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  1. #1
    Senior Member JumboRider's Avatar
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    Recommended Clyde Bicycles FAQ

    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.

    http://www.jimlangley.net/crank/howtobuyabike1.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bicycle_types


    Weight
    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.

    Frame

    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.

    Components
    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.

  2. #2
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - you forgot Calfee's bamboo under Frame materials:



    - btw, bamboo is *very* strong..

  3. #3
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Great list Jumbo! Only thing I would add would be under components, with the caveat of the "sweet spots" being Shimano 105/Ultegra and Deore/LX/XT. Avoid Dura-ace and XTR as they both are geared for lightweight over durability, I've heard of light - but hard - riders shearing DA and XTR components. Sora/Tiagra are good, but I hear they don't "last" as well as 105/Ultegra. Same with Acera/Alivio, both are TOUGH but don't last.

    Oh, and anyone over 250 lbs should avoid Campy components, if you are over 200 avoid Campy Record. Same holds true with SRAM Force/Red. Both are terribly hot looking and lightweight, but are most assuredly not clyde-ready. When I say avoid, I mean avoid like the plague.

    One nobody ever touches on, but I have personal experience with:

    Forks: I've been told time and time again that Carbon road/cross forks are tough. To the point where I believe this to be true for even the mega-clyde. If you are over 350 pounds and can avoid it, you should, but otherwise go for it. The sweet spot is rigid steel for anything but serious offroad riding. It provides a compliant ride, and will last the test of time. Lugged steel forks, if you can get them, are the way to go.

    For MTB's, if you want suspension you want two: RockShox Reba (any) or Fox (any). I've tried 'em all, folks, and these two are where they are at. Everything else compresses almost to maximum, then just kind of half-absorbs. Except for the low-end RST stuff, amazingly mine works great - but I don't trust it. Doesn't look well built. Anyway, the Reba and Fox are great, it's unreal that they can work so well even with a very large rider at the helm. Tora (RockShox) also works well, not perfect, but if you don't have the (substantial) budget for Reba.. then yeah .

    GREAT idea!

  4. #4
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Both of my bikes have the same exercise bike saddle, one black and one grey. I can't sit on the edge of my bed and type long without having pain getting up but I put about 7.00 into the two atypical saddles and I am very comfortable, automatically lifting some and bracing for bumps I notice. I had a Schwinn Century cruiser with the spring and always found the dogs hated the sound of my spring. I really dug my early nineties Heavy Duti but it was stolen.

    While I could recommend a a more specific bike (and I have) I know Clydes have had maybe 30+ years of experience with bikes and may know what is right even better than they realize. Your instincts are your best guide and don't go nuts to start. Clydes are something to take time and do right.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  5. #5
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    Great post, this came an hour after I picked up my bike. I hope my choice (Trek 8000) is a good choice.

    Any mods you guys recomend for a super clyde.
    Last edited by dkyser; 07-09-07 at 08:16 AM.

  6. #6
    cut my gas use in half Jessica's Avatar
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    I have a Dahon folder, Broadway, that needed a handbuilt rear wheel to be able to support my weight. I will replace it with another Dahon (love that fold up), but will have to again replace the rear wheel. $100 well spent: I have put 1700 miles on it, (and unfortunately still qualify as Clydesdale: currently 230, previously 270 lbs.)

    COMFORT for YOU is the question: I would recommend being willing to try more than one seat or position for more than just a little ride. I still have some coccydynia due to skinny "women's" seats... Use very wide soft gel now: the seat is no longer the problem.
    And I am sure there are other choices I haven't thought of, yet...

  7. #7
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Try here too. The problem with one thread with lots of questions answered is that it becomes really hard to find answers when it gets above 2 pages for the casual reader.

