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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 08-08-07, 11:50 AM   #1
piper_chuck
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Bike choice, I'm so conflicted

I asked this in the road forum, but I'm thinking that maybe over here people might have some different thoughts. I've got a choice between 3 bikes. I added the specs below.

I will use this bike for solo and group riding. I hope to regain some of the speed that I used to have, but am realistic enough to accept that touring is more likely than racing. The reason for shopping for a new bike is that I've decided that my old one is just not suitable for the riding I'll be doing.

I rode the Fuji Team on Sunday and it seemed nice. Haven't ridden the other two, but I think they will also ride nice.

If I buy from Performance, I'll get lifetime tuneups. However, I can do my own wrenching, and carting the bike up to the store will actually take more time than just fixing small things. If I do buy from Performance, I envision maybe taking it in for occasional tuneups, but I'll do most everything on my own. Doing the final assembly, and even some disassembly and reassembly, on the the Mercier from BD doesn't worry me, I've done plenty of repairs on cars, bikes, the radio control boats I race, and radio control planes I fly.

I've done lots of reading on compacts versus triples. The place I live is what I'd call hilly. There are many little feeder streams that run into rivers, or the lake that was made by damming up the rivers. These streams created lots of nice little valleys that I can't avoid no matter which way I go. The gearing on my current bike is too high, even with a 28 on the back, for many of the hills. Perhaps when I lose 50 pounds and get in better shape, it'll be better, but I don't want to blow out my knees trying to get there. On the downhills I end up in the big ring and the smaller cogs. When I actually get to ride on a flat, I can easily hit 18-20 already, and in a few weeks, I'm sure I'll be cruising over 20. From what I've read about compacts, the combination of uphills, downhills, and flats that I currently ride on will result in a significant amount of shifting on the front rings. The reason this matters is the two bikes from Performance are compacts, but the one from BD is a triple. I've just about convinced myself that I'd be happier with a triple.

The Fuji has a carbon frame, which is supposed to provide a good ride. The Tirreno has carbon in the seat stays and chain stays, which seems to be a decent compromise. The Mercier has a steel frame that's supposed to be durable, easier to repair than the others, and has a weight of around 19 lbs, which is in the same range as the others. Lots of people seem to really like their steel frames.

The lowest price is the Tirreno from Performance. For under $900 I can get mostly Ultegra with a few other things mixed in. The Fuji and Mercier end up at about the same price when I figure discounts, taxes, etc. The Fuji seems to come with slightly lower components than the other Tirreno while the Mercier looks to be supplied with the best quality components.

The Scottish side of me says go with the Tirreno. It's got good components and has the best price. Many people have already said to go with the Fuji because it's got the carbon frame and Fuji makes good bikes. The Mercier has the advantage of being a triple and having the best components, but I wouldn't get the free tuneups (some value even though I do most on my own), would be dealing with someone out of town, and is essentially just a name from olden days that's been stuck on a new frame.

So, having said all that, does anyone have any suggestions to help me decide?

Here are the specs:

Tirreno Razza 1000 (net around $882 from local Performance store)
Frame: 7005 Aluminum w/ Carbon seatstays/chainstays
Fork: Carbon blade w/ Alloy steerer
Headset: FSA Orbit IS-2, 1 1/8 Integrated
Crankset: FSA Gossamer Mega Exo Carbon Pro Compact, 34/50T
Bottom Bracket: FSA Mega Exo
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra STI 10-speed Double
Levers: Shimano Ultegra STI 10-speed
Handlebar: PZ Racing Carbon, Anatomic Flat Top, 31.8mm clamp
Stem: PZ Racing Carbon, 31.8mm clamp
Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra, Double, 31.8mm clamp
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra, 10-speed
Cassette: Shimano 105, 11/23T, 10-speed
Brakes: Cane Creek SCR-5
Wheelset: Velomax Vista
Tires: Hutchinson Top Speed, 700 x 23C
Pedals: Not Included
Seatpost: Carbon/Alloy, 27.2mm x 300mm
Saddle: Selle Italia XO Trans Am Special Edition
Chain: KMC DX10S
Grips/Tape: Cork w/ Gel

Mercier Serpens from Bikes Direct: ($1295 shipped)
Frame Reynolds 853 double-butted High Grade Air Hardened Steel
Fork Reynolds Ouzo Comp Carbon Fiber / Aluminum Steerer
Headset FSA 36deg Sealed Cartridge Bearing for Threadless
Crankset Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 52/39/30T
Bottom Bracket Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 Triple Integrated with Crankset
Pedals None
Front Derailleur Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 Triple
Rear Derailleur Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 Triple
Shifters Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 STI (Flight Deck Compatible)
Cassette/Freewheel Shimano NEW 10 speed Ultegra 6600 12-23T
Chain Shimano NEW 10 speed Ultegra 6600
Hubs Ritchey Pro Aero Black anodized, sealed precision bearings
Spokes Stainless
Rims Ritchey OCR Aero Pro, black anodized with machined braking surface
Tires Kenda Racing Kontender Lite 700x23c
Brakes Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600
Brake Levers Shimano NEW 30 speed Ultegra 6600 STI
Handlebar Ritchey BioMax Ergo Butted Aluminum 6061
Stem Ritchey Threadless
Tape/Grip Deluxe Cork
Saddle Turbo Style Velo Racing
Seat Post Ritchey Comp 27.2mm
Seat Clamp Mercier SL Machined Aluminum

Fuji Team ($1299 minus 10% club back available at local Performance store)
Specs attached, couldn't find them in text format.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg FJI6TEAMSpec.jpg (76.6 KB, 24 views)
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Old 08-08-07, 01:13 PM   #2
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From what you've described, you will be happier with a triple, so I'd make that the centerpiece of any bike you're considering.

