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  1. #1
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    Suffering from Selection Paralysis.

    I have been trying to buy a new bike on and off for over a year now. The more I look and learn the harder the decision gets. I would greatly appreciate some opinions and guidance on what kind of brand new bike I should get.

    About me:
    I am a 5í 10Ē 42 year old Uber Clyde weighing in at 318lbs. I have regained 78 of the 120lbs I lost 18 months ago. (Done that at least 4 times.) What is different this time around is despite a motorcycle accident and then 2 different ankle injuries I have managed to stay active and committed to weight training. I canít run anymore and my back sometimes prohibits me from some activities. I was set on the Trek 7.3FX last year but the 20Ē was a shy to tall and the 17.5 to short. If it came in a 19 I would be riding it now. I have test ridden many bikes and bike styles and it only seems to make me more indecisive. I have a small collection of wrong bike purchases. Test riding just isnít working for me. I seem to need a few riding weeks with each to know for sure.

    Bikes in order of consideration: (Descending order)
    Specialized Sequoia http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=39270 I thought this was perfect but I donít want to spend all this money and still have to change wheels and seat post. (Again weight)
    Trek 1.2 http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/1_series/12/ I really want a road but I fear my weight and back may preclude the style.
    Trek Valencia http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ncia/valencia/ very cool but not a fan of the straight bar.

    I look forwarded to start riding again.

  2. #2
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    You should buy a Surly Long Haul Trucker. Problem solved.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throttled View Post
    Test riding just isnít working for me. I seem to need a few riding weeks with each to know for sure.
    Sounds like you already own several bikes. Which ones? What do you like about them? What don't you like? Seems like you're leaning toward road bikes with drop handlebars and you're on a bit of a budget. Why not buy a used bike? If you decide that your back can't deal with the riding position, you can always sell it for about what you paid...

    Barring that, it might help to know a bit more about your current fitness level as well as the type of riding you expect to do (roads, bike paths, dirt roads, singletrack, etc) and your budget.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    The Sequoia seat post is aluminum. It is wrapped in a thin sheet of what looks like carbon.
    I have not had a problem with the stock wheels.
    I don't think you will have to change anything unless you ride off of curbs and or potholes.
    Julio (me)
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  5. #5
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Since you have back problems, you should let Tom talk you into a recumbent.

    sstorkel has a good point. Tell us about your bikes. Preferably with accompanying bike pr0n.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Sounds like you already own several bikes. Which ones? What do you like about them? What don't you like? Seems like you're leaning toward road bikes with drop handlebars and you're on a bit of a budget. Why not buy a used bike? If you decide that your back can't deal with the riding position, you can always sell it for about what you paid...

    Barring that, it might help to know a bit more about your current fitness level as well as the type of riding you expect to do (roads, bike paths, dirt roads, singletrack, etc) and your budget.
    Yes I am really leaning toward a road bike. I love long street rides. Before I quit really serious (for me) riding 5 yrs ago, I would routinely mash through a 25 mile ride. I look forword to spinning and already have my candence senser.
    With the exception of the Navaro they have all been 200-500$ dept. store straight or relaxed bar bikes, so it's really not worthy of any further consideration. That said, I really prefer the thumb click style gear changers as opposed to grip shif.
    I've never been comfortable buying anything used. And yes, it has cost me.
    My budget range is 800-1100$.

    As far as my fitness level, I can brisk walk about 5 miles before my achilles bursa starts to inflame. I have no problems with my aggressive weight training regimine but other than that I have always gotten very winded doing any real cardio work.

    Quote Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
    The Sequoia seat post is aluminum. It is wrapped in a thin sheet of what looks like carbon.
    I have not had a problem with the stock wheels.
    I don't think you will have to change anything unless you ride off of curbs and or potholes.
    That's good to hear that I don't have to change the seat post but I thought a person of my weight (318 lbs.) should have a 32-36 spoke count. Is'nt the Sequioa much less.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throttled View Post
    That's good to hear that I don't have to change the seat post but I thought a person of my weight (318 lbs.) should have a 32-36 spoke count. Is'nt the Sequioa much less.
    This is an oft-repeated myth. Clydes need well-built wheels. If a wheel is poorly built, even having 36 spokes isn't going to prevent you from having problems. More spokes are ideal, because it reduces spoke tension and thus you put less strain on the spokes. That isn't to say that you can't build a reliable wheel with fewer spokes, however.

