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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 07-20-09, 10:21 AM   #26
prathmann
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Originally Posted by jgjulio View Post
I am thinking about the Roubaix. I am also thinking about a recumbent.
The difference between the Sequoia and the Roubaix is less than the difference between my Sequoia and a recumbent.
I'd say you're well into the region of diminishing returns with that level of bike. So any upgrade for a bike that's similar function and geometry won't get you much of a return on the investment. I'd recommend going for an additional bike with a different focus. Recumbent if you think you'd like one, a touring-specific bike if touring would be of interest, or some other bike that's clearly differentiated from what you have now.

I agree with other comments that the only way a carbon-frame bike will significantly increase your miles would be from the psychological effect of needing to justify the purchase to yourself and therefore riding more.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:24 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
The CF would absorb a tremendous amount of the road buzz. An Al frame does ride harsher, guaranteed.
Agree with this. The big thing I notice is how I feel after a ride. After a long ride on my carbon fiber bike, my legs feel tired. After a long ride on an aluminum bike, my legs are tired... and I feel like my entire body has been beaten continuously with Whiffle Ball bats. For me, the ride of an aluminum frame and fork is so harsh that they lead to a total-body exhaustion...
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Old 07-20-09, 10:35 AM   #28
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BS. Probably more like doubling his commission.







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Old 07-20-09, 10:55 AM   #29
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3 or 4 years ago the German bike magazine "tour" did do a mega test of 41 bike frames (carbon, aluminum). These guys measure everything, bottom bracket region stiffness etc.. They did also measure the vertical compliance of the frame (without wheels) as a measure of comfort. They found virtually no difference between carbon and aluminum frames.
The only frames that were measurably more comfortable were compact frames (no matter if alu or carbon), because the longer seatpost required by this design actually can afford some vertical movement.
AFAIR, the Zertz inserts on Specialized frames also seemed to have a minimally positive effect.

According to this test the legendary comfort advantages of one frame material over the other are merely urban legends; switching to wider tires for example likely has a much greater impact..... or compact frames. the individual bike fit will make huge differences, too.

A part of the test is available for free (in German) here - please see page 10:
http://content.delius-klasing.de/int...yment/?id=2353

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Old 07-20-09, 11:08 AM   #30
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3 or 4 years ago the German bike magazine "tour" did do a mega test on about 50 bike frames (carbon, aluminum, do not know about steel). These guys measure everything, bottom bracket region stiffness etc.. They did also measure the vertical compliance of the frame (without wheels). They found virtually no difference between carbon and aluminum frames.
The only frames that were measurably more comfortable were compact frames (no matter if alu or carbon), because the longer seatpost required by this design actually can afford some vertical movement.
AFAIR, the Zertz inserts on Specialized frames also seemed to have a minimally positive effect.

According to this test the legendary comfort advantages of one frame material over the other are merely urban legends; switching to wider tires for example likely has a much greater impact..... or compact frames.
You beat me to this response. That's totally true. There's very little difference in any frame material. The differences attributed to them have more to do with the way the frames are constructed. Some people say Al is very stiff; others say it flexes a lot. The thing is Al can be made stiff through oversized tube diameters like the older Cannondales or very plush and soft like the old Vitus. Some of the latest racing frames with large downtubes and thick bb have rides like their CF counterparts. The reasons pros don't ride them is they must be made heavier than CF to achieve the same ride qualities.

A stiff CF bike can be as punishing as a stiff Al one.
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Old 07-20-09, 11:31 AM   #31
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bs
+1
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Old 07-20-09, 11:50 AM   #32
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LBS
i would be concerned about the longevity of the frame, depending on how far north of 200 you are.
I wouldn't. The owner of the LBS down the street is 235 - 240 and beats the snot out of his full CF Tarmac Dura-Ace rolling on Ksyrium ES wheels. He's never had an issue with the frame (or the wheels, for that matter.)
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Old 07-20-09, 11:58 AM   #33
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Hmmmmm........

what are we "doubling"?? ....
Double 1 mile and ya went 2 miles -- conceivable.
Double 100 miles and ya went 200 miles -- smoke & mirrors.

I ride a carbon bike @ 250ish and love it. If I was in your situation, I think I'd double my milage away from that LBS and find a "no BS LBS". Just my opinion
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Old 07-20-09, 12:01 PM   #34
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Just my personal experience here...recently traded my beautiful Scott CR-1 roadie because it was too stiff. Darned thing nearly climbed by itself but transmitted every expansion joint and asphalt patch right up through my body. I've owned HeadShok C'dales since the mid-90s and traded the Scott on a NOS C'dale with HeadShok and I'm a happy camper. Just soaking up the constant vibrations from the road makes all the difference in the world to me. Same feeling on the saddle but the previously injured wrist, elbow and shoulder really appreciate the HeadShok. I've just ordered a C'dale Adventure 2 with HeadShok for a neighborhood cruiser(embarassingly cushy saddle also on this one) and to add the elevated hand position for 'days off'.

