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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 08-29-07, 07:20 AM   #1
Nightcap
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Athena Advice Needed

This post is specifically directed to the distaff side.

Bike riding is fun, but it's even more fun with your best friend. The bright and shining center of my universe and I are going shopping for a new bike for her. The key factors are: road bike suitable to a woman of substance that will enable her to feel comfortable and in control. The goal, apart from the obvious one of having fun, is to build up endurance while burning calories. Are there any bikes you would recommend we particular seek out for test drives?

Much obliged!
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Old 08-29-07, 07:59 AM   #2
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I just had a great ride yesterday with an Athena (I don't know if she is a BF member or not) who was riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker. This is a touring bike, with wider tyres, heavy duty spokes, etc. Unless the bright and shining center of your universe (I love that phrase, that is so sweet) weighs well over 300 pounds, I think it would probably work for her. It's a cro-moly frame, TIG welded, so it's sturdy.

Not my photos, but some nice shots of the Black Cherry Pearl finish:

http://sports.webshots.com/photo/201...44717742FHQCZL

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Old 08-29-07, 08:03 AM   #3
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I can only reply for myself... you'll want to let her pick out her own bike completely. Any bike is going to be uncomfortable as you get used to it, so she really needs to go through the buying process and decision on her own. It not only involves what her temperament is like (does she like exploring in forests, or going to pretty park, or is she the kind who walks around the neighborhood?) but also things like

1) how old she is (some of us over 40 find the newer bikes unattractive sometimes),
2) how much she weighs (apparently this can be a factor. Most of the Clydes here use a more modern, compact geometry--or a bent!)
3) What kind of bike you* have... (nothing worse than being with someone going twice as fast as you when you're on a 40 lb bike and working twice as hard)

I like old fashioned racing bikes myself. Most of the people here didn't start with one. But I do not like compact geometry. It just doesn't work with me. I don't feel like I'm "flying through the air" on a cross bike, but a lot of people here like it. Start with the handlebars at seat height, no matter what the sales guy says.

Let her choose, and tell her about us up here in Clydes/Athenas! There are certain things we've all gone through, so hurting wrists and achy knees don't have to sideline her.

If I were married and just starting to bike with my husband (and this is just me) I would want him to go at my pace, but not let me know he was holding back. I would want him to suggest taking breaks so I didn't have to all the time, and I would want to pick out my own bike, for sure. You don't sound like the kind of guy that would push her too much, but it's something you don't want to do unless she was a high-school athlete and used to it. At least, that's how I would feel if I was your wife.... but I'm not! You know her best...
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Old 08-29-07, 08:04 AM   #4
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BTW, the Surly that East Hill talks about is the same basic geometry as my bike, and I couldn't be happier with it.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:20 AM   #5
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I ride with an Athena tri-racer who rides a Trek Pilot 2.1 WSD. She loves everything about that bike, and has never had an issue with it (aside from making sure to put a non-stock, proper fitting saddle on it.)
Not sure how much 'substance' you're referring to in your post, but my friend is around 170 pounds and the Pilot works just fine.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:25 AM   #6
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I ride with an Athena tri-racer who rides a Trek Pilot 2.1 WSD. She loves everything about that bike, and has never had an issue with it (aside from making sure to put a non-stock, proper fitting saddle on it.)
Not sure how much 'substance' you're referring to in your post, but my friend is around 170 pounds and the Pilot works just fine.
Actually her pilot is a 5.0, not a 2.1. At least the one she rides with us on the weekend rides. The 5.0 is CF, the Pilot 2.1 is Al. I remember because I recall complementing her on the choice as I once test rode and Pilot 5.0 and fell in love with it. The only reason I didn't buy it was because I wasn't uncomfortable putting my 300+ pounds on a CF frame.

But 170 isn't enough to be concerned on a CF frame.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:51 AM   #7
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Actually her pilot is a 5.0, not a 2.1. At least the one she rides with us on the weekend rides. The 5.0 is CF, the Pilot 2.1 is Al.
But 170 isn't enough to be concerned on a CF frame.
Whoops!
I just looked quick on the Trek site, saw the 105/Ultegra components and remembered from working on her bike that those were her components. Didn't check the frame specs. Hers is CF, so it must be the 5.0 WSD.

170 isn't much for a CF frame. I used to ride CF when I was 215 pounds. It's the low spoke count wheels that amaze me with that Pilot 5.0. Those things are strong as all get out.
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Old 08-29-07, 09:51 AM   #8
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Look at Surley's, very customizable for any sort of riding.
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Old 08-29-07, 10:33 AM   #9
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I can only reply for myself... you'll want to let her pick out her own bike completely.
+1 From experience, let her look at and test ride a wide variety of bikes and let her choose the one that she likes the best.
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Old 08-29-07, 06:51 PM   #10
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My wife has the 5.2 cf Pilot. She loves it. It's considered an upright comfort roadie and some may think it's slow. BS! That sucker is fast!
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Old 08-30-07, 04:49 AM   #11
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First,thanks for all the good advice. With the exception of one appalling lapse, she possesses excellent judgement. There's a great salesperson over at Belmont Wheelworks who had her sit on a Specialized Globe, but she wasn't really dressed for a test drive. We'll be back on Saturday morning.
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Old 08-30-07, 11:01 PM   #12
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I recently bought a Specialized Tricross sport--a cyclocross bike--and I am LOVING it. I have only put about 350 miles on it so far, so it might be too soon to tell, but so far so good. It's sturdy (like the Surly) but speedy too. It's built to take a pounding and is actually 1 pound lighter than my old road bike which wasn't. I am 5' 8" and 250something and usually start having weight related issues like broken spokes around 200 miles. It has a wider wheel base, so Its better suited to carrying extra weight, and I'm not sitting right on top of the rear axle, stressing out those poor little spokes. The tires are a little beefier too (700X 32mm), but not so wide that they slow me down. The gearing is wonderful for climbing too. The big ring on the cassette has 36 teeth (Big, big gear to me, forgive the lack of expertise in "bike talk") and the front rings are 50,39,30. It's harder to go fast on the flats, but well worth the time gained on hills.

Of course, your wife needs to decide for herself, but that's just one option out there
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Old 09-01-07, 05:06 PM   #13
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With the help of a patient and knowledgeable salesman at Wheelworks, my partner in crime reached a decision last night. It was assembled and ready today. Here it is, perched at the tip of Deer Island in Boston Harbor.



It's the Specialized Globe IG8-W. The internal hub seems pretty trouble-free, and Sarah reports that the whole bike feels reassuringly solid and well-built. Her first outing was almost three miles, which is a pretty darned good start.

Thanks again for all the input!
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