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  1. #1
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    A clyde finding his first road bike

    So I have been doing my homework, some lurking, lots of reading and I have read through a lot of the FAQ type threads and have been looking through a number of bike manufacturer sites and stopped into some shops.

    A friend of mine rides and is trying to help me out but he is smack dab in the middle of average sizes and doesn't know about anything larger or oversized. He fits well in between a medium and large size bike. He helped my size myself on the calculator at competativecyclist.com and I posted that info up below. The short answer is I am about 6'2"-6'3" but I am all legs with over a 37" inseam. I weigh in at about 210 lbs.

    The one shop I went to just suggested from what they had in stock in an entry level bike in an XL frame and came up with a Scwhinn Le Tour. I am going to stop by another shop but I fear the same things going to happen they will just try and give me something in the store that is as big as they got but not necessarily the right size. From what I have found the basic "XL" bikes don't seem so extra large at sub 60cm size.

    So I am looking for an entry level bike in a 62-64cm size, I don't want to spend a ton on a first bike just getting into the sport but I am not interested in starting out on a Walmart special either. So I was hoping some members here might be able to give me some direction on where to find an affordable bike to get into the sport that will actually fit someone my size and weight.

    As far as my goal riding distance I will probably start off slow and work my way up, they buddy that I intend to ride with tend to do a mix of shorter and longer rides. Some days he rides 15 mile easy rides and some days he will go 40+ miles.

    So I am really thankful for any help you all could give a fellow Clydesdale on how to pick a first bike that's also affordable. I appreciate the help.



    Measurements
    -------------------------------------------
    Inseam: 37.375
    Trunk: 27.8125
    Forearm: 14.75
    Arm: 28.3125
    Thigh: 27.125
    Lower Leg: 24.5
    Sternal Notch: 62.875
    Total Body Height: 74.375


    Fit
    -------------------------------------------
    Seat tube range c-c: 62.7 - 63.2
    Seat tube range c-t: 64.6 - 65.1
    Top tube length: 57.7 - 58.1
    Stem Length: 11.4 - 12.0
    BB-Saddle Position: 83.2 - 85.2
    Saddle-Handlebar: 60.0 - 60.6
    Saddle Setback: 9.9 - 10.3

  2. #2
    Senior Member ChargerDawg's Avatar
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    I would suggest that you pay a bit more attention to the components, personally the biggest difference was the secondary brakes on the handlebar, a sloped crossover bar to make getting on and getting off easier, and the brake/shifters.

    Most entry level bikes have the sora shifters which use a thumb click to drop gears, whereas the Tiagra, 105's and others use fingers to go up or down (inner & outer lever). I am in the process of upgrading the Sora's because I prefer the dual lever.

    You can search craigslist if you are patient, there are always people upgrading or who bought a bike, that just sits after a couple of years. There are many brands, the big ones are Specialized, Felt, Cannondale, Giant and Trek. but some others such as Fuji, Marin, Jamis and Bianchi that make good equipment.

    Find out what fits you best and is comfortable, measurements, are suggestions for proportional people, and given your long legs, may not be the best for you. You may find that the bar is too far away to be comfortable whereas a smaller frame with the seat up a couple of inches is a better fit.

  3. #3
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    Any opinions on motobecane? They seem to have some larger entry level stuff. I will look through the websites for the manufacturers you suggested and see what they offer.

    I appreciate the input, I will make sure to check the geometry for the top tube length to make sure that fits properly and not just the seat tube length.

    After looking through the sites it seems that many of the bikes have what seem to be really short seat tubes and rely on having the seat sit well up out of the tube. I suppose this is to give a lower step over height but that's not as big a big concern for me as I have length to step over.

    Do you lose anything have that very sloped top tube? With more seat out of the tube will that see a negative effect from a heavier rider?
    Last edited by clyderider727; 08-02-09 at 10:17 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ChargerDawg's Avatar
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    No personal knowledge about Motobecane, I believe that they are sold through bikes direct.com (e.g an internet retailer) which some have had negative comments about, so you should have your fit figured out before buying. You should also be comfortable with assembly.

    Abput the seatpost, mine is pretty far out. I have a similar issues with a 34 inch inseam for a 6' tall person. My old bike has the top tube that is parallel to the ground and gave me fits with stepover. The new bike has a carbon seatpost and creeks a bit. I may buy a better one in the future. But, the sloped bar is much more forgiving and the boys are thankful.