It will be interesting to see if the HeadShok technology shows up on any other marques with the changes at Cannondale. It's not designed to be for serious off-road use(although my BadBoy Ultra HeadShok handles fairly rough trails just fine and the F4 and LawEnforcement models make use of the elegant HeadShok design) but makes all the difference on irregular surfaces.

There are times I long for the ultra-light and stiff CR-1(climbing anything remotely steep) but I'm happy with my decision to add a few pounds with the front suspension. BTW, I'm 5'11" 235#(forty pounds and twenty years past prime!
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Old 07-20-09, 12:04 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
The CF would absorb a tremendous amount of the road buzz. An Al frame does ride harsher, guaranteed.
So would some 700x25 tires at the correct pressure which is what anybody at 200+/- lbs *should* be riding anyway. Unfortunately, a lot of CF frames are made too close to fit 700x25s. So it is pretty much BS all around.
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Old 07-20-09, 12:41 PM   #36
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So would some 700x25 tires at the correct pressure which is what anybody at 200+/- lbs *should* be riding anyway. Unfortunately, a lot of CF frames are made too close to fit 700x25s. So it is pretty much BS all around.
Let me apologize in advance for getting OT.
The stock tires on my OCR Carbon Frame were 25s -- and of course, the would fit just fine. I could probably get 28s on there with no problem. I changed from the 25s to 23s which seem to have less rolling resistance and the ride is quite comfortable in my opinion.

I'm around 250# so please direct me to something that recommends "anybody at 200+/- lbs *should* be riding" 25s. I really don't want to have a blowout while riding the 23s.
Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-20-09, 01:12 PM   #37
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Unfortunately, a lot of CF frames are made too close to fit 700x25s.
Most general-purpose CF road frames will fit 700x25 tires without a problem.

If you've had trouble fitting a 700x25, it's likely that the labeling was less than accurate. Tire manufacturers are about as reliable with facts as the proverbial used car salesman... I've seen tires that were labelled 700x25 measure out anywhere from 700x23 to 700x27. And don't even get me started on the variation in actual versus published weights!
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Old 07-20-09, 02:37 PM   #38
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I haven't ridden a 100% carbon bike yet but I can compare steel(i guess substitute it for carbon) and aluminum(with carbon fork).

I don't think I can ride any further on the steel bike except for the fact that the softer ride is more forgiving to my butt, so I may feel more up to riding longer distances on it. Then again, I can get a better saddle on the Al bike and enjoy smooth the stiff frame makes the ride.
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Old 07-20-09, 02:48 PM   #39
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Since CF bikes tend to be more expensive - I am assuming the bike shop is pushing those. Times are tough - they need to sell those CF bikes somehow.

CF can be as harsh as Alumnium - it can also be as soft and flexible as steel or Ti. Frankly why not then look at a steel or Ti bike? For the same price or less... you get a much more durable bike with the same nice road feel.

As for performance... it really is about you, not the bike. So many people look for the easy way out - "if I have the lightest bike I would ride faster" " if I have a more flexible bike I would ride father". Frankly if you just got out there and rode, you could do both.

Instead of buying the CF bike, opt for a carbon handlebar and fork. That will soften your ride, if that is a problem. As for doubling performance... that's all about you and your training and fitness.
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Old 07-20-09, 03:06 PM   #40
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You beat me to this response. ...

A stiff CF bike can be as punishing as a stiff Al one.
It took TWO PAGES for this to get said?

If you have comfort issues on rides less than 20mi, you have a fit issue, not a frame material issue.

I have a steel bike and an aluminum with carbon seat stays. The al bike is every bit of comfortable.
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Old 07-20-09, 03:16 PM   #41
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The problem is that you are actually not comparing a steel frame to an aluminum frame. You are comparing different geometries, different bike fits, old wheel sets vs. new wheelsets, thin tires vs. thin tires of a different brand, different pressure,vs. wider tires, etc......
Most likely this frame material<>comfort thing is result of imagination and endless repetition by marketing departments and because of the unquestioned "conventional wisdom".
I very much doubt all the supposedly "felt" differences ( there are just soo many variables and human "feeling" is very unreliable). I know only of one attempt to measure aspects surely influencing the comfort of a bike and as explained above the results very much contradict the "conventional wisdom". See my post above.
I own a 20 year old steel road bike and a new aluminum road bike. I cannot tell you which frame is more comfortable. The aluminum bike is a lot lighter and seems to have less flex in the bottom bracket region, but I sometimes I am not even sure about the latter aspect.
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Old 07-20-09, 03:31 PM   #42
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CF can be as harsh as Alumnium - it can also be as soft and flexible as steel or Ti. Frankly why not then look at a steel or Ti bike? For the same price or less... you get a much more durable bike with the same nice road feel.
Don't forget the rest of the stereotypes: titanium is expensive, while steel is heavy and rusts.

My 14-year old CF frame seems pretty durable... so far.

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Instead of buying the CF bike, opt for a carbon handlebar and fork.
If you don't like the durability of carbon fiber, I would think you'd be loathe to recommend it for critically important components like the fork and handlebars...
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Old 07-20-09, 04:43 PM   #43
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As for performance... it really is about you, not the bike. So many people look for the easy way out - "if I have the lightest bike I would ride faster" " if I have a more flexible bike I would ride father". Frankly if you just got out there and rode, you could do both.

