Clyde looking for new bike advice.
Hello all, newer Clyde here 6'-3" and 285. I rode another 40 mile canyon ride yesterday and I am now ready to buy a new bike and move from my 2006 Trek 7500 to a Road Bike. I have loved the flat bars on the Trek for control and a more upright position, but I borrowed a friends Cannondale CAAD8 with Ultegra gears and I rode a lot faster. I think that I just need the proper sized road bike and I will get used to the drop bars, (and as I see it), slightly less control. Currently my first choice is a new 2008 Cannondale R5 CAAD 9 with upgraded Mavic Open Pro rims and 32 or 36 spoke hubs. Gears would be a combo of Ultegra & 105's. ( I want an aluminum framed bike that is large enough for me, reasonably good components, and not the lowest ( racing ) position. I am not interested in racing. I typically ride with one other rider or alone, and ride no less than 40-50 miles at a time, but have endless Coast Highway, and mountain canyon roads to do more miles.
Here are my questions that I have:
1. Is the Cannondale R5 CAAD 9 "Clyde" worthy with the open pro upgraded rims , and are there any other upgrades you would recommend?
2. When I rode the borrowed 2006 CAAD 8, the front gears had 53 & 39 teeth. I think the rear gears are 12-27 but am not sure. On some of the uphills I was in the smallest rear gear and although I made the hill without walking, it is not the steepest hill I will encounter on future rides, and one more gear would have made it a little better. ( My Trek 7500 has the triple up front, but the LBS & my roadie friend tell me that I should stick with doubles, however none of these people are "Clydes".
What gears should I look for front & back?
Should I get double or triples?
3. Is the Ultegra Hub the only Shimano "Clyde" approved hub.
4. What are the thoughts of putting 700 x 28c tires on a new road bike instead of the stock 23c's, my thinking is that it will give a little more cushion to help the rim, and not be too resistant in rolling.
5. Is a Carbon fork the way to go if it comes stock, or am I too heavy.
I know many of these questions are personal preference, but I trust the input from this forum more than the input from the LBS's.
I appreciate any input you fellow Clyde's may have.
Check out some cyclocross bikes. They have a more upright riding position and can run wider tires.
I have a 2007 CAAD9 with all 105, except RD is Ultegra. Velocity Deep V's wheels and Ultegra hubs. It's a great bike, smoothest riding aluminum bike I have ever ridden. I sit at 300 lbs. You are basically me, I was riding a Trek 7300 and moved to a road bike, so I know some of the issues you are going to have. My longest ride to date on this bike is 59 miles primarily due to some factors mentioned below.
At 285, you might be better off with the Velocity Deep V's or Mavic CXP33's. Both are clyde proof wheels. Find a solid wheel builder in your area.
Tiagra hubs and up will work, but for the cost, the Ultegra just seemed to be the best deal for me when I had my wheels built.
While you can ride 700-28's, they are a little tight at the bottom bracket area and they have to be deflated to get the tire by the brakes even when in the open position. I would stay with the 23's or 25's. I am currently running Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase 700-25's and they feel pretty good. I have been running the Hardcase 700-28's on my Hybrid and have just over 2500 miles on them now and have had 1 flat. I have to say that they are not the smoothest riding tire, but almost bomb proof for me so I put them on my CAAD9.
The carbon fork that comes standard is fine and does not need to be changed.
As far as upgrades or changes, saddle that comes stock, suck-dilly-ucks. You might like it, but be wary. I gave mine away it was so painful.
One other thing to consider, your moving from an upright position to race geometry, your going to really need a good bike fitting. The seat post is a setback type and the stem is fairly long 110mm and does not have any rise to it. If you want to have a race position, then the stem will be ok. I changed mine out to a 17 deg rise 100mm as I did not feel as comfortable in the stock setup. I'm still considering moving to a stem with a 25 to 35 deg rise, I feel like I am just putting too much weight on my hands. A friend loned me an adjustable stem to play with in different rise positions so I could find the right rise.
The Q-factor on the bike is much lower than the Trek, so if you have wide feet, you might need to push your pedals out a little. I ended up getting some pedal extenders and Time Alium pedals. My foot was riding on the edge of the road pedals I had (Shimano and Look) and did the same on my Shimano SPD's. With the Time pedals, my feet sit perfectly on the pedals and don't hang off the edge and I don't have the burning foot issue now. I also got some new shoes so I am sure having a stiffer sole does not hurt either.
I got mine with a 105 Compact, but I live in Northeast Florida. It defines the word flat, so the triple was not even a thought. I like the compact, might be something to look at. My setup is a 50-34 with a 12-25 cassette. If I lived in a hilly area, I might change it to a 12-27.
1. Great Bike
2. Upgrade Wheels to Velocity Deep V's or Mavic CXP33 (hand built by a solid builder)
3. Hubs not really an issue for clyde.
4. Be wary of the stem. Might see if they will lend you an adjustable to find the right angle.
5. New Saddle.
6. Stick with the 23-25 sizes.
7. Fork is fine stay with it.
8. Check into a compact crank.
Once I figure out my stem issue, I feel I will easily be able to complete some longer distance rides in comfort.
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