    The Sequoia has 28 spokes on the front wheel, 32 in the rear. If the wheel is properly trued, the spokes are correctly tensioned, and you don't go riding off curbs then you probably won't have any problems. I'd suggest you ask your bike shop to check the spoke tension, using a tool not the unreliable spoke-plucking method, before you take the bike home. If you do find the wheels to be unreliable, $200-300 spent a Bicycle Wheel Warehouse will get you some very nice hand-built wheels (e.g. OpenPro/Ultegra) with 32 or more spokes. Negotiate the price of the bike down a bit and you're still inside your budget.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    +1 what sstrokel said.
    Go ride the Sequoia - it is a comfortable road bike without the extreme stretched out riding position.
    I also really like the extra brake levers on top of the handle bar hoods.

    What ever you pick enjoy your riding and have fun!
    Julio (me)
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    2009 Specialized Sequoia Elite
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    Patricia (wife)
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    This is an oft-repeated myth. Clydes need well-built wheels. If a wheel is poorly built, even having 36 spokes isn't going to prevent you from having problems. More spokes are ideal, because it reduces spoke tension and thus you put less strain on the spokes. That isn't to say that you can't build a reliable wheel with fewer spokes, however.

    The Sequoia has 28 spokes on the front wheel, 32 in the rear. If the wheel is properly trued, the spokes are correctly tensioned, and you don't go riding off curbs then you probably won't have any problems. I'd suggest you ask your bike shop to check the spoke tension, using a tool not the unreliable spoke-plucking method, before you take the bike home. If you do find the wheels to be unreliable, $200-300 spent a Bicycle Wheel Warehouse will get you some very nice hand-built wheels (e.g. OpenPro/Ultegra) with 32 or more spokes. Negotiate the price of the bike down a bit and you're still inside your budget.
    Clydes need well built wheels with spokes tensioned to the proper level for the rider weight. This can be accomplished one of several ways...

    1) A larger number of spokes, 36 seems to be a good balance between having enough spokes that the wheel can properly bear the load at a reasonable spoke tension, while still having enough material that the rim/hub is not weakened by having too many holes in it.

    2) A larger spoke, anyone look at a wagon wheel, it easily holds 500kg on two wheels while having 6 or 8 spokes, but the spokes themselves can be as much as 5cm in diameter. I have noticed some lower spoke count wheels seem to have larger diameter spokes, so not all wheels are created equal.

    3) A larger amount of spoke tension, the issue with spoke tension though is that there are mechanical limits, where increasing the tension higher will result in pull through. This could be resolved by manufacturers using tempered metal or more metal, a chromed steel sprung ring around the edge of an aluminum hub could keep the AL from pulling through, although there could be corrosion issues at the metal joint. Larger dianeter nipples and flanges could also help here.

    You can trade in any of these factors, a wheel with 16 very thin spokes will probably run into the mechanical tension limit before getting enough spoke tension with a 100kg plus rider. So the wheel will break spokes while 36 spoke wheels with thicker spokes do not run into the same problem, which is how this myth got started. Now a 16 spoke wheel with large diameter spokes might also not run into problems, but that kind of wheel is not very common.

    Why do bicycle manufacturers design bikes for 20 something 50kg riders, when the average person buying a bicycle these days is 40 something and somewhere north of 100kg. I think this is why touring bikes are more popular with riders these days, it's about the only bicycle designed to carry a reasonable load.