Beside the part about wanting to "ride my father", I'd agree with this and see it to many times. I ride Heavy Deep V's, and super stiff rattle your brains out Cannondale CAAD3. But I do fine in wind, hills and distance. I know about 5 guys that ride, and 200 to 300 that have super comfy frames, superlite climbing wheels but whine at the first 10 mph wind or bump in the road!


I've been told that one can't do a century on a CAAD3, or climb with Deep V's, but I do it!..It's not the bike!
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Old 07-20-09, 05:06 PM   #44
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Do I want a more comfy DF bike or venture out into the world of recumbent?
First off, congrats on your success so far with the weight loss! 2nd, you owe it to yourself to demo a few recumbents (long wheel base, short wheel base, different steering locations, etc.). The comfort and speed will be an eye opener! I ride a DF but will be getting a recumbent when I reach my weight loss goal.
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Old 07-20-09, 05:13 PM   #45
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Don't forget the rest of the stereotypes: titanium is expensive, while steel is heavy and rusts.

My 14-year old CF frame seems pretty durable... so far.
Modern steel is not particularly heavy. My custom steel bike weighs 19 lbs. It's fairly old. Newer steel is even lighter. If the bike is cared for, rust will never be an issue.

Ti is more expensive but less than some of the production CF bikes. You can get a fully custom Ti frame, good components, hand built wheels for less than $5000. Don't some of the CF run like upwards from $6K?

And I would bet your CF frame, because of its age, was made in the USA. Modern CF is Chinese... something to consider, just saying, even if the bike costs $6,000!
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Old 07-20-09, 05:25 PM   #46
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Don't some of the CF run like upwards from $6K?
'06 Giant OCR Limited --- full carbon frame and ultegra group -- Year end closeout at LBS -- I paid $1500 out the door.

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Old 07-20-09, 06:43 PM   #47
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Modern steel is not particularly heavy. My custom steel bike weighs 19 lbs. It's fairly old. Newer steel is even lighter. If the bike is cared for, rust will never be an issue.
What? You mean the stereotypes about steel aren't true?!? I wonder if the same might be said about the out-of-date carbon fiber stereotypes (e.g. durability) you're repeating?

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Ti is more expensive but less than some of the production CF bikes. You can get a fully custom Ti frame, good components, hand built wheels for less than $5000. Don't some of the CF run like upwards from $6K?
I think you need to double-check your facts. You can find nice carbon fiber bikes with 105-level components for around $2000. MSRP on most frames from Lynskey, Moots, Merlin, Lightspeed, etc. is more than this. As an amateur frame builder and machinist, I've seen prices on raw titanium go from expensive to almost unaffordable over the last few years...

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And I would bet your CF frame, because of its age, was made in the USA. Modern CF is Chinese... something to consider, just saying, even if the bike costs $6,000!
Most bicycles, in general, are made overseas. What does that have to do with anything?

FYI, high-end carbon fiber bicycle frames are made in Taiwan, not China. They do a very good job. I expect that my foreign-made Cervelo RS frame would compare very well against a US-made Trek Madone, for example. Both are a quantum-leap ahead of my old CF Trek.
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Old 07-20-09, 07:29 PM   #48
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I think you need to double-check your facts. You can find nice carbon fiber bikes with 105-level components for around $2000. MSRP on most frames from Lynskey, Moots, Merlin, Lightspeed, etc. is more than this. As an amateur frame builder and machinist, I've seen prices on raw titanium go from expensive to almost unaffordable over the last few years...
So what you are saying is the the stereotype that titanium is expensive is true. I sadly have to agree with you, most Ti frames that you mention start at $1500-$1700 for the very base models. Add in a quality groupo, wheels etc. and your are at $3000-3500 easy. Still, you can buy a Seven Cycles Ti bike with good components in the $4500-5000 range which compares to a similar Modone. So certainly expensive, but doable for those who wish to go that route.
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Old 07-20-09, 09:16 PM   #49
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I commute on an aluminum road frame and do longer rides on weekends and such on a full carbon road bike.

There is a huge difference between the comfort on carbon vs aluminum, but I call complete BS as to it being able to double your mileage. The bike isn't going to be able to do that no matter what it is made of (unless it comes with an engine).
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Old 07-20-09, 11:48 PM   #50
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Still, you can buy a Seven Cycles Ti bike with good components in the $4500-5000 range which compares to a similar Modone. So certainly expensive, but doable for those who wish to go that route.
The carbon fiber Madone 4.5 is US$2100 MSRP with 105-level components. The Madone 5.1 has Ultegra-level components and retails for $3460. Looks like the cheapest Ultegra-level Ti bike from Seven starts at around $4200, though you could spend up to $5400 if you wanted.

Of course, there are cheaper alternatives in both carbon fiber and titanium. Pedal Force has a pretty decent reputation for carbon fiber. Their RS2 frame is well-liked in the Roadie forum and they often have great specials. On the titanium side, Habanero sells Chinese-manufactured titanium frames made from straight-gauge 3/2.5 tubing for prices that start around $900.
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