  8. #8
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    Looking at a Serotta Colorado III

    Hey guys,

    I am a newbie to this forum and I was wondering if I could get some advice. I am considering bidding on a 2003 Serotta Colorado III on e-bay, but I have never purchased anything from e-bay before. Therefore, I have two questions. Should I be concerned that there are no current bids for the bike? Second, does anyone have any insight into how this bike would hold up under my 6"4, 265 lb frame? I plan on using the bike for fitness and possibly a triathlon (short). I am nervous about purchasing the bike over the internet and any advice is greatly appreciated.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClydetheGlide
    Hey guys,

    I am a newbie to this forum and I was wondering if I could get some advice. I am considering bidding on a 2003 Serotta Colorado III on e-bay, but I have never purchased anything from e-bay before. Therefore, I have two questions. Should I be concerned that there are no current bids for the bike? Second, does anyone have any insight into how this bike would hold up under my 6"4, 265 lb frame? I plan on using the bike for fitness and possibly a triathlon (short). I am nervous about purchasing the bike over the internet and any advice is greatly appreciated.
    What tends to happen with Fleabay, is that the last 2 minutes are the real auction, an item might have a single bid for a dollar 5 minutes before the end, and sell for $500. The trick is automatic bidding, say you enter a bid of $200, it shows up as a $1 bid, someone else bids $150, it will then auto bid it up to $151. This all happens very quickly, hence you can bid with 1 minute to go, and still end up winning.

    The things to beware are three fold, first is, what is the feedback on the seller? If there is no feedback, it's probably a new seller, your taking a risk that the seller may not be legit, and will abscond with your dinari. If there is a lot of positive feedback, read some of the feedback comments, if there is a lot of negative feedback, read those comments as well. Then make up your mind if it's someone you want to deal with or not.

    Beware sellers who do not specify shipping fees, you don't want to win an auction for $5, out of a $200 budget when it's going to cost $500 in shipping fees. Contact the seller before bidding, and get them to send you an ebay message with a quote for shipping fees. You want an ebay message, so that ebay can back you up, if the seller wants more in fees later on. Check various carriers (the web is your friend), if the bike weighs 15lbs, and the post office says that will cost $25, and the seller says, $5 or $100 you know that either they are scamming you, or will magically try and change it later. Note, a lot of carriers dimension shipments, so that light and bulky items are charged as if they were heavier.

    Beware international sellers, laws in your country, do not apply to other countries, international shipping is a pain in the saddle, and customs and brokerage fees can turn a really sweet deal into a error of horrific proportions.

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    Re:

    The guy says that we are responsible for shipping. I emailed him for an estimate and he told me I needed to contact a local bike shop to arrange shipment. Seems a little lazy to require me to contact a local bike shop near him to see how much it would cost to ship the bike.

  11. #11
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Unless you're a handy with a bike you should probably look to either pick one up on Craigslist or better yet get one through your bike shop. A good working relationship with a shop will serve you well down the road.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClydetheGlide
    The guy says that we are responsible for shipping. I emailed him for an estimate and he told me I needed to contact a local bike shop to arrange shipment. Seems a little lazy to require me to contact a local bike shop near him to see how much it would cost to ship the bike.
    Bikes need to be partly disassembled to ship, obviously the seller doesn't want to arrange this, seems pretty shabby to me....... You would need to pay the shop to do the work, and then pay the shipping fees, could easily add $200 to the price of the bike, if you do bid, remember this, and bid accordingly.

    Personally, I would prefer to buy close to home, so I could go and have a look at it, sometimes what you would consider good condition, and what the seller considers good condition, may not match.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the advice

    The more I think about it, the more I am leaning towards going to my local bike shop. Anybody know how a Trek 1500 holds up under clydes?

  14. #14
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    I am VERY new to this but thought I would reply. I have a friend that is about 6'2" and is at least 300 lbs. He bought a Trek 1500 last year and I believe he's completed 4 centuries on it already. It seems to be holding up fine for him.

    Joe

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    Thanks Joe!

