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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    should i really look at a custom bike?

    Left a post on my first visit about the same topic only to realize I posted it in the intro area.

    I'm a big guy looking for a new bike. As I am in North Dakota my selection is limited but I trust and like the owners of the shop I would be buying from. I'm 6'4" tall with a 35/6 in inseam and a longer than average wing span (dress shirts need to have a 37" sleeve) and 215lbs on a good day. The shop is sure that a specialized roubaix in a 61 would work for me. They did not go through any kind of measuring process. As it happens I was traveling across the state and stopped at a bike shop in a larger city and they measured me. They say I should be looking at a 63, and suggested a custom built bike by waterford.

    My budget is $3000 give or take, and the roubaix expert is all carbon with shimano ultegra sl/ls (?)groupo. To get the same build on the waterford would be a fair amount more. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    My riding style is shorter 1 to 3 hour rides of 25 to 40 miles on a typical day in the winds of ND. I feel that if the bike is more comfortable I can increase that by quite a bit. My old rig is a mid 80's nishiki maxima.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    Are you currently riding your "old rig"? The reason I ask is if you aren't currently riding I would hate to drop that amount of cash on bike, when in a few months of riding you may have a different preference for feel.

    I ride a Roubaix, 60. I am 6' and 31/32 inseam, long torso, 34 sleeve, I wouldn't want a bike any biker. All that to say either a 61 or 63 could work, did you get a chance to ride both sizes? I would ride all the sizes they have in that range, larger if they one.

    I don't know much about Waterford, other then they are a spendy bike.

    Welcome to the site too

  3. #3
    AKA Nathan Dr_Robert's Avatar
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    At 6'4", most "XL" size bikes should fit you. Your long arms might present a problem, but probably nothing a stem swap couldn't fix.

    They say I should be looking at a 63, and suggested a custom built bike by waterford.
    That's just silly. It sounds to me like the LBS was just looking for an excuse to max out your credit card.

    Waterford makes some very nice bikes, but they're not the only custom builder out there. If you do want / need a custom frame, shop around a bit and you can find a better deal. Waltworks could probably set you up with a custom steel build without breaking your budget.

    -DR
    '08 Bianchi San Jose
    '06 Giant OCR C3
    '04 Specialized Hardrock Comp

  4. #4
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I would go to a shop that could actually fit you on their machine. Then look at what they have available that would work for you.

    I am 6'3" and have a 33 inseam. I am on a 61cm Jamis.
    2007 Jamis Ventura Comp
    2006 Jamis Explorer 2.0
    2000 Specialized Hardrock (bought used)
    Swim, Bike, Run and sounds like fun

  5. #5
    BIGWOLF ajbeck21's Avatar
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    get a gunnar same as waterford with out the lugs and more affordable

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    and get a fitting at a competent shop - this really matters
    2009 Custom TI Frame Road Bike, all 2007 Campy Record, Campy Euros Wheelset
    2009 Custom TI Frame touring Bike. S&S couplers, XTR Drivetrain. LOW granny.
    2009 Performance Bicycles TI (by Lynsky) road frame, 7900 DA, 7950 DA Compact Crank, Light Niobium Rim Wheels

  7. #7
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbpence View Post
    and get a fitting at a competent shop - this really matters
    +1

    You should be able to find plenty of production frames that you fit on just fine.

    Me:
    6'6"
    36" inseam
    37" sleeve
    240 pounds give or take a few

    My bike:
    62cm Surly Cross Check
    175mm crank
    100mm, higher rise stem than stock, to bring the bars closer to even with the saddle

    The Serrotta Fit session at my LBS was worth every penny. I've never been as comfortable on a bike as I am with this one.

  8. #8
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    At 215 pounds, you should be able to find a production frame that fits you.
    I,on the other hand, am 260 and went the custom steel roadie route..

  9. #9
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    +1
    The Serrotta Fit session at my LBS was worth every penny. I've never been as comfortable on a bike as I am with this one.
    In these here parts, it's a pretty common practice to apply the cost of a fitting to the purchase price of a bike if you purchase it within a certain time frame. If you know you are going to buy, it's a great investment.