  5. #5
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    Forget the sloped tube as a requirement... you are 6'2 and 210lbs and should have no trouble swinging your leg over the bike.

    Motobecane is a Bikes Direct brand. Basically, you get a cheap frame and (generally) nicer components than bikes of similar cost found at your LBS. Of course, you'll get zero after-sale service. Most LBS offer at least 1 free tune-up and discounts on accessories when you make your purchase. If you get a Motobecane I would take a close look at the spoke tension on the wheels and double check everything before riding it.

  6. #6
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    What is your budget?

  7. #7
    RVH
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    According to the LeMond method, if your inseam is really 37.375, the calculation is 65% of that or a 61cm bike. I think a bike of 64cm like you are looking at is way too big. Because you are "all legs" you'll want a shorter top tube than normal.

    I'd forget Motobecane and stick with a Trek or Specialized. They are the two biggest brands and make good bikes. If this is your first bike and you might get hooked then you'll probably want to sell it and selling a Trek or a Specialized is much easier than an off brand.

    Since we don't know your budget or if you want a hybrid or a road bike here are some suggestions:

    Trek 2.1, $1400 ==> http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/2_series/21/
    Trek 1.2, $850 ==> http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/1_series/12/

    Get out and ride some bikes. You'll quickly realize what works for you. You might try to rent some bikes too, lots of shops rent them, so you can get a sense of what size feels good on you.

    Good luck

    Bob

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    Ah, good questions guys. I am looking road bike for sure and would like to stay under $1,000 with all equipment. If I figure $150-200 for helmet, shoes, shorts, etc that puts me in the $800-850 range. Of course if I can get comparable equipment for $650-700 that would be great too.

    Stopped at several local shops today and they all agreed I am all legs and little torso, enough that even at my height they suggest a large as opposed to an XL frame because the top bars are too long for me on the XLs. Which is good cause it opens up a lot of possibilities.

    Based on what the LBS looked at they think something with a top tube in the 56-57 range is right around where I need to be. They quelled my concerns about the seat tube size and said that the adjustments can be made with the seat height fairly easily.

    I looked at a 2008 leftover Schwinn Le Tour GSX that I liked a lot. Short version is aluminum with carbon forks and Tiagra shifters and derailleurs. I think this is about the level I would like to be at all though I am happy also with the Sora shifters as I have long enough thumbs that I can reach the shifters from both riding positions.

    I think I am slowly getting an idea of what's the more and less relevant pieces of equipment and sizes. More input is always welcome though, keep the ideas coming. Thanks everyone!

  9. #9
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    As an owner of the 2.1 I would highly recommend it for a clyde. That being said, even at the end of the season it will be in the 1200 range.

  10. #10
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    I have so far ridden a Felt F80 and a Cannondale Synapse 7. One has the sora shifters and one has the Tiagra shifters. I actually did not mind the thumb shifting of the sora because it was easier to not have to think too hard while shifting but I could tell the higher quality of the Tiagras. That said I think I will be focussing on a Tiagra bike.

    So here is my list of possible bikes with the MSRP.

    $999 - 08 Schwinn LeTour GSX
    $1099 - Felt F80
    $1149 - Scott Speedster S40
    $1199 - 09 Schwinn LeTour GSX
    $1240 - Fuji Newest 1.0
    $1299 - Bianchi Via Nirone 7 A/C Tiagra
    $1319 - Trek 2.1

    So I don't immediately see why the Trek is $200-300 more than some of the other bikes, as most of the equipment on these are very very similar. More importantly EMS seems to be going to a stock reduction sale and the Scott S40 is on sale for $849. So from $850 to over $1300 on the Trek.....am I really getting my money's worth?

    Does anyone have any reason why a Scott is not a good bike?

  11. #11
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    So I went and test road a Scott S40 today and liked it a lot, better than either of the previous bikes I road. I am thinking this might be the direction I go, they are going to make some adjustments and call me when it's ready for another test ride.

  12. #12
    Used to be fast surfjimc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVH View Post
    According to the LeMond method, if your inseam is really 37.375, the calculation is 65% of that or a 61cm bike. I think a bike of 64cm like you are looking at is way too big. Because you are "all legs" you'll want a shorter top tube than normal.

    I'd forget Motobecane and stick with a Trek or Specialized. They are the two biggest brands and make good bikes. If this is your first bike and you might get hooked then you'll probably want to sell it and selling a Trek or a Specialized is much easier than an off brand.