  16. #16
    Senior Member JumboRider's Avatar
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    Clydes should add to this post the bikes they ride and would recommend and the heaviest you were when riding it. Add anything special you did to it.

  17. #17
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Mine are the following:

    2007 Trek 7.3 FX: Not stock, but not far from it. I started riding it at around 411-ish, and am stuck around 370 right now. The stock rear wheel was nothing but trouble for me, so I had it replaced with a Sun RhynoLite hand-laced to a Deore hub. 32h is it, and 550-ish (HARD) miles with one popped spoke. Previous one barely made 150, probably 4 popped spokes. Swapped the saddle out with a Brooks B-17 and oh man am I glad I did. Heaven. Added some wide Wellgo pedals to fit my WIDE feet. Only other changes planned are a switch to drop bars and swapping out the fast-wearing tires around 1k. Great bike, highly recommend it.

    2007 Specialized Hardrock Sport: Only change to this is thorn resistant tubes (aka HEAVY) which if I did it over again, I wouldn't do . But that's it, bone stock, started out on it around 420lbs and put 900 (HARD!) miles on it, including several (HARD!!!) offroad ventures. I finally managed to knock a wheel out of true, and that was by wrecking in a splendid fashion on said offroad ventures. I rode it so horribly out of true that I had to unhook the brakes, wrenched it back somewhat true a couple miles later, then home-trued it when I got home.

    I swear, the Hardrock is indestructible. It's heavy. It ain't fast. But YOU will break before IT breaks, trust me. I can't say enough good things about this bike. I'm going to swap out the majority of the components with lighter and nicer stuff, but bone-stock it hasn't failed me once. Forget the Kona Hoss, this is *THE* big guy bike.

    That's all I've got.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I agree with everything that others have said above, but would post a warning about vintage bike wheels. Most road bike wheels made before the mid 1990s are not double-walled (where the spokes attach through both walls of the rim), and anyone that weighs over 185 lbs will start to have pretty significant wheel/spoke problems with those old wheels.

    If you have a vintage bike that you want to stick with, spring for more modern rims. Especially for the rear wheel. I would also suggest 36 or more spokes per wheel if possible. Keep riding!

  19. #19
    Enjoying the Ride Bob Loblaw's Avatar
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    Clyde wheelset

    As a 225 lb clyde, I just wanted to share some info about a wheelset I just bought. Partly because I'm excited and can't wait for it to arrive, partly because I'm sure others will want to know about wheel options for us bigger people.

    After reading lots of positive comments about www.coloradocyclist.com, I decided to give them a go. I had an idea of what I wanted, but had never spec-ed a custom wheelset before. Their cust. service people were VERY helpful, and set me up with what should be a long lasting wheelset for everyday rides and training. If I decide to get competitive, then a set of race wheels might be in order. That way I'll have time to true them between events.

    Anyway, with the help of coloradocyclist, I ended up picking out Ultegra 6600 hubs, laced to Mavic CXP-33 rims. The CXP rims have more of an aero shape, so while ~40g heavier, they will be stiffer and stronger. The aero shape adds to the poseur points as well. The Open/Pro was the second choice for rims, but I decided on the CXP-33's. I went with 36 spokes on the rear, 32 on the front. Certainly not as sexy as the minimalist spoke designs that are the rage today, but they will last me for a long time. I opted for 14/15 gauge double butted stainless spokes with brass nipples- all in black (another couple poseur points!). The double butted s/s spokes and the brass nipples were recommended as the most durable choices.

    I'm sure this info is elsewhere on this forum, but I figured I'd add it to the sticky for those looking for a quality set of wheels. I should also mention that coloradocyclist was insanely cheaper than my LBS. While I prefer to give business to the local shop, I couldn't pass up a $200+ savings. The wheels were around $300 including shipping. Once they arrive and I get some miles on them, I'll report more!

    -bob

  20. #20
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Jumbo re: mods and highest weight...

    ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I've never done a thing to any bike to accomodate my weight. Hit 301 at least twice, currently 27? (have a good Detecto doctor's scale a got at the local auction).

