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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 05-28-08, 12:29 PM   #1
badgermac
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Journey to my Sequoia

So even with my Hardrock and a cheap FCR I still couldn't get rid of my itch for a more "roadish" drop-bar bike. My wife's interest in riding on my FCR allowed me the opportunity to find one. I had decided on a touring or cyclocross bike.

Hit the chain LBS here in Milwaukee, they sell Trek (and sub-brands), as well as Breezer, etc. They also special order Surly. Didnt' see anything in-shop I liked.

Visited another smaller LBS in the 'burbs. THey had an '06 Trek Pilot I had been watching for awhile, but there was something about the bike - I just didnt' get the "wow" from it. Plus it had 23c tires on it, and I wasnt' sure how much clearance there was for anything fatter.

At that point I had figured it would look at the BikesDirect route and look at the Motobecane Fantom CX. I cant' tell you how many times I was THIS CLOSE (pinching fingers together) to pulling the trigger on one.

Tried another LBS that has an insane collection of older bikes (at insane prices). They had a Fuji Touring there, but from a couple years old and for $800 (new/old stock). They had a nice collection of Bianchi frames. You could walk around this place (they own two buildings full of bikes) for hours and find gems, but they would cost you.

I figured I'd go back one more time to the LBS that sold me my Specialized. They picked up Giant 2 months ago after the chain LBS that sells Trek dropped them. They also sold Schwinn. I was going to look at Giant's TCX1 Cyclocross as well as look at some Specialized Allez they were closing out.

Looked at a couple 2006 and 2007 new/old stock Allez (various variations). All ran about 6-800 bucks. Even jumped over and looked at a Specialized Sirrus - they are sweet looking flat-bar road bikes.

Saw this '06 Sequoia that had been sitting there as long as I had been going in the store (March). I figured it was too big for me (57") - I'm 5'11" but have a 30" or thereabouts for inseam. The sales guy/owner was pleasant as usual and said "Just sit on it - you may be surprised!".

He took it out of the rack and I sat. WOW, I fit! Took a ride, it was AWESOME! When I( got back he had a 54cm Allez out there, he said "Try this". Wow, 54 may be decent from an inseam standpoint but it is most definitely too short for me. Next, a 56cm Allez: FIT!

Tried the Sequoia again. I loved this bike. Problem though, price was $699 and it's an '06 model. Here in MIlwaukee you dont' have a lot of choices for bike stores, this is the only Specialized dealer in my area, and even better, it's an LBS that's a mile from my house. I asked what they could do for me - they dropped $20 off the price, and are going to swap out the 26c tires for some 32c armadillos. Also got 2 years service on there as well for free, plus they fixed up the FCR that we own (RD was finicky when shifting) for free as well. Figured that was about as good as I was going to get, and I brought it home!




Took it ofr a ride this AM. I still have the stock 26's on there while the 32s are on order. Gonna put the rear rack on it probably next week (no need for now) and the Mrs. and I are going to take a 15mi. jaunt this Sat. while Grandma watches the kids, her on her now new-to-her FCR3 and me on the Sequoia.

Last edited by badgermac; 05-28-08 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:34 PM   #2
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Very nice. Your going to be able to fit 32's in there??????? Will probably have to let all the air out of the tires to get them by the brake calipers. The chain stays look pretty tight on the 26's now. Would love to see pics when the 32's are on.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:37 PM   #3
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Sweet! Enjoy that "New Bike smell"
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Old 05-28-08, 12:41 PM   #4
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Good ? on the 32s. The wrench there at the LBS seems to think they'll fit (probably not much room for fenders though but I'll have a rear rack). They did have 28 armadillos in stock (not sure which tread) that they're holding in case the 32s do not work.

I've loved the look of the Allez ever since I saw Tom's in his pix, but for some reason the Sequoia just had "it" with me. I'm not going to be a racer, more of a "tourer" and do some of the distance rides here for cancer (mother is a breast cancer survivor, lost grandmother to cancer, grandfather survived it but lost battle with Alzheimers). I wanted to make sure both my wife and I could keep up with each other from a bike perspective (she struggled when I was on the FCr and she was on her Boulder with slicks) when we do go on those charity rides.
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Old 05-28-08, 12:51 PM   #5
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Forgot to add the moral of my story:

GET FIT! I had assumed based on measurements I'd probably be better suited for 54cm on paper. Well, size depends on the manufacturer (many here espouse that consistently), and the 54cm Speciaized in the Allez and Sequoia didnt' have a long enough top tube for me, plus their "56/57cm" bikes fit me perfectly (just enough room to avoid getting "crunched" if I end up for some reason landing on my top tube) with the slant and compact geometry of the frame.

