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  1. #1
    Junior Member Leopard_Wrasse's Avatar
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    Ughf - A little help please on bike selection

    I just received some bad news. I had saved for several months the $1000 it would take to purchase a Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro from bikesdirect.com @ the 61cm size. I just recieved word that they will not have inventory on that size until August 30. My bike is my ONLY means of transportation, and currently I'm riding an older Trek which has one foot in the grave. Therefore, waiting until August 30 really isn't an option for me. They do have the 64cm in stock, but I fear that would be too large for me. I stand about 6'3" and weigh in around 280lbs plus carry a back pack weighing on average 20lbs. I could get the Fantom Cross and the reduced price of $800, but I was looking for the Ultegra/Dura Ace combo for the extra $200 as a "must-have." Not to mention the polished aluminum was terribly sexy (IMHO). So, what are your recommendations of bikes to check out?

    $1000 to spend
    Bike used for everyday commuting on city streets/parks and maybe the ocassional off-trail riding
    Bike and wheelset needs to hold 300lbs on average

    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Surly Long Haul Trucker

  3. #3
    atop a blazing saddle idig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tabor View Post
    Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Ditto.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Leopard_Wrasse's Avatar
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    Listed as "Sold Out" on bikesdirect.com FWIW

  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    And don't forget to throw on a cheapo rack and get that weight off your back
    before you help a surgeon buy his 3rd vacation condo.
    Your friendly, local, minor god of information.

  6. #6
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tabor View Post
    Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Thirded. Remember, it's not about the bike. My riding buddies this weekend were riding a Salsa La Cruz with SRAM Force, and a Kona Kula 2-9 with full XT. I had 0 problems keeping up with them, and I have almost 150 pounds on each of them!

    You'll be happy you did it. Plus DA and such parts really don't hold up well to bigger folk.

  7. #7
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdinger View Post
    Plus DA and such parts really don't hold up well to bigger folk.
    I disagree with that, but I certainly wouldn't put DA or Ultegra on anything I'd ever get near a dirt surface. I'd even have to think twice about 105. Dirt is hard on stuff like that, especially if you plan to crash at all. (I filled my sora brifter with sand in a get off and it still works fine, and cheap to replace if it didn't.)

    But yeah, LHT is pretty cool.

    Lots of nice cyclocross bikes around $1000 by various manufacturers if you're looking for something a little more racy.

  8. #8
    atop a blazing saddle idig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopard_Wrasse View Post
    Listed as "Sold Out" on bikesdirect.com FWIW
    I'm assuming you are talking about the LHT. Just have your LBS order it for you. They will build it up, and should tune up for you after you have broken it in. A good one will do minor adjustments forever as needed, and they may also throw in some bottle cages or swap out some of the components if you want something different. I don't know if bikesdirect was selling the LHT complete bike from Surly, or just a LHT that they built up from a frame set. The complete bike is really solid spec.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopard_Wrasse View Post
    Listed as "Sold Out" on bikesdirect.com FWIW
    It is a good thing that Jenson USA and Bicycle Warehouse have them in stock.

  10. #10
    NadaKid wayne pattee's Avatar
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    If I had the money, I'd be hopping on a Long Haul Trucker right now.

  11. #11
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    If you want a cross bike then you want the Surly CrossCheck, not the LHT.

    Quality Bike Parts carries Surly so every LBS in America can order whatever you want from their QBP catalog.

    Another nice choice is the Soma DoubleCross:


  12. #12
    atop a blazing saddle idig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001 View Post
    If you want a cross bike then you want the Surly CrossCheck, not the LHT.

    Quality Bike Parts carries Surly so every LBS in America can order whatever you want from their QBP catalog.
    The frame material is the same on both, and the geometry is similar, with the LHT having a slightly longer wheel base. Both will accommodate fenders. The LHT, having a touring frame is understandably equipped for both front and rear racks, should you need them. The Crosscheck only has braze ons for the rear. While the frames are similar, the spec is considerably different, the primary difference being that the Crosscheck comes with a double, and the LHT a triple. Both come with bar end shifters, which seems at home on the LHT tourer, but odd for the cyclocross Crosscheck. I don't know much about the stock wheels on the Crosscheck (cyclocross wheels are generally tough, so they'd likely be fine). The LHT wheels are obviously intended to support touring, so they would definitely hold you. I know bdinger had a little spoke trouble with his at about the 300 mile mark, but so far mine have held up without incident. I had mine retensioned at 275 miles, and I would encourage anyone to do the same with any new wheels that are factory built.

    If you are going to do cyclocross racing, or at least fast riding off road, then a Crosscheck may make more sense. If you want a bike with more gears that can do it all, including off road, then I still think the LHT is the way to go. Obviously, you'll want to compare the spec and decide for yourself.

    I have my LHT currently set up for long charity rides, equipping it with Ultegra STI brifters, 28mm tires, and a few other customizations. I weigh a shade under 300lbs, and I feel that the bike holds me easily. While no one would ever confuse me for Lance Armstrong, I had no trouble hanging with a 20+mph pack for several miles this past weekend at the Tour d'Italia. I'm sure I would have gone just as fast on the Crosscheck, but I may have had some trouble without a granny gear at the Real Ale Ride a few weeks ago. Many roadies were walking while I was able to sit and spin up some steep climbs. Depending on the terrain where you ride, the gearing is likely the biggest factor when deciding between these two Surly bikes.

