Recommended Clyde Bicycles FAQ
Ok, the title is a bit of a lie. I don’t actually plan to recommend specific bicycles, but will give the answers most often given to ‘what bike should I get’ question.
What type of riding do you plan to do?
There are several styles of bicycles created to match different type of riding environments. Before you can purchase a bike you must know how you want to ride.
Others have done a better job at rounding up bicycle types and uses. Follow the links below for a good understanding of bike types and their uses.
There are clydes, and then there are CLYDES. Clydes 250 pounds and below should be fine on any bike available, except the lightest carbon racer. Riders ride differently. Some 120-pound riders ride so hard that their bikes fail. You know, riding off the top of three story buildings may crumple a wheel or two. But for the normal rider, even dirt jumpers, most all bikes will be fine for those 250 pounds or less.
Once you move beyond 250 pounds you need to pay attention to what you ride, but you will be surprised to find most bikes will still be fine. We will talk about bikes for the >250 pound clyde bye discussing individual components of the bicycle. The rest of this article will be focused on the needs of the >250 pound clyde or mega clyde.
The basic discussion surrounding frames revolves around the material the frame is made and sizing. Sizing is beyond the scope of this FAQ. The basic materials a frame can be made of: Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, Steel Weld, Steel Lugged, Titanium.
Aluminum – Strong and light and very rigid, many mega clydes ride aluminum frames. The con to riding aluminum as a mega clyde is that the rigidity of the frame leads to a harsh ride for the heavy clyde, leading to a jarring experience. You may hear people talk about repair of the aluminum frame as a drawback of the material, but usually if you have a frame crack you will replace the frame rather than repair it.
Carbon Fiber – Very light weight and not well suited to the mega clyde. The cost is very high for this material. Many are incorporating carbon fiber into their forks for weight savings.
Steel Welded and Steel Lugged – Strong and heavier than all other frame materials and inexpensive, this is tied with aluminum as the frame material of choice for mega clydes. Steel is more flexible than aluminum giving a smoother ride for the clyde. The difference between lugged and welded is one of aesthetics, weight, and strength. The lugged frame is stronger, heavier, and in my opinion prettier than a welded frame.
Titanium – Very strong and lightweight but very expensive. The problem for the mega clyde is that titanium may be too flexible to give a solid ride to the mega clyde.
Frame material recommendation
Steel lugged or aluminum.
Wheel, or Wheel sets.
For the mega-clyde I recommend a wheel with 36 spokes or more and hand built. Factory built wheels tend to have small deviations in build that never causes a problem for lighter riders, but may create a failure for the mega clyde.
For simplicity’s sake I am listing the components as a set. I recommend Shimano 105 or better.
Seat or Saddle
There are many different opinions and each bottom is an individual. I personally swear by Brooks B-17 or B-67. You will need to search the BF for more recommendations.
I will make an effort to list off the shelf bicycles that have been recommended by others of the mega clyde persuasion.