  10. #10
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Another vote for the Sequoia. Don't over think the wheel issue, get them tensioned right out of the box and they should be fine.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    You can trade in any of these factors, a wheel with 16 very thin spokes will probably run into the mechanical tension limit before getting enough spoke tension with a 100kg plus rider. So the wheel will break spokes while 36 spoke wheels with thicker spokes do not run into the same problem, which is how this myth got started. Now a 16 spoke wheel with large diameter spokes might also not run into problems, but that kind of wheel is not very common.
    Actually, most of the 16-spoke wheels that I've seen, including the cheap (US$80) one that I own, use spokes that are more than adequate for a 100kg rider when properly tensioned. Unfortunately, too many LBS employees tension every wheel like it has 36-spokes and that just doesn't work with lower spoke-count wheels...

  12. #12
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_Rides View Post
    You should buy a Surly Long Haul Trucker. Problem solved.
    What he said.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    My thoughts are that you wasted a whole year. Get a bike and get riding. If you're willing to let us decide, do a poll and promise that you'll buy what we say.

  14. #14
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    So true. I did waste a year and I now recognize I am overthinking the whole wheel thing. I am going to to find a 2009 Specialized Sequoia to test ride and then quickly buy. I done overthinking this and am confidant my injured body and weight wont an issue. Thank you everyone.

  15. #15
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    This is one time where the phrase "Just Do It!" really fits. If you are like most, the first bike you buy won't be what you end up riding a year or two down the road. That's OK, your health is a great excuse for getting the next bike. And just start slow, don't push yourself too hard, just keep pushing yourself and you will get there.

  16. #16
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    I know what you are going thru. Although I already ride I'm in th e market for a new bike and damn if I can't make up my mind. I lie awake at night thinking about it. As soon as I get up I'm thinking about it...shesh.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by youcoming View Post
    I know what you are going thru. Although I already ride I'm in th e market for a new bike and damn if I can't make up my mind. I lie awake at night thinking about it. As soon as I get up I'm thinking about it...shesh.
    Yes. It consumes me. I don't this much thought into car buying. This feels much more personal.

  18. #18
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    Well I just did it, and true to form I spent the first hour at the bike shop over analyzing my decision. Why the hell am I about to spend $1200 on a bike just to get back into cycling? So I touched the trek 7.3 and knew its good enough. The price point is a better fit to my wallet anyway. Then I reminded myself the wallet wasn’t doing the riding and something about the 7.3 just didn’t fit me. So then I came up with the great idea of just waiting for the shop to get in more sirrus sports. Unsatisfied with my indecision I reread the great replies on my phone, manned up and bought the Sequoia Elite. It is a dream come true. Eian at Bikes Inc was very meticulous in fitting me to my bike. The process took almost two hours. Admittedly in large part to all the test riding I did in between adjustments.

    I have just a few questions about the bike fit. At 5’10” inches I believed I was spot on for a 54. Eian was not satisfied with that fit and felt I was to upright. (I liked it.) He then fitted me for a 56. That made my elbows sort of sore from being locked straight out. He then swapped the stem for one 2cm or less shorter and that seems to work very well. After riding the 54 again I now felt like I was falling forward and didn’t feel as stable as on the modified 56. I brought home the modified 56. My problem/question besides being me is;

    The Sequoia Elite comes in sizes 46,49,52,54,56,58,61. I have read many articles about bike shops fitting bikes to big for the rider and ultimately creating problems the larger sizing was meant to prevent. Is that likely what happened here? Please put a weary mind to ease.

  19. #19
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    If the shop knows what they are doing trust them, I myself make fiberglass and I don't tell guys in the shop how to fit a bike. Now if they want to know who to turn sand into insulation....
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by youcoming View Post
    If the shop knows what they are doing trust them, I myself make fiberglass and I don't tell guys in the shop how to fit a bike. Now if they want to know who to turn sand into insulation....
    That is precisely my question. Did the shop know what they were doing?

  21. #21
    Senior Member jgjulio's Avatar
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    I think the real point is if the bike fits you. No one can tell you that on the forum IMHO.
    I am 5'11" and I ride the Sequoia Elite 54. I love it, it fits me.
    Congratulations on your purchase. Enjoy it.
    Julio (me)
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  22. #22
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    Congratulations on the new bike.