    Since we don't know your budget or if you want a hybrid or a road bike here are some suggestions:

    Trek 2.1, $1400 ==> http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/2_series/21/
    Trek 1.2, $850 ==> http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/1_series/12/

    Get out and ride some bikes. You'll quickly realize what works for you. You might try to rent some bikes too, lots of shops rent them, so you can get a sense of what size feels good on you.

    Good luck

    Bob
    The Lemond method seems to be a bit off. I'm 6'5", 33" inseam and ride a 61cm Motobecane CF frame. Fits me perfectly. He's going to have to go a bit bigger on the frame to get a decent seatpost height, then swap out the stem for a shorter one. Probably a 64cm or 65cm. I built it up Motobecane using the components I wanted. It was a great deal on a cf frame.
    People dis BD all the time, but they build nice bikes at a great price, There are lots of trolls that get hung up on the advertising and the fact that they bought some classic brands and put them back on the market. None of that changes the quality.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfjimc View Post
    The Lemond method seems to be a bit off. I'm 6'5", 33" inseam and ride a 61cm Motobecane CF frame. Fits me perfectly. He's going to have to go a bit bigger on the frame to get a decent seatpost height, then swap out the stem for a shorter one. Probably a 64cm or 65cm. I built it up Motobecane using the components I wanted. It was a great deal on a cf frame.
    People dis BD all the time, but they build nice bikes at a great price, There are lots of trolls that get hung up on the advertising and the fact that they bought some classic brands and put them back on the market. None of that changes the quality.

    Here is the actual Lemond formuals:
    BIKE FRAME SIZE (in cm) = Inseam (cm) x .67
    SEAT HEIGHT (cm) = Inseam (cm) x .883

    For a 94.9cm (37.4in) inseam that comes out to a 63.6cm frame.
    Larger riders (6'0"+) will probalby want a frame that allows them to stretch out better, they may be better off selecting a frame 27-28cm less than their inseam length. In general, this will be a cm or two larger than the frames the formula recommends. In the OP's case, he has a short torso so he may want to stick with the formulas recommendation.

    All of this is why anyone getting a bike should go to a bike shop and get fitted before buying a bike!!!!!!!


    The OP should take the measurements he has (if they are from a fitter) and find a bike/frame that meets those requirements and go from there. Most main stream bike mfgrs make good quality bikes/frames. Once you have the bike narrowed down by your personal geometry then it's just a matter of choosing the component package that you can afford.
    Last edited by Homeyba; 08-09-09 at 10:16 AM.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  14. #14
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    The approach both myself and my wife have used is to start with older, vintage road bikes. I still had mine from years ago, and we found a really great condition one for her for $250.00. The bikes are still more bike than we are riders...and our reward down the road for fitness improvements will be getting new, modern bikes.

    It also gets us into better shape for understanding WHAT we prefer in a bike before the major investment of a current bike. Plus, if we really wanted to, we could sell our current bikes to defray the cost of a newer purchase.

    Best of all, it allowed us to invest in better clothing and protective gear than we would have if we had spent tons more on a newer bike....
    R Bean
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  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Er....*ducks behind the wall and timidly peeks out*. Why not consider a cyclocross?
    Pros:
    1. built taller, with shorter top tube, slightly more upright position. I am 5'7" chick with legs meant for 5'9" and felt too stretched out on roadie frames.
    2. most come with secondary brakes even on entry models
    3. designed to take abuse - 200+lb on BB/rims still 200+lb on BB/rims regardless of fitness - and pretty forgiving on the maintenance. (No, I am not 200+!)
    4. longer chainstays and higher BB - at 37" inseam I see longer cranks in the future. Hitting the front wheel with size 12, 13? shoe is definitely a possibility on a roadie frame with proper cranks installed.
    5. extremely flexible - could be converted into tourer or commuter if you choose to progress to a real road frame sometime in the future. All but hard-core pro models come with eyelets/bosses galore for every accessory imaginable. Putting thinner tires is a possibility still - see St. Sheldon site for a compatibility chart.
    Cons:
    1. Heavy. Heavy. Still, during first years it is not going to be equipment holding you back.
    2. What is "stable" for tourer and commuter is "ponderous" for a roadie.

    AND GO FOR A FIT SESSION!!!!!

    Good Luck

    SF

    Did I mention that I am in looooove with my cyclotank?
    Last edited by sci_femme; 08-09-09 at 11:15 AM.

