion of it and kept it for his'self. So I'm left with getting a new bike.

So DF or bent?

Until I found this specific forum, I couldn't imagine myself riding a "normal" bike. But after reading about my fellow big-boned brethren on "normal" bikes, I figured why not? So the hunt began.

I went from wanting an aluminum bike to now needing STEEL!!! I guess I've been reading the FGSS forums too much. You get the strength and the flex to make a comfy ride. But I wanted new, not vintage. After reading up on the different forum sections, I've decided that the Surly Cross Check appears to be the ideal bike.

But bents are still on my mind. There's a bent that recently became available on CL and it's one of the bents that I thought could work originally if I wanted to commute all the way to work. A Burly Limbo. It's convertable from a compact-short-wheelbase (CSWB) to a compact-long-wheelbase (CLWB).

I have nothing to stop me from using a DF, but that bent is calling to me, too.

I know most of the drawbacks of using both bents and DF's. Hills for bents and stiff necks for DF's. As of right now, I'm leaning towards the CrossCheck.

Help me Obi-wan, you're my only hope!

GD

p.s.
sorry for the long post . . .
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Old 06-26-07, 11:08 AM   #2
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Great Post

It was not a long post...it was great.

It sounds like the bent bug has bitten you hard. As for which bike type is practical for commuting, I don't think it matters. You need to go with what you will ride.
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Old 06-26-07, 12:15 PM   #3
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Hi, I am 6'4'' and 275 and have a size 62 Surly CC with a campy Mirage setup.

I just love it. If it fits - you will too. The steel is great with the rough and the bike is fast on the road.
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Old 06-26-07, 03:00 PM   #4
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Cross check is normally set up with a double chain ring correct? I like a triple. Check out the Jamis line, they have nice steel framed bikes with good component groups, especially for the money.

I have a Coda Elite that I like a lot. With the adjustable stem, you can minimize sore neck issues too.
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Old 06-26-07, 07:20 PM   #5
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+1 on the Cross-Check. I've been on mine for about 90 days and +/- 750 miles. I'm 6'6, 285 and ride a 62cm factory setup.

The factory setup is a double. You shouldn't have an issue talking the LBS into swapping the double for 3 rings up front (unless there is something about the bike I don't understand, which is entirely possible. Hey, I ride 'em folks, not wrench 'em )
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Old 06-26-07, 08:21 PM   #6
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Shouldn't be a problem. As someone posted, you can get a stem which keeps the bars at seat level or above as to minimize neck/comfort issues. You may want to look at the Rivendell site for tire size recommendations. You'd probably want a 35 or 38 minimum. They also have a prety good article on sizing. http://www.rivbike.com/
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Old 06-26-07, 09:36 PM   #7
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Bikes are STRONG. A few simple things can go a long way to make sure you're not always breaking stuff:

Go up a couple sizes on tires. It allows you to run lower pressures without pinch flatting/damaging your rims over bumps.

Run wheels with a large spoke count. Make sure your spokes are tensioned well.

Learn to 'get light' over bumps. Shift more weight to your legs to absorb road shock, keep a loose grip on your handlebars. Once you're comfortable, unloading your tires or bunny hopping over obstacles like curbs and potholes can save a lot of wear and tear on the bike.

Other than that, don't sweat it too much!

Look at how professional road riders treat their ultra light, low spoke count all carbon race bikes in races like the Paris-Roubaix. Sure they only weigh 150 pounds, but they ride a heck of a lot quicker than me, and are riding on rough cobblestones! If they can do that, I can certainly commute on a regular bike so long as I'm sensible! (I weigh 220, but was 275 when I started commuting by bike)

Oh, and if you go for a bent, consider suspension, since you can't unweight the wheels at all over the rough stuff. (Not that I'm a bent rider, but have just read that advice before)
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Old 06-26-07, 10:31 PM   #8
gaudentius
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Looks like most of you are steering me towards what I was looking at in the first place. I don't think I'm gonna be able to sleep tonight or the next week or two. I won't be able to place an order until possibly Thursday.

I'm gonna go CrossCheck!!!

GD

thanks for all the advice!!!
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Old 06-27-07, 02:38 AM   #9
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I am a Clyde at 100 kg just over 6'2", I ride a HPV SMGTe bent
and a 58 cm cross check (not at the same time);
like the bent for leisure rides and cross check for commuting.
Have the cross check set up 1x9 with albatross bars and fat
42 mm marathon tires, it is quite versatile and satisfying to ride.
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