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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 11-11-07, 03:48 AM   #1
mortonjl
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new clyde shopping for a bike

Hello, Definately a clyde here, 6'2' and 255lbs down from 290lbs in April, thanks weightwatchers. Just getting back into biking since 1988, had a Cannondale and did a few sprints. I recently bought a Rockhopper and have been hitting the trails but am getting the itch to get on the road. Biggest concerns are training, group rides and centurys. Was convinced a Specialized Roubaix Comp or Expert was it but a good friend suggested a Cervelo Soloist Team. Anyways I was hoping for some opinions on each, I see a lot of Specialized faithful here. I'm currently working 75-80 hrs a week so I don't have much time to test each right now, just looking for reviews. Glad to be involved in this BF and will post some pics shortly.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:40 AM   #2
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I have no experience with either bike, but I just wanted to say, "Welcome to BF-Clydes."
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Old 11-11-07, 07:39 AM   #3
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Cervello is a nice bike, but it will have an EXTREMELY aggressive Geometry. It's a race machine. The Cervello is a bike you really need to ride to understand potential physical issues of riding a Time Trials bike.

Roubaix is a distance machine with a relaxed geometry and a lot of comfort on truly long rides. It's designed well, and is also a race machine, but one for endurance racing and long distance events. It makes it more versatile and comfortable.

I ride the Allez, it's a bit more aggressive than the Roubaix, but has an Aluminum frame, but is still a distance ride bike the way I have it set up. I've been very happy with it.

Do try both, as a couple of thousand +/- is a lot of money to spend on a bike you won't ride because of discomfort.
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Old 11-11-07, 07:41 AM   #4
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Hello, Definately a clyde here, 6'2' and 255lbs down from 290lbs in April, thanks weightwatchers. Just getting back into biking since 1988, had a Cannondale and did a few sprints. I recently bought a Rockhopper and have been hitting the trails but am getting the itch to get on the road. Biggest concerns are training, group rides and centurys. Was convinced a Specialized Roubaix Comp or Expert was it but a good friend suggested a Cervelo Soloist Team. Anyways I was hoping for some opinions on each, I see a lot of Specialized faithful here. I'm currently working 75-80 hrs a week so I don't have much time to test each right now, just looking for reviews. Glad to be involved in this BF and will post some pics shortly.
The most important question is fit, a bike that doesn't fit properly will lead to pain, and then you don't want to ride it. The longer the ride the more critical fit becomes. For a 10 mile mountain trail ride fit is no where near as important as for a 100 mile road ride. A professional fitting is a good first step, that will tell you the proportions to look for, a 58cm bike can have a top tube length anywhere from 56 to 60cm, depending on the manufacturer, if your longer in the legs and shorter in the torso, you want a shorter top tube for a given size, if you have short legs and a long body, you typically want a long top tube for a given size.

Second issue is load, if you plan on single day rides only, or credit card touring, then any road style bike is fine, but above 200lbs, you may want to stay away from the super light weight plastic (CF) frames, and low spoke count wheels, If however you want to get some camping gear, and do some camp touring, then you want a touring style bike, you also then need a tough steel touring frame and heavy duty wheels, that can handle 255lbs of rider and 60lbs of gear you also want a really low hill climbing gear. Hauling 345lbs up heart attack ridge when your lowest gear is 30inches is a lot harder then when your lowest gear is 18 inches.....

Third issue is budget, if your budget is limited, then sometimes your better off with a higher quality used bicycle then with a cheap new one, considering the number of bicycles that are still on the road, that first saw the light of day when Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister (the first time), used can be a good option.

If you buy new, then the dealer is more important then the brand, you deal with the dealer on a regular basis, so if the dealer is good, you will have a good experience. Some dealers treat a 250lb rider with $1000 to spend the same as the skinny winny with $10,000 to spend, some will not......
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Old 11-11-07, 09:59 AM   #5
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Hey Bro,

I am 255 and I ride a Spec Tarmac Pro. To my knowledge the only weight restriction you will find on the lower to mid level Specs is a weight limit of 250 for the carbon seatpost. My Tarmac Pro has the Pave carbon seatpost and I have had no issues? I would highly suggest going with a LBS. Most of the Spec Roubs and Tarmacs come stock with Ksyrium wheels. My Elites have had a sketchy performance to date. I have about 3000 miles on mine, got it in Jan of this year, and did get a warranty rebuild on the rear wheel because I broke 2 spokes very early. The wheel has been fine for the last 2000 miles or so. So maybe just bad luck on the original wheelset?