Aside from that, they all ride differently - so test ride, test ride, test ride. CF bikes, in general, are nice riding. I have a CF Giant OCR that is an excellent all-day bike, and I frequently ride 50-100 miles at a crack with no comfort issues.

Likewise with steel. While both of my steel bikes are Reynolds 531 and Columbus SL repectively, they are very comfortable all-day bikes as well. Reynolds 853 is highly regarded, so I'd expect it would be a nice riding bike, too.
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Old 08-08-07, 01:50 PM   #3
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Get a triple! I almost didn't and I'm so glad that I did. I still can't climb all the hills with a triple, I would have been doomed even with a compact dooble.
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Old 08-09-07, 10:40 PM   #4
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I had similiar issues. Be careful of the paralysis of analysis. I bought an OCR 1 and it has a triple. Do I need it very often? no, but when I do, man it is nice. I would say go with a triple and the best shifting components you can get.

Carbon frames make me nervous. Carbon is a brittle material and my understanding is that nicks could comprimise the whole thing. I like something more sturdy.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 08-09-07, 10:59 PM   #5
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Lifetime warranties on all the frames. I once read the cf/alum bonded joints aren't lifetime affairs. Just to be safe, Id check it out!
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Old 08-10-07, 02:36 AM   #6
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xxx

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Old 08-10-07, 05:49 AM   #7
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Lifetime warranties on all the frames. I once read the cf/alum bonded joints aren't lifetime affairs. Just to be safe, Id check it out!
I hear you on that one. I'm starting to think that buying the best possible components on a throw away frame may be the way to go. Then if there's a problem with the frame I can just pull the parts off of it and put them on a new one. I've even thought of buying a frame and the parts and assembling on my own...
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Old 08-10-07, 05:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by doctortalk121 View Post
get the one with the most appealing color.
the one you WANT to see before a ride.
it's a psycholigical thing,
the prettier it is, the more you'll want to ride.
I had a comment about that last line, but being new here, better keep it to myself.

As far as the bike goes, I've never been one that's terribly concerned about fashion. While having a bike that's ugly is definitely out of the question, I've seen lots of bikes that I thought were ok, but others said were ugly.
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Old 08-10-07, 06:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Caincando1 View Post
Get a triple! I almost didn't and I'm so glad that I did. I still can't climb all the hills with a triple, I would have been doomed even with a compact dooble.
Looks like there's a consensus that a triple is the best choice. That rules out two of the bikes that were in the running. Now I just have to decide if I should go with the Mercier from BD, or look around more. I really should get something new, but perhaps I shouldn't rush things. While it's a bit of a struggle, I do have a bike and while the ride is harsh (aluminum frame), and the gearing is less than ideal (53-42 on the front), the more I ride it, the easier it should get. In fact, I'm hoping to take a break from work this morning (working from home) and get in a ride...
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Old 08-10-07, 06:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Archinutt View Post
I had similiar issues. Be careful of the paralysis of analysis. I bought an OCR 1 and it has a triple. Do I need it very often? no, but when I do, man it is nice. I would say go with a triple and the best shifting components you can get.

Carbon frames make me nervous. Carbon is a brittle material and my understanding is that nicks could comprimise the whole thing. I like something more sturdy.

Just my thoughts.
I've had similar thoughts about carbon. I'm not sure whether I'll ever appreciate the difference carbon provides in the areas of stiffness and ride.
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Old 08-10-07, 06:15 AM   #11
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get the one with the most appealing color.
the one you WANT to see before a ride.
it's a psycholigical thing,
the prettier it is, the more you'll want to ride.
I'd counter that and say, the faster it feels the more you want to ride it. I honestly couldn't care how my bike looks, I'm a speed daemon and I like my toys fast.
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Old 08-11-07, 03:11 AM   #12
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I had a comment about that last line, but being new here, better keep it to myself.

As far as the bike goes, I've never been one that's terribly concerned about fashion. While having a bike that's ugly is definitely out of the question, I've seen lots of bikes that I thought were ok, but others said were ugly.

I'm out of touch with the whole ugly/pretty bike thing, I think. I try to look at other people's bikes, and all I see is a colored blur go by. I mean, even when they're just barely moving, I don't really get to see their bikes. And if they're* stopped, then I'm* usually moving. The only time I see someone's bike is when it's chained up somewhere, and then I don't care that much unless I'm thinking, "That's too pretty to be left there very long".

And* the only time I* see my bike is when I'm getting it out, putting it away or working on it.

Oh, and taking breaks in scenic rest stops. At those moments it is wonderful* to have a pretty bike, although I look lovingly at my old scratched bike, too.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:37 AM   #13
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To close the loop on this thread, I ended up with a 2006 Jamis Quest. It arrived last week. I got it mostly ready, but did not want to bring it to the beach last week because I wanted to take a long ride and didn't have time to get the setup right. I haven't been able to ride it this week because my parents have been visiting. Now they've left and the roads are wet from on and off rain. I could probably get in a ride, but don't want to get my shiny new bike grungy on the first ride.

Here's a pic of my old ride, a 1992 Trek 1200:


Steel is real:


And the new ride:
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Old 09-21-07, 10:48 AM   #14
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Talk to your bike shop. I had the same compact vs triple question. The shop I WILL buy my next bike at just simply told me to pick out the bike I'm most comfortable on and if I want a triple they'll put on a triple. They will credit me the old parts and installation will be free.

Joe
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