    Let us know what you end up getting, and don't forget to post pictures.


  13. #13
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    I would pick up a used bike to carry you through the interim, then get the bike you really want this fall. If you buy right, you should be able to pick up a used bike, ride it all summer, and sell it for what you paid for it. Kind of a free bike rental.....

  14. #14
    Junior Member Leopard_Wrasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    I would pick up a used bike to carry you through the interim, then get the bike you really want this fall. If you buy right, you should be able to pick up a used bike, ride it all summer, and sell it for what you paid for it. Kind of a free bike rental.....
    That actually makes a lot of sense and I may just do that.

    I realize this thread has turned into a Surly love fest, but those bikes just don't do it for me. They are very plain when compared to the other bikes I've been shopping. <shrug> Yeah, I know, kind of silly to look at the purchase in that regard, but a sexy bike is part of the package I desire. I've never driven a Ford because of how plain I always thought they were, instead opting for a foreign car with sexy lines. Its just translating over to bikes now. Up until a month ago I planned on getting a Surly... until I saw one in person.... and yawned. Plus I can't stand bar end shifters, and by the time I change out shifters and get a better wheel set I'm easily over $1500 for a bike with lesser equipment than I could have on bikes at the $1000 range. I don't know, maybe I'll have little choice but to go with a Surly, but...

    I have the day off today. I think I'll spend it shopping all my bike stores and see what I can come up with. I'm just so depressed the bike I wanted isn't available.

  15. #15
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
    I would pick up a used bike to carry you through the interim, then get the bike you really want this fall. If you buy right, you should be able to pick up a used bike, ride it all summer, and sell it for what you paid for it. Kind of a free bike rental.....
    This is an example of smartness!

  16. #16
    Perma-n00b Askel's Avatar
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    No problem buying a bike based on how it looks if it encourages you to get out and ride more.

    You might want to check out the Jamis Nova Pro:
    http://jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/08_bikes/08novapro.html

    A buddy of mine just picked one up for well under $1k. It's tough to find a bike at that price point with a better frame.

    Plus, I think my entire cyclocross team was completely gaga over it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopard_Wrasse View Post
    That actually makes a lot of sense and I may just do that.

    I realize this thread has turned into a Surly love fest, but those bikes just don't do it for me. They are very plain when compared to the other bikes I've been shopping. <shrug> Yeah, I know, kind of silly to look at the purchase in that regard, but a sexy bike is part of the package I desire. I've never driven a Ford because of how plain I always thought they were, instead opting for a foreign car with sexy lines. Its just translating over to bikes now. Up until a month ago I planned on getting a Surly... until I saw one in person.... and yawned. Plus I can't stand bar end shifters, and by the time I change out shifters and get a better wheel set I'm easily over $1500 for a bike with lesser equipment than I could have on bikes at the $1000 range. I don't know, maybe I'll have little choice but to go with a Surly, but...

    I have the day off today. I think I'll spend it shopping all my bike stores and see what I can come up with. I'm just so depressed the bike I wanted isn't available.
    I think you were lucky. I also think you need to take a step back and realise you
    are making decisions based on the paint job.
    Your friendly, local, minor god of information.

  18. #18
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    I think you were lucky. I also think you need to take a step back and realise you
    are making decisions based on the paint job.
    Seriously, different handlebar tape and a coloured saddle can completely alter the look of a bike....

  19. #19
    Senior Member natbla's Avatar
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    +1 on the buying used

    if not that than consider looking or a Redline cyclocross bike or Specialized cross bike (can't remember the name of either one). They both seem good and their Tiagra/105 level versions should be in your budget

  20. #20
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    I'd second the Jamis recommendation. They make good bikes at a good price point.

    Also, get what appeals to you and--more importantly--fits well. What appeals to us here on C & A may not work for you.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  21. #21
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    I wonder if you could take a bike to a body shop and have it painted? Maybe get custom decals made up at a sign shop?

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopard_Wrasse View Post
    Plus I can't stand bar end shifters, and by the time I change out shifters and get a better wheel set I'm easily over $1500 for a bike with lesser equipment than I could have on bikes at the $1000 range.
    Buy whatever your heart desires, but that wheel set is solid.

  23. #23
    Senior Member badgermac's Avatar
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    LHT hands down! Or send the cash my way and I'll buy an LHT!

  24. #24
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    Do what you will, however, just from personal experience - if I didn't have a bike shop that backed up my cycling purchases, I wouldn't be cycling anymore. There are plenty of "sexy" options available at the LBS, and the difference you pay between them and Bikesdirect is made up in warranties, support, and service. Finding a good LBS for us clydes is like a mini gold mine.

  25. #25
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    If I had been saving for months for a bike I was in love with, then found it was out of stock, I would wait and get exactly what I want. Few have the opportunity to buy multiple $1K bikes, so if that is what you want, I would do as I described above and get it.

    I would not want to spend that kind of money for my second choice....

    As far as falling in love with a paint job, hey, thats one of those personal decisions. Cars are sold all of the time based on paint and color, for a lot more than a bicycle.

    I have not yet fallen in love with a specific brand or model of bike, when I do, I will be buying it.

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