By working with a LBS you will ensure the proper fit which is THE most important variable. Also you could probably negotiate some Mavic Open Pros, maybe a different seatpost, etc. I have Open Pros on my spare bike and they are great. I might eventually upgrade that rig to 10speed so that I can swap wheelsets back and forth.

Like Tom said, and he is THE man, take a look at the Allez as well as the geometry is a good balance between the Roub and Tarmac lines. I hate to sound like I am pushing the Spec line but I personally believe that Spec bikes have the best value with respect to each price point and the componentry package.

Ride them all! Test riding bikes is one of the fun parts of cycling!

Best of luck
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Old 11-11-07, 11:47 AM   #6
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I have a Specialized Allez Comp and while I really like it, but it's just a little cramped for me. I am 5'10" and have a little more torso than leg length and I am riding the 56cm. I'm really in between a 56-58 for the Specialized, but I am really looking at the 2007 Cannondale CAAD9 optimo 3 at the moment. It had a nice test ride in the LBS and I did not feel as cramp and felt really comfy in the seat. They have a pretty rough parking lot and I did not get a lot of road buzz either.
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Old 11-11-07, 02:24 PM   #7
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^^ I'm 6' with a ~32" inseam and I just but my 7th mile on my 58cm Specialized Allez Double (picked it up Wednesday night, rained Thursday and yesterday ). Fits pretty good, so I can see your issue.

OP: I'm only 215 and only gotten 7 miles on the bike, but so far I pretty darn happy with my Specialized.
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Old 11-11-07, 05:14 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I plan on using this bike for training and distance rides, no heavy gear. I called a friend who works at a bike shop that sells Cannondale and Specialized and at first said to look at the Synapse, but said if I could afford a Roubaix, it is hands down a better ride. I will probably end up at about 220lbs, would be really hard to go lower i think. I will be going to Liberty bikes in Asheville NC on tuesday for a fitting, any views on this shop? Thanks again.
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Old 11-11-07, 09:27 PM   #9
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Might want to look at the Cannondale Six13 or the SystemSix before you make your decision. While they are beyond what I wanted to pay and ultimately could afford, they would fall into your price range if your looking at the Roubaix. My LBS has a couple of those on closeout as well and I really liked the System6, but in the end, I just couldn't spend that much. I have a roof and a bathroom to rebuild and that had to have priority.
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Old 11-12-07, 01:28 AM   #10
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I'm the same general size as you, and own a Giant OCR3 composite, basically the same bike as a Roubaix. The bike is perfect for my club rides, hideous climbs (who am I kidding, all climbs are hideous for Clydes), and commuting. It's fast, maneuverable and comfy.

I own another bike with racing geometry - a steel singlespeed with a narrow wheelbase, steep head and seat tubes, big handlebar drop - and it's fine for short rides, but gets really annoying for anything over 30 miles. It's super quick and turns on a dime, but it also beats me up and feels sketchy over rougher roads. That's close to the Cervelo you're looking at.

I'd say go for the Roubaix. The slightly slacker geometry and longer wheelbase will give you comfort, and will support the riding you say you want to do. The tall head tube will give you options - run spacers and a flipped-up stem for a century, flip it down after you get in better shape and can handle a more aggressively aero position.

I guess it's the difference between a fast BMW and an F1 racer. One's built for speed and comfort, the other is performance at the expense of comfort. As clydes, we have less tolerance for that sort of suffering over long distances. That stuff is just plain tougher on big guys.

So... what Tom Stormcrowe said.

Last edited by schnee; 11-12-07 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 11-12-07, 01:32 AM   #11
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I would also say go for something with relaxed geometry. There are a number of bikes that fit the bill. Like my Gunnar Sport
http://www.gunnarbikes.com/sport.php
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