    I honestly believe the AR3a classic speakers I bought there last night for 20.00 weigh more than I do though.

    If I get wheels on the nearly identical Monark frame I will rig them together for four wheel drive (okay, not without a lift kit and 31" tires, may be a while). Next month I am going to fabricate a fiberglass fairing and add lights, a 12V battery, relay, motorcycle horn and my old Delco. Add that to 15 lbs of saddlebags and a frame and I will still roll fast. That's why they call it a Rollfast, maybe? I wouldn't make it too heavy, obviously. The fairing design will be stong but light and I've had almost a year to ponder it.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    I'm 6'1" weigh 250. I started riding about 270. Rode a Trek Navigator 200 for a year with a new ZOOM stem because the one that came on it creaked and popped whenever I put much stress on the bars. No other weight related modifications at all. And I'm not sure that stem was weight related either. I broke one drive side rear wheel spoke at about month ten. No other problems.

    Now I ride a Coda Elite with zero weight related modifications. I've got a bit over 1,000 miles on it since April 2007. Zero problems with it of any sort.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  22. #22
    Huh
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    I raced mtb at 300 lbs. I found that air shocks did better. I had a problem shredding rear hubs and wheels. I ended up with a Hugi hub / 36 hole 3X with a Rhyno rim on one bike and a Philwood 36 hole 3X with a Rhyno lite rim on the other bike. Both worked very well. For some reason, the front wheels were never a problem.

    I never quite broke out of the beginner class, but I did manage a few top ten finishes. I'm told it's fairly demoralizing to be passed by a rider who resembles a sumo wrestler.

  23. #23
    Senior Member rexford's Avatar
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    I've got an '05 Felt F70. Heaviest weight was 290. Didn't see a rock and ate asphalt going about 15mph. No damage to the bike and it still rides great.

  24. #24
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huh View Post
    I never quite broke out of the beginner class, but I did manage a few top ten finishes. I'm told it's fairly demoralizing to be passed by a rider who resembles a sumo wrestler.
    Boy HOWDY idnat FUN tho!
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

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    Great Info!

    Hello - I'm new to this group and would like to ask a few questions.

    I'm a Mega-Clyde - 5' 10" 305 Lb. 43 Yrs Old

    In 1985, at 22 I was riding a Team Miyata in local races and even winning a few. Got a real job and quit riding, went from 165 Lbs to 265 Lbs in 18 months. Now 20 years later I'm a very out of shape 305 lbs.

    I have got to turn this train around - so this is where my question starts...

    I dearly loved riding Road bikes, I love the old geometry, and was very spoild by riding a world class bike back in the day. My wife (the Boss) refuses to let me buy another piece of exercise equipment that will sit unused. I've struck a bargain that I can have a Road Bike if I keep it below $200.00.

    After doing some research I met a guy who had a 1987 Cannondale RS600 frame-set hanging in his garage for 15 years. It is solid with no damage, and has a Shimano 600 headset, Cinelli neck and bars, frame and fork. He stripped it of parts as he grew out of the frame. He gave me the frame for free.

    So here is my starting point. I think I can put a bike together using vintage parts from ebay, and local sales.

    I have a few primary questions:

    I desire as little crank flex as possible. I know the frame is up to the task, can anyone recommend either a vintage crank or maybe a newer crank that will hold up to my pounding? Is a modern 105 better than an 80's Dura Ace?

    I know this bike will be mondo stiff, especially with me on top. I live in Scottsdale Arizona, the roads and paths seem pretty smooth. Am I looking at the wrong frame? Can I make it livable (I like a stiff bike) with a suspension seat post, etc..? I am planning on starting with 32+ spoke touring wheels.

    Lastly; do I need to woory about frame fatigue with a Cannondale of this vintage?

    Thanks for any guidance anyone can provide. Please feel free to hit me with any observations or comments.

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