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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 03-31-09, 10:00 AM   #26
RI_Swamp_Yankee
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I was down in Saunderstown, but now I'm in Providence. (And they use "Swamp Yankee" as a pejorative throughouth RI and MA for a New Englander who, as Jeff Foxworthy puts it, possesses a glorious lack of sophistication. Usually compounded by pathological thriftyness. Hence the $75 Raleigh, which is now a $275 Raleigh, which is about what I could have bought a brand new Raleigh for. A-yup. Savin' a ton of money doin' it this way...)

I don't know if I'll have time for riding on the weekends... the bike is more for getting around town without having to worry where to park.
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Old 03-31-09, 11:31 AM   #27
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I have an 1983 Raleigh, I have not rode in a while but always riked the ride. good luck with yours.
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Old 04-10-09, 08:28 PM   #28
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OK! The Raleigh Record Ace rolling restoration took to the road today as my everyday ride, after many diversions, dead-ends, delays and dilly-dallying.

This Ace is indeed the special "racing" model with the moly frame... I figured this out when a name-brand u-lock and a 500-sheet pack of generic copy paper strapped to the rack almost doubled its weight hauling it up the steps. Before, I was just thinking it was my fat-man strength that allowed me to haul a 40lb+ bike around like it was a bag of groceries. Now I realize that it's because it's closer to a 25lb bike, even with the steel wheels.

I know they're steel wheels, because they're shiny, hefty, and the brakes suck. New Shimano pads, new cables, new Tektro levers (after the old ones disintegrated during a panic stop), and all for naught. Squeezing the carefully calibrated levers scrubs off speed in a leisurely, yet whisper-quiet deceleration as my painstakingly aligned pads and tensioned calipers do their damndest to dig in. Fail. If the wheels were aluminum, they'd squeal like stuck pigs and stoppie me right over the bars. I've tweaked all I can tweak... I just need new wheels, but they're not in the budget right now. It's really gonna suck in the rain.

The Brooks B33 saddle is definitely Clyde-approved. It's comfortable from the get-go... the sprung suspension really works with my weight. It's too soon to have broken in, but it was a definite step up from the padded vinyl seat that came stock on it (Also a Brooks. Kind of a novelty item.), and the super-padded cruiser seat I had on it for a bit. One caveat: I had to torque the mounting nuts at the post to "break the wrench or strip the nut" levels to stop it from tilting all of a sudden. I may have to weld it on level if this doesn't work. I'd be paranoid someone's going to steal such a nice looking saddle, but unless they have a pair of long-handled 13mm wrenches and a breaker bar, it's going nowhere. (The 14mm seatpost nut is similarly torqued down. Vice-grips just ain't gonna do it.)

The new Velo-Orange Milan bars are a step up from the flat bars that came stock, but I think I need a taller stem to get really comfortable. I wound some vinyl handlebar tape I got from the Job Lot for a buck around the bare metal, and carefully twisted on the cork grips over top, going against the spiral as not to peel and bunch up the tape. You'll feel it through the handle when this happens, but the cork is surprisingly resilient, and didn't break as I backed it out, re-taped, and tried again. The grips are on super-firm, and didn't budge even when I got out of the saddle to mash my way up a hill. Since I didn't need to superglue them on, I can take them off again if I need to. They're comfy, and look awesome. I don't know if I'm going to shellac them or not yet.

The back rack was a peach to put on, with a bit of Yankee ingenuity (Why do it the right way when I can do it the cheap way?) - Copper pipe holders are two bucks for a bag of ten, and bend quite nicely into mounting points on the seat support tubes. One of the mounting eyelets on the back dropout was partly stripped from having a fender stay mounted to it incorrectly, but some loc-tite red was cheaper than buying a tap-and-die set or thread-chaser to clean it up, and a blow-torch will melt it, unlike JB Weld, if I want to take the rack off someday. It's on there real solid: I mount my u-lock to it, and a pannier bucket-bag full of booze was handled with aplomb.

On Monday, I'm going to start commuting with it daily. That should be an adventure...
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Old 04-10-09, 08:38 PM   #29
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That's a nice find, RI. Enjoy it! And don't worry about it too much. It'll be fine.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 04-17-09, 09:55 PM   #30
RI_Swamp_Yankee
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I was delusional when I said it was a 25lb bike. It's closer to 40lb than further, but it's still sleek and very, very quick. I haven't started commuting with it yet, but I do run most of my around-town errands on it. I'll start the trek to the train station on monday.

Most importantly, I've learned a whole hell of a lot about bicycles and the way they work by doing my own upgrades and maintenance. It's pretty satisfying to see a part you installed work better than the original it replaced.

Work done so far:

- New brakes. Tektro MTV levers, Shimano pads, generic cables.
- New 27-1/4" Gatorskins tires
- Brooks B-33 saddle in Honey, treated with with a light coat of Snow-Proof top and bottom, and a spritz of silicone leather waterproofing spray on the underside.
- New Delta riser quill-stem. Not as pretty as the Nitto Periscopa or Dirt Drop, but way more beefy, and only $30 at the LBS.
- New Velo-Orange Milan handlebars
- New cork grips (forget the glue. A loose spiral wrap of $1/roll generic bar tape keeps them on =tight=, and still lets you take off the grips easily.)
- New brand-name-I've-forgotten aluminum bike rack. It weighs about as much as a peanut M&M, and is beefy enough to take a pannier-load of groceries and stuff without swaying. It needed some finagling, as the old Raleigh frame didn't have braze-ons for racks. Home Depot came through, with some copper pipe supports deftly bent to suit the purpose. I need to re-tap the mounting eyelets at the dropouts, but Loc-Tite will do the job for now.
- New lights, jerry-rigged rear LED bike light from the hardware store, and jerry-rigged flashlight mount up front.
-Fold-away cargo pannier that doubles as a shopping bag. Had it kicking around as a camera equipment tote, and I forgot completely how I came to have it. Works awesome, tho... took a 2-liter bottle of soda, three pounds of beans, two big cans of crushed tomatoes, two pounds of potatoes, a Delta riser stem, a set of shifter cables and a tub of lithium grease.

To Do:

- New shifter cables, and re-position the stem shifters to the top of the new stem. This will likely require some finagling, as the part I want to mount to flares outward, and is thicker than the base of the stem.
- Clean everything down to white-glove clean, swap out the chain, a lube it with something modern and cleaner than axel grease.
- New wheels. I want to find a decent used or NOS 27" alloy wheelset. Converting everything to 700c isn't in the budget for this summer, especially considering how expensive new wheels are to buy ready-built, and how time consuming it would be to build my own. Maybe over the winter.
- New 8sp freewheel. The hills around here suck, and I don't like walking my bike up them.
- New triple ring crank and derailleur. See above.
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Old 04-18-09, 12:05 AM   #31
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Your chainrings on the wrong side. Sorry it's late.
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Old 04-18-09, 12:09 AM   #32
RI_Swamp_Yankee
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Hey! My decal's written in some strange glyphics, too! (Stoopit webcam. I have a nice digicam, but it's currently "on loan" to family member on vacation.)
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Old 04-18-09, 12:19 AM   #33
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man youre really doing this
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