  10. #10
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Whathappen to my postis?

    I have buds your size that ride XL Giant CF frames. Nice bikes! Might have a big saddle to handlebar drop, but hey, you have long arms!

  11. #11
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    It depends on whether or not a stock frame fits you. The advice above that most "XL" bikes should fit is not enirely accurate. I have similar dimensions to you and I have found that just because a bike is the largest one a company makes does not mean it is going to fit you. You need to try out a couple of the bikes people are suggesting, and if they can be made comfortable with minor changes (longer stem, wider bars, longer cranks for instance) then you should be ok.

    I have owned many off the shelf bikes and currently own two custom bikes... my experience is that sometimes you can get lucky with off-the-shelf. $3000 can get you a sweet custom ride (not necessarily top of the line superlightweight, but sweet) or a very sweet taiwanese made carbon bike. Weigh how much performance will you gain from having a bike that is 1/2 lb lighter versus how much performance you will gain from having a bike that fits you 100% perfectly.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I have the ability, training, and tools to build custom bicycle frames. I am skeptical that the OP needs a custom frame. Building frames is fun, but my own experience is that off-the-rack bikes will work for about 95% of the population if they're properly fit to the bike. There's a lot that can be done with stems, bars, seats, seat posts, crank arms, etc. to make an off-the-shelf bike fit well. I purchased a new bike recently and, to be honest, buying or building a custom frame didn't even cross my mind...

    I believe that the Specialized Roubaix is one of the best bikes available on the market today. I really loved the Roubaix Expert I test-rode! I was all set to buy a Roubaix Pro frame... only to discover that Specialized was out-of-stock until December I would strongly recommend that the OP find a Specialized dealer that knows about bike fit and arrange a Roubaix test-ride there. Specialized's website will help you find dealers in your area that offer their Body Geometry fit services...

    If that doesn't work, the Fit Calculator at Competitive Cyclist is actually pretty helpful. Obviously, it's not going to swap parts and dial-in the fit for you, but it should give you a very good idea of what size frame you need...

  13. #13
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txvintage View Post
    In these here parts, it's a pretty common practice to apply the cost of a fitting to the purchase price of a bike if you purchase it within a certain time frame. If you know you are going to buy, it's a great investment.
    My LBS does half the cost of the fitting toward bikes under $3K and full price for bikes over $3K.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Whathappen to my postis?

    I have buds your size that ride XL Giant CF frames. Nice bikes! Might have a big saddle to handlebar drop, but hey, you have long arms!
    No idea where your post went... I'll look around and tell you if I see it.

    A big saddle to bar drop isn't always an OK thing for someone just because they've got long arms. I've got big ol' gorilla arms, and I only have a 1.5" drop from saddle to bartops. It all depends on your riding style, flexibility and strength for how you're best positioned and set up on your bike. I think that's the real benefit of an LBS fitting; is that analysis of all the fiddly things that you might overlook just trying to adjust things on your own.

    (Unless you really know what you're doing with bike fitting. In that case, you might be just fine with a DIY fit/adjustment. YMMV.)

  14. #14
    Junior Member
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    Thanks for all of the great input.
    The biggest problem I face is that the only bike specific shop, which is a specialized dealer, does not keep larger bikes(60 or larger) in inventory. They will be have a couple of demo bikes in a 61 for me to try. The shop where I was measured is a 5 hour drive away but they seem to think bike fit is very important. They also have inventory. I got to test ride a 62 gunnar. It was comfortable but the ride was very upright from what I'm used to. They also had a 63 cannondale I didn't have time to try.
    At this point I will wait to try the roubaix when my local shop gets it in. I would like to keep my business local if I can. Again, thanks for all the great advice and keep it coming!

  15. #15
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Specialized has a long top tube on their bikes. I'm 6'2 and all torso, 31" inseam and I ride a 58 CM very comfortable. Compact geometry bikes fit differently that horizontal TT bikes.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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