    A shop that has any idea how to fit a bike, and takes the time with the rider is more useful than 10 shops who consider themselves experts and just try to give everyone a bike off the rack.

    My advice is to keep in otuch with the shop and let them know how things are going. If you level of comfort changes as the year goes on (you feel you want to be more stretched out/upright/further back... whatever) let them know and they will probably help you get where you want to go.

    Also! Did the shop retension the rear wheel for you before you left the shop? At 300lbs inadequet spoke tension (which is extremely common on production bikes) will give you broken spokes after a very short time... bringing up the spoke tension a bit and stress-relieving the spokes will make sure your bike lasts for years without problems. Even consider paying a reputable wheelbuilder the $25 or $30 to retension it for you - you can't know how important this is unless you don't get it done.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throttled View Post
    Well I just did it, and true to form I spent the first hour at the bike shop over analyzing my decision. Why the hell am I about to spend $1200 on a bike just to get back into cycling? So I touched the trek 7.3 and knew its good enough. The price point is a better fit to my wallet anyway. Then I reminded myself the wallet wasnít doing the riding and something about the 7.3 just didnít fit me. So then I came up with the great idea of just waiting for the shop to get in more sirrus sports. Unsatisfied with my indecision I reread the great replies on my phone, manned up and bought the Sequoia Elite. It is a dream come true. Eian at Bikes Inc was very meticulous in fitting me to my bike. The process took almost two hours. Admittedly in large part to all the test riding I did in between adjustments.

    I have just a few questions about the bike fit. At 5í10Ē inches I believed I was spot on for a 54. Eian was not satisfied with that fit and felt I was to upright. (I liked it.) He then fitted me for a 56. That made my elbows sort of sore from being locked straight out. He then swapped the stem for one 2cm or less shorter and that seems to work very well. After riding the 54 again I now felt like I was falling forward and didnít feel as stable as on the modified 56. I brought home the modified 56. My problem/question besides being me is;

    The Sequoia Elite comes in sizes 46,49,52,54,56,58,61. I have read many articles about bike shops fitting bikes to big for the rider and ultimately creating problems the larger sizing was meant to prevent. Is that likely what happened here? Please put a weary mind to ease.
    The fact that they had both and let you try them, and then chose the 56 makes me feel like they were doing the right thing. I would worry if they didn't have a 56 and tried to sell you on a 54 and "make it fit". It's common to swap out stems to adjust the fit. I say get out and ride it. (But it is mighty windy today in N Texas)

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
    The fact that they had both and let you try them, and then chose the 56 makes me feel like they were doing the right thing. I would worry if they didn't have a 56 and tried to sell you on a 54 and "make it fit". It's common to swap out stems to adjust the fit. I say get out and ride it. (But it is mighty windy today in N Texas)
    You make a very logical point that really puts my mind at ease.
    I could not sleep most of the night thinking of todays X-mas ride. Our creator really has a sense of humor. I should have bought a sail boat. It's for the best though my legs a willing but my ars is aching from all the test riding yesterday. I'll make the most of it and try to find a shop that has a clyde bib or two in stock.

    In regards to the spoke tensioning inquiry. Yes and yes. They had already completed the retension on the 54 before I arrived beecause I called in advance. I had to leave the 56 with them and pick it up later in the evening so they could work thier magic.

    Thanks for all the great help. I feel special today even without my helmet on.

  25. #25
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    Congrats on the new bike. Quit thinking so much and go ride. I tend to over think too much from time to time myself. I finaly realized that gear obsession was detracting from my cycling experience. You have a good bike, properly fitted and adjusted. Most importantly it feels good when you ride it. So think about the ride when you're riding, not the bike. When I learned to do that it all became so much more fun. The bike is just a tool that helps you do something. Loose weight, get to work, win the race, whatever. The bike is not the point of owning the bike, what you do with the bike is.

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