I was going to buy a 54cm Fantom CX from BikesDirect. NO offense to them, since I respect the business model they have (albeit controversial here on the boards), but I probably would have ended up having to purchase/adjust/lengthen the stem, etc. to really make the bike work for me. N othing beat getting in the shop, sitting on/riding bikes, and seeing what works.
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Old 05-28-08, 01:34 PM   #6
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Whoa, congrats! I really dig the "naked" color of that bike, man, it looks SWEET. Here's to many enjoyable miles on the new steed!
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Old 05-28-08, 01:36 PM   #7
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Milwaukee is Trek country no? Is that why it's hard to find a Specialized?
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Old 05-28-08, 02:16 PM   #8
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Well there are some Specialized dealers but not a lot of stock. Where I live (West Side) the dealer closest to me (15-20 min. ride) is the Specialized/Schwinn/Giant dealer, and they've done me right.

Trek is obviously huge here from an LBS standpoint, but you'll see more Schwinn and Wallybikes around. Trek's pricing I think is at a point that it's not the obvious choice. Plus, Trek is based west of here near Madison, and Madison and Milwaukee aren't friendly territories
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Old 05-28-08, 02:28 PM   #9
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Whoa, congrats! I really dig the "naked" color of that bike, man, it looks SWEET. Here's to many enjoyable miles on the new steed!

+1000. I was going to get the red version of the CAAD9 until I saw the raw bright (brush metal) look. It's just a sweet look.
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Old 05-28-08, 02:30 PM   #10
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Good ? on the 32s. The wrench there at the LBS seems to think they'll fit (probably not much room for fenders though but I'll have a rear rack). They did have 28 armadillos in stock (not sure which tread) that they're holding in case the 32s do not work.
I would be surprised if they did, but you never know.
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Old 05-28-08, 02:39 PM   #11
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I read on a couple archived threads that someone got 32s on theirs. We'll see, if not 28s will be fine!
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Old 05-28-08, 05:37 PM   #12
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Nice looking ride.
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Old 05-28-08, 06:13 PM   #13
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Very nice! I guess this is proves that a LBS is the best way to go when purchasing a bike. I also almost went the BikesDirect route but when my local Performance fit me on my bike it proved to me that LBS support is invaluable!
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Old 05-28-08, 08:37 PM   #14
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I have been looking at the Sequoia myself.
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Old 05-29-08, 07:09 AM   #15
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Mmm - congrats! I do like that bright metal look too!
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Old 05-29-08, 11:31 AM   #16
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Very nice, i want a roadie myself. Im going to drop a few more pounds first. My LBS is a small mom/pop type place and i stay loyal but they are so limited on their brands. They only sell gary fisher and trek and i can order redline stuff. I want something a bit "more" as a reward for my weight loss then they have to offer. Good find on that one too..very nice looking
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Old 05-29-08, 11:35 AM   #17
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I do get envious of those who live in bigger cities and have some more options in terms of bikes to demo/try before purchasing. I had limited myself though because of what I thought my perceived bike size was that I was shocked when I fit on a L size for the Sequoia.

I'm looking to drop the bars a smidgen. I know I can flip the stem, but that may put it a bit low. The bike did come with a shim I can put in to adjust it, and I may try that as well or may just adjust the stem a tad lower.
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Old 05-29-08, 11:38 AM   #18
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I do get envious of those who live in bigger cities and have some more options in terms of bikes to demo/try before purchasing.
Grass is always greener - I get a little envious of those that live where you could bike for miles without traffic lights every 100 feet.

Plus you could always go on vacation to somewhere that has a large selection, buy one and ship it back.
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Old 05-29-08, 11:45 AM   #19
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Very nice, i want a roadie myself. Im going to drop a few more pounds first. My LBS is a small mom/pop type place and i stay loyal but they are so limited on their brands. They only sell gary fisher and trek and i can order redline stuff. I want something a bit "more" as a reward for my weight loss then they have to offer. Good find on that one too..very nice looking
You might see if they can order from QBP, which most shops can. If so, that opens up a whole wonderful world - namely Surly, Salsa and even Rivendell - to you.
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Old 05-29-08, 11:54 AM   #20
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If the Surly LBS here weren't so customer-unfriendly I would have probably taken a serious look at an LHT and then paid the price with the Mrs. later Quite happy with my purchase (since it was less than I thought it would be), but those LHTs are quite nice
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Old 05-29-08, 11:58 AM   #21
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Very nice ride you have there! Wishing you many happy miles.
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Old 05-29-08, 02:26 PM   #22
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If the Surly LBS here weren't so customer-unfriendly I would have probably taken a serious look at an LHT and then paid the price with the Mrs. later Quite happy with my purchase (since it was less than I thought it would be), but those LHTs are quite nice
You SHOULD be happy with your purchase my man, make no mistakes, I'm a little green! That's one gorgeous ride you have there...
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Old 05-29-08, 03:42 PM   #23
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You SHOULD be happy with your purchase my man, make no mistakes, I'm a little green! That's one gorgeous ride you have there...
I'm not complainin', dont' get me wrong! Doesnt' mean I can't still lust after your LHT

Took a 10 mi. jaunt today (limited time) -=> WOW.
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