  16. #16
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    I'm a newbie in the same boat. 6'4" etc... Looking at a Giant Defy 1. Was fitted by a LBS(almost and hour) on the XL model. Fit was perfect. But, I wasn't comfortable with the proper "fit". Just couldn't get used to such an aero posture. However, after changing the stem out to a more upright one to my specs (can't remember what degree) the "fit" was much more comfortable and natural.

    The LBS guy said as I ride more my personal "fit" will change. What's most important is not what the numbers are on some chart are.... but the message that your body is telling you.

    BTW My research shows that for an entry road bike the Defy 1 with all 105s is a hard to beat.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nichole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Man View Post
    I'm a newbie in the same boat. 6'4" etc... Looking at a Giant Defy 1. Was fitted by a LBS(almost and hour) on the XL model. Fit was perfect. But, I wasn't comfortable with the proper "fit". Just couldn't get used to such an aero posture. However, after changing the stem out to a more upright one to my specs (can't remember what degree) the "fit" was much more comfortable and natural.

    The LBS guy said as I ride more my personal "fit" will change. What's most important is not what the numbers are on some chart are.... but the message that your body is telling you.

    BTW My research shows that for an entry road bike the Defy 1 with all 105s is a hard to beat.
    I just barely purchased a 2009 Giant Defy 1 with all 105s on Friday for my first road bike. Mine's a small, though (I'm 5'4"). My socks have been thoroughly rocked. MSRP is $1300-$1400 (paid $1,125 at LBS) and it's beyond worth it.
    <3 ><>

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  18. #18
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_Man View Post
    I'm a newbie in the same boat. 6'4" etc... Looking at a Giant Defy 1. Was fitted by a LBS(almost and hour) on the XL model. Fit was perfect. But, I wasn't comfortable with the proper "fit". Just couldn't get used to such an aero posture. However, after changing the stem out to a more upright one to my specs (can't remember what degree) the "fit" was much more comfortable and natural.

    The LBS guy said as I ride more my personal "fit" will change. What's most important is not what the numbers are on some chart are.... but the message that your body is telling you.

    BTW My research shows that for an entry road bike the Defy 1 with all 105s is a hard to beat.

    I hate to say it but your fit wasn't "perfect" or you would have been comfortable in the first place. Yes, your fit can change with core conditioning but the fitter should take that into consideration when he/she fits you. You have to be a little careful when you get fitted because the fitter is often biased towards the type of riding that they are used to fitting for. ie. Someone who fit's mostly triathletes may put you in a great triathlon position but not necessarily a comfortable position for someone who does 20mile rides once or twice a week. Part of this is incumbent on you to make sure the fitter is someone who fully understands the type of riding you are doing and what kind of fitness level you really have. The numbers are important because if you and the fitter did their job right you can take those numbers, match them up with the perfect combination of frame and components and ride off into the sunset! With out those numbers, you have to test ride bikes and I can guarantee you that a 5 minute ride around the block is going to do nothing for you other than give you a vague impression. Buy that bike and it's just lottery. Sometimes you win, usually you don't.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  19. #19
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    Motobecanes are actually good bikes. while they are mainly sold by Bikes Direct, i have seen them for sale at a handfuil of other bike shops as well . One in particular is here in Southern California. It is called Discovery Bikes in Fountain Valley. They don't just sell Motobecane,Trek, etc. I'm pretty sure that you can find a shop that sells them near you. Also, Motobecanes are essentially rebadged Fujis so the geometry will be the same. They are made by the same manufacturer with similar specs but are priced differently in the stores due to name. It's like Aiwa and Sony- same product, different name. Find the model that you like and get fitted to the Fuji equivalent. Easy as that. Bikes Direct gets bad reviews but gets way more good reviews. Couldn't that be said about any good retailer? Besides, if you want to talk to a Bike's Direct rep, there's an active one on roadbikereview.com's Motobecane forum. I'm not promoting that site but understand that you can get good quality anywhere but value is another thing.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    No matter what brand you buy, I would test ride LOTS of bikes before you purchase one. Make sure that they are basically adjusted/fitted at the bike shop for your leg length, and take them out for at least 15 minutes, before you make up your mind. Get a bike that feels right.

    You don't have to buy the bike from a bike shop. You can get a used one that is the same make and size, or you can get a similar bike from somebody like bikesdirect.com with the same frame geometry (they often use the same bike frame companies of major brands, and let you know what brand they fit the most like).

    Good luck!
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