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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 11-22-08, 09:03 AM   #1
ryanwood
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bike recomendations

I started commuting to class and work this spring, but I have been riding my mountain bike which leaves lots of room for improvement.
I have been checking out the kona jake, as a daily commuter that I can also use for weekend touring.
Since starting back on the bike in April, I have dropped from 275 down to 255, but I only ride 10 miles a day and I cannot bring myself to ride any long distances on the weekends because the mountain bike just doesn't cut it after about 15 miles.
Does anybody else ride cyclocross bikes? Is that what I should be looking for?
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Old 11-22-08, 09:33 AM   #2
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Depends on your budget and your riding. I am fond of the Surly LHT Complete.
http://www.surlybikes.com/lht_comp.html

There are good bikes that are cheaper. But for a couple of reasons, I like to suggest bikes around a grand. They don't have to make quite so many compromises when they're building the bike.

While cross bikes are popular for commuters, I tried using a touring/cyclocross bike and it didn't work out over the long run.
I like the longer wheelbase, and the lower BB, and especially the longer
chainstays. But a lot of people do use them and like them.

I think a lot depends on what you want to do besides commute. If you
would like to try touring, a touring bike is ideal for commuting. If you are thinking of trying cross racing, then jump the other way.

There's lots of bikes we can talk about, but we need to have an idea as to what your budget is. One of my dream bikes is Waterford. But the frame alone may be twice what you are thinking of spending on the entire bike...
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Old 11-22-08, 09:51 AM   #3
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Kona's are nice bikes for the price. It depends on where you will be riding. Do you ride all pavement or do you have a dirt trail in future? With a cyclocross bike make sure it can take fenders, I know it should have the clerance, but does it has the holes. If you commute are you using or would like to use a rack? Touring bikes usually have extra braze-ons for mounting a rack. Cyclocross bikes gears can be in a wide or narrow range, where most tourning bikes have a wide range and tend to be slower at top end speed. Just some things to consider. I think of Iowa as flat so you may not need a wide range of gears.

Or keep the MTB for commuting and look at the new bike as your long distance bike which may change some options.

BTW, good job on the weight loss.
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Old 11-22-08, 10:16 AM   #4
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I was figuring somewhere around a grand for a new bike, I skimped a little on my mtb a few years back and have had to upgrade some components since. I forgot to mention that drive behind finding a new bike is a move across town. I will be moving so my commute to class will still only be around 5 miles, but my ride to work will be more than 10. which between work class and going home, that puts me at around 30 miles round trip. I don't think my mtb is going to be good enough to get around at those distances. I will keep it for gnarly Iowa winter conditions, and short grocery runs, and trail rides when the weather is better, but thats about it. The majority of my commutes will be on paved paths or roads, but several portions involve me riding on dirt paths and unpaved shoulders so I still want something that is capable of handling a few bumps.

Thanks for the info
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Old 11-23-08, 03:56 PM   #5
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Jake is a sweet ride. Triple, newly upgraded to proper STIs, longish wheelbase, room for bigger tires and racks, etc., but still lively handling (more so than a touring bike). For an urban commuter that can be used in the winter and on fire roads, you could do a lot worse.

I have ridden a JTS over 5k miles, in all conditions ranging from a snowstorm on knobbies to a series of centuries with road bikes on road wheels. It' been very reliable and very comfy.

Make sure it fits...
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Old 11-23-08, 09:00 PM   #6
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I also recommend the LHT, I've been commuting on it since July and have no complaints. Prior to that, I was riding a Trek 7.2fx, which is a fine bike I suppose, but I just enjoy the LHT much more.

Where is SE Iowa are you? If you're in the Iowa City area, you might want to talk with Michael down at The Broken Spoke on Dubuque Street. They are way cool down there - it's a small shop and they don't keep much in stock, but will be more than happy to order anything you need, and best of all they don't try to sell you all sorts of crap.

Also: Iowa may not have many mountains, but it's certainly not flat.
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Old 11-23-08, 10:10 PM   #7
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Have you thought about the Kona Dew series? I got to ride a Plus, I think, a few weeks ago and I was pleased at the handling and speed it had for a hybrid/urban commuter labeled bike. In fact, the one I was test riding was sold to another Clyde for a long ranger/trekking bike. I think he swapped out the handlebars and brakes from his old bike.

I agree with you about the Mtn Bike thing. I love my HardRocks, but they aren't for anything over five mile of flat road in my book.

Jerry
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